REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

Education makes Conservatives MORE extreme

POSTED BY: KPO
UPDATED: Friday, March 16, 2012 19:51
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Monday, March 12, 2012 9:29 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


This is an interesting article, that cites studies showing that better-educated Republicans actually take more extreme positions than less-educated ones. The article talks mainly on the opposition to the science on climate change, but also points to positions like the belief in death panels, or Obama being muslim.

With liberals the opposite effect is observed: education makes them more in line with what the scientists say (the topic of nuclear power was looked at for liberals, something they're culturally biassed against).

http://www.alternet.org/story/154252/the_republican_brain%3A_why_even_
educated_conservatives_deny_science_--_and_reality/?page=entire


Quote:

I can still remember when I first realized how naïve I was in thinking—hoping—that laying out the “facts” would suffice to change politicized minds, and especially Republican ones. It was a typically wonkish, liberal revelation: One based on statistics and data. Only this time, the data were showing, rather awkwardly, that people ignore data and evidence—and often, knowledge and education only make the problem worse.

Someone had sent me a 2008 Pew report documenting the intense partisan divide in the U.S. over the reality of global warming.. It’s a divide that, maddeningly for scientists, has shown a paradoxical tendency to widen even as the basic facts about global warming have become more firmly established.

Those facts are these: Humans, since the industrial revolution, have been burning more and more fossil fuels to power their societies, and this has led to a steady accumulation of greenhouse gases, and especially carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere. At this point, very simple physics takes over, and you are pretty much doomed, by what scientists refer to as the “radiative” properties of carbon dioxide molecules (which trap infrared heat radiation that would otherwise escape to space), to have a warming planet. Since about 1995, scientists have not only confirmed that this warming is taking place, but have also grown confident that it has, like the gun in a murder mystery, our fingerprint on it. Natural fluctuations, although they exist, can’t explain what we’re seeing. The only reasonable verdict is that humans did it, in the atmosphere, with their cars and their smokestacks.

Such is what is known to science--what is true (no matter what Rick Santorum might say). But the Pew data showed that humans aren’t as predictable as carbon dioxide molecules. Despite a growing scientific consensus about global warming, as of 2008 Democrats and Republicans had cleaved over the facts stated above, like a divorcing couple. One side bought into them, one side didn’t—and if anything, knowledge and intelligence seemed to be worsening matters.

Buried in the Pew report was a little chart showing the relationship between one’s political party affiliation, one’s acceptance that humans are causing global warming, and one’s level of education. And here’s the mind-blowing surprise: For Republicans, having a college degree didn’t appear to make one any more open to what scientists have to say. On the contrary, better-educated Republicans were more skeptical of modern climate science than their less educated brethren. Only 19 percent of college-educated Republicans agreed that the planet is warming due to human actions, versus 31 percent of non-college-educated Republicans.

For Democrats and Independents, the opposite was the case. More education correlated with being more accepting of climate science—among Democrats, dramatically so. The difference in acceptance between more and less educated Democrats was 23 percentage points.

This was my first encounter with what I now like to call the “smart idiots” effect: The fact that politically sophisticated or knowledgeable people are often more biased, and less persuadable, than the ignorant. It’s a reality that generates endless frustration for many scientists—and indeed, for many well-educated, reasonable people.

And most of all, for many liberals.

Let’s face it: We liberals and progressives are absolutely outraged by partisan misinformation. Lies about “death panels.” People seriously thinking that President Obama is a Muslim, not born in the United States. Climate-change denial. Debt ceiling denial. These things drive us crazy, in large part because we can’t comprehend how such intellectual abominations could possibly exist.

And not only are we enraged by lies and misinformation; we want to refute them—to argue, argue, argue about why we’re right and Republicans are wrong. Indeed, we often act as though right-wing misinformation’s defeat is nigh, if we could only make people wiser and more educated (just like us) and get them the medicine that is correct information.

No less than President Obama’s science adviser John Holdren (a man whom I greatly admire, but disagree with in this instance) has stated, when asked how to get Republicans in Congress to accept our mainstream scientific understanding of climate change, that it’s an “education problem.”

But the facts, the scientific data, say otherwise.

Indeed, the rapidly growing social scientific literature on the resistance to global warming (see for examples here and here) says so pretty unequivocally. Again and again, Republicans or conservatives who say they know more about the topic, or are more educated, are shown to be more in denial, and often more sure of themselves as well—and are confident they don’t need any more information on the issue.

Tea Party members appear to be the worst of all. In a recent survey by Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, they rejected the science of global warming even more strongly than average Republicans did. For instance, considerably more Tea Party members than Republicans incorrectly thought there was a lot of scientific disagreement about global warming (69 percent to 56 percent). Most strikingly, the Tea Party members were very sure of themselves—they considered themselves “very well-informed” about global warming and were more likely than other groups to say they “do not need any more information” to make up their minds on the issue.

But it’s not just global warming where the “smart idiot” effect occurs. It also emerges on nonscientific but factually contested issues, like the claim that President Obama is a Muslim. Belief in this falsehood actually increased more among better-educated Republicans from 2009 to 2010 than it did among less-educated Republicans, according to research by George Washington University political scientist John Sides.

The same effect has also been captured in relation to the myth that the healthcare reform bill empowered government “death panels.” According to research by Dartmouth political scientist Brendan Nyhan, Republicans who thought they knew more about the Obama healthcare plan were “paradoxically more likely to endorse the misperception than those who did not.” Well-informed Democrats were the opposite—quite certain there were no “death panels” in the bill.

The Democrats also happened to be right, by the way.

The idealistic, liberal, Enlightenment notion that knowledge will save us, or unite us, was even put to a scientific test last year—and it failed badly.

