Skip to comments.Should Scientism be considered a religion on Free Republic?
Posted on 06/30/2008 4:41:23 PM PDT by Kevmo
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Here’s the deal. LENR is a theory or invention but not a belief like dispensationalism, Catholicism, etc.
***And yet, Paul La Violette was terminated from the US Patent office because he believed in Cold Fusion.
Cold fusion confusion the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions incredible interpretation of religion in LaViolette v. Daley
Army Lawyer, March, 2002 by Drew A. SwankIs cold fusion (1) the equivalent of Catholicism? Is believing in extraterrestrials the same as being an Episcopalian? In the recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) decision of LaViolette v. Daley, (2) the EEOC held that the complainants unusual beliefs regarding cold fusion, cryptic messages from extraterrestrials, and other scientific beliefs are entitled to the same protection in the workplace from discrimination as religious beliefs. (3) This note, by examining the facts of the case, the relevant statutes, agency regulations, and case law, will demonstrate that the EEOCs ruling has impermissibly expanded the definition of religion to the point that it has created a new cause of actionable discriminationsomething the EEOC has neither the power nor the authority to do.
Paul LaViolette had been a patent examiner with the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) until he was fired on 9 April 1999. (4) On 28 June 1999, LaViolette filed a formal complaint of discrimination, alleging that the PTO fired and refused to rehire him based upon his unconventional beliefs about cold fusion and other technologies. (5) The Department of Commerce, of which the PTO is part, dismissed LaViolettes complaint on 13 September 1999, for failure to state a claim within the purview of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (6)
LaViolette appealed the dismissal, arguing that `discrimination against a person on account of his beliefs is the essence of discrimination on the basis of religion. Therefore, he contends, his scientific beliefs in cold fusion are protected. (7) The EEOC reversed the agencys dismissal of his complaint and remanded it for further processing. (8) While an agency must dismiss a complaint of discrimination that fails to state a claim, (9) here the EEOC held:
In determining which beliefs are protected under Title VII, the Supreme
Court has held that the test is whether the belief professed is sincerely
held and whether it is, in his own scheme of things, religious....
Moreover, in defining religious beliefs, our guidelines note that the fact
that no religious group espouses such beliefs ... will not determine
whether the belief is a religious belief of the employee ...
In the instant case, complainant argues that his unconventional beliefs
about cold fusion and other technologies should be viewed as a religion and
therefore protected. Complainant claims he was terminated and denied the
opportunity to be rehired because of religion, which embodies his cold
fusion beliefs. Therefore, under the applicable law noted above, we find
that the agency improperly dismissed complainants claim of discrimination
for failure to state a claim. (10)
While the EEOC subsequently stated that it did not determine the validity of LaViolettes complaint, (11) by allowing the case to go forward, it has extended Title VII protection to scientific beliefs. In doing so, the EEOC not only misapplied its own regulations, but also ignored the statutes and case law that govern it and exceeded its statutory mandate as well.
The ultimate question presented by LaViolettes complaint is whether his scientific beliefs deserve the same protection from discrimination as anothers religious beliefs. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (12) provides that it shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individuals race, color, religion, sex or national origin. (13) It defines religion to include all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as belief, unless an employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably accommodate to an employees or prospective employees religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employers business. (14) Title VII has been interpreted to protect against requirements of religious conformity and as such protects those who refuse to hold, as well as those who hold, specific religious beliefs. (15)
The EEOC, responsible for enforcing Title VII, (16) is required by its own regulations to adopt Title VIIs definition of religion. (17) As Title VIIs definition of religion is circular (religion includes all aspects of religious observance and practice), (18) the EEOCs regulation further adds that
[i]n most cases whether or not a practice or belief is religious is not at
issue. However, in those cases in which the issue does exist, the
Commission will define religious practices to include moral or ethical
beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the
strength of traditional religious views. This standard was developed in
United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163 (1965) and Welsh v. United States,
398 U.S. 333 (1970). The Commission has consistently applied this standard
in its decisions. The fact that no religious group espouses such beliefs or
the fact that the religious group to which the individual professes to
belong may not accept such a belief will not determine whether the belief
is a religious belief of the employee or prospective employee. The phrase
religious practice as used in these Guidelines includes both religious
observances and practices, as stated in section 701(j), 42 U.S.C. 2000e(j).
