May 10, 2013
Ok, so it's a symptom of broken trust. Who broke the trust? There's plenty of blame to go around, surely, but where's the critique of the "priestly" voice of science? Is none of the suspicion warranted?
Actually, I think the suggestion here is that the suspicion is warranted, but that perpetual suspicion has exhausted itself. As to what comes after that, fair point.
Isn't it not just science and religion though, but institutions more broadly (e.g. government, business, media)? Distrust is pervasive, which seems to speak to your point about the modern epistemology of suspicion.
I've often thought that religion and science share the same problem: not just skepticism about their institutions but skepticism about facts in general. When a study came out saying the morning-after pill prevented pregnancies rather than keeping a fetus from implanting, a relative who I consider generally intelligent wanted to know what the scientists' motives were. On some level this is healthy skepticism: academics have been caught with their fingers on the scales in the past, after all. But at another level, I think a lot of people distrust what scientists and even science per se has to say because we are uncomfortable with objective facts. The idea that there's a reality that all of our beliefs and perspectives doesn't affect can certainly seem... quaint, at times. And insisting on it can discount the experiences of different people.
The thing is, this isn't just scientists' problem. Religion also faces a skepticism about truth. Christians struggle against this idea of "true for you," or "feels true." And in many ways scientists are our strongest ally - not because we'll necessarily agree on what's true (many but certainly not all scientists are atheists) but because we agree there <i>is</i> a truth to be found. I think that's a bigger problem than skepticism in and of itself.
Looks like we all agree, the politicization of science, media and etc. has caused the public to suspend belief in anything. If you check the textbooks of kids in school it is a shock to find opinion masquerading as fact and blame the foundation of the government.
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