Articles from Club Troppo
The one thing I learned in my university education, the one thing that excited me, was the need for people to exercise real effort in understanding each other. The language we use is so full of shades of meaning and we’re such emotional creatures – particularly when we’re arguing. Johnathan Haight has popularised lots of the evidence of the truth of Hume’s claim that our reason is the slave to our passions.
Universalists dream of a world empire in which a world government works to solve global problems, enforcing the same law all over the world.
There are many different ideologies that envision a world government, ranging from international socialism, to the brotherhood of Islam, to universal humanism. They squabble about what a world government would do or how it would justify its powers, but they share a dream of one world.
Something very odd happens when people get told a story of how other people with some shared characteristic have behaved in the past: they take it personal and see themselves in those ‘ancestors’, even if they share no actual family relationship to those people and even though they were of course not involved anyway.
Pedantry is alluring. Especially if one gets some aesthetic satisfaction from using words well. Take the expression “begs the question”. I love this term because it is such a simple, chummy way of skewering sloppy thinking.