Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Will a majority of Republicans ever learn that science is more reliable than their fantasies?

Asked by wundayatta (58377 points ) November 9th, 2012

Huffington Post reports that Mitt Romney was shellshocked after his loss. It seems he believed internal polls that showed him winning, even though an averaging of polls showed him losing.

Of course, a large number of Republicans seem to disbelieve science, in general. They don’t believe in global warming. They think gays are different from others. They think religion has a place in schools. Well, certain religions, anyway.

Is this built into their belief system in such a way that science can never be convincing to them? Or is this a cultural trend that will change at some point? Why or why not? And if you think it will change, when do you think that will happen?

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70 Answers

Qingu's avatar

The thing about respecting science is that doing so tends to make you not a Republican.

To me, it’s sort of like asking “will a majority of Christians ever learn that the Jesus resurrection thing is just a myth?”

syz's avatar

Not the ones in leadership roles, apparently.

glacial's avatar

It depends how you define “Republicans”. I hope that the party will change sufficiently that the extreme right-wingers will have less power. Obviously, voters who identify themselves as conservative have been voting for Obama in the last two elections. I feel sure that that group respects science more than the current leaders of the Republican party. Either the Republican party of 20 years from now will be characterized by more respect for science and facts, or there will be a new party for moderate conservatives that is.

DrBill's avatar

the real question is when will little minds stop blaming an entire party for the opinions voiced by one person

thorninmud's avatar

People who are unfamiliar with how science works often fall prey to a basic human foible: Because science allows for dispute and encourages a plurality of ideas (with the understanding that experimental evidence will cull the herd of bad ideas), people get the impression that just because one can find some scientist touting an idea that supports your worldview, then your worldview is “scientific”.

Seek's avatar

@DrBill When the members of the party stop voting for that one person?

DrBill's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr but not ALL the members did, but you are accusing them ALL

Go ahead and blame the wrong doers, but you are accusing the innocent also.

Seek's avatar

58173586 people voted for Romney.

That’s hardly “one person”.

gondwanalon's avatar

As you may know, I’m a conservative Republican. I think that man made global warming is very likely happening, gays are good people who deserve all the benefits that heterosexuals enjoy. Also I think no religion has a place in public schools. I have a B.A. in Zoology and from what I’ve seen, evolution is a fact, not a theory.

There are reasons why the Republican Party lost the this presidential election such as:

1. A liberal biased mainstream news media.
2. Ever growing voters who are ill-informed, illiterate and dependent on government handouts. It is very likely this election was decided by folks who can not name the Secretary of State, the Vice President or know who Harry Reid is.
The future for the Republican Party looks very bleak as an ever growing electorate becomes dependent on an ever bloated Federal government.

“It is profoundly disturbing to watch a once-great power commit suicide in real time”. -Monica Crowley (11–6–2012)

bolwerk's avatar

@gondwanalon: the part of the electorate that is dependent on government bloat is the part that votes Republikan. In 2004, blue subsidized red to a tune of north of $100B.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@gondwanalon Preach it! I’m so tired of being labeled the same as homophobic rednecks or selfish businessmen. Just because I believe Obama is not what the country needs or that Obamacare is not the greatest thing since sliced bread, doesn’t mean I’m living in a ‘garden of Eden’ fantasy world.

@bolwerk BTW- don’t forget Republicans donate more to charity than your party as well. If you’re going to list facts, list the ones that don’t favor your party as well if you want to be factual.

Good question, W!!

bolwerk's avatar

@KNOWITALL: what is my party? And what is the source for that “fact”?

Qingu's avatar

@gondwanalon, ill-informed, illiterate voters dependent on government handouts? LOL I love how this is becoming the standard GOP postmortem.

I’m sure I don’t need to remind you about those delightful Tea Party folks who wanted the government out of their medicare, who railed on Obama for appointing “czars” for the first time in American history, who thinks Obamacare increases the deficit and is a government takeover, etc, etc, etc.

And since you’re an intelligent person, who believes in global warming, evolution, and gay rights, you are obviously aware of the yawning ignorance of your fellow Republican voters.

So I don’t believe you. I don’t think you are being sincere.

And I think the basic reason the Republican Party lost is that most of the electorate realized that people like you are not sincere.

