Thursday, July 23, 2009

Between Credulity and Incredulity, Naiveté and Jadedness, Simplicity and Sophistication

There is something to be found.

In English we call it, "trust".

The Romans called it fides.

I am mentioning this because the public exchange with my teacher, the Humbly Presumptuous one, has raised some legitimate questions about journalistic trust, and how we receive messages, hear stories, and take news generally.

The general concerns are there, and though they might have been occasioned by the Gates story, my concern was to avoid using the Gates story as a springboard for discussion of general problems that are amply illustrable by other means, without giving it the treatment it clearly deserves on its own merits.

You say you were incredulous, HP?

I think that is a sign of your moral sanity: I am reminded of some observations C.S. Lewis makes in Mere Christianity (if memory serves), to the effect that something has gone terribly wrong with us when we want to believe bad things we hear, even when we hear them about our worst enemies.

So let me reply to your reply to my reply with another question: what is it that makes us capable of trusting each other at all?



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