It is a phenomenon I have been seeing more and more of lately. People who demonstrably do not know “come here” from “sic em” , or to put it even more plainly “people who don’t know Sh*t about Sh*t”, are absolutely, positively, arrogant to the point of condescension about what they “believe.”
I am not sure of its’ root cause although I can make reasonable speculation. A similar or possibly same phenomenon is called the Dunning-Kruger effect. I guess it is not a new phenomenon. I am lucky enough to live with a family member who is several years my junior, many people her age are stunning examples of this mindset in action, but they are by no means the only people I see displaying it.
I am not passing judgment on people because of their ignorance, I am ignorant of many things. I am not a great connoisseur of wine, Art, or Sculpture, do not watch Japanese Anime, do not watch foreign language films, and have no idea what is happening on “The Hills.” As a result of my utter lack of knowledge in these topics this blog is not titled “My Thoughts on Wine, Foreign Language Films, and “The Hills”. I do not make haughty assertions as to the state of this years’ grape crop, or the pros and cons of Subtitles vs. English language dubs. If I did people would call me a fool.
A substantial portion of the population however, seems to have no problem stating their strongly held convictions regarding history, the constitution, or any manner of topics. What is more they take the moral high ground while waxing eloquent about the ills of capitalism and the virtues of Che Guevara. They vociferously and viciously expound upon the ills and evils of Christianity and the Separation of Church and State. They pound the table and look down their noses regarding Energy, Wildlife Conservation, Food Production, and any number of other topics they have heard one of the glitterati express some harebrained opinion on.
Imagine if a Cattle Rancher from Montana attempted to educate Pam Anderson on the best way to do…well what does Pam Anderson do anyway? But Ol’ Pam has no problem dictating to the Rancher the best way to raise cattle or deal with predators. What if a SEAL Team Commander tried to tell Matt Damon the best way to position himself for the camera or say his lines? But Matt has no problem sallying forth with his esteemed opinion regarding the best way to get our enemies to give up the intel…
This just trickles down to the everyday Joe and Jill level. I admit I spew opinion all day long on this blog. I am not suggesting that people do not have a right to their opinion. But, I try very diligently to have facts or at a bare minimum well reasoned arguments to back up my opinion. What I am commenting on here is when a person has not taken the time to read or think about the issue in any meaningful way, and after failing to reason out a logical argument why do they get to be condescending and arrogant in their ignorance? Why is being pro-animal rights a morally superior argument than being Pro-Life on abortion? Why is it accepted and even cool to hate Christianity, but have no opinion on other religions?
Case Study #1: driving through a small city with a person around Christmas time, the self proclaimed favorite time of the year of the person I am riding with. They also profess to be atheist. Those two assertions by themselves seem to run counter to logic to me, whatever. There is a nativity scene in a private person’s front yard and the person I am with becomes very irate and states that Nativity scenes are offensive and those people should not be allowed to have them. When asked if it would have been offensive to have had a big golden Buddha in their yard, the person says that would have been ok. So, I made the statement that it is not that they were ‘atheist’ they were ‘anti-Christian’ dumb looks and a general ‘whatever’ were the reply as if I was simply too unintelligent to ‘get it’.
Case Study #2, a friend’s friend makes the assertion that they are vegetarian because it is cruel to eat meat, and that they really do not understand people who hunt and kill things. It was pointed out that this person eats fish, so they modify their statement that they are pescatarian but most people do not know what that means so they usually just say vegetarian. Then they become near apoplectic regarding deer hunting, why would anyone want to kill a deer, why can’t they just go to the store like everyone else for meat if they have to eat it?
The counter point is made that 1) eating store bought meat is hired killing, and 2) deer have an arguably better life in the woods than the cows do in the feed lot. So the counter to the counter was that those were good points, and that is why people should not eat meat.
The pescatarian issue was raised again, asking if the only difference between their concern for the cows and deer, vs the concern for the fish is because a fish cannot be cuddled. Outrage and Anger at my ignorance ensued and the subject was immediately changed.
I thought that in each of these instances there was a very reasonable line of debate started and yet the logical counter-argument was painted as the fool. Haughtily and Condescendingly I was considered a troglodyte and a square who just doesn’t get it. The only way that I can think to combat this type of mind set it to attempt to turn the tables on them. This seems to be the only real way to bring reason into the hearts of Liberals. We have to frame the argument so that the conservative position is seen taking the high moral ground, we have to (simply, in an extremely elementary way) demonstrate that the Liberal position is the uncaring unfeeling hateful position.
As to why a person’s own uneducated feelings and beliefs are held in higher esteem than that of a generally accepted reality based on facts and history…well blame new age thinking in general.