Faith in Bacon's scientific method

Oct 2019
676
48
USA
I'm curious what the basis of faith in Francis Bacon's scientific method is.

Much of it seems to be ignorance or superstitious notions, such as people falsely conflating Bacon's method with "science" in general, which has always been a part of human existence, prior to any specific intellectual movement (e.x. the European Enlightenment); most of the technology of the modern world today stems less from Baconian science (which was invented after the Renaissance), and more to the Industrial Revolution, and the various inventors of that era.

Along with the notion that science couldn't have developed in any other way. Many inventions, such as plumbing systems and gunpowder were invented during ancient cultures, such as that of Rome and China, prior to Francis Bacon's method gaining popularity, in conjunction with religions or beliefs in God or higher powers - so falsely crediting inventions and scientific developments to Bacon's method of science specifically, as opposed to human innovation which has always been around (such as in the case of the Renaissance men), seems erroneous to me.


Many of the myths and pseudo-histories, such as that of the Dark Ages, for example, are also based on ignorant notions - in the Middle Ages, the Church and science were governed by the same system, while today science has developed into a separate system based on Bacon's method.

The idea that "religion" held scientific progress back is something of a myth (scientific progress itself, being a faith based notion, which has not always been shown to be true, such as it leading to the proliferation of nuclear arms, rather than world peace - as well as giving the 9/11 hijackers the weapons they needed to blow up buildings, whereas had they had only "religion", all they could have done was pray about it, rather than actually do it, which science allowed them to). For that matter, regarding developments such as the moon landing - is anyone certain it had more to do with scientific progress, as opposed to an arms race with the Soviet Union - or name one thing which they benefitted from it in any way? Or why funding for scientific projects such as that shouldn't be diverted to other endeavors, such as poverty?

Today, science is a separate institution, so the "religion" which currently holds "scientific progress" back are the ethical restrictions within science (e.x. restrictions which prohibit scientists from experimenting on Jews, and things of that nature - if one wanted to remove restrictions on scientific progress, the Church is more or less irrelevant today, so they would need to work on removing the ethics from science instead).
 
Dec 2018
3,312
2,449
Wisconsin
When I push the button on my phone, I don't have faith that it's going to turn on. I have a sense of reliability that based on the evidence that 99.999% of the time I push that button, my phone turns on. I also have account after account of other people pushing that button and their phones turning on. I can also take my phone to the phone store where they can perform tests that will conclude with a reasonable amount of certainty that when that button is pushed, my phone turns on.

This false dichotomy between faith and science is maddening.

- The reason the scientific method is the best method for determining what is true and what is not is because it's demonstrable. I can run a set of experiments that reach a conclusion. I can then tell my brother how to run the experiment and he can reach the same conclusion. He can then tell his neighbor 5 blocks away about the experiment and that person can run it to reach the same conclusion. If multiple people are looking at the same set of facts and reach the same conclusion, it produces a level of confidence that the conclusion is accurate.

- There's also a fundamental misconception about what we call truth. There was a time when people believed the earth was the center of the universe. Those people used the evidence they had around them to try and understand what they were experiencing. Were they wrong? Yes, but given the available evidence, it was the best explanation they had. You know what made them change their mind? When more evidence became available. So when science says something is true, it doesn't mean it's 100% no question not a doubt can't even question it true. It just means that given the available evidence we have, it's the best explanation for how we experience reality.

- Yes, there have been many many many breakthroughs in the human race not because of the scientific method. So what. If I bet on every single NFL game this weekend by picking which color helmet I think looks best, and I get them all right, does that mean that's the best method for picking games? No. We use the scientific method because to date no other method has come close to explaining what we experience in the natural world.
 
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Oct 2019
676
48
USA
You have, in my opinion, a very funny idea of what the definition of faith is.
A fundamental belief or axiom which one's worldview is based on.

If someone for example, believed in scientific progress is "always" good, even if evidence showed that it might lead to global warming, or nuclear war instead of "progress", this would be blind faith in "science".

Or if it was revealed that religious worldviews are superior in ways to "scientific ones".

(As an example, from an empericist worldview, ideas such as "gay rights" do not exist, since they are not based on emperical evidence or testable - one could therefore argue that it would be fine to execute 100 gays if it saved 1,000 from dying from AIDS - and one couldn't object to this without faith in something, such as notions of "human rights" which developed out of Judeo-Christian concepts and institutions, such as chivalry).
 
Oct 2019
676
48
USA
I'm curious why atheists bring modern science into the equation, given that atheism has always existed in some form or another, dating back to individuals such as Epicurus.

