If you are in a spacecraft orbiting the Earth and there are others on board who look out and say that the Earth is flat, what can you say to them that is more convincing than what is in front of their eyes? Several thousand years ago a Chinese sage said, "Once the people are bewitched, their bewitchment lasts a long time."
You can say nothing whatsoever to morons who will believe a charlaton like ken hamm over some of the finast scientists in the world.
I went to the grand canyon a couple of years ago, and listened to some of them commenting over what the various park guides were saying. There in front of them was 5,000 feet of strata, most of it very hard, and in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, they were convinced it formed in a week!
There is nothing you can say, no logic will reach them. Thanks to the Bush administration, the canyon bookstores sell a creationist peice of bullshit giving an “alternative” history of the canyon.
Nothing but ignorance! Ignorance and superstition.
That’s what TeOF is about.
The subject matter of Meno is regarding how virtue is acquired. It’s not entirely germane to why people refuse to acknowledge facts. But it’s sort of close—namely, wisdom isn’t a simple matter of transmission from one individual to another.
People are obstinate and perverse. It’s part of who we are—and I actually wouldn’t change that about us. Iconoclasm would go away along with obstinacy, and iconoclasm creates beauty.
Humans are in fact roughly empirical. Unfortunately, the data we are most sensitive to are the opinions and behavior of other humans.
For example: people who live in small-town USA are virtually inundated by Christian rhetoric from their family, friends, TV, billboards etc. They have very little exposure to skeptical data. That is a giant empirical onslaught.
People in Sweden are surrounded by secular family, friends, TV etc. Their empirical environment is mostly non-religious. Swedes are consequently mostly secular.
It takes a great amount of education and training for humans to give more credence to the composition of rocks, the moons of Jupiter, radioactive decay, and the spectra of starlight, than the opinions of nearby humans.
It’s a sad commentary, but I am beginning to believe that most people, if given a choice, would rather not think. It shows in our entertainment, whom we idolize, whom we choose to believe, and whom we vote for.
The best candidates for public office never get a chance to run ‘cause they can’t win the primaries which are controlled by the unthinking masses at the extremes of the parties.
What becomes of a democracy where the majority of voters believe in superstitious nonsense, and think that movie heroes are real heros? Since we can’t depend on our schools to enlighten our kids (they wouldn’t dare), could we get the Swedes to vote for us in upcoming elections? Bush is noticing that democracy in the middle east is ushering in theocracy, but he isn’t noticing the same thing here.
Why would he? One thing I find funny is how certain we (okay some) are about our freedoms. It’s okay to allow the Patriot act to become permanent because we want it to be permanent. I think this is one of the most vital aspects of power: get your subjects to think they are choosing what power wants.
If Bush were to say something like, “I’m so glad we can become a theocracy as our nations’ fathers intended,” I would expect a greater outcry than if he said, “I’m so glad our we can become a Christiran nation like our fathers intended.” But then again maybe not…
That’s scary (to me).
Some have noticed that blue collar fundamentalists are voting for politicians who cater to their fundamentalist values, even though those politicians, once in power, favor the rich, and do little or nothing to improve the lot of their working class constituents. They are truly wolves in sheeps clothing. Can you imagine Bush focusing time, energy, money on a depressed U.S. city, somewhere in the rust belt, to support a car company that wanted to manufacture a safe, comfortable, low priced compact car that could get 75mpg? This is easily done with existing technology. In another depressed city he could help create a research facility to speed the development of practical hydrogen powered vehicles. No, lets spends billions in Iraq. Let’s subsidize big oil. Let’s allow big business to increase pollution, and let’s ignore the threat of global warming so big business can make more profits. Oh, right, throw some crumbs to the blue collar fundamentalist saps who put us in power - abolish a woman’s right to have an abortion.
Right, what’s the best way to point this out? I feel like when I do I get a resposnse like the fundmentalist values are the most important. How much do the middle class and poor have to lose before changing there minds about this stuff? I was watching the Western Tradition (ep. 29) and in the 30 years war we see it open with Catholics fighting Protestants. It ends basically with everybody fighting everybody and it ends because people really sick of fighting and difficult just to survive, higher moral virtues aside. I was watching the comedian, Carlos Mencia, and said something like, “It just goes to show how good we have in this country that people can complain about things like Clinton and Monica Lewinski [or perhaps better the vice president shooting his friend accidently] and these are taken seriously as issues. In what other countries would these be problems? Where I’m from, Honduras, and Central/Latin America in general, people have real problems to deal with, you know like just being able make a living.”
It bothers me because I don’t think Americans (people in the u.s.) are lazy. But what does it say when the Supreme Court decides the election? What does it say when in Venezuela the citizens can vote with electronic machines that can print a reciept but in the US were told our machines can’t do that? Is it that we are so comfortable and are afriad to give that up by rocking the boat or that we are so comfortable we don’t can’t beyond 2 feet in front us? something else?
Maybe I’m wrong and this is what most of the US wants but I doubt it. Or maybe we’ve always been like this I was a fool to think the US worked some way (ideally) that it never it did and elections have always been corrupt. It bothers me so much because with all of the debt we have right now, with our dependency on energy and the looming problems of not being able to afford energy when it isn’t cheap anymore, we are really spending our resources on the wrong problems right now. Iraq is a great example of digging a hole that we are throwing money and human lives in to with no reward. And like Sam says, whatever we need/or perhaps better want to fix/change in our country, we can’t even get to square one because of the religious beliefs.
Is religion not the biggest wedge? What else could be a factor here? Ah, I need to stop now a take some deep breaths…