My Karma Ran Over Your Dogma…Part 3!

In the on-going saga that is “My Karma Ran Over Your Dogma”…

Link to the original post + responses: https://theskepticalsamurai.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/my-karma-ran-over-your-dogma/

Link to the 2nd Post and responses: https://theskepticalsamurai.wordpress.com/2010/02/22/my-karma-ran-over-your-dogma-part-2/

I now present you with the third instalment of “My Karma Ran Over Your Dogma”!

Jennifer…

Thanks for clarifying your original position.  I think it is much clearer now what your original intended message was.  Also I should add, knowing you personally (for those of you out there who do not know, Jennifer is actually my sister in law!) I know for fact that you are not “one of those types”! 

Regarding Point #1

Interesting…

I definitely did not get that from your initial post, but with this new information and going back to read your original post, I have a much better understanding of the message that you where trying to get across.  With that in mind, I would argue that the philosophy of science and the practical application of science are quite different.  The philosophy of science (in my humble opinion) tends to deal with retrospective and theoretical discussions regarding (as I think you put it) the changing paradigms in science.  This is much different that the practical application of science (at least in my experience) which tends to deal with current research with the focuses of advancing a particular branch of science.  While I agree that the philosophy of science is extremely interesting and can offer valuable knowledge about a limited set of topics (for example trends regarding the changing paradigms of science), often times these types of discussion have little to no impact on the practical application of science. 

Regarding your reference to Mr. Albert Einstein…

Compelling argument, but I would argue that Einstein did not acting in a dogmatic fashion in regards to his thoughts on quantum theory.  Einstein did not reject quantum theory solely on the basis that it clashed with this prior held beliefs/understanding of the natural world.  Instead, he felt that there simply was not enough evidence to contradict/overturn the current theories that explained the same phenomena.  This is not an example of acting in a dogmatic manner; instead it is an example of the scientific process.  As I mentioned before, science has to have a process in which to weed out false positives, false negatives, etc.  Part of this process is to question/examine any and all new theories (especially those that are in contrast to prior established theories).  It is not dogmatic to question the validity of a new theory based on a lack of evidence, instead it is an example of the scientific process at work.   

This brings me to my next point.  Science is not dogmatic, however it is possible for a single individual (or even a group of individuals), who are part of the scientific community, to act in a dogmatic fashion.  Let me revert back to my example of evolution.  If there were suddenly multiple independent lines of evidence that irrefutably disproved the theory of evolution (which I should add, is not about to happen any time soon!) the scientific community would adopt this position and then begin work on developing a new theory that explains the evolution of species on this planet.  If a single individual (or group of individuals) chose to reject this evidence and maintain their original position (despite multiple independent lines of evidence the irrefutably disprove the original theory), then yes those individuals would be acting in a dogmatic fashion.  However, I would argue that this is not an example of science being dogmatic, but instead an example of a single individual (or group of individuals) acting in a dogmatic manner. 

Regarding your comments about resistance within the scientific community…

I could not agree more.  There is definitely resistance/skepticism to new ideas and theories within the scientific community.  However, as I have stated before, the amount of resistance/skepticism will depend on the claim being made, and the “law/rule” being challenged.  Additionally, as I have also stated before, resistance/skepticism within the scientific community is a process in which to identify and weed out false positives/false negatives, and EVERYONE is subject to the same amount of scrutiny.  I would argue that the difference between science and religion (and why religion is dogmatic and science is not), is that science will change/evolve over time in light of new information.  However, religion on the other hand will not.  Yes, there may be small changes to a religion over time, but the core values (the dogma) of a religion will not change.  If it does, typically the members of the religion become fragmented from the OG religion and go on to form a new religion (as discussed in my previous blog post). 

Regarding Point #2

Understood… 

You accused me of making a straw man argument, and I simply wanted to demonstrate that I was not.

Regarding Point #3

I definitely have a much better notion of what your original intended message was, but I still do not agree with you.  I maintain my original argument that science is not dogmatic (for the reason that I have outlined in this and the previous 2 blog posts).  At this point I think that we are actually discussing semantics.  You seem to have a different definition of the term/concept dogma.  I would suggest that you seem to have a more broad/modified definition of the term, where as when I use the term dogma I am using the most basic definition of the term.  I definitely understand the point that you are making, but I would argue that dogma is not the word to use to make your point.  I would argue that the term dogma has implications that, as pointed out in my previous arguments, prevent it from being used to make your point (thus supporting my initial statement that science is not dogmatic).  Again, I definitely now have an appreciation for your point of view, but I do not think that dogma is the correct term to use. 

