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Why People Believe in Garbage


“Belief is not a product of proof. Belief is a product of will.”

Xenocrates

Rep. John McCain

Rep. John McCain

John McCain is the next in the Republican party’s new line of epic 21st century FUBARs – as if George Bush wasn’t enough. The Republican party was once the pride and joy of America, producing great presidents like Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. But lately, they’ve not been doing so well. McCain started out with a REALLY great campaign that showed promise, depth and direction, beating out the Mormon (Romney) and the comedian (Huckabee) – who happened to be my pick for the Republicans. I almost rooted for McCain while Hillary Clinton was busy destroying the Democratic party. Then he started to make a series of really bad decisions that basically ruined his campaign. First came the debates – which while not bad, he isn’t regarded as winning due to his emotive propensities. Then came the dull speeches, the flip flops, the lies and his worst mistake of all, Sarah Palin. That’s when everything went to hell. She flubbed on several interviews, displayed jaw dropping ignorance, brought along the Troopergate scandal, undermined her own running mate, called the prophet a socialist, terrorist groupie, playing up to the ignorance of the Republitards. That left McCain to do damage control as his own racist, hick town groupies chanted “kill him”, “Terrorist” and “I don’t trust [that] Arab”. I mean, SERIOUSLY? How does ONE man mess up SO bad in SUCH a short space of time? None of that matters now. More importantly, why are so many people still supporting the Republican party given all this chaos? I examined the blind loyalty of educated Republicans and then looked back at all the garbage that people believe in and that’s when I discovered a correlation that explains why smart people can believe in such utter rubbish:

Stupid Is as Stupid Wants

All this while I was under the notion that people could be convinced to believe in something once it makes sense. I used to think that every person in the world had the capacity to be rational and intelligent. I used to think that you could teach anyone anything, that people could be educated and that education will solve many of society’s ills. I used to believe that any idea could be appreciated by anyone – it was just a matter of asking the right questions.

Gosh, was I naive.

Meet Joe Six Pack

Meet Joe Six Pack

People like to say that “Stupid is as stupid does“, meaning basically that stupid people are defined by what they do. But it’s a lot deeper than that. People aren’t necessarily stupid because they do stupid things. People from backwater towns do incredibly stupid things all the time – like Joe Six Pack having five kids on a budget of 2, then relying on the government to bail his ass out because he took a mortgage he can’t afford. However some of them aspire to become greater than what they already are. Many of the world’s brightest stars come from many of these rural towns. So stupidity is not only contingent on what people do. When a farm boy moves to the big city and becomes a Senator, he is demonstrating a will to become something other than what he currently is (not that anything is wrong with being a farm boy – in an upright economy, that is).

The mere fact that a person can aspire to something greater than they already are, alludes to the fact that stupidity is not systemic. A man can change his ways and become better. However, irrespective of a man’s capacity to change, he has to WANT it. You can’t become educated if you don’t want to believe in the value of higher education. You can’t learn a new idea if you want to believe the old one is fine enough. You can’t understand science if you want to believe that religion answers all questions. Similarly, you can’t appreciate Religion if you don’t want to believe in god.

The key phrase here is ‘want to believe’.

But what makes a person believe in something? Does it have to make sense? No. Conspiracy theorists still believe the government is hiding Aliens – despite the fact that the Military regularly unveils new war machines that fit the descriptions of UFOs. Is it because of what was taught as a child? No. Kids are taught all kinds of crap, from Santa Claus to Storks carrying babies and they stop believing it once they hit puberty. Does it have to be something from an authoritative source? No. People disobey the Surgeon General’s warning all the time and die a cancerous death. Does it have to have proof? No. Even though we can prove that Christmas is a bogus event, Christians still observe it as a holy day to this day. In fact, many Christians will argue that reason is the enemy of faith – but I digress.

So what makes a person believe in something?

People believe in things they want to believe. This is why the expression “stupid is as stupid does” doesn’t capture the full depth of the idea. More accurately, “stupid is as stupid wants“. Stupidity is not defined by what you do. It’s defined by your will to do. You do things that you are innately compelled to do – irrespective of the cause or outcome. If you do a thing, then you obviously believe in it. Since nobody does anything they haven’t first willed (because they believed), then belief and will are inextricably linked.

