Science, Philosophy, And That Necessity, A Potential Drug, Faith

Science is a body of (rather certain) knowledge, and a method, based on demonstrable repetitive truths. Philosophy is also a body of (more fuzzy, but indispensable) knowledge, and also a method, based on faith, emotions, and guesses, to guide us towards reality.

Philosophy without science cannot be, and science is always born from the philosophical method, especially when it jumps forward into new dimensions. Philosophy and science are the extremities of a spectrum of behaviors yearning at the truth.

A meta-truth being, of course that some truths are to be denied, because they do not enable us to build an effective field theory of optimal behaviors.

We all use faith, millions of times a day: how could we otherwise be sure what knowledge is? Faith insures that truth guides us. So faith was evolutionary invented to make science possible. Its fundamental architecture is set in neuronal networks. A marmoset monkey uses faith all day long. Faith is more than a method or an instinct: it is an architecture.

The fundamental faith-based system is the architecture of the brain itself. Every day we encounter the meta-truth that truth is most useful, and having faith in it, indispensable. Yet it is true that we can misuse faith, with the drug of superstition, an opium for the soul. Superstition, as its name indicates, stands above reality, as it is culturally created. And that truth, that abandonment to superstition works to give pleasure, often needs to be denied, as all it leads to is war… Which is often not optimal.

Too much faith in too many stupid, or highly offensive things. What happens when superstitious faith takes over, giving free reins to the basest instincts… some of them self-destructive, in the tribal version of apoptosis. Gaza under retaliatory Israel Defense Force bombing, May 15, 2021… A 3,200 years old story, newcomers beware of making fools of yourself, by looking at what just happened… and only that.

How are (pseudo-)philosophical concepts such as essence and existence defined? That’s ad hoc and mysterious. As Heidegger would complain, where is the hand at work? Tellingly, he was a heavy perpetrator of what he complained about. It is not just silly, but dramatic, when philosophy embraces the undefinable useless for a base. This is how individuals such as Sartre, De Beauvoir, embraced Hitler and later Castro and Mao… All along truly making a fool of the wisdom they claimed to embrace… Which was Sartre and De beauvoir market value, as far as plutocrats were concerned…

To see how definitions of the basics work, study physics, and its outgrowths, logics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, geology, engineering. There is No Alternative. Why? Because physics, mathematics and logics spend their main efforts on the foundations… And they connect to the proverbial hand… namely experiments. Yes, physical experiments in pure physics, but also so-called thought experiments… And experiments also exist in logics and math, namely by trying to construct explicit models.

Yes we need faith, but we also need to learn to keep it effective, and checked by reason. Yes we need science and philosophy and both, just as faith, are everywhere. None of these go without conscience. “La sagesse ne peut pas entrer dans un esprit méchant. Science sans conscience n’est que ruine de l’âme“. François Rabelais, twenty years a monk, then doctor, surgeon, writer, philosopher, and later highest level State Counsel in Pantagruel (his major work, 1532 CE [1]). (I disagree with the first idea: some wisdom can enter a vicious mind; but the second holds… A ruined soul can be wise in other ways, alas…)

Con-science, is what goes with a body of knowledge, the meta-knowledge all and any knowledge need (any logic L needs a meta-logic ML which defines what truth is in L…)

Science, philosophy and faith without conscience only ruin souls….

Patrice Ayme


[1] Rabelais, long under a threat of heresy he escaped from his powerful friends, so his good friend, student and fellow anatomist Etienne Dolet burned alive at 37 years old. However Rabelais, living testimony that the scurrents of positive progress were strong in France at the time, ended as a Master of Requests (maître des requêtes), a counsel of the French Conseil d’État (Council of State),[1] the highest-level judicial officer of administrative law in France, This Supreme Court has existed in one form or another since the Middle Ages…. in 1302 CE, under Philippe IV Le Bel

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2 Responses to “Science, Philosophy, And That Necessity, A Potential Drug, Faith”

  1. pshakkottai Says:

    “ Science, philosophy and faith without conscience only ruin souls..” Actually much more than souls. Actual genocides as you know in Islam ( Christianity wised up ages ago).


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Agree, Partha… Except Christianism did not “wise up”… It was forced. And because Christianism was a Roman emperors’ invention… And as such could not supersede ROMAN LAW.
      Islamism was different: it was, it is, a law onto itself.
      So when Christianism became too self-destructive (~400 CE) or genocidal (1200-1600), it got shut down by authorities. Islamism has no higher-up authority.

      Liked by 1 person

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