As a non-Westerner, an African I perceived Western (American) culture as an imposition on me. Everything in me rejected Western culture.
On the other hand, I love the physical sciences (physics, chemistry and biology). I love science because it posits a universal method of approaching phenomena.
Science does not belong to any specific people; it belongs to all human beings. Therefore, I seek a universal human culture based on the findings of science.
In identification, I am not an African, European or American or Asian; I am a human being; my culture is not African or European or Asian, it is the universal scientific culture (it would be outrageous to, for example, consider me African in culture when my world view has absolutely nothing to do with what is usually considered African worldview).
I had difficulty accepting what people call the human self. I asked: what is my real self that I am supposed to accept. It was obvious to me that what I call myself is a compendium of learned ideas about me. Society gave me impression of who it thinks that I am. I do not know that I am what I learned to be me.
Most childhood socialization regimes actually force children to internalize false ideas about who they are and what reality is. In truth we do not know who we are and what reality is. The extant self and reality are social constructs, so we have to figure out who we are and what reality is.
So, what is my real self? I still do not know who my real self is. However, I accept a scientific self as my approximate real self; for the scientific self is the self that studies everything in the universe trying to understand them without what Immanuel Kant would call apriori presuppositions and preconceptions of what they are. For now I see myself as the scientific self (the searcher for the self).
People come from diverse parts of the world; somehow many of them have the impression that Western culture is imposed on them and they resent it. But what is the alternative, return to their primitive cultures? Third world people feel their cultures attacked by European culture that is by no means scientific. You must therefore not attack them by telling them that their culture is unscientific; let them evolve gradually to scientific culture.
Do not use ideals to beat on third world people’s heads as the idealist uses ideal standards to hit people and beat them up.
We have established a scientific method to study phenomena; that methodological approach to understanding phenomena has provided mankind with a universally accepted conception of what is acceptable knowledge.
We can provide the entirety of humanity a culture based on scientific understanding of phenomena. Scientific culture will reduce people’s automatic resistance to been told to accept this or that particular culture.
Scientific culture will unify mankind and yield the peace and prosperity people are yearning for.
SCIENTIFIC CULTUTRE IS INEVITABLE
In the future, say, in 200 years, universal scientific culture would prevail all over the world; that is inevitable; it would replace extant particularistic cultures that are based on how particular people adapted to their specific parts of the world that are not generalizable to other parts of the world.
If that is the case, one should not force it; all one has to do is live by its yardsticks. It is not moral; it is just a self-evident way of living the truth.
SCIENTIFIC CULTURE STUDIES EVERY ASPECT OF CULTURE TO SEE HOW SCIENCE WOULD APPROACH THEM
Scientific culture shows how to live scientifically. This approach transcends cultural relativism and multiculturalism for those divide rather than unify people; real science unifies people.
It is useful to study scientific culture and extol it as the way to go. But what is scientific culture, who determines it? All of us using the scientific method determine it.
Scientific culture is evolving gradually since Nicolas Copernicus (1543) view that the sun is the center of our solar system (in 1610 Galileo actually established the scientific method; in 1687 Isaac Newton used it to discover the three laws of motion and the nature of gravity; for general understanding of science see Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations, the Logic of Scientific inquiry). It has evolved for four hundred years and is continuing. It is not something to be posited by administrative fiat.
SCIENCE IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE RESPONSE TO THE WORLD
What needs to be done is to investigate the world through science and understand it and have realistic, science based response to it.
Fear responses to the world has stifled people and given them depression and paranoia (paranoia is intense fearfulness, especially fear used to protect a false self-concept).
EVERY CULTURE HAS SOME SCIENTIFIC PARTS TO IT; ADD WHAT IS SCIENTIFIC IN ALL CULTURES TO FORM SCIENTIFIC CULTURE
Every culture has rational scientific parts to it; all these can be added together to form a universal scientific culture that does not belong to any particular people. We are not therefore trying to ignore any particular culture; we are merely taking from each culture what is rational in it.
EXTANT SOCIAL SCIENCE VERSUS SCIENCE OF SOCIETY
At present, social science presents descriptions of insane human society at work; real social science ought to figure out what are healthy human behaviors.
Anthropology and sociology studies human social pathologies which are taken as healthy society; what healthy society is we still do not know.
How would healthy persons behave, not the learned insanity we currently call normal human behaviors.
We must use pure reason and science to understand issues and solve them; we should not escape into religion for religion traffics in fear of the unknown. Given the unknown and wish to live forever and ever people gravitate to religion, for religion offers them life after their physical death. Whether the life after death that religion offers people is true remains to be proven as true.
INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF SCIENTIFIC CULTURE, ISSC
With this New Year I dedicate myself to the search for scientific culture; I establish an institute for the study of scientific culture.
If you consider yourself invested in scientific culture, if you are not interested in exalting the culture of whatever part of the world you came from but instead is in search of a universal culture that is good for all human beings please join me.
The Institute for the study of scientific culture does research on the subject of culture and self and publish a monthly journal on it.
It is about time that the world is given a universal scientific culture so as to prevent folks from identifying with cultures that are based on superstitions and on those kill themselves in unnecessary wars. For example, Islamists kill people in pursuit of Islamic culture; what they do not ask is this: is that culture compatible with pure reason and science?
All our behaviors must henceforth be predicated on reason and science. We do not have to look backwards and try to resurrect African cultures, as modernized Africans do for African cultures are not based on science, or resurrect Egyptian culture, as many African Americans in search of their own culture do for those were not based on science or accept Asian cultures for those are based on religious conception of phenomena hence are not scientific or European culture for those are an amalgam of sense and nonsense, religion and some science.
Humanity is now ready for a culture that is based on pure reason and science, a culture that regardless of where you live on earth you can use to adapt to the exigencies of your world.
If you are interested in sending articles to ISSC for consideration in its
JOURNAL OF SCIENTIFIC CULTURE
please make your write up on an aspect of culture that you show how it could be made scientific to us; your submission should be under 25 pages; the articles are published monthly; first, electronically and thereafter in print.
Ozodi Osuji, PhD
January 16, 2015