Friday, August 4, 2023

Opinions: Belief v Fact


Opinions. Everyone has them, from religion and politics to sports and the weather.

Some opinions impact society more than others. These would be the former type of opinions.

Terms like Left/Right, Liberal/Conservative, progressive/regressive, etc. denote the framing, spectrum, and dynamics of politics.

Opinions within these frames can be based on experience, ideas, parental/cultural conditioning, peers, prejudice, judgement of what is just and fair, and which is better for the poor, rich, or general population.

Some extreme opinions say, “Taxes, welfare, and regulations are theft of my hard-earned money”. Other opinions say, “Eat the rich”. These are examples of opinions based on emotion.

A reasoned, evidence-based opinion would be, “Taxes, regulation of commerce and provision for the general welfare are in our Constitutional foundation of law”.

A reasoned, evidence-based opinion would be, “Eating the rich is cannibalistic and absurd”.

Everyone’s opinion is susceptible to being influenced by emotions. Not all of us can, or care to, examine how our opinions are influenced.

People engulfed in emotion-based opinions don’t want to hear, let alone understand, other opinions.  Generally, those who base opinions on reason and evidence are open to hearing other opinions. They also understand once an individual’s opinion is based solely on emotional reaction and disregard of evidence, there’s no more basis for rational discourse. Then it’s simply a clash between reason and emotion.

Some of us can notice this clash within.

I understand my opinion of Trump and his fanatic supporters is partially formed by my revulsion to their hate, lies, and racism. I know they hate me. They say so, and it’s difficult to not have an emotional response to that.

But I also have a rational, fact-based response that tells me not to reciprocate their hate. I understand hate is double edged and can consume the hater. I cling to a mostly futile hope that some of them will eventually see how they are manipulated. I have a friend who voted for Trump twice, but now says he will do whatever he can to keep him out of the White House.

A majority of those who base opinions largely on emotional responses also hold opinions that conform to the words of religious and political leaders they revere and trust. Their opinions will echo the religious dogma or the propagandists who work for their leader.

Now we enter the closed mentality where rigid conformity of opinion is mandatory in the bubble. No one dares question the Leader. This results in a cult when the words and actions of the Leader are infallibly honest and good, and all who disagree are malevolent forces of evil.

As evidence by Trump’s 1/6/21 coup, the fanatic true believer can be willing to kill and die in devotion to their Leader.

Let’s admit that opinions founded simply on one’s faith and fealty to the infallible words of the Leader is fanatic political indoctrination.

Let’s define these terms before further discussion.


Fanatic: a person exhibiting excessive enthusiasm and intense uncritical devotion toward some controversial matter (as in religion or politics), marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion


Indoctrinate: to imbue with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle

Cambridge Dictionary:

Indoctrination: the process of repeating an idea or belief to someone until they accept it without criticism or question: As religious/political/ideological indoctrination

Chances are, those whose opinions are emotion-based will object to these definitions. They don’t FEEL they are indoctrinated fanatics. After all they hold a sense of moral certainty because they see themselves as good people who cannot do bad or think falsely. They could never be duped by a greedy church leader or narcissistic political conman. This is the nature of emotionally grounded religious beliefs and political ideology throughout the spectrums.

Emotionally grounded belief systems often tend to reject scientific consensus, evidence of facts, dissent, and reason itself.

Look at Florida. The authoritarian governor wants to whitewash slavery, ban references to LGBTQ issues, and even “slit throats” of people who disagree if allowed to gain more power. All of this is authoritarian emotional manipulation. We can’t have history lessons that make children “uncomfortable” or “feel guilty.”

Authoritarian leaders must appeal to the fight/flight emotional response center of the brain. They will always tell their followers who to blame and who to hate. The authoritarian former president will tell his fanatic followers he “made America great”, but now it is in ruins because he lost an election that was “stolen”. He will instill anger and rage as responses to the people the leader declares as threats to them. The Holocaust is history’s lesson on how this can result in the most cruelty and brutality humans can inflict.

These emotionally manipulative tactics are projected at their targets of political indoctrination. Fanatic true believers cannot imagine for a moment that their Leader is dishonest.

Let’s compare the difference between rational and belief-based opinion.

