from the FEE, Foundation for Economic Education, Be Wary of the Orwellian “Enlightened” Classby Robin Koerner
Scientism is science stripped of its epistemological core, which is the knowledge that we don’t know. Those who practice it think they are “being scientific” because they accept scientific knowledge. But they are being anything but scientific because they are committed to those claims in an altogether wrong way – as knowledge that is both certain and static.
They turn a theory, which by definition, must always be tested against data that are sought to refute it, into an orthodoxy, which prevents the data that could refute it from even being perceived.
This is the nature of Orwell’s orthodoxy that 1984 was written to warn us about.
Science is the honest examination of physical objects and their relationships to understand our world and improve our experience in it, and scientism is its dogmatic bastardization that causes us to hold fast to wrong conclusions while a) “knowing” that we are right and b) being unable to perceive evidence to the contrary.
Political science is the honest examination of people and their relationships to understand our society and improve our experience in it, and political scientism is its dogmatic bastardization that causes us to hold fast to wrong behaviors while a) “knowing” that we are doing good and b) being unable to act on evidence to the contrary.
Regardless of your scientific theory, scientism destroys human knowledge and makes you stupid. Regardless of your political ideology, political scientism destroys human life and makes you dangerous.
The preservation of liberty is more about the way we hold our beliefs than the beliefs that we hold. Tyranny is less a political failure than it is an epistemological one.
So don’t just open your mind to win arguments for liberty – although that is a critical reason to do so. Do it also because if you don’t, you may start believing you’re one of the enlightened ones.
And then you’ll be surprised at just how aggressive the peace and how oppressive the liberty you’ll be willing to accept.