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Mario Bunge

Mario Bunge is a renowned philosopher based at McGill University, Montreal

"...the reason the pseudosciences are akin to religion, to the point that some of them serve as surrogates for it, is that they share a philosophy, namely philosophical idealism—not to be mistaken for moral idealism. Indeed, pseudosciences and religion postulate immaterial entities, paranormal cognitive abilities and a heteronomous ethics. I will spell this out.

Every religion has a philosophical kernel, and the philosophies inherent in the various religions share the following idealist principles: Idealist ontology—there are autonomous spiritual entities, such as souls and deitites, and they satisfy no scientific laws. Idealist epistemology—some people possess cognitive abilities that fall outside the purview of experimental psychology: divine inspiration, inborn insight, or the capacity to sense spiritual beings or prophesy events without the help of science. Heteronomous ethics—all people are subject to inscrutable and unbendable superhuman powers, and they are not obliged to justify their beliefs by means of scientific experiment.

All three philosophical components common to both religion and pseudoscience are at variance with the philosophy inherent in science. Hence, the theses that science is one more ideology and that science cannot conflict with religion because they address different problems, in different but mutually compatible ways are false."

The Philosophy behind Pseudoscience, Skeptical Inquirer Magazine, Vol. 30, #4, July/August 2006