You Can’t Fix Stupid
A few days ago, my friend, Carrie, received an E mail from a relative. This message was all politically geared about what candidates were “correct” due to their religious/social outlooks. It very much made one candidate seem “good” because he/she had one view on abortion and his/her opponent “bad” because of theirs. That’s all good and fine. Stupid, but fine.
What was not fine was some of the outright lies put forth in this message; one of which being that Barack Obama is a Muslim. Uh, no. Senator Obama and I happen to belong to the same denomination and trust me, I’m not fluent in Arabic and couldn’t quote you anything from the Koran.
So, Carrie was angry at what she felt were bigoted comments. She blasted back with a reply about intolerence and if we really want to go back to the time when there were lynchings and dog attacks on anyone who wasn’t our race/religion/sexual persuasion/etc. Then, venting, she wrote me and asked, “Am I wrong?”
Here’s what I told her:
Wrong? No. Pissing in the wind? Yes. It is impossible to argue with another’s belief system. No matter what logic and rationality is used, you’ll never be able to change the mind of anyone who is set on one viewpoint. When someone makes the claim that a politician isn’t ethical or moral based on his/her voting record, THAT is an example of someone who has an absolute belief system that will not be changed. Never mind that we constituents may pressure our politicians into voting for our desires, no matter what they personally think. No matter that our elected officials may have more insight into a certain bill that gets a yea or nay vote based on it’s contents(contents we aren’t fully aware of).
But, back to the point. Trying to reason with someone who has absolutist and extreme views is a ginormous waste of time. Sit down and try to get a hunter to believe the eating of meat is wrong and you’ll see what I’m saying. Do the same with a smoker and talk about outlawing cigarettes. No matter what one’s belief system is, absolute viewpoints lead to less reason. Then, trying to reason with an unreasonable viewpoint is, as said before, a complete waste of time.