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Compare physics/chemistry with social sciences!

  1. Nov 19, 2004 #1
    This web site is primarily for physical scientists—especially those interested in the physics of civilizations millions of years into a finally dying universe! Would that social scientists could also predict the future, even if only for a single century—or even just the next ten years, or less! Unfortunately, the social and physical sciences are worlds—or universes—apart. Unlike in the social sciences where terms have confused meanings, physics and chemistry word-confusion is avoided. The concept of an atom is never confused with that of a compound, and that of a molecule is never confused with that of an atomic particle. It is just such clarity that has made our scientific-technological age possible.

    The social sciences have made great progress, also—progress in collecting data. What they do with that data, however, has been inhibited by the way they use words. Their concept of the word, “religion,” for example is “the belief in God.” Shintoism and the Chinese ancestor worship faiths are beliefs in a universe of spirits—not gods. What about the great mass of Hindus who do not believe in the supreme god Brama? Is the Buddha a god? Do Confucians believe in a God? The US defines Scientology as a religion even though its practitioners do not worship a God. Finally, Marx-Leninism is often defined, academically, as a “secular religion” even though it espouses atheism.

    Does that mean that it is impossible to explicitly define “religion?” No, it means that no explicit, functional definition has ever been adopted because it would lead to conclusions that offend the faithful—conclusions that would even offend some of our secular ideals. As we shall see, itwould even offend Harvard Marxists. By improperly defining “religion,” however, we make it impossible to explain what religion really is, why we have always had it, how it developed, what is its inherent structure, and what it will be and do in the future.

    An accurate definition is that “religion” is a functional process. It is a world-view and way of thinking self-consistently built up from the answers to only four questions: “what is our origin, our goals, our means to their achievement (the moral system) and what stands in our way?” By being consistent with the answers to these four questions, religions are able to be built into whole closed systems of thinking. However, the only inherent connection between religion and the belief in spirits is ignorance.

    By means of such belief systems, we humans have gained the language-gendered ability to expand our hunting-gathering groups into huge conglomerates of states we call “societies.” “Religion,” in other words, is the bond of “society.” That not only defines “religion” but, as well, “society.”

    Of course, one must go on from there. To be scientific, we would have to restrict the meaning of “religion” to that meaning alone. Religions which are unable to bond people into nations or conglomerates of nations would have to be called something else, such as “cults” or “Faiths.” The word, “society,” would also have to be restricted only to people bonded by a mainstream religion—and only to those which are self-governed. A valid such definition would leave a lot of such “loose ends” which would have to be worked out.

    No one wants such a functional, such an explicit, definition, however. The faithful balk at seeing their religion as only serving a social bonding role. Even most scientists shy away from defining the word in a way that indicates we will always have religions. Finally, the definition is also offensive to our secular beliefs because it means the “secular” is “all newer ideals and doctrines added to the general, religious bond.” Finally, it also offends Harvard Marxists because it means that Asiatic Marxism is a “religion” —even though a very faulty one!

    Since no one wants such a definition, social scientists had to find a way to avoid the need for it. Social theorists could hardly say “we don’t want an accurate definition of “religion!” They had to find an intuitive, subliminal way to avoid it. Their solution was to simply came up with the word, “culture,” and they were saved! They decreed that instead of representing just the classical arts, “culture” stood for “religion,” “society,” and “civilization.” It even stood for science, secular ideals, technology, customs, superstitions, and traditions—even a people’s magic! They had created an omnibus word that meant almost everything. Hence, it came to mean almost nothing! It was no wonder that by 1952, one social scholar, Alfred Kroeber, had discovered that the”culture” word was being used by his colleges in some one hundred and sixty-five different ways!

    Such problems could be ignored, and so they were. The word “culture” was a big success. It enabled social scientists to end their embarrassing failure to explain why civilizations rise and fall. Civilizations do not even rise or fall because they do not exist! Only “cultures” exist. There were no such things as “religions” either because they, also, had become just “cultures.” When they needed to deal with the specific concept of religion, they merely resorted to substitute words and came up with such beauties as “form-worlds of great myth,” “oversimplified diagrammatic formulas,” “socio-cultural phenomenon,” “mythical configurations” and “prime symbols.” By means of such word proliferation, they almost blotted out the whole concept of religion in their—now our—world view and way of thinking. That explains why, in the Near East, the world-view is that we are conquering Arabs, not Islam. Jewishness is a Semitic racial type, and being against Judaism means being “anti-Semitic.” Africa’s is riddled with “ethnic conflicts” and “Communism” (Marxism) is an economic system!

    Social scientists actually get away with all that! They found a way to deal with the real world for us that is not of this world! Yet, let no one doubt but what they are all deadly serious about it. Any effort to unravel their rationalizing is met with the same emotional vehemence which is generally directed towards child molesters and mass murders. The reputation and livelihood of the whole social science academic world depends upon their maintaining this verbal nonsense just the way it is.

    It would, however, be interesting to see the real world, finally—wouldn’t it? To be sure, it means re-interpreting a lot of data in a lot of various social sciences, but it is possible to do. The trick is to first figure out how the rationalizing has occurred. Then, with that knowledge and the concise definitions, unravel the rationalizing from the way the social science consensus interprets the data. That avoids the need to go back to that whole mountain of data, itself, again. If we actually do it, would it mean the end of the modern-day intellectual confusion and its sea of “opinions?” Would it then be no longer necessary to idealize “the open mind” because there would then be only one world view and way of thinking—the most accurate one? After all, there cannot be conflicting “truths.” Wouldn’t it mean a single, self-consistent, closed system of thinking and world-view?

    Can it even be done? It has been done—all in sixteen chapters---but learning a whole new world view and way of thinking is no simple task. It is like learning a new language, like using the computer. It is a task for younger minds. Anyone ready for the challenge and eager to build for the future, can access it free. In fact, it is a sort of call to arms for those who see the need to build a society able to control its own population growth, protect its environment, and push out into space and colonize our solar system—then on further out into our universe for the next several thousand years. It is the final catch up of the social sciences to the physical sciences, and the way to build a whole new society and civilization. All this and more is available free at
    http://humanpurpose.simplenet.com

    Charles Darso
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2004
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  3. Nov 25, 2004 #2

    Nereid

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    Welcome to Physics Forums Charles Darso!

    This is an interesting first post, but I worry a bit that it is just a (self-)advertisement (which we don't allow here at PF).

    Perhaps you could clarify one thing, at least for me, very quickly? What is the domain of 'social sciences', in your post? To what extent does it include economics?
     
  4. Nov 26, 2004 #3
    I think the thing which facilities discourse in the humanities would be a certain sense of subjectivity in it and the dispute over certain terms in it. Lexicons in humanities are indeed a very sticky thing.

    I don't think that its wise to compare the human and physical sciences as they differ in structure and approach. The physical sciences hardly mull over the same thing over and over again. Ok, you've got classical mechanics, then its over to relativity, then string theory. It is a very progressive kinda thing. Sure, older concepts may be revisited in newer theories, but its mostly progressive.

    The social sciences talk about the same stuff over and over again, but continually formulating it and making it relevant to a certain "culture" and time. Having fixed nomenclature in the social sciences defeats its purpose imo. Because the humanities thrive on discourse and the rediscovery of current theories.
     
  5. Dec 3, 2004 #4
    What is the rule about self advertisement if the post itself is useful... lets say someone here wrote a book what would be wrong with a description and a link to buy it... I could see about excessive/abusive advertising but whats wrong with advertixing to people who want to be advertised to?
     
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