The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

Heteroduction – When Classic Inference Proves Unsound

There exists a circumstance for skepticism wherein a nagging repetitive anecdote inside the general public experience just will not go away. The impasse wherein its absence has been falsified, yet classic forms of inference fail in deriving its presence. Such instance stands as Ockham’s Razor necessity for the introduction of a new form of inference – one better suited to intelligence assimilation, than classic academic study. A disruptive and asymmetric form of inference which resides at the heart of the Kuhn-Planck Theory of Scientific Revolution.

Much to the chagrin of fake skeptics, certain phenomena and archetypes in the realm of human experience, will just not go away. Specific subjects they disdain are irritatingly bolstered by almost daily repeated observation on the part of the general public. Inside many of these topics the idea that such disdained phenomena constitute a mere figment of overzealous imaginations has been falsified over and over. But this will never satisfy the mind of a fake skeptic. They extrapolate a condition of difficulty in terms of classic inference, to therefore stand as basis for inferring the phenomenon’s absence as well (appeal to ignorance). They then invoke the name of science, as a USDA stamp of certification on such putrid products of ‘critical thinking’. To the ethical skeptic, such skeptical casuistry is folly.

My thoughts regarding this condition, what I have termed the contrathetic impasse, revolve are around a new approach to research and inference. One which we employed inside Intelligence, during my days therein. This is the form of research which might be performed by an investigator. This ilk of researcher does not hold an entire body of pre-knowledge (prior art), and must assemble such as part of their discovery process inside their research method. Not that this mode of inference or means of research has not existed all along; rather my point is, that this form of research is denied its own meaning and identity inside acceptable science method. Skeptics regard investigators and sponsors as lower, invalid forms of scientist. Pseudo scientists. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A Necessity for Heteroduction

The form of research and mode of inference this style of researcher employs involves a circumstance/conundrum exhibiting the following cohesive set of characteristics – ones common to all subjects which labor under this burden:

1.  Locus of study resides inside an enigma or apparent enigma which bears detection, but is denied meaning (See Descriptive Wittgenstein Error)

2.  Its logical critical path bears asymmetry or is unduly influenced by agency

3.  Its observations are ephemeral, hard to quantify and involve apparent sublime factors

4.  Observations are cherry sorted by skeptics in favor of reliability over their probative potential

5.  There exists an appeal-to-authority hostility toward the subject domain (Embargo Hypothesis – Hξ)

6.  The disciplines of lab/linear style hypothesis, deduction and induction have not proved to constitute sufficient inference methodologies to make progress inside the enigma

7.  More is unknown than is known regarding the entailed subject domain.

Solving a murder (deduction) or discovering a non-chlorine hand sanitizer for Ebola stricken areas (linear induction), or arriving at a conclusion about the character of a person (triangulating induction) – none of these constitute a sufficient method of inference under the condition outlined above. This condition demands much more, a form of Intelligence if you will, than it demands a basic form of intellectual exercise or inference. In the list to the right, you can observe the various modes of induction, ranked according to probative strength. Heteroduction (in red) is not so much strong in its relative ranking as a form of inference, as it is key in its role as possibly the only avenue of recourse once science and society have reached a contrathetic impasse. Observations have been proven to exist, but classic means of research have failed to produce critical answers.

Maybe one of the first steps inside this battle revolves around prompting philosophers of science to recognize this ‘new’ form of induction in the first place. Perhaps this is why fake skeptics patrol philosophy as well, to ensure that this form of inference is never understood nor accepted.

Heteroduction

/philosophy : inference/ : a disruptive and asymmetric form of inference necessary when classic modes of inference have served to produce or enforce incoherent and/or falsified conclusions. Heteroduction is associated less commonly with classic incremental hypothesis, and more with a process of investigation called intelligence assimilation. A novel form of inference which does not or cannot rely solely upon leveraging an incremental extrapolation of risk from that which is alike to our prior art. Rather, this method of inference must pool and draw inference from that which is unlike our prior art. It is the basis of the Kuhn-Planck Paradigm Shift understanding of scientific revolutions.

Heteroduction is strong because it leverages inconsistent observation as a form of coincident falsification and deduction.
Falsifications and deductions of high probative value which are erroneously or surreptitiously dismissed
because of their perceived lack of consistency, conformance or salience.

