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Monday, March 12. 2018
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Scientific Inquiry requires integrity on the part of the scientist as the data is reviewed and interpreted. Honesty, Integrity, meticulous research, are all values of science. Doing biased research to promote an agenda, is not science.
If bioweapons had been developed their counter-agents would have needed to be developed also, for instance smallpox has been used as a weapon, also only disease to be eradicated.
But as we have seen, many scientists have no integrity. I also think that the term "scientist" is heavily misused
Fascinating interview, partly because there was mutual respect.
I agree with the point that science is not about morality. Science is a method of logical investigation. But ultimately, moral decisions can be informed by knowledge but are made in a different setting. For example, in the abortion debate, science can describe the physical process, but the decision as to when an entity becomes a human entitled to human rights is a tough one. Some people feel that the moment the DNA is fixed, others at the time that a recognizable neural system develops, and others don't seem to care at all. But it's tough because people need to reach deep into their feelings on such an important issue and science is of little help there.
His point about conversation is very important. The most significant thing about humans is not intelligence as such, but our ability to form complex cultures and societies with shared as well as conflicting values. Conversation is NOT simply communication. The active interaction may be facilitated by words, it goes beyond that. A grocery list is information transmitted by words. But conversation, which most people enjoy, involves exploration of one another's mind and in many cases may leave our own mind forever changed, whether in agreement or disagreement with our conversation partner. That concept of mind sharing becomes the powerful basis of so much of what humans accomplish, and it does not appear that any other animals have anything close. The tale of Babel is a testament to the power of synchronized human minds.
"but the decision as to when an entity becomes a human entitled to human rights is a tough one."
No it's not! here is where science shows you the way instead of "reach deep into their feelings." Fuck feelings, if you will pardon me. Conception is the beginning of a new entity, birth is the self sustaining of that entity. No species on this planet ever attempts anything but to protect it's potential offspring except evil humans who , sad to say, misuse their intellect for self serving short term gains.
This guy couldn't be more wrong. All science, and all truth is a function of culture, and its underlying values. To make my point, I'll refer to five books: Transactional Analysis in Health Care, When God Says You're OK, The cost of Discipleship, The Myth of the Machine, and Gravitational Mystery Spots.
Basically, reality (even math and logic) is a human construct. For example, if we didn't want 2+2 to equal 4, then it wouldn't. But it does equal 4 because there are injunctions in our culture which tell us it's true. In fact, the injunctions are so strong, that we are not allowed to even question the fact that belief precedes reality. This phenomenon is the adapted child that we have all become. We have exchanged our free will and our humanity for the "safety" of science; and the solace of pseudo-religion.
But there is a deeper, and much more malevolent force at work, which seeks to make men believe that they are powerless without the saving grace of an unforgiving God, and the power of science. In The Myth of the Machine, Lewis Mumford says "Western society has accepted as unquestionable a technological imperative that is quite as arbitrary as the most primitive taboo: Not merely the duty to foster invention and constantly to create technological novelties, but equally the duty to surrender to these novelties unconditionally just because they are offered, without respect to their human consequences."
In other words, we are conditioned to believe at ALL change is good. But obviously, that's not the case. And if you believe that the Christian religion is a counterpoint to change as a fait accompli; read these lines written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
"Through the call of Jesus men become individuals. Willy-nilly they are compelled to decide, and that decision can only be made by themselves it is no choice of their own that makes them individuals, it is Christ who makes them individuals by calling them. Every man is called separately, and must follow alone. But men are frightened of solitude and they try to protect themselves from it by merging themselves in the society of their fellow men and in their material environment. They become suddenly aware of their responsibilities and duties, and are loath to part with them. But all this is only a cloak to protect them from having to make a decision. They are unwilling to stand alone before Jesus and to be compelled to decide with their eyes fixed on him alone. Yet neither father nor mother, neither wife nor child, neither nationality nor tradition, can protect a man at the moment of his call. It is Christ's will that he should thus be isolated, and that he should fix his eyes solely upon him. At the very moment of their call, men find that they have already broken with all the natural ties of life. This is not their own doing, but his who calls them. For Christ has delivered them from immediacy with the world, and brought them into media sleep will with himself. We cannot follow Christ unless we are prepared to accept and affirm that breach as a fait accompli. It is no arbitrary choice on the disciples part, but Christ himself, who compels them thus to break with the past. Why is this necessary? We are not allowed to grow slowly, gradually, uninterruptedly in progressive sanctification out of the natural order into the Fellowship of Christ? What is this power which so angrily comes between a man and the natural life in which it had pleased God to place them. Surely such a breach with the past as a legalistic technique and surly contempt for the good gifts of God, a technique far removed from the liberty of the Christian man. We must face up to the truth that the call of Christ does set-up a barrier between man and his natural life."
