Part II: Explaining reason and science

We are supposed to be living in a scientific world. However, a large majority of people, while affected in their life by science and technology, are still ignorant of some of the main features of science.
Some features of science are widely known and/or can readily be found explained at many places (you can make a search...). However, I will present here some deeper aspects that are often ignored, especially by naive people, so as to resolve a number of widespread misunderstandings.

What is science, in short

Science is the activity of making the extended careful examination that is needed to properly understand aspects of the world that do not show themselves in a directly obvious manner.

Some of the main characters of science

Let us sum up some of the main principles of science, that is the scientific approach to the truth and the search for the truth.

Accuracy : every concept involved should be as clear and well-defined as possible. The role of this criteria is to prevent risks for the reasoning to end up to false conclusions. To say this in other words, we can see this as the task of either being exact, or at least ensuring that the approximations made (not always quantitative, but also conceptual) will be small enough to not wrong the conclusion, as far as we are expecting this conclusion to be close to the truth on the issue being studied. If the issue in question is naturally clear and simple, the risk of wrong approximations may be low. However, on harder issues, it may become a major problem, thus requiring a lot of work and intelligence to be resolved. This may be because of the harder complexity of the issue, and/or because the right concepts by which a given aspect of reality would need to be analyzed for being properly understood, are not given in advance, and still need to be discovered, ifever it is indeed possible to discover any relevant concepts.

Logical Positivism : the truths that science normally searches for, can be roughly split into 2 kinds (though, in practice, many will be mixtures of them).
The conceptual reconstruction of reality : the means at our disposal (our senses) do not give us any direct perception of reality, but this sort of limitation is not a real limit to our understanding of reality. On the contrary, the very scientific research as we just specified (in terms of logical positivism), provides for an effective understanding of reality, or at least, of the aspects of reality that are of concern to us. This is operated by the work of formulating the logical expressions relating our perceptions (discovered as those which best distinguish the most probable series of perceptions, from the impossible or most unlikely ones), in their clearest, best understandable form. Indeed, such a clearest understanding (expression) of these logical structures requires to develop a number of key intermediate concepts. And these key intermediate concepts are what plays the role of the elements of reality as we can understand it. They are the image (translation, approximation), which we can form in our minds, of elements of reality which are outside it. (Example: when looking at the Titan pictures, there are many intermediate concepts involved in the interpretation of this perception, representing different elements of reality).

Non-essentialism : the way things behave, or the role they play, is not always a matter of what their deep nature is, or whether things indeed have a deeper nature or not. Indeed, consider a situation when something would have an essence or deep nature of a deeper level than what is being considered at a given step of understanding. Then, of two things one: either this deeper nature has observable effects on the behavior of this thing, in which case the observation of this external behavior can provide information on this deeper nature, so that, somehow, this deeper nature is observable (and the information from these observations can provide us with a scientific understanding of what it looks like, even if it is not a full understanding). Or it does not (getting rid of its consideration provides the best available approximations or predictions of its behavior). In this case, such considerations of a deeper nature, insofar as they could not help making more accurate expectations, are irrelevant to the understanding of these things, as if they were not an element of the reality of this world, but of another world disconnected from this one.
In other words, the understanding of something, is mainly not a matter of "what this thing is", but of how it behaves, what role it plays, which way it connects to other things around.

Pragmatism : scientists must adapt their research methods to the specific contexts of what they want to study, for which the most effective research methods are not always the same from a subject to another, because different aspects of reality cannot always connect in the same way to our means of investigation.
Also, naming some extensive list of guidelines for scientific research, would usually be irrelevant: scientificity is not about applying, even less just listing, an exact list of principles fixed in advance (even the best ones), but about expertise on how to properly deal with particular problems, developing and training a more extensive form of commonsense relevant to the particular area of reality they are investigating. This extended common sense usually includes, but is not restricted to, a professional skill of adequate interpretation and application of the general principles of rationality here listed, on each particular problem. The work of the scientist cannot be replaced by machines. Machines can help the scientist by operating the repetitive application of some already well-established principles, but the work of scientists will always be necessary for providing a wider understanding of large conceptual systems, and leading research projects. This ability is highly dependent on the context of natural skills, personal training of intelligence and known facts. Most scientists did not (or not much) follow any course on the scientific method in the way philosophers imagine, but spend much more effort, either studying mathematics (proofs...) to train their thinking ability and gather some mathematical concepts that may be useful to them later, or gathering a wide range of specific information on their field of study.
For example, some fields of research have the possibility of making experiments, for observations to be more extensive and provide more complete information on the reality that is considered; while this is not (or less) possible in other fields like astronomy where stars and galaxies can only be observed and not be subjects of any experiment.

For a more rigous version of the ideas of logical postivism, non-essentialism and conceptual reconstruction of reality, see the Completeness theorem with philosophical comments on the foundations of maths, and my text of metaphysics

Plato's cave, rationality levels, and non-essentialism issues.

Many people already heard about the Allegory of the Cave, (as it is often taught in high school philosophy classes). Let us recall it in short [quotation from Wikipedia]

"Socrates describes a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Socrates, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall are not constitutive of reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners."

The story further explains how hard it is to try to free the prisoners, who considered the shadows they saw to be the reality, and first have a hard time adapting to the real things and getting familiar to them.

This allegory can be seen as an image of what science could finally accomplish, the way it could go beyond immediate experience and understand the deep structures underlying the things we can see, through the understanding of many other concepts far away from those naturally appearing and useful to everyday life.

Especially, Math and Physics are absolutely amazing, in how far deep they could reach in their respective domains of study. Unfortunately, and just as this allegory says, most of these subjects, and how wonderful they are, cannot be easily explained to the lay people.

Another solution, instead of trying to free someone from his chains, is to try to show him an image of the real things by projecting their shadow on the wall he can see. This is the work of science popularization: not a real presentation of things as they can really be understood, but sorts of metaphors roughly explaining how they look like in a way or another.
Some people in search of truth, when looking at these shadows of science that science popularization is, may complain that these shadows are not clear, will find inconsistencies there, and will want to criticize these images as not satisfying, not being the ultimate explanations. Somehow they are right that these shadows are not the ultimate explanation, but when complaining so, they are missing the fact that these popularized presentation are not the full account of the currently established scientific understanding either. Another usual wrong complaint is to make the mistake of essentialism (failing to understand the justification for the non-essentialism of science that we explained above). These misunderstandings can lead to dramatic consequences where some people may come to dedicate their life to trying to put forward alternative views in opposition to established science. This issue will be further developed later.

However, there is no absolute separation between teaching and popularization (between getting freed to understand the depth of things, or only seeing their shadow). No absolute separation, but still a difference (distance) between them, that can eventually be very big.
How can this be, you may ask, while all scientific understanding is operated by the same fundamental kind of rational ability of the human mind in its ordinary state, the same which is operated by lay people and lead them to so many mistakes ?

First, we can note that it does not matter how surprising or illogical this may sound: anyway it is a fact, so that denying it just based on its oddness, would lead nowhere.
Then, it can be understood as a non-essentialist truth: it does not matter what science is made of; what matters is the role it plays. The role played by science cannot be properly reduced to the question of what it is made of. It is the same kind of people in themselves, that can as well be prisoners only looking at shadows on the wall, or going out from the cave. Science plays the role of a way out of the cave, and this is all the best that ought to be expected from a vision of the truth on the world we live in.

So, how can it be, and what does its difference from the basic use of reason consist of ?
One of the main answers, is that it is a matter of complexity. Ordinary reason is enough to correctly solve simple problems of everyday life with sufficient accuracy or reliability for practical purposes, but it fails when faced with more complex or faraway problems, where the conceptual approximations made by an ordinary mind are not right, and inaccuracies are either too big or too numerous, so that they happen to add up into major mistakes in the conclusions. Also, some necessary key concepts for the understanding of some issues, may be completely missed by people who are not familiar with them. Some key concepts require a lot of work to be learned, going through a lot of preliminaries.

