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|Understanding The Epistemological Foundations Of Scientific Totalitarianism by immortal2: 7:47am On May 10|
Author: Phillip D. Collins, June 11th, 2009
Scientific totalitarianism is certainly not a new topic in the halls of political science and history. Given its bloody legacy of democide (i.e., state-sanctioned genocide, mass murder, and politicide) and its prolific spread throughout the world, scientific totalitarianism remains a preoccupying sociopolitical phenomenon of the 20th century. Yet, few researchers have examined the epistemological foundations of scientific totalitarianism. In turn, an understanding of scientific totalitarianism’s epistemological roots elucidates an occult conception of science, which edified the sundry Weltanschauungs of sociopolitical Utopians (e.g., socialists of either the communist or fascist ilk). In light of this core epistemological commonality, all forms of sociopolitical Utopianism could be considered the manifestations of a trans-historical occult counterculture movement.
To understand the occult conception of science, one must first establish a working definition for traditional science. The word “science” is derived from the Latin word scientia, which means “knowing” or “knowledge.” Thus, there is an epistemological dimension to science. After all, epistemology is etymologically derived from the Greek word episteme, which also means “knowing” or “knowledge.” In recent years, science has been couched in the epistemology of radical empiricism, the theory that all knowledge is derived from the senses. Within such epistemologically rigid parameters, the gaze of contemporary science has been firmly fixed upon the ontological confines of the physical universe. Whether the modern scientist realizes it or cares to admit it, radical empiricism is the epistemological nucleus of the occult conception of science.
Yet, science has not always labored under such epistemological rigidity. In Confession of Nature, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz establishes the centrality of a supra-sensible God to science. According to Leibniz, the proximate origins of “magnitude, figure, and motion,” which constitute the “primary qualities” of corporeal bodies, “cannot be found in the essence of the body” (de Hoyos,”The Enlightenment’s Crusade Against Reason”). Linda de Hoyos reveals the point at which science finds a dilemma: "The problem arises when the scientist asks why the body fills this space and not another; for example, why it should be three feet long rather than two, or square rather than round. This cannot be explained by the nature of the bodies themselves, since the matter is indeterminate as to any definite figure, whether square or round. For the scientist who refuses to resort to an incorporeal cause, there can be only two answers. Either the body has been this way since eternity, or it has been made square by the impact of another body. “Eternity” is no answer, since the body could have been round for eternity also. If the answer is “the impact of another body,” there remains the question of why it should have had any determinate figure before such motion acted upon it. This question can then be asked again and again, backwards to infinity. Therefore, it appears that the reason for a certain figure and magnitude in bodies can never be found in the nature of these bodies themselves."
|Re: Understanding The Epistemological Foundations Of Scientific Totalitarianism by Penguin2: 7:48am On May 10|
|Re: Understanding The Epistemological Foundations Of Scientific Totalitarianism by immortal2: 7:49am On May 10|
The same can be established for the body’s cohesion and firmness, which left Leibniz with the following conclusion: "Since we have demonstrated that bodies cannot have a determinate figure, quantity, or motion, without an incorporeal being, it readily becomes apparent that this incorporeal being is one for all, because of the harmony of things among themselves, especially since bodies are moved not individually by this incorporeal being but by each other. But no reason can be given why this incorporeal being chooses one magnitude, figure, and motion rather than another, unless he is intelligent and wise with regard to the beauty of things and powerful with regard to their obedience to their command. Therefore such an incorporeal being be a mind ruling the whole world, that is, God."
