“Why do you hate science?”
That’s the question leftists have taken to asking non-leftists. Leftists claim to love science, insofar as anyone can love a method for testing a hypothesis, and accuse their enemies of hating it.
How can anyone love or hate an indifferent set of techniques? And how can an ideology that believes technological civilization is destroying the planet really claim to love the science behind it?
But swap out “science” for “god” and the question, “Why do you hate science” makes perfect sense. So do the constant assertions of love for science. These aren’t scientific assertions, but religious ones.
Actual science doesn’t care whether you love or hate it. That’s not how you engage with the theory of relativity. But religion is measured by love and hate. Either you love a deity or you hate it.
No one loves or hates science. But they do love Scienticism.
Scienticism is science without skepticism. It takes the ideas of science and uses them to create an infallible belief system that gives our lives meaning and dictates how we should live those lives.
In other words, a religion.
Contrary to popular disbelief, a religion doesn’t need a god. It does need some things. A creation myth that explains our lives. An enlightened leadership. The conviction that every person’s actions matter. Redemption, salvation and damnation. Miracles. An imminent apocalypse. A prophesized golden age.
Scientism offers all these things and more. Its creation myths inevitably lead to philosophies about our place in the universe. Its miracles are technological. Its heroes have super powers or spaceships. Global warming is on its way to destroy us. And only recycling and green energy can save us from the climate apocalypse. Its truths are infallible because they are prophesized by PhD’s wielding hockey stick graphs.
Its god is Homo Progressivus, born an ape and ascending to singularity synthesis. Its heaven is a social services agency. Its saints died for social progress. And if you want angels, why not try UFOs?
But what about the devil? In the early days of Scientism, superstition was the great antagonist of modernity. Technological progress had made a new sort of civilization possible. And Scientism was born out of that thrilling encounter with the future. We no longer believed in confessing to clergy. Instead we had our minds scientifically psychoanalyzed by Freudians. The imminent apocalypse had nothing to do with heaven, but everything to do with the class conflicts of capitalism. Our legends would no longer be about the past, but the wonders of the future. Our enemy was the past, with its tradition and ignorance.
The past is dead.
Religion is vanishing in Europe and America is catching up. Morals are as outdated as phrenology. No one believes in the golden future anymore. Least of all the worshipers at the chrome altar of Scientism.
Scientism had created a god of endless progress. A collectivist human engine of innovation. Now it turned him into the devil. Like Zoroastrianism, Scientism became a dual religion of two gods.
One good and one evil.
The Ahriman of scientism builds nuclear power plants, drills for oil, drives an SUV, launches spaceships and shops with plastic grocery bags. Its Ahura Mazda rides a bike, saves trash for compost, eats locally farmed food (I recently passed a downtown Manhattan restaurant which promised that its food came exclusively from the local farms for which the island is renowned) and gets his power from the sun.
Scientism both worships and demonizes science. It loves and hates it. Its mission is to save us all from the ravages of science. And if you question this mission, you’re accused of hating science.
The Scientism of 1918 and 2018 are both snapshots of a philosophical schism that tore the left apart.
The 1918 left reviled the capitalist, but admired the collectivist order of his factory. Its vision was to turn all of society into a factory without a capitalist owner. Social problems would be solved by experts. Organizations would impose efficiency. Global governments would end war, hunger, and euthanize people with flawed genes. The priesthood of public service would replace the service of god.
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