a most interesting essay and in some ways the topic sentence sums some of up quite well;
“If everyone agrees, someone is not thinking.” ~ George S. Patton
I don’t know who G.T. Pickering is, but I just stumbled across something he is quoted as saying that stopped me dead in my tracks: Our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with what they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable, but laudable. Pretty strong words; words that, unfortunately, seem to be spot on when it comes to a vast segment of society.
I find that the above quote bears a certain similarity to something author Isaac Asimov once said: There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.
During the Second World War, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels was quoted as saying: If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. I don’t know if Goebbels stole that line or not, but it bears a striking resemblance to something written by Isabella Blagden in the latter part of the 19th Century: If a lie is only printed often enough, it becomes a quasi-truth, and if such a truth is repeated often enough, it becomes an article of belief, a dogma, and men will die for it. Like I said, I don’t know if Goebbels stole that line or not, but you cannot deny that the two quotes bear a certain similarity.
Dogma is a word you don’t hear very often; unless you’re discussing religious beliefs. Yet the word dogma is not necessarily restricted to religious discussions; it can apply to anything where a certain set of beliefs are held to be truthful/factual. The word dogma itself is defined as meaning: a principle or statement of ideas, or a group of such principles or statements, especially when considered to be authoritative or accepted uncritically.
I hope you didn’t just skim over that definition, as there is something vitally important in it. Let’s go back and reread the last sentence, beginning after the final comma: …especially when considered to be authoritative or accepted uncritically..........read more.......