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[–]sodasplash 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

That isn’t his point. Let me demonstrate his point.

Here in America, we have laws. Say what one will or won’t about our criminal justice system, but we have laws. Those laws say what one CAN’T do. This is called a blacklist. If you do these things, then you get in trouble. Anything else is fair game (technically speaking).

In Napoleonic France, that’s not how laws worked. Their laws consisted of a white list. The government made a list of things you could do. If it WASN’T on the list, and you did it, you got in trouble.

One can rather easily see which system lends itself to progress and innovation.

What Pratchett is saying is that science isn’t about compiling a white list. To many “science” adherents, if it hasn’t been “proven” it doesn’t exist. In fact, I’m friends of friends with a brilliant neurosurgeon who runs his life this way. It’s made him great at being a neurosurgeon but all but incapable of being a person.

Pratchett’s point is that there’s a vast unknown universe out there. And the more we think we know, the more we rely only on what we’ve compiled on our white list of “provenness,” the more we shut ourselves off from the true gifts of scientific inquiry.

[–]zyxzevn 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

The bias is so huge with these people. I have similar friends, I was even one of them.

Also related to the other Pratchett quote on the frontpage.
I always knew that our knowledge is limited to the box. And I was curious what we might find outside that box. But many smart people think everything that we know is already in the box.

To me it seems that these people are afraid that their world might fall apart, if the box opens. Or even when what we assume is already false, even from within the box.

[–]sodasplash 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I operate from the perspective that there are a few basic “needs” that we all have to get met. According to both Tony Robbins and the society for Non Violent Communication — among others — certainty is a key need.

We need to know that when we wake up in the morning, we’ll have food to eat and clothes to put on. And when we come home, we’ll have a bed to sleep in. That the sun will come out tomorrow. Stuff like that. But also at a deeper level.

A great deal of certainty comes from our childhood. People who were between 3-10 when their parents divorced tend to lack the basic levels of certainty had by people whose parents stayed together their entire lives or divorced only later in life.

From my perspective, certainty can be gained by maintaining and building one’s connection to soul/purpose/universal energy source — i.e. faith in one’s experience. I tend to come from the perspective that people who cling too much to rules, facts, ideology, dogma, etc, have not been given enough internal certainty in their experience and thus try to impose it more liberally on others in a misguided attempt to create it in the external world.

Ultimately, certainty is something that must come internally, since the external is necessarily temporal.