Tag Archives: Political Debates

Logical Gal – are people allergic to reason?

1 Jan

It’s probably true – there exists a category of human beings who are NOT interested in rational thinking!

I know, I know, you’re probably saying: “Pas possible!” not possible.  But I’ve read about such a group TWICE now.  These are people who hold on to certain beliefs simply for the reason that they WANT to.

This past summer I read a book by Neil Postman.  In it he narrates an experience he had working on a friend’s political campaign.  During a debate his friend conducted with his  opponent, Neil who had worked diligently to prep his friend, was shocked to find out that reasoned discourse did NOT win the day.  The opponent simply LOOKED better on TV and as a result had higher approval ratings.  Furthermore he offered few policy positions and fewer rational REASONS to vote for him!

Then just this week my husband read aloud from a contemporary book by a young, successful businessman who echoed Postman’s experience although it’s been 40 years!  It seems as though times do NOT change and that the ‘good ole days’  were not much better than today!  The writer discussed how some/many politicians purposefully and blatantly LIE and how constituents KNOW they are lying and still vote for them!  He went on to say that most people just do not want to spend energy to listen to reason.

So what’s a logical Joe or Jane to do?  Should we abandon reason just because the world doesn’t want to listen?

Yes..and..no!  I think we have to be wise and selective.  Wisely use questions over assertions to interest people in dialogue.  I heard a clever way to sound out if someone is actually interested in rational discourse.

For example, say you encounter a self-proclaimed atheist who asserts that he doesn’t believe in God.  You could approach him like this:

You strike me as an intelligent man who is open to following the evidence wherever it leads.  Do you mind if I ask you a question?

(and if you get his approval..)

Tell me, just what kind of God is it that you DON’T believe in?

And  if this gentleman prefers NOT to engage, then drop it!  After all, surely you’ve heard the adage in the photo below!

Don’t throw your pearls before swine – Matt 7:6

Wishing you and your family a clear-headed New Year!