TA106 (Muller)


Commentary 44  (to C43 Adams)




by Serge Patlavskiy
6 September 2009, posted 12 September 2009




[William Adams] wrote:

"Because science is grounded in empirical observation, whereas religion  is not, science can claim a non-arbitrary basis for knowledge.  Religion has nothing like that.  I am sure that is why science has triumphed in the past 500 years."



[S.P.] First of all I must stress that both Science and Religion are the intellectual products constructed by the same author called the subject of cognitive activity. The mechanisms of consciousness are invariant with respect to the content of intellectual products. Both Science and Religion are being  made by the people who are to the same degree mad and fanatical.    Therefore, these intellectual products are, so to say, "genetically" compatible.  Also, they share the same "skeletal" construction: they may be of four levels, and each level determines by the specific aim and criteria of approach.  For example, if the intellectual product determines by the aim to show that all phenomena belong to our Reality (that there are no parallel realities), and that there is some universal law that governs all natural phenomena including the consciousness-related ones, then such an intellectual product must be of the level of meta-theory.  (For more on the aims and criteria of approach formulated by different scientists when constructing their intellectual products see http://www.serge-patlavskiy.webs.com/ADC-theory.html Table 4).



But any intellectual product may be as on the level of meta-theory (the MT-level), so on the level of description (the D-level), on the level of generalization and systematization (the GS-level), and on the level of an applied theory (the AT-level).  Therefore, it would be not correct stating that Religion, as some intellectual product, lacks the D-level (the level of description and empirical observation). It cannot lack any of the levels in principle.



As I have indicated in my C41 to Chumakin and Muller, Section <2>, all systems of knowledge are the results of attempting to explain the observable facts (as of the outer, so of the "inner" worlds).  All depends on whether we can, or cannot explain these facts (on whether we have, or haven't something to be put after the word "because"). If we can explain the fact, this knowledge adds to science; if we cannot explain the fact, this knowledge adds to religion or other belief system (I mean that an inability to gain knowledge is knowledge as well; cf.: the negative result is also a result). The commonly observable and perceptible natural phenomena such as the human conscience, the bad premonitions, putting the evil eye upon something/somebody, intuition, sin, compassion, dreams, hallucinations, the astounding cause-effect links, etc. were (and stay to be) the empirical sources for various belief systems (not necessarily religious).



As to triumphs of Science. Ironically, but the ideas that humans descend from apes, and that the solar system was born in a huge swirling cloud of cold gas are the elements of a certain belief system, but not of Science. Calling a big part of Science a certain belief system is much harder accusation than calling Dawkins at al. as "often devolving into scientism".  By the highest standards, the declared triumphs of Science are to a great extent exaggerated.  There is no triumph even in a question what the source of the Earth's core heat is.  Moreover, as it turns out, the empirical observations are of small help when trying to construct a theory of consciousness. The whole science of consciousness may be legitimized only if we construct an appropriate meta-theoretical explanatory environment.  In other words, in this field we have to start not from the D-level, but from the MT-level (for more, see my commentary on Max Velmans' JCS paper http://www.serge-patlavskiy.webs.com/OTHER-PAPERS-14.html#Max).



[William Adams] wrote:

"Serge's list of criteria for a scientific epistemology strangely does not include empirical observation. Without that, I do not think the list is definitive.  Science without observation is indeed no different than philosophy or religion."



[S.P.] Here is some misunderstanding. The suggested criteria pertain to the intellectual products of all levels, including the level of description and empirical observation.  I am talking not about whether we need or needn't empirical observations, but of what quality the assertions used to express the results of empirical observations have to be, of what quality the assertions used when systematizing the obtained results and formulating the hypotheses have to be, of what quality the assertions used to construct the applied theories have to be, and of what quality the assertions used to form the meta-theoretical systems have to be. So, they all have to be of the same necessarily high quality. As it was proposed, anybody is welcome to suggest more criteria and/or to refine the available ones.  We may even think of fixing the results of our common work in some paper.



My core idea is that we should stop dividing intellectual products into scientific and religious. Instead, we have to divide them into such ones that obey the suggested criteria, and such ones that do not obey the suggested criteria. As there is much logic to some religious revelations, so there is much absurdity to some scientific theories.



Serge Patlavskiy
     e-mail <prodigyPSF (at) rambler.ru>


PS. I have looked into

and downloaded two papers.
  Nice site, must admit. Very informative and funny.  For me, there is no problem with forgetting the date of one's marriage.  What is really important is not forgetting the name of one's wife.