Retired prison psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple must have heard it all. This from him on a popular example:
Among the propositions defended with such suspect ferocity is that men can change straightforwardly and unambiguously into women, and vice versa. Now everyone accepts that they can change into something different from ordinary men and women, and can live as if they were of the opposite of their birth sex; moreover, there is no reason to abuse or otherwise maltreat them if they do, and kindness and human decency require that we do not humiliate them or make their lives more difficult than they are. But this is not at all the same as claiming that those who take hormones and have operations actually are the sex that they choose, or that it is right to enshrine untruth in law and thereby force people to assent to what they know to be false. That way totalitarianism lies. – Law & Liberty, February 15, 2023
Unworkable or unbelievable science might be expected to take refuge in totalitarianism. That rids it of the risk of falsification.
9 Replies to “Theodore Dalrymple on enshrining untruth”
Dalrymple is a pen name, his real name is Anthony Daniels.
He is an atheist but defends holding religious views. Here is an article he wrote about it in 2007
He is one of the great modern thinkers on many things though I think he has come short on the existence of a Creator..
Thanks for the link, Jerry. sublime read!
Might as well post this here.
Read William Briggs report. Briggs is the master of statistics and inference.
Is this about mending “broken science” or about trying to undermine any confidence in science that disagrees with the critic’s political and/or religious beliefs?
And, if you discard science, what is being proposed as a replacement? Prayer? Divine revelation?
No, real science not the fake science you advocate for.
Do you realize how stupid your comment was? I my guess is that you do but that seems to be an objective, to make stupid comments. You can never defend what you post.
Jerry: No, real science not the fake science you advocate for.
How would ‘real’ science look different from the science being done by modern day scientists?
Seversky at 5,
When man only believes in man, then politics gets worshiped.
Still railing against God? You should talk to Him. He’s waiting…
JVL @ 7:
Real science would follow the evidence wherever it leads. Per Lewontin, design is not allowed as a valid inference due to an a priori ideological roadblock that diverts all scientific traffic back to natural causes. You and the entire scientific community have been traveling in that ridiculous circuit since 1859.
Time to clear the ideological roadblock and open the road.
“Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”
Richard C. Lewontin NYRB 1997