Some kind of secret I will share with you… Why we shouldn’t agree to disagree #auspol

Disagreement is weird.

There’s a positivistic view of the world — dominant in popular discourse — that everything should come down to evidence and reason.  Evidence and reason are mixed together in the cauldron of the mind to produce Facts.  You either believe in Facts or — it is asserted — you’re a creepy post-modernist who doesn’t live in the Real World.

We have a whole host of slogans about Facts.  You’re not entitled to your own, for example.  And we’ve popularised scientists as being the Prophets of Facts.  If a scientist says it’s a Fact, then it’s a Fact.  But sometimes marginalised scientists on the fringes of academia are being persecuted (like Galileo) and so those scientists are the True Prophets of Facts and the mainstream scientists are False Prophets of Facts.

In the ideal world of the Enlightenment, disagreements simply should not exist.  Differences of opinion would mean that somebody is factually incorrect.  Two ordinary people, possessed of all the Facts, will agree.  If they disagree, then somebody is mistaken, lying, or trolling.

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