If you were raised with certain ideas, your mind tends to develops a certain type of attachment to them. The nature of the attachment is so profound, that even if someone were to present a different idea to you, your comfort level with what you were taught growing up has been reinforced for so many years that there’s no breaking away from it – unless you want to.

This is why, if you were raised a Christian, chances are you will never believe in Islam, because you want to believe in Christianity, irrespective of the proof. Similarly, If you were raised a Muslim, chances are you will never believe in Christianity because you want to believe in Islam, irrespective of proof. That’s why a religious person will go into denial if someone were to prove to them that their religion is bogus – especially if religion is tied to Politics as the Republicans have persistently propagated. This type of religious based ignorance explains this:

This is what we often call blind belief – which is really a redundant expression. Belief is not a product of proof. Belief is a product of will. Therefore, belief, in whatever form it manifests itself, is inherently blind. Proof is, always has been and always will be irrelevant. Proof is always subjective (since all knowledge is based on intelligent guesses). By virtue, this means that proof can be interpreted in any way you want.

This is why there are multiple Christian sects (Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Baptists, etc.) based on the same Bible. The proof/source is there, but the interpretation is based on the product of people’s will. This is why I say that belief is a product of will. You will believe whatever you want to believe even if someone can prove that what you believe is utter bull. Concordantly, this is also why:

  1. Religious extremists will practice a religion of peace by committing acts of violence.
  2. Every religion will claim it is the only right one – even if they are based on the same idea.
  3. The right wing will always vote for the Republican party as they represent religious fundamentalism.
  4. Republican candidates can do and say the worst things and in most cases STILL get elected.
  5. Republican supporters will always spin their party’s latest mess up as a good thing.
  6. Some Americans will still think that the war in Iraq was justified.
  7. Some Americans will still have a strong approval rating of George Bush.
  8. Win or lose, race will always be a factor once a black man is a presidential candidate;
  9. The Republican party will always have supporters and;
  10. The American Idiocracy conties to represent the world’s most stupendously ignorant electorate, as they [want to] believe that America is all that matters and everything else is moot.

The Anatomy of Loyalty

Why bother arguing with Republicans about George Bush’s foreign policy? Why sound off about Sarah Palin’s duplicity as she undermines John McCain? Why should I care that John McCain has selected a running mate he knows virtually nothing about? Why argue with Republicans who say that Barack Obama is inexperienced, when Sarah Palin is worse so? Why get upset when Palin says she has more executive experience than Obama, when her experience has nothing to do with making executive decisions from the senate? Why roll our eyes when Palin says that her proximity to Russia makes her experienced in foreign affairs? Why be concerned when John McCain has basically selected a running mate who is nothing more than George Bush with female genetilia?

I’ll tell you why: Because the only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn.

As soon as the American stock markets plunged, every other major market in the world plummeted behind them. When America goes to war, oil prices all over the world go up. When America pisses off a Muslim, everybody else gets bombed. When America sneezes, everybody else catches a cold. When America messes up, everybody else suffers. These issues directly affect not just Americans, but everyone else around the world. They are too big and too powerful a player for non Americans to not care. This kind of blind right movement is made worse by irresponsible media outlets like this one:

Faux News claims to be fair and balanced. Yet, people like Sean Hannity and company are expressly right wing and make no bones about it. We know this because their jobs on Fox News are not the only ones they have where they get to mouth off. Sean Hannity for example has a radio show. Many of the others write articles and so on. Their views are positively right wing and thus, if given a choice, would vote Republican all the way. It doesn’t matter what their justifications are. It doesn’t matter if the Republican party fouls up. These people believe in the Republicans through thick and thin. Now I know that there are people on CNN who sit on either the left or right – but they would get FIRED if they, an achor person were to lean either way on television. They let the pundits do that. Fox News should be ashamed of itself – but they’re not. Watch this:

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM3oww9Vk-c]

How can you be “Fair and balanced” if you’re loyal? Loyalty and rationality are mutually exclusive! If you have one, you can’t have another. When someone believes in something (or someone) and is blindly loyal to an abusive leader (much like how some women are loyal to their physically abusive husbands) you can’t argue with that. You can’t tell these people that they are hurting themselves by putting their emotions in front of their capacity to think. Their faith in the system has become so bolstered over the years that nothing (and I do mean nothing) will get these people to swing away from who they choose to vote for.

