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Scientism: Belief & Assumption

Cognisant

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#1
The first principle of scientism is to hold no assumptions and to do that we must understand the difference between beliefs and assumptions, and why belief is necessary for science.

Based upon personal experience and my knowledge of astronomy I believe the sun will rise tomorrow but there’s a possibility that it might not, that my knowledge might be wrong. It seems highly unlikely that the sun won’t rise tomorrow but I only know what is within the limits of my knowledge. It could well be that we’re living in a simulated universe and due to some coding error what rises over the horizon tomorrow will not be the sun but rather a huge glowing pink elephant.

It’s impossible to prove the sun won’t be a giant pink elephant tomorrow because it is impossible to prove a negative proposition. Although all available data indicates such an event is astoundingly unlikely if not outright impossible the fact is without a conclusive understanding of the universe we cannot conclusively say how likely or unlikely that event is. It could well be that every sunrise we’ve ever experienced and recorded was exceptional and on an astronomical timeline huge glowing pink elephants are normal.

Of course not being able to disprove the huge glowing pink elephant theory doesn’t give it any credibility either. Given that there’s no evidence to indicate a pink elephant will rise tomorrow and centuries of recorded instances of the sunrise being the sun it’s overwhelmingly more credible that what rises tomorrow will be the sun.

Bridging the gap from credibility to fact is belief, that although we cannot conclusively prove all aspects of the currently accepted astronomical model are true we believe they are because as proponents of scientism we believe that which is most credible is true. This is different from assuming the validity of the astronomical model, because our belief is conditional on the currently accepted model being the most credible, hence it being the “currently accepted” model.

Detractors of scientism criticise this willingness to adapt our beliefs to fit the available evidence as uncertainty, as if certainty is a merit, however we criticise their baseless certainty because it is dogmatism. To a proponent of scientism blind faith is not a virtue nor a source of credibility, it is an indication of bias and/or ulterior motives.

Belief is conditional, assumptions are not, the word “belief” has been hijacked by detractors of scientism to give false credibility to their assumptions.
 

Animekitty

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#2
Any time you add an "ism" to something it automatical becomes dogmatic.
Therefore by adding an "ism" to science means dogmas exist that are immutable to revision.

Scientism is not subject to revision. Like any other "ism" based dogma.

Science is subject to revision. Because we are always changing what we know.

Scientism says: this is what we know and it will never change. This is the only way to do science. Period.
 

Cognisant

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#3
Your definition of scientism is a blatent misinterpretion of mine and your justification for it is the very definition of sophism.
 

Animekitty

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#4
It doesn't matter because my definition is correct.
Any "ism" by definition changes the meaning of a word in a dogmatic way.
Your definition redefines what the connotation "ism" implies.
You just made up a new meaning of scientism for your own use.
core truth: you simply redefined a word.

Science is what you really truly are trying to promote.
But you think scientism is the same as science which it is not, it is a dogma.
It is important to know the true meaning of words not make shit up.
 

onesteptwostep

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#5
You know there was a whole philosophical movement in the early 1900s about this (logical positivism), which was pretty much obliterated by Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn.
 

Animekitty

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#6
Science is an open approach to understanding reality.
Scientism restricts people in the way they can approach understanding reality.

Dogmatist say things can only be one way, the way they see the world.
They have a limited view and their knowledge prevents them from seeing that other knowledge exists and so they deny it is possible for this other knowledge to exist.

The story is that Einstein was shown a German newspaper that claimed: "One hundred German physicists claim Einsteins theory of relativity is wrong." Einsteins reply was supposedly, "If I were wrong, it would only take one."
Later in life Einstein denied the discoveries of the new field of Quantum mechanics.
 

Cognisant

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#7
Animekitty said:
Any "ism" by definition changes the meaning of a word in a dogmatic way.
That's not wrong.

Animekitty said:
Scientism says: this is what we know and it will never change.
But that is.

Scientism is a dogma and dogmas don’t change but scientism isn’t science. As I've already explained the accepted canon of science is based on conditional beliefs, not unconditional assumptions. Thus your assertion that scientific knowledge is dogmatic is a blatantly false misinterpretation, by all means say that scientism is dogmatic I totally agree with that but science itself is not and cannot be dogmatic because that’s not how the scientific method works.

The dogma of scientism is "that which is most credible is true" and again I totally agree that's dogmatic, it's an assumption, but if we do not base our beliefs on that which is credible what else is there?

To say the theories "unicorns exist" and "unicorns don't exist" have equal merit despite there being overwhelming evidence supporting the credibility to the latter and undermining the credibility of the former, in other words to say "that which is most credible cannot be assumed to be true", that is sophism, that is casting doubt on our ability to reliably know anything.

That sophism is epistemological nihilism and it's impossible to refute nihilism just as it's impossible to prove a negative because nihilism doesn't state anything, it doesn't justify anything, nihilism is the non-stance, nihilism isn't the perfect defense it's running away.

So you can take that stance and I can't refute you but it goes both ways, you can always say "but you can't be sure" and a I can always reply "you can't be sure either" and I will, every time you say ANYTHING I'm going to reply "but you can't be sure".