This has been the skeptical samurai

Working to serve…

Through the process of inquiry…

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12 Responses to “My Karma Ran Over Your Dogma…Part 3!”

  1. Interesting series. Every time a religious person starts to tell me that science is just another religion, or “leap of faith”, or dogma, my head almost explodes out of utter frustration. I feel my blood pressure rise, and wonder if it is possible to “think someone to death”.

    Ahh…”Serenity now!” as George would say.

    If believers want anything they have to offer included in the scientific discussion, all they have to do is put on a lab coat and get to work. As soon as they have something to discuss, science will be right there waiting for them.

  2. Science like any other power tool can be used as “pious”dogma.
    I am not very “angelic” about the neutrality of science these days, when the authentic hypotheses presenting open minded curiosity got too often replaced by lobby careerist propaganda and “jobs for the boys” pleasing those who spend the research and kicking those who might question the structures.

    It remains in all aspects of life the same,
    religions,doctrines are based on fear&control,
    and they are the opposite of the free spirit in all his dimensions.

    • theskepticalsamurai Says:

      Thanks for reading, and subsequently contributing to the blog!

      Regarding your comments…

      I could not be in greater disagreement with you.

      I work in a field (healthcare/medicine) in which every day i get to see the beauty of the scientific process in action. In the little time that i have been practicing, i have seen treatment modalities discarded/altered because of the most current/up to date/relevant research dictates it. The tone of your comments leads me to believe that you have a proverbial axe to grind, that you have a specific situation (or situations) that you are referring to. Could you please be more specific regarding what it is that you are referring to?

      Thanks!

      I look forward to hearing from you

  3. Maybe it is an age difference. After several decades of neoliberal “niceness” ( nescius_ignorant) despite the affirmation of “new treatments”, I have seen mostly only a more pushy marketing of the old molecules for a brighter profit. Instead of a socio/psycho/biology/art/whatever wisdom, interconnect comprehension of the factors affecting the human, the struggle of those who did not please and feed the machine is evident.
    The overemphasis of genetical researches points into the same direction as the religion of economy. It is not innocent to over individualize “care” and flatter the minds of those who “join in”as go betweens participants .
    The will to TRULY care including ALL parameters we have since long is missing in a disastrous way for humanity. Science who does not self reflect about her function, is bond to full fill the greatest atrocity s like once religion, for “our best”.

    • theskepticalsamurai Says:

      Again, you remain cryptic in your posts

      Could you please give me specifics regarding what it is that you are referring to? Additionally, you mention that “maybe it is a difference in age”…

      How old are you? And how young do you think that I am?

      Reviewing your post, you seem to be focusing on the Pharm/Drug industry, but due to the cryptic nature of your post, I cannot be sure, again, could you please be more specific.
      Regarding your quote “Science who does not self reflect about her function, is bond to full fill the greatest atrocity s like once religion, for our best.”
      Again what is it that you are referring to? Are you referring to science as a whole, or specific individuals? You keep giving me seemingly vague statements (again with no real examples) which make it difficult to carry on any sort of real discussion.

      Science is far from perfect. I will be the 1st to admit that. Why is science imperfect? The answer is actually rather simple, because science is carried out by human beings. Try as we might, human beings are imperfect. Specifically, in regards to science and the scientific process, human beings come to the table with preconceived notions, bias, etc. All of these attributes threaten to destroy the validity of science. However, science is not carried out by just one person. Instead it is carried out by literally millions of individuals across the globe, and it is this phenomenon that gives science it’s built in, self correcting nature. Granted, the process of correction is not always as fast/efficient as it should be, but it is there and will continue to remain in place ensuring that pursuit of a better understanding of the natural world.

  4. Obviously you are THAT young to have a concept of science worth the early industrialisation. As if the history of science ( you still consider as some concept above humans, I do the opposite!) would not have teach us prudence in between towards the hybris of “science of higher value as failing humans”. By your disdain towards the human nature able to “ruin the sacro saint science, you confirm my these of science as the new religion legitimating abuses and atrocitys done to humans “for the good cause”.
    I know what you wanted to say, but I don’t share these pious trust in the goodness of concepts upon the human nature. The human nature would do far better WITHOUT this “improvements”. I trust the deeper human potential far more ” to make sense” than a science using his unconscious neuroses . By that I do not neglect increasing awareness about life, but for each progress, the possible abuse is inherent to it. Right now, from ecology to economy, from A to Z, “science” remains mostly the fat cat toy. It is not of pure “neutrality”!
    Plated uranium weapons, video surveillance , food chemicals , generalised mood pills , “green” revolution, are man made “science”(not human serving wisdom) who serves purposes despite the true human needs who do get neglected by the choices towards the more lucrative “science”.