Qingu's avatar

@KNOWITALL, sorry, but I don’t give Republicans credit for donating charity to churches. That’s called paying for a service.

bolwerk's avatar

@Qingu: donating money to anti-abortion causes, if not the party itself, is probably charity in their minds.

digitalimpression's avatar

Once again, this question reeks of generalization and stereotyping. It is also asked in a tone that I like to refer to as the “na-na-na-na-na-na tone”... you know.. like when kids on the elementary school playground called each other names.

The same tone would be used (no doubt) if Mitt had won… it would just be a different taunt.

As usual in this thread we’re going to start seeing members of both parties bash each other and viola… nothing will be gained.

When will adults be adults? I’ve been waiting for what seems forever.

Qingu's avatar

@digitalimpression, actually, adults have debates about important issues, even heated debates. Children are generally the ones who go up to their room and put their fingers in their ears when mommy and daddy are arguing.

digitalimpression's avatar

@Qingu I’ll take that with a shaker of salt based on your previous two posts. xD

bolwerk's avatar

In all seriousness, Republikans often have poor bullshit alarms. If you take stuff like “Eve was pulled from a rib” or supply-side economics literally, it’s probably not hard to convince you of all kinds of crap. Right-wing blogs are apparently taking this satire seriously.

KNOWITALL's avatar

See, this is what happens every single time, it’s a free for all bashing session against Republicans.

bolwerk's avatar

@KNOWITALL: oh know, the poor dears. However will they bash back?

Also, you never answered my question. What is my party?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@bolwerk I have no idea what your party is, and frankly, I don’t care. You are really not talking ideals and policies are you, you’re sticking to low-brow insults and repetitive Bible-bashing statements.

You can simply Google ‘which party donates more to charity’ and read ALL the links yourself. Even other parties acknowledge this fact often although you don’t hear much about it during all the ‘Republicans hate poor people’ speeches. It’s sickening.

New Englanders remain among the most tightfisted in the country when it comes to charitable giving while Bible Belt residents are among the most generous, according to an
annual index.
http://www.ourneighborstable.com/are-liberals-greedy-selfish/

Conservatives not only donate more money to charity than liberals
do, conservatives volunteer more time as well. More conservatives
than liberals also donate blood.

According to Professor Brooks: “If liberals and moderates gave blood
at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply of the United
States would jump about 45 percent.”

bolwerk's avatar

@KNOWITALL: you attributed a party to me. What is it? Asking you to defend your claim is not a “low-brow insult.” And where the hell did I bash the Bible? I pointed out that people who take Genesis’s creation story literally might not have the best sense for, well, let’s say discerning facts. I don’t see how that translates into a swipe at the whole Bible, the obviously literal word of God (except for that one minor mistake).

And, I know it will probably piss you off to say this, but that methodology is pretty questionable. It’s going by itemized tax deductions as reported by the IRS. It doesn’t seem to account for things like volunteer time or other forms of charity. Donating your car to get a deduction counts here, but volunteering time tutoring poor kids doesn’t. People in the northeast, particularly large cities, often don’t even have cars.

I got no problems with generalizations, but this is a crappy one based on impartial data.

Seek's avatar

A good number of “liberals” aren’t allowed to donate blood.
Having a single one-night stand in your life and being honest about it red-flags your file.

bolwerk's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: heh, I think you can still donate after a one-night stand, but you can’t if you’re a guy who had sex with another guy since 1978 or something. Or, if you’re a woman who had sex with a guy who had sex with a guy since 1978.

What little good that does. Do you suppose closet cases, who are often conservatives practicing self-denial, are honest when they donate blood? Or practice safe-sex when they, um, stray from the flock….

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Well, I don’t rightly know. About the same time a majority of Democrats learn that condescension, mockery, and douchebaggery are not helping their cause, I reckon.

But… I imagine that advice will go unheeded as usual. The horse will get higher and higher. And eventually, there will be a fall. A painful one. Our country is divided and broken, and it did not become that way because of only the Republicans, contrary to the belief of condescending, mocking douchebags.

thorninmud's avatar

I can’t donate blood because I lived in France 22 years ago. I’m not making this up.

bolwerk's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate: you probably have it backwards. Democrats need to learn that condescension, mockery, and douchebaggery are why Republikans win elections. But Democrats are chronically inept campaigners, so it never sinks in.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@bolwerk No, I said I didn’t care what party you were because of your comments.

Creationists are not the best at discerning facts eh? Every time you post, I laugh at the ridiculousness. But I keep trying to give you the benefit of the doubt.

