Which Sciences Are the Most Useful?

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brimstoneSalad
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Re: Which Sciences Are the Most Useful?

Post by brimstoneSalad » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:22 am

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:28 pm
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:10 pm
The sciences aren't really useful in themselves, its how you apply the knowledge that results in "useful" technologies or theories from the point of view of humans.

But I'd argue at this point the social sciences and humanities are the most important. Technology doesn't matter if we just end up hanging ourselves with it and that is the current trajectory.
An interesting point of view. I'd say I tend to agree with this.
Science education is critical, otherwise you get people *like carnap* promoting fear mongering and pseudoscience.
If you're ignorant or misled on issues of global warming, animal consciousness, and nutrition you're going to make some very bad decisions -- decisions that are already hanging humanity without any additional technological innovations necessary to do it.

Perhaps the most important thing scientists can do right now is convince the stubbornly ignorant out there of what should be obvious. That could come in the form of yet more research, but then again these fear mongers just keep moving the goal post and demanding an impossible standard to convince them of what they don't want to believe.

Is psychology in a place to help with that? Not sure. If so, then I'd agree.
I think we'd have a better bet at arguing from ethics, though. Although the fear mongers are often devoid of it, either confusionists, subjectivists, or fideists.

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Post by carnap » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:58 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:22 am
Science education is critical, otherwise you get people *like carnap* promoting fear mongering and pseudoscience.
If you're ignorant or misled on issues of global warming, animal consciousness, and nutrition you're going to make some very bad decisions.
I never promote pseudo-science and what you refer to as "fear mongering" is really just discussions you think reflect negatively on what you wish to believe. But what you have in mind here isn't really science, its dogmatism. Science is a mode of inquiry that moves cautiously with the evidence and is always open to new information and inquiry. Questioning even well-entrenched scientific theories isn't pseudo-scientific, on the contrary, it should be encouraged because that is how science improves. But what you mentioned aren't even well developed areas of science. Climate science and nutritional science are fairly immature. And animal consciousness is so poorly understood that there aren't even any well accepted general theories.
I'm here to exploit you schmucks into demonstrating the blatant anti-intellectualism in the vegan community and the reality of veganism. But I can do that with any user name.

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Post by Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz » Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:02 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:22 am
Science education is critical, otherwise you get people *like carnap* promoting fear mongering and pseudoscience.
If you're ignorant or misled on issues of global warming, animal consciousness, and nutrition you're going to make some very bad decisions -- decisions that are already hanging humanity without any additional technological innovations necessary to do it.
I don't really know that science education (in regards to the "hard sciences") would prevent people from promoting fear mongering and pseudoscience. Being well informed isn't going to prevent one from spreading a worldview of ignorance if that person hasn't also been educated in morality. I think the social sciences and philosophy do a good job of this due to the fact that they point to the problems in the world and how to solve them. That being said, I agree that the "hard sciences" are critical, but they should only be used as a tool to advance moral causes. A person well educated in the "hard sciences" could find a cure for cancer. However, they could also develop a biological weapon to destroy all life on earth.

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Post by Red » Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:57 am

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:02 am
I don't really know that science education (in regards to the "hard sciences") would prevent people from promoting fear mongering and pseudoscience. Being well informed isn't going to prevent one from spreading a worldview of ignorance if that person hasn't also been educated in morality.
It more has to do with, not the scientists themselves, but the people communicating the science, which tend to be the journalists. The journalists may fuck up the message, or they'll only seek out things that'll get them a lot of views and reads.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:02 am
A person well educated in the "hard sciences" could find a cure for cancer. However, they could also develop a biological weapon to destroy all life on earth.
As time progresses, more scientists are generally more interested in just science and helping the world. Plus, to create a biological weapon to destroy the world would require some serious government funding. Scientists aren't always moral, and they can do shitty things, but I think science is being recognized as a quintessential part for moral and social progress, as culture continues to be secularized.
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Post by Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:39 am

Red wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:57 am
It more has to do with, not the scientists themselves, but the people communicating the science, which tend to be the journalists. The journalists may fuck up the message, or they'll only seek out things that'll get them a lot of views and reads.
Regardless, many scientists do deliberately distort the truth. There are still a great many, for example, who take bribes from fossil fuel industries in order to state that manmade climate change is not real. This is because science in itself does not inform us on how to make moral decisions or how to be a good person. It only helps us to understand the world around us (which is important nonetheless).
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:02 am
As time progresses, more scientists are generally more interested in just science and helping the world. Plus, to create a biological weapon to destroy the world would require some serious government funding. Scientists aren't always moral, and they can do shitty things, but I think science is being recognized as a quintessential part for moral and social progress, as culture continues to be secularized.
It is a quintessential part for moral and social progress, however, it in itself cannot guide those things. Scientists may be becoming more interested in helping the world, but what is influencing that decision? Science certainly isn't. Science can tell us that manmade climate change is happening and how to prevent it, but there is no way you can scientifically prove that we should stop climate change, or that lying and claiming that climate change isn't happening is immoral.

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Post by Red » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:49 am

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:39 am
Regardless, many scientists do deliberately distort the truth. There are still a great many, for example, who take bribes from fossil fuel industries in order to state that manmade climate change is not real. This is because science in itself does not inform us on how to make moral decisions or how to be a good person. It only helps us to understand the world around us (which is important nonetheless).
Which is also why we should be supporting more government-funded scientific research, since that generally is the least biased and most productive, and doesn't take any bribes. We also need to be advancing science education to the public, since their knowledge in science is very compelling in society; If the public is more literate in science, they'll defer to the experts and scientific consensus, and will question more pseudoscience.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:02 am
It is a quintessential part for moral and social progress, however, it in itself cannot guide those things. Scientists may be becoming more interested in helping the world, but what is influencing that decision? Science certainly isn't. Science can tell us that manmade climate change is happening and how to prevent it, but there is no way you can scientifically prove that we should stop climate change, or that lying and claiming that climate change isn't happening is immoral.
Right, and that's where philosophy and certain soft sciences like sociology come in. Unfortunately, the latter is littered with bias (since, like a lot of pseudophilosophy, anything goes, which is why many people don't take it seriously, which is unfortunate), even though it could be incredibly useful.

