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Is Spreading Science Justified By Reason?

 
Gregoryhhh
 
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Gregoryhhh
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18 January 2015 17:14
 

This has been said, and said well, more than once in this thread - it seems to need to be said again:
Is Spreading Science Justified By Reason?

If we can agree to the definition without saying ,of “spreading” do let us define the three we must needs to define in order to agree to have an argument of logic about it.

OK i propose to define science, reason, and justified, from The Oxford Dictionaries:

Science: The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment:

Reason: The power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic:

Justified:
Having, done for, or marked by a good or legitimate reason:

So to rephrase in greater detail the question:

Is the spreading of intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment (science), a good reason (justified), to use the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic (reason)?

Well jesusfuck! Of course. Um sort of a nonsensical question ?- for the students of logic - what is the name of the fallacy in or of that question?
gregory

 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
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Gregoryhhh
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18 January 2015 22:02
 
gsmonks - 18 January 2015 07:30 PM

Sophistry? That’s an argument that contains a (subtle) fallacy.

Non sequitur? That’s a conclusion that can’t be reached, through logical means, from its premise.
I suggest we leave him to it. I, for one, have better things to do.

hey thanks for the fallacy info gsmonks - i am just becoming aware of the motivations of some of the ones who live on the other side of the border between reason and nonsense.
gregory

 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
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Gregoryhhh
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19 January 2015 00:54
 
gsmonks - 18 January 2015 01:55 PM
Thoughtage - 18 January 2015 09:01 AM
gsmonks - 18 January 2015 12:25 AM

The thing is, science is about knowledge (which belongs to everyone) and broadening it, and knowledge in and of itself entails responsibility. Therefore, the spreading of science is a responsibility, because it entails responsibility.

Are we capable of using all the powers emerging from science in a responsible manner?

Before we answer that, we should keep in mind that we don’t really know what powers science may hand us in the coming years.  So if a reader answers “yes” to my question above, they are really proposing that we can handle ANY power science may provide.

What we do know is that knowledge development, and thus the power available to human beings, is expanding at an ever accelerating rate.  This is because as we learn each new thing that tends to make it easier to learn the next thing.  Computers are perhaps the most common example of this.

This is not fundamentally a complicated question.  We do this very same calculation in regards to children and teens all the time.  We attempt to determine what powers they are ready for, and what is still beyond their ability to manage.

This thread simply asks the same question in regards to adults.
If we should agree that adult human beings don’t have infinite judgement and maturity, then there must be some limit to the powers we should have.  It is the point of this thread to attempt to better understand what those limits might be.

As it stands currently, it seems our entire culture is still operating from a largely unexamined “more is better” assumption in regards to knowledge, and thus power.  In an age of accelerating knowledge development, it seems reasonable to question whether this assumption may now be outdated.

As usual, your question is both a straw man and irrelevant.

Just for that, I’ll turn it around on you.

Are we capable of using religion in a responsible manner?

The answer is quite obviously “No”. Religion is responsible for most of the murder and unrest in the Middle East. Religion gave us the Crusades, Pogroms, witch burnings, The Spanish Inquisition, bigotry towards racial minorities and homosexuals, and the hits just keep on coming.

So obviously religion should not be in the hands of Man, and should be done away with.

Further, there is no such thing as “infinite judgment and maturity”. Even if your invisible Dog existed, he would be a psychotic, petulant, immature, selfish, violent, murderous sack of shit. No “infinite judgment and maturity” there, either.

Your invisible Dog is nothing more than an anthropomorphic projection by people given to simple-minded unreason.

um, just to help me keep things clear - the invisible dog is about the same thing as the butt fairy or the Abramic God right?
gregory

Post Scriptum: i wonder if Thoughtage is prepared to identify himsef/herself/itselfwith a particular “God” -  how ‘bout it Thoughtage who’s your God?

 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
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Gregoryhhh
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19 January 2015 01:22
 

Please, please, please, Thoughage or Glacier or the author of the question Hippyhead - answer the question asked:

Is the spreading of intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment (science), a good reason (justified), to use the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic (reason)?
gregory

 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
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Gregoryhhh
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19 January 2015 01:54
 
gsmonks - 19 January 2015 12:27 AM

The “invisible dog” is merely god spelt reversewards.

