Monday, October 1, 2012

Thought Process

I can understand why certain religious people deny evolution and such things as the age of the earth: it conflicts with their need for biblical literalism. And if it's hard to relate to those who claim inerrant word of god in that book, given its multiple self-contradictions, and given the fact that they ignore so many if its demands when it doesn't suit, at least there's consistency of blindness. (I'll give them a pass on not stoning their smart-mouth kids to death.)

Denial of anthropogenic climate change, on the other hand, is simply beyond any understanding at all. It has no religious predilection. To accept it as fact threatens nothing of religious belief (well, some claim god would never allow us to damage his favorite planet. But he's allowed a hell of a lot of mayhem, hasn't he?) Aside from the fact that it may well be literally killing us, there's a level on which it's absolutely fascinating: what is it about humans -- some humans, anyway -- that allows them to rationalize such denial? Where does it come from? Where's the benefit, in terms of survival of the species? How does the mind, which is pretty impressive on so many levels, exist with what seems so fundamental a flaw?

If we're creations of some sort of godly process, did he/she/it/they figure the only way to get people to believe in them was to make them gullible? Seems self-defeatingly paradoxical. Almost if the first premise is false. And, in the US, why is denialism exclusively confined to a particular (and major, as opposed to flat-earthers) political party? What causes that confluence? The fact of climate change is neither religious nor political. Solutions, maybe. But not the thing itself.

Why is it that climate denialism in particular, and science-rejection in general, seem both necessary and sufficient for today's version of Republicans? Gotta be the religionism, you'd think. Or is there something else? Something of right-wing mentation that attracts, or requires, both religious fundamentalism and rejectionism. If so, what could it be? I think about it a lot. And I feel that if I understood it, I'd have figured out everything there is to know about our current political stalemate.

[Image source]


Pieter B said...

"Ice asks no questions, presents no arguments, reads no newspapers, listens to no debates. It is not burdened by ideology and carries no political baggage as it changes from solid to liquid. It just melts."

—Henry Pollack, A World Without Ice

Frank Drackman said...

Sid, You're(the ! is supposed to denote amazement that I learned I'd been mis-using "you're and your" my whole life(they sound the same)
right, Anthropogenic(what a great word, and I enjoyed some great Anthropogenic Hot Dogs(Kosher!)yesterday, followed by some Anthropogenic Porn, and some Anthropogenic(redacted)
Hey, Mrs. Drackmans visiting her anthropogenic folks("Folks" southern aphorism for "Parents")
It's literally killing us, and at 1 degree/century, by the year 3012, it'll, I mean by 5012, my Power Bills will be absolutely outrageous! a brother out,
How do you get around?
Not the walker, I mean short trips of 10-30 miles? little too far for a bike..
and myself, living in a neighborhood that gives my Dad flashbacks, no Rickshaws.
And I checked, Georgia Power gets all of their(!) power from Coal, Oil, and splitting atoms, nary a windmill in site..
And I've got a Gas Passing Conference in LA next year, how do I get there without emitting Carbon?
I'm not as fat as AlGore but 2200 miles is a ways to hold ones breath...

Frank Anthrogenic Drackman

Sid Schwab said...

Frank Drackman, ladies and gentlemen. The opposition. The exemplar of why nothing will ever get done.

Anonymous said...

I have been led to believe the primary thought bias in the Republican mind is towards authoritarianism . Witness the attempt in Texas to make sure students are not taught independent thinking skills. All you have to do is pick an authority who agrees with your own prejudices (not difficult to do in today's world) and then hang on to it for dear life.....
Frank is sounding a little whiny today, don't you think?
Mark V

Sid Schwab said...

Yeah, he is. But you should see the ones I reject...

Timmyson said...

Is it very different from the regulation of CFC's, or the ban on whaling? I wasn't really aware of the political discourse around those.

Anonymous said...

I disagree that being religious and/or conservative excludes anyone from accepting the overwhelming scientific evidence on global warming. Most likely, the majority of people who ardently self-describe as Republican, are not accurately informed on the subject. You assume they are aware of the evidence and intellectually reject it. Doubt it; just clueless.
PS: Did you read that David Brooks thinks Romney has run "the most insincere campaign I've ever seen"?
The link to the interview:

Sid Schwab said...

I don't think I suggested that all religious or conservative people are denialists and rejectionists; just that today's Republicans (which I've explicitly distinguished from true conservatives) are pretty much all fit that description.

And I certainly agree that, in general, they're misinformed. But I think it's by design, and by choice: ie, it's the Foxorovian plan to endumb their potential electorate so they'll buy what they're being sold; and it seems to be the choice of teabaggers to remain uninformed. You can see it in microcosm in some of the comments here. They'd rather repeat, uncritically, what they hear from "their" media sources than give it meaningful thought.

So whereas -- I'd say by definition -- a true conservative would not be an instinctive rejectionist, today's so-called Republicans pretty much all seem to be.

Anonymous said...

There's the title for your next book "The Endumbing of America" or How Listening to Right Wing Talking Heads Lowers Your IQ.

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