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Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Philosophy and God » Cientism and verificationism

Cientism and verificationism

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1 Cientism and verificationism on Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:20 pm

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Positivism and the Presumption of Atheism 1

http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1759-cientism-and-verificationism?highlight=verificationism

Many (if not most) of the really important things in life aren't subject to scientific, empirical investigation. You can't scientifically prove the beauty of the beautiful, or the goodness of the good. You can't scientifically prove that love is better than hate, or even that life is better than death. You can't prove scientifically the friendship of your best friend, and even trying to would only serve to queer the relationship in some way. The bottom line is, when you're experiencing the friendship of your best friend, you don't need any proof. And when you're not experiencing the friendship of your best friend, no proof will do. So it is with God.

Positivists championed a Verification Principle of meaning, according to which an informative sentence, in order to be meaningful, must be capable in principle of being empirically verified.

Under criticism, the Verification Principle underwent a number of changes, including its permutation into the Falsification Principle, which held that a meaningful sentence must be capable in principle of being empirically falsified.

The statement “In order to be meaningful, an informative sentence must be capable in principle of being empirically verified / falsified” is itself incapable of being verified or falsified.

The inadequacies of the positivistic theory of meaning led to the complete collapse of Logical Positivism during the second half of the twentieth century, helping to spark not only a revival of interest in Metaphysics but in Philosophy of Religion as well. Today’s Flew’s sort of challenge, which loomed so large in mid-century discussions, is scarcely a blip on the philosophical radar screen.

If someone is asking for 100 percent,  to truly know that God exists, we need to remind them this is unrealistic. We believe lots of things with confidence even though we do not have absolute certainty. 2

'"It is up to logic and the factors of different perspectives to determine if God exists or not."

1) http://www.phy.ilstu.edu/pte/publications/scientific_epistemology.pdf
2) https://chab123.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/a-look-at-gods-existence-evidence-we-want-vs-evidence-we-should-expect/

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/douglas-axe-on-scientism/



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2 Re: Cientism and verificationism on Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:48 am

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The Religion of Scientism by Don Watson 

Materialism holds a commanding position in science throughout the world today. The materialistic world-view has earned this position because it has been extremely fruitful for the scientific work of the last few centuries, not only in the physical sciences, but in biology, too. The "clock-work" model has created and reinforced the strong belief that, given enough time and money, materialistic science will eventually explain everything, including life and consciousness. The philosopher of science, Karl Popper, wryly characterized this belief as "promissory materialism." Indeed, promissory materialism is a fundamental article of faith in Scientism.

Scientism has been characterized in many ways, some neutral and others pejorative. In this essay, I use neutral terminology, e.g., "The use of the style, assumptions, techniques, and other attributes typically displayed by scientists" (Random House Dictionary). In other words, Scientism is what the scientific community actually does and believes, regardless of what it claims to do and believe.

The scientific community formally adopted materialism as the basis of its belief system in 1667 when Thomas Sprat wrote a letter to King Charles II on behalf of the Royal Society. To protect English scientists from the persecutions that were rampaging in Europe, the Royal Society solemnly promised that its scientists would not "meddle . . . with Divine things," and would limit their studies of humans to "their bodies" and "the products of their hands." The Royal Society thus promised that, while scientists would avoid the subjects of God and the Soul, "in all the rest, [they] wander at their pleasure."

With this oath, Scientism became the religion of materialism, and the basic tenets of materialism became the Scientist's Creed.

From our perspective today, Scientism's covenant with the Church looks like a pact with the devil. In exchange for the safety of scientists, the Royal Society agreed to blind scientists to one half of the observable universe. With this self-inflicted hemianopsia (half-blindness) scientists can see the world objectively, but not subjectively. This is a severe disability because subjective observation is the only way that leads to understanding the origins of life and consciousness. Thus, the dogmas and canons of Scientism limit basic studies of life to molecular biology, and aside from certain branches of psychology, preclude studies of the "self" altogether.

Scientism's oath nearly aborted the embryonic science of psychology. Unlike physical science, which addressed inanimate objects, psychology bluntly confronted the sacred "soul." In 1653, twelve years before the Royal Society's covenant, J. de Back had divided the study of man into three parts, "Psychologie, Somatologie, and Hœmatologie," and specified that "Psychologie is a doctrine which searches out man's Soul, and the effects of it." Indeed, the prefix, psyche meant "soul," but this was soon to change.

The idea of subjecting the soul to scientific study incited religious institutions to counterattack, so psychologists defended themselves by secularizing their discipline. They changed the meaning of psyche from "soul" to "mind." However, sidestepping the issue did little to quell the conflict. Thus, when Sigmund Freud introduced his psychoanalytic theory, which rested on the concept of the unconscious mind and psychic determinism, he re-inflamed emotions in the religious communities.

Completing the transformation, John B. Watson removed the psyche from psychology altogether in 1913 when he introduced behaviorism, which he characterized as "a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior." Thus, to ensure compliance with Scientism's canons, the behaviorists joined physical scientists in adopting objective observation as their gold standard. Behaviorism is appealing to those who make robots because they can claim that robots that behave like humans are humanoid.