So, here again, the very concept of rationality needs to be understood in a non-essentialist sense: it makes no sense to qualify a person as either rational or irrational in the absolute, but only as a description of the role played by this mind relatively to the purpose of understanding a given problem or domain of reality.
The same person can happen to be rational towards some issues, and irrational towards other issues.

We previously saw another example how something's behavior can be very dissimilar with its deep nature: the case of spirituality with its essentialist conception of altruism, understood as an intrinsic quality of a person. Spiritual people are missing the fact that, in order to be really useful to others (rather than keeping one's altruism for oneself and then down to the grave), a real effective altruism needs to be understood as an extrinsic quality, made of the effective ways in which someone interacts with the rest of the world, and what consequences on others these actions finally produce.

Let us give some more details on the non-essentialism of science, with the case of how it goes for physics.
There is are a diversity of sciences which study different aspects of reality. This is possible as these different aspects of reality can be considered and understood more or less independently from each other (each can be somehow neglected in the study of others), even though they are aspects of the same global reality, and therefore also have connections between them. Physics is one of them; but it is itself divided into several theories describing each a different aspect of the physical universe. These theories can be understood more or less independently from each other.

Among these theories, some describe deeper aspects of reality (a deeper essence of things) than others.
For example, quantum physics is deeper than classical physics and chemistry, as it provides a common foundation explaining both and how they can both describe aspects of the same reality. General relativity is deeper than Newton's law of gravitation. So, if we want to approach the understanding of the (relatively more) ultimate nature of the physical universe, then the deeper theories are those we should focus on. But if we want to understand some specific phenomena of concern to us, it often happens for less deep theories to be much more relevant, because they provide useful approximations that greatly simplify the problems and provide more direct and understandable solutions.

For example, the mass of the proton has been at last computed to a reasonable approximation, out of the known more fundamental laws (which had been understood well before already), by a supercomputer in year 2008. This hardness to obtain such a basic result as the mass of the proton out of the known more fundamental laws that determine it, suggests how desperate it may be to pretend that the understanding of any significant practical aspect of reality, should be best obtained by deducing it from any supposedly most ultimate first principles.
So, the point of the scientific approach is not to be for or against the research of more fundamental principles underlying given phenomena to better understand them: indeed, such a research of more fundamental principles has been successfully proceeded many times by science much better than by any other philosophy.
But it is about carefully adapting the orientation of the research on any subject, either towards deeper explanations or not, depending on what happens to be fruitful for the wanted purpose.

As a result of this non-essentialism, it is often said that science rejected metaphysics. In a way this is true, however it is not the whole story. What is true is that scientists rejected most of the works that philosophers had done on the issue, either because it was fuzzy (and generally irrational : we shall explain in further details what is irrationality), or because it was irrelevant to their work (because of the non-essentialism of science vs. the traditional essentialism of metaphysics). But this does not mean science would have no access to any metaphysical truth. The problem is that, usually, scientists focus on scientific truths, that is, accurate and verifiable truths, rather than fuzzy truths, so that they don't want to "waste their time" discussing on fuzzy ideas and explaining things in fuzzy terms. The result is that they kept their knowledge for themselves and hardly ever cared properly explaining it to philosophers and/or to the public. Also, as they are at ease with complex ideas, they don't see the point to try explaining them in simpler terms.

Science is knowledge, as opposed to faith

Another way to characterize science, is to define it as knowledge.
And, there are two opposites of knowledge, which are faith and ignorance.
But, this definition requires a clarification, to not mistake the meaning the word "faith" here, with some other meanings often given by religions. Indeed, religions usually define "faith" to mean either hope, trust in God, belief in afterlife, adhesion to some specific doctrine, or any mixture between these.
Here, for this definition of science, the involved meanings of the words are:
knowledge = justified belief = clarified belief
faith = unjustified belief = unclarified belief