As for philosophy, science *is* philosophy, which helps us with concepts such as ethics. You're correct; nothing compels anyone to do anything good. Technically, there is no reason to be a moral person, other than to just be a moral person. But, as said before, we've been progressing socially and morally, so the chances of that happening are much slimmer.
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Post by Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:55 am

Red wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:49 am
Which is also why we should be supporting more government-funded scientific research, since that generally is the least biased and most productive, and doesn't take any bribes. We also need to be advancing science education to the public, since their knowledge in science is very compelling in society; If the public is more literate in science, they'll differ to the experts and scientific consensus, and will question more pseudoscience.
That seems reasonable.
Right, and that's where philosophy and certain soft sciences like sociology come in. Unfortunately, the latter is littered with bias (since, like a lot of pseudophilosophy, anything goes, which is why many people don't take it seriously, which is unfortunate), even though it could be incredibly useful.
I think that's why philosophy and "soft sciences" are more useful than "hard sciences", although that is subjective. You've tried to claim that the "soft sciences" are littered with bias in the past, but as I've said before, I don't see how that's relevant since the "hard sciences" are as well.
As for philosophy, science *is* philosophy, which helps us with concepts such as ethics. You're correct; nothing compels anyone to do anything good. Technically, there is no reason to be a moral person, other than to just be a moral person. But, as said before, we've been progressing socially and morally, so the chances of that happening are much slimmer.
There is no reason scientifically to be a moral person. However, using philosophy and ethics, we can go beyond science and establish universal moral principles.

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Post by Red » Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:16 pm

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:55 am
I think that's why philosophy
I know you didn't explicitly say otherwise, but just to be safe, philosophy is not subjective.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:55 am
and "soft sciences" are more useful than "hard sciences", although that is subjective.
I wouldn't say it's subjective, every science has their usage. The social sciences are more useful for government and economic systems and figure out effective methods of social progress, while the natural sciences are more applicable to cures for diseases and the building of infrastructure.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:55 am
You've tried to claim that the "soft sciences" are littered with bias in the past, but as I've said before, I don't see how that's relevant since the "hard sciences" are as well.
If that were true, it doesn't make the issue a non-issue or irrelevant.

In the natural sciences, when you make a claim, it's peer-reviewed by several other professionals, and if you fuck up, it goes against your reputation as a scientist. In the social sciences, when you make a claim, it's peer-reviewed by fellow professionals, but due to having harder variables to account for and are harder to control, it leads to biases in the study, such as publication or even confirmation bias. You also have to take into account political biases, which can affect what the researcher says about their results (the laws of physics don't care if you voted for Trump). I showed you this, right?
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... dents.html
You see how their political views affect who they think are the best/worst Presidents? Why don't they have some sort of objective consensus which they all can agree on?

Granted there are exceptions, but overall, in social science, it seems as though anything goes (which honestly sucks).
As for philosophy, science *is* philosophy, which helps us with concepts such as ethics. You're correct; nothing compels anyone to do anything good. Technically, there is no reason to be a moral person, other than to just be a moral person. But, as said before, we've been progressing socially and morally, so the chances of that happening are much slimmer.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:55 am
There is no reason scientifically to be a moral person. However, using philosophy and ethics, we can go beyond science and establish universal moral principles.
Absolutely. Philosophy just answers what the natural and social sciences can not. Philosophy has already answered these questions, it's just that most people aren't aware of them, much like science overall.
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:27 pm

carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:58 am
Questioning even well-entrenched scientific theories isn't pseudo-scientific, on the contrary, it should be encouraged because that is how science improves.
Image

Reminds me of Joe Rogan's effective 9-11 conspiracy theory promotion.
https://skeptoid.com/blog/2014/02/05/joe-rogan/
Brian Dunning is an asshole with his own irrational claims, but that was an interesting discussion.

If you have a shred of moral decency or even a sense of parsimony, you can understand that some questions range from a waste of time to actively dangerous to the public and human flourishing.

IF you are a scientist within the field with the appropriate background and education it's appropriate to test assumptions to a limit (up until it becomes so unlikely to discover anything new that you're wasting money and time better spent elsewhere), but it's not productive for ignorant lay people to dismiss the conclusions of professionals because they don't like them. That's not science, and it offers nothing but confusion.
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:58 am
Climate science and nutritional science are fairly immature. And animal consciousness is so poorly understood that there aren't even any well accepted general theories.
It's been pretty well established that you're only critical of science you don't like the conclusions of; only then is it 'immature' and can be dismissed in favor of whatever conclusion you prefer.

You're just a typical science denialist and conspiracy theorist dressed up as a concern troll.
I don't think anybody here is interested in hearing it again. You have nothing to offer in the way of evidence or logical argument.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:53 pm

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:02 am
That being said, I agree that the "hard sciences" are critical, but they should only be used as a tool to advance moral causes. A person well educated in the "hard sciences" could find a cure for cancer. However, they could also develop a biological weapon to destroy all life on earth.
Goes the other way too, though. Good intentions with bad empirical information can have bad results.

Science and morality are interdependent. Of course, sometimes we need to start with moral philosophy to understand what epistemology is correct to begin with (to lead us to using science instead of something else).

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