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Friday, January 20, 2012

More on the Current Crisis

... But there is a broader point. It is self-evidently wrong to apply “science” to man himself. What we call science is fundamentally based on observation—in other words, what we can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. The human soul, by definition, if it exists, cannot be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or touched, and neither, by definition, can God. The application of scientific method to the human realm or to the divine, therefore, is just as foolish as debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Nor does the fact that science can tell us nothing useful about the human soul or the meaning of life mean that there is no human soul and no meaning to life—any more than trying to hammer in a nail with a knitting needle, and failing, proves there is no nail. Yet that is the silly Scylla and Charybdis we have caught ourselves between.

Now let's look at that another way: if science is fundamentally based on observation, as it is, it necessarily must also assume there really is an objective observer, apart from the thing observed and capable of interpreting sensations from the sense organs meaningfully. A human mind, a human soul, in other words. The various strands of Modernism and of “social science” all hold one dogma in common: that there is no objective observer, no human soul free of the observed world. Darwin held our perceptions and consciousness to be developed, not to perceive the real, but to aid in the struggle for survival. If Darwin is right, there is therefore no way of knowing, for example, whether Darwin's own theories, or those of any other thinker, have anything to do with reality, or have simply been developed by his mechanical consciousness as a way to aid him in reproduction and survival. In other words, Darwin is self-contradictory.

Marx, similarly, held our perceptions and consciousness were radically determined by “ideology,” which is to say, the beliefs and opinions that were most to the benefit of the ruling class: “a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society” (Wikipedia entry on “Ideology”). There is therefore no way of knowing, similarly, whether Marx's own theories pertain to reality, or have simply been developed by his consciousness to reinforce the interests of the economic system and class into which he was born. He contradicts himself.

Freud held, like Darwin, that “All subjective reality was based … on the play of basic drives and instincts, through which the outside world was perceived.” If so, were Freuds' theories, and those of all other scientists and thinkers of all kinds, based on any objective truth, or only the effusions of his subconscious trying to get laid by his Mum?

Just the three most obvious examples; but I submit that any form of “social science,” any attempt to apply the techniques of science to mankind himself necessarily has this logical contradition at its foundation: if the mind is the object, it cannot also be the detached observer.

So you see, besides leading to mass murder and unimaginable human suffering, to wars and massacres, and besides not producing any useful knowledge in its century or more of trying, Modernism or social science is also immediately self-contradictory. It is also detrimental to true science. If social science is true, science cannot be. The Na'vi that Modernists so admire, you will notice, are not especially hi-tech.

We are not machines, but free agents.

In practice, of course, the social scientist is necessarily assuming that, while ordinary people, or perhaps everyone else, is an automaton following natural laws, he or his class or professional cadre, for some unexplained reason, is not. They are the enlightened ones. This necessarily sees mankind as radically unequal, and can justify practically any level of inhumanity, practically any level of compulsion imposed on the human subjects.

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