Or in other words...
 

Animekitty

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#8
Science cannot be dogmatic (that's my point) therefore "that which is most credible is true" is part of science, not scientism. Scientism would say according to the definition of science being Latin for knowledge. Knowledge-ism (Scientisms) would say only certain kinds of knowledge is real. General relativity is not real knowledge according to the personal scientism of people that reject the theory. Creationists reject evolution because they say it is not real knowledge according to them. That's why we have Creationist Sciences institutes. Creationist Science is Scientism. That is how scientism works. Science of the other hand is openminded to knowledge existing that doesn't make sense at first but can be scrutinized for validity.

All this line of reasoning boils down into this:

Scientism says: only that knowledge that we know is real is real knowledge.
Science says: we can discover knowledge that is real that we did not know before.

"that which is most credible is true" is a Scientific claim, not a Scientism dogma.

Science can change its mind to expand what knowledge is.
Scientism is closed off to what knowledge can be and can't look beyond there own paradigm. People get set in their ways and can't look beyond their preconceptions.

Science advances one funeral at a time. - Max Planck
Scientism claims absolute knowledge because dogma is absolutism.
Science is open to revision because no truth is absolute cannon but only regarded as the best current understanding discovered by the cognitive tools of evaluation for the likelihood this truth aligns with reality. Revision is the scientific method with no absolutism dogma.
 

redbaron

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#9
i think you're going by a definition of scientism that isn't what scientism actually is

"Scientism is the ideology of science. The term scientism generally points to the cosmetic application of science in unwarranted situations not amenable to application of the scientific method or similar scientific standards "

i mostly agree with you Cog, but the common usage for the word scientism isn't a positive one. it's used a slur, often incorrectly and in situations where something is just science and not 'scientism' and that's fine to point out - but scientism itself does exist and is a (comparatively small) problem in certain instances
 

Hadoblado

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#10
I don't like the term.

Not because scientism doesn't exist. It does.

But because it's not that big of an issue. And I'd bet money it's more often used to disregard real science than to correctly identify its misuse. There are so many motives and political agendas that require science to not be working in their specific niche for the preservation of belief.

So basically, if I as a rule, assumed that scientism never happens, I think I'd be right more often than the people claiming scientism.
 

redbaron

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#11
inb4 onesteptwostep
 

onesteptwostep

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#12
It was more of a epistomological debate and an attack on the social sciences to be exact. Scientism died out in the 50s, it's not really something that's contemporary. After this people had nothing to talk about which is why postmodernism came about. I mean putting it very loosely >>. Postmodernism attacked anything that had a narrative, even the narrative of the enlightenment, not just religious teleology.
 

Cognisant

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#13
i think you're going by a definition of scientism that isn't what scientism actually is

"Scientism is the ideology of science. The term scientism generally points to the cosmetic application of science in unwarranted situations not amenable to application of the scientific method or similar scientific standards "
I know, I'm changing the meaning of "scientism" because that definition should just be called "false science", but I hate semantic arguments so if you want me to reword everything I've said to exclude that term fine, okay, whatever.

Here's my actual fucking point and I'm going to step it up a notch, how about we have a forum wide rule that there is to be no epistemological nihilism because it serves no purpose than to impede actual discussion?

What got me on to this scientism stuff in the first place and what this has all really been about is that there's a few people on this forum, we all know who they are, who love to play that bullshit both ways and am I the only one that's fucking sick of it?
 

redbaron

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#14
generally speaking i think it's a bad idea to try and change the common meaning of terms, just creates confusion

you can just point out that something isn't actually scientism, rather than try to say that scientism itself isn't bad. most of the things people refer to as scientism are not actual scientism. if there's empirical evidence in favour of something, it's not scientism to think that it's a more reasonable conclusion, or to base a theory off that, rather than t o go with anecdotal or theoretical evidence

i get the frustration, i think that 90% of the time someone claims something is scientism, it's wrong. but it's really the last resort for people who want to cling to preciously held beliefs with no basis in reality, because if we were actually to shift the focus on them making real falsifiable statements rather than constantly trying to reframe science as scientism and to try and lower the significance of actual research - then it would be plainly obvious their beliefs were dumb.

as it is, most people see this anyway and it's becoming more and more a vocal minority. as the stomping ground of science expands, with greater technology or greater ingenuity to research and understand previously un-researchable things, the scope of other things diminishes. it makes people butt-hurt and defensive, but over time, hard-won knowledge will always eventually crystallise into the realm of common knowledge.

evolution, heliocentric model etc. all eventually win out. religion teaches people to reflexively reject anything that contradicts the religious interpretation. to an extent, science teaches people to reflexively reject anything presented without evidence, and people will generally follow the trail of what appears to be robust evidence, sometimes without questioning the validity of it - but in most scientific fields, people are eager to test and probe and look for gaps in the scientific validity of the studies other scientists do. finding holes in other ideas is just as fruitful and worthwhile as finding new ideas in science, and so to a much, much greater degree than religion it self-regulates and discards old knowledge as it becomes redundant and/or a more accurate version is found.
 

