The Intellectuals’ Assault on Intelligence

The current class of intellectuals, whether inside the universities or outside as a product thereof, now flout the principles of logic and reason far more than their relentlessly mocked uneducated rubes ever did.  Complex issues requiring thoughtful analysis of probabilistic tradeoffs and consequences are replaced with simplistic models that would have left the intellectuals of yesteryear aghast.  Where complicated continuums are warranted, binary scales are substituted in which anything besides absolute purity is considered evil.  False analogies, poor pattern recognition, hasty conclusions, misjudging the whole by a part, ascribing false motives and meanings have become the artisan bread and butter of the pontificating patricians.  Double standards abound in which moving goalposts of unethical or even criminal behavior are applied to capture political opponents, while flexible extenders are granted to liberate supporters.  Political opponents, along with groups they may be associated with, are defined by their worst moments or qualities or members, regardless of how insignificant.  Conversely, supporters and their associated groups will be defined by their best moments and qualities and members, no matter how meager.  Finally all the abuses of logic and reason are wrapped up in shiny packages called science-data-facts with great big bows called decency so that those who refuse such offerings are taunted, censored, blacklisted, and ultimately criminalized.

This attack on reason is the symptom of a cause that has its origins in the great saboteur of free thought: pride.  Without acknowledging the limits and intrinsic instability of the intellect, there is a tendency for our natures to err in favor of self-interest.  The intellect takes the back seat to our reptilian passions or, even worse, becomes the servant of the reptile.  Confirmation bias takes over as pride, greed, envy, vengeance overpower the intellect.  Pride will shift the objective of knowledge-seekers from truth to self-glorification, agendas that often conflict.  The intellect is apt to pervert itself not to enlighten and explore, but to deceive and conceal.  To achieve virtue, the intellect is dependent on humility — humility to mistrust both the completeness of our own understanding and the purity of our own motives. Humility is necessary to acknowledge how easily we go from rational to rationalizing when our desires are strong enough to sacrifice not only our nobler sensibilities, but also the welfare of others, especially the ones we never cared for to begin with.  It is in that humility where we will find the humanity that will save us from destroying the lives of others in our intoxicating prideful pursuit of the knowledge of good and evil.

Hat tip: The Intellectuals’ Assault on Intelligence

Source: American Thinker