There is ample
irrationality is a
in our culture.
The President's Corner
|By Bryce Buchanan|
This is the first newsletter of a new organization, Oregonians for Rationality. I cannot speak for the other founding members about their reasons for joining or about what they expect the organization to accomplish, but can share my own motivations with you.
I consider rationality to be a primary virtue, the key to Man's survival and progress. Man's reason is his only means of knowledge, his only judge of values, and, therefore, his only guide to proper action. I believe in an objective reality that exists independent of our hopes and wishes. Reason is the key to understanding that reality. History demonstrates the potency of reason and the impotence of irrationality.
I think there is ample evidence that irrationality is a growth industry in our culture and throughout most of the world. Schools are doing a poor job of teaching people to think. The news media feeds the growing irrationality by pandering to the paranormal and mystical appetites of the populace. Large portions of the Islamic world are coming under the control of brutal fundamentalist theocracies reminiscent of dark ages past. American politicians can fill their speeches with absolutely contradictory statements, and few people seem to notice. Various forms of thought control are stifling free speech at schools.
These things matter to me. I worry about the world my children will live in. So when I heard about a group of Oregonians who wanted to start an organization to fight the growing irrationality of our culture, I decided to join them in that effort. It also sounded fun to talk with people who see the world more as less as I see it.
I would like to encourage any of you who are interested to join the group. The time commitment is small. We are planning only four meetings per year to begin with. The financial commitment is small, $15 will make you a charter member and provide you with the quarterly newsletter. The potential for enjoyment and education is large. There are some very interesting people in this group. The potential to do some good is very real. I can think of ways we could be effective in both the schools and the news media.
Please join us at our first official meeting on October 21. I have
heard Ray Hyman speak. He is excellent. I hope to see you there.
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