Indeed, the very concept of unjustified belief is more or less based on its lack of clarification. This is because a belief normally consists in holding a claim as justified.
If someone fully understood the fact that his belief is not justified (including with his personal, unsharable experience), then this understanding "should" drive him to stop doing as if it was justified, thus stop believing in the claim and start considering it as a mere hypothesis waiting for future evidence for or against it later.
In other words, scientific inquiry can be described as being neither satisfied with an absence of belief (ignorance) nor with a presence of unclarified belief, but only with a work of examination of things which may lead to clarified beliefs. This may require to review a number of hypothesis without believing them at first, until, eventually, some may turn out to be justified.
This does not mean that a scientist has no faith or philosophy of life (indeed, there are too many issues in life, and it is not humanly possible to carefully check every belief that one needs to follow). But this means that the scientific work is a work that must care to be unaffected by one's possible faiths. This can be done because the scientific work is a specialized work, dealing every time with a precise question that can be solved independently from the rest of ideas that cannot be clarified yet.
Precisely, the point is not always to ensure that some given conclusion is free of assumption, but the point is to clarify which are the assumptions that a conclusion is based on. So, if a conclusion B depends on an assumption A while A is not well-proven yet, then the "real conclusion" of the work is that (A => B).
This makes it possible for other researchers, to either know that B is true in the case they first knew that A is true based on other justifications, or ignore the work as pointless (without "disagreeing with it") if they consider A to be false or unlikely.
Such a work of clarifying all the assumptions that a conclusion depends on (while only neglecting the mention of the assumptions that can't be subject to a "reasonable doubt"), can be a very hard work where mistakes may happen. But well, this is precisely why science is often a work to be reserved to professionals (another reason is the fact that each work may require many premises for drawing a conclusion, and only professionals may be familiar with the available body of knowledge which can supply for needed premises, and thus orient the kind of work that may be relevant).

There is not, or at least there should not be, such a thing as a "faith in reason".
Reason is the ability and efficiency of work towards a distinction of which belief is justified and which is not, as well as to develop works that have more chances to reach the point of providing clear, justified knowledge.
Whenever it succeeds to provide clear evidence for something, there is no point anymore to see there any "faith in reason", because it no more depends on any faith, but it presents full justifications for the conclusions. Of course, it depends on the assumption that one is not foolish enough to mistakenly see clear evidences where there would be none; but well, there has to be some limits to such a thing as Descartes' thought experiment of an "hyperbolic doubt", which leads nowhere (imagine if you started to doubt your ability to check how much is 2+2).

What about the time when a question has not been solved yet ? Indeed we can see a faith in the motivation to do the research: a hope, a belief, not yet fully justified, in the idea that the scientific search has a chance to succeed, that some verified knowledge can be obtained on the considered subject. This belief is not yet justified, because, well indeed, by definition of a discovery, it cannot be predicted. So, it is not always a knowledge, but it may also be a personal creed, which humanly stimulates the process of scientific research, but must not be mistaken as an axiom that could serve by itself to justify any claim in the scientific reasoning itself.

This can better be understood by presenting it the other way round: the opposite belief, claiming that the scientific research for a justified understanding on some specific issue would be hopeless, is usually not justified either.

Of course, there are exceptions: some knowledge could be obtained showing the (either absolute or most probable) impossibility to resolve some problems. It is for example absolutely impossibile to:
Other expectations of knowledge can be unreasonable too, such as
But, after all, we can now accept as empirically justified, the claim that reason is very powerful to discover many things in our universe, because we could observe and verify its success during the last centuries, and there is no reason to believe that this progress would suddenly stop now.

In fact, the character of logical positivism (describing the information on our perceptions), is very often the essential criteria (principle) after which to clarify whether a question, claim or theory is decidable by reason (or at least subject to scientific inquiry and possible progress of knowledge), and also whether it is of any importance (indeed this "frequent or approximate equivalence" between logical positivism, verifiability and effective importance, is itself a logical remark).

More empirical and other reliable justifications can be found (we shall present some in Part III), of some claims (and attitudes of many scientists) on the respective statuses of science and religion, and what an awful source of mistakes the religions most famous in the West often turn out to be.

Still, there are some unfortunate remaining forms of faith in the rationalist attitude of some scientists (which fortunately are not actually mistaken with scientific knowledge... at least not too much). Most of this can be understood as a reaction against religious claims (once observed how wrong on so many other issues, are the religions and other propagandists making such opposite claims):

Several parts of this texts have been moved to separate pages:

A section on metamathematics,

Some quotations on MBTI personality types.