Even if modern science didn't exist, atheists would still be atheists on the basis of some notion or another, and faith in Bacon's scientific method is a different concept entirely than merely being an atheist, so why are these two concepts being conflated?
 
Dec 2018
45
23
USA
I'm curious why atheists bring modern science into the equation, given that atheism has always existed in some form or another, dating back to individuals such as Epicurus.

Even if modern science didn't exist, atheists would still be atheists on the basis of some notion or another, and faith in Bacon's scientific method is a different concept entirely than merely being an atheist, so why are these two concepts being conflated?
Historians debate whether any of the Greeks, etc. were actually philosophical atheists rather than merely critics of the prevailing religions. Even the harshest critics of Greek religion can be caught using some god language that seems to assume the existence of some kind of god, just not the Olympian ones. These historians suggest that philosophical atheism has no clear proponants until fairly recently, with the non-believer used mostly as a boogeyman in philosophical discussions amongst believers, or with 'atheist' merely a slur used to describe anyones whose idea of piety was different than one's own. See, for example, all the history chapters in the Oxford Handbook on Atheism.

(Tongue firmly in cheek, I suspect if everyone demanded as much evidence for the existence of a god as these historians do for the existence of atheists in history, everyone would be an atheist....)

But for those atheists who are science enthusiasts, I suspect we bring it up because we recognize that the ways of knowing employed by scientists have been more productive for sussing things out about how the universe ticks than the things that pass for ways of knowing in various religions (various kinds of naked assertions). Speaking for myself, this contrast in ways of knowing is at the heart of why I left religion and why I am a science enthusiast.

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RNG

Forum Staff
Apr 2013
40,188
28,050
La La Land North
When I push the button on my phone, I don't have faith that it's going to turn on. I have a sense of reliability that based on the evidence that 99.999% of the time I push that button, my phone turns on. I also have account after account of other people pushing that button and their phones turning on. I can also take my phone to the phone store where they can perform tests that will conclude with a reasonable amount of certainty that when that button is pushed, my phone turns on.

This false dichotomy between faith and science is maddening.

- The reason the scientific method is the best method for determining what is true and what is not is because it's demonstrable. I can run a set of experiments that reach a conclusion. I can then tell my brother how to run the experiment and he can reach the same conclusion. He can then tell his neighbor 5 blocks away about the experiment and that person can run it to reach the same conclusion. If multiple people are looking at the same set of facts and reach the same conclusion, it produces a level of confidence that the conclusion is accurate.

- There's also a fundamental misconception about what we call truth. There was a time when people believed the earth was the center of the universe. Those people used the evidence they had around them to try and understand what they were experiencing. Were they wrong? Yes, but given the available evidence, it was the best explanation they had. You know what made them change their mind? When more evidence became available. So when science says something is true, it doesn't mean it's 100% no question not a doubt can't even question it true. It just means that given the available evidence we have, it's the best explanation for how we experience reality.

- Yes, there have been many many many breakthroughs in the human race not because of the scientific method. So what. If I bet on every single NFL game this weekend by picking which color helmet I think looks best, and I get them all right, does that mean that's the best method for picking games? No. We use the scientific method because to date no other method has come close to explaining what we experience in the natural world.
And further, if you push the button and the phone doesn't turn on, it isn't because you have displeased god, it's because the damned thing is broken, or you forgot to charge it or some other earthly, rational reason. Again a conclusion reached through repeated observation.
 

RNG

Forum Staff
Apr 2013
40,188
28,050
La La Land North
A fundamental belief or axiom which one's worldview is based on.

If someone for example, believed in scientific progress is "always" good, even if evidence showed that it might lead to global warming, or nuclear war instead of "progress", this would be blind faith in "science".

Or if it was revealed that religious worldviews are superior in ways to "scientific ones".

(As an example, from an empericist worldview, ideas such as "gay rights" do not exist, since they are not based on emperical evidence or testable - one could therefore argue that it would be fine to execute 100 gays if it saved 1,000 from dying from AIDS - and one couldn't object to this without faith in something, such as notions of "human rights" which developed out of Judeo-Christian concepts and institutions, such as chivalry).
From Mx. Google:

Faith
1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
"this restores one's faith in politicians"

2. strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
Belief
1. an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
"his belief in the value of hard work"
Axiom
1. a statement or proposition which is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true.
Note the lack of any logic or proof in any of those.

And your gay rights example is all wrong. Gays have rights. They were given them the same way you got yours, by a government. No god involved.
 
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