Comments on: Will belief trump facts? http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2011/09/02/will-belief-trump-facts/ Sun, 28 Jul 2013 14:34:09 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: tibikem http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2011/09/02/will-belief-trump-facts/#comment-1915 Fri, 09 Sep 2011 04:34:17 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1265#comment-1915 The term “ideology” serves to obscure whether someone’s principles of politics or economics are well supported by history (and theory) and simply involves indicting principles one doesn’t consider sound. For President Obama the right ideology, then, is John Maynard Keynes’ idea that creating artificial, government driven demand for work projects is a sound approach to public policy. For his critics the right ideology is that such infusion of phony money is far worse a “cure” than the disease it aims to remedy.
So both ides are ideologically driven and Obama’s are ideological principles no less than are the principles of those who find his views unsound. So what then does it add to call them “ideological”?

There was a time, a century or so ago, when many intellectuals (e.g., Marx) used “ideology” to impugn the honesty of someone’s ideas, implying with the use of that term that the ideas were mere rationalizations, invented, consciously or subconsciously, so as to give them the appearance of seriousness. Just as a rationalization is a corrupted reason, so ideology is corrupted philosophy, or so it was widely believed.

But this view about ideology was founded on a very complicated and highly dubious philosophy, worked out by the likes of Hegel and Marx, so it soon fell into disrepute. After a while “ideology” came to mean, instead, “simplified philosophy” and lost its critical bite apart from that. Since most of us lack the time and patience to always lay out our full case for the positions we hold, nearly all of us are mainly ideologically driven. Our principles, too, are ideological ones, be they those of Barack Obama or Ronald Reagan, since those in public office simply have no time and opportunity to develop the foundations of their thinking. Some choose to buttress this with claims to being pragmatic or flexible, as if these didn’t involve elaborate theoretical foundations in order to given them solid footing.

So it looks like “ideology” is a term of derision that has lost its conceptual foundations and now is used merely to express one’s plain dislike of certain ideas. They are ideological principles if one doesn’t approve of them but genuine–empirically supported–principles if one does. Maybe calling attention to this fact will in time stop the pointless use of the term.

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By: MissKendraV http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2011/09/02/will-belief-trump-facts/#comment-1914 Wed, 07 Sep 2011 12:15:39 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1265#comment-1914 Drawing a distinction between the President Obama of 2008 as any different then the ’empiricist’ of today is way more provocative then need be.

Obama using a rhetoric of belief, as was done in 2008, can surely be aligned with a strategy based on empiricism: at the time, the American people, especially the GenerationY proponents, needed to be spoken to in a way that appealed to beliefs and emotions. Not to assume anything disingenuous, but certainly strategic.

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By: boardwalkcat http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2011/09/02/will-belief-trump-facts/#comment-1912 Wed, 07 Sep 2011 11:39:50 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1265#comment-1912 What everyone here, including the author is either denying or totally missing is there are those of us who know that religion and science CAN and DO mesh, and BOTH are based on fact. It’s not an either/or situation. You CAN be a “empiricist” AND a “believer” at the same time. There are many of us out here. (She also disregards the fact that not it’s just the “elite,” but many of the “middle class” actually are “highly educated” and “technically adept” and by denying this she is insulting an entire “class” of people.)

To say that the problem with the world today is that religion has replaced facts is beyond ridiculous. Religion has been around since the beginning, and it’s actually more likely that the problems we are facing are actaully a result of our turning AWAY from that religion, because many in this day have taken on the EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF attitude, which goes totally against the fundamentals of most religions.

My grandparents came to “the new world” from an oppressed land, excited at the prospect of WORKING HARD to create new lives for themselves. They learned that by taking RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEMSELVES and WORKING HARD they could reach whatever heights they wanted to. This mentality has been replaced in the past few decades by one where people expect their government to take care of them and plan their every move from birth to death. THIS is what is creating the problems, not religion or denying facts.

Another FACT is that everything Obama has “tried” not only goes against common sense, but it also all plays into condoning a government ruled society. Our nation “worked” and prospered and was stronger when we DIDN’T have so much government oppression. This is a proven FACT.
Wouldn’t it be a bit more intelligent, instead of basing things on predictions and manipulating numbers, to try to make a president look good and be accepted (Bill Clinton anyone?) to instead return to the ideology of something that has been PROVEN to work?