Yale researcher Dan Kahan and his colleagues set out to study the relationship between political views, scientific knowledge or reasoning abilities, and opinions on contested scientific issues like global warming. In their study, more than 1,500 randomly selected Americans were asked about their political worldviews and their opinions about how dangerous global warming and nuclear power are. But that’s not all: They were also asked standard questions to determine their degree of scientific literacy (e.g, “Antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria—true or false?”) as well as their numeracy or capacity for mathematical reasoning (e.g., “If Person A’s chance of getting a disease is 1 in 100 in 10 years, and person B’s risk is double that of A, what is B’s risk?”).

The result was stunning and alarming. The standard view that knowing more science, or being better at mathematical reasoning, ought to make you more accepting of mainstream climate science simply crashed and burned.

Instead, here was the result. If you were already part of a cultural group predisposed to distrust climate science—e.g., a political conservative or “hierarchical-individualist”—then more science knowledge and more skill in mathematical reasoning tended to make you even more dismissive. Precisely the opposite happened with the other group—“egalitarian-communitarians” or liberals—who tended to worry more as they knew more science and math. The result was that, overall, more scientific literacy and mathematical ability led to greater political polarization over climate change—which, of course, is precisely what we see in the polls.

So much for education serving as an antidote to politically biased reasoning.

What accounts for the “smart idiot” effect?

For one thing, well-informed or well-educated conservatives probably consume more conservative news and opinion, such as by watching Fox News. Thus, they are more likely to know what they’re supposed to think about the issues—what people like them think—and to be familiar with the arguments or reasons for holding these views. If challenged, they can then recall and reiterate these arguments. They’ve made them a part of their identities, a part of their brains, and in doing so, they’ve drawn a strong emotional connection between certain “facts” or claims, and their deeply held political values. And they’re ready to argue.

What this suggests, critically, is that sophisticated conservatives may be very different from unsophisticated or less-informed ones. Paradoxically, we would expect less informed conservatives to be easier to persuade, and more responsive to new and challenging information.

In fact, there is even research suggesting that the most rigid and inflexible breed of conservatives—so-called authoritarians—do not really become their ideological selves until they actually learn something about politics first. A kind of “authoritarian activation” needs to occur, and it happens through the development of political “expertise.” Consuming a lot of political information seems to help authoritarians feel who they are—whereupon they become more accepting of inequality, more dogmatically traditionalist, and more resistant to change.

So now the big question: Are liberals also “smart idiots”?

There’s no doubt that more knowledge—or more political engagement—can produce more bias on either side of the aisle. That’s because it forges a stronger bond between our emotions and identities on the one hand, and a particular body of facts on the other.

But there are also reason to think that, with liberals, there is something else going on. Liberals, to quote George Lakoff, subscribe to a view that might be dubbed “Old Enlightenment reason.” They really do seem to like facts; it seems to be part of who they are. And fascinatingly, in Kahan’s study liberals did not act like smart idiots when the question posed was about the safety of nuclear power.

Nuclear power is a classic test case for liberal biases—kind of the flipside of the global warming issue--for the following reason. It’s well known that liberals tend to start out distrustful of nuclear energy: There’s a long history of this on the left. But this impulse puts them at odds with the views of the scientific community on the matter (scientists tend to think nuclear power risks are overblown, especially in light of the dangers of other energy sources, like coal).

So are liberals “smart idiots” on nukes? Not in Kahan’s study. As members of the “egalitarian communitarian” group in the study—people with more liberal values--knew more science and math, they did not become more worried, overall, about the risks of nuclear power. Rather, they moved in the opposite direction from where these initial impulses would have taken them. They become less worried—and, I might add, closer to the opinion of the scientific community on the matter.

You may or may not support nuclear power personally, but let’s face it: This is not the “smart idiot” effect. It looks a lot more like open-mindedness.

What does all of this mean?

First, these findings are just one small slice an emerging body of science on liberal and conservative psychological differences, which I discuss in detail in my forthcoming book. An overall result is definitely that liberals tend to be more flexible and open to new ideas—so that’s a possible factor lying behind these data. In fact, recent evidence suggests that wanting to explore the world and try new things, as opposed to viewing the world as threatening, may subtly push people towards liberal ideologies (and vice versa).

Politically and strategically, meanwhile, the evidence presented here leaves liberals and progressives in a rather awkward situation. We like evidence—but evidence also suggests that politics doesn’t work in the way we want it to work, or think it should. We may be the children of the Enlightenment—convinced that you need good facts to make good policies—but that doesn’t mean this is equally true for all of humanity, or that it is as true of our political opponents as it is of us.

Nevertheless, this knowledge ought to be welcomed, for it offers a learning opportunity and, frankly, a better way of understanding politics and our opponents alike. For instance, it can help us see through the scientific-sounding arguments of someone like Rick Santorum, who has been talking a lot about climate science lately—if only in order to bash it.

On global warming, Santorum definitely has an argument, and he has “facts” to cite. And he is obviously intelligent and capable—but not, apparently, able to see past his ideological biases. Santorum’s argument ultimately comes down to a dismissal of climate science and climate scientists, and even the embrace of a conspiracy theory, one in which the scientists of the world are conspiring to subvert economic growth (yeah, right).

Viewing all this as an ideologically defensive maneuver not only explains a lot, it helps us realize that refuting Santorum probably serves little purpose. He’d just come up with another argument and response, probably even cleverer than the last, and certainly just as appealing to his audience. We’d be much better concentrating our energies elsewhere, where people are more persuadable.

A more scientific understanding of persuasion, then, should not be seen as threatening. It’s actually an opportunity to do better—to be more effective and politically successful.

