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The implications of an argument

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Imagine Socrates “viewing with alarm” the implications of an argument! This artificial prejudice is indeed modern and will not be eternal.

George Santayana – The Life of Reason (1905 – 1906)

Prejudice may be seen as a defence against something, often defence against an abstraction such as a particular stereotype, but often something such as stupidity, bombast, dishonesty, chicanery and so on. It’s a long list, but defensive prejudice may be a way to avoid but also a way to begin an argument such as this is stupid because… 

In other words, prejudice may have considerable personal and social value as well as its vastly more usual negative connotations. It’s worth some thought too – the reasons why prejudice in general has such strongly negative connotations.

For example, a characteristic of our times has been the attack on useful defensive prejudices and their replacement by directed political prejudices where the value of personally and socially defensive prejudice is degraded or lost altogether. We have a political ethos where it is common to see people “viewing with alarm” the implications of an argument! Gosh – they could become entangled with old prejudices.

By attacking prejudice itself and substituting politically favoured prejudices, useful defensive prejudices are undermined as new political prejudices are covertly fostered. Even old prejudices against stupidity, bombast, dishonesty and chicanery are swept aside by…

By stupidity, bombast, dishonesty and chicanery.


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