Sunday, June 21, 2015

Anti-intellectualism AND self-centeredness ... or, the thoroughly depressing week that was, Part 3.

Is there any compelling reason why they both can't be killing America, simultaneously?

Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America: Social dysfunction can be traced to the abandonment of reason, by David Niose

... In considering the senseless loss of nine lives in Charleston, of course racism jumps out as the main issue. But isn’t ignorance at the root of racism? And it’s true that the bloodshed is a reflection of America's violent, gun-crazed culture, but it is only our aversion to reason as a society that has allowed violence to define the culture. Rational public policy, including policies that allow reasonable restraints on gun access, simply isn't possible without an informed, engaged, and rationally thinking public.

The bookend essay at Psychology Today isn't so much counterpoint as piling on.

No, Self-centeredness is Killing America: A lack of empathy is at the root of our ills, by Ravi Chandra M.D.

David Niose rightly points out one problem in America: anti-intellectualism and the abandonment of critical thinking in certain sectors of society. However, I think this is simply a spoke on the deeper, more central issue that is at the hub of why we hate, are polarized and sometimes kill in the name of our beliefs. We are very, very self-centered and therefore we believe our own snuff.

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