Uncommon Descent Contest: Why do people refuse to read books they are attacking? First award – judged
|June 13, 2011||Posted by News under Uncommon Descent Contest|
The contest is here.
The question was, for a free copy of The Nature of Nature , why would a scientist or scholar actually volunteer to trash books unread?
It seems to happen frequently to books arguing for design in nature. And the winner is CannuckianYankee at 20 for
To inform the public on what I haven’t read,
To inform the public on what I don’t like,
To inform myself on why I’m such an ignoramus – but that usually doesn’t work.
It’s simple enough to write on the blackboard or put on a sign on an office door – if you are a teacher who takes the formation of students’ minds seriously. Or in any setting where an ignoramus is volubly demonstrating his talent, unobstructed.
CannuckianYankee needs to be in touch with me at email@example.com, to make arrangements for shipping.
Reviewers who show signs they haven’t read a book, are reviewers who misunderstand the main point or points, or who don’t even mention them. When a reviewer skips over these issues, they should be held as suspect.
Yes! Speaking as a frequent reviewer who does read the books, I must resist the temptation to talk mainly about the parts that most interest me, in favour of the ones most readers probably want to hear about. A person who has never experienced that temptation probably didn’t read the book.
Jonin at 13 offers us live examples of noviewers demonstrating their … ignoramity? Ignoranimosity?
Also, a tip of the hat to …
Brent at 27 offers,
The problem is, on the one hand, we rightly claim that there are no objectively grounded morals for the naturalist. How then can we be surprised, on the other hand, when they act according to that reality? Again, I’m torn. The naturalist is as bound by an objective moral reality as is everyone else, and they feel it, and they mostly live according to it and reject their own worldview in routine. But, at bottom, eventually and to some degree, more or less, everyone will betray what they really believe in actions and attitudes.
Actually, I’ve run into a few non-materialists who behaved this way. But my impression is that, among the educated non-materialists, it is much less common than among educated materialists. The non-materialist is part of a threatened minority, and cannot remain both intelligently be ignorant of the nature of the threats. The elites of a minority always know more about how their society functions than the elites of the majority do.
Watch for the next contest, coming soon. And follow UD News at Twitter for breaking news on the design controversy.