You will not ever piss me off, sir, I don’t respect your opinion enough. It’s rather amusing, like Obama’s Presidency. :)
(I’m closing Gitmo, No Bush tax cuts, No new troops on the ground)

BTW- Your sarcasm is acknowledged about the Bible.

Newton was a Christian
Louis Pasteur was a Christian
and others are

Dr. William Arion, Biochemistry, Chemistry
Dr. Paul Ackerman, Psychologist
Dr. E. Theo Agard, Medical Physics
Dr. Steve Austin, Geologist
Dr. S.E. Aw, Biochemist
Dr. Thomas Barnes, Physicist
Dr. Geoff Barnard, Immunologist
Dr. Don Batten, Plant Physiologist
Dr. John Baumgardner, Electrical Engineering, Space Physicist, Geophysicist, expert in supercomputer modeling of plate tectonics
Dr. Jerry Bergman, Psychologist
Dr. Kimberly Berrine, Microbiology & Immunology
Prof. Vladimir Betina, Microbiology, Biochemistry & Biology
Dr. Andrew Bosanquet, Biology, Microbiology
Edward A. Boudreaux, Theoretical Chemistry
Dr. David R. Boylan, Chemical Engineer
Prof. Linn E. Carothers, Associate Professor of Statistics
Dr. Rob Carter, Marine Biology
Dr. David Catchpoole, Plant Physiology
Prof. Sung-Do Cha, Physics
Dr. Eugene F. Chaffin, Professor of Physics
Dr. Choong-Kuk Chang, Genetic Engineering
Prof. Jeun-Sik Chang, Aeronautical Engineering
Dr. Donald Chittick, Physical Chemist
Prof. Chung-Il Cho, Biology Education
Dr. John M. Cimbala, Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Harold Coffin, Palaeontologist

*I donate blood as often as I can get to it- I even have a card! I’m not understanding why ‘liberals’ aren’t allowed, are you saying because they have low moral values or ???

@WillWorkForChocolate You are getting the point right…he’s just Republican-baiting for whatever reason, he doesn’t even acknowledge facts.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@KNOWITALL Yes, Republican baiting/bashing is a much beloved game here. As is religion bashing. It gets old, doesn’t it? And to think, I’ve been reading the same bullshit from the same bullshitters for two years. And we wonder why we don’t get many new members… strange, isn’t it?

bolwerk's avatar

@KNOWITALL: so I’m supposed to believe dumb shit because other people might have believed dumb shit? Yes, I think it’s fairly safe to say the people who think a woman can be extracted from the rib don’t have the best grasp on reality.

Poor Republikans. They can dish nastiness out – “I don’t respect your opinion enough” – but they can’t even handle well-considered criticism.

Seek's avatar

Well, I can’t donate blood because some tech fucked up and put on my file that I have Hepatitis C. I don’t. Friends of mine can’t donate because they were in the Peace Corps and visiting certain countries in Africa flags your file. Another can’t donate because they can’t be certain one of their former sexual partners had never had sex with a man.

I find the “low moral values” line a bit insulting, but sure. If you have extramarital sex, there’s a good chance you’re not allowed to donate blood. And if you’ve ever donated your time and effort to help a third world country, you’re definitely not allowed to donate blood.

I’m just saying, blood donation rates : political party is a pretty silly way to put yourself on a high horse.

bolwerk's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: if you ever donated your time to help a third world country, you probably don’t meet the definition of “charitable” @KNOWITALL posted either. :(

tom_g's avatar

I can hardly follow this conversation.

To be fair, while most (58%) Republicans are creationists, they don’t have a monopoly on denial of modern biology. According to a Gallup poll from May 2012, 41% of Democrats also believe that humans were created by god during the Agricultural Revolution.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@bolwerk You are supposed to respect other people’s opinions and discourse with facts in a mature fashion. You truly believe after all that you’ve posted that my straight-up telling you I don’t respect your opinion is ‘nastiness’? Are we on the same planet honey?

Also, I would never have the audacity to declare anyone’s religion, NO ONE’s, ‘dumb shit’. Who’s the rude one here?

@Seek_Kolinahr I was asking a question based on the information you were providing, it sounded like you were saying if you’ve had a one-night stand you can’t donate blood. Your explanation makes much more sense. Hey, your little friend Bolwerk is the one who started all these ridiculous comparisons, asking for proof, etc….it is ridiculous imo as well but apparently he wants it this way.

Seek's avatar

@tom_g Clearly, we all know that a good 80 – 90% of Americans are religious and so will claim creation in some form or another.

You might want to look at the numbers that show only 5% of Republicans believe in godless Evolution, compared to 19% each Independents and Democrats.

wundayatta's avatar

When I was young, my mother always accused me of cutting of my nose to spite my face.

I think the answer to my question is that even liberal Republicans will do anything other than acknowledge a problem. They will deflect the question saying that it doesn’t apply to them, since they are not the Republicans in question.

This is fine and true, I’m sure, but it doesn’t help your party adapt to the current situation. It is a form of denial, in fact.

The other main argument I see here is that Democrats are being rude and condescending and aren’t treating us politely. We’re not going to have a conversation until you guys start acting respectful.

Ok. That’s not really an argument. I’m sorry you feel like you aren’t being respected, but respected or not, to me that’s the same behavior as what lost you the election. Instead of dealing with issues, you focus on the tone of the debate.

Free advice here. That’s not going to help you. But then, I don’t know if I should care. Still, if you did start looking at issues and truth and science, it seems to me you could gain a lot more credibility. If you have to eat some crow while doing that, then that’s a small price to pay.

Still, refusing to eat crow is part of the Republican platform. You look down on us Democrats for being weak and trying to appease others. You don’t respect that. And that’s your approach to foreign policy: send in the army. It doesn’t matter if the army isn’t needed, and it doesn’t really matter that you usually don’t send in the army until you’ve tried other things (thank god), your rhetoric is usually very aggressive, and your response to criticism is to be aggressive and to take offence at the tone of voice you think is being used.

I accept that you think my question is taunting, but I didn’t mean it that way. I really am curious as to when Republicans (and yes, that is a generalization, but what else can I do) will catch on that science is a better way to learn the truth. It would seem to me that experience might teach a lesson, but maybe it’s too soon. Or maybe there are deeper reasons having to do with brain chemistry or something that explain why Republicans prefer to make up reality rather than use science to figure out what it is.

glacial's avatar

@tom_g It’s an impossible conversation to follow. Which is too bad, because the question was a legitimate one, and not conservative-bashing. It should be possible to discuss the shortcomings within the party without smearing half the electorate or being accused of smearing half the electorate. Why not just answer the question?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@wundayatta The question of rudeness keeps coming up from Republicans because every time we open our mouths for intelligent conversation, someone jumps up and starts talking smack, it’s immature and how does that help promote change and understanding?

It matters because what happens in these forums, and what we say to each other, has repercussions in Congress as well. Do you not see that?

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
wundayatta's avatar

@KNOWITALL Well, my feeling is that if I’m interested in the issues, I focus on the issues. If I don’t think it is possible to focus on issues and the people I’m talking to just want to sidetrack things, then I might get side tracked. I won’t talk smack because that’s how you get modded around here.

And there is a lot of room for disagreement about what the issues are and what the tone is and whether you want to be insulted or not. Personally, I try not to be insulted by what people say about me. There’s really only one person here who can get me every time, so I’ve learned to laugh about that a little. It seems I get that person, too, and we seem to have tried to pull back a bit.

I think some people get more sensitive than others, and to those who think smack is being talked, it is very obvious. It’s not obvious to me. But I don’t care to discuss it. I’m prepared to say it clearly bothers you, but I want to focus on the issues. I’m sorry you can’t see the issues because of the tone of voice. I don’t see the problem. Or rather, I’ve been living with it for so long, I don’t see the need to change it. We just muddle through.

If we get side tracked, well, we’ll never get anywhere. The issue is science and making up theories without ever subjecting them to scientific review. Will the majority of Republicans ever come to see science as important?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@bolwerk I disagree completely tbh. You thought your snarky comments about Republikans and generalized assumptions were ‘facts’ of some kind. Because you obviously aren’t a ‘believer’ you will never understand our point of view because it’s a belief system based on FAITH.

@wundayatta No they won’t, it’s too closely tied to our religion.

I hope that’s a peaceable enough answer for everyone. I am sorry that I get upset sometimes, but my time is limited and I truly enjoy some factual debate. To see people wasting our time with name-calling and belittling comments is too negative for me and certainly doesn’t promote growth. Peace out.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Just so we’re clear, it wasn’t the question itself that kept me from giving a “real” answer, it was the amount of comments dripping with disdain and condescension that did. There is never a question about Republicans or Christians on this site that does not become a disgusting mess because of this site’s prominent members, and it appears that almost all such questions are asked with this in mind. Therefore, I see no reason why I should give a “real” answer to a question which will only invite more one-sided bullshit. If the bullshit were to stop, comments like my first one would be unnecessary, wouldn’t they?

wundayatta's avatar

@KNOWITALL Whoa!

See, if you are right, then that’s why there is such a huge divide in the way the parties see the world. It is a substantive and significant difference in understanding how the world works. If it can’t be bridged, we are in deep trouble.

GracieT's avatar

I can’t donate blood because of being epileptic and I had to lower my volunteering schedule because of having had a seizure. I also volunteer often in my church, and contribute to many charities. Oh yeah- I’m liberal.

Seek's avatar

@KNOWITALL

But 80 – 90% of Americans participate in an Abrahamic religion, yet only about half are registered Republicans – so you don’t have a great religious=Republican ratio, and 40% of Americans (according to the Gallup poll above) don’t believe in Creation of any kind… so I’m confused… Why does being Republican mean that one can’t accept science?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@GracieT I know MANY liberals who are generous, loving, INTELLIGENT & caring people. And my husband is also an epileptic.

I only posted the links in regards to your fellow liberals request for such data.

@wundayatta Exactly, that’s what I’ve been trying to get to in this Q instead of bashing. :) Thank you for finally seeing it is a real world problem.

bolwerk's avatar

@KNOWITALL: do you know what a generalization is? The things I said were generally true. I didn’t say they were true under every circumstance. There are gay-tolerant Republikans. And there are probably a shitload of closet gay Republikans. There are religiously tolerant Republikans. These things are unusual, but they certainly aren’t unheard of.

And, faith is well and good…to a point. Jesus seemed like a swell enough fellow. Usually the problems that arise with his teachings come from his followers misinterpreting or not wanting to interpret them properly. But once you start having faith in things that aren’t true or are silly, like Supply-Side Jesus or women being yanked outta ribs or arks full of mating pairs, you start butting heads with reality.

And, your “data” about liberals and charity: thank you for trying, but you haven’t addressed the major problem with it: where does it account for things like volunteer time?

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think I’ll turn this over to WillWorkForChocolate, I’m losing my patience and I certainly won’t have my Jesus mocked. Even Catholics have their breaking points and that I won’t tolerate. Peace.

Seek's avatar

Why is it any time a non-Christian mentions Jesus it’s “mocking”? He didn’t even say anything negative. Hell, if we wanted to we might have mentioned his being executed for stealing a horse. But no, all that was said is that he was a “swell enough fellow”. How is that mocking?

But if you’re done, you’re done. Toodles!

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
KNOWITALL's avatar

I’ve always tried to be respectful to you guys, and even when you and I were discussing your financial situations, your introduction into a cult, did I not say I was curious, was I respectful by messaging you privately?

If you think telling a Christian “Jesus seems like swell enough fellow” isn’t sarcastic, somethings wrong with you.

To us he is our savior. He endured days of torture and ridicule from the Romans for our salvation when He could have called a host of angels to rescue him at any time. You just don’t get it, and to me that’s really sad.

Faith based religion is kind of like when you guys voted for Hope and Change and elected Obama. You know by now that Gitmo didn’t close. You know he voted to keep the Bush tax cuts. You know he said he wouldn’t send new troops anywhere. He kept the kill order on Osama that was in place before his Presidency then you brag about him killing Osama….really?! But you re-elected him. Who are the crazy ones here?

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
bolwerk's avatar

It’s hard not to like someone who says, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Then, we all know that today’s typical contemporary American Christian would probably be calling the poor guy a hippie and yelling about how hungry and thirsty should gewwrt a jawwwb and the meek should be lifting themselves up by the bootstraps. And that many poor and listless would just get the police on ‘em called anyway…. :(

@KNOWITALL: it wasn’t sarcastic. Your bullshit alarm is just inverted.

Re your last paragraph (“Faith based religion is…”): um, no it’s not. For one, you have a lot of faith in who other people voted for or what you think they’re thinking. Who here has said anything positive about Obama? I frankly think the guy is a right-wing nut lizard, just like Romney. He’s not as bad as Romney because his policies are more in touch with reality and people’s needs, but acknowledging that isn’t the same as liking him.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Short answer: No.

Qingu's avatar

@KNOWITALL, actually, believing in a ridiculous fairy tale about a Jewish zombie who is his own father is very little like hoping that Obama will be able to advance the progressive cause despite the GOP forcing him to compromise on taxes and Gitmo.

And as I’ve said before, I find it utterly disengenuous that you continue to blame Obama for policies that were forced upon him by your party. And I think you know you’re being dishonest, which is why I get so pissed off in conversations like this.

Seek's avatar

@KNOWITALL

Wrong. I totally get it. I lived there. I once subscribed to the belief that my beliefs were above ridicule because High Holy Jesus was my Lord and Savior. I got better.

I’m not going to censor my speech because of your beliefs. It’s your job to stand up for your beliefs, and they are not at all above question.

(oh, and the cult was the Pentecostal Church, not the Manson Family. And I’ll talk about it freely. I’m not ashamed, because I grew up and learned from my 15 year mistake)

KNOWITALL's avatar

If I or other Christians are supposed to listen and not snark, couldn’t you return the favor, or is is just conservatives that need to grow up?

My mother works at the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, so that is really not cool. Those poor people have to deal with so much stigma already, please don’t add to it just to make a point to me.

tom_g's avatar

Wow. Keyboards are apparently malfunctioning.

I know I’m a broken record on the concept of being “offended”, but I would like to propose that any belief system that is supposed to be protected from analysis or mockery is one that probably requires more of both.

amujinx's avatar

A big problem with many people, regardless of political affiliation, is that they don’t understand the difference between a theory and a hypothesis and think they are the same thing. Since they think they are the same thing, they think that just saying something is a theory is ample evidence to have an opposing view on the subject without any actual evidence.

I never hear these people who accuse things such as evolution of “only being a theory” ever attack gravity for “only being a theory”, though.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Clearly this question unfairly overgeneralizes about a group of people, namely Republicans.

There may be a subset of people who avoid information sources other than ‘Fox News’ and what information circulates within closed circles of people more focused to preserving their political assumptions and doctrines than on sampling, exploring and evaluating a much wider range of information.

These people find it easier, more comfortable and somehow ‘safer’ to access sources of information that does not challenge what they have already come to believe. There is some evidence of a strong anti-intellectual bias against anything derived from the empirical evidence of peer reviewed scientific research.

In the past there were groups of people who accepted as true the notion that the earth was flat. There used to be powerful groups who considered only Caucasians with Aryan features to be truly human and deserving of human rights. At one time, pseudo-scientists promoted Eugenics as a way to keep the human race healthy and pure.

It is unfortunate that ignorance is self-sustaining in an environment where denial of demonstrable facts are socially rewarded and where legitimate, empirical inquiry is ridiculed and obstructed by those who fear exposure to new knowledge that some fear with undermine what they consider to be unchangeable “revealed truth.” Within such insular groups, untestable beliefs are promoted as universally true and where doubts and questions are not tolerated. Anyone whose ears and ears are wilfully closed to any challenging notions or evidence can succeed in remaining true to any set of beliefs and assumptions.

In principle, even “Liberals” or “Democrats” can fall into the intellectual trap of ignoring ideas or suggestions that may have merit by disregarding any such input from a source labelled as “Conservative” or “Republican.”

Minds work best when they are open to new ideas. Often, this requires us to have our mouths closed often enough to hear varying viewpoints.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Just a reminder, folks: Please keep it civil. Remember to disagree without being disagreeable.

ETpro's avatar

Yes, Republicans (if the party doesn’t self destruct) will eventually get dragged into the here and now. Look how long the conservative popes fought against a Heliocentric Solar System. But fortunately, the Sun did not care what a given pope believed, nor did the Earth decide to jump to the center of the Solar System and swing the Sun around itself. Reality went on quite independent of who believed in it. The scientific method is powerful precisely because it roots out error over time. Beliefs based on innate hunches or party propaganda do just the opposite. They preserve error. But error cannot ever prevail over truth.

bolwerk's avatar

@KNOWITALL: nobody said you have to “listen and not snark.” It’s your hypocrisy that attracted criticism. You demand your religious views, which you apparently politicize to some extent, be treated as sacrosanct, but throw around disrespectful personal attacks.

