Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rationalist Arrogance

On display here.

Don't get me wrong.  Charles Hugh Smith is still one of my favorite bloggers and thinkers out there.  I will not change my opinion of him because he is as human and "irrational" as everybody else.

But the man is just as trapped in a box as all the ideologues he bemoans, he just can't see it.  And the reason he attracts so many readers is that his custom-made box (as opposed to pre-fabricated box) is the same as 99% of the pre-fab box that attracts most of his readers, i.e., the Austrian-inspired libertarian creed.  To one or both of his two minds, that makes everybody else a chimpanzee to his true human, but the fact is that he needs to evolve a little bit to reach the lofty heights which he claims to have attained.  When he starts questioning whether fiction (what he calls "mental constructs") should rationally lead to global instability, perhaps a bit of his conviction will crumble, even though it is based on logic, i.e. what he considers being rational.

If your logical chain of reasoning starts with a fiction, your conclusion will be a fiction.  Under such circumstances, being logical does not make your conviction any less false or irrational than those who do not try to rationalize their belief system.