Thursday, March 14, 2013

HT Matthew Johnson at the BHT, "It's like reports don't even try to be objective"

I did, as an Eastern Orthodox layman, wonder a bit about this historical summary:
The accession of a new Pope is always cause for wonderment — if only because the papacy of the Roman Catholic Church has managed to survive more trials than almost any other kingdom in history. No other institution can claim to have withstood Attila the Hun, the ambitions of the Habsburgs, the Ottoman Turks, Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler, in addition to Stalin and his successors. Every new Pope faces fresh crisis and challenges. And in the 21st century, he does so at the head of a spiritual empire that touches more than 1.2 billion souls and whose influence crosses borders and contends with other great powers.
No other institution, other than the papacy, has survived Attila, the Ottomans, Hitler, Stalin, etc.? Speaking only as a member of an Antiochian Orthodox parish, I am sure that our patriarch in Damascus (a deadly serious place right now, once again) would consider that editorial statement questionable, at best.

I have relatives who are Antiochian Orthodox and so, even as a Protestant, I can agree that claiming the papacy alone has withstood all the above is questionable, at best.

As Matthew's observation goes, it's also like bloggers don't even try to be objective, either.  :)  I don't happen to think that objectivity is something that can even really be attained or, to put it another way, the most we can mean by objectivity is that our quest to discover the facts in a situation overtakes our desire to come to a snap judgment based on the information we've found.  Objectivity is no more than our best attempt to overcome the mental shortcuts our cognitive biases and heuristics within our brains usually lead us to.  If even scientistis can be overcome by these despite employing the scientific method then it should be a warning to all of us that no one is immune, particularly people who think they actually are.

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