One must establish a consilient shitload in confirmation of standing wisdom, in order to counter for one violation of it.
Because a single instance of violation of our wisdom is vastly more scientifically informative than is any particular instance of its confirmation.

There are certain subjects, wherein their modus absens (absence as an object or state) has been falsified. In other words, Ockham’s Razor plurality has been surpassed and ethical research now demands their investigation. These are the domains which are best researched by the intelligence specialist; that form of investigator who knows how to assemble prior art and chase a consilience of information, all of which have proved to be unlike much of what we have seen before. But such a researcher must understand, that what is forbidden, and the puzzle piece nubs which are cut off in order to make the pieces a better ‘fit’ inside the a priori puzzle, can also often be assembled into the truth. Such is a predictable foible of mankind.

An Example of Heteroduction

For instance, dark matter is a one-idea-solves-all proposition which is raised as a result of cataloging a set of anomalous observations regarding universal/galactic motions in their relation to our understanding of gravity.  Classic linear induction would dictate that we craft dark matter as the incremental element which would function to conserve general relativity and Lambda-CDM models as the null hypothesis in the face of such a growing set conflicting observations. The reader may be forgiven for confusing such activity with ‘belief’. An ethical skeptic understands that the null hypothesis should never enjoy the luxury of becoming a belief.

Heteroduction in contrast, would coalesce all these same anomalous observations (see below) into a competing paradigm; observations which either are unlike anything we have ever seen, or even contradict our current prior art on the subject.  Heteroduction in this instance serves to develop a grounded-but-novel explanatory schema for these into a new competing construct (hopefully later hypothesis, if it can survive fake skepticism). Quantized Inertia stands as a key example of heteroduction in action.

Linear Induction

Dark Matter – a hypothetical form of matter that is thought to account for approximately 85% of the matter in the universe, and about a quarter of its total energy density. Its presence is inductively implied in a variety of astrophysical observations, including gravitational effects that cannot be explained unless more matter is present than can be seen.1

A person conducting heteroduction would sound warning on this line of reasoning – if enforced as a truth, rather than as the null hypothesis (note that I am not arguing against Dark Matter as a construct, simply using its deliberation as exemplary here).

Heteroduction

Quantized Inertia (QI) – previously known by the acronym MiHsC (Modified Inertia from a Hubble-scale Casimir effect), is the concept first proposed in 2007 by physicist Mike McCulloch, as an alternative to general relativity and the mainstream Lambda-CDM model. Quantized Inertia is posited to explain various anomalous effects such as the Pioneer and flyby anomalies, observations of galaxy rotation which forced Dark Matter’s introduction and propellantless propulsion experiments such as the EmDrive and the Woodward effect. It is a theory of inertia-like resistance arising from quantum effects, which serves to function in the place of dark matter –  as the necessary conjecture explaining ‘missing matter/gravitation’ in our cosmological models.2

For a better framing of QI Theory than I can render here, one can find a common sense summary within this video (which is also recommended by physicist Mike McCulloch):  The Fringe Theory Which Could Disprove Dark Matter

The Unruh effect, Casimir effect, information coding/compression theory and missing mass of galactic rotation, all of which provide the praedicate to QI theory, are all well established constructs inside modern science. Each subject outlines artifacts of observation unlike any we have observed before – anomalies which prompt scientists to go ‘huh?’. However it is the probative potential of such observations combined with this very nature of being unlike our standing prior art on the subject, which suggests their necessary combination into a new theoretical paradigm. This process/mode of inference is called heteroduction. It becomes necessary when classic forms of inference (the top ones in the chart above) have run their course in ability to provide explanatory or predictive power, and a critical mass of exception/falsifying observations continue to accrue.

True science challenges its null hypothesis, and this construct/hypothesis challenges the null hypothesis within a reasonable basis of soundness. This does not mean that QI therefore as an idea is correct, rather that it stands as a potential foundational stone inside a Kuhn-Planck Paradigm Shift. The mode of inference and the method of investigation remain valid, despite whether or not the QI alternative pans out to be true in the end. It is indeed science.

In contrast, there exist several darker forms of inference, a key one of which is panduction.

Panduction

/philosophy : invalid inference/ : an invalid form of inference which is spun in the form of pseudo-deductive study. Inference which seeks to falsify in one felled swoop ‘everything but what my club believes’ as constituting one group of bad people, who all believe the same wrong and correlated things – this is the warning flag of panductive pseudo-theory. No follow up series studies nor replication methodology can be derived from this type of ‘study’, which in essence serves to make it pseudoscience.  This is a common ‘study’ format which is conducted by social skeptics masquerading as scientists, to pan people and subjects they dislike.

As such an idea like QI, which hinges upon heteroduction, cannot be equated with pseudoscience, as did Brian Koberlein in a Forbes (no surprise here to followers of The Ethical Skeptic) article on 15 February 2017.3 I am not a proponent necessarily of Quantized Inertia, but this form of ‘I am God’ journalism, purposed a priori with the sole objective of harming (scienter) researchers for daring to think differently, constitutes a Richeliean appeal-to-authority on the part of Brian Koberlein. Brian exhibits here a longstanding problem in science and not any form of its valid expression. His appeal to ‘peer review’ and opponent ‘resistance to criticism (infer: invalidation)’ ring with sounds of familiarity to the experience ethical skeptic and investigator. Not that those things are wrong as aspects of science, rather they are the common last resort implements of the scoundrel, when used to counter otherwise sound evidence and scientific method. A circumstance wherein the poseur has exhausted the depths of their technical competence and now must resort to sciencey-sounding rhetoric.

One can ascertain from the Forbes article, that Brian understands fully he will be rewarded with immediate monkey-with-a-gas-can credibility (and future income) through visibly bullying a weaker target and slinging a couple familiar terms about. It is one thing to professionally disagree – another thing altogether to call something which possesses valid mechanism and observation, ‘pseudoscience’. This is not ‘scientific criticism’. This is a Wittgenstein object called evil (harm as a first priority, through misrepresentation with scienter):

Rather than addressing criticism, you start building a story where your idea is obviously right, and others are simply too closed-minded to see it. Down that path lies pseudoscience, and sometimes you can watch it happening. Take for example, Mike McCulloch’s theory of Modified inertia by a Hubble-scale Casimir effect (MiHsC), also known as quantized inertia.4

~Brian Koberlein, Astrophysicist and Forbes Contributor

It is not that Brian’s conclusion is wrong. But more importantly, his mode of inference (panduction) is unsound. His method is wrong and will only serve to propagate ignorance. It forces science advancement to rely critically upon, not discovery, rather the eventual passing of its participants.

Science advances through disruptive shifts based upon heteroduction, and only after the posing skeptics of conformance all die.
The intrinsically deductive nature of death therefore, may stand as mankind’s most profound form of scientific inference.

Brian starts by assuming the proposition to be wrong (an amazing feat of panductive critical thinking – see chart above), and then straw man frames the thought behind its competing idea as originating from ‘building a story’ (infer ‘lie’ dear reader). This constitutes an overreach in skepticism, as this circumstance may constitute simply a matter of a necessary competing construct (see Embargo of the Necessary Alternative is Not Science).

Under Brian’s method outlined here, we are done with science as a key bulwark to the future of humanity – as no new idea can ever be developed again. Nothing but academic journalism from here on out folks – get on the bus or be pseudoscience. We are the science, you are not. Papers published will be constrained to only those which serve to stroke the egos of those who achieved journalistic tenure, and can only serve to propose hypotheses which conjecture additional novel tidbits outlining how brilliant and correct we have always been. This is nonscientific propaganda, a form of bullshit common with Forbes and its contributors.

It is not that dark matter is invalid as a construct or theory; rather, the challenge resides in exposing this fake form of its enforcement. A philosophical experiment which will serve to benefit future generations in combating methodical cynicism and ignorance.

 It is this very process of

  • denying a whole method of inference its own meaning and role
  • invalidating (not ‘criticizing’) a scientific enigma because of its asymmetrical challenge and sublime observation base
  • obsessing over reliability to the sacrifice of understanding, and
  • Richeliean appeal to authority

which stand as the conditions which make heteroduction necessary as now an accepted mode of inference. A mode of inquiry which resides at the heart of the ethical talented intelligence specialist. It is up to the ethical skeptic to ensure that such researchers and avenues of research are shielded from the nefarious forces which would see to their premature demise.

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January 27, 2019 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , | Leave a comment

The Essential Mind of the Religious Pitch

It is not that the ethical skeptic cannot make and hold dear a metaphysical selection – it is rather, the path one undertakes to get there, and what one does with it thereafter, which makes all the difference.

