Friday, August 14, 2009

Dishonesty in Education

"Education is a series of religious acts in part because the power of assumption is so great. Assumptions, in fact, are more powerful than assertions, because they bypass the critical faculty and thereby create prejudice. If someone argues the proposition that modern intellectual people do not believe in religious dogmas, I am able to judge whether his arguments are persuasive. The simple aft of listening to an argument is almost enough to engage it. But if I listen to someone discourse on a related subject in a way that only assumes that modern intellectual people do not believe in religious dogmas, my mind tends to accept the assumption and bypass it in order to engage the argument which, in fact, depends on it. That bypassed assumption is the pocket of enemy soldiers that was ignored in an effort to engage the main body of the adversary, and it lies in wait to strike from the rear. A false assumption can be combined with an unassailable argument, which then proves the truth of what is false. The false assumption is additionally beguiling because it often appeals to one of the worse instincts--the desire to be fashionable or at least to avoid being associated with the unfashionable or unpopular." Idols For Destruction, pages 210-211

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