Which Sciences Are the Most Useful?

General philosophy message board for Discussion and debate on other philosophical issues not directly related to veganism. Metaphysics, religion, theist vs. atheist debates, politics, general science discussion, etc.
User avatar
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Master of the Forum
Posts: 1159
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:57 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Ostrovegan
Location: The Matrix

Re: Which Sciences Are the Most Useful?

Post by Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:58 pm

Red wrote:
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.
I don't know if I am just misunderstanding you, but I wasn't saying that philosophy and social sciences are subjective, but that my belief that they are more useful is subjective. I think that setting up stable social systems is more important than understanding how the natural world works.
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.
In what way are the variables harder to control?
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?
I'm going to give you the same answer I gave you before:

Republican Political Scientists aren't biased in favour of Reagan because they are Political Scientists, it is because they are Republicans. A biased political scientist may ignore evidence that suggests Reagan was a shit President. A biased physicist may just as well ignore evidence that supports loop theory. In either case, the results could be biased.
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.
That is why I consider Philosophy more important than the natural sciences as it establishes moral principles that they can not. However, I'd consider the social sciences and history even more important as they show how we can put them into practice. Again, that is all subjective ranking.
Join my Democratic People's Republic: https://discord.gg/N2Uqehc
Follow my Twitter: https://twitter.com/AgentBl65800546

User avatar
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Master of the Forum
Posts: 1159
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:57 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Ostrovegan
Location: The Matrix

Post by Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:03 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:53 pm
Goes the other way too, though. Good intentions with bad empirical information can have bad results.
True, but I'd trust somebody with good intentions and bad empirical information over somebody with bad intentions and good empirical information in most cases.
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).
I disagree. I think the natural sciences are interdependent from morality, but the social sciences can help us to put morality into practice.

I'm very lightheaded right now so I'm not going to respond anymore tonight. I'll respond to any forthcoming posts probably on the 27th.
Join my Democratic People's Republic: https://discord.gg/N2Uqehc
Follow my Twitter: https://twitter.com/AgentBl65800546

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9237
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:31 pm

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:03 pm
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:53 pm
Goes the other way too, though. Good intentions with bad empirical information can have bad results.
True, but I'd trust somebody with good intentions and bad empirical information over somebody with bad intentions and good empirical information in most cases.
Good intention: saving you from eternal torture.
Bad empirical information: Eternal torture is real, you have a soul, if you don't accept Christianity you'll be tortured forever unless you're killed before you hear the message.
Correct empirical information: You will inevitably hear and reject the message of Christianity if you aren't murdered soon.
Conclusion: Murdering you before you hear the message is the right thing to do.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:03 pm
I disagree. I think the natural sciences are interdependent from morality, but the social sciences can help us to put morality into practice.
Possible, particularly if psychology can help convince people to do the right thing or get them to believe science.

carnap
Anti-Vegan Troll
Posts: 406
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:54 pm
Religion: Other

Post by carnap » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:53 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:27 pm
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.
You're talking about pop-culture, I'm talking about science. Questioning scientific theories and discussing the evidence that supports them is actually a fundamental aspect of scientific progress. In contrast the idea that you should accept, without question, whatever is widely agreed on or the views of some scientists is an example of dogmatism.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:27 pm
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.
This is actually a rather dangerous idea and ultimately just an appeal to authority. Science is often pushed by those outside of the mainstream and credentials are irrelevant to scientific practice. Now a solid education is important but you don't seem to have any background in the sciences and seem to think anybody that disagrees with you is "uneducated". That is a rather anti-scientific attitude.

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:27 pm
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.
Well established by who? Yourself? You really have no idea how I respond to science that confirms my beliefs because you only see me discussing matters here. But everyone has biases, you...me...everyone posting here.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:27 pm
You're just a typical science denialist and conspiracy theorist dressed up as a concern troll.
What exactly is a "science dentialist"? That notion seems rooted in dogmatism. But I've certainly never denied the value of the scientific method and questioning certain ideas or the results of certain studies doesn't make you some sort of conspiracy theorists or "denialist".

Your view science seems rather despotic, thankfully that isn't how science actually functions.
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.

User avatar
Red
Supporter
Supporter
Posts: 2841
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Toluca Lake

Post by Red » Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:39 pm

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:58 pm
I don't know if I am just misunderstanding you, but I wasn't saying that philosophy and social sciences are subjective, but that my belief that they are more useful is subjective. I think that setting up stable social systems is more important than understanding how the natural world works.
Okay, I just wanted to be sure. A lot of people (including great modern scientists like Lawrence Krauss, who I have immense respect for) scoff at philosophy, since it seems like an institution where anything goes. Like religion.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:58 pm
In what way are the variables harder to control?
It depends on the field of study. The biases, such as confirmation bias and publication bias as I mentioned before, can affect the results, and also the backgrounds of the participants. Intellect, honesty (especially when it comes to things like surveys), life experiences, etc. can't be, or are extremely difficult to account for. And again, the biases of the researchers could be at play, such as picking and choosing the results they like best, which, as brimstone mentioned, can lead to fraud.