What has happened is that the Christian religion has been subverted. (By the way, I should mention that I am Jewish.) Christ never asked people to reject human relationships so that he could be the sole source of love. It's human relationships that ARE the source of love. Christ has been misquoted by science in the attempt to isolate individuals, and render them powerless. If you don't believe it, remember that a Church loses its tax-exempt status if it discusses politics. And the Masons won't take a man with a criminal record. The Christian religion that exists today is a scam. The intent of science is to rob men of their identity, so that they can be made to believe that everything is human; including robots. And if men cannot assemble; and have no identity; then they are merely agents; as are robots. But whose agents? Well, to answer that, let's read a few lines by Jon Tal Murphee:
"When we talk about the reason for existence, there are two sides of the coin that pose problems for the adult. The two sides are enunciated in philosophy by distinguishing between the efficient cause and the final cause. We can think of the one as what caused my existence and the other as why my existence was caused. Often we use the word reason in both ways. I might say, the reason I exist is that God caused me. Or I might say, the reason God caused me was that he had a purpose for me. For the sake of clarity, we will think of reason in the first sense as cause and in the second sense as purpose. Now when I discovered the reason for my existence in both senses, two of the greatest problems facing me as a modern man are immediately resolved for my Adult. The first has been called the crisis of identity. Modern man is asking what caused me? Who am I? A college student wrote, "We young people are the hope of the world, but we have no hope. We only have hope in ourselves, and who are we? We cannot even discover who we are. Through our relationship with my creator, I discover who I am, I am the created of God, I am a child of God. This tells me who I am in the universe."
What this poor young man doesn't realize is that he has been denied the sort of education that would really allow him to know who he is. So, it is out of isolation and nihilism that he finally accepts Christ. And since we are all sinners anyway, there is no need for moral correctness. (I have to tell you that Jews shake their head in wonder at this bullshit. How can white people, who are otherwise so smart, be so stupid?)
This gets us back to the original question: Is science concerned with morality? Of course. There is no science independent of men; and there are no men independent of meaning; and there is no meaning independent of ethics. But by claiming otherwise, scientists feel that they are not sinning when they reduce beautiful people to the level of animals: After all, we are all sinners, so who is anyone to judge? (Another bullshit argument that Jews can't understand.) People are inherently good. That was Christ's message.
There is no such thing as an "entity." There are only people, who live and love in communities that they feel are morally correct. But allow me to finish with a question: If there were other planets with people, and those people offered to help rule earth for their own benefit, by destroying human identity, would Christ take them up on the offer? Would he serve as an agent for extra-terrestrials? Would Science? Let me tell you that the Jews have long experience with these matters, and they know it's a bad offer.
Allow me to quote from the Mishnah: "The Mishnah's persistent citation of authorities makes explicit the claim that some men, now dead, have made their contribution and in so doing have given shape and substance to tradition, that tradition which is shaped by one, and handed on board by another. Choices were made; authorities made them. So the Mishnah indeed is, and therefore is meant as, a legal code, a schoolbook, and a corpus of tradition. It follows that the purpose for which the Mishnah was edited into final form was to create such a multipurpose document, a tripartite goal attained in a single body of formed and formal sayings. And yet it is also obvious that the Mishnah is something other than these three things in one. It transcends the three, and accomplishes more than the triple goals which on the surface form the constitutive components of its purpose.
Here's what Jordan Peterson won't tell you: it's time to completely rewrite the Bible, and to put government and science in its place as junior partners, nothing more. The human race can self-actualize just fine.
What's really amazing is how the microphone bud keeps moving from the left side of his face to the right side!
Interesting thread. My idiosyncratic take is that science is a tool.
Whenever we talk about science we really mean one of two quite different things, neither of which is value- or moral-free. The first is what I'd call applied science i.e, science put to work. The second is scientism, the belief in science.
The most important point for me was about the experience of deep engagement, and how that is perhaps our deepest instinct for knowing that we're on the right path, no matter what the context: killing prey for food, inventing the wheel, loving our partner.
And thank God,, 2 + 2 = 4.I get confused often enough anyway.
Have a good one.
2 + 2 has always and will forever = 4, no matter what symbols you use to record and describe it. With that as a foundation I am able to build meaning into my life.
Science is a learning tool, just as a hammer is a nailing tool and a saw a cutting tool. Science helps us better understand the world in which we live. What we do with that knowledge is up to us, and our morality.
Ron, I am Jewish too, but Christ's message was emphatically not that people are good. I can't take anything you say seriously.
Heh. To a wo/man, the most dysfunctional people I know are those with the most evident, preachy, projected ethics and principles and the greatest confidence about them.
I was afraid I'd run out of fingers and have to take my boots off and start counting toes.
Jordan Peterson takes a sort of Jungian approach to the concept of God, as I understand him. He clearly does not believe in God as a Person with demands to make on him. Instead, he believes that people are, for whatever reason, so constituted as to seek meaning, that they take lessons from their culture, and that they internalize the lessons as personal stories. If a myth is moving and useful, he treats it as "true" in a quasi-religious sense. He also has an extremely strong sense of morality, which he reconciles with all this, I believe because he merges it in a system of functionality: people won't have good lives without it. He acknowledges that the question of "what is a good life" must be informed by a system of morality and ethics, so he's at least not a nihilist. He tries to inhabit that extremely difficult position between nihilism and transcendentalism that C.S. Lewis wrote about so worthily.
Despite my problems with his treatment of all this, I remain moved by his concept that we can learn a great deal by noticing whether we are deeply engaged in any situation or problem. If we are coasting, only half-engaged, that tells us something. The fact that the greatest joy comes from deep engagement is a sign that we have a profound instinct for knowing when we're on a path to something that's worth part of our limited time here on earth, just as our joy in slaking thirst or hunger or sexual craving is part of being creatures who need food and water and offspring are so constituted as to find the satisfaction of those needs deeply satisfying. Ditto for the deep joy of seeing that 2 + 2 = 4, or that many forces obey the inverse-square law, or that the Golden Rule is a good plan for cultures. You can see the possibility of such satisfaction as an accident of materialistic evolution or a plan of the beneficent God (or, as I think, that those are the same thing).