Many people are unaware of how modern science edits its consideration set. They confuse the scientific community with scientific method. Peer review is not scientific method. According to the Vienna Circle, studying the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus of Ludwig Wittgenstein, science only accepts apriori, and empirical data.
A priori and a posteriori
- A priori knowledge or justification is independent of experience (for example “All bachelors are unmarried”). Galen Strawson has stated that an a priori argument is one in which “you can see that it is true just lying on your couch”. You don’t have to get up off your couch and go outside and examine the way things are in the physical world. You don’t have to do any science.”
Empirical evidence (also empirical data, sense experience, empirical knowledge, or the a posteriori) is a source of knowledge acquired by means of observation orexperimentation. Empirical evidence is information that justifies a belief in the truth or falsity of an empirical claim. In the empiricist view, one can only claim to have knowledge when one has a true belief based on empirical evidence. This stands in contrast to the rationalist view under which reason or reflection alone is considered to be evidence for the truth or falsity of some propositions. The senses are the primary source of empirical evidence. Although other sources of evidence, such as memory, and the testimony of others ultimately trace back to some sensory experience, they are considered to be secondary, or indirect.
What this means is that anything that you experience or think that isn’t verifiable by scientific method or peer review, is not valid science. Now the epistemological body science is that ontology of knowledge, that which the scientific community knows based on what can be verified and reproduced and agreed upon. Psychology however is the ontology of the individual, what makes sense to the individual and experiences, understandings, and ideas and concepts that can’t be proven or demonstrated empirically. This in a way makes the different personalities that make us all unique.
The word ontology is a compound word, composed of onto-, from the Greek ὤν, on (gen. ὄντος, ontos), i.e. “being; that which is”, which is the present participle of the verb εἰμί, eimi, i.e. “to be, I am”, and -λογία, -logia, i.e. “science, study, theory”.
“The soul is, in a way, phenomena.” ~Aristotle
Now the soul of the individual is their ontology or their gestalt, their world view. It is how they perceive the world and the phenomena in the world and the relationship between the phenomena in the world. Since scientific materials are descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive, a person’s DESCRIBING their experience of the world is science. They are an authority on their experience of the world and they are describing their experience of the world.
Being that each individual is different what is true for one individual is not true for another. What antitheists, misotheists, and Dawkinites try to do is they say, “Extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence.” and they use this argument to force the individual to prove what they think and the way they perceive reality. Now extraordinary claims is and was defines as an assertion which if true would change the entire way in which the scientific community went about it’s business. The wikipedia page that used to demonstrate this was report fa66ed until it was taken down and their are no external sources to prove this but it stands to reason. Also I can’t find the original context of the Marcello Truzzi quote and he was the original person to say it. Furthermore, Carl Sagan himself wouldn’t have agreed with the way in which Dawkinites and Misotheists use this argument to shut people up. My point is that a person describing what they believe is not arguing for the scientific community to change the way they go about their business, and the reason that Dawkinites use this argument is to expand the authority of science, (thus turning it into a religion) to police what people are aloud to think. Dawkinites mistakenly believe that they are a part of a clergy and that the authority of science is also their authority, in expanding the authority of science beyond what is reasonable and sustainable they believe they are increasing their own authority and status. They forget, they themelves are not scientists, they are cheerleaders of science.
Now lets examine the ramifications of this from a Psychological perspective. If you went to a psychologist and you tried to describe what you believe and how you think and they wouldn’t listen and kept telling you, “NO, that is wrong, this is the correct thing to believe, from now on you will only think this and say this.” How would you feel? That isn’t a psychologist, that is an auditor from Scientology or some manner of Gestapo agent.
The fact of the matter is that Science doesn’t inform personal experience, science is a tool that doesn’t wield itself or wield us. New ideas come not from science but from people. This is something that Dawkinites the cheerleaders of science do not understand. A professor of cognitive psychology (can’t remember his name) informed his students under the topic of epistemic humility, and I am paraphrasing,”The field that studies the organelles in the brain doesn’t inform us as to the function of the brain, it is human life experience that tells us what the organelles in the brain are for and what they do.” “Life has experiential data.” Which is to say when you try to police what people think and homogenize them you rob the human species of it’s individuality and it’s creativity, you edit the consideration set so that we can only look for inspiration to solutions where answers have been found before. Nassim Nicholas Taleb refers to this as “epistemological arrogance” in his book the Black Swan. What we have experienced in the past doesn’t prepare us for things that have never been experienced in the future.
I think that people should live life scientifically, being a scientist unto themselves, I don’t believe in an externalized dogma or a clergy of science policing the thoughts of people. I don’t believe that science should be turned into a religion. The very concept is odious to the understanding and dangerous to the survival of the human species.
Of further interest is that in rejecting a posteriori knowledge, the modern theory of science rejects wisdom or experienced use of knowledge or facts that can’t be verified by less wise, or less experienced scientists or human beings. Which is what prompted Ludwig Wittgenstein to say, “deep is that which cannot be said.” When speaking of the theory of science that was created based on his tractatus.
- A posteriori knowledge or justification is dependent on experience or empirical evidence (for example “Some bachelors I have met are very unhappy”).
- A posteriori
- Compare this with an example from Jerry Fodor (2004) – take the proposition expressed by the sentence, “George V reigned from 1910 to 1936.” This is something that (if true) one must come to know a posteriori, because it expresses an empirical fact unknowable by reason alone.