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Religion loses again

 
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22 February 2013 01:50
 

The last response used to work, but being correct these days needs more than bluster and belligerence.

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The Voice of Reason
 
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22 February 2013 17:09
 
Skipshot - 22 February 2013 12:50 AM

The last response used to work, but being correct these days needs more than bluster and belligerence.

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BobD3623
 
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22 February 2013 17:23
 

Alright now.  That is just down right disturbing. Is she by any chance…from Texas?

 
Mike78
 
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22 February 2013 17:28
 
Skipshot - 22 February 2013 12:50 AM

The last response used to work, but being correct these days needs more than bluster and belligerence.

Just did practically the same thing on some nitwit’s facebook post reciting a wholly fictional tale about an economics professor who tested socialism with class grades etc. (Snopes dispelled it).  People seem not to change their position when they are confronted with facts that contradict a deeply held bias.  In fact, the bias usually is strengthened.  Figure that out.

 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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22 February 2013 17:32
 

Many humans cannot stand being wrong. Thus they defend their biases and beliefs with great vigor.

It’s about being emotionally secure and intellectually enlightened.

 
 
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22 February 2013 18:16
 

I’m not embarrassed by my ignorance of how something works, but I don’t parade the ignorance as knowledge of God, or become irate when the ignorance is pointed out and corrected.  “You lost me” and “I don’t understand that” very commonly come out of my mouth when I venture into new areas, nor do I consider the phrases to question my intelligence.  I don’t know how digital cameras work, but I’m not stupid to attribute their function to “God did it.”

 
The Voice of Reason
 
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22 February 2013 20:05
 
Mike78 - 22 February 2013 04:28 PM
Skipshot - 22 February 2013 12:50 AM

The last response used to work, but being correct these days needs more than bluster and belligerence.

Just did practically the same thing on some nitwit’s facebook post reciting a wholly fictional tale about an economics professor who tested socialism with class grades etc. (Snopes dispelled it).  People seem not to change their position when they are confronted with facts that contradict a deeply held bias.  In fact, the bias usually is strengthened.  Figure that out.

Pathologizing Conservatism
Is it an unfortunate evolutionary holdover, or the product of bad upbringing?

At the recent conference in Chicago of the Association of Politics and Life Sciences, a panel on “Biobehaviorial Approaches to Politics” addressed the important question: What is wrong with people who disagree with the mainstream of American academic social scientists? Nancy Meyer-Emerick, an assistant professor of public administration at Cleveland State University, made a presentation on “Evolutionary Perspectives on the Authoritarian Personality.”

Professor Meyer-Emerick wants to know if there are genetic tendencies that promote what she dubs “authoritarianism.” She defines this distasteful quality through the work of University of Manitoba associate professor of psychology Robert Altemeyer. He’s developed a helpful questionnaire, the Right Wing Authoritarian (RWA) Scale, to identify those harboring authoritarian tendencies.

According to Professor Altemeyer, right-wing authoritarians are cognitively rigid, aggressive, and intolerant. They are characterized by steadfast conformity to group norms, submission to higher status individuals, and aggression toward out-groups and unconventional group members. On the RWA Scale, subjects are asked to agree or disagree with statements like: “Some of the worst people in our country nowadays are those who do not respect our flag, our leaders and the normal way things are supposed to be done” and “There is absolutely nothing wrong with nudist camps.” Guess which one RWAs tend to agree with?

Meyer-Emerick notes that high RWAs perceive the world as a significantly more dangerous place than those who score low. High RWAs are more submissive to government authority and indifferent to human rights. They also tend to be more hostile and more highly punitive toward criminals, and more racially and ethnically prejudiced—and religious!—to boot. In the United States, guess what? Republicans cluster at the high end of the RWA Scale whereas Democrats range across the scale.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley essentially confirmed this view with an meta-analysis of scores of academic studies on conservative political attitudes last year. In the study, “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition,” the Berkeley researchers found common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include: fear and aggression, dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity, uncertainty avoidance, need for cognitive closure, and terror management that causes conservatives to shun and even punish outsiders and those who threaten the status of their cherished world views. The researchers did half-heartedly assure readers that their findings do not mean that “conservatism is pathological or that conservative beliefs are necessarily false, irrational, or unprincipled.”