A religious pitch is a common way for an individual to spread influence and extract conformity to his view of the world from his fellow man. A psychological need underpins this natural human foible, as the attainment of conformity from another serves as a kind of confirmation salve which assuages the pitch-maker’s inner fear. The pitch itself may differ between clubs which are in conflict, but the essential nature and structure of the pitch never changes. For instance, the essential structure of the conversion-seeking Dunning-Kruger argument, is at its core – a religious pitch. A God or gods, churches, synagogues, etc. have nothing to do with the essential nature of the approach, nor do they stand as indicative of any fundamental difference between the various religious clubs.

They are here to tell you again, the same exact entity/method/virtue (EMV) construct you have heard before, under the false presumption that you did not get it, the last 5,936 times you had their message pushed on you. What follows is the essential nature of such a religious pitch:

   The Religious Pitch

 1.  I Am the Good (Club)

That you personally and your club represent a/the higher entity/method/virtue or all that is the attainable good inside reality.

 2.  Others are Not the Good

That your fellow man, whom you regard to not be in the Club, represents a/the lowest entity/method/virtue and is neutral to bad inside reality.

 3.  I Hold Critical EMV Sophia

That your cognition includes an critical grasp of ‘what counts’ inside the nature of reality; the acceptable, the bad, truth, rationality, effectiveness and what happens upon our passing from this realm.

 4.  Others Need Conversion

That others have never heard the repetition of, nor the specific narrative and details involved in 1 – 3 above before – or if they did, they did not get it or did not hear it expressed correctly.

 5.  My Club is Immortal/Omniscient and Exclusively Sanctioned by a Standard of Awesomeness

That your Club has never been any different, held any different beliefs, nor violently filtered out any essential portion of its teachings or people; and its Critical EMV Sophia has never not existed, nor really changed in any significant way. It holds exclusive license and grasp of some iconic standard of specific awesomeness, such as God or Science or Critical Thinking.

 6.  Blind Eye

Doubt any threatening ideas, but never doubt the Club or any single tenet inside its doctrine. Fear the club or its awesome standard. Especially do not question Club history in oppressing or harming others or mankind through these first five character traits above.

Examples:

•  Critical Thinking/Rationality Clubs
•  Abrahamism/Hinduism
•  Nihilistic Atheism/Material Monism
•  Club Skepticism (Social Skepticism)
•  Buddhism/Taoism

Science holds itself accountable, and in a way – celebrates exposure of its own misadventure.
Religious thinking conceals its foibles and ignores its failures.

However, inside each of the above religious pitch clubs, there are individuals who practice the ethic which follows.

The essence of ethical skepticism is this:

  1. There is No Club – Club Quality does not work (see #2. below).

  2. Good Intentions Serve to Harm – Good intentions are a way of deceiving self in harming others.

  3. I Do Not Hold Sophia – I do not possess the cognition of any critical entity/method/virtue. I hold myself accountable precisely because of this knowledge.

  4. Truth is Non-Robust/Change is Inevitable – If you are not evolving, you are dying.

  5. Tolerance – Others only need instruction when they operate under the Religious Pitch – then relax thereafter, as the rest will come.

  6. Never a Blind Eye – Go Look. Always question to increase value or reduce risk (not just ‘doubt’ – see #2 above).

It is not that the ethical skeptic has to arrive at a conclusion at all. Nor that he or she cannot choose and hold dear a metaphysical selection, nor any kind of inspiration or meaning to life, even if esoteric and unprovable – it is rather, the path you undertake to get there, and what you do with it thereafter, which makes all the difference.

epoché vanguards gnosis

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November 23, 2018 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , | Leave a comment

Meta-Ethical Praxis of Science

Ethical skepticism is a form of meta-ethical philosophy which serves specific benevolent/knowledge goals. The ethics of science (a fortiori of skepticism as well) relate therefore primarily to the study of meta-ethics – and have little to do with morality or virtue. They focus on specific standards of praxis within the scientific community at large.

There exist three domain-forms of ethics. The first is normative ethics, the domain of appearances and correctness from a social perspective.

Normative Ethics – objective practices of morality and social codes of conduct (virtue, religious, moral, identity, personal conduct, etc.)

