Reasonable Ignorance (Right + Right = 0)

                 REASONABLE IGNORANCE  

01/23/2011 

  • Foreword: One of my favorite reads during the week comes from my Sunday newspaper, The St. Petersburg Times and its Perspective section. Today though I noticed that within two prominent entries where neither entry was focused exactly on the same subject there is however a collision between an identical subject. The collision is such that depending upon a point of view there is a reasonable faction and an ignorant faction. I hope I can make it clear.
  • The two articles are even on the same page. One is written by a guest columnist and the other by a regular. The guest is Stephen Randall the deputy editor of Playboy and the regular is my favorite Bill Maxwell.
  • Mr. Randall’s column is titled: Adrift on a stormy sea of opinions. Here he makes a very reasonable explanation about our society’s overload of opinion making. He, no doubt, rightly exposes the fact that all of us are exposed to highly rated media outlets where opinions  from both sides lead down to us as individuals where we are encouraged to join in with our opinions. I am very guilty of this and Mr. Randal seems to be correct when he leads me to think that all these opinions are simply creating noise which end up being static. With this thought in mind he has made it easy for me to see that if, by chance, a purely clear and meaningful opinion is ever created it will never be actually heard. Oh, it will be heard as sound but not heard as any enlightenment. How can this point of view from Mr. Randall have even a slight ignorant leaning?
  • Mr. Maxwell’s column is titled: In crises rule of law steadies us. Now let me remind any readers, there is a good chance that neither Randall nor Maxwell knew anything at all about each other’s article as they wrote theirs so there is not any kind of debatable point involved. I am the one tying these two superb columns together with an opposing factor of my own creation. Mr. Maxwell, as usual, is using his column to explain the greatness about our country but he reaches a point where he aims to our U.S. Constitution as being at the top of any list made of our points of greatness. He brings in a statement from a Mr. Ronald Cass, the dean emeritus of our Boston School of Law. Mr. Cass explains that willingness to follow our rules of law calms and guides us. Then Mr. Maxwell goes on further and brings in from an online publication, Rule of Law in the United States, this quotation:” The one right, above all others, that makes the rule of law work is ‘freedom of speech’”.
  • Here is where I see more than just a bit of contrast. What I have tried to establish is that on one hand we are given a superb reason to maybe knock it off with all the opinion jabber but then, just as superbly, we are educated from the other hand to believe that our leading principle of greatness is not only the right but an encouragement to speak with opinions without limitations.
  • Somewhere here in all this reasonableness is at least the possibility of ignorance. Not from either of them but from – (Right + Right = 0).

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