Re: Debunk All Religiosity Equally (D.A.R.E.)

From: Russell Blackford (
Date: Fri Jul 13 2001 - 22:10:43 MDT

Samantha quoted me as saying

> >
> > Isn't this [ie reference to a religion of Scientism] a bit of a cliche?
>It's one regularly trotted out by religious
> > apologists and by humanist sentimentalists about religion.

and went on to say after a <snip>
>I don't apologize for religion/spirituality and I am not in the
>least sentimental about it. I also don't dismiss it and
>especially not as lightly as seems fashionable around these
>parts of late.

I have no idea what brought this on, Samantha. Nothing I said in response to
Party of Citizens was an attack on you or even referred to you.

> > And, in case you're tempted to retort that cliches usually contain a
> > of truth (which I accept), most of us who admire the advancement of
> > do *not* treat it as a religion. We favour rational inquiry into nature
> > through methods such as observation, experiment, mathematical modelling,
> > formal logic, hypothetico-deductive reasoning. The conclusions we come
> > are provisional. Where the more precise methods of science break down,
> > still favour rational techniques such as logic and consilience, the
> > of philosophy.
>This is not what is meant by the term "scientism". The above is
>mostly simply science. I don't think "consilience" is
>sufficient or well enough known to cover the rest. Nor is
>philsophy restricted to logic and consilience alone.

I didn't say this. I said "such as". BTW, if my referrence to consilience
arguments is obscure to anyone (and it does *not* appear to have thrown
Samantha - I'm not saying that), have a look at Michael Ruse's excellent and
very fair book _Can a Darwinian be a Christian_ (Cambridge Univ. Press,
2001), p. 13 where he explains how consilience of inductions is a primary
form of argument in historical sciences where there is less emphasis on
experiments. I'd say that the same applies to philosophy.

I think I'd better stop at this point, rather than enter into a line by line
rebuttal, or I'll escalate the current religion war which, whatever part I
may have played in sparking off, I have consistently tried to calm down.
Indeed, Samantha, I consistently tried to avoid offending you in particular,
knowing your views about spirituality etc.

However, the aggressive attack on supposed "scientism" by Party of Citizens
- and the hackneyed claims about a scientistic "religion" - demanded a clear

Russ who is still prepared to be conciliatory to allies

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