(trans. James Manteith)

What Can the Future Be? (Two Shores of a Survey)

Published in: 25. Of all the…
PresentationReproduction of the Article

The Editors are inviting authors who contribute to AB as specialists to answer a series of questions about the future of the cultural fields they are professionally associated with. Instead of guessing, we consider it important to learn their opinions directly.

Part of the resulting responses have been selected for publication. In this issue we begin to acquaint readers with these professionals’ opinions on the future of culture.

While preparing the magazine  for publication, we have moderated discussions among non-specialist readers about the responses chosen for print, and also offer the most striking, perhaps debatable, fragments of these discussions for contemplation. Perhaps this will inspire a wish to voice other points of view.

The Editors thank all the specialists who have responded to the invitation to share their thoughts on the future, as well as all the non-specialists who have shown themselves far from indifferent to issues obviously critical for everyone.









1. What do you envision as the future of philosophy, its direction and path of development?
However paradoxical this might seem, I believe philosophy has no past or future; the history of philosophy is not the past, but is its own source and basis, and, in this sense, is philosophy itself. Philosophy always occurs in the present; it is a practice that, according to Hegel, awakens man from sleep, gives him vigor. So it’s much more accurate to speak about directions, the ways philosophy is developing now, today (Nietzsche even wrote about the eternal today). These directions are determined by the emergence of the modern world, which, in contrast to the world’s classical forms, identified by Dilthey, Jaspers, Scheler, reflects the information-based, digital nature of the current civilization. Being technocratic and technocentric, modern Ι-civilization (in the sense of both information and egocentricity) requires careful philosophical attention, adequate to the situation of the time. Of course, the means of philosophizing will be different, perhaps radically so, from those found in customary, historical, traditional philosophizing — but, firstly, the circle of fundamental questions currently considered by philosophy will not change, or else philosophy will cease to be philosophy, and, secondly, Louis Althusser has wittily noted that after Lenin, to philosophize means to engage in politics. In other words, the non-classical tradition has in mind no longer a theoretical, contemplative way of philosophizing, but a practical one. Philosophy, therefore, is the theory of politics.
2. What values, in your opinion, ought to have a central place in philosophy?
The central place in philosophy will of course belong to the same values that have always been its concern. These are human life, freedom, morality, duty, responsibility, God, and so on. The preservation of philosophy’s mindfulness toward these values means preserving philosophy as such in its form and content. Will the circle of its attention include some other, new values, fundamentally different from traditional ones? It’s hard to tell. Today, philosophy is dominated by the values that emerged in the Enlightenment, and for the past three hundred years their range has remained relatively unchanged (namely their range, not the scope of the theories applied to them).
3. What is or ought to be the decisive criteria for the development of philosophical thought?
The decisive factor in the development of philosophical thought is (and always has been) a constant reflection on its own foundations; always having modern answers to a range of fundamental issues relating to the ultimate grounds of existence. And, of course, the personal courage and principled honesty of the philosopher, scholar, researcher.
4. What might you define as its primary goal, its ultimate purpose? Its guiding principle?
I think the most important task of philosophy, its guiding principle, is the constant intellectual and spiritual articulation of modernity.
5. What might you propose as constituting a possible (desirable) difference between the philosophy of the future and the philosophy of the present?
As I said, philosophy always belongs to the present, and in this sense it’s either self-identical, or we are not dealing with philosophy. It’s a different matter that the methods of philosophizing may vary, but the variance ends there: the range of things that philosophy focuses on remains more or less identical.
6. What aspects and layers of personal and intellectual experience could and should be fundamental for the development of philosophy?
First of all, the philosopher’s clear and distinct understanding of belonging to and inheriting a huge reservoir of cultural and linguistic traditions. The experience of philosophy is the experience of philosophizing, or the history of philosophy is philosophy itself, according to Heidegger. If we consciously or unconsciously refuse involvement in the world-historical experience of the development of thought, which means simply paying close attention to its basic problems, to the ultimate grounds of being, we thereby marginalize the discourse of philosophy.
What do you see as the main obstacles to philosophy’s development?
A totalitarian, lawless state and rigid ideological censorship. The very foundation of philosophy as a relevant articulation of the present, of constant intense modernity, is the freedom and responsibility of philosophizing.
Do you view philosophy as a branch of nominally professional activity?
Philosophy is undoubtedly a practice that requires training and professionalism to engage in it — just like a sport. Non-professional philosophers, just like non-professional athletes, who take up tasks whose performance requires professionalism, risk injury and forcing themselves into permanent retirement. But physical education, care of the self physically — and spiritually? No one’s a stranger to that. Philosophizing, personal hygiene of thought, healthy discussion about the world, the orientation in being, rich spiritual life, moral principles in judgment — all of that is of course the business of all people without exception.
