The Scholastic Monologue Solipsists of climate science

I will put the title on this last, after I have written whatever I find out I have said when I finish. But it’s about those dolts at The Conversation who, without an ounce of shame or reflection, have decided that they will no longer print comments (and probably, therefore, articles) critical of the ignoramuses who peddle climate change ideologies.

My original choice for the title was “The Monologue” since they no longer think they are about to join into a Conversation about something. It’s not that they are so sure they are right that there is no point in talking about it. They actually now find that they are on the wrong side of the debate; they find that everything they have been saying is complete rot, so they are now going to stop talking about it, and will not give the other side a platform because they have no actual answers to what sceptics argue.

The next title I thought of was “The Solipsist”. Solipsists are self-absorbed individuals who only know what they know so there is no point in debating anything with others since these others who they would be debating don’t really exist anyway. The world around them exist only in theory from what appears inside their own minds. They therefore have no genuine reason to believe people who disagree with them have an independent existence. In the dictionary Solipsism comes out like this: “the theory that the self can be aware of nothing but its own experiences and states”. More philosophically:

Solipsism (/ˈsɒlɪpsɪzəm/ ( listen); from Latin solus, meaning ‘alone’, and ipse, meaning ‘self’) is the philosophical idea that only one’s mind is sure to exist. … As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist.

When I looked the word up on Google, there was a further link which asked whether solipsism is a mental disorder. Whatever they say, if someone says that climate change is the most important issue in the world but doesn’t any longer wish to discuss it with anyone else, even if the policies that lead from their beliefs lead to massive harm to millions of others as we abandon proven forms of energy production, then solipsism is a mental disorder, related to narcissism and a disgusting lack of care for anyone else but themselves.

Then I thought about this as a title: “The return of the Schoolmen”. The Conversation is supposedly a forum for academics. This is how the academic world is supposed to work. Someone proposes some proposition and provides reasons for believing it is true. Others then enter into the discussion, with some perhaps agreeing and others disagreeing. The search is, of course, for truth. For the truth to emerge, different sides of the debate must be tested and reason and evidence applied.

To choose an example. Suppose some group of scientists proposed that the use of fossil fuels will for a variety of reasons cause the atmosphere to heat and the climate to change in ways that will create immense harm in say 50 to 100 years. They would then provide reasons for holding these views. Others might be convinced, but still others may think this belief is wrong. The first group provides evidence, such as here is the reason this will happen, and here is some evidence that the process has already begun. Others may look at the evidence, and argue that the process mentioned would not occur as stated, or perhaps the argument leaves out many important variables that also need to be considered. As for the evidence that the process has actually begun, those who disagree might point out that every prediction has turned out to be wrong.

The first group might then respond that they are benevolent social and physical scientists who are interested only in the welfare of others. Others might then reply that those arguing in favour of climate change don’t appear to be all that benevolent but seem to be highly self-interested since they are making a ton of money from this belief, either through the academic grants and promotions they receive, or from the vast amounts of money splashed towards various new and unproven technologies in the form of the billions of dollars governments are lashing out replacing power sourced from fossil fuels.

That is how debate has been conducted during the past 300/400 years since Scholastic Philosophy gave way to the Enlightenment. Scholasticism was based on argument from authority. So and so had said something so that was all the evidence needed. The modern age – the age that has discovered the atom, the electron and then electricity – has based many of its discoveries on actually trying to work out how things work, partly through collective thought about some subject, but also by discussing amongst themselves different possibilities and theoretical alternatives. Today only intellectual cowards argue from authority and close down debate before a firm conclusion is reached.

My only conclusion when looking at Climate Change advocates who will not debate is that we are dealing with Scholastic Philosophers. Because what never happens is that something said by a sceptic is picked up by a Climate Change Scholastic who then replies using reason and evidence. What is done instead is ignore everyone who disagrees, call them names, and as we see from The Conversation The Scholastic Monologue Solipsist, have no intention of getting into an actual debate or discussion. Instead they will if they can close down any debate they are likely to lose in an open exchange of ideas.

They are mediaeval primitives who have no place in a modern academic institution.

AN ADDITIONAL COMMENT ON SCHOLASTICISM: Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough about the point of this post, but it is about the nature or climate science and not about scholastic philosophy. So let me bring the scholastics a bit closer to the tale. Here is Will Durant discussing the scholastics, which to me has an incredibly close family relationship to the preachers of modern climate change theology. Do not doubt that these people would burn deniers at the stake if they could. I have put in bold the statements about the Scholastics that are identical to the approach taken by climate so-called scientists.