However, since one of the entire purposes of this blog is to decry pretense, false virtue, concealed religion and identity warfare (the abuse of ethics), we choose to focus instead on more professionally applicable contexts of ethics. More specifically, those of meta-ethics and praxis of science and skepticism:

Meta-Ethics – the study of the disciplines and philosophical bases behind professional standards of practice (skepticism, objectivity, consequentialism, deontology)

Applied Ethics (Praxis) – the decision theory behind professional standards of practice or social codes of conduct (law, procedure, codes of conduct, standards of practice) 1

While I am an upstanding and conscientious person in my private and professional life, one should not infer from the term ‘ethical skepticism’ a personal boast of morality (normative ethics), as those who are ignorant of graduate level philosophy are prone to accuse. Rather one should comprehend ethical skepticism as an intellectual and practical allegiance to an actual long held standard of science. After all, this is what ‘ethics’ means, the decision theory behind adherence to standing professional standards of practice (meta and applied ethics or praxis ethics). Ethical skepticism therefore, is a meta-ethical philosophy which serves specific benevolent/knowledge goals and results in specific modifications to some of our applied ethics (pseudo-skepticism, institutional propaganda and cultivated ignorance). Especially applied ethics which have been in error.

The context of the moniker I use, ‘The Ethical Skeptic’ or the general practitioner descriptive in the form ‘ethical skeptic’, are set in the impersonal; as in the case of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for instance. The context of ethics employed in this blog is deontological in as far as the adherence to standards of protocol, such as the real and complete scientific method, are regarded as both sufficient and necessary to direct our knowledge development actions. An idempotent neutral practice, characterized by an aversion to tampering with observations and data in favor of one’s ontology. Yet, still consequentialist from the perspective that the outcomes of value and clarity manifest as the signature handiwork of those who practice such ethics. In my profession and research skepticism is the substrate of science, and I feel it is abused when applied in lieu of science by agenda-schooled journalists, stage magicians, propaganda bloggers, psychologists and party/social activists.

One can make the serious contention that skepticism is itself, the philosophical deliberation of the meta-ethics of science. However, skepticism must be watched and held accountable too if it errs in consequentialist outcome, attempts to manipulate the outcomes of science itself, embargoes disliked topics or begins to step in and act in lieu of science. Hence the need for ethical skepticism – to watch the watchers.

There exists a contrast of relative movement between where the skeptic movement was 40 years ago, and where it resides now – versus the relative change in practice inside of the so-called pseudosciences during that same timeframe. It is skepticism which has had to be taught how to behave over the last 40 years, and not the pseudosciences. More people believe in a litany of pseudoscience than ever have before. I believe this be be precisely because of the mistaught version of skepticism which was hatched in the 60’s and 70’s.

Skeptics have had to be taught how to behave over the last 20 years in particular.
As a result of their malpractices so-called fringe ideas, both valid and invalid, have grown dramatically in subscribership.
If such such a fringe subject bears validity, then of course its cynics were always in error.
If the fringe subject is invalid, its ensuing popularity too is the fault of the pseudo skeptic – and for the same reasons.

Fake moon landing and flat earth proponents have learned to employ the very same methods which
have been taught by fake skepticism in the targeting of disliked ideas over the last 60 years.
The chickens of failed philosophy have come home to roost.
And the blame for this resides squarely with our floundering skeptics.

These practices are not simply unethical because of the negative consequentialist outcomes in terms of subscribership to fringe topics like fake moon landing and flat Earth theories, but as well – from the history that it has indeed been skeptics who have proved to require the most re-education in this process of deliberation, and ironically not the ‘credulous’. Finally, the specific practices which have resulted in this are detailed and cataloged by The Ethical Skeptic. Skeptics have failed us both from ontological and consequentialist perspectives. What follows is the reason for all this. Fake virtue does not work. Club quality does not work. Normative ethics can serve to provide a clever disguise for agency of malice and oppression.

Exploitation of Ethics Reveals the Necessity of Meta-Ethics

This principle of a policing club such as social skepticism introduces several problems identified by ethical skepticism regarding prima facia virtue and normative ethics:

Virtue Signaling

/philosophy : pseudoscience : normative ethics/ : the ironic principle entailed in the social observation that, prima facia ethics or normative ethics, virtue, religious precepts, morality, victimhood, identity warfare, personal conduct codes, etc. can, and often do serve as a cover for unethical agency masquerading under such pretenses. An action performed in accordance with socially correct pressure, or inside a visible boundary of political correctness, which is performed by a person wishing to show that they are on the good side in a political argument. Symbolic virtuous acts or positions adopted solely to build political power or exempt one from being accused of racism, bigotry, misogyny, greed or any of the canned talking attack points currently being fad utilized by the political left.

