Why is Scientism one of Earth's civil religions? What is a civil religion & why is it more powerful than organized religion? Why are advertisers and propagandists able to manipulate the populace via their implicit beliefs? Why is it in our best interests to expose the implicit, transforming them into explicit? Why do Civil Religions emerge gradually? What is the connection between the successes of technology and Scientism? What corollary civil religions did Scientism spawn? Article Summary
One reason for allocating so many articles to the topic of Scientism is that it is one of the Earth’s civil religions – a component of the implicit belief structure of our global culture, especially the intelligentsia. As such it is a filter through which they view the world. Indeed although these beliefs began as mere inferences they have grown into a presumed Reality – nearly as unassailable as motherhood. This is due to the integration of the tenets into a network of self supporting intellectual constructs employed for organizing the world. These are reinforced by behavior patterns – until they proceed from idea to reality. Now we have problems, as this inadvertent filter distorts our perceptions. On a more personal level, these implicit beliefs collide with the basic tenets of BD - obstructing acceptance.
In general the implicit beliefs of Civil Religion are a more powerful social force than Organized Religion – as the latter is frequently but a feature of the former. Ubiquitous examples are provided by the endless wars that are fought between members of the same religion – cultures that believe in the same book killing and torturing each other for millennia. Presumed to be for doctrinal differences these conflicts are frequently more a matter of differences in the civil religion – as when the Christians of Eastern and Western Europe fought to conquer and destroy each other – despite minor doctrinal disputes. In fact more wars are fought over civil religion than organized.
What is this civil religion? & Why doesn’t anyone talk about it? Civil religion tends to be invisible, as it is part of the implicit belief structure of the culture. Alternately the quite visible organized religion is part of the explicit beliefs. Explicit beliefs are out in the open for all to see – written down in a Book and memorized or codified as law. Implicit beliefs are hidden – beneath consciousness – part of the underlying assumptions that motivate our lives without our even being aware. These are passed down from generation to generation via subliminal behavior and speech patterns.
Propagandists and advertisers employ these implicit beliefs in order to manipulate humans to buy and/or participate in senseless wars. Because these implicit beliefs of the civil religion are subliminal people aren’t even aware they are being manipulated. The powers that be cultivate this Pavlovian response to external stimuli in order to get the masses to bend to their will. The invisible ring goes in the invisible nose and the individual is drawn here and there – without a fight – participating in the most inane and self-destructive behavior – just because these implicit beliefs aren’t conscious. “Nobody is gonna tell me what to do. I’m independent. Pass the Marlboros. Saw an independent looking guy smoking some. Want to reinforce and affirm my self image.”
For instance: Part of the civil religion of American are the complex of holidays and institutions that characterize our culture without being part of any religion – Thanksgiving, high school football, the World Series, pickup trucks, and endless driving. The American way of life is so hardwired into our system that to threaten this risks revolt or retaliation – as in the case of 911. Because Muslim terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers – our subliminal symbol of world dominance – assaulting our sense of manifest destiny – another feature of our civil religion – the government was able to pull the right strings to catalyze the public’s knee-jerk impulse to strike out at a similar looking, but innocent, bystander.
Due to the insidious nature of the implicit beliefs of civil religion it is imperative to expose them to the light of day – bring them into consciousness in order to avoid ruinous manipulation. As such one of the purposes of this paper is to differentiate scientism from science. Although similar the former is a component of our civil religion, while the latter is logic-based. By raising awareness through discussion it is hoped that the explicit belief that scientism is a religion will replace the implicit belief that science and scientism are equal. Although it’s easy to attribute altruistic motives to this quest, the underlying reason for the exposé is selfish. Brought to the surface of consciousness the subliminal beliefs of scientism will be less likely to inadvertently block acceptance of Behavioral Dynamics – as a new paradigm of exploration und understanding.
A powerful feature of civil religions is that they tends to emerge gradually and inadvertently over time (quite different from organized religion with their founders and books). The early Americans derived their sense of personal freedom from surviving in a hostile environment on their own without the assistance of Europe’s military hierarchy. When this implicit belief was compromised they revolted. This had nothing to do with religion, just a little to do with business, and everything to do with the change from self-sufficiency to taking arbitrary orders from overseas.
Similarly scientism has developed gradually over time, in all classes, but especially the intelligentsia – not just locally, but globally – perhaps anywhere there is a university with scientists. But it is not just scientists who participate. It has infected wide swatches of the population – even those who profess an anti-scientific viewpoint. It is so widespread that most take its subliminal tenets for granted. The disadvantage is that the implicit beliefs of scientism affect behavior inadvertently giving rise to misunderstanding, manipulation and exploitation. The ascendancy of scientism is due to the fabulous successes of technology that pervade myriad aspects of our lives – Communication, Art & Information. Although these material toys enhance existence they are not life.
Scientism is so widespread globally that it has also spawned some corollary religions, which include nutritionsim and doctorism – all based upon the implicit belief that ‘Science knows best’. While there has been a reaction to this notion, the reaction has the seeds of its parent. In Biblical terminology Science begat Technology, which begat popular Scientism, which begat Nutritionism – all of which benefit from their association with their Logos-based Father.
If you are interested in the manifestations of scientism, pursue the following links:
How Copernicus’ epoch changing paradigm shift was motivated by Beauty not Data
How the transition from question of Why to What created Science.
Why Scientism is a Religion.
How Scientism rewrites History to vilify its Shadow.
 It is far easier to avoid manipulation via explicit belief structures because they are on the surface and conscious.
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