The caput Nili of the faults that disfigure philosophy: it dishonours truth in the very search for it. It becomes the apologist of a transient dogma, and falls tragically short of that intellectual conscience, that patient respect for the evidence, that uphill attention to negative instances…. The Scholastics, who are wrongly rated as philosophers, having been primarily theologians, set the fashion for subordinating the search for truth to the promulgation of the Faith…. The great fathers of modern philosophy – Bacon, Descartes and Spinoza – protested against this philosophic harlotry.” (Will Durant. The Mansions of Philosophy 1929: page 9)

That is how I understand both scholasticism and climate science. Backwards and ignorant. If you want to say that something is true, but you are not prepared to search for the evidence to back up your statements and then go where the evidence takes you, then you are a fraud and a charlatan. It may make you wealthy, but your morals are non-existent.

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35 Responses to The Scholastic Monologue Solipsists of climate science

  1. Davey Boy

    I have seen this type of behaviour many times in workplaces – typically, an internal online forum of some sort is set up to let staff “collaborate” and “share ideas” across the company. Such forums quickly become one-way platforms for announcements by the woke who seem astonished when you ask simple questions or ask for proof or dare to express a different view from theirs, whereupon a moderator or HR (BIRM) jumps in, removes your post (regardless of how innocuous your post may be) and sends you (and management, to prove they are ‘doing their job’) a lengthy email about how “disrespectful” you have been. Any subsequent correspondence you may try to enter into with said moderator/HR is ignored for (literally) years. So it is nothing new, it’s just the old ‘know your place’ routine. Symptomatic of the Type-C nuts that infest boards, CEOs, HR and those who seek to clamber up the greasy pole of management hierarchy.

  2. Sunni Bakchat

    Solipsism – the penultimate state to self-destruction.

  3. Sunni Bakchat

    Perhaps for these “scientists” it’s all about stochastic control?

  4. dover_beach

    That is how debate has been conducted during the past 300/400 years since Scholastic Philosophy gave way to the Enlightenment. Scholasticism was based on argument from authority.

    Dear oh dear, Steve. That is unhistorical nonsense. No one familiar with Scotus or Aquinas or Albert the Great or the School of Salamanca could argue that each argued from authority.

  5. dover_beach

    Instead they will if they can close down any debate they are likely to lose in an open exchange of ideas.

    Ever heard of the quodlibeta?

    The Latin word Quodlibeta means “whatever you like” and refers to the special occasions at medieval universities when the students (or clerks as they were known) could test their masters by asking any question they fancied.

    and

    [Le Goff tells us that within the above framework was the quodlibetica disputation. Twice per year the masters could hold a session where they made themselves available to deal with a question “raised by anyone on any topic.” Le Goff (pp.91-92) quotes Glorieux (La littérature quodlibétique, 1936) on the quodlibetica disputation.]
    The session began around the hour of terce perhaps, or of sext; rather early, in any event, for it risked going on for a long time. What characterized it, in fact, was its capricious, and impromptu aspect, and the uncertainty which hovered over it. A session of dispute, of argumentation like so many others, but which offered this special trait: the initiative was relinquished by the master and was passed on to those in attendance. In ordinary disputes the master announced in advance the subjects that would be covered, he reflected on them and prepared them. In the quodlibetica dispute anyone could raise any question. And that was the great danger for the master who was responding. The questions of objections could come from all sides, either hostile or shrewd — anything was possible. He could be questioned in good faith to learn his opinion; but someone might have tried to force him to contradict himself, or to force him to speak on controversial subjects which he would have preferred never to broach. Sometimes it was a curious foreigner, or a worried soul; sometimes a jealous rival or curious master who would try to put him in an awkward position. Sometimes the questions would be clear and interesting, other times they would be ambiguous and the master would have great difficulty in grasping their exact significance and true meaning. Some would be candidly confined to the purely intellectual realm; others above all had implications of politics or of disparagement. . . . It was thus essential that whoever wanted to hold a quodlibetica dispute have an uncommon presence of mind and an almost universal competency.

    Would the modern university be more like this! But, no, look over there, those ignorant medievals.

  6. Herodotus

    Most voters don’t read academic stuff, and certainly aren’t into The Conversation. They get their daily talking points from the mainstream media, which is overwhelmingly left leaning.
    This is the fixed point from which leverage must be applied if you want to change the course of the climate argument and many others.

  7. Mark M

    If you’re not onboard with the UN agenda, you don’t get to talk.

    That’s the future with one-world government.

    The UN way or the highway …

    Australia banned from speaking at UN climate change summit in ‘unprecedented’ rebuke

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australia-banned-from-speaking-at-un-climate-change-summit-in-unprecedented-rebuke

    More than 100 countries applied for UN climate summit, half were rejected

    https://climatechangenews.com/2019/09/19/100-countries-applied-un-climate-summit-half-rejected/

    h/t: Steve Milloy @junkscience

  8. Louis Hissink

    Actually it’s the priests of climate religion.

  9. Mother Lode

    Most voters don’t read academic stuff

    This is what they count on – that it will be a closed conversation among a few like-minded colleagues.

