What does all of this add up to? All of these observations of the world around us. All of these hypotheses we draw out of them. The ways we test these hypothesis, through experimentation and disputation. The theories that emerge from the Scientific Process.
The Free Market of Ideas. Peer reviews. Egalitarianism. Pluralism. Predicting the future. The truth with a lower-case “t.” Empiricism and Voracity. Evolution, improving the Body, Mind, and Spirit. Trancending the present states of all of these things for improved versions. Objectivity. Equivocation. Futurism. Transhumanism. Chemistry. Newtonian Physics. Biology. Microbiology. Organic Chemistry. Quantum Physics. Historical Methodology. Mathematics. Quantification. Ethics, Virtues, and Vision. IAAMOAC!!! Chaos Theory. Entropy — WHAT IS ALL OF THIS???
When we look at the world around us, the way it is based on the facts, drawing speculations and conclusions about the nature of existence and our purposes here, we employ Science. When we work together to find the common truth that we all share, that’s Science. All of our books in all of our libraries, the summation of all our common, disputable knowledge–Science.
Science is Democratic; a constant process of disputation determines its content. Science is Egalitarian, all ideas require equal consideration. Science is a Free Market; the better ideas will survive the tests of time. Science is Communitarian; we all share the same truth. Science is a process, a body of knowledge, a philosophy of mind, an attitude. Science encompasses all things, even those things it does not yet encompass, because Science seeks not only the known unknown, but the unknown unknown as well. Science is a journey. Not knowing the destination is half the fun.
There is a word to describe the set of beliefs, the virtues and ethics that an individual attempting to follow this path may subscribe to, but it is not a new word. It is a word much reviled in today’s lexicon, because the early scientists, with blind assertions and fundamentalism, created a stigma in the Marketplace of Ideas around it. The word is “Scientism,” and yet we have no better word to describe this worldview, so I propose a modifier:
Why not? The scientific-minded predecessors had a primitive grasp of science and what it was capable of. We have a broader understanding of reality. We better comprehend the boundaries of the knowable, and our children and grandchildren will find us primitive as well. Even these core principles I and so many others have tried to establish will change with our understanding. So future generations can come up with better, revised versions 2.1, 2.2, 3.0, etc.
If religion can claim applications to all aspects of our lives, then Science may certainly also make such a daring claim, especially because Science, more than any other school of thought, actually does speak to all aspects of existence. From the tiniest sub-atomic particle to the entire universe and possibility of a multi-verse, Science encompasses everything. The Scientific Community must first revere the general philosophy of Science, and secondly focus on the minutiae of daily life.
Instead of Prophets, we have Exponents. Instead of Sermons, we have Lectures. We have no Preacher, no Authorities, but many Experts, Professors, Doctors, and others who give talks on their fields of study. Every Lecture followed with questions and disputation. Our sacred book is the library, the Internet, the sum of all existence.
Interested? Want to get involved? The best thing you can do is simply to start thinking in these directions. Read Carl Sagan, rent the “Cosmos” documentaries, join a scientific union, start taking Science to heart. Our Civilization will start to see the truth one mind at a time.
Help it along by focusing on your own mind.
Or not. I leave this open to disputation. The important thing is to promote discussion, for those who believe in the power of Science and have faith in Civilization, to communicate, dispute, and spread the word.
I will consider myself a practitioner of Scientism 2.0.