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Blaise Jabo

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could science be a Trojan horse to lives?

Science have changed and contributed dramatically our life, from how we live with each other, multiply, acquire knowledge, combat diseases, self protect etc.. but could it be doing more harm than we know? more of being friendly and useful yet destroying some of our core values as humans?

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  • Timo X

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    Oct 29 2013: As a scientist, I have great difficulty with this question. Not with the possible implications or the subject, but with the vagueness of the underlying assumptions. What are 'our core values as humans', what makes them universally human, and how could these values be undermined by science? Start with some definitions please.
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    Oct 28 2013: You could hit somebody with a stone on the head and kill him ? Would you say the stone is the problem ?
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    Oct 28 2013: Hello Blaise,

    It's not science per se which is the problem, it's science as the dominant world-religion that's the problem. The central belief and dogma of this religion is that the world is a machine to be fixed, as are people machines to be fixed, and that scientists are clever enough to fix and improve it/us.
    It's been growing as the dominant religion since the time of Francis Bacon (1561-1626) who was a key advocate of the scientific method, and its use to "subdue the earth" for the good of humankind.

    Then with Descartes (1596-1650) the sense of soul and of the sacred were stripped out of the earth, stripped out of education, and stripped out of money-as-a-means leaving us with raw greed as the main driver.
    With no sense of the sacred there can be no conviction by which we can place limits and say an occasional "no". eg: no more devastating the rain-forest, no more over-fishing.

    But I'm interested to know what you think are "our core values as humans" (as Nadav also asked)?
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      Oct 28 2013: According to Wikipedia, 78% of the world's population identify with one of the five most common religions. Christianity is the most common religion worldwide, accounting for 33% of the world's population. Between Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, you account for 66% of the world's population.

      From these data, I cannot understand the claim of science as the "dominant world religion," unless you mean that over 33% of the world's population believes science has some value as a way of understand our world. That could well be. Of course those who value science will be of any faith or none.
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        Oct 29 2013: Hello Fritzie,
        Thank you for the facts and figures.
        I am coming from what you have written in your second paragraph. ie: saying that science (or rather scientism) is the dominant religion of the world in the form of a "meta-religion" - which I think is what you are saying there as well. In the last 400 years it grown to become the dominant way of thinking and acting in the material world.

        Essentially science is the religion of materialism, treating the planet, animals, plants, mineral, and humans in a mechanistic way, without soul.
        This is bound to be the case when its central tenet is "if we can't measure it, it's does not exist and/or it's not important". It can but promote the current attitudes that sanction continuing destruction of the world's ecological systems. And in that sense science is a Trojan Horse because its real (destructive) influence goes way beyond (and is in some way hidden by) its initial promise and achievements.

        It has been especially influential on Christianity in terms of things like the 'protestant work ethic' (to bring heaven on earth through subduing the earth via technology). Eastern religions are now also being influenced by, and adapting to, the scientific paradigm.
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          Oct 29 2013: I am surprised you find scientific thinking to be the dominant way of thinking and acting in the world and also that you think the idea is widespread that things that cannot be measured are unimportant.

          Let us consider among all people the importance in their lives of love for the children, which cannot in any scientific sense be measured. Now consider a subset of these people, professional scientists. Do you think they find the love within their families either measurable or unimportant?

          I am not even convinced that reason is the dominant way of thinking and acting. I think thinking and acting involves reason but not only reason and that neuroscience as studied in scholarly and professional circles would probably support that observation. Further, and purely as an anecdotal observation, I find rigorous, reasoned thought to be uncommon compared to superficial thinking.
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        Oct 29 2013: I think it's a question of levels.

        On a personal level, my experience is that people and families act from trust, friendship, love and other non-measurables. We do so because they are values that are important to us. So if you were to interview 7 billion people as individuals, I guess not many would say they act from the scientific paradigm. In that sense I agree that on the level of personal interaction, it is not the dominant driver how people live.

        The question by Blaise was more global in nature.
        And on that larger institutional level what do we see? One thing we see that is of major concern, is the treatment of the planet as an inanimate 'thing" to be exploited. What sort of mind-set leads to that type of action if not the scientific mind-set? (I will shoot myself in the foot at this point by saying that such action is also strongly promoted by the cycle of money-as-debt).

