It’s comforting, in these confusing times, to know at least some truths are beyond dispute. We know they are beyond dispute because only repugnant people dispute them. These heretics question our sacred beliefs—each a product of recent revelation—about sexuality, gender, environment, and humanity’s origin. Their very dissent proves the heretics wrong—so wrong, in fact, that we needn’t acknowledge them.
Truth is established by the facts, after all, not by debate. Truth is science and science is facts and when enough scientists agree about what the facts mean, that ought to settle things.
The problem is that these dissenters, well, they keep dissenting. This frays the fabric of social consensus, which is dangerous.
Consider an example: When a member of our holy order exposed the sexism of late Nobel-prize physicist Richard Feynman, a blogger at Scientific American had the temerity to “place things in context.” Context is a classic dodge, intended to blunt the superior moral gaze with which we pierce time. The blogger noted that Feynman’s behavior was commonplace in the 1950s, making it unjust to single him out.
What this troublemaker doesn’t understand, of course, is that we enlightened are the judges of who gets singled out. Case in point: we got him dismissed from his position with Scientific American.
Let other writers take note: Something is right when nobody disagrees, so we will make our beliefs right by eliminating disagreement. Think of this as a necessarily vicious cycle of social virtue. It is, in homage to an earlier generation of society improvers, our Virtue Method.
Another example of the Virtue Method is the BBC’s adopting our teaching that critiques of scientific verities are inherently unscientific. “Scientists” who dissent from our dogma regarding climate change, for example, will no longer be interviewed on the BBC. Instead, BBC’s reporters will relay the claims of climatologists, a group defined as all experts who agree there is climate change, and agree regarding what should be done about it.
Those academics who also study climate change, yet who dissent from the Truth? Well, clearly they’re not actual climatologists. They can’t be, or else they would agree with the others.
The heretics note that scientific advances often come from dissenters. They claim that science is a practice of rigorous thinking and testing, not a fixed set of beliefs. Of course that’s bunk; science is whatever scientists tell us to believe. So the BBC will stick to interviewing bona fide scientists, like its recent guest, Al Gore.
A cynic might look askance at our methods, but whose judgment do you trust: we enlightened, or a public that made Duck Dynasty a national sensation?
Yes, many unproven assumptions underlie our studies; true, we sometimes cherry-pick data so the truth can more brightly shine forth; granted, we assume relationships between variables without actually testing them. Our methods can be, well, imprecise. But you can’t expect the public to understand the nuance and conflict inherent in the old way of practicing science. Voters need blunt truths.
Which is why our work is so important. The best way to establish a truth, after all, isn’t to consider facts in the light of day, it’s to stamp out anyone who offers a competing truth.
Tony's got a bit more.
When truth becomes relative, when it becomes completely subjective, then we can't be surprised when two things happen. Truth becomes defined by popular opinion and then... truth becomes a weapon for oppression and suppression.
You can't help but think of Pontius Pilate, with the answer to his question standing there before him, walking away from the answer and eventually, washing his hands of that Truth.
The culture is washing its hands of the Truth and as a result, washing its hands of the truth.
The evidence couldn't be any clearer could it?