Religious beliefs can be built on negative emotional responses. Muslim fanatics believe in killing infidels. Christian fanatics believe they should have power to dictate our education, and deny all women the right to reproductive freedom, even contraception.

Reason-based religious beliefs are formed from the idea that a creation must have a creator, that hatred, cruelty, and greed are destructive, that love is better than hate, kindness is better than cruelty, and sharing is better than greed. And loving your neighbor, even your enemies, feeding the poor, and caring for the sick is the rational, productive, and humane way to live in a society.

Political opinions track along the same emotion v. reason continuum.

My opinion tells me to vote for Biden again, because he’s not a threat to our elections, judiciary, and rule of law. I can disagree with him. I understand the guy doesn’t always tell the truth. Nobody does. I also have the intellectual curiosity to examine evidence regarding his statements.

One example is Hunter Biden and money from China.

During the 2020 presidential debates Biden told moderator Kristen Welker his son had earned no money through business dealings in China.

Biden’s assertions have been rebutted by Hunter himself, acknowledging in court testimony that he had been paid substantial sums related to his business in China.

Hunter is not in the administration, so this is irrelevant to my vote. We must ask when Trump’s own family members Jared and Ivanka will be under equal scrutiny, as they were part of his administration.

Just as it doesn’t occur to them that they depend on double standards, they can’t admit Trump defines reality itself for them.

Loyal Trump supporters will always hold their Leader’s words as gospel truth. He is the epitome of what makes America great. He’s defending and protecting them from all the fabricated threats from demons, monsters, and commies woven into their indoctrination.

They cannot imagine Trump can lie to them. They don’t care that every count, recount, court case, Republican governors and secretaries of state tell us Trump lost a fair election. They FEEL they are right, and the vast conspiracy of all Trump’s White House counsel, Homeland Security, Cabinet, Attorney General, DOJ, and state electors are in conspiracy against him. The “deep state” is out to get Dear Leader, and by extension, them as well.

This fearful state of delusion and paranoia is exactly what benefits Trump. They cannot imagine he commits crimes, or if so, he’s above the vast “conspiratorial, crooked, democrat/communist legal system” and “corrupt elections”.

They will never examine their beliefs because they have been imbued with the FEELING of their moral certainty and righteous anger.

And this readily feeds into a mob mentality when they are assembled by the narcissistic, hateful, and pathological liar they practically worship.

After all, a cult isn’t a cult to the cult.

And of course, this is all just my opinion.


Les Carpenter said...

An excellent, thoughtful, and accurate article. Not a word of it will be read and understood by any member of the tRump cult. If there is anyone of the cult that actually reads and understands it they most likely will be totally unmoved by your wise words.

Essentialy these folks are responding to the dualistic view that advises them. That is basically that liberalism (blue) is bad and destroying the republic and that a strong authoritarian conservatism (red) is good becuse it will protect the American way of life. Of course it's all BS, but it is what informs their reified deluded conservative minds.

I have yet to hear any republican or conservative plan from any republican canidate outlining a comprehensive plan to move America forward in any sensible and equitable way. Nothing. Nada.

It's Biden bad. Biden bad
Hunter. Biden bad. Hunter. Hillary. Bengazi. Biden bad. Yada. Yada. Yada. It's all they focus on, and that ain't a plan.

The only plan the gop has, and they won't be honest and admit it, it to take America back to the imagined good old days followig WW II, when everyone knew their place. And that Dave, as i am confident you would agree, is no place where any, even just a partially aware being, wants to find themselves.

Great post Dave! Appreciate your insights.

Dave Dubya said...

Thank you for your kind words.

Yes, we've come to understand how authoritarian personalities revere leaders and have blind loyalty to them. They crave the anger and hate that the indoctrination instills in them. It's like crack cocaine to them. The literally want to be triggered.

They don't care, and are not even aware of the delusional and paranoid beliefs they MUST embrace to feel their sense of community and purpose. And of course, as you noted, is not to govern, but to rule and punish all opposition.

Anonymous said...

Your BS. Only shows how Stupid you are…And as for your Idiotic Friend LES , he is as CUCKOO as my Clock.

Dave Dubya said...

