Epistemology is the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. In essence, epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.
And a great place to examine epistemological theory is to look at how this country is changing with regard to something as basic as personal achievement. Consider, personal achievement is what brings respect from others; but even more importantly, personal achievement is the basis for our own self-respect. Henry David Thoreau told us, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals,” and if we extrapolate that concept, think of how just one individual’s achievement of a worthy goal benefits not only the individual but society as a whole; which is why I will never understand the left’s insistence on advocating for classrooms without grades and children’s sporting events where everyone gets a participation ribbon in the name of equity.
Our Declaration of Independence is clear, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And for nearly 250 years personal achievement has been the bedrock upon which the pursuit of happiness has been built.
In a related matter, equal opportunity laws and policies require that individuals be judged on their qualifications as individuals without regard to group membership, i.e., race, sex, age, etc. However, affirmative action policies require that individuals be evaluated and judged with regard to their respective group memberships and thus receive either preferential or compensatory treatment.
But what preferential policies really create is a playing field that’s tilted in favor or those whose performance on a level playing field would be inadequate. Defenders of this imposed equity, i.e., those who advocate for preferential admissions treatment of minority students to colleges and universities are in effect denying minority children the opportunity to develop the life skills that would make lower admissions standards for them unnecessary. Meanwhile, the real tragedy is that when unqualified minority students are admitted into institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, or MIT, they are ill prepared to meet the standards that were designed for better prepared students, which increases their likelihood of failure.
To most of us, a level playing field means that everybody plays by the same rules and is judged by the same standards. Whether in government or in business, people are supposed to be hired, fired, or promoted without regard to their minority status. But the woke culture believes that to be ‘fair’ results must be pre-arranged (i.e., manipulated) by third parties, i.e., some agency of the government. And this is the tragic irony behind group preferences and quotas under affirmative action because real world performance is discounted in favor of the ‘illusion of fairness.’
Victor David Hanson writes about still another ‘justified belief,’ that’s gained traction in this country – transgenderism. Only fools and ideologues refuse to admit that transgendered men enjoy enormous advantages in women’s sports, regardless of hormonal treatments or reassignment surgery; and Hanson poses an interesting question. If transgenderism assumes the entire absorption of a new sex, why is it that men-to-women have obliterated female sports records, while women-to-men have proven decidedly uncompetitive in male sports?
Too few Americans pay heed to the transgender debate because it doesn’t affect them directly – just like the southern border tragedy, if it’s out of sight it’s out of mind, but societies don’t fail from a singular event, rather they rot from the inside over time under the combined weight of misinformation, disinformation and lies.
I’ll close this post by taking my cue from liberal icon Bill Maher, who tells us the richest and most powerful nation the world has ever known may become the first nation to die from a terminal case of disinformation and frivolity. Other nations have been threatened by the proverbial barbarians at the gates, but we are the first nation in history be threatened by the lies and self-indulgent silliness woke ideology has foist upon us.
Quote of the day: “The political left has never understood that, if you give the government enough power to create ‘social justice,’ you have given it enough power to create despotism. Millions of people around the world have paid with their lives for overlooking that simple fact.” – Thomas Sowell.