Thursday, November 2, 2006

Is This For Real?

I can not believe the current flap over John Kerry's recent remark. It is absurd to think that Kerry would stand there in front of cameras and actually claim that the members of the military are stupid. It should be obvious to anyone who is paying any attention at all that he was referring to the President and his cronies.

I have no problem with folks who dislike Kerry and don't appreciate him calling their pal W stupid, but to get all worked up and claim that he is disparaging the troops is just maddeningly ridiculous.

I can't wait for the upcoming elections to be over so we can all settle down and ratchet down the political bickering a bit. At least we ought to be able to shove this back to the land of talk radio where I can successfully ignore it.


wunelle said...

I'm with you 101%.

I've got a great Sam Harris quote in response to your post (which might make its own post even), but seeing as I should have been sleeping an hour ago, it'll have to wait until later.

Jeffy for President!

wunelle said...

I've long felt that politics--which some people love for its ragged, scrappy character--is especially irritating to those who understand and respect science. In contrast to science, politics deals almost exclusively with opinion. Things which are nothing of the sort are asserted as fact, and conclusions are drawn and held irresective of support, all the while claiming exactly the opposite: THESE things are FACTS and my conclusions are INCONTROVERTIBLE.

With science we leave certainty behind and admit frankly that knowledge is provisional. Things we finally grant the status of fact--like evolution, for example--achieve this status from a weight of evidence rather than from emotional investment or from a desire for a particular outcome.

Here's my great Sam Harris quote from Letter to a Christian Nation:

"The core of science is not controlled experiment or mathematical modeling; it is intellectual honesty. It is time we acknowledged a basic feature of human discourse; when considering the truth of a proposition, one is either engaged in an honest appraisal of the evidence and logical arguments, or one isn't. Religion is the one area of our lives where people imagine that some other standard of intellectual integrity applies."

I might argue that politics is one other area--ironically, it's a realm where religious language and arguments are often used--where this wilfull logical fuzziness is brought to bear.