For this next part, I think you're missing my point entirely.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:58 pm
Republican Political Scientists aren't biased in favour of Reagan because they are Political Scientists, it is because they are Republicans.
I know it's not because they're political scientists. In a case like this, their politics directly affect their results. Is it possible to make objective lists on who were the best Presidents (eg, best at economic management, war time leadership, and overall accomplishments)? Probably. But if you look at the website I showed you, there are also results for Democrats and Independents, and there is no visible criticism of either list, since it's less about who the best and worst presidents are, just the best at promoting their ideas and values (which, in science, is worthless). This is not science. If the people wanted to conduct this scientifically, all Political Scientists of all backgrounds would come in and research and debate and discuss until they can come up with an objective list.
Carl Sagan wrote: [Science] has two rules. First: there are no sacred truths; all assumptions must be critically examined; arguments from authority are
worthless. Second: whatever is inconsistent with the facts, no matter how fond of it we are, must be discarded or revised.
In science, it's not about trying to confirm anything you believe; it's introducing a hypothesis, sees how it stands against criticism, and providing a collection of evidence. The amalgamation of evidence and scrutiny results in a theory, the highest level a scientific concept can be.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:58 pm
A biased political scientist may ignore evidence that suggests Reagan was a shit President.
Which happens much too often.
This is where we can bring in Philosophy; from a moral standpoint, if we were to measure the good versus the bad Reagan has done (which I generally assume is how they rank the Presidents on these lists), that would probably be the most objective way to figure it out, and social sciences can help out with it.

If we were to grant that Reagan did in fact win the Cold War (which is probably dubious but I'm not 100% on it), he would probably be considered the greatest President.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:58 pm
A biased physicist may just as well ignore evidence that supports loop theory. In either case, the results could be biased.
Yes, this bias exists (scientists always try to find things that aren't there), but, as I said, the natural sciences are rigorously peer-reviewed, since there are several established laws, substantiated by mountains of evidence (without bias). And, again, as I said, a hard scientist coming up with a theory that rejects consensus will have their scientific reputation under fire.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:58 pm
However, I'd consider the social sciences and history even more important as they show how we can put them into practice. Again, that is all subjective ranking.
Well, not all history if very important (ancient history is likely near useless, since we know very little about it, it isn't very applicable to the modern world, and a lot of it probably didn't even happen). Modern History is the most important form of History, since it's basically the opposite of ancient history as I described, and we can learn and apply it to our lives. But we can't have everyone becoming historians, otherwise, there'd be no progress. Same for the social sciences (once it fixes itself up).

It might be subjective, it might not. What might actually be objective is how many of each profession should we have?
Learning never exhausts the mind.
-Leonardo da Vinci

User avatar
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Master of the Forum
Posts: 1159
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:57 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Ostrovegan
Location: The Matrix

Post by Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz » Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:09 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:31 pm
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:03 pm
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:53 pm
Goes the other way too, though. Good intentions with bad empirical information can have bad results.
True, but I'd trust somebody with good intentions and bad empirical information over somebody with bad intentions and good empirical information in most cases.
Good intention: saving you from eternal torture.
Bad empirical information: Eternal torture is real, you have a soul, if you don't accept Christianity you'll be tortured forever unless you're killed before you hear the message.
Correct empirical information: You will inevitably hear and reject the message of Christianity if you aren't murdered soon.
Conclusion: Murdering you before you hear the message is the right thing to do.
I never denied that having good intentions and bad empirical information would be pretty terrible. I just think that (in most cases), having bad intentions and good empirical information would be worse. Example:

Bad intention: Making innocent people suffer.
Good empirical information: If I rape people's spouses and children in front of them before murdering them and cannibalising their corpses, that will scar them for life.
Conclusion: My new year's resolution is to make Albert Fish look like Irena Sendler.

That being said, this is really just picking hairs as @Red's comment has won me over to the viewpoint that hard sciences are (in general) less biased than the soft sciences, and also more important.
Join my Democratic People's Republic: https://discord.gg/N2Uqehc
Follow my Twitter: https://twitter.com/AgentBl65800546

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9237
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:10 pm

carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:53 pm
Questioning scientific theories and discussing the evidence that supports them is actually a fundamental aspect of scientific progress.
Again, you apparently have no understanding of parsimony.
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:53 pm
This is actually a rather dangerous idea
Literally the only dangerous idea here is promoting lay people dismissing established science. That's where we get anti-vaxx and any number of other things that legitimately harm people.

