Monday, November 02, 2015


"Since there is no telling in advance where it may lead, reflection can be seen as dangerous. There are always thoughts that stand opposed to it. Many people are discomfited, or even outraged, by philosophical questions. Some are fearful that their ideas may not stand up as well as they would like if they start to think about them. Others may want to stand upon the 'politics of identity', or in other words the kind of identification with a particular tradition, or group, or national or ethnic identity that invites them to turn their back on outsiders who question the ways of the group. They will shrug off criticism: their values are 'incommensurable' with the values of outsiders. They are to be understood only by brothers and sisters within the circle. People like to retreat to within a thick, comfortable, traditional set of folkways, and not to worry too much about their structure, or their origins, or even the criticisms that they may deserve. Reflection opens the avenue to criticism, and the folkways may not like criticism. In this way, ideologies become closed circles, primed to feel outraged by the questioning mind."

― Simon Blackburn

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the great recent blogs (esp re: Snowy Owls) and as always beautiful photos. The quote above is very thought provoking. I noted a recent comment about being tired of "polarization" and was surprised the criticism was directed at your blog instead of the billionaires and their minions whose extreme ideas make polar opposites of sensible people. Now if you actually believe in what has been proven scientific fact for generations millions of your countrymen consider you a left wing radical. ( I actually am a left wing radical but that is beside the point!) It is a shame that in the 21st century we still have to defend scientific facts but that is what sensible people have to do. That said, the comment above bears some thinking about as we are all more comfortable preaching to the choir, etc. So thanks for all your posts. The love for the planet and its creatures is one thing that most people can agree about and a good place for starting a non-polarizing dialog. It really is like Red Green says, "We're all in this together." Keep your stick on the ice, Mike and keep taking those gorgeous photos.