Author Topic: The Donald Trump Thread  (Read 130918 times)

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Re: The Donald Trump Thread
« Reply #1515 on: February 04, 2018, 06:21:29 pm »
Part of the blame for this rests with politicians and advocates who try to use "expertise" as an excuse to ignore opinions on policies which they disagree with. There is nothing that will destroy the credibility of an expert faster than a politician saying "my values are  the only ones that count because these experts, who share my values, agree with me".  Such arguments leave people with no choice but to destroy the weapon (i.e. experts). If you don't like that then stop conflating value based policy judgements with what the science actually says. For example, the science may say that CO2 is causing the planet to warm but it says nothing about how to make the complicated political and economic trades offs between competing priorities. The latter are "value judgments" and everyone is entitled to express their opinion on "value judgements". If you insist on dismissing the values of people that don't share the values of a privileged academic then you should not be surprised that those people start to dismiss the opinions of privileged academics.

On the other hand, those who would dismiss 'expertise' because it doesn't align with their values or because they've made a subjective decision that politicians are 'virtue signalling' or 'in the pocket' or 'some other agenda' and should thus be ignored/dismissed aren't doing us any favors, either.   I'd even go so far to say that it's those who dismiss expertise, for any reason, that do the greater harm.   Consider that great stand-by, anti-vaccers.  They choose to believe a minority of experts rather than the combined expertise of dozens of people around the world, not to mention the empirical evidence of decades of research and evidence; as a result, more kids and adults get sick, and more die.