    Wonders if my “vagueness” is not someone else’s long therm avoidance to step out of the boat and see the bigger picture.
    My scientific view on perception, does not point straight to other if I do not understand them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenomenology_%28science%29

  5. theskepticalsamurai Says:

    I find it quite amusing that you cannot seem to answer a straight forward question. You have finally provided me some context regarding the nature of your problem with science (which I will get to in a minute). You question my age, I ask your age and what you think that my age is, and you completely
    avoid this question. Interesting…

    Regarding your statement that I “still consider some concepts above humans” while you “do the opposite”. Interesting statement…Could you please clarify. Are you implying that humans have learned all that we can learn about the natural world that we inhabit? Are you implying that humans have essentially figured everything out? Are you implying that there are some things that we simply cannot know/understanding? To clarify my position, I do not think that concepts are “above” humans, but there is still a ton of information out there for us to discover. We (as a species) still have a lot to learn.

    I do not have distain for the human race, and its potential to ruin science. I am in awe/amazement of the humans! In my humble opinion, we (the human species) are a marvel! What I was attempting to point out is that the method in which human beings work/think through things can sometimes have a negative impact on science, and how this can lead to breakdowns in the scientific process. More specifically, how a breakdown in critical thinking can lead to skewed/inaccurate results, which can subsequently lead to inaccurate information. Perhaps my language was a bit strong, which resulted in a misunderstanding of my intent.

    Regarding your statement: “I know what you wanted to say, but I don’t share these pious trust in the goodness of concepts upon the human nature. The human nature would do far better WITHOUT this “improvements”. I trust the deeper human potential far more ” to make sense” than a science using his unconscious neuroses”.

    I must admit that I find this passage difficult to decipher. Are you stating that human beings would be better off without science? Could you please clarify?
    Regarding your statement:

    “Right now, from ecology to economy, from A to Z, “science” remains mostly the fat cat toy. It is not of pure “neutrality”! Plated uranium weapons, video surveillance , food chemicals , generalised mood pills , “green” revolution, are man made “science”(not human serving wisdom) who serves purposes despite the true human needs who do get neglected by the choices towards the more lucrative “science”.”

    I could not disagree more with this statements. You have simply selected some examples that support your argument, and decided to focus on them. Additionally, the decision of some to utilize advances in science for less than humanitarian endeavours is not the fault (for lack of a better term) of science, but instead is the fault/responsibility of the individuals developing the technology in question.

    Regarding your statement:
    Wonders if my “vagueness” is not someone else’s long therm avoidance to step out of the boat and see the bigger picture.My scientific view on perception, does not point straight to other if I do not understand them.

    Nice try. I find it interesting that you attempt to pass off your vagueness as my inability to see the bigger picture that apparently only you can see. Also interesting how your argument quickly devolves into a personal attack. Additionally, how you have somehow managed to frame your lack of an ability to engage me in a debate as some sort of lack of intelligence my part.

  6. “In my humble opinion”…..I highly doubt your style of “argumentation” of being even near that.

    • theskepticalsamurai Says:

      Again with the personal attacks…

      I do apologize if my responses come across as abrasive and/or authoritative. Not at all my intention, unfortunately a lot is often lost with this methods of communication.

      However, I stand by my statements and my assertion that you seem to refuse to actually engage me in debate (remember you are the one how came to my blog and posted a comment). Additionally, you are the one how quickly resorted to name calling and personal attacks, when all I was doing was attempting to engage you in conversation/discussion.

      I would love to continue this discussion, but at this point (considering your most recent responses/posts) I do not think that that will be possible.

  7. I think we both share the same planet, but not the view on it.
    You have my solidarity as co-human, but I will not join in your point of view,
    as I think, you ignore so many actual scientific parameters and science development historical facts probably out of your own choice of interest, that you only can find me annoying if I do not want to reduce myself to a more “its all right!” perspective. What can I say: I agree, not much more to say!

    • theskepticalsamurai Says:

      I am not asking you to join my point of view.

      You came to my blog and posted a comment. I am simply, attempting, to engage you in a discussion.

      My frustration/annoyance does not stem from you not wanting “to reduce yourself to a more it’s all right perspective. Instead my frustration/annoyance stems from your inability to actually engage me in a debate. You state that I ignore scientific parameters, but you provide no specific examples for me to speak to. You state that I ignore science development historical facts, but again, provide me with no specific examples to speak to. Additionally, you refuse to provide me with any information about yourself (that would provide context for your arguments) making it that much more difficult to develop an appreciation regarding where you are coming from.

      My frustration/annoyance does not stem from our differing opinions; instead it is that you will not actually engage me in discussion.

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