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February 5, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

More indictments of scientific materialism

Life is a faith based enterprise. Even our legal system is a faith based enterprise–or I should say our court system. As someone who has served on a jury–our decision was a faith-based interpretation of the facts. Not all different for how people navigate issues of faith in religion and science.

Scientific materialism assumes a particular interpretation and frame which excludes spiritual explanation. Because apparently physics and chemistry explain everything–including human choice, personality, and our experience of conscience.

But the idea that spiritual entities don’t exist–is still faith based–its assuming a God position on the universe. It assumes the non-existence of beyondness and transcendance. Thats faith based. (admittedly, others have done a much better job explaining this than I)

For the scientific materialist this is the problem emboddied by the Fish in water allegory–in which the fish doesn’t recognize the realities and assumptive nature of their existence. Admittedly, this happens in multiple spheres of life–but denialism or eliminativism doesn’t deny. This is what the scientific establishment did to alternative medicine up until today. Only recently did the NIH start studying it. Western science assumptions–including reductionist materialism. By definition–the reductionist is reducing something–ignoring something–ignoring what lies on the margins.

The analogy I’ve heard is these border questions–where parts of the question lie in two fields or two areas–is like a suitcase in which certain things fall outside the lines. Materialism seeks to zip up the suitcase…..while both ignoring and silencing those ideas and questions which lie at the margins….which flop over the side.

Your framing of faith and reason assumes they are opposites. If that were true–you couldn’t literally reason about God. The problem with the materialist move is what it attempts to do is to erase the elephant in the room. When it encounters border entities or border questions its forced to say–those questions don’t exist or don’t matter.


C’mon hubris:
1. False dilemma. I proved that above. You seemed to ignore it.
2. Science disproves Greek/Roman Gods isn’t an argument that science trumps faith. Its either over-generalization (all faiths are the same–and believe the same thing). I won’t make you defend Phrenology (the science of head/skull bumps) and other forms of “so-called” science….and I shouldn’t have to defend Greek Gods.

Overall you’re hardly handling the line by line.

Well your worldview is still faith-based. You asserted its intuitive appeal–

Also Godel’s theorem seems to suggest to me that every system is faith based. And the rationalism which seems to ground at least part of your theory….isn’t exactly scientifically verifiable. Its a faith-based enterprise, even based on the terms of science.

Its only experientially that you are able to step beyond this faith-reason dichotomy. Thats what most people of faith do to.

And implicitly….your system relies on scientism–even as you claim to be skeptical of it (ie your citation of Occams razor and your faith in it).

I ran this down RE: occams razor: The quote is what is most useful here–it undermines the rationality of Occams razor:

i. This formulation begs the question what counts as an adequate explanation. Is an adequate explanation an account sufficient to generate predictions or an account of underlying processes, and, if explanation is just retrospective prediction, then must it be successful at individual or population levels? Either the meaning of simplicity will be relative to one’s account of explanation, thus undermining the capacity of simplicity to function as an independent epistemic value, or the insistence on simplicity will dictate what gets explained and how.
ii. We have no a priori reason to think the universe simple, i.e. composed of very few kinds of thing (as few as the kinds of elementary particles, for example) rather than of many different kinds of thing. Nor is there or could there be empirical evidence for such a view.
iii. The degree of simplicity or variety in one’s theoretical ontology may be dependent on the degree of variety one admits into one’s description of the phenomena. If one imposes uniformity on the data by rejecting anomalies, then one is making a choice for a certain kind of account. If the view that the boundaries of our descriptive categories are conventional is correct, then there is no epistemological fault in this, but neither is there virtue.


Did the Enlightenment disprove the Romantics or complement the Romantics or both?
This question has four applications at least:
1. Points out that science is incomplete–it can’t explain everything
2. The “newness” of an age or practice isn’t aways better. Anymore than Facebook is “better” communication than face to face human contact.
3. The overall importance of the human spirit.
4. We need an integrated whole.

Not to mention science suffers from the Streetlight effect. This is usually used to apply to cases where we want or need data–to point to the limits particularly of quantitative data or data which doesn’t adequately look at the whole picture. The allegorical jump from data to the larger issue of science along with postitivism and materialist reductionism isn’t a difficult one: (link)

First, I have an explanation about why references to the Bible isn’t circular. One I didn’t include is that its written by multiple authors. So not only do you have Watson, you have Crick there by his side to verify and add credibility (metaphorically of course).

Second, I pointed to an article earlier in the thread which provides 10 rationales. No one seems to have read that.

The size and scope of the impact of the Bible along with the movement is pretty decent proof of its credibility. That alone isn’t enough, but it suggests some degree of validity. Plus, thats a bit of peer review on the document. Its not perfect perhaps–but none the less the size of the movement suggests some credibility.

I haven’t read Miracles by Craig Kenner…but I’m sure it provides some insight. Also, books that speak to Christ rising from the dead point to the issue of divinity.

Christian God? It all fits together. There are multiple lines of argument (see also historical Jesus).

Scientific laws are an argument for order. There is no reason, outside God for the extensive number of fine-tuned aspects of science. Also, their existence day after day is further proof of that credibility.

Cognitive dissonance. If a house popped out of the sky….pre-assembled. We would suggest that had a designer and a creator. In fact, the burden of proof would be to prove otherwise. The level of design in the universe suggests complexity 100x as vast and deep as a house. None the less…the doubters try to question the clock-like precision and design of the universe from the hydrologic cycle to fibonnacci’s sequence to the mathematical distance between the planets (that doesn’t suggest randomness or chaotic bursts…..but a guided or designed one) to the sun to the wonders of the earth that make life possible on a minute by minute basis.

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