Saturday, June 05, 2010

Absence of science

I have a fixed idea: that our western world is plagued by a very serious sickness. It is like the virus HIV, that makes the organism incapable to defend itself.

Let's call it lack of rationality, absence of science.

How can you say that? Don't you know that ours is eminently the world of science?

May be, but I have a question: apart from having given to a certain kind of research practices the name of science, do we have cogent rational arguments for so calling it, with a name that just means knowledge? as if outside of it there were nothing of the kind: no knowledge but simply opinions?

I can hear the appalled answer: of course there are! And it stops at that. May be adding a few platitudes, explaining how rational science is in opposition, say, to magic or religion.

Fine, I retort. But you didn't really answer my question. You keep on assuming which research practices are science, while my question was why we should grant only to them the name of knowledge.

There are, as a matter of fact, people claiming that the only harbinger of knowledge is religious experience. Appeal to science, so called, is of no avail with them.

If you can't justify your giving the name of science, then there is no science (QED).

Science is lost for our social discourse, if we aren't able of giving reasons for it. And we end ailing for lack of any reason, if we leave out what matters most to us: let's call it religion.


No comments: