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February 4, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Nicholas Rescher on Scientism

The theorist who maintains that science is the be-all and end-all — that what is not in science books is not worth knowing — is an ideologist with a peculiar and distorted doctrine of his own. For him, science is no longer a sector of the cognitive enterprise but an all-inclusive world-view. This is the doctrine not of science but of scientism. To take this stance is not to celebrate science but to distort it by casting the mantle of its authority over issues it was never meant to address.

The Limits of Science (Berkeley, University of California Press : 1984).

(I believe I’ve quoted this before, but its worth returning to)


Limits of Science from Nicholas Rescher on Google books

January 31, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Defining Scientism. What is the difference between science and scientism

Science is a method.  Science is a way of interpreting and understanding the world.  Science also includes a community.

Scientism is a worldview.  Scientism is the attempt to use science to eliminate (the relevance and usefulness of) philosophy, history, psychology, and the rest of the academic disciplines housed on university campuses for the study of humans and the universe.  In short, scientism is a power-grab.  Its also a relatively close-minded power grab in the sense that it attempts to eliminate or undermine what are helpful disciplines in terms of human culture and understanding.  But for an understanding of key concepts–we would be lesser humans.

Also, this move for scientism or scientistic thinking ignores and down plays the day to day experiences of humans don’t occur through science.  My personal knowledge of myself as well as my understanding of ethics, my passions, my goals, and my identity is all subjective knowledge–which isn’t per se scientific.  Its still real–still very real–but the attempt to say that science can tell me who I am is problematic.  Moreover, the idea that scientific facts lead directly to questions of oughtness is also highly problematic.  For instance, that animals have a behavior based on instincts tells humans nothing about how to think ethically about instincts or what they tell us.  Questions of “is” and “ought” aren’t totally separate, however, just because something is doesn’t mean it ought to be.

Its also an attempt to bifurcate knowledge into the personal and impersonal.  The personal versus the universal.  The non-universal, particularly in the context of “objective science” and “repeatable science” becomes irrelevant, meaningless, or useless.  And in doing so an attempt to diminish the role of the personal.  In fact it totally depersonalizes who human beings are.  From certain perspectives it turns us into objects.  It says humans are “just chemistry, biology, and physics.”  It posits that we are just robots responding to naturalistic occurances in cause and effect fashion.  In this way it denies human rationality, human choice, and human dignity.  That move is incredibly problematic for reasons of both truth and ethics.  At the point at which we’ve dehumanized humans–its misunderstood who the human is and particularly who the human is in his/her day to day and at his/her core.


January 20, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

My Critique of Scientism in Rant Form

The problem is those who turn it into an ideology or worldview or belief system aren’t necessarily conscious that they are doing so. Or the ways in which it undermines both human thought and action. (because our daily lives involve 100s of decisions not subject to scientific proof in the strictest sense). Not to mention the wisdom of history, philosophy, literature, art, and those disciplines of the university which fall outside of physics, biology, and chemistry. To follow it to its logical conclusion would be to totally ignore all knowledge that didn’t fall from those 3 disciplines–at the university, at the library, on Amazon, and in our real lives. Its a fundamental impossibility–otherwise you end up jumping into the void of non-knowledge which means throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Unfortunately, Scientism is a dehumanizing sickness of our cultural times. And its not the first time either. The behaviorists if not directly, certainly indirectly did so. All the way back to the Atomists of Aristotle’s time who reduced everything to atoms in a reductionist kind of way. (Sadly that overly simplistic reductionism hasn’t gone away either). Its ironic that a skeptic will be skeptical of almost everything but his/her own skepticism, materialism, naturalism, and scientism. Active denial is often the response that I’ve seen most often. Ignoring the elephant in the room certainly doesn’t solve anything.

January 9, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Summary of Frank Turek’s C.R.I.M.E.S. argument

Frank Turek makes his CRIMES argument for theism in “Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case,”  I believe its also in “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.” also by Turek, but I’m not entirely sure.

It takes a comparative worldview approach to 6 major issues that the acronymn C.R.I.M.E.S. stands for.

C = Causality
R = Reason
I = Information and Intentionality
M= Morality
E = Evil
S = Science

You can read the summary of Franks book “Stealing from God” here.  It uses simple language to explain why Christianity instead of naturalism best explains our current state of affairs.

Specifically Turek points out:

It is my contention that these CRIMES not only help show that theism is true, but that the foundational assumptions of atheism make it impossible to make a sound intellectual case for atheism. If atheism is true, there’s no way to know it with any confidence. In fact, if atheism is true, there’s no way to know anything with any confidence. [xviii]

Additionally Turek’s four point test is pretty good as well:

In Chapter 7, Turek offers his “Four-Point Case for Mere Christianity.” It is as follows:

Does Truth Exist?
Does God Exist?
Are Miracles possible?
Is the New Testament historically reliable?

You can check Frank’s book “Stealing from God” out on Amazon here.

January 2, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Thoughts on Creativity Education

Creativity/Problem Solving

1. Expert Feedback
2. Peer Feedback
3. Qualitative elements of feedback (presumably based on your criteria of quality creativity–a rubric or criteria of sorts).
4. Graphic organizer/Hand out (simple)
5. Rules of the Road
6. Constraints

SUCCESS Model, from Chip and Dan Heath

Probably should model feedback (criteria, relevance, and process)

Stages of Creativity/Process of Creativity

Scenario, Roleplaying, & Gamification is an option.

January 1, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

What are the key questions in terms of worldview?

  1. God
  2. Mind
  3. Morality
  4. Destiny
  5. Reality
  6. Knowledge
  7. Human nature
  8. Purpose
  9. Meaning
  10. Matter
  11. Origins
  12. Truth

This is from the Impact 360 Institute.  You can see the video here.

Ravi Zacharias has a 4 question model.  William Sire has an 8 question model.

And I’ve spoken to the key worldview questions before here (this includes all my worldview posts).

These are Sires 8 key questions:

  1. What is ultimate reality?
  2. Where did the world around us come from and what is its nature?
  3. What are human beings and where did they come from?
  4. Why do humans suffer?
  5. Is there a way for humans to be saved from suffering?
  6. How do I know right from wrong?
  7. What is the meaning or purpose of my life?
  8. What happens to me when I die?


January 1, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

How Can I Know Thyself? What is your worldview?


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