Re: Confidence: A Basic Politics Puzzle

Eric Watt Forste (
Tue, 18 Feb 1997 15:29:03 -0800

Ken Kittlitz writes:
>A couple of possibilities come to mind. People may feel more
>qualified to give opinions on politics than they do on say, physics,
>because politics (of some form) is inextricably linked with the
>social structures to which they belong. That is, they perceive
>politics having much more of a direct impact on their lives than
>physics theories or formulae do, and hence feel they are in a better
>position to comment on political issues.
>Whether they really are in such a better position is, of course,
>another matter.

Ah, yes. Another answer to Robin's question is that our society is
permeated with the Dogma of Democracy, and the Dogma of Democracy
is that any randomly chosen citizen's opinion about a political
issue is exactly as valuable and likely to be "true" as anyone
else's opinion of that issue. Therefore, each of us can expound
and hold forth on our political opinions without any shred of
epistemic responsibility, and since this is the attitude that
everyone else takes, thanks to their democratic religious beliefs,
I end up mirroring this attitude toward my opponents in debate.

So ultimately, as with so many other stupidities, it comes down to
a question of religious belief.

Eric Watt Forste ++ ++