Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Use this forum to discuss the philosophy of science. Philosophy of science deals with the assumptions, foundations, and implications of science.
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LuckyR
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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by LuckyR » July 27th, 2015, 1:53 am

Great way of illustrating the point. A corollary would be: think of the worst country to live in right now... Somalia, with the highest violent crime rate in the world, perhaps? Well, Somalia, is current outlier but would be a median country in times past.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by Greta » July 27th, 2015, 3:14 am

Yes, visiting less developed countries - even rural townships - is like travelling into the past. Architecture. Infrastructure. Maintenance. Technology. Roads. Traffic and parking. Longevity and infant mortality. Water quality. Social mores. All "old school". Even the music tastes of developing countries can be decades behind the urban west (which is at least one good thing going for them!).
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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by Rederic » July 27th, 2015, 5:15 am

Making the atomic bomb was very clever, but not very intelligent!
There was a time when religion ruled the world, it was called the Dark Ages. - Ruth Green.

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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by Greta » July 27th, 2015, 9:57 am

Of course humans have made mistakes, including some big ones. It would be strange if we didn't, if we always pulled the right reign. The blunderings throughout history are legion - the wars fought, the lessons forgotten or ignored, the cruelties, indignities, destructive behaviour etc. WWI was low tech by today's standards but it's the war with the highest death toll. You don't need tech to kill, although it helps (as it helps with many tasks). You certainly don't need high tech to perform beheadings. There are human issues involved unrelated to science or tech.

Dinosaurs ruled the world for about 135 millions years without showing too many signs of civilising so we expect a lot from empowered post-apes who'd only climbed down from the trees around five million years beforehand. All things considered, we've done mind-bogglingly well both practically and morally in such a short time by normal evolutionary scales. We are still blundering and corrupt, of course, but I think we are generally improving in a halting, staggered way. That the scientific method will play a major role in our progress is a no-brainer.
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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by Mark1955 » July 29th, 2015, 2:37 pm

Rederic wrote:Making the atomic bomb was very clever, but not very intelligent!
Unless you were one of the estimated 2 million US soldiers expected to die in the invasion of Japan, then it was rather a good idea. I suspect it also saved me [and a few others] from getting killed in a war with the Russians some time between 1945 and 1995.

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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by LuckyR » July 29th, 2015, 4:08 pm

Not bad considering that it was a random mutation for poor biting ability that led to it all...
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by Atreyu » July 30th, 2015, 2:47 am

Ruskin wrote:It's basically a tool like a hammer, useful for a purpose but it can be misused as a weapon in the wrong hands.
As usual, Ruskin comes through. A very simple, elegant, poignant, and, dare I say, quite correct, answer....

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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by Lagayscienza » August 2nd, 2015, 5:58 pm

Wrong!!!!

Atreyu, saying so don't make it so. You need argument. How is what Ruskin has said true?

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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by Misty » August 3rd, 2015, 9:22 am

Spiral Out wrote:
Given the direction that you perceive Humanity to be moving, do you envision our future as a progressive technological utopia or as a regressive technological nightmare?
As in the past there will be some who experience good and some who experience evil.
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

The eyes can only see what the mind has, is, or will be prepared to comprehend.

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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by Reactor » August 19th, 2015, 3:06 pm

All things have multiple uses, bent to desired results by the intentions and industry of the user.

“By his deeds shall a man be known.”

More logic philosophy in Natural Logic of Space and Time. Preview with "Read Inside" on Amazon.

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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by Misty » August 19th, 2015, 5:11 pm

Reactor wrote:All things have multiple uses, bent to desired results by the intentions and industry of the user.


“By his deeds shall a man be known."

Do you agree with this?

The deed can point out a man, but the man may not be in his right mind when the deed is done, so the man per se, might not be revealed.
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

The eyes can only see what the mind has, is, or will be prepared to comprehend.

I am Lion, hear me ROAR! Meow.

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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by Reactor » August 19th, 2015, 7:06 pm

If the deed be done by his hand, he is in some wise (way) complicit.

Hence the mentally impaired, if that be the excuse, are thereafter locked up so not to be a further danger to the community.

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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by LuckyR » August 20th, 2015, 11:03 am

Misty wrote:
Reactor wrote:All things have multiple uses, bent to desired results by the intentions and industry of the user.


“By his deeds shall a man be known."
Do you agree with this?