In 1978, while still a doctoral student at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, Paul LaViolette made a prediction, which like Einsteins prediction of the bending of starlight may one day be destined to shake the world. At that time, he was developing a unified field theory called subquantum kinetics. Unlike string theory, which has never made any testable predictions, LaViolettes subquantum kinetics theory makes several, ten of which have thus far been confirmed. One in particular challenges the most fundamental of physical laws, the law of energy conservation. Subquantum kinetics predicts that a photons energy should not remain constant but rather should change with time, that photons traveling through interstellar space or trapped within stars or planets should continually increase in energy, although at a very slow rate. For example, his theory predicts that a photon traveling through our solar system should increase its energy at a rate of somewhat greater than one part in 1018 per second.
While this rate of energy change is far too small to measure in the laboratory, if present it would be extremely significant for astrophysics. Essentially, it would require that astrophysicists scrap all their existing theories on stellar evolution and stellar energy production. Subquantum kinetics predicts that all celestial bodies, whether they be a planet or star should produce energy in their interior. Although the energy excess produced by any given photon each second would be incredibly small, when the cumulative effect of trillions upon trillions of photons inside a planet or star are added up, the amount of energy becomes quite sizable. LaViolette coined the term genic energy to refer to this spontaneously created energy.
Thanks to Andrew Michrowski of PACE for sharing this release (PDF) by the Starburst Foundation in Athens, Greece. Read more...
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I’ll think about his claim that his belief in cold fusion was religious - and their reaction - and will get back to you.
Scientism per se could be called a belief and therefore would qualify.
***So, is it okay with you if I start a LENR thread under the ‘scientism’ tag?
However, you could tag the RF Scientism thread as "[ecumenical]" and anyone could post but they must not be antagonistic.
The “no antagonism” rule on Religion Forum threads labeled “ecumenical” applies to all sides. So any statement speaking harshly of another group of Freepers will be pulled, e.g. post 504 for the statement about the anti-LENR crowd.
Both science and religion are systems of rational thought grounded in unproveable, properly basic beliefs.
oops, I hit ‘post’ too fast...
My last sentence was that perhaps the best perspective to engage is to see that La Violette’s treatment by the patent office as well as the LENR crowd’s treatment on FR threads has been a manifestation of scientism (or anti-scientism, if you prefer).
Okay, then, here’s the amended post.
To be candid, I think his claim of religiosity for belief in cold fusion is thoroughly bogus. Im surprised the EEOC accepted the claim. But I do see scientism as a valid religion, and perhaps some of the invective on LENR threads has been along the lines of religiosity.
My aim is to utilize this great bag of tools that youve developed, yet again, to reduce the invective on some threads Ive been involved in.
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Will all the various scientific theories be given a sectarian designation, and the proponents’ religion assigned accordingly?
If that’s important to you, then you can do it, until FR automates the process.
I'm still thinking about the bizarre EEOC decision to accept LENR as a belief. And I'm not inclined to agree with them because accepting a single theory as a belief would open the door to "evolution" or "relativity" or "thermodynamics" and so as beliefs.
I've always believed a person should profess their own religious beliefs, and find the idea of doing it for them abhorrent.
I think we covered that 4 years ago on this thread. Best wishes in your endeavors.
I can understand being opposed to frivolous claims of religiousity, but I'd think it would be based on something more substantial than inconvenient taxonomy.
We did. That’s why I was surprised that you would suggest that I would want to do it.
A belief that rain is wet would not qualify as a religion. Neither should a scientific theory, equation, etc.
Historically, currently accepted scientific theory on any given subject has always been in flux. There is no equivalent to the defined set of beliefs exhibited by those religions.
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