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

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Jul 14 2001 - 15:33:21 MDT

Russell Blackford wrote:

> >What do you mean "brought this on"? What this?
> The "this" I referred to was what struck me, rightly or wrongly, as a very
> defensive response to comments that were not directed at you.

And again I apologize if my tone hid my intent and I apologize
further for not cosidering the source more before responding.
The original struck me as a piece of a general pattern of
dismissal of some concerns that I believe have validity. It was
not that but I reacted as if it were that general pattern
unfolding (yet again). Sorry.

> >I agree it requires a rebuttal.
> We're at one on this point.
> > Hopefully such will say what
> >*scientism* is and is not. I do think there is something that
> >word does apply fairly to but not of the kind or to the degree
> >that P.O.C. alluded to.
> Well, it's certainly not the same as a commitment to rational standards of
> inquiry and criticism in our search for explanations of phenomena and
> knowledge of the world.

This is true. It hinges more on the extend of what is
considered world and what is and is not considered knowable and

Thank you for the quotation from some of your past work. It
helps me know where you are coming from. You are certainly one
who cares about the relevant questions deeply and who does not
tend to over-emphasize or denigrate any side of the equation.

> If there is a use for the word "scientism" it might apply to the position of
> someone who entirely rejected the domain of aesthetic/cultural value (which
> is at least part of what you seem to mean by the "spiritual" domain). But
> even this would not be a "religion" as far as I can see, more a state of
> psychological impoverishment. Nor does it strike me as a position that could
> be derived from rational analysis of any kind. In any event, I have no basis
> at this stage for believing that anyone on this list is stricken with
> scientism as I've just defined it. If you, who have been here much longer,
> have a different perception, I won't argue - I'll leave that to others.

As I've written elsewhere, what I see as scientism is more of an
anti-religion - especially in its aspect of reducing everything
to simply matter and physics with little room for valuing or
values much less for the sacred.

- samantha

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