Isn’t is strange that of all the words God could be backwards, it turns out to be an animal that can lick its own arsehole, is loyal to absurdity, and would die for its human in a heartbeat?

Oh, the irony.

“Here, God! Fetch!”

God, likewise, can only do what we pretend it does.

A dog is man’s best friend. God is man’s worst enemy. God is the evil Under Dog!

Sounds like the Abramic God and the butt fairy to me - dog, i like it..

 
 
Thoughtage
 
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22 January 2015 12:59
 
Jefe - 18 January 2015 03:33 PM

A better question is “are we capable of learning the responsibility required to handle the knowledge or technology we develop?”  And then it becomes not an absolutist yes/no question, but more of a responsive question based on our history of adaptability.

Yes, I agree that’s a great question.  By starting this thread I am hoping to encourage such conversation. 

The widely shared cultural group consensus at the moment seems to be that our ancient “more is better” relationship with knowledge is still appropriate.  This group consensus seems to be largely unexamined, probably because the “more is better” relationship has been valid for so long.

So part of “learning the responsibility required to handle the knowledge or technology we develop” can be to responsibly examine this fundamental assumption carefully and objectively. 

Our “history of adaptability” might be continued if we can aim scientific resources at enhancing human maturity.  I don’t know how this might be done, but that doesn’t mean nobody will have good ideas in that direction.

My core point is that exponentially expanding knowledge/power can not be sustained in an environment where human maturity expands incrementally if at all.

 
Jefe
 
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22 January 2015 13:12
 
Thoughtage - 22 January 2015 11:59 AM

My core point is that exponentially expanding knowledge/power can not be sustained in an environment where human maturity expands incrementally if at all.

I’m not sure I agree with your other presumptions about ‘more is better’.  But for the sake of argument, lets say we agree on this point.
In what manner would you suggest controlling the increase of knowledge?  And at what point in time?

 
 
Thoughtage
 
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22 January 2015 13:35
 
Thoughtage - 22 January 2015 11:59 AM

My core point is that exponentially expanding knowledge/power can not be sustained in an environment where human maturity expands incrementally if at all.

Jefe - 22 January 2015 12:12 PM

I’m not sure I agree with your other presumptions about ‘more is better’.

Ok, fair enough.  That’s what this thread is for, exploring such questions.  Can you share your reservations about my statement in quotes above?

But for the sake of argument, lets say we agree on this point. In what manner would you suggest controlling the increase of knowledge?  And at what point in time?

As a place to start…

If the development of new knowledge is to be somehow limited, a broad public consensus would have to develop about the need for such a policy.  The entire global culture would have to engage in the kind of dialog we are trying to create here.

As best I can tell, such a far reaching dialog is unlikely to occur until some epic disastrous event, such as nuclear terrorism for instance. 

To run with your idea, instead of pushing the “limit knowledge” idea we could instead perhaps push a “grow maturity” agenda.  That may be more doable than an admittedly highly unpopular idea of limiting knowledge. 

To turn the question back to you, do you see any limits to the knowledge and thus power that human beings should have?

 
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22 January 2015 13:52
 
Thoughtage - 22 January 2015 12:35 PM

To turn the question back to you, do you see any limits to the knowledge and thus power that human beings should have?

Should is a subjective term.
I see limits imposed by the actuality of our cosmos, but imposing a judgement call is tough.

What if this conversation were taking place 150 years ago, and the global culture adopted a more limited approach?  What if we were still living with things like tuberculosis, polio, cholera, small pox, etc… as just a limited example?

What if we were to adopt a global slowing of innovation and knowledge that halted a major clean-energy breakthrough that would provide heat and light for all for pennies a year, at little to no ecological cost?

These hypotheticals can be fun, but they often come with a ‘baby+bathwater” approach.

 
 
Twissel
 
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22 January 2015 14:52
 

To be honest, I doubt there is a way to actually decide which technologies we will develop in the future. Science and technology have a momentum of their own, and history has shown that suppressing ideas and knowledge does not work in the medium to long run.

But on the bright side, more knowledge and technology means more ways in which we can improve our lives.

 
 
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22 January 2015 15:20
 
Jefe - 22 January 2015 12:52 PM

What if this conversation were taking place 150 years ago, and the global culture adopted a more limited approach?  What if we were still living with things like tuberculosis, polio, cholera, small pox, etc… as just a limited example?