But you have to understand that the people who decide elections are not the people who are loyal. Election deciders don’t blindly believe in Democrats or Republicans. Now while the loyalists on both sides of the fence make up the majority of the voters for either party, it’s these non loyal individuals who effectively decide the elections. Just like how Jesus didn’t come to earth to heal the healthy, election campaigns don’t exist to woo the loyalists. Concordantly, let’s take a brief look at:

The Irresponsibility Ticket

There’s a Jamaican saying that goes: “Idle dog worry sheep“. If the guardian of a society doesn’t know what they’re doing, the electorate has great deal of justification for feeling worried. For example, when McCain ignores the issues at hand to focus his campaign on attacking Barack Obama, it shows that he has very little else to talk about. Or is that really the case? His straight talk platform was doing pretty well, until he kept getting owned by the media:

On one occasion, before the campaign, he admitted that he was pretty clueless about the economy. No wonder when the economy went belly up, people started to get anxious about him attacking Obama instead of focusing on economic issues. Barack had to challenge the dude in a debate before he came up with a plan. But plan or no plan, the dude LIES. So whether or not he has a plan is irrelevant. Consider the following:

And yet, despite the rubbish being purported by his running mate, he’s still got a pretty strong support base – even though it doesn’t appear to be as forthcoming as the Democratic ticket. I guess much of the non loyalists have already chosen their champion. But that’s not really my concern. For all of you folks out there who think that a Barack win will end racism, here’s proof that racism will never die. Ever:

This stupid bitch is only 20 years old. Think about that for a second. If she were some 60 odd year old woman, we could probably let it slide as she’d already have one foot in the grave, eventually taking her racist ideas with her. If she were black, it would probably not have made the news. But this 20 year old idiot (trying to plead insanity), has got a good 60 years to continue propagating her tripe – if she ever makes bail. It speaks volumes about the ideology of many Republicans, even if they don’t say it explicitly. It makes me wonder how that black dude in the Republican party feels now, after asking McCain to “DO something, I’m begging you…” …moron.

While I’m on the subject of black people and elections, I had to bring this up:

The Bradley Effect

Now even though every poll out there suggests that Barack Obama will win this, I would not be surprised to see the election swing the other way. It’s not implausible. In fact, this is a well known phenomenon called the “Bradley Effect“, named after Tom Bradley, a black candidate who lost the 1982 election for Governor of California to a white opponent, even though every previous poll suggested otherwise.

It is believed that the reason for this huge discrepancy between the polls and the actual results is that white voters, so as not to appear to be racially prejudiced, will indicate their preference for the black candidate when polled. However, once in the polling booth, they would vote for the other, white, candidate. This would means that McCain has already won. Now consider this, and everything that I’ve said before about people believing what they want to believe, irrespective of what has happened in the Republican camp, and watch this video:

Now many of my colleagues side with this gentleman in expectation, but not in intent. They believe that on election day, many white folks are going to “come to their senses” and realise that they’re voting in a black man. I think, that’s EXACTLY why he will win (reverse psychology aside). My friends think that’s EXACTLY why he will loose. It’s an interesting thought, but admittedly, I think they’re being cynical.

However, one way or another, if Barack looses, it shows that Americans aren’t voting because of the issues and Barack lost before his campaign even began. If that were the case, then they spent an awful lot of money on Obama’s campaign. I fail to see why so many white supporters would give Barack so much money for his campaign only to turn on him. Well, they’ve done it before by making rappers rich. So I guess in some twisted way, that makes sense. But if Barack Obama looses this election, then it proves two things:

  1. A black man can never be President of the United States of America, but more importantly;
  2. The majority of the electorate votes based on predetermined qualifications, not current issues.

Number 2 is the reason why George Bush won. Twice. The issues were never that important to begin with. In fact if I get one Republican critic to this article, I’m probably not going to take it on, because it’d be just as time wasting as arguing with atheists (which is curious, since Republicans are anything but). You can’t argue with someone who has already made up their mind to support an idea irrespective of evidence. I know now to start every debate like that: “Are you willing to consider with an open mind what I am about to show you?” or ask them “Do you think there’s a possibility that you may be wrong?“. If the answer is no, then the discussion is effectively over. There’s nothing to debate.