On the nature of irrationality, and generalities about pseudo-science

An example I have worked on:

About Nottale's Scale Relativity "theory"

Criticism of the academic institutions

List of false or low quality sciences

Let us now review a number of disciplines (communities of people with some sort of peer recognition) claiming to study a field of knowledge (focusing on matters of truth - unlike arts which are explicitly more a matter of taste than of truth), and assess their scientific value according to the previously explained criteria.


this section was moved to a separate page.


Economical and political sciences emerged out of philosophy, and made some way towards scientificity by taking some inspiration from mathematics and other applied sciences. They are not as flawed as philosophy, but still keep some of its flaws. For example, they keep fuzzy logic, can't work accurately enough to converge to the truth, as can be seen by their long-standing diversities of views on each subject. This is partly understandable as a difficulty, as its object depends on fuzzy human elements and irreducible complexities, so that the reductionist approaches of mathematics and physics cannot apply so well. However this is not a sufficient justification, since another scientific field (biology and the theory of evolution) could do a better job in spite of comparable difficulties.

Among people aware of the presence of large flaws in economical sciences, some analyze them as due to giving too much importance to mathematics (and mathematical modeling). However, people coming from exact sciences (pure or applied mathematics, physics) and having a look at the mathematical modelling used in economics, would observe that the problem with economics is not about doing too much mathematics, but about misunderstanding mathematics.

Indeed, mathematics does not just consist in writing and solving equations. Instead, true mathematics is a way of thinking. It is the skill of thinking logically and accurately, in an elaborate way in coherence with the context, so as to ensure the reliability of the approximations made. Mathematical concepts, and other concepts developed by a mathematical way of thinking, can be expressed as well in formulas or in ordinary language, depending on subjects or convenience; while illogical nonsense can be written in the language of formulas just the same.
The art of finding out good approximations and relevant modelizations, is omnipresent in physics and other sciences; and the art of modelization itself, in the sense of developing concepts, diversifying and selecting relevant viewpoints on a given subject, is present in pure mathematics too.
Another scientific tool often used in hard sciences which did not enter the culture of economists, is computer simulations.

Example of an article presenting the current flaws of economics:

The Financial Crisis and the Systemic Failure of Academic Economics

(More references would be welcome; already the Wikipedia article on Economics presents some criticism too).

Other important examples of the domination of nonsense in academic economics, have been the heavy presence of Marxism as well as Keynesianism, despite their lack of logical coherence. The disasters from Marxism are well-known. But Keynesianism also has a share of responsibility in nonsense politics too, by the misunderstanding it induced about the long "crisis" from 1973 to now (reduced growth and worsening unemployment without inflation), leading to a repetition of the fiscal and monetary measures (increased spendings) that worked to end the "overproduction" crisis of the 1930's (which can be analyzed as a monetary crisis) but cannot work now that the problem is different, and even worsens the situation : harming growth and running into more disasters (states going bankrupt) which can't be solved anymore.

How desperating it can have been for example in France during the 1980's, for someone who thinks logically, to hear on TV as well as by high school economics teachers, as if it was undeniably the only rational view, the perpetual repetition of the same nonsense, that overspending (by states as well as by people) would be the best solution to every problem and for social justice, while austerity would be the worst evil of the world that only big bad wolves (capitalists) might support for obscure reasons.

As with philosophy, the obligations to swallow tons of absurd theories for anyone who would consider officially studying economics, also contributed to turn away from the subject most skilled thinkers that could have corrected it. Sure, the rationality level there is better than in philosophy, but most of the really good thinkers rather go to hard sciences rather than economics.

Note also how usually unquestioned are the basic features of the "infrastructures" in terms of which democracy, national states, currencies, administrations and policies are defined.

The omnipresence of technologies and other remarkable efficiencies of science to change many things in our daily life (in contrast with the vanity of religion) as well as the presence of an economical science full of mathematical tools, has given many people the false impression that science somehow dominates the world, despite its much smaller number of effective members (scientists) than religions.