Good question. 

The answer would seem to depend on whether one thinks we can continue to manage new knowledge.  If we can, then yes of course, we’re all happy to be beyond the diseases you mention.

What if we’re not able to manage the new knowledge? 

Will the knowledge development of the last 150 years still be worth it if 14 years from now we have an all out nuclear war?

Will the knowledge development of the last 150 years still be worth it if 63 years from now climate change hits a tipping point and the temperature begins exploding?

Point being, the technologies we have developed over the last century or two have the potential to end civilization.  If that threat is credible and real, then we arrive at the question of this thread….

Is Spreading Science Justified By Reason?

 
Thoughtage
 
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22 January 2015 15:28
 
Twissell - 22 January 2015 01:52 PM

To be honest, I doubt there is a way to actually decide which technologies we will develop in the future. Science and technology have a momentum of their own….

I tend to agree.  If that’s true, then data might be seen as an element of nature that is developing us, not the other way around.

It could be that nature is evolving towards more complexity, and part of that evolution involves intelligence.

We may be the first of a thousand species which will develop intelligence and be destroyed by it before a sustainable platform for intelligence is found.

 
Gregoryhhh
 
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22 January 2015 16:49
 
Thoughtage - 22 January 2015 11:59 AM
Jefe - 18 January 2015 03:33 PM

A better question is “are we capable of learning the responsibility required to handle the knowledge or technology we develop?”  And then it becomes not an absolutist yes/no question, but more of a responsive question based on our history of adaptability.

Yes, I agree that’s a great question.  By starting this thread I am hoping to encourage such conversation. 

The widely shared cultural group consensus at the moment seems to be that our ancient “more is better” relationship with knowledge is still appropriate.  This group consensus seems to be largely unexamined, probably because the “more is better” relationship has been valid for so long.

So part of “learning the responsibility required to handle the knowledge or technology we develop” can be to responsibly examine this fundamental assumption carefully and objectively. 

Our “history of adaptability” might be continued if we can aim scientific resources at enhancing human maturity.  I don’t know how this might be done, but that doesn’t mean nobody will have good ideas in that direction.

My core point is that exponentially expanding knowledge/power can not be sustained in an environment where human maturity expands incrementally if at all.

Yeah but before you start a new question, we’d like to know your answer to the question you asked that started this, Thoughtage - “Is the spreading of intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment (science), a good reason (justified), to use the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic (reason)?”

gregory

 
 
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22 January 2015 20:42
 
Gregoryhhh - 22 January 2015 03:49 PM

we’d like to know your answer to the question you asked that started this, Thoughtage - “Is the spreading of intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment (science), a good reason (justified), to use the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic (reason)?”

Not if that is going to lead to the collapse of civilization via a nuclear exchange, global warming run amok, or other knowledge empowered process.

I don’t know if that is going to happen or not, nobody does.  But there’s enough evidence that it might happen to justify a discussion on our relationship with knowledge, imho.

 
Jefe
 
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22 January 2015 22:02
 
Thoughtage - 22 January 2015 02:20 PM
Jefe - 22 January 2015 12:52 PM

What if this conversation were taking place 150 years ago, and the global culture adopted a more limited approach?  What if we were still living with things like tuberculosis, polio, cholera, small pox, etc… as just a limited example?

Good question. 

The answer would seem to depend on whether one thinks we can continue to manage new knowledge.  If we can, then yes of course, we’re all happy to be beyond the diseases you mention.

What if we’re not able to manage the new knowledge? 

Will the knowledge development of the last 150 years still be worth it if 14 years from now we have an all out nuclear war?

Will the knowledge development of the last 150 years still be worth it if 63 years from now climate change hits a tipping point and the temperature begins exploding?

Point being, the technologies we have developed over the last century or two have the potential to end civilization.  If that threat is credible and real, then we arrive at the question of this thread….

Is Spreading Science Justified By Reason?

I still say yes.  Along with the advances that would seem to be placing us on a tipping point, comes with the understanding that we’re facing a tipping point.  Although Climate Change Denial would seem to be less about knowledge and more about propoganda. 

If we gave up all dangerous knowledge, we’d be without fire and eating paleo food we gather as we wander from cave to cave.

 
 
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