The deed can point out a man, but the man may not be in his right mind when the deed is done, so the man per se, might not be revealed.
I would argue that it does, since the ability (or inability) to stay in one's "right mind" is a key descriptor of an individual. Imagine your displeasure if a description of your kid's dorm roommate left out the part that he/she commonly isn't in their "right mind".
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by Supine » October 4th, 2015, 4:32 pm

I agree with those that have more or less suggested science proper be distinguished from technology proper.

I was taught in science class that our science is only as good as the technology of the day. They are not one and the same per se.

Science is really only a methodology of rationally investigating natural phenomena. That's it. It's nothing mysterious. To me its not so different from building a house--or rather I should say deconstructing a house already built, and learning how to build a house that way.

Certain fields we call "science" are really more accurately applied sciences. The field of medicine is applied science. The building of android smart phones is applied science.

I'm one that is pretty optimistic about science and technology in relation to the future. Except in terms of our ability to create weapons of mass destruction. That and the potential for the world becoming like the movie Gattaca. But given we have been moving out of the "genetic age" into the epigenetic age that has become less of a concern of mine.

In terms of the comfort advancements we think of--even in terms of medication and other materials used in the medical fields--almost all of it is produced from the physical sciences. Like chemistry and physics.

Very little comes from biology. This is in part I believe because there is very little deterministic in the science of biology. Almost everything that is deterministic in biology are those laws of chemistry and physics that drive the biological organism.






I think people confuse science, technology, philosophy, religion, and government. Philosophy and religion are pretty much the same thing. And modern democracy has nothing to do with science. That's especially true in the United States were almost all politicians have a law degree and not a science degree.

I have been intrigued by the concept of technocracy. A government and economy run by technocrats largely with degrees in engineering. Where a price economy is replaced by units of energy and the amount of energy it takes to produce a thing determines that things value. And under a technocracy apparently, democracy is done away with and technocrats are appointed based upon meritocracy and knowledge.

But as for living out in western Indian territories of the 1800s or living in their slightly more advanced state in Western Europe (outside of Byzantium) during the so-called "Dark Ages," I'm not persuaded they were always so bad in all ways. In rural setting that is. There was a freedom and know-how to survive without microwaved goods, electricity, and so on modern urban people don't have. The primitive Amerindians of the Amazon jungles still have it. You can take one of them out of the jungle and put them in New York City and they will survive. You drop a New Yorker in the Amazon jungle and they will die in short time.

Life out on the American prairie back in the 1800s had its beauty and freedom. And rural folks in Wisconsin that live on small farms still have some of that. A lot of hard work goes into that life of course. And you'd have to protect yourself from wild animals or human predators. But unlike the city were you have CCTV cameras all over, cops flooding areas on bikes, marked cars, unmarked cars, on foot in plain clothes.... in the country as a rural person you can smoke your weed under a big bright night sky, with no worries of cops harassing you.

Not that city life does not have its advantages. But like living centuries ago in rural settings.... it comes with its costs and benefits.

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Re: Is Science Our Friend or Our Enemy?

Post by Syamsu » October 5th, 2015, 10:04 am

Spiral Out wrote:Scientific research has produced many concepts that may either clarify or confuse our understanding of the universe, and has produced many objects that may either help us to live better lives or expose us to a multitude of technological abuses.

It is widely known and commonly accepted that any technological wonder can be used equally to help us or to hurt us.

Given the direction that you perceive Humanity to be moving, do you envision our future as a progressive technological utopia or as a regressive technological nightmare?
Science currently is our enemy. The stereotype of the scientist, like Sheldon in the tv sitcom The big bang theory, is actually true to fact. Naturalism, materialism etc. they all provide no room for expression of emotion, forming an opinion. So having no recourse to subjectivity, then what the Sheldon character does is to make good and evil into a matter of scientific "fact", and tells women the "fact" if they are ugly or beautiful, straight to their face.

You might think actual scientists are more sophisticated than the Sheldon stereotype. It's not really true, actual scientists are more sophisticated to sublimate their objectifying behaviour, but they do it all the same.

If you go to any university and announce, I believe I have a soul, then the echo is, where is the evidence for it? Scientists simply really do not accept proper subjective terms, like, beauty, love, God and the soul. They demand evidence for everything, they regard everything as an objective issue.

So science is a catalyst in the commonly human head vs heart struggle. Science destroys subjectivity, it destroys people's emotions, resulting in societal catastrophies like communism, nazism, culture war, depression epidemic etc.

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