Expertise as the mirror of experts

A problem with expertise as now understood is that it makes standards of objective rigor substitute for common sense, and it can’t nail down enough things to deal with the world or even most practical situations in a way that comes up to those standards. The result is that what’s proposed for our belief are presumptions based on the needs of expertise as a project rather than either rigorous knowledge or common sense:

  • The expert view of traditional standards and customs, sexual distinctions say, is that they’re irrational and unjust. That’s just another way of complaining that they pretend to authority even though they’re not put together by experts in accordance with professional standards. From the expert standpoint their justification becomes invisible because it’s based on other principles, so when they’re questioned it turns out there’s no acceptable argument for them.
  • The technological spirit tells us the world is a collection of neutral resources to be analyzed and taken hold of so we can achieve our purposes. With that in mind, it doesn’t really tell us much that the expert view of scripture is that it’s a collection of materials with no inner coherence or authority to be picked over and used for whatever purposes we happen to have, just as those who put it together picked over and assembled the materials available to them for their purposes. The view’s the precondition rather than conclusion of expert investigation.
  • Current evolutionary theory is that life is a result of a random mechanistic process. You can’t question that because if you question it you’ve abandoned science. But if that’s the reason does the theory really tell us anything about the world?

Leave a Comment