Tuesday, February 18, 2003


It's quaint and banal, but the desire to discover the truth is also of vital importance. As I said just below (in Emoting), the disposition to ignore evidence can bring evil. And this disposition is best combated by a healthy desire for the truth, though this requires courage, perseverance, and other virtues. Mark Steyn is on this point when he says, "In Saturday's demonstrations, the heirs to Churchill's Harrow schoolmasters were well represented -- lots of teachers and professors. Yet the difference between now and then is their reluctance to expose their assertions to debate -- these days few institutions are as aggressively protective of their fragile little pieties as the academy." Brute dogma passes in social sciences and humanities in universities today. In other words, the chance that it will be met with scathing indictment is not close to 100%. It passes. But devotion to truth is of fundamental importance to our society. Betraying it can result in stupidity and death, as well as other evils.