He (Ian Hutchinson) gives the gist in the first para.
One of the most visible conflicts in current culture is between “scientism” and religion. Because religious knowledge differs from scientific knowledge, scientism claims (or at least assumes) that it must therefore be inferior. However, there are many other important beliefs, secular as well as religious, which are justified and rational, but not scientific, and therefore marginalized by scientism. And if that is so, then scientism is a ghastly intellectual mistake.
Notice that he carefully leaves out the “true” in “justified true beliefs” – the standard philosophical definition of knowledge. Notice also, of course, that he simply assumes there is such a thing as “religious knowledge.” I hope he plans to back that up in future installments, because it certainly isn’t self-evident.
He goes in for the kill in the third para.
Scientism is, first of all, a philosophy of knowledge. It is an opinion about the way that knowledge can be obtained and justified. However, scientism rapidly becomes much more. It becomes an all-encompassing world-view; a perspective from which all of the questions of life are examined: a grounding presupposition or set of presuppositions which provides the framework by which the world is to be understood. In other words, it is essentially a religious position.
Oh is it? Is that the definition of “a religious position”? Is an all-encompassing world-view; a perspective from which all of the questions of life are examined: a grounding presupposition or set of presuppositions which provides the framework by which the world is to be understood, always and necessarily religious?
No, certainly not. That’s putting the cart before the horse. “Religious” is the smaller category; “world-view” is the larger one; not the other way around. We all get to have a world-view, and there is no law that says it has to be religious, or that having one just is inherently religious. Religious people don’t get to take over our minds that way.
It is fair to say that a certain kind of world-view – one that refuses to be modified and adapted with new knowledge or experience, one that squashes everything to fit, one that is imposed on the world as opposed to receiving it – is religious, although even then it could be other things too. But in any case that’s clearly not the sense of “religious” that Hutchinson had in mind.