segunda-feira, 7 de março de 2011

Crenças e factos

Embora Hayek o tenha escrito num contexto em que os partidos conservadores europeus haviam capitulado ante o colectivismo do pós-guerra, em 1960, o poderoso post-scriptum a The Constitution of Liberty, intitulado "Why I Am Not a Conservative", continua a ser uma fonte de onde várias ilações podem ser retiradas, quer quanto ao caminho prosseguido pelos partidos conservadores, ao apropriarem-se do que comummente se designa por neo-liberalismo, quer quanto ao que conservadorismo e liberalismo devem compatibilizar para fazer frente ao socialismo. Não por acaso, uma e outra doutrina reclamam-se herdeiras dos mesmos autores (Hume, Burke, Tocqueville, Acton, Smith, p. ex.). A versão integral pode ser consultada aqui, deixando ficar à consideração dos preclaros leitores e leitoras esta passagem:

«Personally, I find that the most objectionable feature of the conservative attitude is its propensity to reject well-substantiated new knowledge because it dislikes some of the consequences which seem to follow from it - or, to put it bluntly, its obscurantism. I will not deny that scientists as much as others are given to fads and fashions and that we have much reason to be cautious in accepting the conclusions that they draw from their latest theories. But the reasons for our reluctance must themselves be rational and must be kept separate from our regret that the new theories upset our cherished beliefs. I can have little patience with those who oppose, for instance, the theory of evolution or what are called "mechanistic" explanations of the phenomena of life because of certain moral consequences which at first seem to follow from these theories, and still less with those who regard it as irrelevant or impious to ask certain questions at all. By refusing to face the facts, the conservative only weakens his own position. Frequently the conclusions which rationalist presumption draws from new scientific insights do not at all follow from them. But only by actively taking part in the elaboration of the consequences of new discoveries do we learn whether or not they fit into our world picture and, if so, how. Should our moral beliefs really prove to be dependent on factual assumptions shown to be incorrect, it would hardly be moral to defend them by refusing to acknowledge facts

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