On Monday, January 21, 2013 5:35:59 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote:
>  On 1/21/2013 1:42 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote: 
> On Monday, January 21, 2013 4:20:16 PM UTC-5, Brent wrote: 
>>  On 1/21/2013 9:11 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote: 
>> It is only recently, as the limitations of the narrow Western approach 
>> are being revealed on a global scale, that science has fallen into a 
>> fundamentalist pathology which makes an enemy of teleology.
>> Yes, it is only the recently, since the Enlightenment, that science has 
>> displaced theology as the main source of knowledge about the world.  
>> Coincidentally is only recently that the sin theory of disease was replaced 
>> by the germ theory...that the geocentric model of the solar system was 
>> replaced by the heliocentric...that insanity has been due to bad brain 
>> chemistry instead of possession by demons...that democracy has replaced the 
>> divine right of kings...that lightning rods have protected us from the 
>> wrath of God...that the suffering of women in childbirth has been 
>> alleviated...
> Those things were all brought about by thinkers and experimenters in the 
> early part of the Enlightenment, who had a balanced cosmological view 
> rooted in meaning and purpose, 
> Nonsense. All the above examples were only possible by the rejection of a 
> teleological metaphysics.  

Deism is not a rejection of teleological metaphysics. Most Enlightenment 
thinkers were Deists or natural philosophers. Whether the Earth revolves 
around the Sun or not doesn't require a rejection of significance. Neither 
does the existence of germs or lightning or democracy. I'm not saying that 
we should return to those values, only that we need to go beyond our 
current values because they are obviously a dead end.

>  not by the extremism which has dominated science since the 1980s.  We 
> seldom see such useful and realistic theories being produced today. 
> The treatment of mental disorders by chemistry and brain surgery is almost 
> all since the 1980's. Smallpox was eradicated in 1979.  Homosexuality is a 
> preference not a sin, since the '80's. 

Huh? Lobotomies were practiced since 1935. The Smallpox vaccines used to 
eradicate the disease were perfected in the 1940s. Both vaccination and 
brain surgery have been around for much longer. Attitudes toward 
homosexuality have changed because of relaxed censorship in media, not 
because of any scientific study in the 80s.

We are talking about 32 years now, with more scientists using better 
communication and more robust procedures than any time in history, and you 
can't really name a single innovation which has improved life for human 
beings in general - certainly nothing compared to the innovations in the 
years between 1900 and 1932, or 32 to 64. That was the peak of this 
particular intellectual approach in my opinion. Since 1980 we in the US 
have grown only fatter, more exhausted and overwhelmed, more mentally ill, 
more incarcerated. We still drive almost the same cars as we did in 1980, 
our medical system and education system are legitimately in collapse... 
it's a nightmare, and science has helped to a shockingly small degree.

>  Science has entered into it's corrupt twilight, pimping justifications 
> for the highest bidder just as church indulgences were once offered. Then 
> as now, these institutions are not without benefits, but failure to 
> recognize their deterioration is not progress.
> Political institutions become corrupt precisely when they adopt a 
> teleology, a great metaphysical goal to which the well being of individual 
> citizens may be sacrificed: The Crusades.  Lebensraum.  Communism.  The 
> Cultural Revolution. The Caliphate...

Political institutions become corrupt the moment that they become political 
institutions. The first order of business is always to maintain and elevate 
the power of the institution.

> Brent
> The web of this world is woven of Necessity and Chance.  Woe to
> him who has accustomed himself from his youth up to find
> something necessary in what is capricious, and who would ascribe
> something like reason to Chance and make a religion of
> surrendering to it.
>    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

as long as we are quoting Goethe (who was of course heavily influenced by 
alchemical thought): 

"Destiny grants us our wishes, but in its own way, in order to give us 
something beyond our wishes." 


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