Wednesday, February 13, 2008

No to ideologues

Although I am an atheist, I do not believe that the greatest danger to our country is religion. The greatest danger to our country is dogmatic ideology. What I mean by dogmatic ideology is simple: belief in things without evidence. I highly recommend James Burnham's book The Suicide of the West even though it was published years ago. In it, he defines ideology as the belief in something in spite of conflicting facts and evidence. He mentions several examples: anti-Semitism, segregationism, extreme paranoia about Communists in government (e.g. the John Birch Society), and a few others. Burnham points out that arguing with an ideologue is a waste of time because an ideologue will never change his mind no matter how much evidence contradicts his a priori view of the world.

Take global warming, for example. Is there any evidence that could convince Al Gore that global warming is not occurring, or Senator James Inhofe that it is? Of course not. Any contradicting evidence will be explained away. In fact, many advocates of global warming actually claim, with a straight face, that the extreme cold winter we are experiencing is more proof of global warming. They use the intellectually dishonest trick of renaming global warming "climate change" and claim that extreme cold weather confirms their theory. Of course, this is absolute nonsense. A theory of climate that is vindicated by any weather change is unfalsifiable and consequently bogus science. Global warming is false. The evidence shows that the world has not warmed since 1998. But its advocates don't accept defeat gracefully. They slander their opponents, falsely (and irrelevantly) accusing them of being bought off by the oil companies. A letter writer to the local paper has accused me of being "a dupe of the energy profiteers." This is a fairly typical ad hominem response. I'm not even surprised.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

quite interesting article. I would love to follow you on twitter.