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  1. #76
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    I think I'll take advantage of having access to somebody who understands science better than anybody I know (you), and ask the question: how does "science tells us what is, not how to be" not an accurate characterization of science?
    Science doesn't tell us what is or how to be.

    At its best, the results of science tell us, given what is, this is what will be (the predictive output of science).

    The problem with "what is" is that we kinda always feel like we know it, but then later find out we were missing most of the details.
    (Dark Matter / Dark Energy come to mind)

    Science itself tells us a process to avoid being fooled, even when the one trying to fool us is our prior self.
  2. #77
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    I'd put out that observation and our internal explanations tell us what is, but they're terribly unreliable when used in isolation.
    The scientific process guides us to ignore our own sense of "what should be" when encountering something new, which we have not studied. There is no reason to think that things we have not yet studied will fall into categories of understanding which we have already established. Yet, it is something our minds seem pulled toward.

    I have certainly built up a bias over many years toward the Standard Model of Particle Physics + GR w/ {Lambda}CDM*; I try to explain everything using that model. It will fail me when I encounter something beyond the model, and I know it's incomplete, but I don't assume anything new to me is new to the model. It is why science is necessary. It is why reproducible predictions are essential.

    When you observe something new, or unexpected, it is easy to find an incomplete explanation, which fits some, but not all of your observations. The conversation with other honest, open-minded observers is essential to brainstorm your way through all of your observations and to think of an explanation which fits all of them.

    I encourage my lab students to use every identifiable resource in the room to help them understand what they're doing. This primarily include keeping an open conversation with their lab partners, but that's often not enough. It is not cheating to talk to other lab groups. It is part of the process.

    *
    Standard Model of Particle Physics = All the Quantum Physics
    GR = Einstein's General Relativity
    {Lambda} = Dark Energy
    CDM = Cold, Dark Matter
    Last edited by MadMojoMonkey; 06-08-2017 at 09:42 AM.
  3. #78
    Thanks.
  4. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    It is not cheating to talk to other lab groups. It is part of the process.
    You just make sure you publish first, right?
  5. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by BananaStand View Post
    Yes, there is a god. I am it. That's not me being egotistical, it's just a fact. You're a god too
    I think this is a concept religions toy with yet don't have a handle on so their messages are ambivalent.

    Moving on. EL OH EL at this idea that science has anything to say about any of this.
    It might, we just aren't sufficiently advanced enough to get there. Or it might not. As things are now, in my estimation science is vastly misapplied, resulting in all sorts of false beliefs.

    There's already an entire field of "science" that deals with human behavior. 99.9% of what they do are profit-motivated efforts to mitigate bad feelings. Almost none of what they do has anything to do with cultivating good feelings. Who the fuck would trust that
    The explanation I've seen is that's because what people consider happiness is actually just absence of suffering.
  6. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    The explanation I've seen is that's because what people consider happiness is actually just absence of suffering.
    Lies

    The real explanation is that drugs are addictive and profitable.
  7. #82
    a500lbgorilla's Avatar
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    himself fucker.
    And fun!
    <a href=http://i.imgur.com/kWiMIMW.png target=_blank>http://i.imgur.com/kWiMIMW.png</a>
  8. #83
    MMM, I appreciate that you feel the need to illuminate the limits, shortcomings and potential misuses of the scientific method. While I do think science is our salvation, it is nice to get a reality check when all the buzz is about how Elon Musk is going to science us to world peace and eternal bliss.

    With that said, beyond being "proceed with caution" warning, what more does this add to the topic at hand? Do we have all the inputs to get the most out of the scientific method when trying to better understand morality? No, but the scientific method does not require data set omniscience to kick out useful and even actionable results. Correct me if I'm misreading you, but it seems like you believe, due to its limitations, the scientific method should not be applied here. Conversely, I'd argue that it absolutely should be applied here, but with respect to the inherent limits to its predictive power.

    If you want to call it a soft science, fine, but-- I mean, look, even if these creation memes, as they've come down to us, have evolved to be the best moral framework, as I see it, the only way we'll know is by observing, hypothesizing, making predictions, collecting data, forming theories, rinsing and repeating. What alternative is there?
  9. #84
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure we're on the same page.

    I'm not saying science will never be able to deal with morality.

    I'm saying that scientific method can be applied to literally everything. Once you know the steps of scientific method, you can readily observe any toddler going through the process.

    Now hearken back to my most recent post. It's not enough to trust ourselves. We have to engage in a conversation where we compare all of our observations and seek to create falsifiable statements which we cannot falsify by experiment, even though we try to, really hard.

    The problem with morality is that no one has yet been able to formulate a falsifiable statement that is not falsified by some experiment.

    If/when this can be accomplished, then science will be able to proceed past the introductory steps of trying to find a fist principle upon which a greater model may congeal.
  10. #85
    Yeah, at the very least we're definitely in the same chapter.

    I think the inability to make a meaningful falsifiable statement regarding morality is due to the shortcomings of our language(s). We (have come to?) define morality in such a spongy vague way, and that's probably due to religions attempting to safeguard their modes of thought by way of a unsaid mutually agreed upon pact to handle either other's modes of thought with kiddie gloves. If contradictory assertions are equally true, nothing is true, the Pope can't be a liar.
  11. #86
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    IDK. By definition, a language is not limited in the scope of what can be discussed using the language by the language itself.

    There are less robust forms of verbal communication, such as pidgin speak, which can convey limited information, on a limited number of subjects.

    By its nature of being a language, it means that anything that any user of the language can have in his noggin, can be expressed in the language. New words come and old words go. Language evolves.


    The phrase, "words can't describe..." is an oft-used poetic phrase which belies the poet to be a numbskull who is bad at their trade. The fact is that words CAN describe, you're just maybe bad at words.


    My point: you can't blame the language for the ideas not being appropriately expressed.

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