        On the point about reason, I would say that science with its hallowed basis of reason can be used as a cover-up to justify some very unreasonable actions - (actions in truth that stem from fear, greed, jealousy, etc) but appeal to the 'solidness' and 'reliability' of 'science & reason' in their public justification. And how can people argue with science when something is presented to them strongly as an immutable "scientific fact"?
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        Oct 30 2013: Thanks for the link - interesting talk.
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    Oct 28 2013: Whatever science has, and will, come up with, can be used and applied in two different ways. To make our human life better or worse.

    We have the best guns to help and defend others, or control and kill them. It is all about how we humans use science.
  • Oct 28 2013: Destroying our core values? What destroys our core values is the lack of transmission of values from parents to children. The lack of an education that focuses also on human interaction. Science has nothing to do with that.
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    Nov 5 2013: science is a tool for measurement..now if one chooses to use the tool to take out someones ability to live ...that is the user,not the scientist. I hang with a good number of science geeks and these guy are in general a pretty good group...while their overlords work for businesses that are not known entirely for their good works, or good deeds
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    Nov 4 2013: Yes, we're spoiling our values.
    I saw a gorgeous woman earlier and didn't engage in combat with her boyfriend. Nor did I daydream about raping her. What's happening to us homo sapiens?
    I'm sure one of my distant (or not so distant) ancestors is pissed-off at Reason and knowledge... and thinks I'm a pussy.
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    Nov 4 2013: Thanks to science we are talking here just now. Technology is completely based on science.
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    Oct 29 2013: Let's take your example of the trojan horse (computer virus). What is bad ? the programming language used to build the trojan horse or the person who used his programming skills to design it ?
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    Oct 29 2013: Science; yes is doing great good no one can deny that, matter of fact we wont be having this interesting thread way across location and time if it wasn't for science;however it is changing or altering in ways that questions our born natural core values understandings, which may present itself as a threat to our natural understanding(I don't know if this sounds clear because am trying too hard to make sure that the science of writing doesn't compromise my right action and inner peace values) . Couple of people were asking which values i was talking of, probably these can serve as some of them love,truth,nonviolence,inner peace and right action, am arguing that hate should be added but that's a discussion of another day. and i know millions of cases of how science has enhanced the better of those values but it has and is (to me) slowly affecting them that we may end up losing the interesting part of them and their beauty as they diverse from culture to culture, person to person and across generations.
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      Oct 29 2013: Blaise, science is not the problem because science is just a method we use to increase our understanding of nature.
      At the end, the real question is how you use the knowledge you gained. In most cases you can use it for something good or something not so good.
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        Oct 29 2013: i understand its a method but could this method be holding some characters of bad/evil , same as i guess trojan horses(not so good with computers) are really good s/w products to the people using them with out competent knowledge to differentiate the bad or good they are doing to their computers?
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      Oct 29 2013: Are you saying that you believe that there is less love and truth in the world than if science were rolled back a couple of thousand years?

      Here is Steven Pinker's talk about the decline in violence over the last 2000 years: http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html
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      Oct 29 2013: natural understanding does not exist. natural understanding is instinct. with only instinct, we are apes. reason made us human. reason = science.
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    Oct 28 2013: Scientism is the problem - not science.
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    Oct 28 2013: i want to live in a free world. in which you can go back to nature hunting animals with a spear, and defend your core values.
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    Oct 28 2013: it's the result of our oldest desires forgotten in the unconscious .
  • Oct 28 2013: Before the advent of modern science, life expectancy was half of what it is today, nations were a lot less stable leading to endless wars, plagues would come along and drop people like flies every couple of years, and everyone was dirt poor except for a small number of noblemen (and occasional clergymen, depending on the country) lived like kings at everyone else's expense.

    If its a Trojan horse, than its a fine one. I'd rather take my risks than going back to a pre-industrial society, where life was short and miserable.

    By the way, what "core values" do we have as human beings exactly?
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    Oct 28 2013: Trojan horse was a winning tactics for some ...isn't it ?

    Whatever progress human civilization has done so far , which subject other than science contributed most in it?
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    Oct 28 2013: .

    Yes!
    Science very probably causes humankind self-extinction.