My earlier comments (https://hiddenharmonies.org/2012/07/open-forum-2/#comment-55145) in HH, lead me down an extensive discussion of the history of the Scientific Revolution.
As pointed out by Why the Scientific Revolution Did Not Take Place in China —or Didn’t It?, the Scientific Revolution did occur to some extent in China, it simply did not have the kind of socio-economic impact as it did in Europe.
However, IMPACT is relative, especially relative to history itself. As I argued, the Scientific Revolution in the West may have come to halt, whereas it is the OTHER parts of the World that is continuing down the Scientific Revolution path.
Particularly China, is carrying on the rationalist tradition of the Scientific Revolution to continue to change traditional institutions of human conditions, particularly in Politics.
What do I mean?
Scientific Revolution, in its core, was about challenging LONG held assumptions (irrational ideas based often on superstition, religion, or spiritualism). When it occurred in Europe, the greatest impact from the Scientific Revolution was that it challenged people to reconsider and reexamine their long held beliefs, by forcing examination of principles and ideas against rational arguments and evidence, repeatedly using the scientific method.
This Revolution extended first in the physical sciences, then into other areas of human activities. Even religions became “testable” as “social science”.
Enlightenment and Liberal politics became part of that Revolution. Great political philosophers of the West were often also great scientists. Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire, etc.
But the West’s Scientific Revolution peaked sometime in the 19th Century, when the politics of Imperialism established a stubborn set of Nationalistic and Religious assumptions that carried to today.
In other words, it was to be considered treason for science to question the self-righteous proclamations of the West, and thus, it became convenient to stop the Scientific Revolution at the door step of “Democracy”, because the West was considered to be sufficiently “enlightened”.
Despite the horrors of the French Revolution, and the lesser discussed horrors of the American history, “Democracy” was not to be challenged.
Not merely that, but only WESTERN Democracies were to be named the Holy Land, The proverbial Vatican of Democracy, with Monopoly of authority on all things Democratic.
That faith is an assumption of the most irrational. For even the Found Fathers were humans, full of mistakes in their own time. Then WHY do we insist upon the ridiculous rituals (such as in US Democracy) of politicians and lawyers interpreting / divining the “Original Intent” of those imperfect human beings??!!
Why do we still insist that “Freedom” as a “Right” is somehow sacred, when few ever bother to rationally test the true meaning of “RIGHTS” and “Freedom”?
That is where the Scientific Revolution has stopped in the West, and confined to the realm of JUST science.
Sure enough, once the Scientific Revolution is stopped and confined, Religions and superficial moralities do make come-backs, with ALL manners of other assumptions irrational, untestable, and sacred from challenges.
At heart of it, understandably, is the human sensitivity to what each of us consider to be deeply personal beliefs. We human beings do not like the notion of have to question and doubt every assumption we live with. It does not make us very happy to be surrounded by doubt.
But, nevertheless, for the West, the Scientific Revolution has stopped, and Politics has become stagnant, because it is fundamentally superstitious, running on the faith of “what worked before, should work forever.”
Sounds very Vatican-ish, right before the time the Scientific Revolution challenged the Vatican’s authority/correctness on important beliefs, such as “Earth is at the Center of the Universe.”
Today, we too face a Vatican, a monopoly that refuses to tolerate challenges to its authority.
And I can only say that history has scientifically proved that such refusal, stubborn as it may be, won’t stop the Revolution by Science.
Science will challenge assumptions of politics, Democracy, West, or otherwise.
Science, through HISTORY, has already shown the irrationalities of irresponsibility and follies in Western Democracies. Does it still matter to those holding to them what the “Original Intent” were?? Or are they merely making up omens and rituals to rationalize the irrational?
I do not say that other systems are necessarily better, but it is folly to hold Western Democracies as immune to challenges of their assumptions.
Folly and Superstition.