Our world is a place of increasingly polarized and fragmented realities. Many react out of desperation, citing bases for action grounded solely in the immediacy of their personal experience and need. We live in an age of the alternatively factual. Ours is a society wherein science is viewed by half the population as a parlor trick. the opinions of random nitwits are held up as worthy and careless narratives trump the truth. Of course it’s a mess.
When the servants of the law have no regard for justice and the guardians of the common good no sense of the communal we yearn for easy solutions.
The lessons of the past matter and not everything is open to interpretation. In a society that aspires to civility and some semblance of cohesion, the alternatively factual must be vigorously rejected.
An Appeal to Desperation remains a logical fallacy and so it should. Desperation, without temperance and reflection, should not guide broad social action, though it should be both heeded and respected in an individual sense. Personal sentiment can be appreciated, but it should never replace the hard-won gains accrued over the course of centuries. Religious intolerance, the rejection of science, unbridled commercial endeavor, bigotry, racism, contempt for that which cannot be easily grasped and warfare waged for corporate profit: These are antithetical to a pluralistic, democratic society.