Socialism - Science - Religion

Allen Nathan allennt at grivich.cchem.berkeley.edu
Sun Jun 11 01:50:23 MDT 1995



On Sat, 10 Jun 1995 m.lepore at genie.geis.com wrote:

>
>  As for prediction:  The critics demand of Marxism be something which
>  no _social_ science can do at this point in time.  _Social_ science
>  has more in common with the "classifying sciences" which explain the
>  PAST, like zoology and geology, than it has in common with fields
>  that occasionally predict the FUTURE such as chemistry and physics.
>  Even the hard physical sciences are unable to predict anything when
>  they have to deal with a complex multi-parameter system, for example,
>  the question of whether it will be raining two weeks from today (very
>  simple and well-understood principles of physics, but too many
>  factors to measure and calculate).  Therefore, many critics of
>  Marxian science are not only demanding of it certain things which no
>  _social_ science can do, but some things which no science at all can
>  do.
>
	Critics who demand long term accurate predictions of anything
should be ignored generlly. Predicting the long term position of relatively
simple systems (such as simple mathmatical equations) is not possible due
to facters beyond our control.  This is what the field of Choas studies.
The probelm is in the notion of sensitive dependence to initial
conditions, that is if things are not exactly the same, then the small
differences are magnified, and may become completly unpredictable.
Therefore unless a critic can give information on the exact state of a
system at the given time, down to the very smallest detail (atomic
vibrations), he is out of place to ask for long term accurate
predictions. But predictions about the nature of things is possible. We
can't tell exactly what it will look like but we can describe things
which seem to occur often. The weather analogy is a good one, only human
society is much more complex.


>  In light of this, opponents who throw out the bumpersticker-quality
>  objection, "Marxism is just another religion," "Marxism is based on
>  faith," are displaying a considerable amount of ignorance.
	As long as Marxism keeps progressing and changing in its
structure and contend it is not a religion. When people begin to act as
if the truth descended from Marx, then it has reached the level of
religion for them. Religions set their truth, truth is for them what is
written in their holy books, it is non progressive, if new evidence comes
up, the books are not questioned. As long as Marx is still questioned and
regarded as a work in progress, I will never consider it a religion, no
matter how many bumper stickers I see.

	Nate



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