Perspectives on individual freedoms from Ottawa, Canada's capital city.
Friday, May 16, 2014
"Noble lie" is too kind to climate alarmists
In an article published in The Epoch Times, Tom Harris builds his discussion around the term "noble lie" attributed to Plato: "He believed that most people lacked the intelligence to behave in ways that are in their own and society’s best interest and so lies should be created to keep the public happy and under control. False propaganda to enhance public welfare is completely acceptable, Plato argued."
The approach Tom Harris chose in this article actually is an unearned kindness to the acolytes of the climate disaster faith. The subtitle of the article is "doing the right things for the wrong reasons" but in this case the WRONG things are being done for "NO REASON". For there to be a reason means that a rational process based on the observed facts of reality has been followed to arrive at non-contradictory conclusions. This is the philosophy of Aristotle instead of the noble lies of Plato. Plato identified the major categories and questions in philosophy but had incorrect answers that laid the foundation for societies based on mysticism and religion.
Aristotle laid the foundation for societies based on human reason and reality, of which there have only been two so far: the few hundred years following Aristotle and the enlightenment. The beginning of the destruction of the enlightenment came soon afterwards with the advent of Immanuel Kant and his successors, who denied the efficacy of reason, the validity of the senses and the existence of objective reality. It is actually Kant's ideology that has provided the ammunition for the environmentalist movement.
Consider each of the primary branches of Kant's philosophy. In Kant's metaphysics nature is something that exists outside of man and has some inherent value in man's absence (as if man does not represent the most highly evolved aspect of nature). In Kant's epistemology we cannot know anything for certain and so must not make decisions that may affect the future of the non-human environment (the precautionary principle). In Kant's ethics human life is considered as no more, and often less important than animal and plant life and even inanimate rocks and water (sacrifice of human values is the proper morality). In Kant's politics the population can be sacrificed for whatever non-human non-value may be arbitrarily identified, such as a supposedly static climate (something that in non-existent and would not be a valid reference point if it did).
The "noble lying" that Tom Harris refers to is not just a slippery slope but is far worse - it is the deliberate denial of reality to accomplish the immoral goal of achieving political power over the lives of others. There is not a single noble aspect to it. Using the word noble gives it the appearance of having some positive aspect mixed with the negative, but in truth it represents not only a lie but an attempt to deny the existence of lying - destroying the very definition of the word "lie" in the same way and for the same reasons as enemies of reason and freedom use anti-concepts like "state capitalism" and "social justice" in an attempt to destroy the meaning of the words capitalism and justice.
Tom, you have been too generous in criticizing the ideology of the warmists. People who can advocate for policies that are clearly destructive of human values in the face of insufficient, to say nothing of demonstrably false scientific facts, deserve nothing but criticism of the most severe type. Lending them any aspect of the word "noble" does an injustice to the meaning of the word.