Indeed, if we believe in evidence then we should also welcome the evidence showing its limited power to persuade--especially in politicized areas where deep emotions are involved. Before you start off your next argument with a fact, then, first think about what the facts say about that strategy. If you’re a liberal who is emotionally wedded to the idea that rationality wins the day—well, then, it’s high time to listen to reason.



It's not personal. It's just war.

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Monday, March 12, 2012 9:35 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important




Hello,

I would think that anyone who held any position might find information in the process of learning that might support their position. If I remember my debate class correctly, the debate was not held for identifying truth. It was held for creating a believable argument for whatever 'truth' you were assigned. Even truths you might not agree with.

How much easier for anyone with a position they believe in to find evidence and arguments to support it?


--Anthony

_______________________________________________

Note to self: Mr. Raptor believes that women who want to control their reproductive processes are sluts.

Reference thread: http://fireflyfans.net/mthread.asp?b=18&t=51196

Never forget what this man is. You keep forgiving him his trespasses and speak to him as though he is a reasonable human being. You keep forgetting the things he's advocated. If you respond to this man again, you are being foolish.

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Monday, March 12, 2012 9:49 AM

KPO

"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."


That's pretty much my explanation. I think more learned, science-literate Conservatives are more likely to go trawling the internet for right-wing literature on topics such as AGW, intelligent design, abstinence education, racial science... etc.

But the opposite effect is observed with liberals, who converge with scientific opinion as they get more educated. Perhaps this is more of a commentary on the liberal mind?

It's not personal. It's just war.

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Monday, March 12, 2012 9:56 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

I'm not sure that the opposite is true of liberals. The 'litmus test' used, Nuclear power, may not have been a very good one.

What they really need to do is survey these people before they arrive in college and survey them again when they leave.

Science-minded liberals might have gone into college already having some sympathy in their hearts for nuclear power.

--Anthony

_______________________________________________

Note to self: Mr. Raptor believes that women who want to control their reproductive processes are sluts.

Reference thread: http://fireflyfans.net/mthread.asp?b=18&t=51196

Never forget what this man is. You keep forgiving him his trespasses and speak to him as though he is a reasonable human being. You keep forgetting the things he's advocated. If you respond to this man again, you are being foolish.

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Monday, March 12, 2012 10:00 AM

BYTEMITE


kpo: I'm actually not sure I'd agree with that. Some of the left-wing educated ideas might be more in line with science, but you're comparing science to politics. From what I've seen, politics tends to become more extreme on both sides the more people find similarly intelligent people to draw them more left or right.

Exactly in what way they become extreme is up for debate. Me, I'm pretty extreme in my dislike for the corruption seen in pretty much every macro-scale existing government. Someone else might see a wide-reaching government as the only way to meet the needs and rights of the people. Still someone else might think that the existing system of government ought to be established everywhere else, sometimes by military force; or that we should base our code of law more on religious morality; or that corporate rights should take priority over individual rights because a corporation is just made up of a lot of individuals.

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Monday, March 12, 2012 10:03 AM

1KIKI

Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson


I know I've referenced it already, but there was a 2010 Boston Globe article "How facts backfire" http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/how_facts_
backfire
/ that was the first indication I came across that said pretty much the same thing. (Which btw indicated to me that not only is it useless to argue with little Rappy, it actually makes him worse.)

People like him (or, if I were to use conservative phraseology 'of his ilk') get a brain-shot of dopamine every time they concoct a rationalization as to why they are right and the other side is wrong. I think that's why little Rappy comes here - not to discuss the issues, not to convert the heathen, but to get his crack, no matter what the dealer. Whether it's how all 'The Muslim' is evil, how global warming is naturally caused, how Iraq really DID have WMD, how 95% of 'them' - later rescinded and changed to 'people' - don't pay taxes, and any number of demonstrably false, and laughable truthinesses. We have our own real-life example right here.

In any case, studies indicate that liberals are more comfortable with ambiguity than independents, and independents more so than conservatives. Perhaps how that plays out mentally is that conservatives hew to simple, unchangeable truthiness, while liberals are more accepting of facts, which are often complicated, incomplete, and subject to revision as more data comes in - ie, ambiguous.

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Monday, March 12, 2012 10:13 AM

1KIKI

Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson


"The 'litmus test' used, Nuclear power, may not have been a very good one."

There may be a pre- and post-Fukushima effect as well, which highlights un-addressed problems like nuclear waste and that low-probability events do happen.

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Monday, March 12, 2012 10:36 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Yeah, Kiki, I immediately was reminded of that article you put up, too. And I also think using nuclear energy is a bad choice, when making these distinctions.

In my opinion, the anti-intellectual, anti-education, anti-science attitude has a lot to do with how conservatives view global warming...if you're anti-science and education, it would be logical to only accept the "facts" which bolster your own opinions. On the other hand, liberals tend to be pro-education and pro-science, so maybe that is part of the explanation. I dunno, but it would be interesting to find out if this was true if the example used for liberals was something other than nuclear power.

I'm tempted to think of Mike's sig, given the difference between "ignorant" and "stupid"...

But then, we all know I'm biased.



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Monday, March 12, 2012 12:00 PM

OONJERAH



Did y'all just say that Liberals are more open and flexible than Conservatives?
Possibly more objective, honest?



             

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Monday, March 12, 2012 2:16 PM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Nah...surely not!



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Monday, March 12, 2012 2:50 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


What some people fear more than anything is uncertainty. So they absorb one or two ideas and cling to them for dear life, getting regular injections of compatible views.

In other words, the difference between "science" and "religion".

