What is to be gained by denying science?

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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Ormond
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Re: What is to be gained by denying science?

Post by Ormond » February 12th, 2017, 8:49 am

Guys,

You're right, the link I provided above was sloppy. Here's a corrected version. Everything you want to know can be found here:

http://onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums/ ... 12&t=14465

Next, if you require personal assistance you might ask Steve the Scientist, a friendly helpful fellow. He understands the thread, perhaps because he read it. You know those scientists, they're always doing crazy advanced stuff like that.
If the things we want to hear could take us where we want to go, we'd already be there.

Steve3007
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Re: What is to be gained by denying science?

Post by Steve3007 » February 12th, 2017, 3:59 pm

I think Iapetus has got some good points there, Ormond. Bienvenue Iapetus.

Fooloso4
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Re: What is to be gained by denying science?

Post by Fooloso4 » February 12th, 2017, 7:10 pm

Ormond:
You're right, the link I provided above was sloppy. Here's a corrected version. Everything you want to know can be found here:

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=14465
This brings us to page one of this thread.

Why play these games? If what we have responded to is not your theory then repost the theory not a link. If it is the theory then respond to our comments on it.

Early on you predicted that everyone will run off, but you are the one who is running off by playing games and refusing to respond to us.

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Ormond
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Re: What is to be gained by denying science?

Post by Ormond » February 12th, 2017, 7:10 pm

Well, as I attempted to say above...

If you Steve the Science Guy feel recent posters have read the thread, understand the discussion, and have made useful contributions to it, feel free to respond to their points in whatever manner you find to be appropriate. I don't object at all. I'm just limiting my own engagement, not anyone else's.
If the things we want to hear could take us where we want to go, we'd already be there.

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Re: What is to be gained by denying science?

Post by Steve3007 » February 12th, 2017, 7:17 pm

Regardless of what we might think of it, I think it's fairly clear what Ormond's theory is. It is that sooner or later the capacity for more and more dramatic feats of construction and destruction will inevitably result in a single act of destruction which will prevent any future significant acts of either kind.

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Re: What is to be gained by denying science?

Post by Fooloso4 » February 12th, 2017, 7:45 pm

Steve3007:
Regardless of what we might think of it, I think it's fairly clear what Ormond's theory is. It is that sooner or later the capacity for more and more dramatic feats of construction and destruction will inevitably result in a single act of destruction which will prevent any future significant acts of either kind.
In that case we have addressed his theory. It is then inexplicable why he repeatedly insists that we have not.

I do not, however, think he is claiming that it is inevitable, but rather that the risk increases as knowledge progresses uncontrollably.

And yet, he has not shown that the continued advancement of knowledge is the problem. Instead, he keeps pointing to nuclear weapons:
Nuclear weapons are the most pressing threat at the moment.


While I, along with most people, agree that this is a problem, as I pointed out, the technology has been around for seventy years. And so, we cannot blame the increase in knowledge in the last seventy years for this problem. If increase in knowledge were the problem, in that time frame we would expect to find many more and much more serious threats.

-- Updated February 12th, 2017, 7:24 pm to add the following --

Ormond:
Well, as I attempted to say above...

If you Steve the Science Guy feel recent posters have read the thread, understand the discussion, and have made useful contributions to it, feel free to respond to their points in whatever manner you find to be appropriate. I don't object at all. I'm just limiting my own engagement, not anyone else's.
That’s fine, but if that is what you choose to do then drop the pretense of being the lone voice, standing against various forums across the internet for the last twenty years, with no one able to show where you are wrong and their being unable to do so running away.

You accuse us of not reading the topic and yet if you had done what you tell others to do you would know that he has been responding to our posts.

Since you are listening to Steve, pay close attention to what he says about ego in post #80.

Steve3007
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Re: What is to be gained by denying science?

Post by Steve3007 » February 13th, 2017, 4:51 am

Steve the Scientist ... Steve the Science Guy
I always feel a bit uneasy with things like this. The little company in which I work is roughly divided into the Production department (which makes the products) and the Engineering department (which invents new products for the Production department to make). The head of the Production department frequently tells the Engineering department what clever thinking-outside-the-box type geniuses they, unlike the Production guys who are simple souls who have to be given clear instructions. Maybe I'm overly suspicious, but it always seems to be paving the way, if the Engineers fall short, for saying "Pah! Call yourselves geniuses!".

Anyway, I'll put away my disingenuous suspicions and try to live up to the billing.

