QotD — Sophist Edition

Over at The American Spectator, James Bowman considers the gulf between pundits on the left and right, and provides his take:

In short, reality itself has become multiple and proprietary. It’s now “my reality” or “your reality.” Instead of meaning “what we can agree on” the word has now come to mean “what I think” — since there is presumptively no longer anything, or anything important, that we can agree on. Nowadays, our critics, columnists, and pundits can no longer be content merely to offer us their opinions. They insist on laying down the law. What they think is now what we — at least if we are decent and reasonably intelligent people — must think as well, and not to think as they think is therefore tantamount to classing ourselves with the venal or the idiotic. In effect, they become propagandists for their version of reality, which is like the reality that we all used to share but with the characteristic distortions and distensions of ideology.

Fans of Richard M. Weaver (and frequent visitors to this blog) will recognize the situation. Bowman continues from there, and closes, interestingly enough, with a movie recommendation. Give him a read.

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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4 Responses to QotD — Sophist Edition

  1. bluesun says:

    To quote Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?”

  2. Alpheus says:

    At some point, moral assertions started to be replaced by dubious assertions of “fact” that are plainly just cover for a moral viewpoint. “You can’t possibly deport all the illegal aliens!” “You can’t possibly stop kids from having sex!” “If you don’t restrain industrial output, you’ll surely destroy the world via global warming!”

    Once you decide that you can’t argue about normative questions, what’s left but to start lying about questions of fact?

  3. J. Otto Pohl says:

    I agree with him about the lack of debate. There seems to be a trend especially on the internet for people to only interact with people who agree with them. Part of this stems from the fact that political disagreement tended to often be vicious and uncivil for no good reason. Now conversations are civil and banal.

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