Thursday, November 1, 2012

Facts up for debate? SRSLY?

I think I figured out the cause of the decline of Western Civilization!

I just watched part of a debate about a point of fact. Not politics, not preferences, not opinions. A debate about a point of fact, meaning something that is either true or false in reality was debated and put to a vote.

A moderator set the fact up as a proposition; two teams tried to out-debate each other; whenever they disagreed on what some study or piece of evidence referred to (but not presented), the moderator declared the point stalled and moved on; and at the end the audience voted on whether the proposition was true.

This was done under the aegis of reason and, presumably, science.

Debate and consensus are accepted as good things in themselves, while supporting evidence is apparently considered unimportant, to the point that neither team thought to bring any.

Oh, good grief!

(Just in case you don't see the problem, physical reality is not decided by vote and all the great orators in the world cannot make gravity go away.)