    How much their disdain of ordinary folk is affectation (starring in a movie playing in their own heads) and how much is nervousness (if a shopkeeper loses an argument with an academic they are still a shopkeeper and have lost nothing, but if an academic loses to a shopkeeper…) will vary from person to person, time to time, topic to topic.

    But the carefully curated image of dons, with their constipated brow, suffocating jargon, ostentatiously otherworldly lapses in decorum, and imperious chutzpah that has the pronounce on every topic under the sun that shines out their arse, is a piece of theatre in which most people are blithely complicit.

    They are told their scripts says ‘Alarums’ and they race to take their station. The script says ‘Exeunt’ and they meekly melt away while the main actors continue the story.

    Break that spell, breach the fourth wall, poke your finger through the plasterboard sets and crush the paste gemstones on the floor and all you would have left is a few pathetic hams without a purpose.

  10. Leo G

    When I looked the word up on Google …

    Is Google not entirely in that solipsistic world where skeptics are disavowed?

  11. MACK

    They’re forcing Australians to be quiet, but they can’t stop quiet Australians retaliating in the privacy of the polling booth.

  12. Hugh

    Dr K, while I agree with your critique of “The Conversation” and its latest policy, I strongly agree with Dover that you’ve grossly distorted and unfairly characterized Scholasticism. To Dover’s very apt evidence as to how open the scholastics were to reasoned debate, I would add the Aristotelian dictum “Nothing is in the intellect that was not first in the senses”, which is enthusiastically endorsed by Aquinas throughout his works, and explicitly in De Veritate 2a 3 19.

    And in the very first questions in the Summa Theologiae, you see Aquinas laying down the various types of authority and how they are to be treated. Thus, he says, “the musician accepts on authority the principles taught to hm by the mathematician.” I. I. 2. corpus. This is not irrational, unquestioning adherence to authority. It’s just common sense – a division of labour, as Adam Smith might observe, within human inquiry. No-one can know everything! The musician has no need to reconstruct for himself the science of mathematics before applying its results to musical realities. Likewise, it’s common sense and reasonable for me to believe my oncologist when he assures me that the dark spot on my arm is malignant, rather than ask him to prove his assertion starting way back with the most rudimentary principle of medical knowledge (which, as with music, in turn rely on the authority of other sciences, such as mathematics, etc). I could die before he gets to the conclusion !

    A few questions later in the Summa, Aquinas seeks to prove that the existence of God Himself is a conclusion that can be arrived at from observing with our senses the natural world around us, and deducing from those observations, using our natural ability to reason. Sure, it’s an argument from authority … the authority of human reason ! This is totally at loggerheads from the mentality of “The Conversation” you rightly deplore.

  13. Terry

    “Australia banned from speaking at UN climate change summit in ‘unprecedented’ rebuke”

    We’ll see your “rebuke” and raise you one withdrawn delegation and a deduction from your funding.

    -or- we could just continue to appease I suppose.

    I wonder which one ScoMo will go with.

  14. Terry

    “but they can’t stop quiet Australians retaliating in the privacy of the polling booth.”

    Patience. They’re working on it.

  15. Dr Fred Lenin

    Watched senator Cruz talking to boss of the Sierra Club , the interviewee had only one argument in favour of global warming, “97 per cent of scientists agree , 97 per cent etc “ad nauseum ,the only thing he agreed with was “THE PAUSE “ the pitifull excuse they have against the FACT that there has been no warming for 16 years . NOW in those 16 years more co2 gas gone into the atmosphere,why would there be a “PAUSE” ?
    Common sense dictates it should get warmer quicker the more co2 that is emitted .
    If the truth be known it was probably 97 per cent of taxpayer funds , grant seeking people claiming to be scientists who do absolutely no real research .

  16. Angus Black

    It should be called “The Propagandist”

  17. Roger

    Scholasticism was based on argument from authority. So and so had said something so that was all the evidence needed.

    Er…no.

    And scholasticism actually had major rifts within it, unlike climate science.

  18. Dr Fred Lenin

    There gas been no global warming for 16 years the seas have not risen 20 metres ,there , is no climate crisis , the science is settled no need for further discussion ,end of story.

  19. Mother Lode

    And scholasticism actually had major rifts within it, unlike climate science.

    The Scholastics believed that God revealed himself in the real world. Doctoring results was lying about God.

    And in case you were tempted – they also believed that God knew what you were doing no matter where you were or what you were doing.

    The men of the Renaissance liked contrasting the Scholastics with themselves in terms that were very unfair to the latter, who were not there to defend themselves. Add in the Reformation and the desire to deligitimise the Church at every opportunity – and more recently the socialist parties seeking to overthrow tradition and even more recently progressives who wish God’s crown for themselves and you have the unjust judgement being perpetrated even up to this day.

