Thursday, June 27, 2024

Science Vs. Morality

I consider myself a rational person. I am a huge believer in the scientific method because it is the only method we have to determine truth. Science, after all, is just a fancy Latin word for knowledge. 

Now the thing about science is it is separate from morality. Morality will give direction on right and wrong, science deals in factual evidence.  Science cannot tell you if it is right to kill someone or not. Morality, or religion which is mostly just a moral framework, deals with such matters.  

This way of thinking is why I detest when a science magazine turns away from science and deals with morality, especially when they go against science to make a point. 

This is what National Geographic did in an article on Indigenous peoples in their most recent issue. I have read every word in every issue of the magazine since about 1985 and I can see a definite trend away from science and toward moralizing. 

I'll also state I have a huge interest and a fairly strong  educational background in anthropology so it isn't as if the subject is uninteresting to me. 

So what was wrong with the article? Essentially it made the case that indigenous people are far better than us at managing the environment, have more moralistic societies, and are, well, simply superior to modern people in all ways. 

Somehow the authors missed that slavery was widespread among Native Americans. As was war and torture and human sacrifice. Native peoples also often caused large scale environmental catastrophes. 

Sure there were and are pockets of indigenous people who live in harmony with the environment and their fellow humans but that doesn't make them any different from anyone else. 

So why am I writing about it here? Mainly because one of the "characteristics' of native people the article said we needed to bring back was matriarchal society. Really? Indigenous people are no more or less matriarchal than other people. More to the point, why on earth would a society dominated by women be better than one dominated by men? Are we so narrow-minded we cannot aspire to equality rather than one gender dominating another?

No comments:

Post a Comment