Here is a quote from Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason (I took it from the excerpt from his book in the current Time Magazine):
In order to reclaim our birthright, we Americans must resolve to repair the systemic decay of the public forum. We must create new ways to engage in a genuine and not manipulative conversation about our future. We must stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of science. We must insist on an end to the cynical use of pseudo-studies known to be false for the purpose of intentionally clouding the public’s ability to discern the truth. Americans in both parties should insist on the re-establishment of respect for the rule of reason.
In writing this, Gore no doubt is thinking about protecting his views on global warming and the environment from criticism. But I expect his intolerance of any attacks on reason, as he understands reason, will apply as well against intelligent design. From the Time Magazine excerpt, Gore comes across as an Enlightenment rationalist who, in the best Jacobin style, won’t tolerate any challenge to his conception of reason.
Gore seems to miss the irony in all this. He bemoans Bush’s intolerance of terrorism and Bush’s willingness to use torture to bring terrorists to heel, and yet is ready to be intolerant of anyone who violates his “rule of reason.” Question: Which would you rather live under: intolerance of terrorism or intolerance of the rule of reason?