Anonymous kindly gave us an example of an opinion based on emotion and beliefs over facts.

Unlike a rational person, he was incapable of cogently addressing points made, and resorted to making unfounded accusations triggered by his seething hatred for all who disagree with his messiah.

Who could "nazi" that coming?

Ray Cranston said...

Interesting Dave, I read your comments at the Bonderenka blog and they were all backed up with evidence and B.'s pals tell you to take your facts and shove them!

This is EXACTLY why Trump continues to enjoy the support of the MAGAts. They don't care about facts or evidence, objective truth or reality. They're cultists and, I can say it here, stupid.

You and I are wasting our time trying to educate the stupids. We can't fix it.

Dave Dubya said...

Thank you for your support.

I know we can't reason with a cult, but I love to trigger them with facts. I'm fascinated by cults and the human herd instinct. Their reactions are excellent studies in willful delusion, paranoia, and mass hysteria.

Ray Cranston said...

Bonderenka still claims the 2020 election was stolen and the US has been taken over by anti-American forces, he doesn't say Deep State, but that's the implied explanation.

I took apart his lies and gave him facts. But people like him and his posters believe in his and Trump's lies. They're the reason our country if f**ked!

Dave Dubya said...

The dumbing down of Americans over the last several decades just happens to coincide with the advent of FOX(R), Limbaugh, and the rest of the vast radical Right propaganda network. This is more than correlation, it is also causation.
Hitler would have had a field day in today's America, and would likely be elected president. After all, Trump and the Republicans have employed his tactics from white nationalism, demonization of minorities, accusing the opposition of being commies, and of course the Putsch and "Big Lie".

Mike said...

Dave, I just found your comment on "5980 - Wednesday no themememes". Now I going to have to go back and find the article that explains how liberal vs. conservative brains are wired that I post a while back.

Dave Dubya said...

How liberal vs. conservative brains are wired is a favorite science-based subject of mine.

Essentially cons are creatures of fear with overactive amygdalas with a fight or flight response to anything unfamiliar.

They're the real snowflakes.

The Sassy Irish Lassie said...

You sure are a Asshole Dave. You don't know what the hell you are talking about but you sure know how to throw insults around.

Dave Dubya said...

Thank you for your comment and mindless insult.

Obviously if you knew what YOU are talking about you would cite my words and disprove them or reveal the lapses of logic or reason.

Since you are incapable of that, you just call me an asshole. When I call Trump and his ignorant racist supporters assholes, I show good cause.

I do agree that I know how to insult people. I use facts and reason to demolish their ignorant lies.

Thinking said...

Honestly, is anyone surprised? New York City has not been fit for human life since mayor Rudy, Giuliani left the Big Apple. NYC has now surpassed the days of David Dinkins when corruption and lawlessness was rampant.
Anyone who was claiming Eric Adams would be the law and order mayor for New York City, I have one question. How did that work out for you?

Dave Dubya said...

Hi, Thinking.

I would be surprised if you actually had read the post I wrote about opinions.

If you had, you might understand your opinion is based on your FEELINGS or your faith in the words of republican politicians.

Rudy is now under felony charges, in case you missed it. He is also under court order to compensate election workers he LIED about. Their lives were threatened because of his LIES.

Your concern for NYC is noted.

Would you like some information that compares crime rates in New York to the rates in Jim Jordan's Ohio district?

"Ohio murder rates far higher than NYC as GOP Rep. Jim Jordan slams city"

NEW YORK — Before Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan gavels into order a House Judiciary Committee hearing Monday aimed at shaming New York City’s crime problem, he might consider a deep look at the far higher murder rates of his home state.

Ohioans are more likely to die from gun violence than New Yorkers — and the state’s overall murder rate far exceeds that of New York City and of Manhattan alone, a Daily News analysis of federal Centers for Disease Control data shows.

In 2021 — the last year for which reliable data is available — homicides accounted for 8.7 deaths for every 100,000 Ohio residents.

That homicide rate was 73% higher than Manhattan’s homicide rate of 5.0 deaths per 100,000 residents.

Ohio’s statewide homicide rate is 49% higher than New York City’s overall rate of 5.8 homicide deaths per 100,000 residents, The News’ study found.

Ohio’s homicide rate is also 87% higher than New York’s statewide rate of 4.6 homicides per 100,000 residents.

In an appearance last week on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” program, Jordan, a Republican, lit in to “crazy left wing ideology” that he said makes crime rampant in Manhattan. He blames Manhattan’s crime problems on District Attorney Alvin Bragg — who is also drawing Republican ire over his prosecution of former president Donald Trump.

“You have all kinds of things happening in his [Bragg’s] town that are harmful to families that live there,” Jordan said.

Jordan wasn’t specific about the “crazy left wing ideology” that he implied drives New York crime policy. But gun control is one big area of disagreement between Ohio Republicans and New York City’s Democratic political leadership.

Gun permits in New York remain notoriously difficult to obtain — despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that struck down a 1911 state law that restricted concealed-carry handgun licenses to people with specific self-defense needs.

But in 2021, when that law was still in place with other state firearm laws, New Yorkers saw far fewer gun homicides per capita in 2021 than Ohioans, who under their state’s laws can buy guns without licenses or permits.

Guns were used in 86% of murders in Ohio in 2021, compared to 67% of homicides in New York state, The News’ analysis found.

And in Manhattan, guns were used in 57% of homicides. In all of New York City, guns were used in 69% of homicides.

Easy firearms purchases in Ohio and other states are a chronic problem for New York law enforcement.

Some 93% of the guns used in New York crimes from 2017 through 2021 originated from out of state — a figure that compares to a national out-of-state average of 28%, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director Steven Dettelbach recently told members of New York City’s Citizens Crime Commission.

Thinking said...

Yes, I did read the post you wrote, But I thought it was filled with Liberal Bull Crap. Sorry but it did smell from Progressive propaganda.
For example:
"Rudy is now under felony charges, in case you missed it. He is also under court order to compensate election workers he LIED about. Their lives were threatened because of his LIES"

As everyone with more than O(NE Brain Cell knows , the Left goes after EVERYONE who is affiliated with Donald Trump to try and get them to Turn on him.
Also compared to the CROOKS in Biden's Administration, Rudy is a Saint!
But the Leftist Media will never say so, and that allows those Crooks to get away with everything. Just like the Retarted Moron in the White House and HIS entire Crooked Family!

Thinking said...

Crooked Joe Biden is Not Only Dumb, Retarded, and EXTREMELY Incompetent, I Believe he has Gone MAD, he's a Stark Raving Lunatic!
Who doesn't even know what day it is, or who is standing next to him while he shakes hands with the AIR!

Thinking said...

Also as YOU seem to enjoy writing about “Facts” so here is a few for you
Every day, they're finding NEW charges to add to the political SHAM that these crooked DA’s are using to indicted Trump in Fulton County, GA. As well as in New York City by that Low Life DA Alvin Bragg, who had promised that if he were to be elected he “Would GET Trump”. Which is an Illegal thing to do, as well as to even say.
So you can't have it both ways Cupcake, . And you need to stop just making Shit up. Like your Mentor on the Shit-Hole Progressive Blog .
We don't need lobby the Congress to protect our rights......we need WE THE PEOPLE demanding Congress and the President to respect our Rights

Dave Dubya said...

Yes, I know Biden can be a blubbering doofus. I know he has lied and can confuse the facts.

What YOU cannot even consider is the mere possibility that your savior Trump lies. The most your cult can admit is, "Trump isn't perfect", as if that is an enlightening revelation.

For someone who accuses me of making shit up, YOU offer ZERO facts or evidence to support your accusations. It all comes from your emotional reaction to information that you don't want to hear.

For example, you believe I made this up:
"Rudy is now under felony charges, in case you missed it. He is also under court order to compensate election workers he LIED about. Their lives were threatened because of his LIES"

You prefer to BELIEVE I made this up because you DON'T want to accept this factual information. Your pro-Trump media will NOT inform you of these facts, and simply tell you the news is "fake news". And you believe that without question. You've surrendered your sense of curiosity for the false certainty of pro-Trump propaganda.

You refuse to even READ the INDICTMENTS against your beloved Malevolent Messiah. You refuse to read or watch SWORN TESTIMONY before the bipartisan House 1/6 committee.

