The Death of all Political Philosophy

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SecularCauses
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The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by SecularCauses » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:39 am

In science, there are rational ways to determine the truth of reality. And I understand that purists may argue nothing can be known for certain, but I hardly think there will be a discovery millions of years from now telling us the earth was flat after all. Science is able to progress because in at least some sense there is a way to discover the nature of the cosmos. We can learn about how we evolved, how chemical reactions occur, what happens when we do certain things, etc. Our ability to use technology is a testament to the validity of scientific achievement.

Now, when it comes to politics, either we are still in the land of something like the field of physics, where right and wrong answers do exist, and can be rationally determined, or else, we are in a no-person's land where any opinion and idea is as good as any other. If the situation is that one can discern political truth in the same manner that physicists can discover atoms, then we need to defer to the results of rational scientific methods in making political decisions. On the other hand, if science and reason do not apply, then no opinions matter. No one can prove their position is superior to any other and arguments become as pointless as they can be. In either case, the arm-chair political opinions are illegitimate. Unless someone can point to scentific evidence to support their position, or something very much like it, their opinion is without merit. Either realism is real or else nothing matters and political knowledge is an illusion and does not exist.

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The Voice of Time
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Re: The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by The Voice of Time » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:44 am

In Politics people compete for what is to be determined valuable as much as for what evidence points towards. But regarding the times when they use science...

Remember that evidence can go both ways and does not have to prove things either right or wrong, instead it will prove a small thing right or wrong and then somebody will try to compare that with something largely subtle, like justice, open to opinion and not only a single definition, and suddenly people will either have to believe that the comparison is relevant or naught, and then it's all about packing it neatly so that voters see things the way you want them to see it. That's politics and science in a nutshell...

SecularCauses
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Re: The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by SecularCauses » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:43 am

The Voice of Time wrote:In Politics people compete for what is to be determined valuable as much as for what evidence points towards. But regarding the times when they use science...

Remember that evidence can go both ways and does not have to prove things either right or wrong, instead it will prove a small thing right or wrong and then somebody will try to compare that with something largely subtle, like justice, open to opinion and not only a single definition, and suddenly people will either have to believe that the comparison is relevant or naught, and then it's all about packing it neatly so that voters see things the way you want them to see it. That's politics and science in a nutshell...

What you describe as a competition for what is to be determined valuable, that sounds unscientific and irrational to me. If someone has a sound, scientific basis for establishing that what they consider valuable is in fact valuable, then I would like to see it. If the person is merely stating, "take my word for it," then I fail to see how I or any other rational person should be convinced.

I stand by my position. Either people can state scientific evidence for their political positions or else their political positions are purely subjective. If the former, then mere opinion should give way to some form of rational methodology, like we have in chemistry, for example. If the latter, then who cares what anyone has to say on politics? It becomes a playground for arbitrary bickering.

Should we have abortion? Is there a scientific way to answer this question? I'm not aware of one. So, whether we have abortion or not is irrelevant as far as any rational person is concerned.

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Re: The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by The Voice of Time » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:52 pm

Politics is not a science unless you first agree what is valuable in-and-of-itself, after that you can try to prove the best way to fulfil that valuable thing, by making values for-the-thing-which-is-valuable-in-and-of-itself.

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Re: The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by SecularCauses » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:37 pm

The Voice of Time wrote:Politics is not a science unless you first agree what is valuable in-and-of-itself, after that you can try to prove the best way to fulfil that valuable thing, by making values for-the-thing-which-is-valuable-in-and-of-itself.
Then there is no knowledge there. Then all political opinions are equally valid, or equally worthless. The person who demands that babies be sacrificed for the pleasure of the few is just as correct as the person who believes the babies should not be sacrificed. I don't agree with this position, but unless a political opinion, or a moral one, can be proven true in some sense like physicists can prove their results are true, morality and politics becomes a field where nothing can be known, or learned, and any view, no matter how "uneducated" is just as good as any other, no matter how "educated" the viewpoint. It seems a strange state of affairs that reality could be knowable except for when it comes to morality, and political viewpoints.

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Re: The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by The Voice of Time » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:17 pm

SecularCauses wrote:
Then there is no knowledge there. Then all political opinions are equally valid, or equally worthless.
Not for the people with those values.

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Re: The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by SecularCauses » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:38 pm

The Voice of Time wrote:
SecularCauses wrote:
Then there is no knowledge there. Then all political opinions are equally valid, or equally worthless.
Not for the people with those values.
Then why does anyone get excited about elections? Whether someone gets an abortion? Whether we have free speech or live under a fascist dictatorship?