Conclusion

Concordantly, I will admit that while I have proof as to why I lean in a particular direction and not to the right, I hold my position because of the evidence I am willing to consider. But as I stated before, evidence is moot, since people don’t believe in ideas because of proof. They believe in them because they want to. So even if I put up material showing McCain as a lying, duplicitous, war mongering, flip flopping, two-timing, back-stabbing, dirty-double crossing, son of a great American family, I’m sure some retard is going to respond to this and talk all kinds of provocative crap like I’ve heard from the GOP camp for the last 2 months. If that’s what you’re thinking, do us both a favour and STFU. SRSLY. That’s exactly why I didn’t spend any significant portion of this post exploring McCain’s flaws. It’s pointless.

The mere fact that America has voted in the Republican party more often than the Democrats (19 to 15 presidents), even though the Democratic party is the older of the two, proves categorically that issues simply DO NOT MATTER. They never did, they still don’t and they never will. Only independents care about issues and a few people from either side. This is why political campaigns can get so personal and nasty because they spend less time talking about the issues and more time defacing their opponent’s character.

Nobody cares about the economy until they’re loosing money (2008). Nobody cared about Homeland Security until they got bombed by Muslim Terrorists (2004). Nobody cared about any of the domestic issues such as health care reform, Medicare, budget surplus plans, or tax relief plans – especially after a Democrat got his knob polished, embarassing the US of A, causing them to want a more “moral” man who would bring back “dignity” to the white house (2000). Think about it. None of the polls that preceded these elections meant squat. These polls predicting an Obama win also don’t mean squat. He can loose just as easily as McCain is polled to be a loser. If Obama looses, he will become the laughing stock of the Republican party for years to come.

In any event, I still possess the audacity of hope – not for any particular candidate to win, but for some stability to return to the world after this election wraps up. I suppose it might be too hopeful of me to think that such rationality will win the day. Ofcourse, I feel that is less likely, especially given the type of people we are dealing with. I say that not because I feel the need to support one candidate over another, but because I’ve learned one very important thing about human psychology:

Proof means nothing. Perception means everything.

I just hope the people supporting the Republican party eventually understand that – as utterly preposterous such a hope may be. If the Bradley effect does occur, then God bless America, but God help us all – because Lord knows we’re gonna need it… 

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  1. October 29, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    What exactly did I say that gave you that impression?

    These:

    …you spend much (maybe most) of the post being harshly critical of John McCain in particular and Republicans in general. That’s a different direction and an explicitly unobjective one.

    – Not true. The YouTube videos may give that impression. The only part of the post that talks about McCain in depth is the very first paragraph, and the first three paragraphs of the section about The Irresponsibility Ticket. That’s 4 (very short) paragraphs out of 30 paragraphs in all. How is that most of the post? The rest of the post (i.e. the other 26 paragraphs) linked the support of this Republican ticket to the theme of believing in anything you want.

    Then there’s this:

    I reread your Obama piece. You compare him to Jesus Christ, while here you characterize McCain as a “a lying, duplicitous, war mongering, flip flopping, two-timing, back-stabbing, dirty-double crossing, son of a great American family.” If that’s your idea of “exactly the same,” then I would urge you to find a different pastor.

    Which I dealt with in the comment above, and this:

    Over on the Obama post I couldn’t find any places where you refused to discuss things with people who disagree with you

    Which is taking what I said out of context, since the Obama post has a different theme. However, the conclusions in both posts hit at the same idea, that people are voting for personalities, not issues. (I feel like I’m repeating myself here).

    However, I DO take your criticisms seriously. I disagree that this post goes in two different directions. I think the theme is pretty clear. It uses the McCain ticket to explain the idea as a means of a practical example. That’s why I spent a very brief section of the post talking about McCain. That’s why I regard this as a good idea:

    By the way, I hope you’ll save both these posts, comments and all, and read them again five years from now.

    I absolutely plan to. I’ve taken many of your suggestions Al. You just haven’t seen it yet. 😉

  2. October 29, 2008 at 12:22 am

    “It appears you have forgotten all of that, since apparently, while I can attack Democrats, Republicans are off limits.”

    What exactly did I say that gave you that impression? The only criticism I levelled– and it was a pretty watered down one– was that this post tries to go in two directions at once. I don’t have a problem with either of those directions, though I did express a personal preference for one of them. If you want to attack the Republicans, have at it. You didn’t hear any protests from me when you dragged Palin through the mud. I’m just suggesting, from a quality-of-writing standpoint, that you might want to separate your political opinion pieces from your cool-headed analytical pieces. Both are legitimate forms of writing, and I defy you to point out where I’ve suggested otherwise.

    By the way, I hope you’ll save both these posts, comments and all, and read them again five years from now.

  3. October 28, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Sir Al,

    I think you’re too angry to see my point. You’ve gone off on a wild tangent that is completely unrelated to this post.

    One of the key points of this post, (which was the main point with the Obama post), was that people aren’t voting because of the issues. People are voting because of the personalities. But of course, you wouldn’t see that, because you either think I’m attacking Republicans or you’re biased. Allow me to demonstrate the conspicuous nature of your bias:

    As I recall, I said (not in as few words) that Obama is a flawed man who has done as many stupid things as he has done right things. Either way the man is still flawed – yet people are putting him up on a pedestal. If you paid attention to the poll I had in that post, you would have clearly seen an activity where I DELIBERATELY hid some text that would explain the true intentions of people who are voting for Obama, depending on the options they picked.

    But of course, being biased (as I am now certain that you are), you missed ALL of that, and thought that I am picking on the Republicans. It’s interesting that you didn’t complain about me picking on Obama. You forget that I’m not American and I don’t have a say in these issues as you do. I think that’s part of the reason why you were unable to see the point of my posts.

    And for the record, Master Al, I did NOT suggest that McCain was a “a lying, duplicitous, war mongering, flip flopping, two-timing, back-stabbing, dirty-double crossing, son of a great American family.” If you read that line in context, you’d have seen that I said:

    “So even if I put up material showing McCain as…~”

    …which CLEARLY changes the meaning of the sentence, you wouldn’t have made such an accusation. You conveniently left that out to make your point. I think that’s intellectual dishonesty – but I’ll let it slide. It’s easy to misunderstand each other through this medium.

    In both my posts about Obama and McCain, I used a lot of dry sarcasm. I compare Obama to the Messiah much in the same way Hillary Clinton did. It is not to suggest that the man is magnanimous. It is to achieve quite the opposite. It is to suggest that people have this over inflated expectation of a mere mortal who is inextricably bound to fail by virtue of being just a man – not a messiah. I’m very disappointed that you missed that point Al. In your comments for that post, you seemed to agree with me. It appears you have forgotten all of that, since apparently, while I can attack Democrats, Republicans are off limits.

    The mere fact that you’ve taken what I’ve said here out of context but you haven’t taken what I said about Obama out of context, suggests that you are biased. That’s ok. I just don’t see the point of having a rational discussion if there’s bias involved – which is exactly what I was alluding to when I said that these types of discussions are moot if people have already made up their minds.

    But don’t kill any brain cells over this one Al. I’ve gotten used to this sort of thing a long time ago. All is forgiven.

    Cheers.

  4. October 28, 2008 at 9:54 am

    OK, I reread your Obama piece. You compare him to Jesus Christ, while here you characterize McCain as a “a lying, duplicitous, war mongering, flip flopping, two-timing, back-stabbing, dirty-double crossing, son of a great American family.” If that’s your idea of “exactly the same,” then I would urge you to find a different pastor. (ROTFLMAO) Over on the Obama post I couldn’t find any places where you refused to discuss things with people who disagree with you, so that wasn’t the same either.

    Or are you refering to this post going in two directions at once? This is not the first time you’ve written a post suffering from MPD and it’s not the first time I’ve called you on it: https://xenlogic.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/breaking-the-stereotypes/ But the Obama post, I thought, was more coherent, more of a unified theme, than this one, so that also wasn’t the same.

    Or are you just trying to subtly suggest that I’m biased? Because I think that’s your real objection. I’ve expressed doubts about Obama, and I think you might be inferring that I must be one of those nasty, horrible, close-minded Republicans. Well, if you can find any place where I’ve called McCain a messiah (or even said anything positive about him), you let me know. I’m pretty sure I’m not the one with the bias problem.

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