July 31, 2014

All Opinions Are Not Created Equal

Recently, while perusing The Federalist, I stumbled across a post by Tom Nichols which elicited a hearty "Amen!" from me.

I am (or at least think I am) an expert. Not on everything, but in a particular area of human knowledge, specifically social science and public policy. When I say something on those subjects, I expect that my opinion holds more weight than that of most other people. I never thought those were particularly controversial statements. As it turns out, they’re plenty controversial. . . . This subverts any real hope of a conversation, because it is simply exhausting—at least speaking from my perspective as the policy expert in most of these discussions—to have to start from the very beginning of every argument and establish the merest baseline of knowledge, and then constantly to have to negotiate the rules of logical argument. (Most people I encounter, for example, have no idea what a non-sequitur is, or when they’re using one; nor do they understand the difference between generalizations and stereotypes.) Most people are already huffy and offended before ever encountering the substance of the issue at hand.
I feel like I could have written this myself. All one has to do is replace "social science and public policy" with "theological studies." Read the rest here.

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