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>how do you account for the fact that science mostly appears to work?
With the word "mostly"
>I mean, yes, there's no possible way to know that there aren't invisible intangible elves fucking with experimental results
Little bit of a reductio ad absurdum there. To say that we can't know that would be a technicality. It almost certainly isn't the case, to the point we can reasonably assume it isn't, without claiming to have arrived at certain knowledge. There are still things that actually appear to be the case based on observation, like (certain aspects of) gender identity*, emotions, pain, religious experience, etc., that can't be comprehensively explained in scientific terms.
*There are also things that can be, like the overwhelming evidence suggesting that on average trans people have brain structures more closely resembling that of their identified gender, not their biological sex.
>but don't you find any value in parsimony and falsifiability?
>Is there any point in considering that reality might have a very complex true form that's very different from what it appear to be, without any reason to think it is that way, without any way to test if it is that way, and with there being far, far simpler alternatives?
No there is not. Not to me at any rate. I'm only saying that those "far, far simpler alternatives" are constructs we've made to explain what appears to be the case and they are subject to radical change. See: the difference between classical and quantum mechanics, two branches of physics that right now seem incompatible, but are both useful in describing the world and predicting future events. So in the example of gender, we've only used the word as we do now for the last 50 years or so. We differentiated between sex and gender to better describe something that is a natural phenomenon that would be the case regardless of how we described it or if we described it. The only thing that can be said to be "real" is that certain people feel as though they would prefer to behave in a way typical of the opposite sex.
We can't change the nature of something by how we describe it, which is a common misconception (or deliberate obfuscation) about the idea of "the social construction of reality", but from now until the end of time our understanding of all phenomena will be continually updated, clarified, debunked, etc. Some things are more sure than others. It seems as though I can be certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that if I drop something it will fall to the ground, however with our current methods, there is no way to understand a whole lot about the self. Like what makes one person grow up to be a philanthropist and another person grow up to be a killer? We have scientific theories that explain a great deal about this, we know that there are mental conditions like sociopathy and psychopathy where a person seems to experience no emotions, conditions like ADHD in which parts of the brain believed to regulate behavior and emotions are impaired, conditions like BPD which make an individual impulsive and more subject to their emotions, and so on, but only a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of these people will go on to kill another person in cold blood.
So there's clearly more going on there than we can adequately explain using scientific reasoning. Whether that means we can't adequately explain it at all in the here and now is a matter of opinion, because explaining it by saying it's because of the alignment of the stars or because they're possessed by a demon is still an explanation, it just is one that I and most people nowadays find to be ridiculous, and no longer a particularly useful construct for explaining the world. In fact, it's a very harmful one given it follows from that that if you believe there is something observable about a person that makes them "evil", then the logical course of action is to eliminate that group of people. But it's still an explanation.
So I generally think that right now at least but probably forever, that we don't have enough empirical evidence to concretely and comprehensively say what makes someone a killer, or a philanthropist, or homosexual, or a woman. I tend to believe that "whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent". Does that mean we'll never have a better idea of what goes into making a killer to keep using that example? I don't think it necessarily does, and even now we can use these indicators that we've observed to give psychological support to these people (maybe instead of putting them into a tiny cage where their choice is kill or be killed) before they have the inclination to kill another person, then on average we could lower the rate of murders, but we don't have certain knowledge of what makes someone capable of murder and so we can't entirely eliminate it. Even if we rounded up all the people who fit our current profile of "murderer" and locked them up for life, there would undoubtedly be people who did not meet the criteria but still have the capacity to kill another human being.
>What other source is there?
To a varying degree, anything that someone can come up with to explain a phenomenon. I think that conjectures supported by empirical evidence are the only ones that can be said to explain phenomena that are true for all people, but there is a huge realm of experience that that doesn't encompass, i.e. religious experiences, love, sexual attraction, identity, etc. Those things are part of internal experience and the only tangible definitions those things lies in how we explain those experiences to each other in our language. It's part of being human to wonder about them, to discuss them, to be inclined to agree with one idea over another, but it can never be explained further than that. Science is of no help here. If one has the belief that that which can't be empirically demonstrated must not exist, or cannot be said to exist until it is, or at the very least doesn't matter (my camp more or less), then that's fine and generally you can live you're life like that perfectly fine, a lot of people do. But that still is leaving the realm of science and reason, because you can't prove a negative.
>Supposing for the sake of argument that there's a source of truth that doesn't involve performing an experiment, how could you possibly know if the answer you got is correct without testing it in an experiment? Or, in Popperian terms, how could you know if it was wrong?
You can't. Which is why these are all experiences of internal truth that can't be binding to anyone else, because again I believe the only things which can be said to be potentially true for all people are things which multiple individuals have empirically demonstrated. I just think there's no reason in particular to stop there when it comes to how one conducts their own life. All theological, supernatural, and otherwise non-scientific explanations of these things which are beyond the realm of science are basically people going "woah wouldn't it be cool if", and then believing it or not believing it themselves to varying degrees and telling other people about it who then judge if it makes sense in light of their internal experiences. Really the only problem with this is when non-pluralists fundamentalist types kill or oppress everyone who says "nah that wouldn't be cool and i think you're dumb".
>I'm personally of the opinion that the methods of a lot of things that are classified as science are so sloppy that they degrade those fields to quasi-science at best, and to pseudo-science at worst.
Me too, which is why I'm of the opinion that a lot of these things should be explored outside of that realm, and a live-and-let live mentality is the only position that we can take on them in a secular society, so long as they aren't empirically demonstrated to be legitimately harmful to society at large (i.e. religious fundamentalism, fascism, authoritarian communism, etc.)