Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Trust and Science

June 12th, 2017 by G.

Thinking out loud here.

One of the great things about the internet is you can get to know foreigners. We’re all the same under the skin, etc., etc., but foreigners are also foreign. For instance, my experience out in the Great Digital Unknown has tended to validate the insight that Anglo-Americans are more empirical and pragmatic, and others, especially Eastern Europeans, are very abstract thinkers.

I think its because of trust.

Empiricism requires trust. You never have enough time to find out the facts yourself. And without trust, you’re never sure if the “facts” have been arranged to deceive you. Reason, in principle, can be checked by anyone. The antique Greeks were faction-fighting quarrelers–and the great philosophers of their day. The Romans had asabiya and trust–and they were practical minded people.

In our day, Anglo-America is or was the highest trust society in the world, and also highly empirical.

  • Mormons are high trust and our religion notoriously shrugs off doctrinal fine points.  Do the Amish also?  They also strike me as very high trust.  In contrast, as the Roman Empire declined, doctrinal disputes multiplied.
  • East Asians are even less abstract thinkers, or so stereotype would hold, to the point that they don’t even generalize from empirical points.  Does this disprove my  notion or is something else going on?
  • Traditional Judaism was not very doctrinal in the Christian metaphysical sense, but was highly disputatious in the Talmudic sense.  Does this have any implications?
  • Science used to be healthier, partly because experiments were checked more back in the day, which was when our society was also  healthier, i.e., more trusting.  Its a counter indicator of my notion, sure.  But I think a lot of the experimental verification wasn’t about deep mistrust of other scientists.  Partly it was a matter of principle, partly it was just a delight in experiencing things for oneself.  Experi-ment=making an experience.  Experimental science incarnates material truths.


Comments (2)
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June 12th, 2017 10:49:32

June 12, 2017

I think the science thing is in part a perverse incentive structure. The rewards for checking another’s work have diminished to the point where it isn’t being done nearly enough.

June 12, 2017

There’s also the matter of righteousness in general, and honesty in particular. “Western civilization” countries, as societies and as individuals, have been generally more honest/righteous than non-western civilization countries. And the US relatively more so than other western civilization countries.

2 Corinthians 3:17 “… and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

Where there is corruption and unrighteousness, there are despots and dictators. When people forget God, there is loss of liberty.

As one of the founders said, our constitution was intended for a religious people, it won’t work for any other. As our government’s actions move away from our constitution, we can see it at least correlated to increased unrightousness among our population. That is not a coincidence.

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