The way I see it, religion is for wimps who can't handle the truth.

And since they're so militant about their beliefs they assume that OTHERS are "the sheep" and they are (somehow) the ""leaders". heh. Sheep, thinking they are leaders when all they're doing is following.

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Monday, March 12, 2012 3:38 PM

1KIKI

Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson


"What some people fear more than anything is uncertainty." Or, discomfort with ambiguity.

Wouldn't it be funny - in a very ironic sort of humor - if all of today's politics came down to some people not being able to tolerate uncertainty? All that elaboration and rationalization of all that froth and spittle and noise and division, just to create an illusion of certainty ...

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Monday, March 12, 2012 3:42 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Quote:

The way I see it, religion is for wimps who can't handle the truth.

And since they're so militant about their beliefs they assume that OTHERS are "the sheep" and they are (somehow) the ""leaders". heh. Sheep, thinking they are leaders when all they're doing is following.



Hello,

Whoa, now. Mark me down for 'I object.'

--Anthony


_______________________________________________

Note to self: Mr. Raptor believes that women who want to control their reproductive processes are sluts.

Reference thread: http://fireflyfans.net/mthread.asp?b=18&t=51196

Never forget what this man is. You keep forgiving him his trespasses and speak to him as though he is a reasonable human being. You keep forgetting the things he's advocated. If you respond to this man again, you are being foolish.

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Monday, March 12, 2012 4:59 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
What some people fear more than anything is uncertainty. So they absorb one or two ideas and cling to them for dear life, getting regular injections of compatible views.

In other words, the difference between "science" and "religion".

The way I see it, religion is for wimps who can't handle the truth.

And since they're so militant about their beliefs they assume that OTHERS are "the sheep" and they are (somehow) the ""leaders". heh. Sheep, thinking they are leaders when all they're doing is following.



^ This. Religion seems to be wonderful for people who have simply decided they want to stop thinking and learning. The old bumper sticker reads 'God said it. I believe it. That settles it." And that's just about the gist of it for some of these folks.

"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservatives." - John Stuart Mill

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Monday, March 12, 2012 6:35 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


I met this mean and nasty woman, she sometimes comes to Browncoats group, her name is Emily (in case she's reading yes Emily I'm talking about _you). Me ERica (a pagan) and her (an atheist) were talking casually about religeon on the back porch and she said "Well I wanted to believe in something I really did, ... until I went to college". I wanted to smack her, like apparently I didn't get what I was "supposed" to get out of college. Her smug attitude was enough to turn me off and I've never been interested in being her friend since. Hautiness doesn't become her.

My dad likes to blame PSU for the fact that I'm not as conservative as he is. I don't really understand this because I don't think my university experience really affected my political and social leanings much. My life experience and the people I know and their life experiences are what help shape my views of the world.

So you know what's hy-larious? Is how liberals claim they are all open minded and stuff, and then they make blanket statements like Signe says a la religeon is for whimps. That doesn't sound very open minded to me, or anyone else who's watching objectively.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Monday, March 12, 2012 7:50 PM

OONJERAH



        I have no use for religion. Faith, OTOH, can be marvelous!


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Monday, March 12, 2012 10:56 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Tony, I value knowledge above everything except loyalty to my family and service to humanity.*

Over the years, I've learned that the best gift you can grant your fellow human being is to find, challenge, and dispel assumptions.

Why do I think that? Because the universe doesn't care about our fears and it doesn't run according to our hopes, and it doesn't wait for our brains to catch up with what's happening. As a matter of sheer survival, it might be a good idea to set aside our prejudices and preferences and gain the clearest possible view of everything around us, and ourselves. And we are critically lacking in learning about ourselves: not as we would LIKE to see ourselves (saviors, freedom fighters, capitalists, or whatever self-indulgent fantasies we choose for ourselves) but how we function and fail to function, individually and collectively as we really are. We really don't need more information on how to split the atom or decode DNA, we have all the technology we need to survive and thrive, but where we really lack is understanding ourselves because right now, WE are our own biggest problem. All of this clusterfuck we're in??? WE created it. Us. Our own doing, our own hand.

That is why I find ppl like rappy and other religious people to be a waste of oxygen. They cling to the apron strings of TPTB, hoping that mommy and daddy will figure everything out and absolving themselves of the responsibility of being real, thinking human beings.

Knowledge isn't easy. It requires that you set aside emotions and divorce hopes and fears, and you may find yourself fundamentally changing your mind- as I have- many times over the course of a lifetime, but that is what learning is about.



*Or maybe a great steak, strawberries and cream, and a single malt scotch.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 3:37 AM

CAVETROLL


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
...Religion seems to be wonderful for people who have simply decided they want to stop thinking and learning. The old bumper sticker reads 'God said it. I believe it. That settles it." And that's just about the gist of it for some of these folks.



Let's not forget the thousands of years of man's editing of God's word. I'm very mindful of that.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 3:49 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


So just for fun, I searched for "The Democrat Brain", as opposed to the "The Republican Brain" title of the article cited.

First hit.



http://thepeoplescube.com/current-truth/the-socialist-brain-of-a-liber
al-democrat-t511.html


"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:45 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Quote:


That is why I find ppl like rappy and other religious people to be a waste of oxygen.



Hello,

Me too, I guess. I still like my oxygen, though, if you don't mind.

--Anthony



_______________________________________________

Note to self: Mr. Raptor believes that women who want to control their reproductive processes are sluts.

Reference thread: http://fireflyfans.net/mthread.asp?b=18&t=51196

Never forget what this man is. You keep forgiving him his trespasses and speak to him as though he is a reasonable human being. You keep forgetting the things he's advocated. If you respond to this man again, you are being foolish.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:54 AM

FIVVER


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
So just for fun, I searched for "The Democrat Brain", as opposed to the "The Republican Brain" title of the article cited.

First hit.



http://thepeoplescube.com/current-truth/the-socialist-brain-of-a-liber
al-democrat-t511.html


"Keep the Shiny side up"



Nice map but I'm surprised it left out the 'Synthetic Outrage Center'. That's the part of the liberal brain (sic) that allows them to shrilly cry that any conservative who does something wrong needs to be fired, shot, lynched, etc. while going to great lengths to ignore or justify like behavior in any lefty. Ex: Any thread started by Niki2.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 5:19 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
What some people fear more than anything is uncertainty. So they absorb one or two ideas and cling to them for dear life, getting regular injections of compatible views.

In other words, the difference between "science" and "religion".

The way I see it, religion is for wimps who can't handle the truth.

And since they're so militant about their beliefs they assume that OTHERS are "the sheep" and they are (somehow) the ""leaders". heh. Sheep, thinking they are leaders when all they're doing is following.



I think this might be a bit broad of a generalization - but one with a pretty hefty kernel of truth to it.

Note to self: Come up with some pity-baiting sig line so everyone sees how persecuted poor wittle me is. Then I can be just like Rappy!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 5:22 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
So just for fun, I searched for "The Democrat Brain", as opposed to the "The Republican Brain" title of the article cited.

First hit.



http://thepeoplescube.com/current-truth/the-socialist-brain-of-a-liber
al-democrat-t511.html


"Keep the Shiny side up"



Hmm, the discussion concerning the "Republican Brain".... relies on research...


The "discussion" of the "Democrat Brain" relies on.... a cartoon and typical talking points.

I don't think you meant to illustrate the point of the thread, but you did anyway.


Note to self: Come up with some pity-baiting sig line so everyone sees how persecuted poor wittle me is. Then I can be just like Rappy!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 5:25 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by fivver:
[BNice map but I'm surprised it left out the 'Synthetic Outrage Center'. That's the part of the liberal brain (sic) that allows them to shrilly cry that any conservative who does something wrong needs to be fired, shot, lynched, etc. while going to great lengths to ignore or justify like behavior in any lefty. Ex: Any thread started by Niki2.



So, conservatives don't pull the same routine? Shall we list all the trumped up outrages over non-issues??

Oh, and, hi Rappy.



Note to self: Come up with some pity-baiting sig line so everyone sees how persecuted poor wittle me is. Then I can be just like Rappy!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:19 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
So just for fun, I searched for "The Democrat Brain", as opposed to the "The Republican Brain" title of the article cited.

First hit.



http://thepeoplescube.com/current-truth/the-socialist-brain-of-a-liber
al-democrat-t511.html


"Keep the Shiny side up"



Hmm, the discussion concerning the "Republican Brain".... relies on research...


The "discussion" of the "Democrat Brain" relies on.... a cartoon and typical talking points.

I don't think you meant to illustrate the point of the thread, but you did anyway.



Well, at least they appear to have gotten the miniscule "Sense of Humor Cell" right. And its location in the "Smarter Than Thou Tumor" seems correct as well.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:29 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
That is why I find ppl like rappy and other religious people to be a waste of oxygen.



Auraptor has stated several times that he's an atheist.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:35 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Yup, Story. Anyone can play that game, all it takes is a computer, one finger and Google:


Quote:

Hmm, the discussion concerning the "Republican Brain".... relies on research...

The "discussion" of the "Democrat Brain" relies on.... a cartoon and typical talking points

You nailed it. I don't think it illustrates the issue of the thread, but it definitely indicates what was said by Riona about generalizations.

Hi Raptor.




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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:48 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by Niki2:
You nailed it. I don't think it illustrates the issue of the thread, but it definitely indicates what was said by Riona about generalizations.



Um. Niki, you do realize that Rionaeire's comment about 'generalizations' was aimed at liberals, right?

"So you know what's hy-larious? Is how liberals claim they are all open minded and stuff, and then they make blanket statements like Signe says a la religeon is for whimps. That doesn't sound very open minded to me, or anyone else who's watching objectively."


"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 7:26 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Signe says a la religeon is for whimps. That doesn't sound very open minded to me, or anyone else who's watching objectively
GEEZER and RIONA dear, open minded doesn't mean having your brains fall out, and it doesn't mean answering Don't know to any question that requires an idea. In order to be open minded, one must have a mind and be able to use it. I'll more than gladly listen to your ideas and judge them on their merits (if any). But if you have a countervailing opinion, you have better be ready to bring facts and logic to the table, and discuss the idea on its merits.

So, if you think religion ISN'T for wimps who can't handle the truth, why don't you start out by showing me that religion has anything real and verifiable to say to its practitioners? Esp, yanno, the parts about creationism and invisible friends watching over us?

Quote:

Auraptor has stated several times that he's an atheist.
Rappy has a faith-based belief in capitalism. His god is money and his ethics are greed.

Here's an example of assumptions. Many years ago, I was puzzling over the Egyptian pyramids. Now THERE was a lot of wasted labor! And for what? SO the pharaoh could live a comfortable afterlife (made up idea) with a bunch of gods (entirely made up)? Egyptians were notoriously badly nourished, they would have ALL been better off building more canals to create forage for animals so they could eat some high-quality protein once in a while instead of eating bread, bread, and more bread... and suffering nutritional deficiencies in the meantime. The same could be said for the great cathedrals of Europe. Seriously, dudes, go gather some more hay for the winter... you might live longer! So I mentioned this to a friend and HE said... "What's so strange about that? We do that even today?" and I looked at him, puzzled... and he said.... "What about our belief in capitalism? How many lives have been blighted because of our belief in money, how many people have died because of our belief in profits?" Yanno, I was gobsmacked. Here we have belief in a system which has no more foundation in reality than the Egyptian pantheon. People are being crushed beneath its wheels for some better future which just never, yanno, actually shows up for most. It was operating around me all the time but I never saw it.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 7:46 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Tony, unlike some people around here, you actually use your brain as something other than a filing cabinet for right-wing or religious soundbites. I suspect religion for you is more about ethics.

