Monday, January 07, 2008

Questions that science cannot answer:

What is the meaning of life?

What is my purpose as a human being?

What is the difference between right and wrong?

Are genocide, slavery, and adultery wrong?

2 comments:

jose said...

Or science is able to answer those questions and in fact does with the same single word: nothing.

(Well, at least the first three questions.)

kennyching said...

I think a lot of scientists do answer the questions as you suggest, Jose.

But I think that arises from a a commitment to an epistemology of empericism -- that is, the only things that can be known are things that can be observed. This belief is a dogma, in the formal religious sense. Having put their faith in empericism, they find that, as you say, the answer to the questions is "nothing."

But this isn't a necessary result of science or being a scientist. Instead, one can simply recognize that science has self-imposed limitations on the statements it can make, that is, it can make statements about only the observable. But if it one wants knowledge about unobservable phenomena, like the meaning of life, fields of knowledge other than science must be consulted.