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August 04, 2014

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Science isn't even a tool to gain knowledge. At least, not in the way that reason and testimony are.

"How do you know that the force due to gravity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the masses?"

"By science."

"What? You mean you didn't infer that using reason from experimental data?"

"No. I used science."

"What? You didn't gather experimental data using your senses?"

"No. I used science."

"And isn't it true that sometimes you relied on what you lab partners reported that they experienced rather than what you yourself directly experienced?"

"No, because I used science."

"But surely, you considered a short list of alternative guesses and, narrowed it down by eliminating the ones that the experimental evidence showed you are false?"

"No. I used science."

The point is that science some other faculty by which we gain knowledge. It is a method of combining guesswork, experience, testimony and reason. Each of those elements must be presumed to have an epistemological validity, at least within some narrow scope, apart from science.

(And each of those elements has insuperable epistemological problems unless the universe was created and is governed by a wise and benevolent God.)

Ugh!

The point is that science some other faculty by which we gain knowledge.
Should be
The point is that science isn't some other faculty by which we gain knowledge.

"The point is that science isn't some other faculty by which we gain knowledge.

What!?! You mean, the religion of Science isn't the all-knowing, all-powerful tool at whose altar we must bow down as the end-all-be-all? (Sarcasm included for free.)

All we've done today is substitute the altar of Baal for the altar of Science, and dolled it up by making it seem sophisticated and superior.

WisdomLover, I like your post.

"Science" is not some special thing that exists on its own. It's just a particular codification of inductive reasoning steps that relate to observable phenomena. According to Kuhn, those codifications (paradigms) also have particular rules and knowledge associated with them that practitioners operate under/with.

When you bring it back to its basics, science isn't really all that special.

In case someone wants to go another route, maybe a more thorough treatment, try this fairly recent post from the UD blog.

Modern practitioners want to be more important than they are, not wanting to play second fiddle to any other discipline...problem is as WL noted, alone, the physical sciences have no footing, much less a solid foundation.

Why don't you mention the "sensus divinitatis"? Isn't that the most important non-scientific way of knowing? VJ Torley also failed to mention the "sensus divinitatis" in the essay linked to by Brad B. So what's going on?

"Most important"?

You mean like Truth A vs Truth B differ in value?

And what is "value" in this regard?

Or "Truth" for that matter?

What does the test tube / benzene ring yield tell us here?

Properly Basic Belief and Warranted Belief come in and by many vectors whether atheist or theist and it is impossible to stuff them all into the sightline of the bench top.

Of course, as WisdomLover points out, it is all those other properly basic beliefs which we are employing right there in the midst of our science. Which just reveals that there is at bottom only one actuality. We may differ on what that is, but "Actuality", or, "The Real", whatever it is, is the Perfect 1. WL's loops are an interesting sightline to such ends.

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