Posts Tagged ‘society’

Global Warming And A Sustainable Society


How you live in a community, and the direction you wish it to take, needs to be based on ethical, not scientific  principles.  If you attempt to base your society or personal decisions (or the solution of  ills) on science alone, then I can see it going nowhere other than to falsify the attempt as an immoral enterprise and ultimately to  result in the corruption of both science and society.

Science only hypothesizes on how things work, not why they should be one way or another.  That “why” is a question outside the realm of science. True science is for the most part value free , its results are independent of your opinions of them, but no human community can be so maintained without values. When you allow your social agenda to be hitched to a scientific theory, then you endanger both the community and the science when the scientific theory is falsified.

A good example of what I mean can be seen in global warming, or what I prefer to call climate change. Those that advocate scientific models touting to show global warming also happen to be socially progressive.  Indeed, it is a guiding principle of progressives that we need to model our society on a more sustainable framework. It would be truly unfortunate for progressives in this noble goal to be dismissed because they push sustainable solutions based on a false scientific model.

The values we hold in science must be separated from those we hold in community.  The former only tells us how we know something, the latter tells us what we should do with that knowledge. A sustainable lifestyle is an appropriate goal independent of any result of climate change.  That the science of climate change has gotten muddied by political, economic or other social concerns threatens to invalidate all in the mix.

Many know what constitutes scientific knowledge, fewer can give an adequate account (without dogma) of what is moral.

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