Semester after semester, I continue to encounter students for whom the proposition that science alone is the embodiment of unimpeded Reason is axiomatic. But it isn’t just my college students who think thus; most adults seem to be just as mistaken on this score. That this notion of science pervades not just the popular culture but academia as well can be gotten from the readiness with which specialists in a variety of non-scientific disciplines seek to impose a scientific character on their work. Considering the image of science that they affirm — an image according to which science is, if not necessarily the exclusive means by which to secure the Truth, certainly the most legitimate of such means — this should come as no surprise. And if the Intellect reaches its glorious culmination in the practice of science, this is only because the scientist alone among the mortals that walk the earth has succeeded in bracketing his prejudices in order to attain an “objective” and “impartial” perspective on the world. The scientist has liberated himself from all preconceptions; he is concerned with the brute “facts” and only these.
The latest debate over “the debt limit” has all but monopolized the attention of politicians and pundits alike. I confess, I for one am not at all pleased by this, for I find the whole situation particularly difficult to follow. But not only does this issue challenge my understanding, the impression that it has been rendered more complex than it actually is poses a challenge to my patience as well.
Barack Obama and his minions continue to lie. Okay, this is it, I promise: my last column on the so-called debt crisis (at least until next month). I know you’re getting tired of hearing about it. Heck, I’m getting tired of writing about it. But the lies and distortions have gotten so outrageous in the past few days that I simply must get up on my soapbox one more time and try to clear up a few of the biggest piles of malarkey. (Some of you may prefer a stronger word for what’s being thrown around.) Here are the latest “Big Four” that got my goat.
We shall not be able to even start reducing the size of the federal government until Tea Party Republicans take control of both houses of Congress and the White House. Hopefully that will happen in November 2012. Then will begin the great task of abolishing the hundreds of departments and agencies that have done nothing but interfere with the ability of American industry and business to grow. In other words, we must restore the kind of free-market economy that permits individuals to create new businesses and permits old businesses to expand. In that way we shall also create many new jobs.