Sunday, December 10, 2006

Practicing Intellectual Diversity

Courtesy of Austin Bay, some interesting thoughts from Roger Kimball on the question of intellectual diversity:

"Diversity" is a quality much celebrated by the Left, or at least by the politically correct. But I have long suspected that it is a habit more actively practiced among conservatives. I thought of this the other night when my wife and I went to a small dinner party to celebrate a friend's 50th birthday. All seven of us were conservative. And though we ranged along that spectrum from Roman Catholic to Libertarian, we enjoyed a gratifying unanimity on certain topics--the folly of affirmative action for example. But on other important issues we were a veritable rainbow coalition of opinion.

Take religion. Conservatives, of course, are supposed to be "pro religion." And some of us were. But also among our number was a prominent conservative commentator who has made it her mission (one of them, anyway) to preach the gospel of radical secularism. Never one for half measures, she rejects agnosticism as a timid evasion. Like an anti-clerical Enlightenment firebrand, she advocates full-throated atheism, with the emphasis on the alpha privative: "against theism."

Certainly, there are open minded liberals and closed minded conservatives. I've encountered plenty of both. Overall, though, my experience accords with that of Mr. Kimball. For many on the Left, diversity is to be preached, not practiced.


Blogger Norma said...

I've met few people as closed minded as liberals. Their attachment to their beliefs is often emotional, but it sure is firm.

1:26 PM  

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