The Classical Liberal Scientist

is creating Classical Liberal and scientific literary commentary
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About The Classical Liberal Scientist

Hello, and welcome to The Classical Liberal Scientist.

This site is dedicated to the spirit of liberal thought. It serves as a means to take back the meaning of liberalism from those that would have it otherwise twisted to the function of societal engineering while simultaneously addressing a number of issues prevalent within the popular and scientific realms of discourse.

Firstly, many people unaware of the term may ask the question "What is a classical liberal and what do they stand for?" While classical liberalism has been interpreted from many different viewpoints since it's inception during the Enlightenment Era, its universal tenant is the belief that individual freedom is the chief virtue of an enlightened society. Among all things, the rational unabridged state on humanity was considered penultimate to the fact of existence and should only be limited in the event that such liberties would cause undue harm to others not associated with the acting individual. To liberals, the pursuit of free thought and expression defines existence. Its pursuit to obtain a greater understanding of the natural and metaphysical worlds surrounding them through the use rational, logically consistent principles regardless of tradition or ideology drives them to explore the boundless horizons of science and intellect. It was in this rigorous mantle of intellectualism that the scientific method was forged. This method, fueled by skepticism, was one of the first logical frameworks to reject commonly held faith as justification and thrust the burden of proof upon the individual that entreats the positive hypothesis.

From this period of enlightenment arose thinkers the likes of Adam Smith, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Thomas Paine whose philosophy dictated that the government's primary role in society should be the promotion of maximal freedom for the individual. Liberals of the time eschewed, at least in theory, what would later come to be known as identity politics, choosing to instead focus on the modular human being as the elementary unit of moral social analysis. Grouping humans into identities dehumanized them and thus degraded the free agency and dignity inherent to the human condition. While classical liberals vary widely in the specifics of their values, they typically agree upon a few commonly held values. These being individualism, liberty, and equal rights. Individualism most commonly refers to personal ownership of decisions and property (to include the human body) and the consequences that follow. Liberty gives the individual the ability to make the choices they feel are in their best interest. Equal rights draws from the posits of egalitarianism. The equality supported by classical liberal thought is the equality of equal access to societal institutions. The belief that while people have no control over the conditions of their creation, all public and private institutions should exhibit equal access in respect to the free agency of the individual to make choices in relation to them. This means those with equivalent aptitude and abilities should in practice experience equal access to institutions. While classical liberalism is much wider reaching, these core tenants establish the common ground for those that define themselves as classical liberals.

While science as a wholly apolitical institution in practice, it borrows very heavily from these established classical liberal principles. Science encourages both the development of intellectual property and the autonomic decisions made in the pursuit of enlightenment. Science as an institution is one of today's strongest proponents for liberty of thought and speech as it consistently fights the yoke of traditionalism and emotion-based collectivism. Finally, science as a system is a functional meritocracy. Resources and titles within the practice are apportioned based on the abilities of the recipients and are rarely based on any other criteria. While the fields of science are fiercely competitive, ultimately the criteria for privilege are egalitarian in that all humans have the innate ability to reach them through their own choices and actions. Having spent a greater part of the last decade in the practice of learning and studying the physical world, I can attest to the Stockholm-esque state of frustration and wonderment that this pursuit entails. Stuck between the anguish of incomprehension and the sheer awe that emanates from the perfection of the physical world, I have become enamored, head-over-heels in love with science and all its eccentricities and quirks.

This fulfillment and understanding has not left me ignorant to the voices and motifs present in both contemporary mainstream and scientific circles that have lately begun to trouble my faith in the integrity of science and logic in professional and popular circles of discourse. In the face of these trends, I can no longer stand on the side as a bystander and have decied to step into the public discourse, in classical liberal fashion, to offer my arguments against and opinions on viewpoints I find disagreeable. In this fashion I list my grievances and intents as such:

1. While science journalism has recently experienced exponential growth due to the influx of voracious readers interested in expanding their understanding in the physical and scientific worlds, this trend has caused demand for science literacy to outstrip the ability of science journalism outlets to provide it. As a result, outlets hire journalists whom are arguably under trained to distinguish between the scientific fact and speculative conjecture of the observers. The result are click-batey adds with heading such as "Is the world going to experience global cooling? Research says yes" or "Research results show chocolate/wine/beer is healthy for you!" These articles, while well-meaning, only succeed in diminishing the importance of the scientific process in the eyes of the public.

2. The slow but steady rise of collectivist and identity movements in both the popular and scientific realm. The labeling and stereotyping of individuals based upon factors beyond their control threatens to degrade the free agency inherent to each individual. Apportioning titles and awards based of social identification rather than ability is the antithesis to meritocracy and threatens to disassemble the egalitarianism that is necessary for liberal thought to flourish. Additionally, in the public stream of discourse, identity politics and collectivism have the negative effect of degrading and stripping humans of their free agency. This trend, continued long enough, can and has led to a populations of people so dehumanized that horrible and tragic things against them have been justified in the pursuit of a better world. A movement that holds the rational human individual as the highest moral unit has never led a genocide for the betterment of society.

3. Politicians and pundits on different sides of all issues take and leave science at a whim. The application of science must be uniformly applied to all things, otherwise it becomes merely a tool that can be used to validate the personal choices of the individual rather than to effect positive change to society. Hypocrisy must be shown for what it really is, selfishness and insecurity. This point also wishes to challenge the conventionally held wisdom of dogmatically held beliefs within political party lines and advocates that more effort should be done to admonish or applaud politicians that fight for the classically liberal cause of maximal freedom in society.

4. The lack of understanding among popular outlets that science and technology are an objective outcome of liberal endeavors and are not in themselves good/bad/heavenly/evil but just objective objects and facts. The method of use constitutes the morality of the situation and as such there is much popular discussion that is avoided as to the ethical treatment of modern science and technology. For every scientific advance, there requires and army of philosophers and concerned professionals to argue over the metaphysical implications of humankind's expanded capability. Acknowledging that this site will likely never have all the answers to any one moral dilemma, it will endeavor to address the moral implications of scientific advance among a concerned base of readership to at least ignite the flame of reason among the populace.

5. Address the unfortunate misuse of statistical data among certain fields of research that routinely lead the intellectual and, to more serious consequences, uninformed public to make erroneous conclusions about ubiquitously present phenomena. These abuses of statistical science serve to once again make science more of a lifestyle-reinforcing gratification system rather than the logical framework that is its ideal and only serves to harm human progress.

6. Establish a respectful, intellectual space where those with like-minded concerns and sympathies can meet to express their opinions openly. Those with philosophical or logical disagreements are encouraged to address such disputes in classical liberal fashion through polite disagreement and debate while presenting facts and arguments pertaining to the matter.

Without further ado, I once again welcome you to the Classical Liberal Scientist and wish you only the best on your explorations of the physical and metaphysical worlds that surround you.

Yours in Reason,

The Classical Liberal Scientist
http://www.classicalliberalscientist.com/

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$0 of $30 per month
First goal: Let's get this shindig self-sustaining. Kinda like a critical nuclear pile 'cept this goal is a little less melt-downy. At $30 the cost of doing business is more or less covered and it gives me space finantially to spuce up the page a little.
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