Today when science and technology are highly developed, why are so many people still baffled by anti-science "Falun Gong"? To find out the reasons from the angle of the theory of knowledge is of most importance to getting a profound understanding of the anti-scientific nature of "Falun Gong" and defending the dignity of science.
Each major progress achieved in science in the history of the development of human society has brought a great leap in the process of social civilization. As a result, science enjoys a very high status in people's minds, the respect it has gained is unshakable. Take social occupation for example. People show fairly high respect for scientists and engineers, because from the launch of "A-bomb and H-bomb and man-made earth satellite" to the invention and creation that have brought conveniences to people's daily life were all products turned out by scientific and technological personnel. Taking advantage of people's trust in and admiration for modern science, anti-science "Falun Gong" also put up the banner of science, anti-science "Falun Gong" uses various kinds of pseudo-science and theistic things wrapped up under the name of science to deceive and baffle people. In its nonsense talks about so-called Falun Dafa, it fabricates many things covering such fields as the celestial body of the universe, the evolution of nature, the history of society, religion and culture and the physical and psychological health, although all these are ungrounded irresponsible remarks, they have, to a certain extent, bluffed some people lacking the knowledge and attainment of science. Li Hongzhi also made use of a small number of the scientific and technological personnel who were ignorant of the facts and were deceived by him to hoodwink people, so that the masses mistook "Falun Gong" as a genuine branch of science. This lesson has taught us that a developed science does not mean the popularization and increase of general scientific knowledge and a rise in scientific accomplishment. In the face of feudal superstition and pseudo-science wrapped up with modern science, our society should create a scientific atmosphere strong enough to keep it from getting a foothold, and should make scientific attainment and scientific spirit become an important part of national quality.
Along with the development of science and technology, people are faced with an ever-wider and deeper scope for knowing the world, the range of the unknown world is also enlarging and the number of enigmas in sciences of a deeper level is increasing. The unknown world is a driving force boosting the development of science and technology, but in the meantime, it has given a chance to be exploited by pseudo-science. The various kinds of conjecture and hypothesis about the unsolved riddles are the necessary processes and methods for scientific development. Owing to the limitation of personal cognition, the general run of people, including many natural science researchers, have failed to get a clear understanding of these guesses and hypotheses. Making use of this opening, the exponents of "Falun Gong" have peddled idealism and theism under the pretext of answering enigmas in regard to the evolution of nature and physical health. This is also a reason explaining why Li Hongzhi's fallacy can hoodwink people.
"Scientific and technological development invariably promotes the readjustment of the social industrial structure. The social transitional period brought by modern high technology has entailed no small change in China's industrial structure, depression in some industries has aroused the sense of loss among some workers. Exploiting this opportunity, "Falun Gong" advocates have conducted demagogic publicity among workers. It is clear here that the struggle between progressive ideology and feudal superstition and pseudo-science is frequent and complicated, it is exceedingly intense during the social transitional period. It is an urgent and difficult question regarding how ideological-political work should be adapted to this new situation.
Generally speaking, the social group with relatively more scientific spirit and scientific attainment should be the old and middle-aged people. The saying that old and middle-aged people are "experienced folks" means that they have more years of education, richer experience of life and higher scientific accomplishment. Normally, these veteran comrades should not have been deceived by the anti-scientific "Falun Gong", but as a matter of fact, some old comrades blundered in this regard. A careful analysis shows that this seemingly accidental phenomenon contains factors of necessity. In China, due to the influence of several thousand years of feudal ideology, feudal superstitious things have extensive and deep soil in society, relatively speaking, this kind of subconscious things find more noticeable expressions in aged people. When they were preoccupied with busy work or left their posts, they had less opportunities to receive scientific education, their scientific attainments were fading away, this provided a chance for Li Hongzhi and his ilk to publicize feudal superstition and advocate pseudo-science. A more important reason was that since old comrades were long engaged in hard work and rushing about, they seldom gave thought to rest, after retirement, they paid particular attention to their physical conditions. Now that people's living standards and quality have generally risen, they have a stronger desire to pursue health and long life. Cashing in on this universal psychology, the deceitful Li Hongzhi asserted that practicing "Falun Gong" could help one keep fit and that one need not take medicine or injection when one falls ill, lured by this decoy, many were taken in. It is thus clear that in the Age of science and technology, how to maintain the scientific spirit and scientific attainment is a long-term task.
(China Daily 2000/05/19)