Calvinism vs Armenianism as foundations for difference between hard sciences and social sciences and humanities.

Calvinism vs Armenianism as foundations for difference between hard sciences and social sciences and humanities.

There’s other ways you can split it. I suspect traceable foundations in the modern West may go down these lines (just an educated hunch):

Calvinism and its branches put logic / reason first, and through the centuries, reasoned their way out of God and kept on reasoning. No heart in it – it’s all mechanical, law based, rules, facts, ontological. Went down the engineering line as it were. Physical sciences and Southern Baptist fed alike, estranged cousins. Snopes trial. That sort of thing.

Arminianism and its branches were heart. Faith. Always room for the unexpected. The effect with unknown cause. Humanity. Do good works because doing good its its own reward. Liberal Christianity. Humanism.

This is more of the social side of things. Congressional. People working together. Social movements. Free will. Choices. Uncertainties. Post modernism. Relativistic strains. Epistemology.



Look beyond the names to the “spirit” of the way of thinking.

What’s a stochastic variable? Random. Not pre-determined. God’s will or the Fate called Random? Who knows – but I’d say this: Quantum theory is more “Arminianism” than Calvinism already.

But, fact is: most physical sciences aren’t quantum. Quantum theory is more a fantastically fun fiction in a way. I love it. It’s fun. Some of it’s useful too.

But jump up one notch from quantum to the stuff we *can* measure and work with that’s not stochastic? That’s the physical sciences I’m referring to.


Overdetermined almost makes sense but I’m in pragmatic-land. If something is “over determined” to me that’s error corrections applied leading to greater certainty.

But if you mean it as “Too many possibilities” so as to make it humanly (by mind or human machine means) be unable to come to a SINGULAR definitive cause, it could just as easily been “God’s will” or “free will” as in each of those cases, we’re still stuck with the same conundrum.


For simple cause/effect relationships – and even when stochastic is included in engineering (the real world is stochastic and quality engineering tries to prepare for that), it’s still within *ranges* of tolerance.

Controlled. Legal. Fact. Calvinism.


Arminianism historical development seems to have led to the more humanistic, anthropocentric, the ultimate current expression might be humanism with man as measure of all things – and humanism is rooted in the Arminianism Protestant strain. You can follow it back through the thought leaders through the centuries.


I bring these up because the Universities the great scientists each went to had their religious slant which affected how they taught and the thinking of the students they produced.

I’m not trying to credit religion here. Rather I’m trying to take an objective view of a possible avenue the historical development of an institutional “way of thinking” that carried through into the work.


There’s also a strong direction that led to a general “ecumenical” vibe from the Arminianism strain that led not only into humanism but also from the 19th c onwards, cooperation between the sciences, reform Judaism, Secularism, Globalism, the liberal arts curriculum, green thinking, ecology, systems-thinking.

But the Calvinist strain tended towards nationalism, family values, the law-is-the-law, etc.

I know it’s a weird view but it’s an idea I’ve had for a while that i never fully researched or fleshed out yet.

Sorry to seem so far astray but I find causation fascinating because of its immense complexities so I like trying to find unexpected movements of concepts across time and how they change into new forms.






So, God’s Will again, except God doesn’t give a fuck that you want it to be logically consistent. I’d put that in the Arminianism camp.











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