Getting faithful about science
You’ve heard of theism, atheism, polytheism, monotheism, whatevertheism. But have you heard about scientism? It’s time to learn a few things about it, because the chances are pretty high that if you live in the Western world and subscribe to principles of logic, you might subscribe to it. I know I did.
So, what the heck is scientism?
Simply put, it is the view that all knowledge is scientific knowledge. All knowledge is that which can be measured and counted. All that which we know can be tested by the scientific method.
Sounds decent, right?
I thought so too, until on closer inspection it is revealed… not so much.
Scientism is actually self-refuting.
I mean, after all, it seems rational and reasonable that the only things that are real are that which can be measured, observed, counted. The supernatural, which cannot be observed scientifically, is not real. And there are some great logical claims to support that.
The inherent problem with scientism is the claim of scientism itself. After all, the claim that all knowledge can only be acquired by science isn’t a scientific claim. It is self-refuting.
The idea that everything can be measured isn’t a claim that can be tested scientifically. Science presupposes that that there is an objective physical world, and the things in it can be explained through the use of human intellect. To argue for these presuppositions using science is circular.
What the heck should we do, then? Turn to religion, or spirituality? Well, while scientific has one logical problem, appealing the unprovable and supernatural has many, many more.
We turn to philosophy. Rational inquiry doesn’t depend on science, but science is a form of rational inquiry. After all, there is a reason that the first scientists were called natural philosophers. There’s a reason that those who earn a PhD are awarded a doctor of philosophy. The thinking of the natural philosopher is something we need to bring back, and give some weight to. No, I’m not talking about pot-smoking hippies. There’s something to be said for using logical deduction rather than waiting for funded studies to prove things we already know.
(this post featuring hyperboleandahalf for all sorts of awesome!)
Filed under: logic, science | 9 Comments
Tags: atheism, circular, logic, philosophy, scientism, self-refuting, theism