Tuesday, March 23, 2010

So That's It! I Knew There Was Something About Conservatives That is Just Not Right

Turns out that brain function is the reason why some conservatives don't believe in global warming. Yep. A scientist from U. California Berkeley says so. You see, conservatives don't want higher taxes, so they can't see the arguments for the other side. They therefore dismiss the absolutely settled science of global warming. Read all about here.

According to Wikipedia (which I don't consider a reliable source but take this for what it is worth - if true it is just too funny), Lakoff also does not believe in mathematics: "According to Lakoff, even mathematics itself is subjective to the human species and its cultures: thus "any question of math's being inherent in physical reality is moot, since there is no way to know whether or not it is." Well, if that is his view, all right. Just as some drunks are happy drunks, some relativists are happy relativists. But it seems rather inconsistent of him to turn all absolutist, dogmatic and narrow-minded on something like global warming. His relativism seems to go out the window when someone questions the "Truth According the Trendy Liberalism."
"Proponents of human-caused global warming claim that "cognitive" brain function prevents conservatives from accepting the science that says "climate change" is an imminent threat to planet Earth and its inhabitants.

George Lakoff, a professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California-Berkeley and author of the book The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics, says his scientific research shows that how one perceives the world depends on one’s bodily experience and how one functions in the everyday world. Reason is shaped by the body, he says.

Lakoff told CNSNews.com that “metaphors” shape a person's understanding of the world, along with one’s values and political beliefs -- including what they think about global warming.

"It relates directly (to global warming) because conservatives tend to feel that the free market should be unregulated and (that) environmental regulations are immoral and wrong," Lakoff said.

"And what they try to do is show that the science is wrong and that the argument is wrong, based on the science. So when it comes back to science, they try to debunk the science," Lakoff said.

On the other hand, he added, liberals' cognitive process allows them to be "open-minded." "Liberals say, 'Look seriously at the science and look at whether people are going to be harmed or not and whether the world is going to be harmed,’" Lakoff said."
Personally, I find the truths of mathematics more compelling than the "proof" for global warming. But I guess that is just my conservative cognitive function acting up again.


CanadianSense said...

Many alarmists will be rethinking their positions as more evidence is brought to bear.

Many of us conservatives simply don't trust another tax for another empty promise.

We prefer to use our limited tax base to clean the local pollution first before setting up another ponzi scheme on trading carbon credits.

Gordon Hackman said...

Aparently, Brian McLaren is influenced by Lakoff's thought in his "Everything Must Change" book. Views like Lakoff's provide a convenient excuse for dismissing out of hand the views of those who disagree with you even as you proclaim your desire for "dialogue" and "conversation," which pretty much describes McLaren and other left wing emergent types, in my opinion.

I find two things perplexing about these views however:

(1) How can anyone not see how absolutely and transparently self-serving such claims are?

(2) Don't people like Lakoff and McLaren see how the sword cuts both ways with arguments like these? Someone could just as easily come up with an explanation that dismisses their views before the fact. In this regard, I am reminded of the following quote from poet Czeslaw Milosz:

"Religion used to be the opium of the people. To those suffering humiliation, pain, illness, and serfdom, religion promised the reward of an after life. But now, we are witnessing a transformation, a true opium of the people is the belief in nothingness after death, the huge solace, the huge comfort of thinking that for our betrayals, our greed, our cowardice, our murders, we are not going to be judged."

Craig Carter said...

I read McLaren's book a while ago and I forgot that he used Lakoff. (Head shaking...eyes rolling... deep sigh) What can one say?

As for question #1, the only explanation I can come up with is that people like him function completely within the echo chamber of left wing political correctness and are not used to talking to anyone who disagrees with them.

As for your second question, I guess if one does not "believe" in mathematics, one likely does not believe in logic either so no problem.

I like the quotation - reminds me of the description of the religion they have in Brave New World.

Gordon Hackman said...

It's been years since I read Brave New World and I can't remember the description of the religion in it. I'll have to go back and check it out.

I like the Milosz quote because of how brilliantly and powerfully it turns the tables on those who would dismiss religious belief as a psychological crutch. It's a good reminder that compels mealso towards self-examination.

Gordon Hackman said...

That last sentence was supposed to say "It's also a good reminder that compels me towards self examination."