Monday, December 27, 2004

Intellectual Morons : How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas

I wast tempted to buy this book:

"Ideology acts as a mental straitjacket. It prevents adherents from seeing reality, encourages zealotry, and justifies dishonesty. It makes smart people stupid."

"Why has ideology taken such a powerful hold over so many smart people? Humans desire meaning in their life. With the decline of
religion among the well-educated, intellectuals increasingly look for meaning outside the church, temple, and mosque. Ideology can fill this void. It bestows an easy-to-understand explanation for the way the world works. It supplies a moral code, membership in a community, and a vocation. The new religions exalt secular saints, enforce dogma, punish heretics, value self-sacrifice, and sanctify writings. In short, ideology serves as a proxy religion for people who view themselves as too smart for traditional religion. And since worshiping a god is an impossible task for the self-obsessed, the intellectual moron worships himself—man—and the ideas that will deliver us all into salvation."

"It is folly to blame “bad” ideology for the current degraded state of the public square. The problem isn’t necessarily Left ideology or Right ideology, but all ideology. Anyone who abandons rational analysis for the dictates of a governing philosophy is bound to be led astray. To the ideologue, what matters is not whether an idea is good or bad, harmful or beneficial, or true or false. What matters is whether it can serve the Cause."

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