Why so green and lonely? Everything's going to be alright, just you wait and see.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Reality-Based Community

Wikipedia's article on the term reality-based community has an interesting nugget. The term was originally used by people inside the Bush administration to refer to people who advocate decisions based on analysis of evidence. Obviously this is in contrast to a faith-based community. Here's an interesting encounter that a reporter had with a Bush aide in 2004:
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
"Discernible reality"?!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ryan said...

First and foremost, I may be missing the point here, since I am very rushed to get this written! My apologies for not looking into this further..

We've had this discussion before of course, but I'll play on the see-saw and state my case again!

The subtle implication that reality-based reasoning is in direct contradiction to faith-based reasoning all depends on whether or not reality itself is faith-based.

The long and short of it is that, in my opinion, a certain amount of faith is required to adopt ANY reality, albeit religious or atheistic, even agnostic!

To quickly conclude that faith-based reasoning is the alternative to reality-based reasoning (or opinion, aka community, etc... etc..) is ridiculous, since the two intersect quite easily.

I am religous of course, and I still use "the judicious study of discernable reality" to come to many conclusions.

Likewise, one who is not religious still relies on faith, as the very foundation of a godless world requires faith in an existing theory of existence (or faith in the fact that a theorem of existence will one day be found, etc..) rather than on any particular known fact.

Are the Amish (faith-based community) being accused of failing to examine reality? I doubt it.. I'm sure they can reason just like anyone else.. they simply have concluded that their lifestyle makes the most sense.. a conclusion that even I have a difficult time understanding myself!

hmmm.. did I miss the point here? ACK! so rushed!

6:39 PM

 
Blogger Andrew said...

Can't ... type ... existential reply.... Wrists .... killing me. Hands turning into useless stumps. Must save ... my last remaining nerve endings ... for my thesis.

5:46 PM

 

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