Here's a typically thoughtful comment from Appreciative Reader on a recent post. I made it into a blog post of its own for a couple of reasons.
Most importantly, the comment explains in a clear, persuasive fashion why science is just a great way of learning about the world and our place in it.
Secondly, Appreciative Reader's comment went into the spam filter of Typepad, my blogging service, and it took me several days to notice that this had happened, because I've been so obsessed with keeping track of what's going on with Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
So it's Putin's fault that the comment wasn't immediately available. At least, that's my spin on the situation. It could be also be argued, quite reasonably, that I simply forgot to check the spam filter. But I prefer the Putin hypothesis, since it puts me in a better light.
"Science has its place .. no doubt about that but it has nothing to attribute as far as living life is concerned, it cannot offer an vision on life.
Trying to do that turns science into a religion."
Sorry, um, but I'm afraid I disagree, squarely.
(With just that much, that I've quoted above, and the thrust of your last two comments addressed to me; I continue to agree, broadly that is, with your larger point that you keep making here, about the primacy of one's own experiences vis-a-vis someone elses's --- the whole restaurant thing, that we've discussed at length. But this last, I find this POV less than persuasive.)
You seem to see science as some kind of a tool that simply answers specific questions of a technical nature, and assists in developing technology that keeps us comfortable and happy.
I'm sorry, but that's seeing science as some kind of magic; you know, like how the king in the fairy tale orders the mage to rustle up some magick to help repel those invaders from overseas, or quickly rustle up a cure for the dying prince and heir, even as the royal household keeps sacrificing to the gods for rain and a good harvest.
You may have read my rather lengthy exchange with Spence, where Spence started out in disagreement with me but finally ended up seeing things my way. Without revisiting the detailed argument, and in short, what the rational-scientific worldview does is to open up for us a way of viewing the world, a sane clean world that isn't "demon-haunted" (to quote Carl Sagan).
It's a world where every time you see a storm you don't dance around wearing beads in an effort to propitiate Odin and Thor and Indra, until such time as every part of the mechanism of storms has been sussed out by those science boffins.
It's a world where you look at the things that you don't know as something you don't know, and something that, if you're so inclined, you try to find out more about, but don't immediately rush to fantastic supernatural explanations just because you still don't know all about it.
(Needless to say you remain open to accepting even the supernatural and the miraculous, should such be evidenced, but that isn't the default --- unlike in manjit's worldview, for instance, at least as he discusses it here in this thread.)
The kind of strictly skeptical spiritual approach that, for instance, Dungeness advocates, and sometimes Spence as well, is not what religions are normally like. Your garden variety religion that your garden variety theist follows basically offers people a lens through which to view the world.
(And in as much as that lense is entirely faulty, it presents a distorted upside-down view of the world, that occasionally by happenstance rings true, kind of like a stopped watch giving you the right time twice a day.)
Well, science, or more correctly a scientific worldview, also offers you a lens to view the world, a sane rational view of the world. To that very limited extent, yes, you may indeed liken science with religion, and that is a comparison I'm happy to embrace, in that very limited sense.
So is the lens that science provides to us perfect? No, obviously not. Clearly it is a work-in-process, clearly it is constantly being updated and improved. But it is the best we've got. It's the only one we've got that's reliable. It's head and shoulders above the craziness of religion in terms of both accuracy and precision, and utility as well.
But I suggest that it is also better than a personal idiosyncratic worldview, most times at least, in as much such a worldview is susceptible to a hundred and one biases.
Science, collectively done, isn't exactly entirely free of bias; but those biases are glitches, bugs, that are sought to be corrected. Correcting those biases is the whole point of science, even if it doesn't always succeed 100%. While personal biases generally stay on unaddressed, distorting one' view of the world.
Sure, if one takes the effort to rid oneself of one's personal biases when arriving at one's personal point of view, then I agree that it might be possible, at least in theory, to arrive at a personal worldview that is 'better' than an impersonal scientific one --- in the sense that such a worldview might embrace the best of both worlds.
But very few actually conceive of such, and far less actually execute it. So that my default remains the impersonal scientific worldview, while not discounting the carefully curated personal worldview provided the latter is very carefully curated and nurtured and weeded.