Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball
Fear is the most powerful enemy of reason. Both fear and reasoning are essential to human survival, but the relationship between them is unbalanced. Reason may sometimes dissipate fear, but fear frequently shuts down reason. As Edmund Burke wrote in England 20 years before the American Revolution,” no passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning past fear.”
Fear is aided and abetted by exaggeration, distortion, and falsehoods. Sadly, these exploitations litter history as people sought to control others and push a political or religious agenda. There appears to be a difference today as Farhad Manjoo identified in his book “True Enough: Learning to live in a Post-Fact Society”:
Facts no longer matter. We simply decide how we want to see the world and then go out and find experts and evidence to back our beliefs.
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