Rosie, Al, the Acceptance of the Rise of Relativism, and the Death of Liberalism (Part II)
Well, my friends, your favorite bloviator has returned to the blogosphere to pick up where he left off last week, discussing the links between several popular figures, relativism, and the death of liberal thought.
As I said last time, at the core of Rosie O’Donnell’s defense is the fact that she has the power to assert her opinion the most strongly on the show The View. Now, I do know that she comes to the table with facts, but notice how she rarely wants to analyze the facts in a different light and how she has no true openness to dialogue. Now, this is something we all do from time to time, so it is of great importance that we heed the rotten, relativistic root of these attitudes.
Like Rosie, Mr. Albert Gore is just as guilty of invoking the tyranny of opinion to suppress dialogue about global warming. However, Mr. Gore’s power lies not in his individual ability to speak but instead in his invocation of “scientific consensus,” a term which merely indicates the tyranny of a majority. Notice how the defense offered by Al is not about well-tested hypotheses which have been cross-tested against opposing views. Instead, we receive his thesis as the gift of a majority vote on a matter. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) has a quote attributed to him saying, “Truth is not determined by a majority vote.” Alexis de Tocqueville, having experienced the French Revolution as well as studied post-Jacksonian America, spoke of this tyranny of the majority which was merely the dark twin of the tyranny of the king. In the case of Al Gore’s invocation of the majority to support his view, he is working from a semi-relativistic framework which doesn’t speak in terms of an Absolute but instead in terms of incontrovertible evidence, ultimately meaning evidence which cannot be over-powered.
Now, these proclaimed “truths” are most-often absorbed by individuals by means of passive acceptance (or at least semi-passive). Unquestioning minds will grasp onto the arguments raised by these power-wielding speakers and will believe their relative world views without question. This need not be a naïve acceptance, for if the proposed idea synchronizes well with the listener’s own biases, then he or she will accept them because they are acceptable in his or her relative worldview. In either case, the acceptance of said argument is derived from the power to proclaim (and believe) a given relativistic argument.
Tomorrow, we will wrap up these reflections with a few thoughts on how the general acceptance of relativistic arguments is nothing more than the death of liberal thought. More importantly, I hope to show you why we must keep the frame of liberal thought alive against this storm. Until then, best wishes!