Sunday, July 26, 2009
Is it a question of intellectual honesty if the reasoning we here is self believed? If a person makes an argument to support a belief that he already holds to be true, is he being intellectually honest despite maintaining a premise that is false? Is it intellectual dishonesty to make a statement as if it is a fact, when, in fact, it is not? Is ignorance bliss with regards to statements of fact? If a person is ignorant of the facts, does this give him cover for stating falsehoods? At what level of influence does this change? If certain characters in our media make false and misleading statements as if they are factual, do we give them a pass because we imagine that they believe themselves? At what point does a person’s carelessness with truth reach a level of belligerence that it becomes a threat to the fabric of civility? I would have thought this point was crossed a long time ago, but instead of being shunned and ridiculed off the stage, we seem, instead, determined to increase the wattage of the megaphones for these people. Civility is an essential component of a diverse culture. It is by civility that a nation of people with hugely differing notions, convictions, and persuasions, can create a functioning society. Civility is what we use as the non-religious golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Civility requires a certain care with fact and belief. Distinguishing between them is critical. Allowing for the interpretation of the speculative to breath, but requiring the observation of what is verifiable to be decisive. When the underpinning of factual reasoning is kicked out and blathered past with impunity the very foundation of our civility is tossed into a dangerous tailspin. It seems clear to me that this nation, when it is at it’s best, is not a Christian nation, or a liberal or conservative nation, or a red or blue, but a civil nation.