Fooloso4:
While I, along with most people, agree that this is a problem, as I pointed out, the technology has been around for seventy years. And so, we cannot blame the increase in knowledge in the last seventy years for this problem. If increase in knowledge were the problem, in that time frame we would expect to find many more and much more serious threats.
Yes, it's been a while since the Cuban Missile Crisis and since then, as Ormond has pointed out, there have been quite a few close shaves. Perhaps it would be a good idea to turn this to our advantage and analyse those close shaves to see why they didn't result in disaster. Maybe we'll find some evidence that human nature is much more robust at preventing disaster than we thought it was, and that we probably can actually survive for a long time with the threat of disaster hanging over us. I guess that would be good. Or maybe we'll find that we've just been lucky and that we've spent the last 60-odd years playing Russian Roulette, pulling the trigger once every few years with that single bullet slowly moving round towards the barrel. Not so good.

Anyway, taking the long view, and shifting the emphasis away from this nebulous general concept of "knowledge", which appears to be problematic, I think there is a case to be made for the idea that it isn't just nuclear weapons that we should be concerned about. It seems reasonable to suppose that human ingenuity will come up with other completely new mechanisms for weapons of mass destruction in the future. So, even though, like most people here, I can't see any obvious way to stop that, I do recognise it as an issue worth thinking about. It's difficult to think about because we have no way of knowing what exactly those new mechanisms might be. I presume that's why Ormond falls back on this general abstract concept of "knowledge".

Maybe a lot of people will say that if we have no way of knowing what new mechanisms for destructive power we might discover in the future then there's no point in trying to discuss the subject. Perhaps that would be true in any context other than philosophy.

Gotta stop this rambling now and do work. Hopefully civilisation won't end before I come back. That would be a pity.

Iapetus
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Re: What is to be gained by denying science?

Post by Iapetus » February 13th, 2017, 6:02 am

Reply to Ormond:
Guys,

You're right, the link I provided above was sloppy. Here's a corrected version. Everything you want to know can be found here:

l viewtopic.php?f=12&t=14465 l

Next, if you require personal assistance you might ask Steve the Scientist, a friendly helpful fellow. He understands the thread, perhaps because he read it. You know those scientists, they're always doing crazy advanced stuff like that.
Ormond, you are wasting our time. We have asked you about your ‘theory’ and you are unable to tell us anything. Your first link was faulty. This time you direct us to the first page of this thread, which has contributions from Andrian, Renee, Greta, Ozymandias, Spiral Out, Lucky R and Felix but not a single word from you. Not one word.

You don’t have a theory. You have made some observations without explanation and, when challenged about these, you have avoided answering – particularly by directing us to the false dichotomy of ‘accepting’ or ‘rejecting’ a non-existent theory – or tried to redirect us elsewhere. Steve is perfectly capable of presenting his own views; please don’t insult us by expecting him to speak for you as well.

You seem, sometimes, to think of yourself as a lone voice of reason. If that were the case then, surely, you would have been more willing to engage in discussion. Yet, for my part, I have come to expect a non-response. It is systematic and, if you wish, I can certainly quote you examples.

Steve3007
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Re: What is to be gained by denying science?

Post by Steve3007 » February 13th, 2017, 6:33 am

I had a quick look back at the start of the topic. The first page seems to be mostly Spiral Out moaning about how if we didn't spend so much money on particle colliders and trips to Mars we'd spend it all on curing cancer and housing the homeless. (I see no evidence to suggest that is true.)

The theme that has dominated the most recent pages appears to get started around page 2. So pretty early.

-- Updated Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:04 pm to add the following --

Ormond, I noticed this post on page 4:

onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums/viewtop ... 86#p283486

and don't remember ever seeing it before. So I suspect you're right that something odd is happening to your posts. Some of them seem to be delayed and some presumably don't appear at all.

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Re: What is to be gained by denying science?

Post by Fooloso4 » February 13th, 2017, 11:02 am

Steve3007:
… this nebulous general concept of "knowledge" …
I would add, the nebulous general concept of “science”. Some seem to be of the impression that a scientist knows science, as if it were one thing. It has been a long time since anyone has had a grasp of science as a whole. The sciences are diverse. A botanist might not know any more about chemistry or physics than anyone who has taken chemistry or physics in college. A physical chemist may not be well versed in organic chemistry unless she is a physical organic chemist, but may be unable to read a journal of theoretical physics. It gets even more fine grained and specialized. The biochemist, the polymer chemist, and the nuclear chemist cannot just move from one to the other because they all are chemists let alone scientists.

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