From Nihilism by Eugene (Seraphim) Rose, written circa 1962 -
The totalitarian Nihilist regimes of this century [- both Communist and Fascist -] have undertaken, as an integral part of their programs, the ruthless "reeducation" of their peoples.
Few subjected to this process for any length of time have entirely escaped its influence; in a landscape where all is nightmare, one's sense of reality and truth inevitably suffers.
A subtler "reeducation," quite humane in its means but nonetheless Nihilist in its consequences, has been practiced for some time in the free world, and nowhere more persistently or effectively than in its intellectual center, the academic world.
Here external coercion is replaced by internal persuasion; a deadly skepticism reigns, hidden behind the remains of a "Christian heritage" in which few believe, and even fewer with deep conviction.
The profound responsibility the scholar once possessed, the communication of truth, has been reneged; and all the pretended "humility" that seeks to conceal this fact behind sophisticated chatter on "the limits of human knowledge," is but another mask of the Nihilism the Liberal academician shares with the extremists of our day.
Youth that--until it is "reeducated" in the academic environment - still thirsts for truth, is taught instead of truth the "history of ideas," or its interest is diverted into "comparative" studies, and the all-pervading relativism and skepticism inculcated in these studies is sufficient to kill in almost all the natural thirst for truth.
The academic world--and these words are neither lightly nor easily spoken--has become today, in large part, a source of corruption.
It is corrupting to hear or read the words of men who do not believe in truth.
It is yet more corrupting to receive, in place of truth, more learning and scholarship which, if they are presented as ends in themselves, are no more than parodies of the truth they were meant to serve, no more than a facade behind which there is no substance.
It is, tragically, corrupting even to be, exposed to the primary virtue still left to the academic world, the integrity of the best of its representatives--if this integrity serves, not the truth, but skeptical scholarship, and so seduces men all the more effectively to the gospel of subjectivism and unbelief this scholarship conceals.
It is corrupting, finally, simply to live and work in an atmosphere totally permeated by a false conception of truth, wherein Christian Truth is seen as irrelevant to the central academic concerns, wherein even those who still believe this Truth can only sporadically make their voices heard above the skepticism promoted by the academic system.
The evil, of course, lies primarily in the system itself, which is founded upon untruth, and only incidentally in the many professors whom this system permits and encourages to preach it.
"It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction. A person who lies is thereby responding to the truth, and he is to that extent respectful of it. When an honest man speaks, he says only what he believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly indispensable that he considers his statements to be false. For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose."
--Harry Frankfurt, On Bullshit, Princeton U. Press, 2005
I see the distinction.
However, although denying absolute truth, most modern academics retain a concept of relative truth - and it this which provides the (insecure) foundation for their lies.
The benefit is that, if caught and called to account for failing to tell the truth, then they can wax philosophical (like Pontius Pilate) with a "What is truth?" spiel.
Post a Comment