Are there any natural scientists who are not ideological naturalists? If so, how is that possible?

That change is probably worth expanding on. Why then continue to use a term you acknowledge as being ‘incorrectly named’ instead of selecting a ‘correct’ one?

Let me offer a few potential answers that people give:
a) Because natural scientists know that it really just means ‘what they do at work’ and thus can’t be thought of in any way as ‘wrong’ because it is only a methodology, not an ideological claim.
b) Because most people know that science & theology are really not in conflict, which is what that term signifies: peacekeeping so that no gods can be invoked in human science.
c) Because only theists promote methodological non-naturalism (though that ‘might be incorrectly named’) in natural science … but that is not what Peaceful Science means.
d) Because if everybody else is using the term, I should use it too.
e) Because there must be at least one living philosopher who continues to use the term properly.

13 posts were merged into an existing topic: Methodological Naturalism, Incorrectly Named

So then there is also no reason to conflate methodology with ideology. Naturalism is ideology. Methodological ideology is still … ideology.

Yes, I know you believe that “ism” has magical meaning. It does not always work that way.

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As soon as Joshua starts talking magic, I leave.

Good luck to anyone who wishes to have a conversation with Joshua about ideology and methodology and how they are not the same. Not me. No thanks. You folks go ahead and explain to him what is needed for him to understand.


You are using “ideology” in a novel way - guaranteed to stir up confusions.

The closest thing I can see is that you are saying something essentially like this:

When you say “Naturalism is ideology” and “Methodological Ideology is still ideology”, you are approaching the general ideas touched on by the Vatican:

They have DOGMA and DOCTRINE.

The Military has some DOGMA and LOTS of DOCTRINE. DOCTRINE is analogous to your attempt to use IDEOLOGY. Military Doctrine and Aunty-Ideology are “methods” or “rules” for how to take evidence, and plot a course forward that uses the evidence as well as possible.

In the military, as weapons evolve, doctrine quickly evolves to match it. While DOGMA is virtually untouchable, right?

But IDEOLOGY, in the popular usage, is much more like DOGMA than DOCTRINE. And so, while you are trying to assert that Ideology should be modified to reflect the latest findings, you have already ticked off so many people, they won’t get the point.

I think you should find a better word… one with less baggage.

DOGMA (and Ideology) are equivalent to “God exists”. Nobody questions Dogma.

In contrast, in the military, soldiers employ DOCTRINE in order to have the best chance of surviving… but that’s just because nobody has figured out a better DOCTRINE in just the last few years. Doctrines are constantly changing. Soldiers get killed using doctrine All.The.Time. Because maximizing survival is a numbers game … that only roughly approximates the Assurance of Survival.

EXAMPLE: Small unit doctrine requires a man “on point”. He walks some 50 feet or more ahead of his colleagues. Why would anyone do this? Because the man on point knows that frequently the man on point is not the first one shot - - because they are waiting for the men behind him to come into range. Frequently the man on point detects the enemies position before the rest of the men come into range. And so … good day… the man on point saves the men behind him and himself. But on the unlucky days, Doctrine gets the man on point wiped out! And so it goes.

In the American Revolution, doctrine called for men to remain standing while they re-load.
1st, because it took too long to re-load while laying prone. 2nd, you couldn’t maneuver against a bayonet charge very well, if everyone was laying down. Oh, and 3rd, the weapons
were inaccurate enough that beyond 50 yards, men could remain standing and not suffer an obscene number of casualties.

Then the Europeans invented the needle guns, which made it possible to re-load laying down. This was realized before the American Civil War. And so European doctrine started to change. Unfortunately for the Americans, they saw standing as more of a dogma. And
so despite the use of trenches and guns that had the range to kill artillery personnel (the whole point of a cannon was to make that impossible)… American generals kept sending standing ranks against impossible odds. The plan?: to exhaust the enemies gun powder… which almost never happened!

Paying attention to what is Doctrine and what is DOGMA can sometimes mean life or death!
But I digress. My apologies.

Regarding the general principle of Excluding Divinities and Divine Processes from science, while this should be treated as a changeable doctrine in your view … there really has never been a better approach. So, in a way, it has become DOGMA.
So trying to get @swamidass to adopt the use of the word “ideology” (as in Doctrine) seems doomed to cross-purposes for overlapping reasons.

In fact, there doesn’t seem to be any reason for a scientist to start including God in their work - - if even the most motivated people (like I.D. proponents) haven’t found any difference in results when they start to include God themselves.

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“I think you should find a better word… one with less baggage.”

Sigh. Well, ideology simply is the right term for the topic. No other word in the English language is more suitable.

Compromising ‘the conversion’ for Joshua to ‘get-on’ about ideology isn’t what I had in mind. And don’t forget, George, he says he is “a natural scientist that is not an idealogical naturalist,” so we’ll keep an ear out for when he learns to speak the language properly, while wishing him well to recover from his ‘idealogical’ (a term apparently with a track record) malady. :wink:

But I think you can see, George, having said what you did above, that having a conversation with people drenched in ideology who deny the very existence of ideologies and also that they personally do hold ideologies of their own (which are social and thus communal, not individual in character), quickly becomes a frightfully difficult conversation.

I’ll give you one example. The Discovery Institute book The Nature of Nature is absolutely drenched in ideology, from first jot to last. And guess what, the term ‘ideology’ in that massive tome, is not even in the Glossary. I asked Casey Luskin about it. His basic position is that ‘everyone else is ideological except us.’ Why? Because of exactly what you say. Simply put, the (insert hooligan comment against) US variety of English language is desperately childish only on the topic of ‘ideology’. & guess who doesn’t seem to want to improve that situation & instead ignore it further?

Protestant evangelicals are not the only ones in North America who simply dig into the sand and stick their heads there when the topic of ideology comes up. They hate Karl Marx & communism so much, as if patriotically he is now like their devil puppet to motion at anything that reveals their own ideologies, like creationism & fideism, are also ‘incomplete’.

All I’ve heard so far here is that MN = anti-theistic (ideological) science. There’s no valiant defense of the limits of ‘natural’ on the landscape of human knowledge & experience or any list of alternatives provided (which could be fruitful). No, this conversation of Joshua’s is instead stuck with the evangelical protestant ethics administrator Paul de Vries & seems to be staying right there. That destination is not part of my travel itinerary.

If you’d like to enter more advanced and challenging territory, then the new title of the thread is your better bet.

This, by the way, is a classical Joshuaism. :wink:

A post was merged into an existing topic: Methodological Naturalism, Incorrectly Named