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This is a proposed name for a tactic often used to insulate metaphysical, magical, or theological claims against criticism in the context of science. It exploits the real danger of scientism, i.e. extending the authority of science beyond the evidence, to advance an extraordinary claim.
Its form is simple: first, (1) establish that some things are beyond the scientific method by pointing out that science cannot measure in a laboratory such things as truth or love, then (2) introduce your favored theory (be it a claim of magic, divinity, mystical energy, or what have you) as if all things not measurable by science are now equally believable. Cry “scientism” against any attempt to critique the latter, on the grounds that science cannot critique the former.
This is a classic bait-and-switch that lures the listener in with a claim most anyone would agree with (truth and love are real, though not measurable by science), then switches to a claim much fewer would agree with (magic, divinity, etc., are real, though not measurable by science).
What is particularly pernicious about this tactic is that the extraordinary claim tends to carry with it objective aspects open to scientific investigation (does magical healing have an effect above placebo or not?), but these drop out of sight due to misdirection of attention toward the subjective aspects analogous to love or truth (science can’t measure whether the magical healer perceives the disease in the patient or not!).
One effective strategy to counter this tactic may be to call attention back to the objective aspects of the extraordinary claims.
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