Animekitty

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#15
epistemological nihilism I think means, that it is futile to ask how it is possible to gain knowledge because it is impossible to know how we gain it.

Therefore I can say I know something and you have no way of refuting me given you believe what I said was false.

I can say I believe in God and "how" I know is from personal experience but under epistemological nihilism I can say all dogs are pink and in no way can this be refuted even if you show me a non-pink dog, I simply know all dogs are pink for no reason.
 

sushi

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#17
antiscience and pusedoscience is just making up things without any verification and experimentation, like flat earth and ghost stories.

science is testing theories based on observation and experimentation. If it is repeatedly proven through observation and experimenation, then it is most likely be true.

Like A will always lead to B, and not C. If an experiment shows A leads to C, while in another time A leads to B, then it shows inconsistency and cannot be a fact of reality.

I know someone who said that there is in a city located in center of earth, a theory that is an asspull with no evidence and verification. alot of mythology and ghost stories are similar.
 

Hadoblado

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#18
Not worth intervening.

How impeded have you been? Can't you just ignore anyone who makes this a habit?
 

sushi

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#19
perhaps the opposite of scienctific view is something that is real or exist/possible but beyond our ability to prove/verify. this could be well true because human limitations and senses. But most of such stuff I've seen that fit such category is BS and psuedoscience/religious trolling or just reality denial.

the prevalent view is that most matter is made of atoms, but some antiscience view could that matter is made of magic bunnies or cherrios.
 
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#21
They don't know "How" they know it, they simply do.
Knowledge is usually known to require some form of justification or evidence. Just 'knowing' doesn't sound like 'knowledge' at all.
Your understanding of epsitemological nihilism is wrong too. Epistemological nihilists denies the existence of knowledge itself - they would say no one really knows anything for certain.
I know of no real position that comes close to your idea of epistemological nihilism.
 

Animekitty

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#22
Epistemology is about "How" knowledge is possible.
My interpretation was that nihilism eliminates the "How".
All that is left is people knowing things with no basis.
Therefore all dogs are pink and there is no way to know "How" I know that.
 
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#23
Epistemology is about "How" knowledge is possible.
My interpretation was that nihilism eliminates the "How".
All that is left is people knowing things with no basis.
Therefore all dogs are pink and there is no way to know "How" I know that.
Epistemology is pretty much anything knowledge related - basically a philosophy of knowledge. It is also concerned with 'what is knowledge', 'what is justification', etc. etc.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology/

All that is left is people knowing things with no basis.
By most conventions, if the knowledge is not founded on anything, it's not worthy of being called 'knowledge' in the first place. There would be no way to distinguish knowledge from a lucky belief. No one takes such a position.
 

sushi

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#24
knowledge is still founded based on memory , observation and perception, or just random thought. whether it holds true or possible in reality is another subject.
 
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#25
knowledge is still founded based on memory , observation and perception, or just random thought. whether it holds true or possible in reality is another subject.
I have a random thought that balloon-whales exist in reality. Is that a knowledge? Can I say rightly say that I 'know' that balloon whales exist in reality, yet be uncertain of the truth of the balloon whale's existence because whether it's true is a different matter?

That sounds like some unclear confusing semantics you are coming up with.

Classically, knowledge has been defined as JTB (Justified True Belief) - truth IS a critical component in the subject of epsitemology. Even though, JTB definition has been criticized against, and new conditions are later added or considered....I don't know the modern state of affairs, but 'truth' nevertheless still seems to be subject intimately related to the matter of what is 'knowledge' or not.

Even 'possibility' which belongs to the subject of 'modality' is a serious subject matter related to epistemic concerns.
 

Animekitty

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#26
If to some people knowledge is impossible and then they go on to promote certain knowledge. What they are doing is saying it is impossible when it doesn't suites them but possible when it suits them. Leading Cog saying they have it both ways to always win. It's cheating. How can we come agreement when these people cog mentions are always changing the rules on the spur of the moment.

I do not know any on the forum right now but I remember some 3-4 years ago. I was discussing a math problem with a moderator and someone came in and said math is metaphysical so what you are discussing needed to be looked at in the light of Godel's incompleteness theorem. The moderator said that had nothing to do with Animekitties question. I said I had no idea what was happening but I wasn't about my A.I. idea in terms of mathematics. My A.I. idea came up for some reason which was I think he asked me about it. My thread was moved from Science and technology into the Philosophy subform. A second person was like this but all I know is I remember there was a second person.
 

Serac

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#27
@Cognisant how do you first make a case about "Scientism" using a definition of it which is completely different than what is usually agree upon, and then get all worked up when people have no clue what you're talking about?

Actually, after reading the thread I still don't know what you're talking about (it might seem that by "scientism" you actually mean "induction", but not sure). In fact I generally find about 95% of what you write impossible to understand. No offense, but maybe work on making your writing style a bit clearer? This is truly meant as constructive criticism btw, so don't start with namecalling and whatnot again.
 
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