I know where I’ll place my bets, and it won’t be with Obama and his “highly educated” number manipulators.

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By: fred5407 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2011/09/02/will-belief-trump-facts/#comment-1911 Tue, 06 Sep 2011 22:15:29 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1265#comment-1911 I think that looking only at data or past data can lead you to only look at the wrong way you went, because you may never get back to place where you started to go wrong. Looking at data means, like running a car into the ditch, that you know what the ditch looks like, how much water is there, and how deep it is. Getting out of the ditch requires vision, thought, searching for resources, and first of all, admitting that you were amiss in running into the ditch. You can’t get out of a ditch by blaming other drivers, the road, the car, or the government who built the road. Sometimes you also have to admit you need help and that you alone cannot likely take credit for the towtruck that pulls you out.

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By: dbarrs http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2011/09/02/will-belief-trump-facts/#comment-1910 Tue, 06 Sep 2011 21:40:01 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1265#comment-1910 What a great article! Well written, informative and balanced. Is this why more and more Americans are turning away from faith-based solutions….even though they are only a small, victimized minority?

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By: ReasonableFaith http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2011/09/02/will-belief-trump-facts/#comment-1909 Tue, 06 Sep 2011 21:38:49 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1265#comment-1909 Unbelievable to me that in this day in age an author would say something so ignorant. To name one approach “cognitive” and “empirical” and say the “other” view is based on faith or religion is so ignorant. Seriously? People of faith, whatever their faith, are unable to have an empirical worldview? Are you soooooo blind that you think it has to be one or the other? Are you really that foolish?

Come on, people, wake up. Don’t be one of those stupid people who stands on one side of an imaginary aisle and drinks the kool-aid. How offensive and shallow do you have to be to say “But as the presidential campaign begins to heat up, starting with the Republican primary race, the empirical worldview that Obama embodies is taking a beating?”

Right, way to go! It’s either Republican or it’s empirical. That’s right… all republicans believe in a zero-evidence-all-faith view of the world. Wow…you’re AMAZINGLY blind. And all democrats and the President have a reason-based view of the world. How can you be so ignorant?

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By: rcwhalen http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2011/09/02/will-belief-trump-facts/#comment-1908 Tue, 06 Sep 2011 21:30:35 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1265#comment-1908 Amen. And most economists are in the “faith” category. The notion that we can borrow our way to prosperity is laughable, but that is precisely what we hear from Paul Krugman, Larry Summers and Nouriel Roubini. My New York Italian wife looked at me over dinner and asked: How can we have stimulus when we’ve got no money?” How indeed.

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By: stevedebi http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2011/09/02/will-belief-trump-facts/#comment-1907 Tue, 06 Sep 2011 20:56:11 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1265#comment-1907 It appears that Christia Freeland “believes” her data. I use the word carefully, because belief is a human characteristic that cannot be denied. People who don’t have religious beliefs have beliefs in something – maybe “data”, maybe “the good of mankind”, whatever. But this doesn’t mean the “belief” is right (or wrong). Only the outcome of that belief validates it. I don’t see the outcomes of the past three years validating anything. For those who think it was the 2008 elections that are holding the economy back, what about the Obama/Democratic super majority for two years? They had plenty of time to turn the economy around. They applied their beliefs (big government, big spending, social programs, regardless of cost), and only accomplished getting the country further in debt.

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By: Staplehawk http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2011/09/02/will-belief-trump-facts/#comment-1906 Tue, 06 Sep 2011 20:54:22 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1265#comment-1906 Science is ONLY as good as all the factors it takes into consideration. Science is constantly changing and going back on itself. Data has been manipulated for personal gain in self interests forever. How do you put your faith in that? On the flipside for us that have tried and succeeded in just making a relationship with God, we have seen our lives transformed in ways we had no hand in. I say try science out and try actually building a relationship with God and see for yourself.. Or just sit in your computer chair and continue to judge… Whatever works for ya.

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By: timinvator http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2011/09/02/will-belief-trump-facts/#comment-1905 Tue, 06 Sep 2011 20:28:30 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1265#comment-1905 The fault seems to be with those who refuse to accept the empirical data on which the Christian faith is based. If the historical or proto-historical events depicted in the Bible have no historicity, the Christian faith is meaningless. Therefore, while I agree with the author that the president’s empirical approach is appropriate, sweeping other data aside undermines the force of her argument.

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