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[23] Scientism and Progress.doc

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Kenneth Bartlett

February 7, 2011 Scientism and Progress - still part of w. Civ - World ould be better not b/c of moral improvement but b/c of science adn technology - happier, richer, more democratic (necessary for improvement of human condition) - We control destiny - and that will impove by applying program (technology) - The future will be brighter, richer, etc. - Enlightenment introduces this idea (progress -- becomes part of vision, we define ourselves with it) - Before newton + galileo - improvement was for the next world - This world is the testing ground - live up to divine revelation --> only God can improve things - Actually - we are in control of our own destinies, our own lives - The universe is ours to improve - Rebellions in Midlle ages - “restorative” --> get back to divine plans, true message of jesus, new testament - Change in this world = seen as evil & wrong --> if you aren’t following bible, god will punish you b/c you’re moving away form what’s true and just - Any deviation from God = heresy, going against God - Renaissance = subscribed to this idea, but rather than revealed reliious truth, they looked back to classical values - Saw restorative world as essence of energy we should expend to improve life on earth - Looked to past for inspiration; wondered about future - Englishtment changed this - Inspired by scinficit desocveres - Forces of nature = comprehensible and subject to control (newtonian laws of universe) - Relegating superstitious, divinely-revealed - unqunatifialbe forces of god and the devil --> be- lief in human destiny - Get away from things we used to think made the universe run --> e.g. Saying prayers to make something happen - Evidence doesn’t support superstition - Studies in physics etc. -- made men and women believe they could make the world and their own lives rationable- based on thruth - Confidence to challenge laws based on superstition, irrational (no rationality and reason) - Revolutions = human agency to operate, enable rationality to be applied - Character of gov’ts/economy - subject to human control - Humans have measures of influence b/c they have tools to drive them - Faith in reason: reason will rule the world - Human law + natural (benign) law => rationality will result - application of rason in 19 c: science - Use science to discover what is true and good - Scientism = makes us work to reason - Growing blief in science --> better world - Thinkers, statesmen, scientists -- ensure progress is directed to that which is good - Change = reflection of real progress made in eirope as a result of industrial rev. - Everyone even poor could benefit - more wealth for more people - There was districution of wealth - Better diets - healthier, more chidren who lived - Better communication, farther transport - How progress is best to be institutionalized - establish gv’t, economic dist. Of goods, trade unions - Euro society had problems: conditions were too obvious - conditions of very poor, industrial working class (who lived before support given) - You can address the problem by human will - Estalibsh what you wanted to do, how you’d do it, the extents you’d balance out the classes -- big questions re: nature of society - Karl marx: progress can be achieved by activating newtonian laws => communism - Darwin: scientific progress -speicies changes and become better by adapting - So many social, political, economic things -- change will happen and it’s our responsibility to make it good - Aftermath of WWI: belief of progress, commitment to reason and science to solve problemns was questioned - Progress can’t go on indefinitely -- there are limits to the earth - 19 c. - hard to see progress isn’t there - faith: sicenve and progress will save us - Mechanized industry = most powerful force to shape society - 1815-1914: 200 mil-460 mil population due to health - Explosion in demand for goods and demand to produce more goods - Prices fell - work is cheap - Continent was insufficient = needed to search for more raw materials and market - No longer closed economic society - By mid 19 c - steam engine = moving things was cheap, fast, secure - Euriope by 1870: entered worled of int’l trade - possiblily of loss was gone; profit gained - imperialism: Ex
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