A Random Pattern

Do you question authority?

Do you question authority at every turn? On what authority?

From an (old) article on conspiracy theorists, I found this gem:

At some level, everyone knows this, even if some people pretend to think otherwise. The secularist who chides religious believers for having faith in what the Church teaches will also tell them, in the very next breath and with no sense of irony, to shut up and trust the experts where scientific matters are concerned. That there are philosophers and theologians who can present powerful and sophisticated justifications of religious belief is taken to be no defense of the average believer – he ought to “think for himself,” says the secularist. And yet while the average secularist couldn’t give you an interesting explanation or defense of quantum mechanics, relativity theory, or evolution if his life depended on it, the fact that there are experts who can do so is taken by him to justify his own faith in their findings. As the philosopher Christopher Martin has noted, the real difference between medieval and modern people is not that the former believe in the need for authority and the latter don’t – in fact both medievals and moderns believe in it and act accordingly – but rather that the former admitted that they believed in it, while the latter pretend they don’t.

Those of you, gentle readers, who are quite anti-religious, may not be able to read much of that article without your eyeballs going up in smoke. I encourage you to attempt to understand the writer’s point of view, and find that which you can agree with instead of being distracted by a few comments that raise your blood pressure (and are hardly critical to the core premise).

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