The Science of Science

For this post I would like to stray away from religion and freewill and examine something more down to earth…science. So who gets to decide what science is? This is an age old question that most people do not even look at anymore. What is science? What makes something science? These are real questions, but these questions get asked less and less now a days. If someone with a doctorate tells us that this is science a lot of us just go along with it. He knows what he is talking about.

Please remember before we get to far into this post we have to take a couple things for granted. To even be able to discuss the philosophy of science we have to believe that there really is something to know. We have to believe that there are laws that the universe is bound to, and we have to believe that we can know what these laws are. If we do not believe these requirements then science as we have come to know it cannot exist and this question is null. So….

How many people that are not religious buffs think evolution is a science? The fact of the matter we really do not have solid 100 % true evidence that evolution is real. There are many different things that point us in the direction of evolution rather than creationism.  What about string theory? If anyone has had the opportunity to read string theory I am sure they have asked themselves the question if this is real science. String theory in its most complex theories is extremely out in left field, but if you ask someone on the street they will probably tell you it is science. Why? So the question is, what defines science? Well, that my friends is just one segment of philosophy.

The problem with this question, like most other questions in philosophy, are there are many different answers. Realists have one answer, metaphysics’ have yet another. The only real concrete answer is with the one who is defining science for themselves. The answer lies with your own beliefs.

Science is defined as knowledge attained through study or practice. A system we use to gain knowledge. The fact of the matter is that this can mean absolutely anything. So if we take this definition what gives us the right to say that someone researching a hollow earth is not doing science. Someone chasing Bigfoot or believing in astrology is not practicing science. Based on this definition we do not have that right.

But astrology is not science right? Well the scientific community does not believe the stars have anything to do with our futures, and in truth astrology is not science. It is not, but why? A certain group of people would say it doesn’t follow the scientific method, others say it doesn’t have laws, and some others say it does not have a group of experts that agree on the basic set of what astrology is. These are all examples of tests that philosophers use to gauge out a science from a non-science. But lets say for a second that it does have laws and it does have experts. Then is it science? A realist would say of course not the fact still remains that the stars have nothing to do with our future. But does that make it right?

There must be a true answer to this question sense we have scientists and we study things like chemistry, right? Well that is up to you to find out.

BIGFIX01

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Published in: on January 21, 2008 at 10:07 pm  Comments (4)  
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New Page: Question of the Month

I would like to add a new page to the site. Question of the Month. Once a month I will post a deep thought question, just something to think about. It should draw some very interesting answers and comments.

At first look some of the questions may look really stupid and easy to answer, but what I want is people to think quite deeply about them before any answers are given. When you think through the question the answer should become somewhat harder to answer. There are no right or wrong answers – that is the point of the question.

I will post the question on the first of the month on the front page but you will need to comment on the question of the month page. The first question is this: If aliens were to show up on earth tomorrow would that mean god does not exist? Take into account that the aliens have no perception of a so called “god.”

Published in: on January 16, 2008 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New Author on H.E.P

I am taking the opportunity to introduce a new contributor to the H.E.P. Titojaxn is a friend of mine that enjoys talking philosophy with me. He likes to do this mostly at the bar when I am trying to enjoy myself, but some of his points are very interesting. Not only the, what some like to call “drunk logic” but on things like religion.

He is not a student of the discipline but has some interesting points to make. I think he will be a great addition to the blog and will write some interesting articles. Please help me welcome the newest contributor to H.E.P……TITOJAXN

BIGFIX01

Published in: on January 12, 2008 at 6:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Freewill and the Future

I thought I would post again on the argument of freewill. In my first post I had some responses and carried on the discussion on another blog you can find that here. What I would like to talk about is a point that came out of that discussion.

The point that was made was our basic definition of the word “future” points us in the direction that we have no freewill. By using the word future we are saying that something will happen. It was also pointed out that atheists, agnostics, and religious people in general all would have to believe that they have no freewill, by the mere fact that our whole explanation of what we believe the future is.

Now I do not believe this at all. Future or our idea of what the future is has nothing to do with if we have freewill or not. The fact of the matter is that we have this word future which means things that have not happened yet but will happen. By using this word we are implying that the events are going to happen but not that they have to happen. For example in the future, lets say tomorrow I will go to work, sit at my desk, and type a letter to a friend. Now I know I am going to do this because I said it will happen in the future. We can go into the argument saying I am destined to do this but we are not to this argument yet. I will first dismiss the fact that the word future or our idea of the future has anything to do with freewill.

So tomorrow rolls around and I wake up and feel absolutely terrible. I call work and tell them I am not coming in. The future has changed. I no longer did what was set for me in the future. (This is not the best argument but it is a simple demonstration of the principle that there are infinite amounts of possible futures.) Our idea of the future has no bearing of the physics of what is really happening. This means that we can dismiss the argument that just because our idea of the future implies we do not have freewill then we do not have freewill.

I could also get into the argument that the future really doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as the future. We know there will be time in front of me but it is blank. It is the absence of anything. I think when this argument was made against me for freewill some of this was mixed in with our definition of the future. But if the case is that there is no such thing as a future then there cannot possibly be an omniscient being and there is no possibility of a freewill argument.

You see, if there is the absence of anything in “the future” then we cannot have a freewill argument. The fact that nothing is written out “per say” means that we will do anything at anytime. There is no way to know what will happen so there is no possible way we do not have freewill. Now you can say we do what we do and there isn’t a possibility of that changing. That argument now has no bearing because once we do something it is the past. Once something is in the past thats it, it has been solidified and is never changing. That in no way says that we would have always done it that way because then you are implying that there is “the future”.

No I am in no way arguing the fact that true Christians do not have freewill. If someone is educated on what Christianity trully is they will have no choice but to agree that they do not have freewill, only the illution of such a thing. What I am arguing is that someone that does not believe in the christian ideal of a god still has the possibity of freewill. I believe that this post argues the point very well and I invite challenges to the idea that a athiest or agnostic does not have freewill.

BIGFIX01

Published in: on January 6, 2008 at 2:21 pm  Comments (4)  
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