Science-Friendly Philosophy

Doing science, mathematics and engineering -- just like other aspects of living life -- relies on a constant stream of acts of faith, which can't be justified according to science, mathematics or engineering....

If one views science as operating according to Occam's Razor -- the choice of the simpler hypothesis -- then these "acts of faith" have a lot to do with basic assumptions about what feels simpler.

But how are these "acts of faith" organized? How do they interact with each other?

There are various systems for mentally organizing one's acts of faith.

Religions are among these systems. But religions are quite detached from the process of doing science, math or engineering. Adopting religion as a primary method of organizing one's acts of faith makes thinking about science on a profound level awkward.

(For the rest of this chapter, I'll use "science" as an abbreviation for "science, math and engineering", just to avoid overly long and tedious sentences.)

It seems sensible to think about philosophical systems -- i.e. systems for organizing inner acts of faith -- that are intrinsically synergetic with the scientific process. That is, systems for organizing acts of faith, that
  • when you follow them, help you to do science better
  • are made richer and deeper by the practice of science
Now, one cannot prove scientifically that a "science-friendly philosophy" is better than any other philosophy. Philosophies can't be validated or refuted scientifically.

So, the reason to choose a science-friendly philosophy has to be some kind of inner intuition; some kind of taste for elegance, harmony and simplicity; or whatever.

One prediction I have for the next century is that science-friendly philosophies will emerge into the popular consciousness and become richer and deeper and better articulated than they are now.

Because, even as science becomes ascendant over traditional belief systems like religions, people still need more than science ... they need collective processes focused on the important philosophical questions that go beyond the scope of science.

So, my prediction is that we are going to trend more toward philosophical systems that are synergetic with science, rather than ones that co-exist awkwardly with science.

Cosmism is one example of a philosophical system of this nature!

There's nothing extremely new about the concept of science-friendly philosophy, of course.

Plenty of non-religious scientists and science-friendly non-scientists have created personal philosophies that don't involve deities nor other theological notions, yet do involve meaningful approaches to personally exploring the "big questions" that religions address.

Among the many philosophers to take on the task of creating comprehensive science-friendly philosophical systems, perhaps my favorite is Charles Peirce. But Peirce was writing at the turn of the 20th century ... he lacked the insight into science, math and technology that we now have.

Cosmism is intended as a science-friendly philosophy that is adequate to carry us to, and maybe through and beyond, a Singularity or another sort of transcension event.

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