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How do we know? A scientific theory of knowledge

  1. May 13, 2003 #1
    http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/wpnz/howdoweknow.htm" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2003 #2
    That link isn't working for me, you might need to check it.
  4. May 14, 2003 #3

    The link is working now!
  5. May 14, 2003 #4
    Hmm ... Communism. Now I see. :wink:

    Wouldn't it be fair to say that Communism is anti-religion?

    I'm beginning to see why you have such an inherent need to witness its demise. It never really occurred to me how much Communism embraced materialism, but now I can see that it does. While there's no doubt Communism has had a hand in the demoralization of western culture, through it's promotion of materialism. And perhaps it's one reason why people think that science, through its promotion of materialism, is also anti-religious?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  6. May 14, 2003 #5
    I don't have things against religion, people should be able to practice religion in their private domain (also: not in the domain of schools, government, the state, etc).

    Communism is based on marxism-leninism, which contains:
    1. Dialectical and historical materialism
    2. Political economy
    3. Scientific communism

    I think you use here the word 'materialism' not in the context of it's philosophical notion.

    I think most scientist are effectively materialists (they need the point of view of materialism to be abe to perform science) irrespective of their own personal beliefs and convictions.
  7. May 14, 2003 #6
    more then fair, seeing as marx labeled religion as the opiate of the masses or whatever it was exactly.
  8. May 14, 2003 #7
    "If you are not a socialist when your ninteen, you have no heart. If you are still a socialist when you are thirtnine you have no brain." Bismark

    Question: How can anyone give any credability to an economic philosopher who let his wife and children starve to death because he couldn't or wouldn't get a job? Communism does not take into account the nature of human beings and what motivates them. It is at best idealistic and has no relevencey in the real world of Man as he is. In an idealistic world with perfect human beings any and all forms of government and economics would work.
  9. May 14, 2003 #8
    I don't think this is true at all. Why would it matter if the external worlds is real? If it isn't, then science is studying the laws of the perceived world.

    I remember back in PF 2 there was a debate between LifeGazer and Tom on this very topic. LifeGazer was agreeing with you that science assumes and needs materialism and Tom was saying that it did no such thing. He claimed science didn't need to make an assumption either way to do what it does. I think I agree with Tom on this.
    Last edited: May 14, 2003
  10. May 14, 2003 #9


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    Strange... I remember the opposite. LG was saying that assumption of an external reality is unjustified and a hinderance to looking for knowledge, and people were disagreeing.
  11. May 14, 2003 #10


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    pretty much.
  12. May 14, 2003 #11
    Actully the debate you're talking about happens at least once a month. The one I'm talking about happened only once that I saw. LifeGazer was claiming that science has materialism as an assumption. Tom was saying that science makes no such assumption. According to Tom, science only assumes that the laws of physics are the same everywhere.
  13. May 15, 2003 #12
    That is his personal view, this does not contradict the fact that LG acknowledges the fact that science works on the assumptions of materialism.
  14. May 15, 2003 #13
    Is that to blame on his philosophic work or the social/economic conditions of that time.

    Is Jesus to be condemnded, cause he let himself being crucified, does that discredit christianity?

    Wrong. Communism is not an utopian world, with perfect human beings.
    Communism is not of Idealistic nature, which does not contradict the fact that communist have ideals.

    The relevance of the ideas of Communism for the real world, are not to be neglected, cause they are overwhelming. Without those ideas, in the capitalist societies, labourers would not have had social benefits, labour rights, etc.

    The idea of communism is that the human socieity is ever in transition from one form to another form, determined by the laws that govern the economy and production relations.
    Phases of human society are known under the name of primitive-communism (early humans), antique slaveholder societies (Greek/Roman empire), Feudalism (middle ages), Capitalism. Capitalism is not the end stage, it's highest stage is that of imperialism, which describes the current phase of capitalism. Socialism and thereafter communism will necessary follow.

    The world wide recession, the war, and downfall of the capitalist economy, are clear signs that imperialism/capitalism meets it's deepest crisis today, and necessitates us to take another route for the progress of humanity.
    Last edited: May 15, 2003
  15. May 15, 2003 #14
    Determinism vs. Free will

    From the thread, https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1873&perpage=15&pagenumber=4" ...

    Isn't this pretty much what Communism entails? In fact it's probably where "modern determinism" originates ...

    What do you say comrades, shall we take another meeting? ... that we might "impose" upon your views?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  16. May 15, 2003 #15
    Re: Determinism vs. Free will

    Quite on the contrary! Communism will provide freedom for those, that have not sufficient material basis for enabling their lives, despite or due to the fact, that others have "free will".