Altemeyer, inventor of the RWA Scale, believes that there is no such thing as a Left Wing Authoritarian. “I do not think ‘an authoritarian impressively like the authoritarian on the right’ reposes on the liberal side end of the RWA scale. Rather the contrary,” Altemeyer declared. In fact, Altemeyer finds that low RWAs are “fair-minded, even-handed, tolerant, nonaggressive persons…They score low on my prejudice scale. They are not self-righteous; they do not feel superior to persons with opposing opinions.”

<snip>

In contrast to Smith’s suggestion that certain tendencies might be hardwired into human beings, Altemeyer believes that children learn right-wing tendencies through harsh discipline from their parents. However, studies looking at identical twins reared apart back up the notion that political attitudes are heritable. They find that on average, about 60 percent of the individual differences that we observe in scores on a version of the Wilson-Patterson Conservatism Scale (WPC) are attributable to genetic individual differences. The WPC is a catch phrase test in which subjects are asked to indicate whether they approve of various topics, such as the death penalty, X-rated movies, women’s liberation, foreign aid, abortion and so forth by circling YES or NO. Obviously, such tests have no ability to handle nuances, or grapple with the reasons someone might have for harboring attitudes that the researcher dubs “conservative,” or even “authoritarian.” (One suspects the researchers don’t think there could be such reasons, at least not intellectually serious ones.)

Whether it be an unfortunate evolutionary holdover or a mental disease transmitted by our parents—the science is apparently still up in the air—academic researchers have surely amassed enough evidence of psychopathology that conservatism can be listed in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Reasonable people, such as the distinguished academic researchers cited here, will no doubt agree that until effective treatments can be developed, we should reconsider whether sufferers of conservatism, like other mental defectives, should be allowed freely to exercise the franchise.


http://www.reason.com/news/show/34935.html


=======================================================================================

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-sweeney/theres-no-arguing-with-co_b_126805.html

A new study out of Yale University confirms what argumentative liberals have long-known: Offering reality-based rebuttals to conservative lies only makes conservatives cling to those lies even harder. In essence, schooling conservatives makes them more stupid. From the Washington Post article on the study, which came out yesterday: (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/14/AR2008091402375_pf.html)

“Political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler provided two groups of volunteers with the Bush administration’s prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. One group was given a refutation—the comprehensive 2004 Duelfer report that concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction before the United States invaded in 2003. Thirty-four percent of conservatives told only about the Bush administration’s claims thought Iraq had hidden or destroyed its weapons before the U.S. invasion, but 64 percent of conservatives who heard both claim and refutation thought that Iraq really did have the weapons. The refutation, in other words, made the misinformation worse.

A similar “backfire effect” also influenced conservatives told about Bush administration assertions that tax cuts increase federal revenue. One group was offered a refutation by prominent economists that included current and former Bush administration officials. About 35 percent of conservatives told about the Bush claim believed it; 67 percent of those provided with both assertion and refutation believed that tax cuts increase revenue.

In a paper approaching publication, Nyhan, a PhD student at Duke University, and Reifler, at Georgia State University, suggest that Republicans might be especially prone to the backfire effect because conservatives may have more rigid views than liberals: Upon hearing a refutation, conservatives might “argue back” against the refutation in their minds, thereby strengthening their belief in the misinformation. Nyhan and Reifler did not see the same “backfire effect” when liberals were given misinformation and a refutation about the Bush administration’s stance on stem cell research.”

If you’ve ever gotten in an argument with your conservative friends (assuming you haven’t offered each other a mutual Carville-Matalin-style political ceasefire to preserve the friendship), you’ve probably seen this “backfire effect” in action. The more you try to tell people that Sarah Palin is lying when she says she was against the Bridge to Nowhere, the more they believe she was telling the truth. The more you try to explain how similar McCain’s policies are to Bush’s, the more they maintain he’s “the original maverick.”

The typical mantra of the left is that we don’t need to sink to the Republicans’ level because we have the truth on our side. But if the other side is utterly immune to the truth—and indeed, the truth only makes them dig deeper into their fantasy world in which the economy is fundamentally strong and the War in Iraq is a staggering success—what’s a leftie to do?

I ain’t got the answers, ace, except to say this: When arguing with conservatives in front of on-the-fence independents, remember that you’re not trying to convince the conservative to actually buy into silly notions like facts and reason. You’re highlighting the differences between left and right for the outside observer. If the other guy insists on political views that belong only in Disney World’s Fantasyland, other folks will realize what’s happening.