Anyway, the question for the folks here is: How willing and able are you to adopt an idea that runs counter to something you believe in, if presented with compelling information?

I'm not suggesting that you just dump your current ideas and embrace the next distasteful concept that comes along. Everybody has to parse the world with a shitscreen in-place. But when presented with comprehensive, compelling data and a logic which ties together cause and effect, solid explanations of past events and maybe even some good predictions, would you be willing to adopt that train of thought, even if it conflicted with other things you knew or believed?

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8:12 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Yes, Geezer, I know that...and my point at the time was that SHE was making generalizations by saying it was "hy-larious" that "liberals claim..." Complaining about "blanket statements" while making a blanket statement is prety hy-larious, see? This is another example of exactly that. Sorry you didn't get it.

And like Story, when we traveled through Europe, tho' I thought they were magnificent and I can see SOME reasons for them to exist historically, at the time I was reminded of the immense wealth of the Catholic Church and how it was squandered, like the Egyptians, on monuments to glorify something or other while the people "God" supposedly wanted them to love were brutalized and starved by those very monuments. It's another reason I hate ORGANIZED religion. Every time humans get together to worship anything, everything goes to shit for the people.



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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 9:21 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

But when presented with comprehensive, compelling data and a logic which ties together cause and effect, solid explanations of past events and maybe even some good predictions, would you be willing to adopt that train of thought, even if it conflicted with other things you knew or believed?


How about rephrasing that question: At what point in the past -if ever- did you fundamentally change your mind about something?

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 9:59 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Hmmm... lotta inflexible people around here, huh?

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:20 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


Hi Signe. I think it would depend on the thing and its implications.

Never really considered myself a whimp. I'm actually one tough rutter. Every day because it never ends, there's no way out.

Yeah Niki that was a generalization, but I never claimed to be open minded unlike some, so its not quite as hyppocritical for me to make closed minded generalizations that are based on my experience. Its certainly not true of all liberals, but I see it often. Maybe its a Portland thing.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:43 PM

1KIKI

Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson


"As a matter of sheer survival, it might be a good idea to set aside our prejudices and preferences and gain the clearest possible view of everything around us, and ourselves."

The strange thing is, it's so easy to see when it's another culture. Mayans - sacrifice more people. Egyptians - build more pyramids. Norse Greenlanders - keep more cows. Easter Islanders - cut more trees. Boy were they stupid.

Meanwhile, we keep running at that cliff and calling it right and good.

As I recall the book Collapse, unfortunately the societies that survived did so b/c the leader literally ordered a change of course. I don't recall any instance of bottom-up change for survival.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:45 PM

1KIKI

Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson


"Well, at least they appear to have gotten the miniscule (sic) "Sense of Humor Cell" right."

It was just a joke. Can't you take a joke? The excuse of bullies everywhere. Thanks for reminding me what you are.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:52 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Quote:

At what point in the past -if ever- did you fundamentally change your mind about something?


Hello,

Does moving from Libertarian Right to Libertarian Center count? The idea of people dying unnecessarily was bothering me.

I also changed my support for war in general and our wars in specific.

When I was much younger, I used to think torture was an acceptable means of getting information from your enemies.

There's other things. A lot of them.

You grab hold of the 'hoorah' element of something when it's offered you. Then you look at it and realize it's not something to be proud of. That pretty much sums up a lot of my belief shifts.

The ability to mentally insert myself in other people's shoes has really helped me to make better assessment of my values.

--Anthony



_______________________________________________

Note to self: Mr. Raptor believes that women who want to control their reproductive processes are sluts.

Reference thread: http://fireflyfans.net/mthread.asp?b=18&t=51196

Never forget what this man is. You keep forgiving him his trespasses and speak to him as though he is a reasonable human being. You keep forgetting the things he's advocated. If you respond to this man again, you are being foolish.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 5:07 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
Quote:

Originally posted by Niki2:
You nailed it. I don't think it illustrates the issue of the thread, but it definitely indicates what was said by Riona about generalizations.



Um. Niki, you do realize that Rionaeire's comment about 'generalizations' was aimed at liberals, right?

"So you know what's hy-larious? Is how liberals claim they are all open minded and stuff, and then they make blanket statements like Signe says a la religeon is for whimps. That doesn't sound very open minded to me, or anyone else who's watching objectively."


"Keep the Shiny side up"




And you DO realize that Riona's statement itself is a sweeping generalization, right? She just made a sweeping statement about ALL liberals, and how they "claim they are ALL open minded and stuff."



"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservatives." - John Stuart Mill

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 5:38 PM

1KIKI

Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson


AnthonyT This is just sheer nosiness - but, if you didn't have religion - no sense of a universal right and wrong, no belief in the eternal, no sense that your personal efforts would be specifically recognized at some point in the future - would you still follow your ethics?

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 5:47 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
AnthonyT This is just sheer nosiness - but, if you didn't have religion - no sense of a universal right and wrong, no belief in the eternal, no sense that your personal efforts would be specifically recognized at some point in the future - would you still follow your ethics?



Hello,

Of course.

I've had to disregard vast sections of the Bible in order to maintain my ethical standards, for instance. (Not to mention disregarding vast tracts as written merely to consider friendship with God a possibility.)

I have a very good screening process for Christian teachings: If I can't reconcile behavior X with a just God, I consider the information flawed until God informs me otherwise.

I presume that if it is in God's interest to do so, he will eventually tell me where I've gone astray.

Ethics are the keystone to my religious philosophy because I operate from the premise of an ethical God. Or at least one that isn't actively unethical.

I hope I'm making the right guesses about what God wants, because I'd like to live with him in harmony someday. Meanwhile, I must make decisions that allow me to live with myself.

--Anthony



_______________________________________________

Note to self: Mr. Raptor believes that women who want to control their reproductive processes are sluts.

Reference thread: http://fireflyfans.net/mthread.asp?b=18&t=51196

Never forget what this man is. You keep forgiving him his trespasses and speak to him as though he is a reasonable human being. You keep forgetting the things he's advocated. If you respond to this man again, you are being foolish.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 5:49 PM

OONJERAH


Signym's question: At what point in the past -if ever- did you fundamentally change your mind about something?

"Reality Changes" thread, Oonjerah: "I was always so pround and grateful to be an American. We were noble
and brave; we always wore the white hat." We might even be able to save the world.  

It was early 1964; I was 21. I met angry Jane; to her, every Bob Dylan song was the gospel & she hated
TPTB in America. She started off telling me just ludicrous things, such as America caused both WWI and
WWII. So I never bothered to listen to her politics. I had no background in politics, no opinions, no
interest, no time for it. I was busy trying to become a self-sufficient adult. I was just a little, peasant
girl trying to become a peasant woman.
    Perhaps I believed that all governments were inherently corrupt, because people complained about
politicians all the time. Yet I felt that Americans the people were truly good; & the American government
had almost always done the right thing and would continue to do so.

    John Kennedy died November 22, 1963 = a tragedy. Bobby Kennedy died June 5, 1968 = a conspiracy.
"This is not a coincidence! They killed both of them!
I didn't know who done it or why, just America was killing itself, killing its ideals. I don't say this as
a big Kennedy fan; I wasn't, never knew much about them. I say this as an opponent of assassinations
in a democracy, My Democracy.

    Dwight Eisenhower was for sure a white hat hero. So as cynicism set in, I clung to knowing that America
had been beautiful until 1960, and it could be beautiful again. Finally I got brave enough to challenge that
belief.

I looked at this story from Noam Chomsky:
In 1958, President Eisenhower asked his intelligence people Why do they hate us in the Middle East? And they
told him the simple truth. It's not the governments there that hate us so much; it's the people. They know that
we support corrupt, brutal regimes over there, and we will never permit them to have democracy and economic
development. (That changed my mind.)

America is the Evil Empire.

My knowledge of 20th century American history is still weak. I don't have all the facts. There are far too
many facts for me to grasp. I've been listening to those who know better than me.

But what I believe now is the exact opposite of what I WANT to believe.

BUT I do have another story to relate -- very soon -- and it's a Good one.



             

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:28 PM

1KIKI

Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson


Thank you AnthonyT for your answer.

I know you didn't have to answer a personal question based on nothing but total nosiness, so I appreciate it.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:44 PM

1KIKI

Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson


OONJERAH

Despite knowing facts, I find I don't change my mind until I have one of those AHA! moments that make it all make sense.

So I was washing the dishes one evening and wondering ... why would America support all those dictators ... facts that America supports dictators accepted, but no mind change ... when it just all made sense. Of course the US can't support democracies. People might democratically decide to charge more for their resources, to increase wages, or even - gasp - nationalize their resources. That's why the US HAS to back dictators. Only dictators can guarantee the business results the US wants.

At least, that's how it works for me.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 7:03 PM

OONJERAH



    O hell, it makes perfect sense. And it's Wrong.



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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 7:18 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
OONJERAH

Despite knowing facts, I find I don't change my mind until I have one of those AHA! moments that make it all make sense.

So I was washing the dishes one evening and wondering ... why would America support all those dictators ... facts that America supports dictators accepted, but no mind change ... when it just all made sense. Of course the US can't support democracies. People might democratically decide to charge more for their resources, to increase wages, or even - gasp - nationalize their resources. That's why the US HAS to back dictators. Only dictators can guarantee the business results the US wants.

At least, that's how it works for me.



Hello,

Very astute observation. I commend this post.

--Anthony


_______________________________________________

Note to self: Mr. Raptor believes that women who want to control their reproductive processes are sluts.

Reference thread: http://fireflyfans.net/mthread.asp?b=18&t=51196

Never forget what this man is. You keep forgiving him his trespasses and speak to him as though he is a reasonable human being. You keep forgetting the things he's advocated. If you respond to this man again, you are being foolish.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 7:54 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


I've changed my mind many times over many things, and sometimes it was quite painful.

I went from being an accepting, trusting, believing child to one who suddenly doubted everything in the space of two heartbeats one night, when I was 10. It used to be that when I heard trains in the distance, I felt safe: there were humans out there, in the dark and distance, making the world a home. But looking at the stars that night made those comfortable beliefs immediately hollow. There was no god, there was no reality, there was no comfort. I spent the next couple of years in a deep depression, not knowing how to explain what was wrong. But as I look back I realize that I recapitulated western philosophy by myself, from Kant through Berkeley (subjective idealism) to Sartre.