Behaviorism has contributed several important ideas about learning, but it's severely limited because there's no such thing as objective observation. All perceptions are subjective, including those of behaviorists, because they occur in the mental apparatus of the "self." As a result, scientists who embrace the myth of objectivity fail to appreciate their most important instrument—themselves and their mental operations. That's one reason they can't see the cultural and psychological impediments to their science.

As selves, we humans perceive objects by interpreting our sensory experiences according to our world-views. Fortunately, however, our world-views aren't static and immutable. They change as we learn from our experiences. That's why psychology has grown beyond behaviorism, and why scientific thinking can grow beyond the arbitrary limitations of Scientism. Indeed, we can expect this growth in the next scientific revolution and paradigm shift.

We can also make mistakes because we can interpret our subjective experiences as objects, whether those "objects" are real or not. In either case, this process is termed objectification. For real objects, we'll characterize the process as "valid objectification," to distinguish it from "false objectification."

False objectification is misinterpreting mental constructs that aren't produced from objects—for instance, the sensory experience of pain. Experiences of pain originate in neuronal states, not objects, so objectifying it is a mistake. Despite this, neuroscientists continue in their quest to study pain "objectively."

False objectification also applies to the visceral sensation of hunger. When my granddaughter, Shelly, was three years old, she recognized the root of the fallacy. Her mother said, "You can't be hungry now," and Shelly replied, "You don't know 'cause you aren't me." She thereby identified her subjectively observed "self" as the only person who could observe her hunger. If we were to deny the self, we would also have to deny hunger.

Today it's fashionable in neuroscience, cognitive science, molecular biology, and philosophy to use false objectification to deny, ignore, or explain away the "self." For instance, James D. Watson, co-discoverer with Francis Crick of the structure of DNA, claims that the DNA sequence "tells us who we are." If this were true, then identical twins would be the same person. Yet no twin ever confuses himself with his twin. Thus, the notion of DNA determining "who we are" reflects the limited thinking imposed by false objectification.



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3 Re: Cientism and verificationism on Tue Nov 01, 2016 6:33 am

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Doug Axe, undeniable : 

The scientistic view introduced in the first chapter—scientism—is the most striking example of an embellished version of science that has risen to prominence. The reason adherents to this version hold science to be the only legitimate source of truth is that they also hold to materialism. This commits them to the idea that there isn’t anything but physical stuff, and because science is the only way to know the truth about physical stuff, this leads them to conclude that science is the only source of truth. The materialist commitment itself,
though, is completely unnecessary to science and therefore a harmful embellishment.

