We have now made a few important conclusions. First, we have determined that any belief we have must correspond with reality. We also concluded we can disagree in perspective, but that does not mean that every belief is true. Our human perspective and abilities of perception can be faulty, but in a situation where we actually do clearly perceive reality, if we discover something that is true about reality, it is a true belief.
What method do we use however to evaluate true beliefs to choose the best? It is really popular today to try to apply the scientific method to absolutely everything. Scientism is a faith commitment as much as proponents of it would hate to admit. It necessitates that every answer will be provided by science, and science is the only discernible way to determine truth. Therefore, if science cannot determine an answer, there must not be any answer.
The problem with Scientism is that it violates our principle that a belief must correspond with reality. There are questions that science simply cannot answer. Science is an excellent way to learn about the world around us. The scientific method is a great way to learn about things we physically observe.
The problem is that the scientific method is not prepared to evaluate questions about right and wrong or good and bad. Since our exercise here is largely to discover what kind of beliefs a society ought to embrace, the scientific method is not going to be our friend. Some principles of it certainly apply such as looking at the results of a particular philosophy for example and seeing the results of that philosophy in action. The cause-and-effect relationship of the scientific method is helpful, but, in and of itself, it cannot provide answers for these questions about right and wrong. It requires objects and physical things to operate on.
Therefore, how are we going to evaluate what ideas are good for a society and whether or not they actually correspond with reality?
Partially, we can look at semi scientific evidence if you will as I alluded to above. We can see how different ideas have influenced society and whether or not those are the influences that we want on our society. We can’t really measure this very well, but we can certainly have this in our toolbox for determining what kind of society we ought to want.
For the other part though, we need to come to a conclusion as to what actually is good. We have been dancing around this issue for a little while, but it kind of that is that saying that we want a society that is good, and if we are aiming for that target, we need to know what good actually is.
Once we know that, the process is going to be rather straightforward. We will then use our semi scientific method to see how well certain ideologies build a society that corresponds to that definition of good. If we get close to it, then we might have a candidate for building a framework for a society that influences people to act in certain ways and do that which is good.