Belief, Intention, and Thinking

Don Boudreaux has a great article on environmentalism. He points out that many “green initiatives” are based on unsupported beliefs, good intentions, and sloppy thinking. He is so right! Of course, it’s not just environmentalism that is tainted in this way. This blog is littered with examples of how schemes to help the poor actually harm them, plans to improve health care make it worse,  schemes to  keep us safe endanger us – it goes on and on. I sometimes complain that this is due to ignorance of economics, which is true, but more fundamentally it is a failure to think things through. The beauty of good intentions and naive belief is that you don’t have to spend all that time and energy thinking. I doubt that this is a new phenomenon. Human progress might have been greatly accelerated if so many of our ancestors weren’t enamored by faith and repelled by thinking. For better or worse, this is our legacy.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by evilsense on August 1, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    You are absolutely right. The problem is in people not thinking but rather accepting the “heroic” decisions. One can never say, a proper way might be counter-intuitive, after all one that “seems” right can be flawed many times.


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