Cliff Crego's blog, whitebark—
Notes scratched into a stonepine snag, open to the light, clear air . . .
Categories:

Archives:
Meta:
March 2017
S M T W T F S
« May    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  
10/31/13
THE WORLD’S WORST BAD IDEAS
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 4:00 pm

The world’s worst bad ideas have two key features which refer both
to truth of function, and to truth of content, in equal measure:
First, they not only prevent us from clearly seeing some important,
relevant aspect of the world, but actually distort it beyond all
recognition; Second, they strengthen their hold on thought and
perception with self-reinforcing, equally false “evidence.”

Thus, this essentially closed devil’s loop easily hardens into the mo-
tionless, self-destructive, rigidity of fundamentalism and absolute
belief. Why would we allow this to happen? One word: security. We
take refuge in delusional, bad ideas, because they offer us a kind of
comforting—albeit false—sense of security.

Education, in the view being outlined here, has a vital role to play in
an open society. In a democratic republic where the freedom of ideas
and their expression is guaranteed, centers of learning ought to be
places where these intellectual freedoms are both exercised and dem-
onstrated at the very highest possible standard of excellence. To fail
at this task is to risk the failure and loss of these hard-won privileges
of democracy itself.

Leave a Reply