Do you see it as possible for a unified concept or school of philosophy to exist for everyone?
It’s impossible, because such a school would become either a church or an ideology. Philosophy is only philosophy when there’s dialogue, which means detachment in conversation, awareness of one’s distance. If that’s lacking — and it’s absent in both ideological and church settings — the phenomenon of philosophy is impossible.
Do you consider it necessary for schools and movements to interact?
Of course. This is one of the essential conditions for the existence of philosophy as a phenomenon. This interaction is always present in two aspects: on the one hand, the antagonism or symphony of different schools influence each other like the principle of Shadow Cabinet in the British Parliament, and on the other — like old man Hegel, who in his first lecture on the history of philosophy warned his students that those who would refute them were already standing behind them — and within a decade, Kierkegaard and Marx appeared.
How could the interaction of philosophy with other categories of culture — science, the arts, literature — manifest itself?
As a philosophical reflection on them, namely through aesthetics, the philosophy of culture, cultural studies, and the philosophy of science. Through the appearance of a brilliant stylists like Kant, Kierkegaard and Sartre (who was, however, a bad philosopher), or such universal minds as Jaspers and Foucault.
How might you picture an ideal culture?
Culture is a choice.
What might you name as culture’s central element, its proper model?
I consider the central and essential element of culture to be a conscious thirst for spiritual or intellectual labor.
What does the word “culture” mean overall, from your individual perspective?
The same thing it means in Latin: “cultivation, development.” Culture is a world-historical basis for care of the self.
– Doesn’t the author’s definition of our civilization as “information-based,” “digital,” merely indicate the character of the technical media, without considering the content, the object of thought? Doesn’t a civilization oriented toward the level of media appear groundless, frivolous, fickle, dangerously relativistic? Even if the range of themes examined by philosophy doesn’t change, the shift in emphasis in such a civilization in itself constitutes a fundamental change. How can philosophy make do without contemplation? Isn’t freedom of immersion in the richness of inner life the basis of human sanctity, which the political world ought to serve? Might “care of the self” mean losing the chance to overcome the self? Might this lead to a certain narrowness — fear of losing the known for the sake of the unverified or even unadvantageous?
— Doesn’t the author see the fundamental break with the values of the Enlightenment, say, in existential philosophy, as more than just a theory? Or, for instance, the Romantic movement’s attempts to reckon with the irrational?
— The weakness of the Enlightenment lay in its break with the philosophical values of its predecessors. This resulted in a false view of philosophical truths as no longer eternal but historical, that is, relative. This differs from the definition of philosophy given by the author in item 1.
— “[H]uman life, freedom, morality, duty, responsibility, God” seem to have long since been pushed aside by philosophy into utilitarian and subordinate roles (as in the theory of politics, for example), where it sanctions considering them values only very conditionally and in small doses. This seems to be modern philosophy’s form of good manners.
— The author’s promotion of a necessity for “always having modern answers” is somewhat perplexing. Where does this come from? Does new mean better? When we’re directly confronted by “fundamental issues relating to the ultimate grounds of existence,” we’re still more likely to find answers in the Bible or Plato.
— Where does this modernity come from, with which the philosopher purportedly ought to deal? What is its authority based on? Doesn’t it construe philosophy as dependent on application to a flat flow of givens, of data?
— Why isn’t the “relevant articulation of modernity” possible without belonging to and following tradition? Tradition is only one Implemented vector among many that are possible. Why can’t philosophers start thinking BEFORE any tradition and in this way lay the foundations of a new tradition?
— If marginalizing the discourse of philosophy gives a chance of reaching the essence of things, why not marginalize?
— Where, in the author’s opinion, is the line between “ideological censorship” and the “responsibility of philosophizing?” Especially given the ideologized consciousness of the philosopher?
— Isn’t there a danger of the professional philosopher becoming so estranged from “unhygienic” life that his philosophy will cease to relate to life at all?
— Since when has philosophy equated itself to a sport? How does it rank competitiveness? “Higher, faster, stronger”?
— The internal dynamics of a single school of thought can be quite healthy and productive. Recall Hinduism, which developed internally over centuries and remains active to this day. Outside of churches there are also more than enough philosophers who lack the ability to think.
— Can refuting the eternal qualify as philosophy?
— An impression of philosophy’s dependency, namely as a referential reflex, and not as purified will. A cultural choice prone to random accidents, manipulation, indiscriminacy? This seems like sophistry (see Socrates’ reproaches of the Sophists).
— Kierkegaard would find this formulation of culture nauseating — in reality, it encourages provincialism and complacency.
— Isn’t there another option for the formation of a philosopher and the development of philosophy? People can live differently from what contemporary civilization prescribes, while knowing themselves to be living correctly. People’s lives and actions can speak for themselves. For example, Henry David Thoreau would not have had broad global influence as a philosopher without his quite revolutionary activity — building a house by a pond as a central element in his own philosophical practice.
— The author’s responses are more like a kind of memory of philosophy, a measure of this memory’s operational efficiency, than like philosophy itself.