Exoentropy of Normatives

/philosophy : ethics : meta-ethics/ : The effort to enforce order inside a controlled subsystem, inevitably and ironically serves to increase the level of disorder or entropy surrounding it. Moreover, systemic dynamics can serve to impart unethical consequentialist outcomes which arrive as a result solely and wholly from individual efforts to maintain normatives of propriety or the appearance of such propriety; especially when coupled with the gaming and exploitation potential therein. This is also known as exoentropy, wherein a decrease in entropy of a subsystem leads further to an even greater entropic contribution to its surroundings or surrounding systems – resulting in an overall entropy or loss to the whole. An example of this can be found in the observation known as Goodhart’s Law and Goodhart’s Law of Skepticism.

Goodhart’s Law – when a specific measure becomes the sole or primary target, it ceases to be a good measure.

Goodhart’s Law of Skepticism – when skepticism itself becomes the goal, it ceases to be skepticism.

Qualitas Clava Error

/philosophy : fallacy : demarcation of skepticism and pseudo-skepticism/ : club quality error. The presumption on the part of role-playing or celebrity-power-seeking social skeptics that their club or its power, is important in ensuring the quality of science and scientific understanding on the part of the broader population. The presumption that external club popularity and authority, lock step club allegiance and presumptive stacks of probable knowledge will serve to produce valid or quality outcomes inside scientific, rational or critical thought processes. The pretense of encouraging skepticism, while at the same time promoting conclusions. Such thought fails in light of time proven quality improvement practices.

This problem of a single standard of skepticism (Science Based Medicine, The Skeptic’s Dictionary, CSICOP, Skeptical Inquirer, etc.), becoming in itself the goal – or in a single measure (p-value) acting now in lieu of science elicits the central issue with regard to scientific ethics today. And in my estimation therefore, the central issue regarding skepticism as well. They have simply replaced the old-boys’ networks with a new club – however a club which is much more prone to witch hunting. One example of such single measure chicanery is outlined inside a very popular Aeon Essay on Science from 2016, by Siddhartha and Edwards.

Since the Second World War, scientific output as measured by cited work has doubled every nine years. How much of the growth in this knowledge industry is, in essence, illusory and a natural consequence of Goodhart’s law? It is a real question.

The increased reliance on quantitative metrics might create inequities and outcomes worse than the systems they replaced. Specifically, if rewards are disproportionally given to individuals manipulating the metrics, well-known problems of the old subjective paradigms (eg, old-boys’ networks) appear simple and solvable. Most scientists think that the damage owing to metrics is already apparent. In fact, 71 per cent of researchers believe that it is possible to ‘game’ or ‘cheat’ their way into better evaluations at their institutions.

~ Science is Broken, Siddhartha Roy, environmental engineer and PhD candidate at Virginia Tech and Marc A Edwards, Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech. 2

The ethics of science (a fortiori of skepticism as well) relate therefore primarily to the study of meta-ethics – and have little to do with single indicator morality or virtue. Surface measures can be gamed by forces pretending to be or manipulate science. ‘Doubt’, ‘critical thinking’, ‘focus on the data’ – can all serve as virtue costumes which agency adorns to play the role. Moreover, even truly moral and virtuous players can indeed serve to produce highly unethical outcomes, so prima facia virtue is unreliable as a predictor for ethical outcome. 3 Meta-ethics relates to the study of decision theory and how it impacts the overall quality of science inside a hyper-growth institutionalized vertical. Accordingly, the ethics of science are defined by premier ethics philosophers, biochemist Adil Shamoo, PhD and bioethicist David Resnik, PhD as such: 4

a.  Disciplined standards of conduct
b.  Discipline of study of standards of conduct
c.  Decision science incorporating standards of conduct
d.  Resulting state of character which undertakes such disciplined decisions.

