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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Monday, May 18, 2009


In Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged she says: "If two men disagree on an issue they discuss it and let reality decide. One may be right, the other wrong, but they both profit."
The one constant in our economic disaster is that all the Masters of the Universe on Wall Street and the neo-cons treat Atlas Shrugged as if it was their economic bible. The last three leaders of the Fed were devoted disciples of Ms Rand and Objectivism, the philosophy she spawned.
There's only one problem with that little quote. It doesn't take into account the human capacity for denial. Some call it skepticism, but skepticism entails the willingness to change one's mind once that which is being doubted has been empirically proven. (Doubting Thomas saying he'd have to see Christ's wounds and place his hands in them.)
I've said all this in preamble to what Michael Prescott posted on his blog today. Michael writes a lot about para psychology and the para normal and he posted a list of all the reasons given for not believing those who practice, accept and believe in them.

  • The experimenter was lying.

  • The experimenter was drunk.

  • The experimenter was insane.

  • The experimenter was hallucinating.

  • The experimenter was tricked by some specific (but unproven) ruse.

  • The experimenter was tricked by some unknown ruse that may be determined in the future.

  • The experimental protocol was flawed in some specific (but unproven) way.

  • The experimental protocol was flawed in some unknown way that may be determined in the future.

  • The equipment malfunctioned.

  • The photos (or videotape, etc.) were faked.

  • The witnesses were in cahoots with the experimenter.

  • The experimenter was in cahoots with the test subject.

  • The results were a meaningless fluke.

    What struck me by this list is that just about the same reasons those objectivists who worship Ayn Rand use for rejecting Evolution, global warming, etc. They have their minds made up don't confuse it with facts.

    I'm not much into psychic healing, communicating with the dead, premonitions, and other kinds of mysticism, but this list is about denial not skepticism. 

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