To The Daily Sun,
I would like to thank E. Scott Cracraft for his recent column (Tuesday, Oct. 13) in which he has brought clarification to the subject of misinformation and disinformation. Although I believe some of the examples he has offered are more political than academic, I appreciate the "teaching moment" he has presented to us.
I disagree with his assertion that the German population, during the rise of Hitler, were a "smart people" although they were an educated people for sure. Educated does not necessarily mean smart. Mr. Cracraft alluded to the evil method used by the Nazis to persecute the Jews to illustrate that a population can be indoctrinated into a "Big Lie" if it is told often enough. Mr. Cracraft also instructed us that "empirical evidence" should be part of any statement for it to have any "weight".
I believe this to be the case in the ongoing and hotly debated subject of abortion on demand. There are "opinions" on both sides of this issue which certainly seem reasonable to the person defending either side. Some say it's a "womens' health issue" and others say "it's a life". Some say it's my "choice" and others say "choose life".
Mr. Cracraft also brought up the subject of "Innocent vs. Willful Ignorance". His definition of "innocent" ignorance is simply believing false information. Whereas, "willful ignorance" is believing something you want to believe in spite of all evidence to the contrary.
Does this sound familiar to the "Big Lie" the Nazis told the German population? Millions of Jews were exterminated based upon what thought process? Innocent or willful? If they were so smart, why didn't they reject the lie? I would make the case that they were ready for the lie, they wanted the lie, they embraced the lie. I would also make the case that there has been a "Big Lie" circulating within our culture that has resulted is the loss of "empirical life" within the wombs of our population under a similar evil propaganda method. We, as a culture, were ready for the lie, we wanted the lie, and we continue to embrace the lie. We too, are an educated population, but we are not wise.
You want empirical evidence? When the heart of a human being "stops beating" we are declared dead. Under Mr. Cracrafts criteria for an opinion to have weight then I say when a heart "starts beating" it is life, it is human, it is worthy of defending. How do you form your opinions? Are you influenced by media and popular culture? Are you really thinking things through?
Mr. Cracraft is wondering which category different writers to the editor belong to. I have a pretty good idea what category he belongs in.
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