In reality, science has never been in power. It cannot do what nobody wants it to do. Scientists never received the mandate to rethink and reorganize our political and economic systems so as to more truly serve the general interest. Our core political structures, as well as the root of decision (some political class vaguely representing a rather irrational population through rudimentary voting processes) hardly has anything to do with the well-designed kind of sophistication such as science would know to develop.

People always decided that scientists should exclusively work at the service of this unquestioned "liberal" or "democratic" system, to provide technologies to do what consumers individually like, and what our institutions want them to do. These institutions are rather a conventional construction that emerged long ago and were preserved by inertia or slowly evolved for easy corrections and adaptation for the purpose of growing and keeping their power, in a world where most people have a passive mind. The only choice scientists had, was between serving these institutions or staying jobless and excluded from society.

Then, how can anyone hold science responsible for the flawed decisions (individually useful but collectively irresponsible or under control by specific interest groups) made by a system of businesses and institutions that decides everything and hires scientists, but that scientists cannot control in return (and most of them don't even care as they are just satisfied to build their ivory tower in a small corner there) ?

We shall review in Part IV some of the main economic concepts and features (either already known or not yet) that need to be understood, and new scientific tools to develop, for mankind to better solve its current (old or new) and upcoming problems.

Medicine and Psychiatry

Medicine benefited greatly of the development of biological sciences, but suffers the influence of the pharmaceutical industry's financial interests, that distorts the research results towards the highest possible social expenses it can take profit from; and there are so many substances and questions requiring lots of specific observations, that it is sometimes hard to check the truth on every question - and with laws set up by industrial lobbies, none else than this industry can "follow the procedures" to get the right to sell its products (no matter how far from a fair game of truth seeking are these procedures). While these aberrations are hardly a secret in general, this lobby's strong influence on political decisions makes it rather hopeless to try restoring a sane rational environment for the development of medicine as a science in the current system.

Also the relation with alternative medicine is not clear. Of course, a lot of caution is necessary in general as many charlatans prosper, but it is a pity to miss the tools to help select the possibly useful practices and practitioners. The lack of research in some methods may be due to the fact they do not sell any expensive chemicals, and therefore are not in the industry's interests.
For example, the effects of acupuncture are still controversial.

The situation is particularly disastrous in the field of psychiatry. While some serious research in psychiatry can exist, and some patients may indeed find help (healing some cases of depression or other troubles) in psychiatric treatments, much of the psychiatric practice fails to be scientific - and rather behaves as a totalitarian system instead.
Indeed, psychiatry is not falsifiable, with its easy game of interpreting any patient's disagreements with its diagnosis, as pathological (or sometimes, as a mere scientologist propaganda). This loophole (a general exaggerated belief in people's foolishness, that opens the door to unfalsifiable fanciful ideas) is more or less the same with psychiatry as with psychoanalysis.
Another example of an anti-scientific character of psychiatrists, is how fast, in a few minutes, they can make definitive judgements about whether their patient's views are justified or not. In the rest of science, it may take hours, years or decades of work by many scientists to debate a difficult question. Even many ordinary people can be lucid enough to not judge other people's life without taking some time to discuss and try to understand, or to acknowledge that they don't know. Psychiatrists, on the other hand, and just like religious fundamentalists, won't make any effort to try to understand anything in their patients' lives beyond how it sounds to them in a few minutes, but will give unlimited trust to their own arbitrary, definitive judgement without any discussion (that is, immediately dismissing as pathological any opinion different from theirs).

As anti-psychiatrist movements have shown, psychiatric institutional systems are naturally oriented (as a necessary means for their own preservation and promotion) to see fools everywhere and to heal none. Rather, they destroy through poison, many lives that would otherwise not have been so bad.

