Scientific and religious mindsets: a candid look at the perils of a Panglossian President

Silvers, Randy 2008, Scientific and religious mindsets: a candid look at the perils of a Panglossian President, Deakin University, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Geelong, Vic..

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Title Scientific and religious mindsets: a candid look at the perils of a Panglossian President
Author(s) Silvers, Randy
Publication date 2008-01-07
Series School Working Paper - Economics Series ; SWP 2008/01
Total pages 19
Publisher Deakin University, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Place of publication Geelong, Vic.
Keyword(s) Candide
Panglossian
Scientific Mindset
Religious Mindset
George W. Bush
RePEc:dkn:econwp:eco_2008_01
Summary Through Voltaire’s novella Candide, this essay examines the differences between a scientific and a religious mindset and the consequences of poor decision-making when a political leader has a religious mindset that he misapplies to fundamentally scientific questions. By analyzing various decisions that President Bush has made, it is argued that he has a religious mindset that has resulted in several fallacious choices of extreme import, yielding considerable losses. As such, a decision-maker with power should be able to distinguish questions best answered with a scientific mindset from those that are in the realm of philosophy or religion and apply a scientific mindset to the former. A scientific mindset formulates a theory that yields testable propositions, it acquires data and uses that to evaluate the verity of the theory. As the data contradict the theory’s predictions, the theory is adjusted. The religious mindset proffers certain explanations but then holds steadfastly to them. It ignores contrary evidence, does not adjust its tenets, or alter its prescribed behaviors, attacks the integrity of those who espouse contrarian viewpoints, and commits logical fallacies, such as inverting the causative relationship.
Language eng
HERDC Research category CN.1 Other journal article
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30077214

Document type: Report
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
RePEc Working Papers
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