The Myth of Neutrality

One the topics that a friend and I are likely to discuss over a cigar is the absence of reasonable, civil discussion on matters of life in the public sphere.  What matters of life you ask?  How about goodness, truth, and beauty for starters.

The American media is replete with syllogisms clothed in rhetoric like “The No Spin Zone.”  I’m provoked  when I hear these things and it’s not because I prefer a different news station, though I do.  Here’s the reason.  Why should I believe that such naked, unbiased objectivity exists in human thought?  If it does then show me where I am to purchase those rose-colored glasses.  Perhaps a better question is “are your biases (or worldviews) worth believing in?”  I find this question to be more constructive.  I long for the day we can check the rose-colored glasses at the door, sit at the table with our beverage of choice, and enjoy each others company, biases and all.  More to come on that note.  Chesterton puts it well:

“Every one of the popular modern phrases and ideals is a dodge in order to shirk the problem of what is good.  We are fond of talking ‘liberty’; that, as we talk of it, is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about ‘progress’; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about ‘education’; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good.  The modern man says, ‘Let us leave all these arbitrary standards and embrace liberty.’ This is, logically rendered, ‘Let us not decide what is good, but let it be considered good not to decide it.’

Chesterton, G. K. 1970. Heretics. Freeport, N.Y: Books for Libraries Press, 20-21.

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