Monday, September 28, 2009

[the quality of intellectual debate] emotions v facts

The quality of debate, of research and analysis drives one to despair. Sonus [or was it Anon?] made the point that he was frantic that no one seemed to be listening. Simon & Garfunkel said it, years ago:

People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening

Now, from Charles Crawford:

Are we replacing the intellect with 'emotions'? Thus:

... we are essentially being invited to empathise, not intellectualise, and that is something I find astonishing. Not only does this kind of emotional discourse have an infantilising effect on the public - the assumption being that we are incapable of grasping complex strategic arguments - the failure to develop the argument beyond these basic moral categories is hopelessly counterproductive.

This blog is forever banging on about it.


neil craig said...

And he should know having been ionvolved in the NATO wars against Yugoslavia - all of which were sold to the public by producing pictures of big eyed Croatian/Moslem/Albanian kids, censoring all the pictures of murdered Serbs & cenoring any mention of the Nazi antecedents & public commitments to genocide of the "civilised democratic multiculturalist" monsters we were bombing to help.

Junius said...

Ah - but you must realise that people make decisions (like who to vote for) with their emotions, not with their brain,

Why bother with facts and figures when we can carry on like a US Soapie and get exactly the result we want - Simple innit?

James Higham said...

Neil, who should know? Are you referring to Charles Crawford?

Junius, yes that's so.

xlbrl said...

It is inescapable that reason, in the sense that you desire and admire it, while present in the intellect, is often no more present in the intellectual than the street cleaner, probably less so. Who will say the reason of Marx is not equal to that of Smith? Me, and who else?

As a fellow said, that which has been reasoned down cannot be reasoned up.

Reason is not one bit less misleading than emotion, and its consequence has a greater lasting impact. The defense of bad reasoning becomes more emotional than emotion without reason ever was, because such people are not only defending their instincts and prejudices, but their intellects.

You're screwed either way.

neil craig said...

Yes Crawford - he was ambassador to Bosnia & then Serbia.

neil craig said...

Yes Crawford - he was ambassador to Bosnia & then Serbia.