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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Gab@StFerdinandIII - Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from.  It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bruno Latour and the cult of science. Fetishes in place of facts.

Science is not an 'enlightened' objective project conducted by angels.

by StFerdIII

 

Bruno Latour [his site] is a French Philosopher and noted iconoclast who is Catholic. He is quite well-known for his agitated discussions on the cult of science, writing about the 'faith' of science since 1979. Because he is a Catholic, the atheists, who believe that nothing generates everything, hold him in deep contempt. For atheists, anyone who is spiritual, adheres to moral law, believes in ethics, real science, critical thinking and reason as well as faith; is just another hairy, stupid, brutish example of Darwin's theory gone wrong. Only the atheists who scream that chance is everything are 'smart'.


 

Latour's crime has been to see science for what it is. An endeavour of 'faith', in which world-views inform whatever undertaking is being pursued. In 1979 he published a book widely condemned by 'scientists' about the real scientific world in a laboratory named, “Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts”, co-authored with the British sociologist Steve Woolgar. The common sense observation was that there is vast gulf between the public perception of what is science, and what actually goes on. Climate Gate 2009 and 2011 should remind us that science is as corruptible as any human process or institution.


 

Latour has believed since the 1970s that scientists are not angelic observers, objectively concerned with facts that nature places before them, but are indeed quite crafty cultural operators, manipulating vast technical resources to articulate new and quite artificial phenomena and ideas; and then disseminating these rather unscientific conclusions with armies of monographs, books, presentations and grant-based arcana. They are also quite fond of insular self-reinforcing groups called by some as 'peer review'. Climate Gate again screams out that such political associations are unscientific and quite criminal.


 

In 1991 Latour published “We have never been Modern” where he excoriates those who believe that only in our 'modern' society have we been 'enlightened scientists', dispassionately seeking truth and wisdom, not to mention applied technological advancements. As Latour writes there is no simple division between the so-called enlightened scientific modernity and the blighted, toothless pre-modern primitivism. Anyone who believes in a 'Dark Age' in which science and math died for 1000 years, is in my words, an idiot. The entire edifice of modern society was built by the Medieval.


 

As Latour states, our inflated and quite misplaced egocentricity in which 'we moderns' are the only educated, rational and thoroughly intelligent humans in history implies ignorance not science; and an array of distinctions – between objectivity and subjectivity, nature and society, reason and emotion, and knowledge and opinion – is so full of errors and omissions as to be as useless as your local climate model.


 

His book “On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods” coherently argues that what scientists actually do is radically different from what simple-minded philosophers suppose, and considerably more interesting; and it is not a big step to recognise that the same may apply to what believers actually do when they are being religious. Hence there is something wrong, as Latour puts it in his new book, with “belief in belief”. In other words, Latour comes full circle back to 1979, and claims the obvious. Scientists, even those drenched in the cult of Atheism, are believers. They believe that nothing came from something. Or that there is no mind just a brain. Or that chemicals magically form and reform to allow conscious thought. Or that randomness can lead to intelligence. Whatever the belief system, it permeates the scientist.


 

Worse, most scientists are not even cognisant of their own faith. They look down on 'believers' or the religious as being lower life forms. The atheist scientist has a malformed faith that his fetish and belief system are 'superior'. This supreme form of arrogance which animates the beliefs of fools is itself a superstition; a delusion which Latour names “factish” (or faitiche in French). A factish, in short, is what happens when our own “facts” turn out to be fetishes, and the “fetishes” of others turn out to be facts. Science is as much a fetish as it is a process of generating facts.

 

Science is quite obviously full of factish, fetishes, faith, and arrogant naivety. Not to understand this is simply to accord science the gospel of a ruling cult and to quite stupidly accept any claim by anyone who is labelled as a 'scientist'.

 


 


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