Thus, Leibniz concludes that “corporeal phenomena cannot be explained without an incorporeal principle, that is God” (ibid). In fact, the ontological plane of the physical universe cannot be considered a subsistent form of substance per se. It is underpinned by an immaterial order. The manifestation of sensible objects within corporeality is the result of the unseen interchange of transcendent principles outside of the temporal spatial realm. Rene Guenon recapitulates:
"The truth is that the corporeal world cannot be regarded as being a whole sufficient to itself, nor as being isolated from the totality of universal manifestation: on the contrary, whatever the present state of things may look like as a result of “solidification,” the corporeal world proceeds entirely from the subtle order, in which it can be said to have its immediate principle, and through that order as intermediary it is attached successively to formless manifestation and finally to the non-manifested. If it were not so, its existence could be nothing but a pure illusion, a sort of fantasmagoria behind which there would be nothing at all, which amounts to saying that it would not really exist in any way. That being the case, there cannot be anything in the corporeal world such that its existence does not depend directly on elements belonging to the subtle order, and beyond them, on some principle that can be called “spiritual,” for without the latter no manifestation of any kind is possible, on any level whatsoever".
|Re: Understanding The Epistemological Foundations Of Scientific Totalitarianism by Kubernetes: 7:57am On May 10|
Is this your post doctoral thesis?
|Re: Understanding The Epistemological Foundations Of Scientific Totalitarianism by immortal2: 7:57am On May 10|
Deriving immaterial universals (e.g., mathematical axioms, God, etc.) from the sensible world is known as abstraction. The Apostle Paul demonstrates abstraction in Romans 1:20: “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Thus, while traditional science concerned itself with the natural world, it simultaneously recognized and acknowledged the reality of universals. Herein is this researcher’s working definition for traditional science. The rejection of universals, on the other hand, paves the way for the occult conception of science.
The rejection of universals began with nominalism, a philosophical doctrine that was formulated in the Middle Ages. Nominalism originated with William of Ockham, who was born in 1290. Ockham confused ideas, which inhabited the Intellect, with the subjective images that inhabited the imagination (Coomaraswamy, “The Fundamental Nature of the Conflict Between Modern and Traditional Man–Often Called the Conflict Between Science and Faith”). As Aquinas made clear in Summa Theologiae, images only capture things in their singularity. Ideas, on the other hand, capture things in their universality:
"Our intellect cannot know the singular in material things directly and primarily. The reason for this is that the principle of singularity in material things is individual matter; whereas our intellect understands by abstracting the intelligible species from such matter. Now what is abstracted from individual matter is universal. Hence our intellect knows directly only universals. But indirectly, however, and as it were by a kind of reflexion, it can know the singular, because even after abstracting the intelligible species, the intellect, in order to understand actually, needs to turn to the phantasms in which it understands the species. Therefore it understands the universal directly through the intelligible species, and indirectly the singular represented by the phantasm. And thus it forms the proposition, “Socrates is a man.”"
Ockham failed to make this distinction, thereby reducing ideas to mere impressions on the imagination stemming from sense perception (Coomaraswamy, “The Fundamental Nature of the Conflict Between Modern and Traditional Man–Often Called the Conflict Between Science and Faith”). This epistemological confusion led Ockham to reject universals (ibid). Although Ockham still believed in God, he denied the objective character of God (ibid). Thus, God became an unknowable abstraction fraught with ambiguities.
Such a nebulous conception of God leads one to regard faith as “blind.” Yet, true faith is not blind. The Greek word for “faith” in the New Testament is pistis. The term was also invoked by Aristotle and connotes forensic proof. Forensic proof is evidentiary, not blind. Likewise, many of the Apostles made evidentiary appeals for the faith. For instance, in Acts 2:22-36, Peter makes three evidentiary citations in defense of the faith. He cites Jesus’ “miracles and wonders and signs.” He cites the empty tomb. Lastly, he cites the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Thus, Peter’s apologia was premised upon evidence or, as the term pistis connotes, proofs.
In addition to casting faith in a rather derisive light, nominalism led to the bifurcation of epistemology into what is quantifiably or empirically demonstrable and what is believed (ibid). In turn, this bifurcation is a slippery slope towards the belief that all things quantifiable represent the totality of reality. Suddenly, all of those entities that defy quantification (e.g., the “good,” the “beautiful,” dignity, God, etc.) are relegated to impotent and ambiguous subjectivism. Such epistemological rigidity underpins scientism, which mandates the universal imposition of science upon all fields of inquiry. The modern mind, chronocentric as it is, might consider such an imposition favorable. However, it is very dangerous. Michael Hoffman elaborates on this danger:
"The reason that science is a bad master and dangerous servant and ought not to be worshipped is that science is not objective. Science is fundamentally about the uses of measurement. What does not fit the yardstick of the scientist is discarded. Scientific determinism has repeatedly excluded some data from its measurement and fudged other data, such as Piltdown Man, in order to support the self-fulfilling nature of its own agenda, be it Darwinism or “cut, burn and poison” methods of cancer “treatment.""
