Before I start this I feel like I should point out two things as I think it will help frame my argument, I am not a scientist, and I am an Atheist.
Now, to clarify my argument a little further, I’m not claiming that scientists themselves are a part of this religion, they believe things based on empirical facts that they have observed so requires no faith to believe. I am also not saying that I don’t trust the scientists, and so am willing to accept their recommendations provided that they sound logical and reasonable in most situations. It is only at the point where something sounds unreasonable that I would begin to question and look into the facts to see if their theory holds up.
With this out of the way, I think I can explain what I mean in more details now. When only using opinion and logical deductions based on logic, this results in nothing but a rhetorical argument, and so cannot be taken as scientific fact. To explain what I mean, if someone, for example, says that Climate Change is real because most scientists say it is (this being a logical fallacy of appealing to authority, but I’ll skip over this) you can take three possible stances;
- You can believe the person based on the idea why would scientists lie
- You could completely reject the idea because you have seen no evidence personally
- Or you could accept that it is most likely true but not form an opinion of its likelihood yourself.
I would argue that it is the third point that is most logical, on the basis that any requests based on the claim are reasonable. One person cannot know everything and so most facts must be spread throughout individuals, trying to know every fact as a single human being is impossible and so specialisation should be encouraged for a more efficient society, this meaning that you carry out actions based on the trust that someone else knows what they’re talking about, and so faith, because you are unable to prove it yourself.
As a result, I see the scientists much like priests, except that scientists are mining for empirical truths rather than universal truths.
I would also argue that the belief of global warming is no more than a meme unless you personally understand the data, a meme being “an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means” ( a word not invented by Richard Dawkins as most people will claim, but actually dates back to the likes of Aristotle). And so cannot produce a true scientific deduction, rather only an enthymeme: a logical argument which uses a meme to derive its conclusion. As religion only uses a combination of memes and sparse evidence to produce conclusions among its believers, I would argue as a result that those who believe things to be scientific fact that they cannot personally claim to understand (as opposed to simply assuming they are likely to be true) are simply following a religion of faith.
Does this mean I disagree with any scientific conclusions?
Not necessarily, I cannot claim to understand the theory behind them, and as such cannot claim to be able to be able to refute or accept it. Saying that I should accept it because I do not understand it is simply an appeal to ignorance (another common fallacy).
Does this make me a conspiracy theorist? No, because I do not claim that they are being used for ulterior motives, nor am I refusing their claims.
Why are you writing this?
Because I want to… but also because someone told me the other day that I should believe that global warming is just true because so many people believe it, this being a bandwagon or the ad populum fallacy (saying that if so many people believe it it must be true, lots of people believe the two towers was an inside job, but it doesn’t make it true). I do not claim to be able to personally explain why it is true on this matter, but simply put forward that I will happily carry out any suggestions based on this claim until such suggestions seem unreasonable in any other circumstance. At that point looking into the likelihood of it being true or false and so will try to either proof or refute the claim.