Bill Maher Update via George Will: “Reasonable Dissent is Impossible”

June 6, 2009

I encountered a few coincidences this week.   Coincidence 1: Raoul and I discussed how smart people with “moral flexibility” are dangerous because they can rationalize bad stuff.  The morning after I listened to Russell Roberts’s fourth installment podcast on Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments in which Roberts read a passage from Smith’s book that captured a similar, if not the same, sentiment.  Coincidence 2: Then Raoul shared a Harvard Business Review article that used that same sentiment to explain how company management finds itself in immoral predicaments. 

Now coincidence 3.  Yesterday afternoon I heard Bill Maher say that global warming skeptics are too dumb and irresponsible to be taken seriously.  I posted on that last night.  Then, this morning I open the paper to find George Will addressed the same topic in his column Green With Guilt .

The New York Times television critic disapproves [of a TV show that makes fun of greenies]. The show “feels aggressively off-kilter with the current mood, as if it had been incubated in the early to mid-’90s, when it was possible to find global-warming skeptics among even the reasonable and informed.” That is a perfect (because completely complacent) sample of the grating smugness of the planet-savers, delivered by an entertainment writer: Reasonable dissent is impossible.

The TV critic used the same third grade/Third Reich tactics of Bill Maher.  George Will describe the tactic well with “Reasonable dissent is impossible.”  Thank you Mr. Will.


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