|Re: Understanding The Epistemological Foundations Of Scientific Totalitarianism by immortal2: 8:00am On May 10|
When extended beyond its legitimate fields of application, science becomes a rigid template to which even the most complex of entities, like man, must conform. The scientific outlook acknowledges no moral master. It gives no assent to moral or esthetic judgments. In the words of B.F. Skinner, it “de-homunculizes” man, a being that was originally “defended by the literatures of freedom and dignity”.
The Enlightenment, which acted as the crucible for all modern sociopolitical Utopianism, represented the codification of Gnostic occultism as revolutionary doctrine. The new gnosis was science, which Enlightenment thinkers believed should be universally imposed upon all fields of inquiry. For the violent, revolutionary wing of the Enlightenment (e.g., the Illuminati, the Jacobins, etc.), the universal imposition of science included governance. Herein is the conceptual basis for all scientific totalitarianism.
In the context of governance, science invariably becomes an oppressor. The scientifically regimented state must jettison the concepts of freedom and dignity because they defy quantification. G.K. Chesterton elaborates on the folly of applying the scientific method to governance:
"The thing that really is trying to tyrannize through government is Science. The thing that really does use the secular arm is Science. And the creed that really is levying tithes and capturing schools, the creed that really is enforced by fine and imprisonment, the creed that really is proclaimed not in sermons but in statutes, and spread not by pilgrims but by policemen — that creed is the great but disputed system of thought which began with Evolution and has ended in Eugenics. Materialism is really our established Church; for the Government will really help it to persecute its heretics. Vaccination, in its hundred years of experiment, has been disputed almost as much as baptism in its approximate two thousand. But it seems quite natural to our politicians to enforce vaccination; and it would seem to them madness to enforce baptism."
|Re: Understanding The Epistemological Foundations Of Scientific Totalitarianism by immortal2: 8:02am On May 10|
In the scientifically regimented state, the citizen becomes little more than an amalgam of behavioral repertoires whose every thought, feeling, and idea is the product of external stimuli. From the scientistic vantage point, the populace’s motivations can be calculated and systematized, thereby allowing those few conditioners who are accountable to no moral master to develop economic and technological stimuli that can produce the desired patterns of mass behavior. Such a societal model is known as a Technocracy, which Frank Fischer defines as follows: “Technocracy, in classical political terms, refers to a system of governance in which technically trained experts rule by virtue of their specialized knowledge and position in dominant political and economic institutions” .
Aldous Huxley also posited such a societal model, which he dubbed a “scientific dictatorship”:
"The older dictators fell because they could never supply their subjects with enough bread, enough circuses, enough miracles, and mysteries. Under a scientific dictatorship, education will really work with the result that most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution. There seems to be no good reason why a thoroughly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown."
This societal model is exemplified by Henri de Saint-Simon’s physiological interpretation of the state, which extrapolated radical empiricism to “the altogether new field of social relations.” Adherents of Saint-Simon’s philosophy contended that “the key to diagnosing and curing the ills of humanity lay in an objective understanding of the physiological realities that lay behind all thinking and feeling” (Billington 212). Following this physiological interpretation of governance to its logical ends, Saint-Simon developed the precursor to Marx’s “scientific socialism”:
"Believing that the scientific method should be applied to the body of society as well as to the individual body, Saint-Simon proceeded to analyze society in terms of its physiological components: classes. He never conceived of economic classes in the Marxian sense, but his functional class analysis prepared the way for Marx."
|Re: Understanding The Epistemological Foundations Of Scientific Totalitarianism by immortal2: 8:05am On May 10|
Friedrich Engels described Marx’s theory as “scientific socialism” because both science and Marxism bestowed epistemological primacy upon observable phenomenon (“Scientific socialism,” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia). Thus, radical empiricism provides the epistemological basis for all modern forms of scientific totalitarianism.
