Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Is it Hopeless?

I need to stop reading comments posted on the Internet. Whenever I read them I get depressed because a number of problems become immediately obvious.

The biggest issue is either people just flat out don’t understand what they read or they’re not bothering to read before they post their comment. I am utterly amazed by the number of people that just totally misinterpret what is actually written.

The second issue is the number of people that think they know what they’re talking about but don’t. The number of misinformed people is scary.

The third issue is the certainty of so many of the statements. There is never any hint of any doubt or any openness to consider an alternative view. I never knew there were so many experts out there on so many issues. Experts that have neither training nor experience in the subject. They know better than the climatologists on the climate, better than the scientists on science and better than the economists on the economy.

Look, everyone is entitled to their opinion and they are free to find what anyone says unconvincing for any number of reasons. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking people who state, with absolute confidence, “facts” that are just flat out wrong.

Phrases like “I think,” “I believe,” and “I’m pretty sure” appear to be going the way of the Dodo bird. Everything today appears to be stated with absolute certainty. The funny thing is the more wrong they are, the more certain they are.

Now you know it’s coming, so let me state it right know. This is far more a problem with Conservatives than Liberals. Liberals have strong opinions, but they’re usually using accurate facts to arrive at those opinions. It’s been my experience that Conservatives often can’t tell the difference between fact and fantasy and now appear to have even stopped caring that there is a difference.

You go back 20 years and I can remember debating Christian Apologists. They looked at things differently that was for sure. While you were focusing on “probability,” they were happy with “possibility.” A biblical contradiction was “resolved” if they had a possible explanation. It didn’t matter how improbable it was as long as accepting it wasn’t irrational. As delusional as they may have been in their beliefs, they were invariable on solid ground when it came to facts.

Creationists were a little different. They had a habit of accepting as true anything that attacked evolution without ever bothering to check its validity. This is what led to PRATTs, Points Refuted a Thousand Times. Once a misconception got into the Creationist community it was almost impossible to eliminate it. Some Creationist proponents used this dishonestly by pitching to people things they knew were wrong, but suspected their audience didn’t know were wrong, and would be naively accepted at face value. But, the dishonest types aside, even Creationists would accept facts as facts if you presented enough evidence.

This new breed of political conservative, the Tea Party types, just don’t seem to care about what’s true and what isn’t. They’re going to believe what they want to believe regardless of whether it’s true or not. Providing them with evidence is a waste of time. They are capable of deluding themselves into thinking what they want to be true is in fact true. Reality is irrelevant if it contradicts what they want to be the case.

Homosexuality is a choice, Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya, Obama raised their taxes, there is no scientific consensus on global warming, scientists are abandoning the Theory of Evolution, the Affordable Health Care Law institutes Death Panels and Fox News doesn’t lie are examples of what conservatives KNOW to be true that are just flat out not true. Not only do they “know” these things are true, no matter how much evidence you present to the contrary, they’re apparently always going to “know” they’re true.

This is more than delusional, this is irrational. How do you come to a compromise with someone who is irrational?

It may very well be hopeless.

You’re looking for more examples? Let’s try Bryan Fischer’s pronouncement that it was Conservatives that led the march to black civil rights and Liberals that stood in the way and just about ANYTHING that David Barton says.

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