It is at least arguable, as Homnick asserts, that religious people and others in structured disciplines are fools when it comes to political opinion.
But one thinker (Heilbruner?) put it differently. He said that any trained expert (academic specialist) tends to mistakenly think that he-she also has valuable opinions in any other field. After all, he knows he-she is intelligent.
The results — one might surmise and the thinker seemed to say — are that the expert might turn out to be more biased than others in that other field or area of human thought or activity, or at least more blindly and stubbornly opinionated.
Even the case of Linus Pauling might not be an exception. He excelled and was honored in several fields of science and also almost won the race to discover DNA besides. But he was badly mistaken, if not obsessive, about Vitamin C as a remedy or preventative for the cold. And — cf. Homnick, I admit — his judgment in political matters was at least questionable, though surely extremely strongly held. This adds another angle to the old saw about academics learning more and more about less and less: they don’t know what they don’t know and think they do know — Rumsfeld’s Unknown Unknowns — but Thought Known.
Even when it might be argued that a judgment is within one’s field, there can be blindness. Jesuit theologian-philosopher Fr. Bernard J.F. Lonergan identified three distinct thought-worlds: theory (in all its forms, including science, theology, and philosophy), common sense, transcendence (religion, Mystery). When the Challenger was launched, common sense might have questioned a launch during bad weather. Reagan drew upon language about transcendence, not about theory or common sense, to help the nation through the tragic explosion. And the contribution about frozen O-rings by a major renegade scientist to the panel investigating the explosion seemed to owe more to common sense than to abstruse scientific theory.p> Psychology Today once mentioned a test about who makes the best jurors (best in the sense of more open to the truth). It turned out that scientists tested poorly. They were too biased to be open to the truth. The least biased and most open to the truth? Religious ministers. br> —
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online