— ART —

Dear Editors of AB!
As a professional historian and theorist of art, I find the future of art unimaginable.
— It’s hard not agree that trying to look into the future is a largely thankless and risky task, and yet without at least some schematic idea of the future, it would be impossible to assess the pluses and minuses of the past and especially of the present.
— Given that this author-specialist has no ideas about the future of art, does this mean he also has no preferences about it?

— ART —

The future of art is the eternal struggle between realism, the realist school of perceiving the world, and the search for all sorts of new forms of communicating feelings through paintings, drawings and sculpture. Literature, music and culture will also continue along this road. No special oracular powers are needed to anticipate this course of human intellectual and creative activity. For example: the birth of photography, cinema and television. In a historically short period of time these visual discoveries affected the artist’s relatively peaceful traditional place in the studio in front of a canvas or sketching alone, one on one with the beauty of nature. If new techniques hadn’t appeared and integrally fused with art, the planet would never have known Picasso or Kandinsky or Malevich. And technology changes incessantly. Meanwhile, the “people with brushes in their hands” have to take part in the struggle “imposed” on them, competing with more relevant means of touching modern audiences, who are more and more immersed in a network of global computerization.
One of the most famous painters of our time, a teacher, came once during classes to a parallel session in a room packed with computer hardware, where he saw the students literally glued to their screens. In no time at all, the students performed miracles, “easy as catching a fish in a pond,” creating drawings that brilliantly conveyed all the anatomical features of nature. The professor was speechless. How many years, how much work, how many hardships it had cost him to master the skill and deep knowledge of anatomy, perspective, laws of composition… — starting from the very basics of grasping one of the most complex manifestations of humanity. Is it possible to make young people today go through the same harsh school of art?
From year to year, this question will grow increasingly acute and unsolvable — this, however, makes our lives truly interesting. As the Romantic poet George Byron wrote: “…a small drop of ink,/Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces/That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” Yes, the writer’s ordinary quill will always gain the upper hand over the mechanical words of the most perfect machine that will ever be invented. And its invented will come — technological progress is unstoppable!
Art can never make progress. It must pace around for centuries in the same spot, deciding its only problem: how to convey universal human feelings with material resources — with a brush, a pen, or a sculptor’s stecca… Confirmation of this abounds in the museums of the world. They are the story of human emotions and experiences. Have we progressed far from Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa”?
At the heart of all the arts will always be the apprehension of personality. And this can be done most profoundly only by realistic means. Attempts at abstract solutions lead only to create a crossword puzzle of confusion.
It’s quite obvious what direction art will take in entering the next centuries. This in no way precludes searches for new styles — all that really matters is that civilization refrains from senseless self-destruction.
The specific questions asked by the editors demand specific answers, serious conversation, not facile replies. I’ve tried to respond in general terms to this wonderful, intelligent magazine’s invitation.
— Leonid Kozlov
— Exactly what does the author call realism? Historically, the world of art never had a single school of realism. If, for example, we simply replace the term “realism” with the concept of “recognizability” might it be even more obvious how richness and diversity can be mined from this vein of the arts?
The advantage of our time is that we have the opportunity to see the value of fine art from any era — of cave paintings or medieval art no less than the art of the Renaissance. Each era’s art provides fine examples of generalization, offering different approaches to perceiving and understanding the outer and inner world. Every conscientious work of art gives its own version of “realistic” perception, its own redistribution of accents. Progress in art really is impossible. It seems misguided to apply a scientific model of progress to art. If art is a matter of life experience, the historical dimension means nothing in terms of qualitative comparisons, and only the moral scale is relevant. The wise gaze of an artist of any era is always timely.
The author speaks of “the artist’s relatively peaceful…place…in front of a canvas” — in the past. But can the professional life of artists who have been ready to sacrifice themselves for their art and whom we know as classics, be considered even relatively “peaceful”? How peaceful did Van Gogh feel in front of a canvas? True artists always had to find his own way to exit the social networks of their time in order to create. Perhaps the serious artists of the future will have to escape new forms of temptation in addition to the old, but the general dynamic will stay the same: they will have to cultivate their own perception instead of entrusting the work of thought and emotion to the level of mass culture and to new technologies oriented on this level.
By the way, despite all the vaunted progress of modernity, the quality of supplies for artists has declined greatly over time. While the infrastructure to produce reproductions has grown, material cultural fails to provide for the creation of new high-quality originals.
— If the planet had never known “Picasso or Kandinsky or Malevich,” associated with the appearance of new technology, maybe it would have had the chance to know someone better?
— Agreed, art remains art and deserves a future only as long as it deals with “apprehension of personality”; in this sense, the standard of personality and the standard of art go hand and hand and serve as indicators for each other. Is art losing its own face as it increasingly turns away from human person in favor of stock images?


