Life Will Answer – The Book: Wars Without End? Pt. 4

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Faith would not be such a negative force in society if it were just about religion. However, the magical thinking that becomes deeply ingrained whenever blind faith rules over facts warps all areas of life. It produces a frame of mind in which concepts are formulated with deep passion but without the slightest attention paid to the evidence that bears on the concept.

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Life Will Answer – The Book: Wars Without End? Pt. 3

 

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How’s this for entertainment?!

The February 8 home page of RightWingWatch, a non-profit organization committed to “shed[ding] light on the activities of right-wing political organizations” offered these headlines culled from right-wing publications. Each and all were at once amusing, and horrifying.  

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Looking Left and Right: Fears Pt 2

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Mass movements ultimately need a disaffected population … people who are either economically or culturally dispossessed. Those isolated individuals need to feel part of something bigger than themselves. They need to believe they can regain their previous relevance. Properly primed, such followers will throw themselves behind a leader who promises to return them to power. [1]

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Life Will Answer – The Book: Wars Without End? Pt. 2

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Dogmatic Christians also slide quietly around the fact that there’s no real test that what they believe is right. They simply believe it, on faith. – Robert Altemeyer, The Authoritarians

 

To abide by doctrines that cannot be questioned, against which opposing evidence cannot be posed, is to make oneself exquisitely vulnerable to despotic behavior. [1]

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Looking Left and Right: Fears Pt 1

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An important component of conservative psychology is repressed or displaced fear and the related sense of feeling threatened by various events, ideas and people around them. [1]

 

Conservatives see the world as a more threatening place because their brains predispose them to being fearful. They are also predisposed by brain biology to hating complexity and compromise. That would help to explain why politics can be so polarized, particularly in a rather conservative era like the present. [with citations] [2]

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Life Will Answer – The Book: Wars Without End? Pt 1

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[R]eligious fundamentalists … are highly likely to be authoritarian followers. They are highly submissive to established authority, aggressive in the name of that authority, and conventional to the point of insisting everyone should behave as their authorities decide. They are fearful and self-righteous and have a lot of hostility in them that they readily direct toward various out-groups. They are easily incited, easily led, rather un-inclined to think for themselves, largely impervious to facts and reason, and rely instead on social support to maintain their beliefs. They bring strong loyalty to their in-groups, have thick-walled, highly compartmentalized minds, use a lot of double standards in their judgments, are surprisingly unprincipled at times, and are often hypocrites.
But they are also Teflon-coated when it comes to guilt. They are blind to themselves, ethnocentric and prejudiced, and as closed-minded as they are narrow- minded. They can be woefully uninformed about things they oppose, but they prefer ignorance and want to make others become as ignorant as they. They are also surprisingly uninformed about the things they say they believe in…. – Robert Altemeyer, The Authoritarians

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Looking Left and Right: Pandering Can Be Expensive – Pt 2

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You’ve got to feel some sympathy for authoritarian followers at this point, don’t you, because they get nailed coming and going. First of all, they rely on the authorities in their lives to provide their opinions. Usually they don’t care much what the evidence or the logic for a position is, so they run a considerable chance of being wrong. Then once they have ‘their’ ideas, someone who comes along and says what authoritarian followers want to hear becomes trustworthy. High RWAs [Right-Wing Authoritarians] largely ignore the reasons why someone might have ulterior motives for saying what they want to hear; it’s enough for them that another person indicates they are right.Robert Altemeyer, The Authoritarians

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Life Will Answer – The Book: Dogma’s Drawbacks

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Dogmatic Christians also slide quietly around the fact that there’s no real test that what they believe is right. They simply believe it, on faith. They are the faith-full, just as dogmatic Hindus, dogmatic Jews, and dogmatic Muslims all insist they each have the real deal. Unfortunately there’s no way to determine if any of them does, which may be one of the reasons the passionately devoted sometimes resort to the sword, and the car bomb, instead.
Once dogmatism turns out the lights, you might as well close up shop as a civilization and pull up the covers as a sentient life form. You get nowhere with unquestioning certainty. It’s thinking with your mind wide shut –
Robert Altemeyer, The Authoritarians  

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