In fact, the attacks on your religion, from me at least, were imagined anyway. I said things like literal acceptance of the creation myth are silly, and they are. And they’re even sillier to politicize. Even St. Paul of Tarsus didn’t demand rigid observance of Old Testament rules for Christians – that’s from your own Bible – so I have a hard time seeing how criticizing hamfisted theological positions taken from the oldest parts of the Pentateuch (which medieval Jewish scholars already even believed to be somehow allegorical or metaphorical) butts heads with any relevant Christian doctrine. I’m not aware of Paul commenting on creation, though.

@amujinx: well, they conflate two meanings of theory, which does mean something like “hunch” in everyday language. In science, it means something more like “working framework.” So, the funny part is “only a theory” is kind of like saying “only really, really evident.”

@Dr_Lawrence: does it? What percentage of self-identified Republicans are willing to stand up to creationists, supply-siders, or the backbending legal antics of the Scalia-Ashcroft-Espada crowd? At least the first two are going against fairly settled science, and the third is forging a path that is pretty repugnant to the principles the USA claims to be founded on.

My take: so-called moderates and liberals actually want Republikans to be sane people, so they impose the narrative that there are hordes of reasonable Republicans out there. Hence choadery like Aaron Sorkin, or the chorus of Paul Ryan praise that came from “moderates” when Romney selected him. Paul Ryan, of course, believes a lot of snake oil.

@ETpro: they rejiggered their strategy after Clinton (stole an election), got Bush. The lesson they – and many other reactionaries – learned was the law doesn’t apply to them. The lie chorus never stopped. Their response to losing in 2006/2008 was increased ideological purity and they got some of what they wanted in a wave of anti-Obama backlash. They’re going to rejigger again, and maybe after two years of gridlock they cause make some gains in 2014.

Seek's avatar

@KNOWITALL Waitaminit… now we have to not only walk on eggshells in order to avoid offending your precious faith (whatever that is this week, I never really can tell if you’re a fundamental or a liberal Catholic. You’re pretty wishy-washy) but we can’t say anything that you might choose to draw offense from in any way – including your mother’s profession? Frankly, you need to get over it. There’s no possible way to have an intelligent conversation with someone who’s just going to stick her fingers in her ears every other paragraph and claim the poin’t is invalid because she doesn’t like it.

What was it that brought on “My mom works there!” anyway? My quip about the Manson family?

bolwerk's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: you nailed some more hypocrisy. She accused me of being crazy in another thread. Apparently going to mental health issues is okay when she does it.

ETpro's avatar

@bolwerk It will be interesting to see what the current soul searching within Republican circles produces. There are two schools of though regarding their poor performance with the now dominant voting block, women. One school thinks they need to rejigger policies.

But another loud and prominent school is defending the GOP stance on reproductive rights, educational access, and the maintenance of inequality in pay. The policies are fine, this school maintains. They feel all that is needed a change in messaging so that even delicate-minded little women can understand how right they are. That seems to be the conclusion that Republican Charles Krauthammer reaches in his op-ed, ’’The Way Forward’’ in the Washington Post the day after the election. Rachel Maddow did a great job of capsuling the current effort to reflect and revise. Revision seems to be difficult for reactionaries.

bolwerk's avatar

@ETpro: Umberto Eco said something to the effect that reactionaries/authoritarians (his term is “Ur-Fascist,” the primal fascism that creeps up in politics and needs to be constantly challenged) have to have an enemy to motivate their followers. That enemy must be at once too strong, to be a threat, and too weak, to be contemptible so that the followers have something to feel superior to. The result is an inability to objectively evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of opponents, which quite possibly cost the GOP the election the other night.

ETpro's avatar

@bolwerk That’s extremely interesting. It meshes well with research on authoritarian followers pioneered by Dr. Robert Altemeyer at the University of Manitoba in Canada. His book, The Authoritarians is available free as a PDF. Dr. Altemeyer notes that while his research looked at right-wing authoritarianism, since that is the form it takes in the West, that his studies suggest Communist Countries would be heavily influenced by left-wing authoritarianism. He notes that his work to date shows both brands of authoritarians employ the same sort of fascist ideology.

Paradox25's avatar

Science does not discriminate and science is never wrong, but scientists and their hypothesisest/theories can be wrong. Does this mean that faith is more reliable than science because of this in my opinion; no. Also you don’t have to be religious to fall for the faith over reason trap either, and I think it’s a bit unfair to claim that if someone disagrees with your viewpoints it’s because they didn’t use critical thinking. Not everybody is Republican for the same reasons, just like not everybody believes there is a god/creator because of religious upbringing, blind faith or fear. I guess that stereotyping works both ways here.

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