But if there is no third party, do yourself a favor and save your breath. As the study demonstrates, you’re only making matters worse.

 
 
Mike78
 
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22 February 2013 21:24
 

I’ve always maintained that right-wingers are fundamentally bad people.  Just my opinion.

 
burt
 
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22 February 2013 22:31
 

It’s a matter of what sort of people are required at what times and under which circumstances in order to best support human survival.

 
hannahtoo
 
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22 February 2013 22:51
 
burt - 22 February 2013 09:31 PM

It’s a matter of what sort of people are required at what times and under which circumstances in order to best support human survival.

Yes, it seems that diversity enhances survival.  So we’ll just keep on arguing.

 
cunjevoi
 
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22 February 2013 22:56
 
burt - 22 February 2013 09:31 PM

It’s a matter of what sort of people are required at what times and under which circumstances in order to best support human survival.

This is true but most of the time, the “High RWA’s” just seem like loud, callous, ignorant, counter-productive arseholes. Because they are.

Interesting paradox how many lower socio-economic families, who adopt less informed/nuanced methods of discipline, relate to a blustery right-wing style of authority rather than the more socially conscientious agenda of the left.

 
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22 February 2013 22:59
 
cunjevoi - 22 February 2013 09:56 PM
burt - 22 February 2013 09:31 PM

It’s a matter of what sort of people are required at what times and under which circumstances in order to best support human survival.

This is true but most of the time, the “High RWA’s” just seem like loud, callous, ignorant, counter-productive arseholes. Because they are.

Interesting paradox how many lower socio-economic families, who adopt less informed/nuanced methods of discipline, relate to a blustery right-wing style of authority rather than the more socially conscientious agenda of the left.

Are we getting too stereotype-y here?

 
Jeff M
 
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22 February 2013 23:19
 
cunjevoi - 22 February 2013 09:56 PM
burt - 22 February 2013 09:31 PM

It’s a matter of what sort of people are required at what times and under which circumstances in order to best support human survival.

This is true but most of the time, the “High RWA’s” just seem like loud, callous, ignorant, counter-productive arseholes. Because they are.

Interesting paradox how many lower socio-economic families, who adopt less informed/nuanced methods of discipline, relate to a blustery right-wing style of authority rather than the more socially conscientious agenda of the left.

I agree with your puzzlement about a tendency for some lower income families to relate to the blustery right-wing style of authority.

Many lower income families are desperate and are looking for direction. Fox news understands their desperation, I think. The left could do a much better job of communicating and implementing actual ways to make their lives better.  We need to be there for each other and deliver the goods smile

 
eudemonia
 
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22 February 2013 23:44
 

It’s one tragedy of the human condition that arrogance so often accompanies ignorance.

This explains/describes conservative political ideology.

 
 
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23 February 2013 00:41
 
Jeff M - 22 February 2013 10:19 PM

The left could do a much better job of communicating and implementing actual ways to make their lives better.  We need to be there for each other and deliver the goods smile

Uhhhh. . .  you mean goods like roads, schools, police, fire, education, safe water, parks, building codes, and I-think-you-get-my-drift-now.  Sadly these valuable government services and protections are now taken for granted, but if the conservatives would like a reminder of how good they have it thanks to liberal ideas of the past century then let them visit theocracies and desperate Third World countries where “self sufficiency” is a matter of survival and no one outside your family is to be trusted.

 
cunjevoi
 
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23 February 2013 07:11
 
Hannah2 - 22 February 2013 09:59 PM
cunjevoi - 22 February 2013 09:56 PM
burt - 22 February 2013 09:31 PM

It’s a matter of what sort of people are required at what times and under which circumstances in order to best support human survival.

This is true but most of the time, the “High RWA’s” just seem like loud, callous, ignorant, counter-productive arseholes. Because they are.

Interesting paradox how many lower socio-economic families, who adopt less informed/nuanced methods of discipline, relate to a blustery right-wing style of authority rather than the more socially conscientious agenda of the left.

Are we getting too stereotype-y here?

Yeah, fair call. I was just making an observation based on what is noticeable ‘round these parts. Epa makes a succinct and valid point:

It’s one tragedy of the human condition that arrogance so often accompanies ignorance.

 
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