Let's Say the Things That Should Go Without Saying
Should go without saying, but many things that should go
without saying must be said and repeated in 21st century America.
Here's another of them. The Yale philosophy professor Brand
Blanshard said, “Science … means more than a set of conclusions; it means also
a set of methods and intellectual habits. The most important of these habits is
adherence to a rule that is felt to be at once intellectual and moral, the rule
of adjusting one’s assent to the evidence.”
That obvious principle — that reality requires you to accept
the plain evidence before you, not try to hide it or pervert it — was once
taken for granted by all even minimally educated children in this nation. Now
tens of millions of adults, maybe even a majority of Americans, willfully
ignore it. To our great shame. To our profound peril.
You see, intellectual honesty is not merely admirable. It’s
the necessary precondition that permits civilization to survive.