Thursday, September 18, 2014

on the dictatorship and absolutism of scientific thought

Science can tell us a great deal about the world. It can tell us what the stars are made of, explain how a lightning bug flashes in the night sky, and describe the process of cell division that leads a zygote to become a baby girl. But it does not tell us why we should care about the nature of stars, why the staccato flash of insects in the night delights us, or how the child should live. The error of believing that science represents the highest, or purest, or only reliable guide to truth is the error of scientism. Philosophers like Maurice Merleau-Ponty have pointed out that the problem is not science itself, one of the greatest and most fruitful of all human enterprises. The healthy stance is not “to question the validity of physical laws or the veracity of mathematical equations, but rather . . . to break the dictatorship and absolutism of scientific thought over all other forms of human thinking.”12

Givens, Terryl; Givens, Fiona (2014-09-05). The Crucible of Doubt (Kindle Locations 322-328). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition.