Monday, April 16, 2012

'I'm not listening to you anymore because you're closed-minded'

Commentor bachfiend:

This is the last time I'll be commenting (or even looking at your blog).
I've been reading your blog with fascination, wondering how an intelligent person can look at (sort of) the same data I'm looking at, and come to a bizarre diametrically opposite conclusion to that I reach.
People have different opinions. Well-informed people can and do arrive at quite different conclusions. This is news to bachfiend.
After reading the book you so strongly recommended last week Chris Mooney's 'the Republican Brain', I have come to realize the reason, so I won't need to waste further time reading your blog.
Bachfiend read in a book that my Republican/conservative brain is somehow lesser than his Democrat/liberal brain. Facts are facts, especially when scientists say so. Science invariably coincides with bach's personal preferences.
On the 5-dimension personality traits OCEAN (openness, conscienceness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism), liberals score highly in openness to new ideas and ability to nuance and low in conscienceness, whereas conservatives are the reverse.
If liberals score so high in openness to new ideas, why is bach refusing to read my blog which is full of new ideas (new to bach)?

It's a hoot. A liberal is refusing to read my blog which contains new ideas-- because I'm not open to new ideas! Liberals don't stop at self-refuting ideas. They make self-refuting gestures.
Conservatives like to see the world in black and white, don't like to nuance, once they make up their minds, they don't like to change it when confronted with conflicting data.
I've changed a ton. I used to be an atheist. Now I'm a Christian. My first vote for president was for Jimmy Carter. I became a Republican a few years later. I used to think Bush's invasion of Iraq was a good idea. Now I think it was a bad idea. I used to believe that Darwinism was good science. Now I think it's crap. I used to think that Intelligent Design was the best alternative to Darwinism. I now think that Thomist-Aristotelian hylemorphism is the best alternative to Darwinism. I used to think that leading scientists were by-and-large objective and honest. I don't think that anymore. The list goes on.

I've changed many of my most strongly held beliefs-- my religion, my politics, my party affiliation, my scientific views, etc.

What new religious, political, social, philosophical, and scientific ideas has bach embraced lately. Ever?

Bach has closed his mind to my ideas because... I'm closed-minded.



  1. Honestly, I thought most of Bachfiend's comments added to the conversation, even if I didn't agree with them.

    He wasn't simply a contrarian like some of the other commenters on her. I also noticed that he would actually delve into the science of global warming, rather than resorting to the tried and true, "But ALL scientists believe in it!'

    But in the end, he closed his mind to the close-minded Egnor and his blog. Too bad. Example number 3,234,114 of why we should never call liberals "liberal." They aren't.


  2. Michael,

    I'm going to break my promise and comment again. I suspected that you'd turn my last comment into a new thread.

    You've made my argument better than I could have myself.

    I never used the word 'close-minded'.

    I wrote; '... liberals score highly in openness to new ideas and ability to nuance... whereas conservatives are the reverse'. And 'conservatives LIKE to see the world in black and white, DON'T LIKE to nuance, once they make up their minds, they DON'T LIKE to change it when confronted with conflicting data'. I LIKE eating ice cream, but I haven't eaten some for months, because I realize it's bad for me ...

    Changing 'like to see the world in black and white' to 'close-minded' is a perfect example of liking to see the world in black and white, without nuances and an ability not to be able to change one's mind.

    The examples you provide of your changing you mind aren't convincing. I don't have any proof that you were ever an atheist or thought that 'Darwinism' was good science (a gentle reminder. It's evolutionary biology. A lot of what Darwin thought was true is no longer thought to be true. Science has progressed in 150+ years). Intelligent Design and hylemorphism aren't alternatives to 'Darwinism'. They're both unsupported assertions without evidence. Voting for Carter doesn't make you a liberal (the alternative was Gerald Ford, remember?). I'd be more impressed if you'd thought that Bush's Iraq invasion was a bad idea before the invasion, not afterwards, when you were mugged by reality. You're surprised that scientists may not be not be 'objective and honest' at times? That in effect, they're human? Scientists know that they have to consider whether there's evidence DISPROVING their theories, otherwise other scientists will do it for them, and in the process make them look foolish.

