Ten Things You’ll Disagree With
I’ll do a proper post tonight, but I just thought this would be interesting… I’m going to make ten statements of things I consider to be true but which (I suspect) a vast majority of my readers disagree with. This isn’t a ‘meme’, but I would be interested to see other people try this…
1) Much (but by no means all, or even most) so-called ‘alternative medicine’ is actually effective. Conversely much (but by no means all, or even most) conventional medicine is pseudoscientific quackery.
2) Government intervention in the economy can often be a good thing.
3) Art should be measured primarily by how novel the ideas it communicates are, secondarily by its moral tone, and lastly by the technical skill with which it communicates them. By this measure the works of Jane Austen, for example, are of considerably less merit than even most potboiling bestsellers.
4) There is no such thing as a consistently moral opponent of immigration – unless that person also advocates enforced birth control, in which case they are consistent but wrong.
5) The scientific method is the single most important thing children could possibly be taught, and should take priority over everything else.
6) That said, spelling and grammar *matter*. The written word is a means of information transfer, and bad spelling and grammar add noise to the signal. Linguistic rules are arbitrary, but that doesn’t matter – what matters is that everyone abides by the same conventions.
7) Most music of the Classical and Romantic periods is pap. The influence of Mozart, leading to the effective death of counterpoint for two hundred years, was the most pernicious in musical history.
8) The term ‘free will’ is literally meaningless, and the hoops physicists jump through in order to reconcile it with experimental and theoretical results are ridiculous.
9) The ‘new atheism’ of Dawkins, Hitchens, et al. is dangerous. It is entirely possible to hold religious beliefs and be a rational person (though probably not to be a dogmatic follower of any major religion while doing so). The battle they should be fighting is not religion vs atheism, but dogmatism vs secularism – a battle on which many religious people of goodwill would be on their side.
10) The lending of money at interest is immoral.