Saturday, 4 April 2015

Feminism and Faith

Reply to "What’s the difference between science and pseudo-science?"

http://violentmetaphors.com/2013/05/17/whats-the-difference-between-science-and-pseudo-science/comment-page-1/#comment-110580

    Brett Caton    April 3, 2015 / 9:20 am


    What happens if you apply these principle to Feminist thought? For example, Patriarchy theory? Feminism claims that it is a soft science, not a religion – should it have to meet this standard?



        Jennifer Raff    April 3, 2015 / 9:53 am

        Not being an expert in feminist theory, I have no idea. I think your question would be better directed towards that kind of expert. It’s a bit of a non-sequitur for this post.


            Brett Caton    April 3, 2015 / 6:23 pm

            I am not in expert in any scientific field – yet I could apply those principles to chemistry or physics, test, and verify, research terms and so on. As a non-expert, I can find precise definitions of all scientific terms.


            Why would an expert in feminist theory be required before the principles above could be applied? Would an expert in any other science, or psuedoscience, be required? Do I need an accredited Homeopathist to debunk or prove it? Or to even find definitions of it’s terms?



                Jennifer Raff    April 3, 2015 / 7:03 pm

                I’m still not sure I understand why you’re choosing this particular topic to argue about on a science blog. You seem to be asserting that feminist theory is an experimental science alongside physics or chemistry. I don’t believe that it is (I’m willing to defer to experts in feminist theory if they define it differently, however). It’s my understanding that feminist theory belongs among the social sciences, like sociology or cultural anthropology. Different toolkits, different approaches.

                You’re making possibly the weirdest strawman argument I’ve ever come across, and trying to create an argument in this particular forum on this particular issue makes me really wonder what your motivations are. Are you just here to argue against feminism because you hate it so much? Then move along…this isn’t the place for it.


                    Brett Caton    April 3, 2015 / 7:56 pm

                    ”You seem to be asserting that feminist theory is an experimental science alongside physics or chemistry.”

                    it was asserted that it was a soft science – comparable to anthropology – and it’s principles have been made law. If we would apply skepticism to other fields, such as homeopathy or divination, then why do we not apply them to Feminism? Why the blind spot that only exists for this one field?

                    “I’m willing to defer to experts in feminist theory”

                    Yet you aren’t willing to do the same for anything else, such as Homeopathy? Why the double standard?

                    “Different toolkits, different approaches.”

                    We apply these principles to anthropology as well. e.g. http://www.skepticnorth.com/2010/12/no-science-please-were-anthropologists/

                    So we can be skeptical about anything else – but never Feminism? Doesn’t that ring any alarm bells?

                    “trying to create an argument in this particular forum on this particular issue makes me really wonder what your motivations are”

                    As I have made clear, we have a blind spot. The traditional place for that spot is religion; it is widely accepted that religion is faith and not evidence based. However, Feminists have repeatedly claimed that their beliefs are not religious. Therefore, skepticism should apply.

                    If we can apply these principles to Anthropology et al, there is no logical reason to refuse to apply them to Feminism. I have to conclude there must be an emotional one.

                    “move along”

                    I am sorry to have upset you – I realise this must be a sensitive topic for you. It isn’t easy to deal with someone questioning your core beliefs – but now you know how those who believe in pseudo-sciences feels when skeptical people ask questions of their faiths. Perhaps this will give you greater insight in the future.
 
 

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