versión en español (argentino)

Silly Things
Majorities and The Criterion of Truth

The fashion in the early 70s was for holding a criterion of truth that could only emerge as such as a direct result of a majority verdict. The populace was the oracle that had to be consulted on deciding whether anything was true or false. The truth was very much dictated by the people.

Such thinking became mostly fashionable among politicians rather than philosophers, though it strongly seized the unwary. The force of numbers seemed to have an almost hypnotic effect. Maybe it was just a gesture of solidarity with the dispossessed?: they lack for everything... then let them be rewarded with possessing the truth? Nonsense!

Hitler, Mao, Hussein... they were all exalted by that silent majority. In Argentina, overall majorities gave way to genocidal dictatorships, they voted to elect De La Rua and even to re-elect Menem... Huge majorities still choose to believe in truths revealed either by magical books or by spokesmen in their cassocks rather than truths contrasted with reality by rational methods. Submissive majorities gently bow down to irrationality.

At this stage of the game, nothing can excuse an intellectual for promoting such an irremediably false criterion of truth, so darn childish and politically harmful.


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