Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Science Wars and the Restoration of Reason

MacIntyre imagines a scenario in which the sciences suffer the same calamity as has virtue. The schism might start with something like a secular reformation: "Widespread riots occur, laboratories are burnt down, physicists are lynched, books and instruments are destroyed."

Hey, wwwwwait a minute. Isn't this already happening in academia? The rioting started in the 1960s -- which is just a microcosm of power displacing truth -- while the efficiency of academic correctness makes it unnecessary to literally burn books.

Burning only calls attention to them anyway. Better to consign them to the Index Liberalum Prohibitorum, the Endless List of Books that Offend or Frighten Liberals.

And lynching? In the Jewish tradition the rape of a name is as morally reprehensible as physical rape:

"The Talmud, the set of books of Jewish law and philosophy that rank in Judaism second in importance only to the Torah, says, 'Whoever humiliates his friend in public is considered as if he has shed his blood.' That is why some rabbis call undeserved public shaming 'emotional murder.'”

I'm thinking of that scientist who made a joke about women and science, and was bounced from his job. So, maybe we won't find a cure for cancer, but at least these joyless feminists with no sense of humor will be... happy? Yeah, right.

Anyway, that's a different subject. Or is it? Since the Good, True, and Beautiful are intrinsically connected, you can't attack one without damaging the others.

Speaking of which, Julie just left a comment with a link to this piece with the headline Dante's Divine Comedy 'offensive and should be banned'.


Well, at least it kills three birds with a single stone: truth, beauty, and virtue.

As if contemporary college students read Dante anyway. I would guess they are no more familiar with it than with the Constitution or Book of the Subgenius.

Back to our imagined scenario. What happens after the scientific calamity? How do we put Humpty back together? Well, we don't. The original act of synthesis has been lost, and it is not possible to reassemble it with the fragments. The parts don't add up to the Summa, don't you know.

"... [E]nlightened people [will] seek to revive science, although they have largely forgotten what it was.... all they possess are fragments: a knowledge of experiment detached from any knowledge of the theoretical context that gave them significance; parts of theories unrelated either to the other bits and pieces of theory which they possess... instruments whose use has been forgotten; half-chapters from books, single pages from articles, not always fully legible because torn and charred."

I'm thinking of my racket, psychology. As we know, the softer the science the easier for activists to infiltrate and pervert, and it hardly gets softer than psychology. This is how homosexuality was unilaterally declared Wonderful in 1973. A hundred years of research and scholarly articles? Forget about it. Homophobic or something. There's a new Truth in town, so don't even refer to the science before 1973, or else.

The whole story of how that deal... went down is sordid beyond belief. In the highly raccomended Making Gay Okay, Reilly says "There are two fundamentally different conceptions of science -- one that is scientific and one that is not."

Or one that is scientific and one that is post-scientific: postmodern, post-literate, post-virtuous, and really post-human. The latter does not begin with things as they are, but rather, how the left would like for them to be. Once you've determined that, the science is easy: just backtrack from your abstract conclusion and invent a causal nexus.

Coincidentally, I just read a book on genetics that explains how this works in practice. Often all one has to do is perform a little word magic in order to transform one thing into another. (I recently read that the magician's formula abracadabra comes from the aramaic for I create from nothing. File under too good to check.)

Let's take the depraved folkers at Planned Parenthood. First of all, some plan. Second, some parents.

"Needless to say, a definition can serve a particular prejudice. If I want to perform experiments on embryos, it will be comforting" to regard them "as not yet human, just as I will deny humanity to the twelve-week-old fetus I want to abort." The point is that reality is one thing, the words we use to describe (or deny) it another.

I have a relative by marriage who is quite intelligent and even attended medical school. In a discussion of abortion, she actually insisted that an embryo is just an undifferentiated blob, not remotely human. Where to begin? One can't. She has already foreclosed the beginning before it even starts.

It is the same if we start a conversation about homosexuality with "love" instead of nature, reality, and natural law. This actually goes back to the Misplaced Object of Virtue. In this book on How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage, the author reminds us that the Catechism refers to natural law as "immutable and permanent throughout the variations of history," "written and engraved in the soul of each and every man" and "established by reason." So there it is: the missing Object.

Reason. Remember that? It too is a kind of natural law that touches the threshold of the supernatural, and "cannot be destroyed or removed from the heart of man." Yes, it can be rejected, but since it is part of us, to vanquish it is to defeat ourselves.

So, it would appear that Right Reason cannot only guide us to the restoration of Truth and Virtue, but to their proper marriage.

I will conclude with this thoughtlet: if you cannot convince another with your reasons, it probably means you never actually convinced yourself, rather, only asserted it. Thus, the leftist begins by bullying his own intelligence and conscience before moving on to the enthralling fun of overhauling yours.


julie said...

I recently read that the magician's formula abracadabra comes from the aramaic for I create from nothing. File under too good to check.

That is good; I couldn't resist checking. According to Prof. Wiki, it's pretty close, although one of the possible translations is "I create like the word." Or even more intriguing, it may even be a reference to the Trinity.

Rick said...

"Where to begin?"

With abracadabra!

Which is why I could never be so stupid again (at least on the abortion smoke and mirrors). For I discovered magic. And that I cannot believe in it.

julie said...

I may actually have a quibble with that last thoughtlet: If you can't convince someone with your reason, is it not also possible that they are inconvinceable in spite of reason - that the position they hold is one they never reached by reason, and therefore cannot be breached by reason? Think of our trolls: we speak quite reasonably for years, and they (or he?) still only hear, well, abracadabra.

Gagdad Bob said...

Davila has many aphorisms to that effect: some things are so true they are deeper than any explanation.

Gagdad Bob said...

Which Godel would say too.

Latina Extraordinaire said...

Speaking of fragmentation, at the University of New Hampshire (formerly the "Live Free or Die" state), certain words are... problematic:

'"American,” “illegal alien,” “foreigners,” “mothering,” and “fathering” are just a handful of words deemed “problematic” by the University of New Hampshire’s Bias-Free Language Guide.'

The development of Newspeak continues apace, and the Brave New Orwellian Utopia is just around the corner. Who needs history and meaning when you can have a boot stamping on your face while a friendly hand gives you a reach-around forever?

John said...

Speaking of genes and homosexuality. Turns out there is no "gay gene" (most likely there is a gay pathogen), but homoaversion IS genetic. The irony.

mushroom said...

I've read this book. It's called A Canticle for Leibowitz, also The Book of Eli. At least they had an excuse in those cases.

Set your ovens to 451 degrees Fahrenheit.

mushroom said... undifferentiated blob, not remotely human...

No, no, we're not selling baby parts. That would be barbaric. These are just the products of conception.

Of course, the product of conception isn't a concept. It's a baby.

Maggie Sanger said...

Now, if those babies were cute fuzzy fowl run over by a lawn mower, then at least the miscreants who did it would be sent to prison for a year. But since they're only human, well, that's jut good racial hygiene.

Gagdad Bob said...

Sanger: "We don't want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population."

I don't understand why liberals don't put her on the twenty instead of that racist Andrew Jackson.

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Anonymous said...

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