The triumph of ideology over intellect

From Dr Brian White, Maidstone, Kent, UK

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Sir, In his famous book, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Keith Thomas wrote: “It is a feature of many systems of thought, and not only primitive ones, that they possess a self-confirming character. Once their initial premises are accepted, no subsequent discovery will shake the believer’s faith, for he can explain it away in terms of the existing system. Neither will his convictions be weakened by the failure of some accepted ritual to accomplish its desired end, for this too can be accounted for. Such systems of belief possess a resilience which makes them virtually immune to external argument.”

If Scotland votes for independence, I predict that we will see repeated attempts to explain away the subsequent discovery that its economy is in serious decline, without any reference to the triumph of ideology over intellect.

Dr Brian White, Maidstone, Kent, UK

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