It's Not About Facts, It's About Feelings

How many times hove you entered into a debate with someone with a different viewpoint from yours only to realize they really didn't have a valid argument to put forth because their opinion was based solely upon something they were spoon-fed and not upon their own experience or research? It's happened far too often to me to count. One more than one occasion my opponent's argument was based entirely upon emotion and not upon fact or even anecdotal evidence. How is it possible to enter intelligent debate with anyone about anything under such circumstances?

The answer: You can't.

Skip over at GraniteGrok illustrates just such a scenario, relating the experiences of a retired career military officer invited by a professor at California State University in Chico to discuss his experiences with culture in the military community. The phenomenon I mentioned above became quite apparent to this retired officer in a very short time.

A few years ago I was asked by the instructor of a philosophy class, then titled “Roots of War,” to discuss with his students the culture of the U.S. military community. After identifying myself as a former career military officer, I discussed my impression of our military’s culture. When I was done, a young woman who had been glowering at me and holding her arms tightly across her chest raised her hand. When called upon she vehemently said, “I don’t agree with you. I don’t think it is anything like that. You have just been brainwashed by the military.”

“OK,” I said, “what do you think our military’s culture is like?”

“Well, certainly nothing like that,” she sputtered. I could see some heads in the class nodding in agreement.

I asked, “Could you share with us your experience in or around the military?”

“I haven’t had anything to do with the military,” she indignantly replied.

“Have you extensively studied the U.S. military or worked with current or former members of the military?”

“No,” she angrily said.

“So where have you gotten your impression of the military’s culture?” I tried to ask softly.

“I am entitled to my opinion, and I think you are a Nazi!” was her voracious reply. The class was clearly enjoying her attack on me at this point and the philosophy professor sat smugly satisfied.

I decided to end this ridiculous exchange: “So let us review. You have no personal experience or knowledge of the military. You have not studied the military. You cannot explain why you disagree with me. And you think you are entitled to your opinion. Well, I agree with you on one point. You do have a right to an opinion, and I have a right to point out that yours is an ignorant opinion—ignorant because by your own admission it is not based on any facts, education, research, or experience. Your opinion is apparently based on nothing more than simple ignorant prejudice.”

The class was silent for a moment. The young woman began to sob and yell at me, “You can’t say that to me!”

I replied, “Yes I can, because it is the truth.”

Perhaps that was his crime, using the truth rather than his emotions to put this poor ignorant lass straight. But wait! It gets even better!!

The now visibly upset philosophy professor said, “Doug, you are being a little harsh on her.”

“No...I am just stating the truth.”

“Well Doug, you have to respect her feelings.” Much of the class was nodding in agreement while attempting to soothe the young woman who was now obviously enjoying the attention.

“Gee Ron, I thought this was a university where we discussed subjects rationally using facts and logic.”

“A lot of us feel the same way she does,” the philosophy professor responded, as if that were justification for her ignorance and her personal insults.

Fed up with the charade, I walked out of the class.

Later, I sat in the campus office of a friend, relating the story. He smiled and occasionally laughed as I recounted what happened. “Of course you were right Doug, but you can’t say that here. Where do you think you are, America?” We both laughed, while knowing that it was no laughing matter.

His friend's last statement is probably one of the scariest things I could imagine anyone saying under the circumstances. ”Where do you think you are, America?”

While not the most egregious example of leftist indoctrination I've come across, it's pretty telling.

Somehow facts and truth have become less important than feelings and indoctrination. Never mind that no matter how much one might believe they can fly by merely flapping their arms, the laws of physics and the force of gravity will stand in their way. There's no getting around either regardless of how much someone says otherwise.

I've noticed the same thing when it came to the debate about nuclear power many years ago. The argument hasn't changed all that much since then.

People protested against nuclear power, not because it was unsafe, but because they were told it was unsafe, the incident at Three Mile Island and bonehead moves (and piss poor design) at Chernobyl not withstanding. The protests were driven purely by emotion, making any kind of rational debate impossible. Never mind that people protesting at nuclear power plants were more likely to die driving to and from the protests than they ever were from a nuke plant. All they knew is that nuclear power was BAD BAD BAD!!! They couldn't explain why it was bad. Many couldn't even tell you how a nuclear power plant actually worked. Someone told them they would all die if nuclear plants weren't shut down and that's all they needed to know.

The same disease, for that's what it is, has also torpedoed any rational debate about anthropogenic global warming. Another example from Douglas Campbell:

Not very long ago a student approached me, pointed at my office door, and announced, “You can’t say that!” She was pointing to some articles taped to the door that challenged the foundations of global warming theory.

“I believe the arguments presented in those articles are scientifically sound, and I am not at all convinced that human-caused global warming is occurring,” I replied.

Much to my surprise her outrage suddenly faded and, smiling, she said, “Yes, but if people don’t believe in global warming they won’t stop polluting.”

Quickly recovering from my initial shock, I replied, “So the end justifies the means? You would lie to people just to advance your agenda?”

She smiled sweetly and said, “Well, people don’t know what is good for them.”

As she departed, I turned to a colleague standing across the hall who had overheard the entire exchange. “Can you believe that?” I sputtered.

“She is right Doug, and you should take that stuff off your door before you get in trouble,” he replied as he turned, walked into his office, and closed the door.

It was suddenly very obvious to me why that young woman believed that “people” could not be told the truth and that the end justifies the means.

So “people don't know what is good for them.” That is one of the more typical beliefs the Left holds, believing they know more about what you or I need than we do. That belief reduces most of the population to the status of children in their eyes. Only the Left are adult enough to tell us what to do.

Here's a little secret folks like that won't believe: They are less competent to run our lives than we are because they are no different from you and me. In fact, it is my belief they aren't competent enough to run their own lives because they can't tell the difference between fact and fiction, particularly when they let their “feelings” decide things for them. None of their decisions can be trusted because they ignore facts when making decisions about their lives and, even worse, our lives.

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