Below are several standards of scientific ethics, developed in part from leading discipline materials on the ethics of science, with my own experience inside the subject incorporated therein. These ethical norms of science are re-developed from the following resources: 5 6

Paul Humphreys, The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science; Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2016; pp. 255-9
Resnik, David B., The Ethics of Science: An Introduction (Philosophical Issues in Science), New York: Routledge, 1998

It is the purpose of the PhD program, and the examination by review board, dissertation committee and advisor, to ensure that the PhD candidate grasps and has developed the skill in applying the following principles TO SELF FIRST and not others, before they are allowed to adorn the moniker of scientist. Skepticism has mistakenly taught the less mature among us, to only examine others under cherry picked versions of these principles.

   The Meta-Ethical Praxis of Science (and Skepticism)

Integrity – responsibility with regard to both the soundness and the critical implications of one’s scientific research. Understand what constitutes data versus information versus intelligence and its probative potential versus its eventual reliability (not simply current). Understand the differing implications of various types of inference and what to do with an outcome which may not be well accepted by the community at large.

Openness – transparency of process undertaken, sources employed, assumptions made and models utilized, along with the sharing of data, results, methods and materials with other researchers – and yes, even laymen and curious stakeholders.

Diligence – maintaining good records of data, experimental protocols, and other research documentation. Take appropriate steps to recognize and mitigate potential bias and error. Subject your own work to critical scrutiny and do not overstate the significance of your results. Disclose information sufficient to allow the critical review of your work.

Freedom – support freedom of inquiry in the laboratory, research environment and in the field. Do not obfuscate scientific arguments or data, nor prohibit scientific or layman researchers from engaging in investigation and debate.

Due Credit – identify and allocate credit for prior art, investigative and analytical work, where such credit is due.

Respect for Intellectual Property and Prior Art – do not plagiarize nor steal intellectual property. Respect data sources, copyrights and patents.

Discretion – maintain the confidentiality of materials and data sources which are entrusted under such constraints or in any case where doubt exists as to such necessity. Maintain anonymity (such as in peer review, personal data or subject identity) unless identity is specifically warranted (publication) or requested.

Stewardship – take care with data, resources, test subjects, results, databases, samples, equipment, supplies, and physical research or anthropological/paleontological sites.

Development and Competence – maintain and enhance your competence inside your discipline of study. Increase awareness of the research field and impacted stakeholders. Take appropriate steps to deal with incompetence, or premature conclusiveness inside your discipline of study. Take appropriate steps to identify and hold accountable, those who fail in their burdens of service inside the public trust.

Serves Inside the Public Trust – it is necessary that science not be viewed as an activity in lieu of governance or any form of governance proxy, and must exclusively exercise its work inside the public trust.

Respect for Stakeholders – treat collaborators, data collection specialists, student and interns, and other peer and colleagues with respect. Treat impacted stakeholders with tolerance and the respect due those who will bear the burden of your outcomes. Do not discriminate against colleagues nor exploit them or their work efforts.

Respect for Humanity/Suffering – respect the rights, welfare and dignity of human or animal impacted stakeholders, research subjects, and protect them from harm or exploitation (except where exclusively proven to be unavoidable). Communicate risk in advance, in a clear and objective fashion – allowing human stakeholders to opt out, unless final proof (not simply consensus) is determined as to their necessity to comply.

Social Responsibility – prioritize research which is likely to benefit society or reduce suffering. Avoid causing harm to animals, the economy, a nation, humans or the environment. Science and scientists should never engage in activity to bypass/usurp the governance of a nation in a desire for application of their goals.  Engage in extracurricular activities which serve to benefit society.

The Human Right to Know – humans bear the right to knowledge about their origins or concerning any threat to their safety, well being or livelihood. Public access to study artifacts serving to illuminate mankind’s social, morphological and genetic history should not be denied based upon property conventions of any haplogroup, culture, owner, propriety, government, nation, intelligence group or institution. Knowledge is a basic human right; and in particular, it is a basic human right to access freely the knowledge of where mankind came from and the pathway which brought us here as a species.

Legality – comply with international, national and local laws. Comply with regulations and institutional policies – unless they compel you to violate the above ethics.

These are the standards by which an ethical skeptic regards their science. Praxis, not virtue.

epoché vanguards gnosis

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How to MLA cite this blog post =>

The Ethical Skeptic, “Meta-Ethical Praxis of Science” The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 25 Oct 2018; Web, https://wp.me/p17q0e-8rl

October 25, 2018 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , , | Leave a comment

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