Scientism and ethics

I see the ethics question being raised at the TRS, and am somewhat impressed that they are approaching the issue, and am very impressed with this very well thought out article, but then I see the input from Curt Doolittle and I am left less than impressed. The issue is really one that Propertarianism and pretty much everything put forward under the wing of Propertarianism is basically Scientism of a really extreme kind, as well as being hard core liberal in much the same way as the input of Nick Land to whom all the criticisms against Doolittle can also be directed.

The best way to see what I am getting at, is to kind of mentally squint your eyes and not pay attention to the minutia and the details that are put forward by Doolittle, but try and get a overall impression of what he is saying, at which point it is fairly clear that he is not even remotely talking about humans of any kind.

A good rule of thumb I am finding with all thought linked to the western tradition, and especially liberalism, is to assume they are not talking about humans, and there is no real outside, nor barrier to everyone doing whatever they really want regardless of the overall direction of things. In this instance such things as anarcho-capitalism are fine and dandy, as are wild universal statements purporting to apply to all individuals despite being the product of a specific society from a specific point in time (England/ Scotland in the 17th centrury.)

So, to make my point, I can quote Doolittle –

“1) Pedagogical Myths…(very young)…………..Stories (WESTERN PATHOLOGICAL ALTRUISM)
2) Virtue Ethics………….(young)………………….Biographies
3) Rule Ethics……………(inexperience adult)…Laws
4) Outcome Ethics……..(experienced adult)….Science”

Now, point 4 is a statement of scientism, no more, no less. In addition, his assertion here seems to imply that there are objective ethics that are based on a solid base (which seems to be what “science” is here referring to,) with the base being:

“impose no involuntary costs, and engage in actions that impose costs only if they are product of, fully informed, warrantied, voluntary, and free of imposition of cost by externality.”

This would seem to be a riff off of the Golden rule, but a very bizarre one. For a start, warrantied here seems to refer to his “operationalism” which is itself an extremely odd formulation of Scientism, given it is a scientific system which was disowned by the inventor as well as being fundamentally disowned by the scientific community for being flawed after being touted as a direct replacement for positivism (itself propagated by government and foundation funding.) The entire premise of having a outcome which is only warrantied by being able to demonstrate all of the actions and understanding that led up to it in non-scientific terms is also deeply troublesome, as any understanding of things is dependent on the context of the speakers, the potential for understanding of the speakers, the inner meaning of the action or words being warrantied (which are not measurable) as well as a myriad of other things. Being of the British Empiricist tradition, it is not surprising Doolittle’s contraption should commit these errors, as I have mentioned before how stupid it (Modern Empiricism) is.

As for his move through virtue ethics, to rule ethics to outcome ethics, this also make no sense, and seems to show either a lack of understanding of ethics, or an attempt to strawman. For example, virtue ethics as can be found from simple googling is not a childish learning process, and to label it as such preposterous, but then again, he makes so many preposterous statements that it is hard too keep track. Virtue ethics inherently demand an ordering of goods within which the ethics have any meaning, so are built around a hierarchical system in which the complicatedness of being a good person is only learned and developed in constant practical application, development of character, and subsequent learning of the right actions to take in the right circumstances within a community in which those action even mean something. It is only with the collapse of western society that deontology and consequentialism even came into existence, and they are as per MacIntyre thoroughly retarded concepts which no one can make sense of; Doolittle is no different.

But again, this is going into too much detail on Doolittle pronouncements, when all the criticisms of him can merely be taken from criticisms against Empiricism, as he is really just rearranging Empiricism with new  vocabulary and a great deal of incoherence.

Getting back to my original point, I fail to see anything in Doolittle which is not refuted by everyday experience. For example, take the comments in this post, especially “Right and Wrong only exist within a polity which seeks to preserve voluntary cooperation, low transaction costs, and productivity resulting from the division of perception, cognition, knowledge, labor, property and advocacy under the division of property.” This is not talking about people. This is talking about liberal individuals within the social contract theory paradigm of liberalism. The idea that individuals within a society participate voluntarily is complete gibberish. At what point do I voluntarily co-operate? At birth? At conception? When? As for the idea that all society is merely in place for low transaction cost etc, this is a grand philosophical statement in which he is seemingly trying to say society operates for collective good via market jargon, but if you reject the social contract liberal individual, it is meaningless.

I could carry on a critique a great deal more, but I fail to see the value. On the other hand, it is quite strange seeing Neoreaction get taken down the road of Empiricisim and Scientism, but this is too be expected of any sort of community which is open and lacking in any sort of direction. You don’t create something by anything short of total fanaticism. The prevailing system that is favoured by the Central Power seeps in by every pore, and even its enemies are it evangelist as can be seen by the likes of Land and Doolittle. The problem isn’t liberalism, it is Liberalism incorrectly applied, and anything not completely Liberal is just Liberalism that needs correcting.