Common Sense Comes to Town!

Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have. (Descartes)

Republicans vs Science

Posted on | March 16, 2011 | No Comments

Republican members of the House committee on energy and commerce voted down yesterday an amendment which acknowledged the fact of global warming. The amendment did not even mention the cause of global warming; it only stated that indeed, temperatures were getting warmer on a planetary scale over the past years

The scientific evidence in this matter is overwhelming. We’re not even talking about a theory here but about plain fact. Jokingly, some peopled maintained that the next step would be to revoke the law of gravity. But on a more serious tone, the confidence with which these members of congress dismissed reality is astonishing.

Various economic considerations were put forward in order to justify the vote’s result. The environment was not even a factor. Basically this means that for a majority of American voters, immediate gratification and money (not to mention corporate interest and lobbies) are now founding values loaded with a greater meaning that not only the environment (a fact we had already figured out by now) but also the acknowledgement of truth itself. Economic hypocrisy has now found official legitimacy over science and reason.

 Meanwhile I’m finishing The Malaise of Modernity by Charles Taylor, where he discusses the moral deficit brought about by our lack of capacity to situate ourselves within an ensemble with greater meaning (whether culture, community, science, religion, etc.). While I do not agree with the philosopher’s entire thesis, I have to reluctantly admit that unfettered individualism has now dealt a fatal blow to collective common sense.  

 Let’s just hope that this Republican mentality will not become a global menace itself…


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