Some people would dismiss criticism by putting forward some cases of people who really benefited from psychiatric treatment. Another argument pushed on someone who had a bad experience suffering from a absurd treatment from mad psychiatrists who make nonsense diagnosis (mistaking, for example, any original thoughts away from political correctness, as madness, and ordering devastating pills for someone who was in fact sane, or anyway whose problem had nothing to do with what is assumed), is to justify this madness by :
  1. claiming that anyway the patient is free and responsible for having freely accepted the devastating treatment ordered by the psychiatrist (no matter the formal obligations of obedience could be set up by a brainless administration; and how the psychiatrist lied to the patient in the, refusing to discuss the diagnosis with the patient's agreement, nor telling the truth about the effects; assuming, disregarding any other assessment of the patient's intelligence or rationality than the psychiatrist's intimate conviction, that the patient would be too mad to understand his problem, supposedly making it necessary to tell any lies to make him accept the needed treatment; thus decidedly letting the patient no chance of an informed consent).
  2. that if a psychiatrist takes wrong decisions, the patient just need to search for another one, because, as is assumed, there must exist good ones - disregarding that this is but a way to condemn the patient to have his health damaged again and again by further mad psychiatrists, because there is no available direct means to know which psychiatrist would be sane.
In fact, this "logic" as well as many other details of how many psychiatrists think and behave, is but an expression of total madness and absence of common sense.

Indeed, it would be a matter of common sense to realize that the claims of existence of people who benefited psychiatry, or existence of psychiatrist that made good orderings, should never been acceptable as a sufficient reason to "advise" depressed people to visit one and to follow treatments, because:
What if happy patients with a positive experience, were taking the responsibility for their testimony and advice for others to visit psychiatrists, by providing financial insurance from their personal funds, to give reparation to anyone that their advise would harm ? Such an insurance economy would help restoring justice, as well as comparing the harm with the benefits of psychiatry, and finding out which weights more.

I know that many politically correct people would discard such requirements as foolish, unrealistic or uncivilized.
But those who would discard such requirements are the mad ones. There could be no possible civilization without a form of law or practical means forcing people to take the full and real responsibility for what they claim expertise in. There would be no possible civilization if hungry people were routinely invited to restaurants, some of whom serve good food while many others routinely serve deadly poison, with no available means to make the difference or to complain afterwards.
In the present world, it turns out that even the right of speech inside hospitals, by patients who suffered wrong treatments, is denied.
This is but a character of totalitarian systems. In fact, it is known that psychiatrists were happy under the Nazi and soviet regimes, to get any political prisoner to make experiments on; and this is a general intrinsic character of the psychiatric methods and mentality rather than a specific accident from the dominating political ideologies of the respective places and times, as this blind and barbarian behavior can still be observed in our present Western "civilization" just the same : today's behavior of psychiatrists is a result of a perverse training of psychiatrists oriented by misinformation from pharmaceutical industries into barbarian behavior, only hidden under a "soft appearance" (many psychiatrists can't just treat their patients like animals by force but they still think the same and try to do it by other means anyway).

In a sane and civilized world, it should be a matter of common sense that even a psychiatrist that would be "wise" with his own patients, not harming their lives, should rather be stopped as a fool and condemned as a criminal whenever he would tolerate the testimonies of his wise actions by his own patients, to serve as an argument to lead by "nice advice" some other unfortunate depressed people to follow damaging treatments of his unwise colleagues.

There are currently laws against defamation, that forbid any public accusation of some sorts against someone, no matter how true such accusation may be (without unrealistic obligations of judicial procedures, unaffordable lawyer expenses and so on, and that have no decent chance for the truth to be officially recognized anyway).
But precisely, this anti-defamation law lets no reasonable chance for any positive quality of a wise and reliable person, to be known and trusted either by contrast.

See my big list of links against Psychiatry

"Scientific Skepticism"

This section was moved to a separate page.

But, while a good form of skepticism is part of rationality, we cannot reduce rationality to it.
Genuinely rational skepticism insists on either rejecting or avoiding judgement for claims or phenomena where no evidence is present yet. While it is indeed necessary to not pretend to know something that cannot be checked, and we have no "right" to systematically demand or pretend having all the needed evidence for the truth on all questions we "need to know", this is not a satisfactory end of the story.
And, just as science's acknowledgement of its incompleteness did not prevent it from discovering a very good deal of knowledge, there are indeed many answers readily available to reason about the sense of life, which shall be presented in the next parts.

Part I - Part II - Part III

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