Sam Harris – a person who made his name by making pompous “philosophical” pronouncements completely disconnected from reality – is worried about the birth of “a new religion.”
Sam Harris makes his money talking to people who believe in nothing but their own superiority over humanity. So, all he has to do to get his disciples on high alert is to mention “religion.” The word “religion” is their cue to get pitchforks and flame throwers because someone, somewhere, is planning to convert US into a theocracy, once again, and they must be stopped.
“The religion” Sam is currently fighting is called “contrarianism and conspiracy thinking.” You may know it as “not being a member of Sam Harris’ fan club.” If you don’t get a piece of Sam’s wisdom every morning, you are brainwashed into religion of “contrarianism” and you must seek help at your local Starbucks.
The first “sacrament” of your “religion” is called doing your own research. There appears to be a non-negligible number of people who are stubbornly unwilling to accept Sam’s unique and all-encompassing expertise on everything. And this is a clear and present danger to our Democracy. This “doing your own research” nonsense is dangerous, and it must be stopped.
As usual, Sam’s timing is way off. “Doing your own research” was an activity that did not “coincide” with Covid in any way. Everyone with a functioning brain and reading comprehension has been practicing it long before Covid. Whether you were looking for an interior designer, a doctor’s expertise, or an accountant to help with tax issues, “do your own research” was the way.
When you had a question beyond your expertise, calling a CNN panel of “experts” was not the way to go. Instead, you consulted people that you love and trust, who had your best interest at heart, to produce the list of professionals qualified to help with your personal situation. You may even have had “the audacity” to search the internet for various sources or do a DIY project or two. “Doing your own research” was not an activity that was even remotely controversial – until Covid.
To paraphrase Sam Harris, during the pandemic, we witnessed the raise of the “priestly” class that came to be known as “THE EXPERTS.” Those were not the people that resided at your local clinic or doctor’s office. Those were not to be found among the people you trusted. The best place to find THE EXPERTS was a revolving daily panel on CNN prime time. Even though you’ve never heard of these people before, every word they uttered was given to you as Divine Providence.
These people identified as “THE SCIENCE,” and as we all know, THE SCIENCE demands “consensus.” Now, scientists of yesteryear may have “undervalued” consensus. They may have even believed that questioning, challenge, and debate made science stronger. But for THE EXPERTS, “consensus” was vital.
“Consensus” was what you got by silencing every opinion that even slightly diverged from that of “THE EXPERTS.” Every scientist that didn’t toe “the party line” was branded “a conspiracy theorist,” “spreader of dangerous misinformation,” or “a science denier.” Those were quickly shamed, banned, and dismissed from the public discourse, and voila – consensus magically appeared.
“THE EXPERTS” had a good run until it became obvious they had less to offer than Pete Buttigieg to the people of Ohio. Still, they screamed for “amnesty.” After all, they meant well, even though their “expertise” was no better than your aunt Edna’s. But unlike your poor aunt who is spending time in Twitter jail, THE EXPERTS have their Ivy League degrees that serves as their “get out of jail free” card. And they intent on using again and again.
And that’s where Sam Harris comes to the rescue. To him, the danger is not coming from “THE EXPERTS” who were less helpful during Covid than a broken condom at a San Francisco Pride parade. The danger is coming from “the boomer rubes” who continue to stubbornly insist on their right to “do their own research.” And that must be the sole privilege of Sam Harris and his “enlightened” friends.
This dangerous trend of people “taking matters in their own hands” when it comes to their health; education of their kids; or their family values, must be immediately discredited and denounced. The people without a degree from Ivy League must know their place. They are only qualified to go to a local supermarket, pick a carton of eggs, and park in front of the TV eagerly waiting for CNN nightly panel to bestow their wisdom on them. This dangerous “doing your own research” nonsense has gone on far enough. It is sucking the air out of Sam Harris’s campaign for the Earth’ ultimate overlord.