History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Ethics, freedom to act, and scientific naturalism/scientism

February 11th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Previous post: end of id….
Granting the abuse of the design argument by its proponents, the fact remains that scientists have obscured the question with their own methodology which leaves all discussion paralyzed. The design debate simply confuses the issue, so consider a different question, the nature of ethics, its relation to science, the nature of its evolution, and its status in the context of so-called naturalism. Natural selection arguments are not going to explicate ‘freedom to act’ (which may or may not be taken as ‘free will’ exactly. Free will is categorical. Some part of ethics can be based on the more general potential ‘freedom to act’, broken down into cases perhaps, etc…). So scientists are in worse trouble than designists here.

Scientists wish to do science, assume that naturalism is defiined by their method, and throw everything into that sausage machine, and refuse to listen to any problems in this approach.
But the whole game fails.
The reason is very simple: science, apparently, must confine itself exclusively to causal argument and analysis. But ethical behavior by definition is about non-causal issues, the freedom to act, and the will associated with that freedom.
This, by definition, is not science, and yet a crucial aspect of man, his culture and evolution. And yet science can’t handle it, even as is gets stubborn and attempts to eliminate ethics by looking solely at the causal explanations for ethical behavior. Scientists are devious here, because they pretend that they think ethical behavior is real, even as they tacitly eliminate the key property of freedom.
This behavior gets tiresome, and finally destructive, and it is small wonder that religious folks simply say goodbye to science.
What is unfortunate is the non-religious secularists fritter away their modernits foundations by assenting to scientism here.

The question was carefully analyzed by Kant, and a resolution in the context of science came into being.
But scientists are so stubbornly stupid that they don’t even want a solution to this issue. They want universal causal reductionism, the elimination of ethics, and the freedom to act, even as they deny (they must deny) in public that this is what they are doing.
Is the freedom to act beyond nature then? You can see the silliness of the whole framework. We wouldn’t really want to take that position, but scientific thinking is so crippled that, evidently, the freedom to act is supernatrural, and therefore doesn’t exist, etc, etc..
Unless scientists can do better than this religious types will bug them ad infinitum, without mercy.
Science idiots who wish to adopt this lifestyle will have to do so. Everyone else needs to step around this idiocy and adopt a different perspective. If they dislike religious confusion here, a Kantian perspective is a good place to start. So simple, eminently secular, with or without theistic obsessions, atheistic obsessions.
Scientists ridicule religious critics of their methods, or of evolution. But their own stance is completely confused and unreasonable, worse, they cannot grasp the difficulty such is the rigidity of scientific thinking and training.
Stupidity in people with high IQ’s is a most regrettable state of affairs, because it seems to prevent feedback or learning.

Tags: ethics · Evolution · Kant · Science & Religion

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Darwiniana » Kant’s eerie timing, the eonic effect, and the Great Divide // Feb 12, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    […] Comment on Ethics, Freedom to Act and Scientific Naturalism/Scientism James said, February 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm · A Kantian perspective would be insightful, but I think his philosophy is impossible to clarify in contemporary times. It has become so mixed up with the ideas of Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer, etc. that few people can come to any understanding of his genuine views. […]

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