Reply To: Conspiracy theory spread

  • Whit Blauvelt

    November 28, 2023 at 10:33 pm


    Nothing you’ve posted here addresses the major issues McGilchrist delves into in his volumes. You make it clear that you object to discussing how hemispheric imbalance affects some of the primary issues in our current crisis of civilization, despite that this crisis is the obvious motivator for McGilchrist to spend the years assembling his books. Instead, you focus on his observation that empathy is largely a RH capacity, as if the only lesson you’ve taken is that empathy is good. I doubt McGilchrist would be satisfied with a summary of his work which simply says, “Then we need more empathy.” Lack of empathy, per the hemispheric hypothesis, isn’t so much a cause of the imbalance as an effect.

    Nor does empathy require us to give credence to crackpot views, such as that concern for the Earth’s climate is some grand political conspiracy among scientists. People simply aren’t that good at conspiring at that scale. Effective conspiracies are among relatively small groups of people.

    Technologies can backfire. Romans poisoned themselves with lead pipes for plumbing. We’re poisoning our world in myriad ways, including atmospheric emissions. Empathy is not an effective antidote for poison.

    To see the beauty in the world, and the beauty in people, we have to also be open to see the ugliness there. There’s a great deal of both about, as it’s ever been, yet the swing is towards exaggeration on the ugly side of late, as our societies lose vision of both past and future, and dwell in a shallow presentism. To appreciate the depths and breadths of time, that’s also a RH capacity. I’m in the middle Raymond Tallis’s Of Time and Lamentation: Reflections on Transience. It’s conjunction with McGilchrist forms a quite rich and interesting space.