just received a Chivalry-Now Christmas present that I want to
share with you all. Please bear with me.
many years, I have tried to convey a very important idea that never
seems to hit the mark.
I stumbled upon a quote from Sir Francis Bacon that leaves
me in awe. Before I share it, a little background is necessary:
fellow named Peter Ramus, a French Heuguenot who preceded
Bacon, taught that logic had to be augmented by rhetoric in order
to arrive at truth. Facts themselves did not matter. Superficial
logic and a gift for persuasion were all that was needed. Such a
conclusion illustrates pre-modern thought, and strongly contributed
to the lack of progress during the Dark Ages.
formula went like this: first comes the idea, then comes
choosing evidence that supports it, while ignoring or denigrating
evidence that does not. Schools back then considered argumentation
(what they called disputation) as the primary means of finding
protested, demanding that indiscriminate facts supersede preference,
no matter how persuasive the rhetoric of that preference may be.
So began the era of science.
is what he said:
logic now in use serves rather to fix and give stability to the
errors which have their foundation in commonly received notions
than to help the search for truth. So it does more harm than good."
and rhetoric can be used as powerful tools of persuasion. But if
truth is our goal, as it always should be, the tricks of logic and
rhetoric can be dreadfully deceiving. Indeed, they are a dead end
that people of good-intent and full conscience seek to avoid.
we are witnessing in politics today is a contest of ideas that are
often based on superficial logic (political ideology) and rhetoric
(clever argument and taglines). They sound good. They appeal to
our inner prejudices. They convince us to participate in ways that
keep the battle going, rather than finding solutions.
good is evidence, when people are not interested in it? If we start
from entrenched conclusions (such as either a faith in big government,
or its opposite, complete distrust), what follows is a game of words
that leads to nothing but self-destructive conflict and division.
who recognize this subconsciously tend to view politics as a futile
waste of time. Those who do not recognize it take sides and enter
the fray as dedicated converts. What truth they might actually represent
becomes subject to the media-driven rules of engagement, which do
nothing but stir resentment and further conflict. This is why, in
the 21st century, our democratic-republic looks more like a circus
than a thoughtful and honorable system of government.
light of myriad serious problems that we face today, it is the single
greatest threat that we face as a people, or as a culture meant
to bring much needed light into the world.
answer to this situation can only be found in those of us who see
the problem for what it is, who honor the integrity of truth more
than the brainwashing of a conflicted status quo, and are willing
to speak out and open people's minds.
quite the Christmas present you expected? It is for me, for it sheds
new clarity on what needs to be done. For someone dedicated to the
quest, nothing could be more welcome than that.