Some Concepts in Scientific/Dialectical Thinking




(dialectical) Mystical Mechanical Ultra-Relativist

1. Everything changes  

----------ABSOLUTE LAWS----------

NO ORDER       
2. Change is like aging, an internal process  based on internal contradictions/friction  
(unity of opposites)  
Everything  determined by Higher Powers
determined by  
Laws of Nature
determined or  
even predictable
Helpless - no free will Helpless - no free will Helpless - anything  
can happen anytime

3. Qualitative change comes from quantitative  
(Another Mystical view asserts that "free will" alone can do everything, but it is often implied that only a special few, "chosen?" can really do it)  
4. Change is irreversible   (In reality, nobody adheres completely to these three Idealist types of thinking or they would not be able to function in the world.)        
Some examples:      
1. There may be a crisis            World will end  next Tuesday  No Problem today,  
so none tomorrow 
"Never can tell" 
2. WWII "had" to happen but not in every detail  God's Will No stopping it "Anything could've happened." 
3. Oily rags can ignite   It's Magic They won't ignite "I don't know" 
4. Use evidence  DOGMA Sometimes Dogma  
Some limited evidence 
So open minded as to evade any  
conclusions (but  
does act) - can  
disguise dogmatism

Many unscientific thinkers flip flop from one anti-scientific set of ideas to another extremely different opposite set, in order to compensate for their previous one-sidedness.  Example:  the person who goes back and forth from strict religion, living for a future after death to total lack of self control, alcohol, living for the moment only, etc. or the pragmatist who rejects scientific theorizing as dogmatic and then, in a crisis, embraces some mystical, dogmatic, even fascist theory.  

Common errors:  

    1) Only seeing one side of a story or of a contradiction; not seeing the opposite side 

    2) Seeing both sides and not drawing a conclusion 

    3) Seeing both sides and giving them equal weight -- arbitrary compromise 

    4) Seeing both sides and trying to give them accurate weight, but not taking into account how the two sides interact with each other.  Not seeing the changes taking place within the situation 

    5) Not seeing how the situation is connected to other situations that can affect it



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