OK

Inspite of the perhaps somewhat obscure diversion, my point is that it is only now that we find ourselves in the sphere of "knowledge".

Up until now, everything was just information, and it was all stuff that is more or less "who cares". The Soviet Union was communist. The United States was capitalist. The fascists had been defeated, so we imposed our respective forms of economic organization upon the losers (capitalism in West Germany, and communism in East Germany). That is as far as information gets us. The real question is, however, what difference does it make?

In reality, not very much at all. For what we have are merely facts. Pure, simple, objective, indisputable, non-arguable facts.

When we move to the next level, if you will, to knowledge, we start entering the realm of meaning, the realm where subtle, but important differences are important. Some think communism was a good thing. Some think capitalism is the best thing. In both cases, however, it is a value (judgment) that we have placed upon the fact that makes all the difference. In other words, when it comes to knowledge, values matter.

And here we have the rub. Knowledge is never value-free. Facts are. Knowledge isn't. What makes the difference is the values we associate with what we know.

This, however, brings us full circle to science once again. Science and our modern worldview would like us to think that things are just the way they are, but for all the objectivity that science would like to impose (and other disciplines would like to embrace) in the end, it just isn't there, for science's own view of its non-valueness is, at bottom, just another value.

We can't escape values. That things should have no meaning other than their own description is a value. Not wanting to deal with the messiness and fuzziness that values bring with them is something science would like to avoid. It doesn't like it, it avoids it, it thinks it just complicates things ... there are so many ways to describe it ... but in the end, they are just values.

Science, in its desire to free itself of values has really only driven out the Devil with Beelzebub. Its view of the world has brought us a heap of information. There is no question about that at all. But information cannot be the final arbiter of things, for to say it should or it shouldn't requires that one have values. To determine what is preferable or not preferable, what we desire or what we abhor, what is good or what is bad requires us to have values.

Describing the world in just the objective way of science is perhaps value-free, but in the end, it is really just of no value at all: it is worthless.

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