Are Quora moderators politically impartial
The penultimate paragraph goes to the heart of the matter: the argument. I decide for myself which arguments I am convinced. You do too. And even Facebook clickers who like cat photos do so because a (mostly implicit) reason has convinced them.
The difference between science (argument) and religion (authority) is that there is no supreme authority in science that “decides on the value of these arguments”. Such a body, an authority such as the Pope, would contradict Teten's regulative ideals and his definition of science. This is now a daring and difficult thesis, so be careful when trying to understand:
Science is "the socio-politically institutionalized and only collectively realizable attempt to systematically and methodically explore (research) what is the case in the world and why" (Tetens). I would like to focus on the word "attempt". It indicates that science is just trying to get knowledge. It never succeeds - to put it succinctly - to come to an absolutely certain knowledge.
This distinguishes them from religion, which is primarily concerned with the security of its truths (in the religious sense). This is also called dogma. Working with dogmas is therefore not a science. But if an instance decides on the value of arguments, then the statements for which arguments were previously required become statements for which only the stamp of an instance is required. Such statements are dogmas, in their pure form the stamp says: "Papally tested."
Metaphorically, we also know popes at universities. But you will surely agree that these are not infallible. That is why the “papal” seal of approval on a statement is scientifically worthless.
Hierarchies are therefore meaningless for science (in their pure form, not everything that goes on at universities!). Whether we should be convinced by someone does not depend on their titles and offices, but on their arguments.
Someone could come anonymously and post the comment on recensio.net: “Prof. X claimed in his book Y that Z. That cannot be true, because it contradicts A, B and C. “What should recensio.net do with this comment? Allow because A, B and C sound convincing? Delete because Prof. X is a luminary and therefore Z must be true? If I see that correctly, recensio.net avoids this decision by not even giving the opportunity to comment anonymously. This should of course effectively prevent Prof. X's assistant from discovering his argumentative weaknesses. (I'm far from saying that was the intent when recensio.net was constructed.)
My answer that everyone has to decide for themselves about the value of the arguments presented naturally implies that a construction like a Facebook vote on arguments does not make sense either. For pragmatics, however, it is important to know who you want to be treated by in the event of illness. Your greatest asset in good healthcare is freedom to choose a doctor. (We only have a limited number of these, but some private health insurance companies are said to use this privilege to attract wealthy customers.) So you (and I) choose a doctor who we trust has the necessary skills. But that is anything but a scientific decision. You probably know the stories of successful "doctors" who have never seen the inside of a university. You can say: I trust the academic examination system, so I let any doctor who has gone through it.
Personally, I reserve the right to ask for arguments and then evaluate them myself - as far as I think I can.
The highlight of the Internet icon is that every Internet resident can decide for himself in a daily plebiscite whether he or she reads Lobo or something completely different or nothing at all. There are still status battles, but clear hierarchies? Lists of the 10 greatest bloggers or similar can only be rated as tabloid jokes. “Excellence initiatives”, on the other hand, effectively stamp the (actually egalitarian, argument-fixated) science with the stamp of authority and hierarchy, which shows that it cannot be science in the true sense of the word, but - well, what? - religion? Maybe.
Perhaps, but that is now really highly speculative, one would have to look in the realm of theocracy for what authority-fixated science actually is. The connection between faith and state is sometimes very strong, even if the ruler does not have a spiritual title himself. If you're interested in Teten's considerations on science and how it differs from bogus science, I can refer you to my article In the Plagiarism Trap: When Science Doesn't Want to Know.
Incidentally, I find the discussion here very lively and progressive, even if we do not agree. Fortunately, then no instance comes and decides which of the arguments are valuable and which are not. At least I hope so.
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