Thursday, September 20, 2007

Extreme Scientific Thought

The Problem of Extreme Scientific Thought.My wife says I need to provide a definition of Extreme Scientific thought so you as the reader have somewhere to go from. My personal definition of Extreme Scientific thought would be a person who only sees the world in mathematical and logical terms and who devalues any other way of perceiving reality. An Example of what I'm trying to get it if you took the patient to be all life on earth would be: "The operation was successful but the patient died!" This basically sums up my problem with extreme scientific thought. I define myself as a cultural relativist. A cultural relativist is someone who sees all cultural viewpoints including any science or religion within those cultures as intrinsically equal with no one culture intrinsically superior. I see extreme scientific thought as a religion that can be just as big a problem in its own right as extreme fundamentalist Islamic thought or extreme fundamentalist thought of any religion.

For example, Shakespeare once wrote,"A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet." However, if you took that rose from a scientific point of view we might take tear the petals off and then number them and give them a color name and then split the stem etc. etc. However, does any of that give one the experience of gazing at or smelling a wonderful rose? Does that give one the feeling of being pricked and bleeding from one of its thorns? Is it really useful in the end to count the petals or split the stem or break off the thorns and count them? Your answer likely would depend on your conditioning and interests from childhood on into adulthood. However, whatever your conditioning and interests are or were from adulthood on it is important to recognize that everyone on earth has had either a completely different experience than you have had or maybe a somewhat similar one. It is also important to realize that you will tend to gravitate towards people who have had similar experiences to you and to shun those who had different experiences. That is just human nature. However, recognizing this gives you as a sophisticated adult great power in controlling your life and making better life decisions than the average person who may be oblivious to this fact of life.

I take this a step further in cultural relativism because I realized that every culture on earth and every religion on earth has something to teach me and everyone else who realizes this truth. This doesn't mean I have to adopt every culture or religion as my own. However, what it does mean is that as a Citizen of Earth I can make the parts of any cultures or religions or science that I choose my own and thereby enrich my life, the life of my family and friends.

No comments: