Is evidence losing its credibility?
It seems like nowadays facts and evidence are disregarded as propaganda or opinion. There is enough information out there to make a case for anything, but are people in the United States losing their touch? Are real facts, and evidence based conclusions, losing their weight in the conversation about politics and religion?
I don't think that is the case. People generally see what (they) want to see. If someone dislikes a person they're not looking to keep an open mind on anything he or she does. In fact they can't see (any) good whatsoever in the person. They're not interested in waiting to gather (all) the facts before weighing in on a subject.
You also have people who are madly "in love" with someone where they can't admit to mistakes this person has made. They'll staunchly defend them until they take their last breath.
Politically what happens is people tune into what (they) want to hear. Very few people watch each of the cable news stations; Fox News, MSNBC, CNN or read (multiple) newspapers, or listen to (both) liberal and conservative talk show hosts before reaching their own conclusion. We tend to listen only to those who are in agreement with us philosophically.
The "truth" is oftentimes like gold which means one has to mine for it. However we live in a "microwave society" where we want instant conclusions. Very rarely does anyone approach politics or religion with an "unbiased mind". Their goal is to find agreement not truth.
Absolutely and I think it is a result of making-stuff-up being a surprisingly effective strategy. I call it the wall of slippery crap strategy. Here's how it works: rapidly fire steaming turd piles at the wall of discussion and have them be slippery enough so that they slide off before they can be analyzed (that's an important element).
Here's an example: "experts agree that the world is actually cooling." Steaming turd? check. Slippery? yep, the vaguery of "experts" is slimy enough to not be readily examinable and by the time you try to check and verify the alleged "experts," turd tosser is hurling some more fetid bombery at you.
I have actually lately been contemplating a defense against this strategy. It isn't well formulated but it would basically involve throwing even larger stinking lie bombs then them with the goal of goading them into asking for proof. Why? well, because the minute they suggest that proof is required for statements made then they have defeated their own strategy. As soon as they say, "prove it," you can turn around and say, "you first, bub. You first."
Discussion shouldn't be that sort of combative chess game, of course, but what are we to do when so many people have no interest in honest, open debate where claims are always backed by a foundation.
I'm in absolute agreement with dashingscorpio. That's exactly what it is. Well said.
Absolutely not. I understand with the advent of the internet and other forms of mass communication, it might seem that way. I think what you might be experiencing is the bombardment of opinions (which everyone seems to have) that chat rooms and sites like Hubpages offers. If you want to see what a distortion of facts looks like in politics, one only needs to go back to the 1800's to see what a lack of evidence is. William McKinley's administration was purchased by the industry titans of the day because William Jennings Bryan was seen as such a radical (which he was). William Jennings Bryan also distorted facts to hit a soft spot in the common American that saw a large gap between themselves and the rich (sound familiar?). The reality was that he came from a wealthy family and knew nothing of the struggles of the common man. Add in the politics during Andrew Jackson, Lincoln, and Johnson's presidency, sprinkle in the war of 1812, the Civil War, and Slavery and you will get a sense of how close to the brink this country was. And everyone was willing to do whatever it took to accomplish what they felt was best, so skewing evidence was just a minor detail to them.I mean, even Governor George Wallace of Alabama was not a true believer in segregation until he saw it was what the voters wanted. That is a pretty big leap just to get some votes, but it is done everyday.
Religion was even more controlling. The Catholic Church performed its service in Latin until around the 1940's (don't quote me on that, but it was close). This was to keep the poor, that lacked the money for the proper education, from understanding completely what was going on and taking the word of the clergy for what they need to be doing and why.
I understand your frustration because I have the same thoughts too sometimes when I come across some hard line person that has the complete opposite views that I have, but what you need to understand is that both sides of a point of view usually has its facts and we all tend to believe the ones we choose to believe.
Evidence itself cannot actually lose it's credibility if it is empirically proven to be fact.
However, in today's world what is presented as evidence is far from truth, both in politics and religion.
We have turned into a society of liars, haters, and doubters.
Common sense, logic, or even critical thinking, are no longer options for the sane.
A great example of the stupidity of people in general is when you see/hear the results of "polls" as proof of anything. That is the biggest joke of all. Even "polls" are tainted by virtue of being taken in the groups that one knows to be in agreement with the question asked.
The biggest farce is when pundits, or opponents of Obama Care make statements that the "majority" of American "people" are opposed to it.
Well, exactly what people were being polled? Republicans? Corporations? (since they are now deemed same status as individuals), Insurance companies? Certainly not an equal cross section of all party, or class, views.
If one listens to Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, all on the same day, it surely looks like we are listening to people who live on two different planets.
The haters believe Fox, the liberals believe MSNBC. The only thing that all can believe in is that what they hear on all of those news stations is one sided - they only present the negative and the ugly in our society and that makes people think that there is no decency left in this world.
You make a valid point. Listening to any of these news stations all day long will convince you the world has gone to hell. You (ignore) the reality of good in your own (personal) world, neighborhood, town, friends, family and feed off negativity.
Evidence seems to be a matter of personal convenience, to be used when it's convenient for strengthening your world view. Unfortunately, as stated, when you try to use evidence against someone, they often derail the conversation to the point that the original argument has lost its focus entirely. Debating someone who makes unfounded claims is incredibly "tiring".
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