Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Discussing With Conservatives as Deprogramming

I do not think that agents of a malevolent foreign power could jeopardize the United States of America more than Republicans are at this very moment. The very life of our country is at stake right now. I believe this. I think this. The two are not the same. Yet, when we try to have this crucial discussion, some folks either spout things as facts that are obviously false or they turn away from the discussion altogether. It is very difficult to have any sort of discussion with a lot of people when they come to the discussion with sloganeering sound bites and otherwise ignorance. It is the same as discussing science with a creationist. There is something cowardly about refusing to question your own beliefs and statements, but that is the norm with these folks. Why is this? Well there is a strong and entrenched coalition of people and entities who hang on to power and enrich themselves by stroking the creationist/conservative/republican mind. It is a fear and ignorance driven process but a very purposeful process. In this piece, by Donald Prothero, you can substitute conservative for creationist for cultist and have perfect parity. Here is a snippet but I hope you'll read the whole piece. What we need to do now is deprogram these people... Our country's survival as a democracy is at stake.
Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi, in his 2009 book The Great Derangement, describes going undercover in an evangelical church for many months. He found that creationists live in a very cloistered cultish subculture, where they read only what their church elders tell them to read, attend many church meetings and intensive weekend retreats to receive constant reinforcement, and avoid listening to or reading any outside sources that might challenge their worldview. No wonder they never bother to learn about the actual facts of science or evolution, but instead they get a distorted view of science from their creationist leaders. And such cult-like isolation from the real world explains why no amount of presenting science to them in an appealing manner will ever reach them. As long as the conclusions of science threaten their cherished worldview, they are not going to change their minds or learn to distinguish real science from creationist bunk. Instead, as Rosenhouse details again and again, they are easily swayed by shallow intuitive arguments that sound good when you don’t think hard about them.

 Donald Prothero in eSkeptic

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