Sunday, February 12, 2012

The More I Think About It Old Billy Was Right...

I just finished reading economist and mathematician Steven Landburg's The Big Question, an interesting, if somewhat confusing examination of life's "big questions".  One interesting point he did bring up, which admittedly fit into my biases, is that lawyers are one of the few, if not the only professions where being intellectually dishonest is not only accepted, but required by their ethical code.  Think about it, if a scientist puts forward a hypothesis which is disproved by others, he is ethically required to change his hypothesis, that is the whole point of the scientific method.

You will never catch a lawyer, on the other hand, saying "You honor, I change my mind, the defense witness has my client dead to rights.  There is no question he did it."  He is legally and ethically required to keep promoting his defense, whether the evidence supports him or not.

This is not to say that this is bad, or that lawyers are inherently evil.  I have friends who are lawyers, and they are good decent people, but that they represent a unique position among our professions, one that is required to be dishonest.  Maybe this is why so may politicians are lawyers?  Over half of the current Senate for example.

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