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Jos Gibbons's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Jos Gibbons

Comment #406426 by Mr DArcy

The sheer contrast between what Marx actually said and how others misrepresented him is ... well, sheer! And it brings to mind Ricky Gervais discussing Hitler's understanding of Nietzsche.

Having said that, even though Marx claimed an interest in freethought, his ideas were pretty silly in several regards. Of course, an individual thinking for himself may well commit many mistakes; the importance of freethought concerns how ideas become more widespread after someone first has them, which is something that went as awry with Marxism as with religious ideas, although of course none of that was due to Marx, or the ideas themselves.

There will be no danger in promoting freethought, as long as we make clear that it is about how consensuses form. Individuals can be arbitrarily foolish then without danger. In fact, that's largely how science works. Individual scientists are humans, only marginally better as thinkers than laypeople, if at all; but when they work together, they can make the best of many bad jobs.

Sun, 16 Aug 2009 17:16:00 UTC | #388899