    It is not about conjcturing against "free will" as such, it is conjecturing against stating the absoluteness of that principle of free will on a societal level, as if other aspects of humanity (being interdependend on each other, forming a social group where one lives with each other, and not concurs with each other for available means of living) would be totally irrelevant...
  17. May 15, 2003 #16
    Stalinist-Leninist communism is, by its own definition, the dialectical opposite capitalism. Both are forms of fundamentalism with roots stretching back to Aristotelian logic. Although notably useful in the historical development of the sciences, their days are numbered as modern science is not founded upon fundamentalism and, in fact, is slowly sweeping fundamentalism under the carpet in favor of more useful, flexible paradymes. Likewise, the capitalistic world is becoming more socialist while the communist world becomes more capitalistic as the realities of life continue to contradict both extreme theories.
  18. May 15, 2003 #17
    Could religion even be considered idealism? Doesn't idealism require that you have actual physical proof sometime or another?

    In religions origin it would appear, to me, that it was based on materialism; they observed the world and everything in it, saw supernatural phenomena and had no explanation for the observations, so they created god(s). Today we have explained these observations and therefore have no use for god(s) and might label religion under idealism, but this would be crediting religion with real physical proof, which they don't have.

    So, unless I'm terribly wrong in my assumptions, where does religion actually fall into in light of materialism and idealism?
  19. May 15, 2003 #18
    Modern Idealism, Materialism, and mainstream religions all evolved out fundamentalist dialectical, true or false, Aristotelian logic. The paradox of existence is often cited as proof positive for God using this true or false fundamentalism of Aristotle. From the materialistic viewpoint, God is used to explain the existence, validity, and authenticity of the material world. From an idealistic viewpoint, God is used to explain the existence, validity, and authenticity of our emotions and general cognition. Thus fundamentalist western religion can both embrace and reject fundamentalist Idealism and Materialism and vice versa.
  20. May 15, 2003 #19
    The above just shows that you have a dogmatic fundamentalist opinion on communism, and the theory upon which communism is built. I can just state that one of the pillars of marxism-leninism is dialectical materialism. One important dialectical law, that just explains your observation, is the "interprenation of opposites".
  21. May 15, 2003 #20
    Materialism goes without any reference to God, as far as materialism is concerned, there is no God. Dialectical materialism is far from Aristotelian logic. This post just shows, you have not much knowledge about dialectical materialism.
  22. May 15, 2003 #21
    Idealism is a Philosophy and thus is not equal to religion. However the concepts which come up in Objective Idealism (such as the Absolute Idea -- Hegel) do not stand very far from religious concepts of God.

    Materialism takes the position of science. Materialist philosophy could not be established without science. Religion does not originate in materialism, cause materialism actually tries to explain the world as it is, and does not deal with forces or entities that act outside of nature.
  23. May 15, 2003 #22
    No, it just shows that I know the definition of words. Dialectical Materialism is based on the Fundamentalist views of black and white, true and false, and, most pointedly, that change is the only constant (sic) --the fundamental belief that this is the ultimate truth or reality.

    A religious scientist, for example, might adopt a Materialist view while working or paying their bills, but at other times such as when contemplating the meaning of life adopt a religious view. This is characteristic of fundamentalist western civilization as well which loves to draw neat lines between church and state, real and imagined, thoughts and feelings, etc. Again, what defines each persuit as fundamentalist is not the particulars, but the assertion of absolutes... of ultimate truth and the rejection of the alternative.
  24. May 15, 2003 #23
    No. Dialectics is about contradictions, that happen to reside within anything in nature. Black vs. White is not realy a contradiction.
    You should do your homework again on dialectics.

    Yeah. But let's keep the debate healthy, I was talking about science not about scientists. Of course a scientist can have personal judgements and opinions and or beliefs, that are not in any way sceintific or materialistic.
    Yet the occupation of science is not about introducing the supernatural, God, or Santa Clause, cause it might help to work out some very profound problems in physics, for example.
    That's not science.
  25. May 15, 2003 #24
    Note that I never said anything about black vs. white, just black and white. Black vs. white is your personal interpretation and has more to do with your attitude I assume than my logic since I clearly stated my position. Before you make further recommendations I suggest you read my statements carefully.

    However, along these same lines of reasoning, the position that change is the only constant is in opposition to alternative fundamentalist views. If Dialectical Materialism never took a position in opposition to anything else it would not be called Dialectical Materialism but, instead, mysticism. Thus, to say it is not about contradictions is to contradict its application and definition.

    So, you are asserting then that from a Dialectical Materialistic point of view science is seperate and distinct and in conflict with religion?
  26. May 15, 2003 #25
    What happens in a few years when there is economic recovery, and the war is over? And the economies WILL recovery. They always do. Recessions are not necessarily signs of a flawed economic system. Recessions are normal occurrences in capitalism. And why would the current combination of recession and war mark the peak of capitalism when this combination has been experienced many times in the past without necessitating communism? Is the sky falling? Again? sigh.

    And what is meant by "the downfall of the capitalists economy"? It was mentioned in your post in the list of contributing factors and not as the result, implying that it is an obvious fact of today like recession and war are. What's this all about?

    In a few years this is one those post that you wish you never posted. Because I bet every cent I own this isn't going to happen.
    Last edited: May 15, 2003
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