"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Facts, Feelings, Thoughts, Opinions

While visiting Joe Huffman's blog, I lifted this excerpt because I felt it deserved more comment.

"While I think there is a fair amount of lying going on they don’t think of it as lying. They just don’t understand facts are independent of their feelings. If they feel something then, in their view of reality, it is true. I’ve had people flat out tell me this. I would point out that what someone was saying was in direct contradiction to verifiable facts. And I would get a response of something to the effect, “Well, it’s true to them and that is what matters.” -- Joe Huffman
There is also a very telling anecdote about liberal “research” in this same article:
In 2006 I was at a cocktail party in Arlington, VA, talking to a liberal journalist about his soon-to-be-released book on Iraq when John Lott joined us. John listened for a moment and then said to the author, 
“I’m curious. You say you just finished a book on the Iraq war. I always find it so hard to finish a book. I get so deep into the research I have a hard time stopping to write. I’m guessing you had a hard time leaving Iraq. There is so much to investigate and understand.”  
The author said, “I didn’t go to Iraq.”  
John paused with this quizzical look on his face before asking, “Oh, how did you do your research?”  
The author said, “I didn’t have to do much. I mean, I already know what I think.”
Feelings versus facts. It’s a type of mental disorder.—Joe]

The article quoted above can be found at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/frankminiter/2014/09/25/how-bloombergs-million-dollar-desire-for-gun-control-is-backfiring/

What is so revealing in that last statement by the unnamed liberal author is how he thinks about research.  To him, research isn't about gathering facts and using logic to come to a realistic and logical conclusion on a matter.  To him, research is only necessary to confirm what he already thinks, or more specifically, his opinion.  And because he feels he is a member of the anointed visionary class, he owes it to the unwashed masses (which really means anyone who doesn't already think the way he does), to share his enlightened opinion.

Too much about living in 21st century America allows for this kind of lack of rational thought.  Many decades ago when there were no "social safety nets," failure to think logically and act accordingly could get you killed or end up suffering very bad consequences.

Now the modern world is populated by too many people  (dare I say about half of the population) who have raised the right to an opinion to some kind of sacrosanct status.

Oh, but wait!  That's not entirely true when I really think about it.  On closer examination, only opinions that are politically fashionable to the left that are respected, or damn near worshipped.  I use the phrase politically fashionable because there isn't a damn thing correct about "political correctness."  Political Correctness, in all it's verbal forms, is Orwellian newspeak for the highly intolerant soft tyranny of the statists.

Very soon, the unsustainable economic situation in this country is going to collapse, and when it does, modern liberal thinkers will be forced, dragged kicking and screaming, to the reality that all of their wishful but totally incorrect feelings, thoughts, and opinions on how to create a utopian society is all just crap.

That degree in political science, women's studies, international relations, art history, public administration, urban and regional planning, environmental studies or applied sociology, is going to be about as useful to you as a degree in typewriter repair.  It is not going to help you know how to grow or preserve food, to hunt and field dress an animal, take care of domestic animals, make fire without a lighter or matches, find or purify water, or build a shelter.

The last thing to note about the liberal author's final statement above is the subtle arrogance. An arrogance that even he doesn't seem to recognize.  "I mean, I already know what I think,” pretty much tells you that he doesn't think that any more thought needs to be given to the subject.  For a leftist who has made up his mind, facts are inconvenient and sometimes downright confusing.  I guess you could also attribute his statement to over-confidence.

The low-or-no-information voter never wants to be bothered with questions of epistemology.  The next time a leftist is defending a socialist idea or attacking a tried-and-true conservative one, just ask the question: "What if you're totally wrong?"
Remember the pseudo-genius evil character from Princess Bride?  You'll probably hear the answer: "Inconceivable!"

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