You won't even consider ANYTHING not fed to you by Trump and his sycophantic media and political enablers.

This is why you cannot accept the fact that NONE of Trump's absurd cases for "massive voter fraud" could stand the light of examination and sworn testimony in court.

You have no idea about Giuliani's false accusations against election workers that included a claim that Ruby Moss handed her mother a "thumb drive" to corrupt the vote count, "like they were vials of heroin or cocaine" as the two worked at the State Farm Arena for the Fulton County Board of Elections in 2020.

Their lives were THREATENED after that LIE. But you will refuse to accept that reality.

You probably have no idea Rudy told conservative Arizona House Republican Rusty Bowers, "We’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence".

Bowers swore this under OATH.

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) on Tuesday said he repeatedly pressed Rudy Giuliani for proof of his claims of election fraud after the 2020 election, but added that Giuliani failed to produce any.

“My recollection, he said, ‘We’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence,’” Bowers told the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack at Tuesday’s hearing.

“And I don’t know if that was a gaffe or maybe he didn’t think through what he said, but both myself and others in my group … both remember that specifically, and afterwards we kind of laughed about it,” Bowers added.

Even when I show you documented FACTS, you MUST dismiss them without a second's consideration. You are totally unaware that you've been indoctrinated to have this reaction. A cult is not a cult to a cult.

Furthermore, my requests for evidence to support your assertions and accusations will be ignored. This isn't my first rodeo, dear.

Les Carpenter said...

Dave, lets drink to our good fortune and ability to recognize illusions and excape the indoctrination folks like "thinking" submit themselves to and then willingly accept. No questions asked.

Dave Dubya said...


We know why they fall for it.

It's like a religion to them.

They FEEL a sense of unity and belonging to something larger than themselves.

They FEEL a sense of moral certainty, but fail to understand or value reject the value of ethics.

They delight in an almost arrogant sense of righteous superiority, but surrender their basic decency for people who do not share their belief system.

They are frightened emotional creatures who crave the FEELING of security from a Big Daddy figure who TALKS tough and will promise them anything for their unquestioning LOYALTY.

Of course they will DENY all of this. They were never the sort who would examine their beliefs or the words of their leaders, let alone what we may say to them.

I'll be happy to have that drink, good sir. Make mine the classic single malt beverage of the rich conservative white guys, particularly the delicious Scotch from the Isle of Islay.

Cheers! And Slàinte mhath!

Les Carpenter said...

My gosh Dave, your drink of choice seems to be mine as well. I'll have a two finger Taliskar, neat.

Cheers! Slainte mhath good sir!

Dave Dubya said...

Yes, Les,

It seems if we're to be stranded on an island for life, we wouldn't choose a tropical one.

Port Charlotte, Lagavulin, Laphroig, Ardbeg, Talisker, Bunnahabain, etc. are irresistibly delicious. Nothing wrong with the Highlands either.

Being a fan of Nick Offerman didn't exactly dissuade either.

Thinking said...

"The most your cult can admit is, "Trump isn't perfect", as if that is an enlightening revelation."

SECONDLY: when did I ever say, or refuse to admit that trump isn't perfect? I never said that or even implied it. So don't do what you are falsely accusing me of..... making stuff up!


Dave Dubya said...

Look at your own adolescent name calling. Just like Trump. Just like a cult following their leader's example.

The point I made about you personally was:

"What YOU cannot even consider is the mere possibility that your savior Trump lies."

Well? What say YOU? Here's your opportunity to set us straight. If you cannot, then I am correct.

Les Carpenter said...

Hey buddy, how the hell are ya? Confused? Befuddled? Beside yourself? Pissed? Mad as hell. Can't take it anymore? Good. Your own ignorance and delusions has created so much negative karma you'll be suffering for a very long time methinks.

Have a fine day now, ya hear?

Les Carpenter said...

We Are the People. And We Demand OUR Rights!.

See how that works, stupid?

EVERYBODY has rights. What the F makes you believe YOUR right exceed ours?

They don't dimwit. This is, has always been, and ccontinued to be a democratic republic, or if you prefer a representative democtacy. So, stop trying to take OUR right to the rule of law away from US. Git it "thinking"?