Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Epistemological Puritanism

         The radical right’s false and harmful beliefs disturb me; and even more disturbing is the way they believe. They get to use something called “doubling down”, where whenever contradicted by evidence or logic, the double-downer merely repeats the falsehood, compounded by denial of the evidence and logic.
         At first I was irritated by this spectacle; now I am horrified and disgusted. I want to ask them; “Who do you think you are? Are you better than the facts?”
         Doubling-down violates what I call “epistemological ethics”. I think that we have an obligation to self-honesty; not just a practical obligation, but a moral one as well. It is not only foolish to hide inside your delusions; it is wicked as well. A man who claims that 2+2=5 is a fit accountant only for Enron.

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