Monday, November 08, 2004

Ignorance or Intellectual Dishonesty?

That is the question.

This PIPA study indicates that [most!!] Bush supporters believe some crucial falsehoods about the Iraq [war] and related issues (e.g. that we have found "clear evidence" of a link between Saddam and 9/11). Anyway, I'm sure you've heard that already.

But what interests me is the question did they support Bush because they were ignorant or were they ignorant because they supported Bush?

(Euthyphro 10a, how I adore you...)

That is, do the majority of Bush supporters innocently believe falsehoods and support Bush as a result of those beliefs, or do they believe the falsehoods because they support Bush and indulge in wishful thinking?

Most in the nattering class seem to simply be assuming the former.

Me, I don't know.

If the latter, then they are epistemically (and morally) culpable. If the former, then they are not obviously so...but it's a tad difficult to believe that even a semi-well-informed person could still honestly believe that we have clear evidence of a Saddam-al Qaeda link...

Anyway, I hope it was mere ignorance. Ignorance, tenacious though it may be, is more easily cured than dishonesty--intellectual or otherwise.

I guess there's another option--that their false beliefs and their votes for Bush were unrelated...though that seems like the least likely option of all.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home