Though I have tried, intensely, it has been my experience that many positions cannot be understood or empathized with by the listener. Some places we cannot go, must not go. Cutting off 1 or 30 or 300 heads, for a gross example.
Often the logic is not there or they have made up their own logic, which is the case in much of the climatology (modelling) of global warming. Or, they have accepted on faith the statements from The One, the teacher, the prophet, Cronkite, Neo or whomever, and become True Believers. There are leaps of faith a listener just cannot take, because there is no way back. Many of them.
In such circumstances, one must objectify the person in order to even continue to listen to their point of view. Making those synapses would kill us or make us insane, so we instinctively push back in unconscious defense of self. We just laugh in pain for them. We may pray for them too. We put them in a box.
The astroturf is wide and deep out there and it has been planted like a minefield by our teachers, elders, politicians, media and myriad other collectivists who truly believe they know better…and what they do and say is so important, or so they rationalize, that their lying, stealing, cheating, hypocrisy (or whatever) is justified to achieve that end goal. Once upon a time, in a place far away and long ago, it was called noblesse oblige, but the Nobel Peace Prize ruined that.
Society accepts this decrepit corruption now because we have been conditioned to TOLERATE moral relativity. I think Hank Racette’s point is the a priori decision to not listen and not understand, even though we could and should. But instead, we unnecessarily objectify and stereotype. Perhaps your mom commanded, “Be nice. Don’t discuss religion, sex or politics at the dinner table.”
To wit: our Supreme Court wandering into cases like abortion, gay marriage, global warming, etc. as discussed in my previous post. What is the first thing they do? They take exception and point out, usually in footnotes almost no one reads, that their ruling or decision is based on administrative law or precedent (stare decisis), not the facts of the individual case, and not on the merits. The science of AGW has NEVER even been heard or admitted as evidence by SCOTUS. But they have decided AGW cases. They immediately set the science aside (including experts in the science) and defer to opinions and metadata. They make an a priori decision to ignore. No ma yob mann. They objectify, put it in a box, and consider meta data and opinions … they are believers in consensus of the oligarchy … instead of considering real world facts.
Instead, they should have recused themselves, stepped down from the case, admitted they had no jurisdiction. But what they did – without trying – they presumed that they could not understand the sophisticated modelling of complex climate systems in the future, a type of logic based on the statistics of confidence and not based on verified, reproducible facts. AGW proponents effectively obscured the merits. Instead of sticking with facts, verifiable evidence and logic, i.e. things which all judges professionally know and use, they take a leap of faith into an area they don’t know or understand and then make decisions based on administrative law. Do the contestants have standing? Jurisdiction? Precedent cases, etc. They pushed it into a box. However, once the judges made that a priori decision, they should have stepped down from the case.
What is wrong with letting the people decide? Or the states? But, no, over and over, they refuse to step down and they make decisions based on faith in an unverified consensus and faith in the bureaucratic process itself. Thus, we are progressively bound in tighter and tighter legal and politically correct knots. We will all be criminals, as soon as the consensus agrees on the laws we have broken. Denial is racist.
We are headed for worse that Orwell’s ‘1984.’ We are headed for Kafka’s ‘Trial’ and perpetual war combined. The priests of the myriad ivory towers of Babel full of cumulative ignorance will be unable to converse, much less understand, each other. So they proclaim off with their heads.
So the Pope presumes to teach (Vatican pre-announced an encyclical) about (what should be) an objective science-based subject like AGW, and the courts presume to teach/rule about subjective moral issues like abortion and gay marriage which are not mentioned in the Constitution, which should have meant those decisions should have been left to the states or the people. We are institutionalizing ignorance by the technologies of bureaucracy and management. [My apologies to Jacques Ellul, whom says these things so much better, whom warned us in the 1950’s and 1960’s in his prophetic books, for example, ‘The Technological Society’ and ‘Propaganda.’ (Bud apologetically steps down from Hank’s soapbox and goes to play in his garden.) http://monoskop.org/images/5/55/Ellul_Jacques_The_Technological_Society.pdf
If we don’t make efforts to cross fertilize and pollinate the myriad towers of knowledge, then we will all become idiots in our lifetime. It is a mathematical certainty. But there are some areas we cannot go for our own good: don’t try cutting off someone’s head, or robbing a bank, or aborting a baby, for a few of many examples. Or empathizing [with a psychopath jihadist] as Hillary suggests. No way back from those leaps. The problem, as Ellul points out, is trusting the system, the technology, the consensus, the propaganda, the teachers, and then giving up your individuality. Oh no, we are not going to consider the science of AGW because the UN and Al Gore said the debate is over. That is guaranteed ignorance. We might as well contemplate an M.C. Escher drawing until they come and take us away. [Ignorance is defined as a failure to connect the dots, regardless one’s willingness or intent.]