The leap of faith into absolutes.


Active Member
May 23, 2007
The leap of faith into absolutes.

Karl Popper authored the book “The Open Society and Its Enemies”. The concept Popper illustrates in this book sounds much like the concept of a liberal democracy but his concept is more epistemological than political. It is based upon our imperfect comprehension of reality more than our structure of society.

Popper argues that all ideology shares a common characteristic; a belief in their infallibility. Such infallibility is an impossibility, which leads such ideological practitioners to use force to substantiate their views and such repression brings about a closed society.

Popper proposed that the open society is constructed on the recognition that our comprehension of reality is not perfect—there is realty beyond our comprehension and our will cannot compensate for that lack of comprehension. Even though the will of the power structure can manipulate the opinions of the citizens sooner or later reality will defeat the will. Truth does matter and success will not always override truth—truth being reality.

American culture has lost respect for truth. We have been swamped with PR and spin and untruth to such an extent that we have lost confidence in truth and it has lost its value.

I think that many Americans display and embrace their symbols so extravagantly because we have devalued truth and have glorified infallibility. When we reach such a situation ideologies become more and more important and the adoration of symbols is our method of showing our evaluation of our ideology which is one of our gods.

I think that for many Americans the natural sciences have come to represent that which is infallible. Rather than a solution science/technology has become the problem because it is ill used, especially when applying the scientific method when dealing with human problems.

I think that the more attached we are to what we consider to be absolute truth the more we idolize such things as science/technology and symbols such as flags, nations, and religion. Would you agree?