The Gay Science ¶344

Nietzsche argues that while contemporary persons see the science as a substitute or replacement or fulfillment of Christianity it is in fact a continuation of it. While Nietzsche resists logical schematization the root of his argument (The Gay Science, ¶344seems to be that science sets itself up as a realm where all claims are provisional and open to refutation but all claims cannot be of this kind. The scientific enterprise is one of many human commitments, all of which rest on faith in the sense of dedicating ourselves to a path without knowing if future evidence would have convinced us to never so dedicate ourselves. We can only take everything as a hypothesis within science only if our dedication to science itself is not hypothetical. If it is, then science itself turns out to be only a contingent extension of whatever project we have dedicated ourselves to absolutely.

In fact, Nietzsche thinks that the sciences could only be this sort of contingent extension of moral commitment. Science rests on an unwillingness  be deceived – to see existence as it is, no matter what cost with no illusions or blinders…

but – there is no other alternative – “I will not deceive, not even myself”: [means] we have reached the realm of morality.

Though science is a development of a moral stance, given the death of God the basis of morality is very unclear, and the sciences themselves exacerbate this problem by insisting that we describe a universe and historical process that follows no moral plan or providential order to some moral good.

Thus the question, Why is there science? leads back to the moral problem: What in general is the purpose of morality, if life, nature, and history are “non-moral”?

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