The Social Dilemma, by Randall Smith

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September 23, 2020
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*Image: Eve (Don’t Listen to the Liar) by Paul Gauguin, 1889 [McNay Art Museum. San Antonio, TX]

By Randall Smith, The Catholic Thing, Sept. 23, 2020

Randall B. Smith is a tenured Full Professor of Theology. His book Reading the Sermons of Thomas Aquinas: A Guidebook for Beginners is available from Emmaus Press. …

Randall Smith“No, I don’t think they’re stupid,” she wrote, “but I wish they would just inform themselves.”

I had asked my students to write a reflection on whether they considered those with whom they disagreed either fools or scoundrels.  The conviction that those with whom we disagree are not merely mistaken, but actually ignorant and/or malevolent is an increasing problem in our society. So I asked my students to do some self-reflection to see whether they might discern this tendency in themselves.

The issue my student was concerned with was immigration. I don’t remember which side of the debate she was on, but my reply would have been the same either way. “Perhaps they have informed themselves, but they informed themselves from completely different sources than you have.”  …