On the Usefulness of Different Paradigms for Different Purposes, Revisited
By Ken K. Gourdin
This post may be considered a follow-up to “On Purposes and Paradigms: On the Usefulness of Different Paradigms for Different Purposes,” available at the following address (this and any other links last accessed February 12, 2019): https://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/on-purposes-and-paradigms/. A frequent skeptical contributor to Professor Dan Peterson’s Patheos blog at Sic et non made the comment which spawned it (and which appears in quotation marks below), and I responded:
[Screen name redacted]: “The number of confirmed scientific principles that would be invalidated by these [supernatural or spiritual [i.e., religious]] claims would essentially render the scientific enterprise an unreliable guide to reality.”
Oh, baloney! It would do so only for people who live in your single-paradigm-to-the-total-exclusion-of-all-other-paradigms world. As Professor Peterson has pointed out (again and again and again and again), there are more than a few believing scientists who have no problem using commonly accepted scientific paradigms for the consideration of scientific questions while freely using other paradigms for the consideration of other types of questions. And as I have pointed out to you several times, people of various religious stripes, and even those who are not religious at all, have wrestled and do wrestle with such questions all the time: philosophers, poets and other writers, musicians, ethicists, logicians, and so on.
As loudly and as incessantly as you shout, “Science is the ultimate arbiter of truth and meaning!” the people in the disciplines I mentioned in the preceding paragraph (along with others; that’s hardly an exhaustive list) would (and do) beg to differ.