The IRRATIONALITY of Atheistic SCIENTISM
--------------------------------------------------------
P1. Atheistic-Scientism is Foundationally and Fundamentally Irrational.
P2. There are three major forms of Scientism, (a) Atheistic Scientism, (b) Experimental Scientism, and (c) Sense-Empirical Scientism.
............................
P3. Definitions:
- (a) Atheistic Scientism = the Atheist-faith-based belief that Atheistic-Science is the ONLY way to truth.
- (b) Experimental Scientism = the view that ONLY what can be Experimentally Verified is true.
- (c) Sense-Empirical Scientism = the view that ONLY what can be Empirically Verified (i.e., verified directly with our five senses) is true.
............................
P4. All three of the above (Atheistic Scientism, Experimental Scientism, Sense-Empirical Scientism as in P3) are IRRATIONAL. See below.
P5. Each of these positions is itself a Philosophical position that is based on premises that cannot be proved to be true.
P6. AND, each of these positions is a metaphysical position that is self-refuting. I.e., each of these is based on premises that when applied to that view, refutes that view. See below.
.............................
P7. Experimental Scientism is actually a Metaphysical position, one that is based on premises that cannot be proved to be true.
P8. Experimental Scientism is the view that ONLY what can be experimentally proved is True. This view is self-refuting. You cannot experimentally prove the truth of the metaphysical claim that "ONLY what can be experimentally proved is True". So, IF it is true that ONLY what can be experimentally proved is True, then that statement (that “ONLY what can be experimentally proved is true”) is itself FALSE.
………………
C1. Therefore, Experimental Scientism is self-refuting. And therefore, it is IRRATIONAL for atheists to insist on Experimental Scientism.
………………
P9. Sense-Empirical Scientism is the view that ONLY what can be sense-empirically proved (through our senses) is True. This view is self-refuting. You cannot sense-empirically prove the truth of the metaphysical claim that "ONLY what can be sense-empirically proved is True". So, IF it is true that ONLY what can be sense-empirically proved is True, then that statement (that “ONLY what can be sense-empirically proved is true”) is itself FALSE.
………………
C2. Therefore, Sense-Empirical Scientism is self-refuting. And therefore, it is IRRATIONAL for atheists to insist on sense-empirical Scientism.
………………
P10. Scientism is the view that ONLY what can be Scientifically proved (through the use of the scientific method) is True. This view is self-refuting. You cannot scientifically prove the truth of the metaphysical claim that "ONLY what can be Scientifically proved is True". So, IF it is true that ONLY what can be Scientifically proved is True, then that statement (that “ONLY what can be Scientifically proved is true”) is itself FALSE.
………………
C3. Therefore, Scientism is self-refuting. And therefore, it is IRRATIONAL for atheists to insist on Scientism.
………………
P11. Atheistic-Scientism is the view that ONLY what can be Atheist-Scientifically proved (through the use of the scientific method together with the faith-based assumption that ONLY Atheistic-Naturalism is true; i.e., that no non-naturalistic explanations are permitted for ANY phenomenon, no matter how compelling the evidence for the existence and/or activity of a supernatural entity) is True. This view is self-refuting. You cannot scientifically prove the truth of the metaphysical claim that "ONLY what can be Atheist-Scientifically proved is True". So, IF it is true that ONLY what can be Atheist-Scientifically proved is True, then that statement (that “ONLY what can be Atheist-Scientifically proved is true”) is itself FALSE.
………………
C4. Therefore, Atheistic-Scientism is self-refuting. And therefore, it is IRRATIONAL for atheists to insist on Atheistic-Scientism.
………………
P12. Additional forms of Scientism include Naturalistic Scientism, Materialistic Scientism, and Physicalistic Scientism. See below.
P13. Naturalistic-Scientism is the view that ONLY what can be Naturalistic-Scientifically proved (through the use of the scientific method together with the faith-based assumption that ONLY Naturalism is true; i.e., that no non-naturalistic explanations are permitted for ANY phenomenon, no matter how compelling the evidence for the existence and/or activity of a supernatural entity) is True. This view is self-refuting. You cannot naturalistic-scientifically prove the truth of the metaphysical claim that "ONLY what can be Naturalistic-Scientifically proved is True". So, IF it is true that ONLY what can be Naturalistic-Scientifically proved is True, then that statement (that “ONLY what can be Naturalistic-Scientifically proved is true”) is itself FALSE.
………………
C5. Therefore, Naturalistic-Scientism is self-refuting. And therefore, it is IRRATIONAL for atheists to insist on Naturalistic-Scientism.
………………
P14. Materialistic-Scientism is the view that ONLY what can be Materialistic-Scientifically proved (through the use of the scientific method together with the faith-based assumption that ONLY Materialism is true; i.e., that no non-Materialistic explanations are permitted for ANY phenomenon, no matter how compelling the evidence for the existence and/or activity of a non-Materialistic entity) is True. This view is self-refuting. You cannot Materialistic-scientifically prove the truth of the metaphysical claim that "ONLY what can be Materialistic-Scientifically proved is True". So, IF it is true that ONLY what can be Materialistic-Scientifically proved is True, then that statement (that “ONLY what can be Materialistic-Scientifically proved is true”) is itself FALSE.
………………
C6. Therefore, Materialistic-Scientism is self-refuting. And therefore, it is IRRATIONAL for atheists to insist on Materialistic-Scientism.
………………
P15. Physicalistic-Scientism is the view that ONLY what can be Physicalistic-Scientifically proved (through the use of the scientific method together with the faith-based assumption that ONLY Physicalism is true; i.e., that no non-Physicalistic explanations are permitted for ANY phenomenon, no matter how compelling the evidence for the existence and/or activity of a non-Physicalistic entity) is True. This view is self-refuting. You cannot Physicalistic-scientifically prove the truth of the metaphysical claim that "ONLY what can be Physicalistic-Scientifically proved is True". So, IF it is true that ONLY what can be Physicalistic-Scientifically proved is True, then that statement (that “ONLY what can be Physicalistic-Scientifically proved is true”) is itself FALSE.
………………
C7. Therefore, Physicalistic-Scientism is self-refuting. And therefore, it is IRRATIONAL for atheists to insist on Physicalistic-Scientism.
________________________________________
CONCLUSIONS (summarized):
________________________________________
C1. Experimental Scientism is self-refuting. Therefore, it is IRRATIONAL for atheists to insist on Experimental Scientism.
C2. Sense-Empirical Scientism is self-refuting. Therefore, it is IRRATIONAL for atheists to insist on Sense-Empirical Scientism.
C3. Scientism itself is self-refuting. Therefore, it is IRRATIONAL for atheists to insist on Scientism in general.
C4. Atheistic Scientism is self-refuting. Therefore, it is IRRATIONAL for atheists to insist on Atheistic Scientism.
C5. Naturalistic Scientism is self-refuting. Therefore, it is IRRATIONAL for atheists to insist on Naturalistic Scientism.
C6. Materialistic Scientism is self-refuting. And therefore, it is IRRATIONAL for atheists to insist on Materialistic Scientism.
C7. Physicalistic Scientism is self-refuting. And therefore, it is IRRATIONAL for atheists to insist on Physicalistic Scientism.
………………………..
BOTTOM LINE:
………………………..
C8. ATHEISM is Fundamentally and Foundationally IRRATIONAL.
C9. The insistence by many (or most) atheists on Scientism is ONE among many indications of the truth of this statement (that ATHEISM is Fundamentally and Foundationally IRRATIONAL).

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