Jesus, Engels and the fact-value distinction

Hans Ehrbar ehrbar at marx.econ.utah.edu
Wed Sep 4 09:48:39 MDT 1996


I apologize for butting into this discussion at this late stage.
There is one theme which was present in some of the earlier
contributions to the religion thread, which I could no longer discern
recently.  I would like to formulate this theme in the following
theses:

(1) The fact-value distinction which we all are taught is a
prerequisite of science is wrong, wrong, wrong!  Value is not always
merely something which we carry to the world from the outside, but the
world itself is value-laden.

(2) Marx got it wrong too.  He saw morality only as an instrument of
oppression (which it usually is) but did not explicitly acknowledge
the true kernel of it, i.e., the values embedded in the world.

(3) People sense that science, in its modern incarnation, is lacking
something and turn to religion to find what is lacking.  There is
a secret complicity between the value-less shallow realism of
science and the irrealist values promoted by religion.

(4) In addition to criticizing religion for its irrealism we must
therefore also criticize science for its failure to see that values
are objective and real.


This is not something I figured out by myself but I learned
it from reading Bhaskar.

Hans E.



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