1. What do you envision as the future of science, its direction and path of development?
To understand what science will look like in, say, sixty years, the best approach is to mentally travel back to 1950 and think about which of today’s achievements could be expected then. As I see it, not very many. Perhaps it would be possible to predict the distribution of television and launches of rockets into near-earth orbit. But it would hardly have been possible to foresee personal computers connected by the Internet, or the revolution in genetics and the ensuing advances in medicine, agriculture and other fields. No one could have predicted the emergence of nanotechnology. Even the simpler technologies used in cell phones were hardly predictable. All these qualitative changes over the past sixty years have led to the globalization of the world and to deep social, demographic and political shifts.
Therefore, whatever changes in science can be foreseen are only of a qualitative character.
In the 1950s, the explosive (i.e. exponential) development of science had already begun. It had begun to change from an occupation for a small number of university professors into a massive area of intellectual activity. I think that the growth in the number of participants in science and its exponential development, which we are currently witnessing, will continue for some time to come. But no exponential growth can be infinite. It must give way to a certain saturation, to more moderate growth. This is the fate of any single distinct field of research: from birth to maturity and then to old age. Then there are different forms of technology, but these too reach their points of saturation. For instance, the internal combustion engine went virtually unchanged from 1950 until the beginning of computerization (in the 1990s), which came from a very different direction.
A mature science yields to new fields, which travel the same path: birth, breakthrough to maturity, saturation.
Physics, say, has clearly passed its phase of adolescence and maturity, but biology hasn’t yet. Computer science and related technologies are approaching an age of maturity.
Therefore, in the near future we can expect further rapid advances in biology, genetics and medicine, and in the social aspects of computer technology. Perhaps we finally learn how to combat viruses and deranged cells. Amazing materials will be designed, including on a cellular level. It is possible that people will be able to construct new living complex organisms, although ethically that is certainly a minefield …
Will there be breakthroughs in other areas? I don’t know, but the chances that there will be are far from small. What kind? I don’t think anyone can really say. A few details might include the probable death of paper book and newspaper publishing, as well as of internal combustion engines in cars. All production in the U.S. will shift into the intellectual sphere: that is, commercial goods will be created with the head, not the hands. Large cities in the United States will die faster than in Europe. The stratification between makers of intellectual products and the rest of the population will deepen. The political and military consequences of globalization will be quite unexpected. This is a very serious challenge to all of civilization, much more serious than any of the challenges of the first decade of the 21st century. So Francis Fukuyama was wrong. History hasn’t ended. Civilization will have to fight to survive.
Everything I wrote above is reasonable with one caveat: if civilization triumphs over barbarism. Today that outcome can’t be taken for granted.
2. What values, in your opinion, ought to have a central place in science?
I don’t think science has any other values apart from humanist ones.
3. What is or ought to be the decisive criteria for the development of scientific thought?
Science describes nature and society. Any theory must be tested for validity. For this, the theory’s consequences must be consistent with what we already observe in living or inanimate nature, and predictions must undergo testing. This is the main criterion. When the opportunity to test predictions disappears or is pushed back into the indefinite future, science becomes a religion.
It would be a mistake to think that this applies only to the natural sciences. In the social sciences there are also experiments. Take, for example, the two Germanys and the two Koreas. Any theory of social development must explain why socialism is so ineffective and, moreover, beyond a certain point automatically leads to dictatorship and the supremacy of government over citizens.
4. What might you define as its primary goal, its ultimate purpose? Its guiding principle?
Science isn’t homogeneous. Fundamental science, i.e. the one that doesn’t bring immediate benefits, is driven by human curiosity. Since ancient times, observing whatever is unfamiliar, people have asked themselves the question: “How does that work?” Gradually fundamental science has grown, and with it a class of professionals for whom “Oh, I wonder how that works?” forms their lives’ main occupation.
In this sense, fundamental science has no purpose or guiding principle (or at least not in the short term). Modern fundamental science is very expensive, and essentially only rich countries can afford it. Fundamental science, by definition, moves along an unexplored path; turns along the way are largely determined by the people involved — leaders in fields — and random discoveries. Of course, with technical capabilities also growing, our eyes are being opened to previously unseen phenomena. Namely this is where we see the most significant, “unprincipled,” breakthroughs occurring.
