Self-Evident

13 05 2010

Jonah Goldberg is the stupidest man on the planet:

As anybody whose ever trifled with philosophy knows, it’s actually very hard to prove that those self-evident truths are True. Hence the brilliance of the founders’ decision to simply take them as a given.

(Via Texas Roy)

Only Jonah Goldberg could talk about the men who wrote the founding documents of this society like they were a bunch of too-clever seventh-graders figuring out how to cheat on a pop quiz.

—Jason

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One response

14 05 2010
T

What a mastubatory, wanna-be-smart, little idiot. This is that whole irrationality of western thought/science debate. “Why is a line defined as the distance between two points? Who decided that, based on what evidence? Why isn’t a line a circle?” Because you have to have common-sense givens in order to progress–a thought, a conversation, anything, right? And he’s implicitly throwing in a healthy dose of the Sophists. “You can’t get from A to B becuase in order to do so you have to halve the distance, but you can halve the distance infinitely, so you can never actually arrive at the place you want to go.” The famous response: take one step forward.

Besides, the founders didn’t say a word about having proved anything. They said, “we hold these truths to be self-evident”–meaning it’s just their reasonably and common-sensibly argued position that those self-evident “truths” are a firm basis on which to enact a theory of government. Democracy in America was considered then and continues to be a “Great Experiment.” But it was the form of gov’t that was the experiment; they weren’t sitting around in a circle-jerk debating the finer points of philosophical proof and none of them were trying to do so. And they absolutely were not looking for clever end-runs around the Enlightenment–insofar as Jonah’s “brilliant givens” become stand-ins for articles of faith. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are not meant to be self-evident truths because the founders had faith that they were true, but because the rational approach of the Enlightenment caused them to attempt to prove a hypothesis by putting their ideas into action.

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