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Why Science and Philosophy Are Imperfect (And Why It Could be a Good Thing)

Updated: May 4

Science and philosophy have a common goal in mind -- to better understand the mysteries of existence. Unlike some religions, who might claim that "they" already have all the answers, science and philosophy are, by default, flawed.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, because it is the flaws, the problems and the conflicts, which drive some of us to try and solve them.

However, even with this intention in mind, it is unknown whether or not will all the mysteries of existence will actually be unlocked, by either occupation. That's because, we, as "lesser" beings, might never reach omniscience -- the ability to know everything.

Some religions, on the other hand, may be flawed because of that, because they some of them may claim to have all the answers at hand, whether in their sacred texts, the words of their sages and so on.

However, the question that raises is, if they indeed have all the answers, why wouldn't they just share them with the world, instead of keeping them a secret, or at least, local?

Why wouldn't all of humanity just drive in flocks to said religions, and abandon the need to research, and the need to contemplate?

After all, if some of them indeed contain the possibility of omniscience, it's only natural that every other intellectual field in existence, will be rendered unnecessary, in comparison.

Why is there a need for scientists, philosophers, and other thinkers and researchers, where, allegedly, the secrets of the universe have already been given to us, long, long ago?

If there is indeed a need for philosophy and science, then the attempt of some religions to portray themselves as absolute in terms of knowledge, could be false.

That's the problem of perfection in general; It's the problem that claims to lack any flaw, without necessarily knowing if such flaws indeed exist in it.

Such a problem is not only true in the case of some religions, but also in people, in countries, and in anything that is believed, to be worthy of praise. After all, it is easy to announce perfection, when you're in love with something or with somebody.

That's the problem in love as well -- of how it is so easy to paint something in the colour of pink and find yourself not aware of the cracks beneath the paint.

I do not agree with the belief that philosophy is the love of wisdom. After all, those who philosophize, don't necessarily do it out of love, now, do they? It could be the same love that brings others to see one as pretentious, or at least pompous.

That's because philosophy is also imperfect, and those who become philosophers, are bound to imperfection. They're bound to imperfection, because one must be ignorant in order to philosophize. After all, if you already have your answers, why would you philosophize otherwise?

To be in a state of constant ignorance, why would it be something a scientist or a philosopher would always love, or at least like, to be in?

The likely possibility that you, I and all of humanity will never truly reach omniscience, logically means that we would always be ignorant, despite our efforts. Thus, in the absence of absolution, we're fighting a losing battle, no matter how smart we get, after a lifetime of discoveries.

That's the problem I have with religion in general, with the idea that you are told something and are expected to see it as such, at least in some cases.

It is difficult to accept an idea as convincing, when no further convincing has been made, other than telling you that said idea is a fact. They might quote from their favourite texts, and interpret it as they see fit, and even brand their narrative as the truth, but where is "the" truth in all of this?

A truth, independent from indoctrination, from propaganda, from mere conformity?

As you can see, both perfection and imperfection have their own two sides of the same coin. The notion of perfection makes life a lot less frustrating, but there could be always room for doubt.

Imperfection, on the other hand, is the realistic option, as it is far more realistic. However, it could also lead to much suffering, created by a lack of universal assurance, and absurdity, and possibly, despair.

It is so-very saddening, the idea that we might never reach omniscience, unlike what is promised by the sacred documents which have shaped humanity. Who knows, perhaps our late, late grandchildren will, through technology, reach to it.

However, all I know is, that at least for me, there might be no hope, as long as science will continue to remain largely ignorant about the concept of chronic fatigue, which took my ability to work and study, possibly for the rest of my life.

Perhaps, if I was born later on in time, a proper therapy and diagnosis could be given to me, so I would be able to work and even read extensively once more. As some religions may say, all I have left to do, is to "pray", without knowing whether or not it would actually give fruit.

I guess that, as long as we're ignorant, and as long as ignorance irritates us enough, we as a whole would desire to philosophize and to conduct proper research. All it takes to ignite that, is for certain issues, which we're ignorant about, shall be relevant enough, as the wheels in motion.

It's imperfection, that creates the drive for perfection, even if it will never be achieved. The destination doesn't have to be reached, in order for progress to be made.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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