Applied science is engaged in tasks that should lead to immediate progress. Here the principle is that the more useful a task is for humankind, the higher the priority. The natural course of things is that some results of fundamental science gradually make their way into applied science. This happened with quantum mechanics, when people eventually created, for example, lasers; with the special theory of relativity, which is incorporated in GPS; nuclear physics, which was a field of intellectual activity, and then gave rise to the atomic bomb and nuclear power; and thus came the founding of the Internet, which has completely transformed modern civilization.
And one more point. Since the solution of fundamental problems involves the engagement of enormous intellectual resources, often practical applications arise by chance in the course of fundamental research. The most striking example, the World Wide Web, was invented at CERN by Behrens-Lee to address a specific technical problem at CERN.
And this “unprincipled” example of social scientific breakthrough is far from the only one. When a large number of smart people gather in one place for a long time, there’s a great likelihood of new breakthroughs.
5. What might you propose as constituting a possible (desirable) difference between the science of the future and the science of the present?
I think the relative role of science will grow as society grows wealthier.
New breakthroughs will come at a higher cost and will demand growth in the scientific community. Really, this is already happening before our eyes. In the science of the future I would like to see fewer charlatans, with scientific ethics growing higher and wider. This is important now, but it will be absolutely imperative soon as people learn to routinely manipulate enormous and compact energy sources, genetic material, etc.
As the club of “wealthy” countries grows, the geography of science will inevitably expand. Big science will start including countries with no tradition of scientific ethics in the sense in which these ethics have evolved over centuries in western Europe. It’s incredibly important that these traditions be instilled such countries from the outside.
6. What aspects and layers of personal and intellectual experience could and should be fundamental for the development of science?
I don’t know about life experience, but intellectual experience in itself is science. Isn’t that true?
7. What might you consider relevant for this process? Nonessential (superfluous)?
8. What do you see as the main obstacles to science’s development?
9. Would you anticipate that the new — ideal — science would stay connected with tradition?
Nothing perfect exists in this world. Only in fairy tales. The new science will undoubtedly grow on the foundations of the old, just as Einstein’s theory of relativity would hardly have appeared without Newtonian gravity. If we understand the methodology of scientific research, based on experimental or observational data, and scientific ethics, to be tradition, then this tradition will certainly be woven into the fabric of the new science, whatever that means.
10. Do you view science as a branch of nominally professional activity?
11. Do you see it as possible for a unified concept or school of science to exist for everyone?
No. There should continue to be competing schools.
12. Do you consider it necessary for schools and movements to interact?
13. How could the interaction of science with other categories of culture — philosophy, the arts, literature — manifest itself?
As I see it, this interaction has a purely aesthetic character, through separate individuals participating in the scientific process.
Yet one might add that neuroscience is gradually coming closer to understanding the human perception of art. In time, it may begin to affect the arts and the humanities in general. But this remains highly questionable.
14. How might you picture an ideal culture?
As I wrote above, nothing is ever perfect. Nature and human society are too complex for that. All I can say is that culture should be diverse, complex and rich, so to speak, living in a rich stratum with millions of interwoven relationships. At the same time, I disagree with the principle of multiculturalism. Mozart’s music is much more complex and saturated than “tom tom tom” on the tom-tom. And thus it makes an incomparably greater contribution to human culture. The same can be said of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” or Hokusai’s prints, or the novels of, say, Tolstoy and Faulkner.
Naturally, tom-tom fans are free to listen to that…
15. What might you name as culture’s central element, its proper model?
Any reliable knowledge, whether about nature or humankind or society, is an element of culture. The interaction of people in society, the very structure of society, is also an element of culture. Which elements are central? Those elements, I think, which reflect the absolute value of human life and individual freedom. Plus, the obvious “Thou shalt not steal,” “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” etc.
What it is collectively called “modern civilization.”
16. What does the word “culture” mean overall, from your individual perspective?
See the answer to question 15, above.
