by Paul Niquette
Copyright 2003 Resource Books All rights reserved.

ideologer n. One who is free of "belief" -- quick to celebrate an idea but just as quick to embrace the evidence that refutes it.

Another neologism, sorry. It's merely what I aspire to, that's all.

Closest thing in the dictionary may be...

ideologist n. One who treats of ideas; one who theorizes or idealizes; one versed in the science of ideas, or who advocates the doctrines of ideology.
...for which I am not qualified.
Whereas I much enjoy theorizing and idealizing, and I may be a bit versed in the science of ideas, I do not go around advocating "doctrines of ideology."  That means surrendering to a tyranny called belief.
An idea is one thing, belief is quite another.  Once belief sets in, volition takes a hike.  Faced with evidence which contradicts his or her belief, the believer has three choices:
  1. Deny the Evidence
  2. Dismiss the Evidence
  3. Discredit the Evidence-Provider
1. Deny -- aw, come on, that evidence is full of errors, false.

2. Dismiss -- so what, even if the evidence is solid, it is unimportant, irrelevant.

3. Discredit -- never mind all that, the evidence comes from an incompetent source, a liar.

The first two choices logically trump the third...

  • Confronted with factual and relevant evidence of an unwelcome nature, a believer ought not withhold concession, even if the source is held in contempt.
  • Likewise, evidence proven either false or irrelevant is refutation enough, whatever the reputation of the source.
A fourth choice might be to abandon the belief, but -- hey, how likely is that?

By definition, an idealoger steers his or her thought-life toward ideas and away from beliefs (see dyskeptia).  There's plenty of volition in that.  Too bad there is not a word to describe it.

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