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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Science Can End Racism. Really?



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Some scientists and adherents of scientism keep trying to put more on the shoulders of science than the discipline is capable managing. Now, apparently, some among the elites of science predict that it will somehow do away with racism and sexism by eradicating the emotion of disgust.

Good luck with that. Doing away with disgust would not only be supremely hubristic and interfere with an important part of our evolutionary/creative/or both intrinsic makeup, it would not necessarily do the job. Indeed, we often feel prejudiced because that attitude justifies doing with and to the weak what we, the strong, would like. And we justify such oppression through dehumanization. Just check out personhood theory to see the process in action. It can, but need not, involve disgust.

But why are such "isms" wrong in the first place? Science can't tell us. Science isn't into what is right or wrong. It is into describing and applying what is. Thus, science can certainly tell us that there are only superficial biological differences among the races. But it can't tell us that this means we should treat each other as equal members of one human family.

Human exceptionalism, however can and does do that. Human life has intrinsic value simply and merely because it is human. Science can tell us what and who are biological members of the human species. But it can't determine the value of that determination. That is a job for the humanities, e.g., philosophy, religion, etc.

The science ubber alles types would distort human reasoning and make it profoundly unbalanced. Science is important. But it is an amoral process that is incapable of forging a truly moral society.


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