Without science, one is bound to be a fascist dupe

Analysis of reality has to play an active role in moral reasoning

As if in response to my last article on the subject of reality and moral reasoning, an Internet ad printed the response of several pundits. Most of the pundits disagreed with my thesis on the need for analysis in moral reasoning. I refer to them often over the past decades as “pre-scientific intelligentsia.”

There could hardly be a greater moral problem than the Nazi abomination of World War II. Yet the knowledge of the “rank-and-file” was a key problem in scapegoating: one cannot know one is scapegoating unless one has factual knowledge of the extent and causation of problems. Hence, one is an easy mark as a fascist dupe without scientific knowledge.

So to take the Jews, the Nazis said they made money, owned the banks and ran all the pornography. Of course the Nazis pointed to individual Jewish bankers and pornographers, this at a time of the Great Depression.

By pointing to specific instances, the Nazis scapegoated the Jews for the problem of a whole country and era. The same is true of any number of social problems, not just perceptions and knowledge of Jews. I wrote about this in another article “Big numbers and fascism.”

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