I was told that 2 + 2 = 4 is merely a matter of opinion. I was told that Gödel showed mathematics could be inconsistent, so anything goes. (Actually, 2 + 2 = 4 is a theorem of Presburger arithmetic, which is arithmetic with addition and subtraction only, and Presburger arithmetic is, and has been proven to be, decidable, complete, and consistent.)
I’ve had this experience several times now. University faculties now teach that truth is whatever the consensus of the faculty says it is (this was made explicit is the Berkeley faculty handbook a few years ago). This idea that the ruling group of faculty can establish truth by authority, even over the truths of mathematics like 2 + 2 = 4, has a chilling Orwellian flavor.
George Orwell’s classic 1984 ends with the hero Winston, who believes that truth is something external to mankind and unalterable by any human agency, being tortured by O’Brien, the head of the ruling party’s secret police. In Orwell’s own words:
O’Brien held up his left hand, its back toward Winston, with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended.
“How many fingers am I holding up, Winston.”
“And if the Party says it is not four but five — then how many?”
The word ended in a gasp of pain [as O’Brien sent a strong electric current through Winston]. …
“How many fingers, Winston?”
“Four.” [Again O’Brien applied the current] …
“You are a slow learner, Winston,” said O’Brien gently.
“How can I help it?” he blubbered. “How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”
“Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once.”
The Party — the political class of the world — does not want God to exist. Therefore, if the laws of physics and the laws of mathematics say He does, then the laws of physics and the laws of mathematics must be changed to whatever the Party wants.
Therefore, God does not exist. He must not be mentioned, must not be prayed to in class.
The Party wants the Earth to be warming, so that its members can establish their power over every aspect of our lives. The Earth has not warmed in a decade, in fact it has gotten colder. But the Party says warmer, and further, says that the warming is due to human addition of CO2 to the atmosphere.
For years, as we have learned from Climategate, climate “scientists” have been fudging the data to obtain the result wanted by the Party. Today, following the decree of the Party, the EPA announces that the Earth is indeed getting warmer, and that indeed, CO2 is responsible for the warming.
God help us.