Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It was the best of times...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us....

We saw the value of critical thinking, reason and the scientific method to improve ourselves and our lives. We believed that skepticism had great value in informing our thinking and decisions. We reaped the rewards of the application of these principles by seeing great advances in technology and medicine. The future looked bright as more people chose to join this movement.

Then, Darkness fell.

We demanded that our own anecdotal assertions be accepted without question. We handled our detractors with dismissiveness, deriding their thinking, motivations, and character, rather than answering their arguments with reason and evidence. We refused to reevaluate our own thinking and, instead, responded with righteous indignation at being questioned. The most powerful among us chose controversy over skepticism. Smaller voices, that demanded their right to question, were ignored. We made a public exhibition of our inability to live up to the ideals we claim to advocate. Hypocrisy rules the day.

...do we have nothing before us?

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