Important Announcement

See here for an important message regarding the community which has become a read-only site as of October 31.

 
Post Reply
Page 1 of 5  •  1 2 3 4 5 Next
Switch to Forum Live View Where Did Americans Go Astray?
7 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2011 - 2:43PM #1
d_p_m
Posts: 11,236
A chance question from a co-worker got me thinking.

The origianal American thinkers included quite a few intellectuals of no small ability. The American interest in clasical culture and learning is still evident in the names of cities scattered across that nation - Troy, Rome, Ithaca, Syracuse...

And yet, today the general impression is of a nation that is one of the most anti-intellectual in the world, saving some dictatorships and some (not all) tribal and Muslim regimes.

When and how did Americans start turning their back on science, history, and learning?

Certainly the various creationist arguments and sites do not show any respect for truth, logic, history, learning, and intellectual integrity.... but it looks like this is a recent malady, in historical terms.
"If you aren't confused by quantum physics, you haven't really understood it."
― Niels Bohr

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
-- Albert Einstein

"If one is going to engage with the primordial forces of darkness, one must expect a bit of social awkwardness."
-- Penny Dreadful, season one, episode two
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2011 - 3:12PM #2
farragut
Posts: 4,481

It happened in the mid-50s when we put ourselves officially under the protection of God and no longer needed to depend on our own intellects.

Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2011 - 3:20PM #3
d_p_m
Posts: 11,236

Apr 8, 2011 -- 3:12PM, farragut wrote:


It happened in the mid-50s when we put ourselves officially under the protection of God and no longer needed to depend on our own intellects.





Maybe I should also have asked 'why?'.


Why then? Why do that at all?

"If you aren't confused by quantum physics, you haven't really understood it."
― Niels Bohr

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
-- Albert Einstein

"If one is going to engage with the primordial forces of darkness, one must expect a bit of social awkwardness."
-- Penny Dreadful, season one, episode two
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2011 - 3:22PM #4
farragut
Posts: 4,481

We did that because Joe McCarthy and others were scared shitless of godless communists.

Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2011 - 4:12PM #5
MMarcoe
Posts: 20,907

I would say it happened shortly after World War 2, when we were on top of the world and started getting complacent. When you start getting complacent, it can take many years for the full effects to kick in. In our case, that probably started around the 1970s or so.


This is common with all empires. It happened with the British in the 1800s and 1900s, and the Romans in the later years of their empire. When you've got everything served to you on a silver platter, you lose the ability and the desire to fight for it.


I think that's how we went wrong.

1. Extremists think that thinking means agreeing with them.
2. There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth.
3. God is the original nothingness of the universe.
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2011 - 4:38PM #6
Ken
Posts: 33,858

Apr 8, 2011 -- 2:43PM, d_p_m wrote:

A chance question from a co-worker got me thinking.

The origianal American thinkers included quite a few intellectuals of no small ability. The American interest in clasical culture and learning is still evident in the names of cities scattered across that nation - Troy, Rome, Ithaca, Syracuse...

And yet, today the general impression is of a nation that is one of the most anti-intellectual in the world, saving some dictatorships and some (not all) tribal and Muslim regimes.

When and how did Americans start turning their back on science, history, and learning?

Certainly the various creationist arguments and sites do not show any respect for truth, logic, history, learning, and intellectual integrity.... but it looks like this is a recent malady, in historical terms.


Read Richard Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. He traces it all the way back to early modern Protestantism.

Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2011 - 5:36PM #7
wohali
Posts: 10,227

We let Columbus in.

Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2011 - 5:43PM #8
d_p_m
Posts: 11,236

Apr 8, 2011 -- 4:38PM, Ken wrote:


Read Richard Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. He traces it all the way back to early modern Protestantism.




I was wondering about that. What does he consider 'early modern'?

"If you aren't confused by quantum physics, you haven't really understood it."
― Niels Bohr

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
-- Albert Einstein

"If one is going to engage with the primordial forces of darkness, one must expect a bit of social awkwardness."
-- Penny Dreadful, season one, episode two
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2011 - 5:45PM #9
d_p_m
Posts: 11,236

Apr 8, 2011 -- 5:36PM, wohali wrote:


We let Columbus in.




And there I thought it was not properly appreciating the stabilizing and civilizing effects of constitutional monarchy.


:)

"If you aren't confused by quantum physics, you haven't really understood it."
― Niels Bohr

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
-- Albert Einstein

"If one is going to engage with the primordial forces of darkness, one must expect a bit of social awkwardness."
-- Penny Dreadful, season one, episode two
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2011 - 5:52PM #10
wohali
Posts: 10,227

Nope. Everything started going to hell in a handbasket beginning in 1493.

Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 1 of 5  •  1 2 3 4 5 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook