Delusion In Entitlementville
Wave the Magic Wand


May 18, 2001


Logic is simply defined as “sensible rational thought and argument rather than ideas that are influenced by emotion or whim.”   

The use of logic to propel Western society out of the Dark ages was the true productive beauty resulting from the Period of Enlightenment.  A brief primer about the Enlightenment is as follows: 

The Enlightenment (1650 – 1800)

A new faith in the power of human reason sweeps across Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries and produces the Age of Enlightenment. Applying new methods of observation guided by reason, scientists such as Isaac Newton begin to unveil the secrets of the natural world. Many intellectuals come to believe there is nothing the human mind, using the power of reason and the methodology of science, cannot accomplish. New enlightened theories are advanced in many fields including science, philosophy, religion, and politics. Although this glorification of reason and progress culminates in 18th-century France, the Enlightenment proves to be international in scope. Leading proponents of the Enlightenment include Denis Diderot, Voltaire and Charles de Montesquieu in France, Immanuel Kant in Germany, John Locke and David Hume in England, and Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin in the American colonies.  (thanks to Microsoft Encarta)

Many scholars believe that the culmination of the Enlightenment was the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  These documents stripped the Devine legitimacy from the Monarch or King.  No longer could enlightened people be duped into believing that a king was omnipotent by the will and command of God. 

Resultant from advances in the sciences came advances in philosophy and theology.  The world became a “natural” environment based on the laws of nature and not the whim of self-serving Gods.  Advances in the sciences gave humanity a sense of empowerment.  People actually had some measure of control over their destinies.   

Politically, Western civilization entered the realm of self-determination.  Advances in the natural sciences had reduced fire from an act of witchcraft to a comprehendible occurrence of rapid oxidation.  Advances in philosophical and political sciences had elevated the concept of government from the bondage of the aristocracy to the freedom of self-government and the rule of law. 

Whether it be the Law of Gravity or the law of free speech, almost idea that Western democracies hold dear found their genesis in the Enlightenment.  And the Enlightenment found its legitimacy in the proof of logic. 

From empirical observation or experience, humans deduced theories or ideas about the “how and why” of life on Earth.  In order for these theories to became valid and widely accepted they had to be proved true. 

Thinking back to high school geometry is a good example of the path from idea or theory to truth or proof:

Oval Callout: Theory



Right Angle Congruence Theorem: All right angles are congruent.

Given: angle1 and angle2 are right angles.



1) angle1 and angle2 are right angles.

1) Given

2) m angle1 = 90 degrees, m angle2 = 90 degrees.

2) Definition of right angles

3) m angle1 = m angle2

3) Transitive Property or Substitution Property

4) angle1   angle2

4) Angle Congruence Theorem

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The progression of this thought process is a fairly straight line.  Observation creates an idea.  The idea is formalized into a theory.  The theory is tasked with the burden of proof.  If the proof validates the theory, a truth results.  It is simple logic. 

This logic is the basis of every beneficial product of society.  It has eliminated smallpox, provided electricity, put man on the moon and created television.  Logic even overcame the popular bias that bloodletting was the best treatment for a patient who was hemorrhaging.  

As ridiculous as it may sound, it is true that a couple of hundred years ago learned physicians believed that in order to save the life of a patient who was bleeding to death, the doctor had to make several incisions and additionally bleed the patient.    

Although the outcomes resulting from a regimen of bloodletting were less than satisfactory, the procedure became a popular treatment.  It mattered little that the cure killed more patients than the disease.  The small, yet powerful, medical establishment of the period developed a trendy bias for bloodletting and…the blood flowed. 

In every documentable instance throughout history, whenever logic is overcome by “emotion and whim”, people are harmed.  Initially, even Louis Pasteur was considered a threat to the “correctness” of the period when he suggested that physicians should wash their hands prior to treating their patients. 

Pasteur had logic on his side.  Pasteur had amply given proof to his theory of germs.  But, Pasteur was a threat to the bloated egos and weak characters of the medical establishment’s leadership and their “stylish”, yet deadly, biases.   

Popular tyrants who feared the truth temporarily suppressed the worth of Pasteur’s theory.  They feared the truth because the truth would expose them as phonies who, at best, were mere illusions of competence.  Pasteur’s truth was feared because it was based on proof, while the only proof the medical establishment could offer was their own convictions. 

Once logic is abandoned and whimsical emotion becomes the guiding force, the proof for a theory becomes the theory itself.  “I think it, therefore it is.”  Emotion and whim replace logic and, in the process, hubris and the cult of personality replace logic and common sense. 

The rise of the hubris dialectic in contemporary American society is a mutant gene of the thought process that is attempting to displace and destroy the healthy organisms of logic.  Its mystagogues are the intelligentsias of the New Testament of Political Correctness.  Their theories were envisioned in the hemp heavy environment of ivy-covered universities while they avoided the draft in the thought provoking stimuli’s of Hendrix, the sexual revolution and imported beer.  Yes, they are the progenitors of entitlement…the privileged baby-boomers. 

The modern town criers of the mass media distribute this mystical witches brew of ego-based thought worldwide.  This has truly become an educational outreach program of historic proportions.  For the cost of a television, a disciple can learn the gospel by remote-control based admission to the University of Rosie O'Donnell et al.  It is tuition free, study free, responsibility free and, most importantly, logic free. 

Whim and emotion compose the doctrine.  It is disseminated by the self-serving to the self-serving.  In an effortless 60-minute stroke, the unmotivated and self-deserving can be fed a reaffirming doctrine of mood altering drivel.  And it is the truth…if only because the celebrity says it is the truth. 

How could it not be the truth?  There is no background reading necessary prior to the lecture.  The high priestess of hostesses supplies the attendant viewer with all the facts of the case.  And…certainly, the proof comes with the tears shed by the guest during the moment of the close-in camera angle. 

Rosie et al have a sorceress’s brew to sell and the willing all flock to the Jonestownian broadcast Mecca to sup of the evil potion.   

This potion is strong stuff.  It gives one the same dizzying euphoria that the soaring stocks induced in the uninitiated.  “I have been told that if I do this, I will be intelligent.  I have done it and, therefore, I must now be intelligent.”  No need for facts, proof or the burden of logic.  Just a wave of the magic wand transports one to the plenty of Entitlementville. 

If only a magic wand and a bit of whimsical ego could replace the cancer research being conducted in laboratories worldwide.  But if that was the truth, then the Bloodletters might have been right.


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