Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Efficiency of Ideology

From my comment about a comment to a Volokh Conspiracy post:
Don't you ever face difficult decisions that could go either way, irrespectively of your conservative principles?
Not really. The purpose of having an ideology (or, say, a theology) instead of making everything up as one goes along is efficiency. Just as modern production techniques produce more goods for less labor than primitive pre-specialization and pre-trade economies, the adoption of an ideology saves the individual time and effort and allows one to have answers readily at hand even for questions one has never before encountered. The answers may not be perfect, but they'll be fast and "good enough" (if one's ideology or theology is good enough). There do continue to be problems "at the margins" but one is able to vastly reduce the amount of work one has to do.