  20. egg_

    Perhaps for these “scientists” it’s all about stochastic control?

    Entropy?
    Their Energy scam is inevitably unwinding and dissent will not be tolerated?

  21. egg_

    The Galileo?
    All does not revolve around the Earth – there exists Space weather affecting our planet.

  22. Megan

    It should be called “The Propagandist”

    Or “The Echo Chamber”.

  23. max

    Thomas E. Woods, Jr. :
    Galileo was convinced that he had the truth. But objectively he had no proof with which to win the allegiance of open-minded men. It is a complete injustice to contend, as some historians do, that no one would listen to his arguments, that he never had a chance. The Jesuit astronomers had confirmed his discoveries; they [waited] eagerly for further proof so that they could abandon Tycho’s system6 and come out solidly in favor of Copernicanism. Many influential churchmen believed that Galileo might be right, but they had to wait for more proof.

    “Obviously it is not entirely accurate to picture Galileo as an innocent victim of the world’s prejudice and ignorance,” Langford adds. “Part of the blame for the events which follow must be traced to Galileo himself. He refused the compromise, then entered the debate without sufficient proof and on the theologians’ home grounds.”

  24. Tel

    https://realclimatescience.com/2019/09/court-rejects-manns-request-for-delay-in-the-ball-case/

    The judge called Mann’s behavior inexcusable, said the evidence submitted was irrelevant, and ordered Mann to pay Ball’s legal fees. I was paid as an expert witness in the case, and Michael Mann will be thrilled to learn that he will be buying me a new computer – to further expose his malfeasance and fraud.

    That’s a classic … integrity and transparency … the game is over.

  25. Terry

    Tel
    #3160438, posted on September 20, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Congratulations to Tim Ball for his resilience and to Tony Heller for his persistence.

    I would like to thank Mann for the rather large serving of schadenfreude.

    Tony should get fans of Potholer54 (Peter Hadfield) to kick in for Mann’s debt.

    Would hate to see the Doctor have to declare bankruptcy before Mark Steyn gets his turn.

  26. Tim Neilson

    If the truth be known it was probably 97 per cent of taxpayer funds , grant seeking people claiming to be scientists who do absolutely no real research .

    Actually Dr Fred it wasn’t 97% of anyone – it was outright fraud.

    First iteration:
    (a) send a survey to over 10,000 “scientists”;
    (b) don’t like the result, so retrospectively redefine who’s a scientist so only 79 answers count – 77 are the way they want, so 77 out of 79 is a 97% consensus!!!.
    I.e. utterly bogus, totally dishonest. And that’s before there’s any examination of push-polling, deliberate misinterpretation of answers to deliberately ambiguous questions etc.

    Second attempt, do a purported review of scientific papers and subsequently claim that 97% of the ones that address the CAGW hypothesis support it. Painstaking work shows that most of the papers reviewed had nothing to do with the issue and had been totally misrepresented, and the true figure was well under 50%.

  27. Dr Fred Lenin

    Tim ,the “presigous”elitist fraudulent Sierra Club bases all its pontifications of the fraudulant 97 bullshit .
    These conmen coukdnt even make fraudulent figures look credible .
    Its like the EU frauds have a peoples referendum ,if you dont like the result have another ,this time wording it like the old “when did you stopbeating your wife survey” . They pulled that trick in several European countries including Ireland where the aindian poofter Ezu loving PM actively collaborated wit the enemies of freedom .
    The left always lie ,its the only thing they are consistant at .

  28. classical_hero

    It’s a CONversation.

    I sound a bit like srr saying that.

  29. John A

    Sorry I am late to this thread, but this inevitably reminds me of Pointland as described by Edwin A Abbott in Flatland

  30. Old Lefty

    You weaken your case by linking it to the prejudiced pissant pseudo-scholarship of the Durants. Most of the ‘truths’ ‘everbody’ thinks he ‘knows’ about the Middle Ages were invented int he eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Try reading a serious history of philosophy.

  31. Mother Lode

    They want ‘the conversation’ to play out precisely in accordance with a predetermined denouement:

    The Designer Monologues?

    They wish to pass off their own opinion as all that there is to be said:

    The Opiner Monologues?

    They see in themselves dogged and seasoned campaigners. They are the ones who will finally scatter the wily, faithless deniers, who would tremble if they had the sense and the edumacation. It all falls to them. Now they are poised for the final knock out blow. But…they must wait for someone – maybe a Climate Scientist, maybe a 1,000 yard staring rambling teen tard – to give them the words to use.

    But they’re coming. And they will:

    The “Where’s Steiner” Monologues?

  32. dover_beach

    Most of the ‘truths’ ‘everbody’ thinks he ‘knows’ about the Middle Ages were invented int he eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

    This is true.

  33. Turtle of WA

    ‘Circle Jerk’ works well.

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