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View Diary: Through the Looking Glass: Freeperville (324 comments)

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  •  Exactly. (none)
    It's as though all knowledge has come down to a statement of belief for them: "being a Christian, I believe that.... the foundig fathers intended this to be a christian nation." I heard someone on NPR all-in the other day saying that and I thought, what does lyour belief have to do with historical evidence?

    It comes down to the idea of falsifiability: one method of testing whether someone's assertions are based on logic is whether there can be some piece of evidence that falsifies the assertion. This is the main problem woth Creationism: if you ask a Creationist what bit of evidence, hypothetically, could be produced to completely blow apart the Creationist hypothesis, they will of course say, well, none, because I believe what I believe, and they'll quote that Bible passage about faith, not proof, or whatever. Their assetion is not falsifiable, it cannot, in their mind, be proven false.

    Same with news and history: no facts can be trusted because they are all suspect. Therefore my opinion, which is based on my belief, cannot be falsified by any of these facts. This, along with a healthy dose of conspiracy theories, is the new basis of "reasoning" on the far right (and I will agree that the Left does this as well, only the people on the Left that do this are at home baking Vegan brownies, not sitting in the Oval Office, so the amount of potential harm isn't nearly the same).

    This is where we need to be the champions of empiricism, reason, and the principles of the Enlightenment, things which can easily be framed as patriotic values of the founding fathers. Oddly, after years of Postmodernism in academia drummed the idea of empirical truth right out of my head, if its absence means that we need to put up with these assertons of faith standing in the way of any real examination of empirically verifiable facts, then I think I'd rather have it back...

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