The thing is that you just don't care about ethics, so you're indifferent to the harm caused by the uneducated ignoring professional consensus.
Or you're of the magical thinking mindset that if you just give people information they'll be able to reason what's right. Let them hear both sides! Evolution AND creation! Civil rights AND white nationalism! No way that can go wrong... :roll:
It's insidious.
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:53 pm
ultimately just an appeal to authority.
Yes, it's an appeal to an authority: a QUALIFIED authority. That's not a fallacy, that's being reasonable and recognizing your own limitations. It's induction and it can occasionally be wrong, but it usually won't be and that's the point of ethics: trying to do right most of the time.
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:53 pm
Science is often pushed by those outside of the mainstream and credentials are irrelevant to scientific practice.
Rarely. And less and less as time goes on and the knowledge and resources required for advancement grow.
More often these people just waste time and resources, and do harm.
carnap wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:53 pm
Well established by who? Yourself?
By you, and your behavior here across multiple threads.

teo123
Senior Member
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:46 pm
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by teo123 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:46 am

Let them hear both sides! Evolution AND creation! Civil rights AND white nationalism! No way that can go wrong...
Well, what usually goes wrong is that people think they hear both sides of the story, but they actually don't.
Think of it this way, the Flat Earth Society Forum makes you think you hear both sides of the story, but actually you don't hear a single one (the most active Flat-Earther member on that forum, JROA, is almost certainly a troll).
Or, think of the web-page where I presented my alternative interpretation of the Croatian toponyms:
http://flatassembler.000webhostapp.com/toponyms.html
I tried to explain what the mainstream linguistics claims and why I think it's wrong. Did I accurately represent the mainstream linguistics? To my best knowledge, yes, but it's quite possible that I unintentionally misrepresented it.
It's almost impossible to actually make people hear both sides of the story (none of them being misrepresented), even if you honestly want them to.
If people actually heard what creationists actually have to say (the conspiracy theories about the measurements of the parallaxes of the stars being falsified to make it look like stars are further away than they actually are, the conspiracy theories that scientists know that the half-time of some radioactive isotopes isn't constant but hide that...), I am pretty sure that even less people would believe in creationism.
Rarely. And less and less as time goes on and the knowledge and resources required for advancement grow.
More often these people just waste time and resources, and do harm.
Well, yes, most scientific theories are wrong. But the same is true for the theories made by "qualified" people. And whether or not you are "qualified" is impossible to tell.

User avatar
Red
Supporter
Supporter
Posts: 2841
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Toluca Lake

Post by Red » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:42 am

teo123 wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:46 am
Well, yes, most scientific theories are wrong. But the same is true for the theories made by "qualified" people.
You haven't really learned anything at all from this experience, have you? brimstone went over this with you about 20 times in the Flat Earth thread.

No scientific theory has been disproved in about 100 years or so. Do you know what a scientific theory is? Can you list some theories in recent memory that have been disproved?
teo123 wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:46 am
And whether or not you are "qualified" is impossible to tell.
Even as an expert of nothing, you still have to be honest enough to know that there are millions of people more educated than you in just about every field. Just because you discern who is an expert and who is not does not make it 'impossible' to tell, Mr. Personal Incredulity.
Learning never exhausts the mind.
-Leonardo da Vinci

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9237
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:35 pm

teo123 wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:46 am
Well, what usually goes wrong is that people think they hear both sides of the story, but they actually don't.
In a sense, yes, but we have to remember that one side (usually the right side) is exponentially more complex and nuanced, and difficult for lay people to understand. Ultimately, apparent simplicity or attractive wording favors the pseudoscience, which is what causes it to catch on. A professional in the field is at virtually no risk of being misled by the respective pseudoscience, but it's just not practical for everybody to have that level of education on these topics to be able to competently assess the validity of the competing claims.
teo123 wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:46 am
It's almost impossible to actually make people hear both sides of the story (none of them being misrepresented), even if you honestly want them to.
If people actually heard what creationists actually have to say (the conspiracy theories about the measurements of the parallaxes of the stars being falsified to make it look like stars are further away than they actually are, the conspiracy theories that scientists know that the half-time of some radioactive isotopes isn't constant but hide that...), I am pretty sure that even less people would believe in creationism.
That's not just the creation side, but involves explaining the evolution side too.
If you only explain those things from the creationist perspective to people with no understanding of science, then I don't think it's going to be compelling against creation, it will just sound to them like these creationists really know their stuff (without having any idea what any of it means).
teo123 wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:46 am
Well, yes, most scientific theories are wrong. But the same is true for the theories made by "qualified" people. And whether or not you are "qualified" is impossible to tell.
There are different magnitudes of wrongness and plausibility.

Being a little off about how electrons interact when the details are still fuzzy is different from being off on the shape of the Earth.
When theories created by actual scientists are wrong, they are mistaken hypotheses trying at an understanding we don't yet have. A simple mistake which, based even on good knowledge, seemed plausible. When pseudoscientific theories are wrong it's a very different kind of fractal wrongness.

Saying they're both usually wrong is deceptive because it fails to account for degree.

Also: Lay people rarely create actual theories, but hypotheses that fail to be precise enough to be testable (that is typical of pseudoscience).

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Jamie in Chile and 6 guests