— Mikhail Shifman
— It would be interesting to clarify to what extent there were really no guesses about the nature of modern scientific breakthroughs. Science fiction always expressed age-old human desires: to be strong, to move farther and faster, to communicate at a distance… Some of these aspirations have come true, but seemingly in an extremely small and narrow way. Apple trees aren’t blooming on Mars, astronauts aren’t lighting up and smoking before takeoff… Maybe that’s the whole problem??
— Isn’t it ironic that modern science is concerned with creating new complex living organisms, while accelerating the extinction of many existing species? With manipulating genetic material against a backdrop of parallel poisoning of the environment?
— “If civilization triumphs over barbarism.” An important aspect of the Internet is its effectiveness as an instrument of mass political and commercial monitoring and manipulation. From the standpoint of those who wish to profit from the Internet (as well as from television and mass communications in general) a person is no longer a person, but a set of reflexes. The Internet is a gigantic tool for the enslavement of humankind, for the subordination of each human being’s personal life to principles of mass. This corrupting mental pressure fuels the rise of barbarism within civilization itself. The very same technical accoutrements of the “civilized world” cultivate people’s inner barbarians, simply of a new type.
— About the “probable death of paper book and newspaper publishing.” What is this confidence based on? For example, vinyl records are now experiencing a dramatic revival: their production has resumed, prices have risen, there are new record companies specializing in vinyl, high-end music magazines carry ads for newly manufactured record players…Might the burial of books be premature? Today’s bestsellers are barely printed before millions have lined up to buy them. It’s more likely that transitional forms will disappear — as happened with tape recorders and VCRs…
— It isn’t clear to whom the author is speaking when referring to “makers of intellectual products” and to the “rest of the population.” And what would the promised stratification between the one and other actually mean?
— What is meant in saying that “civilization will have to fight to survive”? What are the parameters of the civilization which the author is concerned about? Who is permitted to enter it?
— The mind, the intellect, are not only the head, not only the brain, but the whole person; everything that is incorporated in the person and operates on various levels. Thought and sensory experiences are inseparable. Only their totality in the course of everyday experience constitutes what is commonly called intelligence. A science which envisions a future separation of “heads” from “hands” can hardly inspire confidence.
— From a professional’s hands, science gets a future without even a speck of a future! One might believe that everything simply moves “from birth to maturity and then to old age” (just like the Soviet system), if, fortunately, the lessons of history didn’t show that the most stubborn notions can be overturned in a moment, from a direction which no one expected — least of all, it seems, the experts.
— A science which immediately and directly influences the course of public life, which causes “social scientific breakthroughs,” no longer creates an impression of science, but of something completely different. Isn’t it time to find different, new expressions for modern science, just as for modern art?
— “When the opportunity to test predictions disappears or is pushed back into the indefinite future, science becomes a religion.” The character of the responses in fact shows that science has already become a religion for the elite, to which the author, one might surmise, belongs, and at the same time for the “rest of the population” which the author would willingly acknowledge as civilized. Is there really any room left for another religion, for one not based on measurable things?
— Even given the scientific development of “rich countries” (rich in what way?) property owners still find it profitable to inflate prices and keep people in a position of struggling for survival (which includes paying to keep up with technology). Isn’t science’s growing dependence on funding leading (or has already led) to its main purpose being simply to circulate money?
— About applied science: how are “useful tasks” determined? What decides their usefulness?
— In what way are scientific ethics different from ethics as such? When science relies on its own ethics, doesn’t this mean the loss of the integrity of the ethics developed through centuries of human experience? As a result, the civilized world is losing its very capacity to understand what horrors are perpetrated under the guise of “scientific” ethics — in war, for example, or at home, simply in the cheapening of the soul.
— Has the author ever thought about the fact that “any reliable knowledge” can come into conflict with the “absolute value of human life and individual freedom,” which sometimes prefers not to know, or to know in an unverified way? This is where “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not bear false witness” show their ambiguity. Isn’t culture shaped much more by how any knowledge (or lack of knowledge) is applied? There are countless historical examples of this.

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