Isn't it the case that in at least some sense we know that a racist is wrong? Objectively, flat-out wrong? So, can't we at least state that objectively, any political opinion or moral opinion that is based on racism is factually false. And that the truth matters just as it matters for a physicist? And if so, then we know that objectively all racists and all racists political beliefs are false, regardless of how many people believe in such claims? Can't we agree that regardless of a person's values, racist claims are factually false and, therefore, objectively false and morally bad as well?

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Re: The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by The Voice of Time » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:26 am

For the person with the racist belief, his belief isn't wrong. For people of anti-racist belief, it is wrong.

However, the facts that a racist uses to argument with, the scientific facts for instance which he points to, can be faulty in the scientific way, either as lies or that they don't tackle the issue at hand. But you could never prove that a philosophical belief is "scientifically wrong", because philosophy is the foundation on which all human knowledge rests, so you must first ascertain the philosophical truth before you can make certain the scientific. The evolution of science through history has, while prolific in detail, at its foundation it has mainly been a philosophical one. Going from the one natural philosophy to the other until you arrive at today's modern view of it all, giving a foundation on which physics theory, biology and chemistry can rest. Remember that while atoms can be scientifically proven, there first has to be a philosophy of science that explains how it can be true.

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Re: The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by SecularCauses » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:54 am

The Voice of Time wrote:For the person with the racist belief, his belief isn't wrong. For people of anti-racist belief, it is wrong.

However, the facts that a racist uses to argument with, the scientific facts for instance which he points to, can be faulty in the scientific way, either as lies or that they don't tackle the issue at hand. But you could never prove that a philosophical belief is "scientifically wrong", because philosophy is the foundation on which all human knowledge rests, so you must first ascertain the philosophical truth before you can make certain the scientific. The evolution of science through history has, while prolific in detail, at its foundation it has mainly been a philosophical one. Going from the one natural philosophy to the other until you arrive at today's modern view of it all, giving a foundation on which physics theory, biology and chemistry can rest. Remember that while atoms can be scientifically proven, there first has to be a philosophy of science that explains how it can be true.
Science is the foundation of all human knowledge.

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Re: The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by John » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:03 am

SecularCauses wrote:Should we have abortion? Is there a scientific way to answer this question? I'm not aware of one. So, whether we have abortion or not is irrelevant as far as any rational person is concerned.
If abortion can only be allowed or banned then what follows from your statement?

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Re: The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by The Voice of Time » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:15 pm

Science is the foundation of all human knowledge.[/quote]

And philosophy is the foundation of science. Not to mention that a lot of the things we "know" we gain through philosophy simply. Like concepts like The Golden Mean, Yin-Yang and good and wrong.

SecularCauses
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Re: The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by SecularCauses » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:09 pm

The Voice of Time wrote:Science is the foundation of all human knowledge.
And philosophy is the foundation of science. Not to mention that a lot of the things we "know" we gain through philosophy simply. Like concepts like The Golden Mean, Yin-Yang and good and wrong.[/quote]

Actually, it is incorrect to state that "philosophy" is the foundation for science. For one thing, there are many philosophies that are anti-science and have nothing to offer science. Science is science, and only science gives us knowledge.

SecularCauses
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Re: The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by SecularCauses » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:10 pm

John wrote:
SecularCauses wrote:Should we have abortion? Is there a scientific way to answer this question? I'm not aware of one. So, whether we have abortion or not is irrelevant as far as any rational person is concerned.
If abortion can only be allowed or banned then what follows from your statement?
My statement was that unless one can validate their opinion on abortion, in a way like physicists validate their opinions, then who cares what anyone has to say on the issue.

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Re: The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:13 pm

SecularCauses wrote:
John wrote:
SecularCauses wrote:Should we have abortion? Is there a scientific way to answer this question? I'm not aware of one. So, whether we have abortion or not is irrelevant as far as any rational person is concerned.
If abortion can only be allowed or banned then what follows from your statement?
My statement was that unless one can validate their opinion on abortion, in a way like physicists validate their opinions, then who cares what anyone has to say on the issue.
True, which is why the only people who are against abortion are religious nuts.

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Re: The Death of all Political Philosophy

Post by John » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:49 am

SecularCauses wrote:
John wrote:
SecularCauses wrote:Should we have abortion? Is there a scientific way to answer this question? I'm not aware of one. So, whether we have abortion or not is irrelevant as far as any rational person is concerned.
If abortion can only be allowed or banned then what follows from your statement?
My statement was that unless one can validate their opinion on abortion, in a way like physicists validate their opinions, then who cares what anyone has to say on the issue.
Yes but you said that you weren't aware of a scientific answer to the question but either abortion is allowed or it isn't so which is it?

How do you deal with the questions that science can't answer? It may be irrelevant to you but it isn't to others.

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