Well, anyway, duty calls and I have to get to bed. More later maybe.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8:00 PM

1KIKI

Today, scientists sound the alarm on other environmental dangers. Vested interests still hire their own scientists to confuse the issue. But in the end, nature will not be fooled. Neil deGrasse Tyson


Well, I hope you do post more. I find your ideas truly enlightening. You seem to be able to get to the nub.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8:45 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


Hi Signe, it sounds like that experience was the form your loss-of-innocence process took. Everyone goes through it, for some people it is a single event, for some people it starts with something and ends with something else. It usually happens between the ages of 10 and 14, when and how is different for every person. So few people are able to look back at their childhood and pinpoint when this happened for them that it feels good to hear someone else talking about it, its one of those things that everyone goes through but few people discuss, many can't even quantify it because no one has ever asked them. Its when everything is changed, changed utterly and it can't ever be the same again.

Before Frem says anything I want to point out that his happened wayyyyyyyyyyy too early, its not supposed to happen like that, it was wrong that he was put in such a situation.

Mine started at age 12 with a misunderstanding that brought safety and trust into question in startling and horrifying clarity and ended right after I turned 14 and I contemplated diving out the second story window to make the pain go away. Obviously I concludedthat such an action would be stupid because I'd not actually die most likely, just be irrevokably hurt, but its the first time I "went there". Mary's was when she was nine, a little early, and her grandfather drowned on the Columbia bar.

I should point out though that occasionally the loss-of-innocence process is actually a positive thing for the person, signifying their growing awareness of the world and their ability to effect change in it or a new mastery of understanding of one's feelings and one's place in the cosmos.

Can you tell that I think this is a really important subject?

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012 4:58 AM

FREMDFIRMA



Well aware of that Rio - and as I mentioned before, my "Moment" was compressed into a completely mind-blowing epiphany which occured over the course of a day or so, along with various imagery and inexplicable knowledge I really never did and likely never will have a proper explaination for.

It was both extremely traumatic, and in a way uplifting and enlightening at the same time, cause rather than the death of hope, I felt that I had been in some fashion given the means, the knowhow, to put a STOP to some of it, to perhaps change the very course of events down a gentler path.

A significant portion of my life has been set exclusively to that goal, and it's one I do believe humanity will eventually achieve, not so much by any effort of mine specifically, but by the efforts of hundreds, thousands, who CHOOSE the course of decency, humanity, in the face of poisonous and corrupt societies where that brings no benefit and often brings grave risk.

CHOOSE LIFE.
HUMANITY versus INSANITY.

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 1:29 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


I think my awakening was differently focused. It didn't involve betrayal, abuse, or exposure to anything traumatic. I was a happy, reasonably well-adjusted middle-class kid. My mom wasn't too crazy about me, but I didn't notice because I felt loved by my dad and grandma. Somehow, I managed to get through the loss of the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, Santa Claus, my pet parakeet and my grandpa (dziadzia) with my faith in humanity and religion intact. Jesus loved me, I had a guardian angel watching over me, there were bad people in the world but I hadn't met any of them yet.

So my questions started with What if...? "What if there was no Jesus?" I probed that question, found there was no good answer, and went on from there. "What if there is no reality?" No good answer to that one, either. In a few months, recapitulated some of western philosophy ... This may all be a dream, but I'M here. (I think, therefore I am). But what if this isn't MY dream, what if this is someone else's? (Berkeley, subjective idealism). There is no evident way out of this conundrum, therefore I must choose and live with my choices (Sartre). Since I don't have the fortitude to challenge the ultimate reality of existence by standing in front of a truck, I will ASSUME that my senses are somewhat meaningful to a real world around me (objective realism). What I am, and what the world is, will never be answered by endless internal reflection. The answer to my questions is in work (Marx).

What I learned from this is that belief is hollow. Not any particular belief ... people are good, my parents love me, there is a god... but ALL beliefs. If you question each and every belief, you will find they are ALL hollow. But eventually you will choose a philosophical foundation... a minimal set of assumptions (but, they ARE assumptions, and you are aware that they're assumptions) which you can't prove, but on which you build the rest of your approach to the world.

Since then, I have seen many more of my assumptions fail:
the USA is a power for good
people are rational economic actors
the USA is a democracy
the best ideas will survive and evolve
fair societies will survive longer
guns are bad
nature is a good paradigm for human behavior

It would be impossible, really, to list the myriad times one idea or another has fallen to observation. And that's a good thing, IMHO, because I see more of the world than I did before. Areas that were big mushy blobs of opinion suddenly come into focus, and it becomes possible to understand how the Chinese might deal with Africa and what that means for the USA, whether global climate shift is occurring and what we can do abut it, and so forth.

To be quite honest, my outlook for the future of humanity is pretty grim. Every problem that was ever predicted in the 70's has occurred and some have popped up that we hadn't dreamed of (like the ozone hole). I have yet to find a dystopian novel that managed to capture the essence of this giant hairball of a clusterfrack all in one book, Had I read it back then, I would have thought it far too pessimistic. And it's not like we can point to a giant meteor, or a massive solar flare, or a world pandemic, or any natural cause for our crises. All of the REALLY BIG problems that we face we ourselves have caused. There is nobody or nothing else to blame.

But here is the message I'm trying to convey: There is only ONE THING between us and solving our problems, and it is the ONE THING we refuse to let go of: our beliefs. It seems we will try anything except the truth. And I'm currently in the process of letting go any belief that I may have had that humans will save themselves and their civilizations intact. Nearly every society that failed had the means to save itself, but almost none did. The Romans, the Easter Islanders, the Mayans, the Anasazi... As Kiki mentioned, most societies which managed to grab that branch and save themselves from falling into oblivion were few and far between, and mainly due to benevolent dictatorships. There are only a few examples of democratically-evolved survivals. SO far, THIS society seems not to have its own long-term interest at heart, and is making no moves in that direction.

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