It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The term scientism is used to describe the view that natural science has authority over all other interpretations of life, such as philosophical, religious, mythical, spiritual, or humanistic explanations, and over other fields of inquiry, such as the social sciences.
Primitivism is, in short, the opinion that life was better or more moral during the early stages of mankind or among primitive peoples (or children) and has deteriorated with the growth of civilization. It is a response to the perennial question of whether the development of complex civilizations and technologies has benefited or harmed mankind.
The term "noble savage" expresses the concept of the natural man, unencumbered by either civilization or divine revelation.
Socratic Question 1:
Could you please point to any current science or technology that has the potential to provide a measurably greater "good" to mankind than the converse "evil/harmful" potential of total nuclear annihilation?
Socratic Question 2:
What are the measurable benefits of science and all it's potential "good" if we're all dead?
The evolution of the human species has been directly and causally aligned with it's scientific and technological understanding and discovery.
I cannot point to any single current technology that could effect a measurably greater single “good” than total nuclear annihilation would be “bad”.
We are not all dead. But even our deaths would not erase the good already done by science. I do not believe that the past becomes meaningless just by virtue of its passing, nor that human effort is worthless if it becomes lost.
Yet I note that in his very first Socratic Question he asked me to do more or less that very thing: come up with a single “good” that was “measurably greater” than the “evil” of nuclear annihilation. I did my best to answer his question directly and to participate in the exercise of comparitive and quantitative morality implied, but I do hope we don’t have to continue too far down that path. Not because I think that my assigned position in this debate would not eventually prevail – particularly in a world of potentialities I think that for every problem that technology raises a matching technological solution can be posited. But I think such an exercise would avoid the more interesting angles of the topic.
I for my part will do my best to keep stuff "interesting" though I favor staying on topic to achieve such lofty expectations.
… the debate topic as stated is false.
.. the most important contribution to the human spirit and the human race of science has been science itself.
In fact, again as I stated in my opening post, one cannot fathom humanity sans science or even attempt to separate one from the other. As my opponent so eloquently expressed, scientific exploration defines much of what it is to be human and more often than not, is born of noble and virtuous intent.
Furthermore, I'm am moved for my opponent's desire to engage in an "interesting" debate, and I empathize with her wish that the debate topic were framed differently,
Indeed we seem to agree on this. And this, though my opponent would misdirect us into a squabble over single technologies, is the crux of this debate.
To try to paint my description of the topic as false as in some way an attack on the framers of the topic is the most basic sort of misdirection by schrodingers dog. To interpret it as an attempt to avoid the topic is absurd.
As for his contention that my agreement that no single, current technology has a potential for good greater than nuclear annihilation is bad is a concession of the debate – again, absurd.
If anyone has conceded this debate, it is schrodingers dog in acknowledging that “scientific exploration defines much of what it is to be human.”
The Doomsday Clock conveys how close humanity is to catastrophic destruction--the figurative midnight--and monitors the means humankind could use to obliterate itself. First and foremost, these include nuclear weapons, but they also encompass climate-changing technologies and new developments in the life sciences that could inflict irrevocable harm.
“I believe we are moving inexorably to a nuclear catastrophe and nobody seems to be paying attention,” Perry said. “It is a real and imminent danger, and one acknowledged by the Bush administration. But the administration has not yet connected the dots between the danger they see and the actions they must take to deal with that danger.
Nuclear war is considered to bear existential risk for civilization on Earth. en.wikipedia.org...
During the Industrial Revolution, a period of history in Europe and North America where there were great advances in science and technology, the success in reducing death rates was attributable to several factors: (1) in-creases in food production and distribution, (2) improvement in public health (water and sanitation), and (3) medical technology (vaccines and antibiotics), along with gains in education and standards of living within many developing nations.
Gradually, over a period of time, these discoveries and inventions spread throughout the world, lowering death rates and improving the quality of life for most people.
Scarcity is the fundamental economic problem of having seemingly unlimited human needs and wants, in a world of limited resources. It states that society has insufficient productive resources to fulfill all human wants and needs.
some societies are locked in a race between a rising requirement for ingenuity and their capacity to provide it.
Most of these arguments boil down to a simple and bold assertion: human beings are smart enough— when given the right incentives—to solve any problem they might face.
The path we are following, as individual societies and as a species, is unsustainable. Our social, economic, and technological systems are now incomprehensibly and often unmanageably complex, they operate at unprecedented velocities, and they produce sudden, sharp, and often harmful surprises over ever-shorter intervals of time. Our rising consumption of energy and fresh water is unsustainable, and we are putting enormous strain on the planet’s natural environment, including its climate system. In coming decades, these deep stresses could converge and combine in ways that cause violent breakdown of states and a collapse of global economic and political institutions.