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Thread: Sympathy for the Ignorant

  1. Top | #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Are we to look at Trump's apologists as all the same? Brand them all as mentally defective deviants with no redeeming value? Is 42% of America genetically incapable of reason? If the problem is a genetic defect rather than cultural that allows someone like Trump to undermine our democracy then it's probably pandemic to the vast majority of the human species. Come to think of it, you might actually turn out to be right.
    That's exactly what I'm suggesting we not do. Whether the source of the problem is cultural or genetic, if inner-change is outside of a person's control then we should realize that they're not deviants, and that we're not served by labeling them as such. That's the point. If someone doesn't choose who they are with deliberate intent, then there is room for understanding that the result is a combination of uncontrollable inputs, rather than finger-pointing and anger.

    But it's not a genetic defect - Trump supporters or similar are quite capable people - they just have a low propensity for reasoned thought.

  2. Top | #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Are we to look at Trump's apologists as all the same? Brand them all as mentally defective deviants with no redeeming value? Is 42% of America genetically incapable of reason? If the problem is a genetic defect rather than cultural that allows someone like Trump to undermine our democracy then it's probably pandemic to the vast majority of the human species. Come to think of it, you might actually turn out to be right.
    That's exactly what I'm suggesting we not do. Whether the source of the problem is cultural or genetic, if inner-change is outside of a person's control then we should realize that they're not deviants, and that we're not served by labeling them as such. That's the point. If someone doesn't choose who they are with deliberate intent, then there is room for understanding that the result is a combination of uncontrollable inputs, rather than finger-pointing and anger.

    But it's not a genetic defect - Trump supporters or similar are quite capable people - they just have a low propensity for reasoned thought.
    Sorry my mistake. I thought you said that genetics is the cause. My worry is that when applied broadly to a particular segment of society it sounds like the soft bigotry of low expectations.

    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    ...
    So the question is - if someone is by normal definitions a bad person, but has no intellectual capacity to be something different, does it make sense to look down on them? And is there an alternative, positive way to approach such a person?
    I maintain it's by education and exposing them to alternative ways of thinking. IOW, change the inputs. BTW when you call them "bad" people it sure sounds like you're looking down on them. I'm either getting conflicting signals or I'm just plain ignorant.

  3. Top | #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post

    Sorry my mistake. I thought you said that genetics is the cause. My worry is that when applied broadly to a particular segment of society it sounds like the soft bigotry of low expectations.

    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    ...
    So the question is - if someone is by normal definitions a bad person, but has no intellectual capacity to be something different, does it make sense to look down on them? And is there an alternative, positive way to approach such a person?
    I maintain it's by education and exposing them to alternative ways of thinking. IOW, change the inputs. BTW when you call them "bad" people it sure sounds like you're looking down on them. I'm either getting conflicting signals or I'm just plain ignorant.
    Genetics may be the cause, or a part of the cause, but whether it's genetic, cultural, or a combination of both (probably this), the situation is the same - people with a low propensity to do, believe, or feel otherwise. I'm not calling these people bad, what I'm doing is calling this out as a common perception, and that it may be a mis-perception.

    And I agree with you - exposing them to alternative ways of thinking in a way that works is the only recourse. Emotions don't need to be involved.

  4. Top | #44
    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post

    Sorry my mistake. I thought you said that genetics is the cause. My worry is that when applied broadly to a particular segment of society it sounds like the soft bigotry of low expectations.

    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    ...
    So the question is - if someone is by normal definitions a bad person, but has no intellectual capacity to be something different, does it make sense to look down on them? And is there an alternative, positive way to approach such a person?
    I maintain it's by education and exposing them to alternative ways of thinking. IOW, change the inputs. BTW when you call them "bad" people it sure sounds like you're looking down on them. I'm either getting conflicting signals or I'm just plain ignorant.
    Genetics may be the cause, or a part of the cause, but whether it's genetic, cultural, or a combination of both (probably this), the situation is the same - people with a low propensity to do, believe, or feel otherwise. I'm not calling these people bad, what I'm doing is calling this out as a common perception, and that it may be a mis-perception.

    And I agree with you - exposing them to alternative ways of thinking in a way that works is the only recourse. Emotions don't need to be involved.
    Partly it's my problem. I interpret words like sympathy and empathy in a non-emotional, Asperger's sort of way. To me empathy is the ability to understand what someone is thinking through commonality of experience as well as body language and the rest. And sympathy is taking that and recognizing the need to help each other as fellow human beings. Empathy is neutral, in my way of thinking, as to how it gets applied. In my view even Trump has empathy. He's actually extremely empathetic, but employs it in manipulative and intentionally evil ways. But I don't think many of his followers are that way. Not at all. Emotions are valuable though in that they're a window into one's subconscious. And the subconscious is the well-spring of reason.

  5. Top | #45
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    The problem is that, while, yes, Trump supporters, in general, are ignorant people, the reason they are Trump supporters has more to do with how they have been manipulated. And I don't just mean recently, or just by Trump or the Russians or even Fox news. There has been a concerted effort ever since Obama (though, arguably, since Reagan) to deliberately stunt the intellectual growth of the middle to lower class in this country for decades.

    When you destroy the public school system--as Reagan did in particular--the end result is Trump supporters (and before them Tea Partiers), but, again, it's not so much ignorance as being deliberately taught the wrong things; the wrong attitudes; the wrong beliefs; etc, but it's done in a way that makes them believe they are receiving special knowledge. It's brainwashing on a systematic level and through endless inculcation that mirrors the Christian cult's approach and for good reason. It's one of the most successful and longest lasting cults the world has ever seen.

    It's reinforcing binary thinking over critical thinking (which is, by definition, non-binary). Love is turned into hate. Being smart or intelligent is shameful and discouraged. Group think over individualism. Basically having any personal thoughts are disallowed in a variety of ways so that most Americans were/are brought up in carefully created bubbles of controlled thought, from the family unit to the school experience to the work place for the most part.

    The evidence is clear. Nearly every single one of them just regurgitates--word for word--whatever they are programmed to regurgitate. But it's deeper than mere ignorance; it's taking the same ability to think critically and short circuiting it, so that the tools of reason are flipped. It's like reprogramming your computer to read a "0" as a "1." The process is still the same, but no matter what gets fed into it will come out wrong at the other end, but because the process hasn't been changed, they can't understand what anyone is objecting to.

    It's weaponizing Christianity, basically. And it's been going on ever since the Romans created Christianity (or at least since it was first weaponized by Constantine).

    So, there is no way to change it in its current iteration. We just have to wait until these generations die, which, thankfully, is within the next decade for the majority of them and few new ones coming up to replace them.

    That's what we really witnessing is the death knell of the white hegemony. This is what it has always looked like, it was just hidden under white hoods. Take those hoods off and you get this shit show dumpster fire.

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