Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Post Truth

John Ehrenreich in Slate has an interesting essay on why conservatives are more likely to believe stuff that isn't true. This is actually something of a tautology because believing stuff that isn't true is more or less the definition of "conservative" nowadays, but I suppose it's worth asking how it got that way. Excerpt:

[A]t the most basic level, conservatives and liberals seem to hold different beliefs about what constitutes “truth.” Finding facts and pursuing evidence and trusting science is part of liberal ideology itself. For many conservatives, faith and intuition and trust in revealed truth appear as equally valid sources of truth.
Ehrenreich associates this psychological tendency with submission to authority, in other words conservatives tend to believe what people in authority (within their world) tell them to believe. They believe their preachers, and Donald Trump, for example. In general, they are less inclined to critical thinking and more inclined to tribalism and motivated reasoning. During the election, many purveyors of fake news who were only in it for the clicks and the money tried putting out fakery that might appeal to both Democrats and Republicans; but only the pro-Trump material got results. You will never see the equivalent of the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria pedophilia ring hoax, or birtherism, or "death panels," get over on liberals. 

True, some people on both the left and right thought the official story of the 9/11 attack was fake, and some people -- again, left and right -- continue to doubt the official account of the Kennedy assassination. In my view what we are told about these events is more or less the truth, though likely incomplete; but doubt about these events is not nearly as preposterous as birtherism or pizzagate.

We have a problem, however, if some 35-40% of the population is simply never going to believe certain plain facts. What happens when Robert Mueller proves the corruption of the Trump campaign and the candidate, and they simply won't believe it? 


Gay Boy Bob said...

I think you'll find the same happens with liberals.

Donna Brazile, a life-long Democratic Activist, and party loyalist came into office as chair of the DNC, discovered that Obama had pretty much destroyed the DNC and demonstrated that Hillary rigged the primary?

Even Elizabeth Warren agreed and yet, the sheeple will not believe it.

Another example is that doofus liberal feminist that thinks that science does not offer up truth because it doesn't further the feminist political agenda.

Cervantes said...

What the fuck does that have to do with science? I don't know whether Brazile's take on this is accurate but I intend to make up my mind based on evidence.

What an asinine non sequitur. (Look it up.) Which just proves my point,

Don Quixote said...

Poor Gay Boy Bob. He has unintentionally illustrated the entire point of today's post. But that is really a good thing; it shows that some minds are predisposed to rigid thinking, unable to incorporate divergent information into their database.

I have a great solution to the problem of people who don't believe in science when it doesn't suit their schemes: discontinue their access to medical treatment, such as operations and antibiotics. If they don't believe in the fruits of the scientific method when it substantiates anthropogenic global warming, punctures theories of any relationship between vaccinations and autism, or clearly indicates dangers of oil pipelines and burning carbon-based fuels, for example, simply take away their access to life-saving procedures and drugs which were developed and obtained by the same scientific process

Freedom of speech should have consequences for wackos as well as reality-based people. Truth is not a matter of opinion.

Gay Boy Bob said...

Finding facts and pursuing evidence and trusting science is part of liberal ideology itself.

No so fast. There are plenty of examples of liberals that don't pursue facts or trust science. I gave you two quick examples.

One of liberals (including you) that don't trust the facts of the Hillary takeover of the DNC (it's all there), and another of a liberal feminist that doesn't give a shit about science. Here's her link once again.

So, while you wish to believe that only your political enemies do this, you need to look into the mirror. This happens all over.

Gay Boy Bob said...

Same feminist(liberal)moron:

Further, she concludes by expressing hope that people will soon come to “embrace an irreverent disdain for traditional science and instead practice feminist science,” adding that this is time for a “much needed anti-science, antiracist, feminist approach to knowledge production.”

Cervantes said...

Postmodernism is not liberalism or science. It's an intellectual fad that is pretty much over, which was thoroughly mocked by real leftists. I don't trust the "facts" of the "Hillary takeover of the DNC" because that is a highly debatable conclusion, but I do think that DWS put her thumb on the scale for Clinton and have said so here more than once.