can%27t - an essay - MacLean Cant 1 Cant A Prelude to...

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MacLean – “Can’t” “Can’t” – A Prelude to Progress By John MacLean In today’s business world there are many gatekeepers whose incompetence sets them aside in staff jobs where they make a career of objecting to any new concept or project. They think of a multitude of, “fool’s” questions to obstruct progress and justify their existence. They achieve those positions because the person who promoted them to that level cannot admit their mistake. It is Peter’s Principle at work. Whenever they succeed in stopping something, they loudly proclaim how they prevented a wasting of resources. In science, their careers are marked by negativism and proclamations of why something is impossible or “Can’t” be done. They spend their time in safe investigations in the exploitation area and any innovation they accomplish is generally very incremental. One professor described such activity as defining the footprint of a fly. Some even have an organization dedicated to gatekeeping; CSI, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (formerly CSICOP, the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Cliams of the Paranormal). These self-styled “nannies” of our intellectual purity define paranormal, not only as its common idea of psychic phenomena, but also anything in any scientific pursuit that questions the conventional wisdom or current paradigms. Dave Leiter (2002) in an essay on these people found that most had experienced a failure of their faith based philosophy at some point in time in their personal history. Their careers only explore those subjects that are part of the conventional wisdom of established knowledge. Their focus is always on why something “Can’t” be done. Innovation is then rare because faith is the motivational driving force 1
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MacLean – “Can’t” for all action. The early 19 th century theologian, Joseph Smith (1842), commented on this, speaking of faith in this context thusly, “Are you not dependent on your faith or belief, for the acquisition of all knowledge, wisdom, and intelligence? Would you exert yourselves to obtain wisdom and intelligence, unless you did believe that you could obtain them?”(Lecture 1)
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can%27t - an essay - MacLean Cant 1 Cant A Prelude to...

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