Harmonia Philosophica on Science in the era of COVID-19: The need for common logic!

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Harmonia Philosophica has been around for decades, writing articles about science, religion and philosophy. Many times, we have been overly critical about the dogmatism inherent in the above fields, especially science. This has been mistakenly used by some people to promotie anti-scientific views regarding the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The purpose of this article is to make things clear enough for everyone to understand that criticism on something does not mean denial of common sense.

Surely, science and scientists have many times been dogmatic about the truthfulness of some of the assumptions they make. And it is the work of every scientist and philosopher alike to pinpoint those assumptions so that the people using them can acknowledge them on their own and potentially question them. Harmonia Philosophica has been working hard on that field for along time now.

However!

Being critical on something (e.g. science as we know it to-day) does not mean that we deny it! To the contrary, every criticism conducted, is based upon scientific evidence and scientific methodology. Questioning the interpretation of the Michelson Morley experiment for example, does not at any point mean that someone is questioning science per se! The criticism made is made in the context and with the scientific tools at hand.

Criticism against science is done with the goal of improving science to the heights it once reached. In the same way that criticism against today’s materialistic philosophy is conducted with the goal of freeing modern thought so as to let it reach its past glory or an era where we thought without first thinking.

(Can you ever criticize what you do not love?)

Surely science has flaws and inherent limitations.

But it is what it is. And it is what we have.

And what else can we do but work with what we have?

There is no non-scientific way to analyze a virus or to analyze the pandemic and propose potential measures to cope with it. There is no non-scientific method to develop vaccines or analyze their efficiency.

By denying science we fall into the same trap that those who deny religion have fallen: Dogmatism! Harmonia Philosophica has been saying that for many many years now: we need both science and religion to reach the truth, if such thing ever exists. And it requires wisdom (and sometimes self-imposed discipline) to know when to use what. Yes, science may have inherent limitations. And we will move forward with them. Towards a slightly better world. Day by day. Article by article.

Science can and has been used the wrong way.

But this means that it can also be used the correct way.

As it has been many times in the past.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a time where we all need to be pragmatic and real. There is an enemy out there and we need to fight it. Criticising the only weapon you have available against it is the only certai way of losing…

Oh, and something else.

Philosophy is great.

But at the end, there comes a time when decisions must be made.

And at that point – where we currently are – endless philosophical discussions about this and that are of no use. To the contrary, they might be proved deadly. During an actual crisis, there is no point in pointing out the obvious (e.g. that “not all experts agree”) or in discussing over and over again epistemological issues not solved for centuries. At some point, whether we like it or not, reality comes into play. Surely our philosophy will play a role in the decisions we will take. But we must not allow it to hinder the making of those decisions on the pretext of ‘thinking’. For even philosophy, as science, is not immune from criticism.

Apologies for the dull article.

For me it is one of the most important ones I ever wrote.

Happy thinking. Stay safe.

Harmonia Philosophica

Post-Covid philosophy: The illusion of Freedom. (And why you are addicted to it)

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In the face of the Covid pandemic (coronavirus) many countries imposed nation-wide lockdowns. We are now at the phase of easing those lockdowns. Businesses start operating gradually again and life is beginning to regain its momentum.

During one of the previous days and as part of this ‘going back to normal’ phase we are all in, I visited an electronics shop. I needed something to buy and I had postponed it a long time now. While I was walking in the store I suddenly discovered many other nice things I could use and I was immediately tempted at buying them. It was only after careful recollection and – I must admit – due to my degraded consuming reflexes because of the two-months quarantine, that I decided at the end not to buy them.

I returned home only with what I wanted. And it felt weird. I really felt like a junkie who had just denied himself the most exquisite of drugs just because – for a funny weird reason – he just did not want them?!

What had happened to me?

Why did I change like that?

Well…

As in all great questions, the question itself was wrong!

I should better be asking…

What had been happening to me all this time before?

Because you see…

I was already changed!

And as weird as it seems, that big change, the coronavirus pandemic, the lockdowns and the overall slowing down of life itself, had simply led me (and many others, as I understand) back at what we once used to be.

Just wander for yourself.

Did you always drink coffee in the morning? Were you always addicted to cell phones? Did you always need to login into dozens of sites to read news? Were you always addicted to buying things just because you have money to do so?

Our life is not our own.

And yet, we claimed ownership a long time ago.

Trying to impose our self on us.

The greatest illusion of them all – the greatest conspiracy in which we all abide, is the illusion that we are free men. Free to do as we want. Free to buy or not buy things. Free to sell things. Free to find a job, free to quit a job.

But we are not.

We do buy coffee every morning. Not because we want it, but because we have learned to do so. We do buy more and more things every day. Not because we will die if we don’t, but because we have been trained to do so. We sell things when we wish so. But only because of wishes that have been imposed on us by others. We are “free” to get a job. But only the jobs we have been told that are the ones worth it.

Many people have wrongly attributed the lockdowns to a global conspiracy to keep us at home. But this is the opposite of the greatest conspiracy unfolding before our very eyes: The conspiracy to be out and wander free, doing whatever you want.

Because feeling free is the greatest drug of them all. And when you take it, you never think that you might be not. The freedom is not what you really need. The illusion of grandeur that you feel is your true drug.

But remember Zen.

Seek less, to have more…

Staying at home.

Not buying things.

Being with family.

Those things that seem like ‘nothing’.

Are the ones which are everything.

These are the things that we used to do back in the days when we did not know that we could do “whatever we want”. And inside our “prison” we did feel happy. With no obligation to do things we did not want or to buy useless things that just make the void in our soul bigger. For while a “free” man can buy a coffee he doesn’t need and then come out of an electronics shop with two bags of things he “wants”, a a man in prison can dwell on the outer skirts of the universe by reading a book…

Now we will start going out again.

The “prison” doors are open.

But don’t be so happy being miserable.

Just ask the obvious…

– Sir, would that be a single or double espresso?

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