Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The Nightmare Begins

...with all due apologies to Mr. Vasquez.
That may not have been a very auspicious start for this blog, especially given our lofty goal of universal enlightenment, but I think it sets the mood rather nicely. That is, you can expect intelligence, vitriol, and outlandish buffoonery to wage a constant struggle for dominance of this blog. I myself suspect that vitriol will hold the advantage, at least until the election, when John Kerry finally fades from notice and we cease having such a visible target for deserved aspersions.
This blog is a collective effort, in the most anti-Communist sense of the word, of course. So it is not that I am the new skeptic, but it is that we all contribute to a cause personified as The New Skeptic. Why new, and why a skeptic? The name of this blog was not arbitrarily, nor lightly, chosen. We are skeptics because we refuse dogmatically to accept what is given to us; we refuse to kowtow to the intellectual trends in academia; we refuse to listen slavishly to our professors and simply spit back, verbatim, what they have proclaimed to be "The Way;" we refuse to accept at face value, without further examination, what we read and view in the mainstream media. In fact, we are not tied to any particular media outlet; I have objections to the Fox News Channel that are as serious, in their own way, as my objections to CNN. My favorite journal of opinion, National Review, often exasperates me in its seeming insistence on a Catholic model of morality. We are skeptics because we question, something so rare today, even as thousands, perhaps millions, of students proclaim their individuality, their open-mindedness, their refusal to conform. It is a grand farce. They prove their "intellectual independence" by dogmatic adherence to the doctrines of their professors, and the detached observer cannot help but pity, hate, and fear them all at once. They have all the evidence before them, evidence that they are simply following the herd, and yet they believe, truly believe, that they are independent thinkers. The origin of this collosal illusion will perhaps be the subject of a future entry.
Thus, we are skeptics; why then are we new, and not old, skeptics, or not just plain old skeptics? Well, we have no affinity for most skeptical philosophers in history. Unlike the Pyrrhoneans, we believe in an objective truth, and that man is capable, though only with great effort, of discovering that truth. We may never discover it in our lifetime, but the search is worth undertaking, and the apparently futile struggle against ignorance, superstition, dogma, and laziness is our duty to mankind and to his history. We are not the skeptics of old, but the skeptics of this age, lone voices in the wilderness, arguing for what some may call an outdated philosophy amidst the subjectivity of the new culture, unwilling to conform, unwilling to be blind, unwilling to believe but quite willing to reason, to examine, to prove. We expect to be unpopular, and revel in it. Acceptance is the mark of an unimaginative, pedantic, dogmatic mind. We adore truth and scorn lies. We expect derision, and perhaps an occasional note of praise, in exchange. So be it. We have chosen to face the challenge, not to shirk from it, and our courage will vindicate us.
Ambitious, aren't we? And more than a bit arrogant. We hope to enlighten, to entertain, to anger, to shock, and, ultimately, to promote the good of mankind. Reason is our tool; truth is our goal.
Noble aspirations, aren't they? But, when all is said and done, can they match the lure of a warm glass of scotch?
Levity, remember? Levity as a defense against the crushing weight of such overwhelming questions.
-Vernunft, who will save his personal introduction for a later entry


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