Thursday, April 13, 2017

Simple Explanations

 
For a quick look at simplistic definitions, here's a notional breakdown of western culture
and ideology.  It's reasonably accurate, isn't it.  
How much agrees with that which I hold as personal and proven conviction,
and how much is accepted without being understood in detail and validated?  
“Ideologies get rid of the messiness and impose a simple solution. So, it may not be surprising that people with less cognitive capacity will be attracted to simplifying ideologies.”  
~Dr. Brian Nosek

Did he actually say that the dumber among us will fall for the simplistic rhetoric of today's propagandists?  Yep.  He said that.

There's more, of course, always.  The truth is that we're all facing information overload, and it's easier to pick a simplistic position on some of life's issues than to study them all in detail.  Even smart folks get suckered in.  Reposting fake news is perhaps an example.  It doesn't matter how smart you are if you don't use your mind.  Ideologues forgo independent judgement in favor of having their views handed to them.

Party loyalty, religious exclusivism, consumerist norms, style and fashion, current issues, all tend to be simplistically defined and accepted.  Notice the popular trends you accept ...

There's a difference between an opinion and a personal conviction.

The values you've been taught ... each must eventually be unequivocally validated (or disproved and discarded) in your own understanding if you're going to be a thoughtful adult with a good conscience.  It's a personal task that establishes one's character and spans a lifetime.

Truth, of course, doesn't change.  Everything else changes.
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One example: the issue of gender equality is not a contest between men and women although it is often depicted as such.  The tension is between ideologies; between those who want to bring an end to hierarchies (of gender, class, race, caste), replacing them with equality, and those who prefer to maintain the status quo.  Participants on various sides can fall into the simplistic explanation of 'an attack on women' or 'feminist at war against men'.  All are off track.
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When ideology is your guide, you're bound to get lost.  It doesn't matter how smart you are if you don't use your mind.  Ideologues forgo independent judgement in favor of having their views handed to them.  Ideology determines your reaction to issues, ideas, and people, your view of politics, philosophy, economics, and history.  Facts and experience, personal inquiry and reasoning are much better at leading you to truth.  Such truth, however, is not everyone's intended destination.  ~Daniel J. Flynn

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