Epistemology

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According to Peter Baker, reporting for the Washington Post, President Bush recently “raised the specter of World War III” over his issues with Iran. Further in the story, Baker says, “Although in the past [Bush] has said it is ‘unacceptable’ for Iran to possess a nuclear bomb, [he] said Wednesday that it is unacceptable for [Iran] to even know how to build a bomb.”

Epistemological terrorism is a novel concept: “Surrender, America! We have theoretical knowledge of thermonuclear destruction.” “Hand over all your money; I’ve got the concept of a gun.” I appreciate the president’s point: at a time when more foreign students can spell “nuclear war” than American students can, this unbridled stealing of American knowledge must stop.

Senators from the breadbasket states urge Bush to include knowledge of agriculture and how to feed oneself as further unacceptable knowledge in foreign hands. Plans are under- way to develop an Undersecretary of Prohibited Knowledge in the Department of Defense. Efforts are also ongoing to push the Vatican to add all books by Einstein to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum.

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