Saturday, June 30, 2018

Elevating hard science to a pedestal of worship as the only way or even a primary way to arrive at facts & truth (knowledge) about all or most of life, is not a balanced and good approach

I think people should not hold the view that hard science is the only or even primary source of truth, knowledge and experience in life. There are other sources of truth, knowledge and experience too which may not be as easily certifiable as true as hard scientific knowledge but may have a lot of truth in them. Literature and history and the arts in general which are not hard science fields, are examples of sources of a lot of truth, knowledge and experience which enrich life, IMHO. Literature does have fiction category some of which is based on imagination and not facts but which may still be reflective of some real life experiences & events. Some fiction literature though may be purely flights of imagination like some science-fiction.

As an aside, one of the most important survival teachings about a truth of life, which has served me well in my adult life, came from English literature and not hard science. That is the old English proverb, "A fool and his money are soon parted" :-) [originated in 16th century England, https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/a-fool-and-his-money-are-soon-parted.html]. I have endeavoured pretty hard not to become this kind of fool and have so far avoided the experience of my hard-earned money getting parted from me, and which hard-earned money has formed the basis of my happy retired-from-commercial-work and simple, single, spiritual aspirant life for the past nearly 16 years! I should add that all my hard-earned money has come from my practice of software development (an applied hard science - technology - field) during my software industry commercial work days (March 1984 to August 2002).

IMHO, there is a danger in worship of hard science as a cure-all like there is a danger in worship of religious icons and religious philosophy/scripture alone as a cure-all without need for reason and hard science.

Like we have religious fanatics one can have hard science fanatics too. Fanaticism which exaggerates the power of a particular field of knowledge and experience e.g. religion, hard science, philosophy etc., IMHO, is bad.

Self-correction is a mechanism that is used not only by hard science but by various other fields including history. Indian history field, I am given to understand by various public articles on the matter, has moved away from Euro-centric history written before Indian independence to more authentic Indian history under Indian history scholars of repute applying the rigorous standards of academic history to the field of Indian history.

Jurisprudence is a vital field as many knotty disputes go to courts of the land for justice and resolution. Jurisprudence has its own standards for arriving at what courts view as the plausible truth (which would not be scientific fact). Self-correction mechanism is provided there too, when new evidence is presented which challenges the earlier conclusions of the court.

And then we have the vital field of journalism and its way of arriving at the truth.

My view is that ways of unearthing the truth in fields like jurisprudence and journalism matter even if they are not as solid as the way hard science uses to arrive at scientific truth. Hard science like Physics (which I graduated in) is extraordinarily solid in its methodologies to arrive at the truth in the material measurable world.

But life is such a complex web of material measurable things and, as of now at least, far more difficult to measure, if not impossible to measure properly, aspects like the important (from impact on life point of view) emotions and instincts of love, peace, joy, hunger, survival (instinct), anger, jealousy, hatred etc. that I think elevating hard science to a pedestal of worship as the only way or even a primary way, to arrive at facts & truth (knowledge) about all or most of life, is not a balanced and good approach.

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