Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How Are People This Stupid?

I've made a shocking realization recently. Apparently I'm an optimist.

Only an optimist would continue to be surprised when people don't respond to reasoned argument, when people don't take the time to think through their positions, and when people uncritically repeat talking points as though they fundamentally represent their own worldview.

Intellectually, I know the tendency to look critically at one's own biases and viewpoints in the world is rare, and the willingness to face up to the mutually contradictory ideas you might be holding on to rarer still. But I keep getting blindsided when people keep acting like this.

You may have noticed I don't post particularly often. This isn't because I lack passion, or because I'm fundamentally pressed for time. It's because every time I go to put proverbial pen to paper, I talk myself out of a hundred subjects because the points that I could speak on are so basic, so axiomic, that I feel like I'm insulting my audience's intelligence when I try to take such a simple idea and break it down into something even simpler to explain it.

Most of the things I talk about seem so basic that, ironically, the fact that my opposition doesn't seem to get them makes me worry about whether they're capable of providing meaningful consent themselves.

And yet I keep assuming people will do the work necessary to keep their worldviews self-consistent. That people will be bothered by the presence of those inconsistencies when they're pointed out, and work to find out which of their beliefs needs to go. I keep being shocked when instead they build elaborate justifications because they actually care more about avoiding the work of reevaluating how they've been living their lives than they do about making sure the lives they live after this point are more faithful to what their fundamental core ethics are.

I keep expecting people to overlook typos and poor word choice, and accept clarifications in order to get at the meat of an argument, rather than using any excuse they can muster to decide not to listen to someone with views opposing their own. Because I value the argument, I keep expecting other people to behave the same.

And I know this is something people do. I recognize that people defend their preconceptions with more vigor than they'll question them. I know the very fact that I'm in the minority position in a debate means that the vast majority of people out there haven't thought through the issue. (Yes, I do believe that anyone who's thought through their position sufficiently will agree with me. Of course, I cheat. When someone comes up with a better argument, I change my position and suddenly they agree with me again.)

Yet knowing all this, I keep staring at shock when I see news articles, blog posts, forum conversations, and even in-person conversations with friends where these same factors keep coming up. I keep expecting reason and self-consistency to win the day, when I know people respond better to fallacious emotional argument.

4 comments:

  1. Calling people stupid won't help your case to force yourself on their kids. Pedophiles love to resort to name calling. I guess everyone who doesn't allow you to use up little girls are stupid. If you had kids you would understand "emotions". Hell if you knew kids on more that a "physically their bodies are ready for sexually acts" and viewed them in an emotional level maybe we'd seem less stupid.

    Call people stupid pedophiles because it is not like people already don't hate you. Call us stupid for wanting to protect kids and their innocent selves. Call us stupid for worrying about education, their mental well-being, their health, their future, their safety rather than that they can't be used up by pedophiles. Call us stupid for not pretending
    to care about them while you hide behind "youth activist" when really its "pedo rights to use up kids". Call us stupid for realizing the truth about pedophiles instead of pretending that pedophiles are all saints.

    I really wish we could get your kind to move some country for you to fuck kids. Its scary to have pedo who are in denial on their potential harm. You are like a loaded gun with the safety off. For now you pose no harm. However if you go off you are quite dangerous.

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    1. What is with this "use up" language? Do you think that human beings are diminished by sexual activity? Or is this just reasoning you apply to kids, because in your mind, they're fundamentally different than real human beings like yourself?

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    2. "Pedophiles love to resort to name calling." It's not because of being a pedophile that that happens, it happens because critical thinkers are human and eventually become mentally tired from talking to a figurative brick-wall. It could happen with any debate under the sun.

      " If you had kids you would understand "emotions"." By "emotions", you clearly mean your own selfish emotions; hardly the emotions of those oppressed simply because of a contrived number and not because of their own ability and merit. You view and treat your offspring as baubles rather than humans with even a basic intelligence/logic level.

      "Hell if you knew kids on more that a "physically their bodies are ready for sexually acts" and viewed them in an emotional level maybe we'd seem less stupid. "

      Jacob has actually argued (in some other post) his stance thoroughly that if they are capable of expressing/proving their mental ability that they should be allowed to consent, which is what I believe is all that is required to make the decision on whether or not to have sex. Studies on brutally-honest and accurate comprehensive sex education significantly reduce pregnancy and std rates, thus proving that if they given the right resources, they are perfectly capable of making important decisions regarding their sexuality.

      "Call us stupid for wanting to protect kids and their innocent selves." The problem with you "wanting to protect your kids" is that you're actually harming them in the long run, and we simply won't stand for it. You're forgetting that we care for youth as well under the false presumption that we view them as pieces of meat for fucking. Also, I seriously doubt kids are as "innocent" as you think they are. If anything, they're ignorant... until a responsible human being actually gives them their human rights and accurately educates them. Treating a human as anything less than a human because of factors they can't control is downright deplorable.

      "you hide behind "youth activist" when really its "pedo rights to use up kids" As someone who was up until recently a minor, I must say it's about time someone on the other side stands up for us.

      "Call us stupid for realizing the truth about pedophiles instead of pretending that pedophiles are all saints." Pedophilia is an orientation, which is only really a very small part of a person. Your reasoning is exactly the same if I were to say "all heterosexual's are rapists" or "all homosexuals are flamboyant". There will be people who rape, abduct, murder etc that may coincidentally be pedophiles, though this is a good example of correlation =/= causation.

      The rest of your comment is merely a poorly written ad hominem and is therefore pointless to argue, if an argument can be made at all.

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    3. Thanks. I do appreciate the support.

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