Dec 27, 1999 06:20 AM
by Bart Lidofsky
> > Unfortunately, we have too many people in the Society who adapt a
> > Communist/post-modernist attitude towards science, where science is
> > entirely psychological, and depends on one's politics.
> Er, can you name 5?
I can name a dozen or more, but doing so would require that I quote
people, which I do not do. Suffice it to say that it is especially
prevelant among the Therapeutic Touch faction (although there are a
number, especially some of the major authors, who are vocally against
that attitude), as well as at least two major Theosophical authors.
> I certainly hear a lot of people in the TS *complaining*
> about "post-modernism", but on the whole the TS seems mostly filled with old
> folks who love the late 19th century texts, and long for the days when they
> could believe in solid absolutes. And curiously enough, the *critics* of
> post-modernism, despite their insistence on absolutes, seem to rarely notice
> that very few people actually go to the extremes they quote ... but rather
> have introduced points that even a lot of scientists feel are credible.
Please note that post-modernism is a tool, much like a hammer. A hammer
is wonderful for joining two pieces of wood together, but if you try to
use it to clean a window, it makes the window much clearer, but it
ceases to function as a window.
I was not criticizing postmodernism in general, but a very narrow
subset of it; the subset where 1+1=3 if you're REALLY sincere. The idea
that if your observations do not match my politics, then your
observations are wrong.
> scientist that *doesn't* believe that there isn't a helleva lot of politics
> in modern science ... well, they *aren't* a working scientist. Any scientist
> that *doesn't* take into account their own prejudices and biases isn't a
> very good one.
True. Of course, in psychology/psychiatry, politics have taken over so
heavily that one wonders where the science, if any, exists....
> The extreme of post-modernism says that everything is
> psychological ... but the basic *point* is that psychology and politics
> *does* have a significant amount to do with what gets studied ... what
> research gets funded.
You did not mention the conclusion of that extreme of post-modernism:
Since no knowledge is 100% true, then all knowledge is equally false.
Saying the world is a sphere is wrong, saying the world is flat is
wrong, so they are both equally wrong, and therefore both equally right
(for those who didn't pay attention in high school, the world is not a
perfect sphere, but a sphere is a far closer model to the actual shape
than a plane).
> The really curious thing to me is that almost everyone that makes strident
> arguments against "post-modernism" ... are themselves making the arguments
> for psychological and political reasons. They bring the argument up even if
> it has nothing to do with anything being talked about.
What was being talked about was the attitudes of TS members towards
> Why is it "unfortunate" that anyone in the Society adopts any particular
> stance? What if a few people *do* believe in "post-modernism"? So what! Its
> not as though the TS is *relevant* t5o modern society. Not like its having
> an effect. Its *hardly* a society of people doing anything remotely
> resembling science. -JRC
Because they are rejecting the very advances to science that were
caused, at least in part, by the Theosophical Society, and locking
themselves into a dogmatic point of view, rejecting that there has been
any change in 100 years.
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