An article was posted on another site I frequent, where I'm the only vocal atheist on that site. In reading it, I couldn't help but think about organized religion, and how many people claim to be religious, even though their occupation involves many aspects of science which run contradictory to mysticism/religion. As soon as I made the observation about this similarity, I was questioned about derailing the article to serve an agenda. I respectfully responded with "atheists and agnostics would understand how that is not a derail." I'm curious whether members here get my point.

Excerpt from article:

I fear we are witnessing the “death of expertise”: a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laymen, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers – in other words, between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all. By this, I do not mean the death of actual expertise, the knowledge of specific things that sets some people apart from others in various areas. There will always be doctors, lawyers, engineers, and other specialists in various fields. Rather, what I fear has died is any acknowledgement of expertise as anything that should alter our thoughts or change the way we live.

What has died is any acknowledgement of expertise as anything that should alter our thoughts or change the way we live.

This is a very bad thing. Yes, it’s true that experts can make mistakes, as disasters from thalidomide to the Challenger explosion tragically remind us. But mostly, experts have a pretty good batting average compared to laymen: doctors, whatever their errors, seem to do better with most illnesses than faith healers or your Aunt Ginny and her special chicken gut poultice. To reject the notion of expertise, and to replace it with a sanctimonious insistence that every person has a right to his or her own opinion, is silly.

Worse, it’s dangerous. The death of expertise is a rejection not only of knowledge, but of the ways in which we gain knowledge and learn about things. Fundamentally, it’s a rejection of science and rationality, which are the foundations of Western civilization itself. Yes, I said “Western civilization”: that paternalistic, racist, ethnocentric approach to knowledge that created the nuclear bomb, the Edsel, and New Coke, but which also keeps diabetics alive, lands mammoth airliners in the dark, and writes documents like the Charter of the United Nations.

see the whole article here:

http://thefederalist.com/2014/01/17/the-death-of-expertise/

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Chris Hayes, a Catholic who is an MSNBC talking head, wrote a book on a similar theme.

His show precedes Rachel Maddow's show, which I always watch, and I often see a few minutes of Hayes' show. One day he spoke of his book. Curious about his take on Catholicism, I browsed it.

I decided that Catholicism left him with a need for authority/expertise.

I may have a bias; I quit Catholicism in the late 1950s.

I have respect for the work Chris Hayes does. I didn't know that he was a Catholic though. It kills me that brilliant thinkers and analysts can also engage in mock cannibalism of their lord and savior. I just don't get it.

I appreciate that Chris Hayes is on the political left but I'm not so sure of his brilliance. He might be just hyper, especially at talking.

A psychiatrist told me that authoritarianism is accompanied by impulsiveness, which Hayes has in spades.

I believe Catholicism damages its believers' minds, but their need to rebel can conceal the damage until their senior years.

As for Hayes' cannibalism, does he barbecue his lord and savior?

The only atheist I know of in News media is S.E. Cup, but she is a conservative, which I find strange for an atheist, because I've only run across a few conservative atheists in my life. It makes me wonder if she, like the far right, is opposed to food stamps, contraception, social security, a jobs bill, equality, veterans benefits, and all the rest that the far right is opposed to. She was on the MSNBC show The Cycle, but she left and joined CNN on Crossfire.

Religious belief is widespread, there are over two billion Christians in the world, and I have seen figures that say there is about two million atheists in the United States, everyone else in this country of over three hundred million follows some kind of supernatural or paranormal belief system, including most news casters and politicians, be they Democrat, Republican, or Independent. The good thing though is that about 93% of elite scientists at both the National Academy of Science and Great Britain's Royal Society are atheists.

Anthony, I heard S. E. Cupp's claim to be a conservative atheist on a CSPAN program.

I was skeptical.

I heard her a few times on MSNBC and decided that she had staked a claim to a place she wouldn't have to share with anyone else.

Strange indeed.  I don't care for Cupp.  Though she claims to be an atheist her views mirror every religious nut I've ever came across.

For many, the availability of internet information is empowering. The internet provides democritization of information. Information and misinformation. Information is not knowledge.

I feel like its a mixed bag. I have tremendous respect for the autodidact. I am one in some areas. But, there is chaos, and not eveyone can separate the wheat from the chaff.

I do look forward to the day when patients sue themselves for malpractice.

Everyone does have a right to their own opinion.  What they don't have a right to is their own facts.  Facts are facts.  Opinion is opinion.  Fox new interchange the two often. And, as they repeat their opinions, they commonly becomes the "facts" of the right.

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