Moreover, radical empiricism arrives at conclusions that are inescapably mystical in character. An exclusively empirical approach relegates cause to the realm of metaphysical fantasy. This holds enormous ramifications for science. What is perceived as A causing B could be merely a consequence of circumstantial juxtaposition. Although temporal succession and spatial proximity are axiomatic, causal connection is not. Affirmation of causal relationships is impossible. Given the absence of causality, all of a scientist’s findings must be taken upon faith. Ironically, science relies on the affirmation of such cause and effect relationships.
That such mystical elements pervade radical empiricism comes as little surprise. Modern science, which finds its epistemological foundations in radical empiricism, has all of the elements of a myth. Self-avowed “shaman of scientism” Michael Shermer has proposed that the scientist should assume the role of the modern mythmaker: ” . . .because of language we are also storytelling, mythmaking primates, with scientism as the foundational stratum of our story and scientists as the premier mythmakers of our time” (“The Shamans of Scientism”).
As mythmakers, modern scientific materialists have sought to supplant the traditional religious systems of the past with their own theocratic order. This new configuration of society demands a new myth. Rene Guenon eloquently synopsizes: “Thus it comes about that there has grown up in the ‘scientistic’ mentality. . .a real ‘mythology’: most certainly not in the original and transcendent meaning applicable to the traditional ‘myths,’ but merely in the ‘pejorative’ meaning which the word has acquired in recent speech”.
|Re: Understanding The Epistemological Foundations Of Scientific Totalitarianism by immortal2: 8:14am On May 10|
From this distinctly occult vantage point, technology, which represents the practical application of science, is a form of sorcery for manipulating and mastering matter. Modern science views matter as the primary substance that constitutes the fabric of the physical universe. In turn, modern science views the ontological confines of the physical universe as the totality of reality. Thus, he who has mastered matter through the gnosis of science has mastered reality itself. Reality becomes a malleable lump of clay to be molded by the omnipotent fingers of the scientific adept. Of course, such an adept would qualify as a deity. After all, shaping reality was originally the province of God. According to semiotician Elizabeth C. Hirschman, man’s apotheosis lies at the core of science as a cosmological myth:
"Faust legend, in which a medical doctor (i.e., scientist) sold his soul to Mephistopheles (i.e., the Devil) in exchange for knowledge and power belonging to God."
The Faust legend echoes the theme of Genesis 3:5, where the serpent promises Eve that “…ye shall be as gods.” The Apostle John identifies the serpent as Satan in Revelation 20:2. Not surprisingly, Satan was an object of veneration for early sociopolitical Utopians, particularly those of the Enlightenment. For instance, a picture of Lucifer (i.e., Satan’s original angelic persona) adorned the title page of the first edition of Diderot’s Encyclopedie (Goeringer, “The Enlightenment, Freemasonry, and the Illuminati”). This veneration of the Devil under his original angelic title constitutes the religion of Luciferianism. Like some varieties of Satanism, Luciferianism does not depict the devil as a literal metaphysical entity. Instead, Lucifer symbolizes the cognitive powers of man. He is the embodiment of science and reason. It is the Luciferian’s religious conviction that these two facilitative forces will dethrone the “superstitious” institutions of God and apotheosize man.
However, Lucifer would assume yet another title. The term Lucifer, as translated by St. Jerome from the original Hebrew Helel (“bright one”), shares the same meaning as Prometheus who brought fire to humanity (“Lucifer”). The mythical character of Prometheus was central to the Utopian vision of early socialist revolutionaries. James A. Billington explains:
"A recurrent mythic theme for revolutionaries — early romantics, the young Marx, the Russians of Lenin’s time — was Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods for the use of mankind."
|Re: Understanding The Epistemological Foundations Of Scientific Totalitarianism by immortal2: 8:14am On May 10|
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