Dr. Barry Fagin, Professor of Computer Science at the US Air Force Academy, gave a rousing morning lecture on skepticism and politics at Colorado Springs SkeptiCamp 2011 on August 27th. His presentation opened with a quote from an unknown Bush aide in a New York Times interview.
“…when we act, we create our own reality.”
He followed that with a 2008 quote from Barack Obama, then campaigning for presidency.
“Change we can believe in. I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring real change to Washington … I’m asking you to believe in yours.”
After establishing the nonpartisan phenomenon of faith in politics, Dr. Fagin explained that skeptics should be skeptical about all issues in the entire government and all of politics, not just promises made on the campaign trail. He pointed out the prevalence of belief based decision making in politics being used more than evidence based rhetoric and practices. His lecture progressed with arguments against both conservative and liberal social engineering based on faith when making domestic and foreign policy decisions.