Thursday, July 07, 2016

BRANDON SCHOLLENBERGER CORRECTS A COMMON ERROR

Brandon Shollenberger, re-posts (7 July) his comments from 2014 on his Blog, hi-Izuru,org (“Thougts on this insane world”) HERE 
“THE WAR ON SCIENCE, A BOOK FOR THOSE WHO ABUSE SCIENCE” 
“Thomas Jefferson’s trust in the well-informed voter lies at the heart of the modern democracy that has, over the course of two centuries, come to guide the world. Much like the “invisible hand” that guides Adam Smith’s economic marketplace, so too does the invisible hand of the people’s will guide the democratic process. Faith in this idea is so central to democracy that George Washington emphasized it in the nation’s first inaugural address. “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States,” he told a joint session of Congress gathered in Federal Hall, which stood kitty-corner to today’s New York Stock Exchange. ..
… To say I was surprised would be putting it mildly. There is nothing in this quote by George Washington which suggests the "invisible hand" he referred to is a reference to any "trust in the well-informed voter lies at the heart of the modern democracy." The only connection between the two items is Otto's claim this is what Washington was talking about - a claim that is a complete fabrication. …
… There has been much debate about just what George Washington's religious views were, but this quote's reference to "the invisible hand" clearly references "that Almighty Being," not some "invisible hand of the people’s will." Shawn Otto has simply fabricated this idea to falsely claim George Washington agrees with his views. There isn't the slightest basis for Otto's portrayal, and there is nothing he could have possibly based it upon.”
Comment

In George Washington’s world, the “invisible hand” was regularly used by religious preachers to refer to the hand of God. It had nothing to do with Adam Smith’s metaphoric use of “an invisible hand”.
Thank you Brandon Shollenberger for pointing this out in 2011 and in 2016.

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