    Actually, if everyone agrees with the data, then everyone should reach the same conclusion. The trouble is, is that everyone has opinions. The danger is starting with the conclusion and then cherry picking the evidence supporting it, and then pretending that the conclusion is logically supported.

    I'm quite prepared to be convinced that Christianity and hylemorphism are true. Or the science of AGW is bogus. Just provide me with your best evidence that your assertions are true.

    You really need to read Chris Mooney's book. The conservative brain isn't lesser to the liberal brain. It's complementary. Sometimes it's better. Churchill decided that Hitler was evil, no nuances, and stuck to his opinion. Chamberlain look a more liberal and nuanced view of Hitler, trying to see his point of view, and he was dead wrong.

    Facts aren't facts, particularly in science. Facts have to be continually reexamined, to ensure that they're true and that we aren't being misled by what we expect to see. Science doesn't invariably coincide with my preferences. I would prefer to live forever. It's just that science disabused me of that notion. Science just provides a more accurate and impersonal view of the universe than I'd like.

    1. I would prefer to live forever. It's just that science disabused me of that notion. Science just provides a more accurate and impersonal view of the universe than I'd like.

      Illness diagnostic: Scientism
      Cure: Read and understand Aquinas' Summa Theologica

  3. Trish,

    Another reason why I'm going to stop reading Michael's blog is because he's now posting many more threads, most of which receive few (if any) comments. I find the comments to be the most useful part of a blog. The debate. The chance to see if the opposing viewpoint has validity.

    Abortion isn't a black and white issue. I take a nuanced position. The woman has the right to decide what happens to her body. The unborn fetus has a right to be born. They can be in conflict at times. I take the position that the woman has right to abortion up to 20 weeks gestation, after which there has to be a strong medical reason. Mine is a compromise.

    Your examples of liberals having black and white beliefs (not hitting children, not forcing sex upon a woman) aren't valid. Everyone, liberals and conservatives alike, agree that that individuals have rights. Children have the right not to be hit. Women have the right not to be forced into sex. Parents don't have the right to physically abuse their children. Rapists don't have the right to force women into sex. No matter how good it might make them feel at the time, parents and rapists alike. The rights of their victims trumps their rights, absolutely.

  4. "Children have the right not to be hit."

    Except prior to twenty weeks of gestation, as you mentioned. And the "hitting" they receive will be lethal.

    I think you proved her point, Bachfiend. You also see some things as black and white--a clear case of wrong and right. So why can't we?

    You're such a black and white thinker, Bachfiend. You lack the ability to discern nuance.

    And with the abortion question, there isn't a lot of nuance. About sixty million children have been killed since Roe v. Wade, in the United States alone. Other countries have even more staggering figures.

    For it or against it? It really is that simple.

    The Torch

  5. And why on earth do you draw such an arbitrary line at twenty weeks?

    Do you believe that it's wrong after twenty weeks? Then you still hold a black and white view. Prior to twenty weeks, it's white, after twenty weeks, it's black.

    Also, Bachfiend, abortion is legal in this country up through the third trimester. Abortionist sometimes accidentally fully formed babies in the course of their killing and then toss them in trash bags to die. What I mean to say is that the law doesn't draw any such line at twenty weeks. Can we count on you to show up to pro-life events? I mean to say, are you doing anything about it?

    The Torch

  6. The Torch,

    While I'm waiting for Michael to finally get back and answer my comment (if ever, he has the habit of commenting, and then not responding), so I can stop reading this blog.

    20 weeks is a compromise. At conception, the fertilized ovum isn't a person, able to live an independent life. Personhood is definitely present at birth. You have to set boundaries. 20 weeks is mine, because the fetus is definitely not viable and also doesn't experience pain.

    The woman also has rights. The right of autonomy and the right to decide what happens to her body. So I think that her rights trump that of the fetus up to 20 weeks as a compromise (most surveys of Americans I've read agree with me; abortion is accepted by the majority for social reasons within the first two trimesters, but not in the third).

    After that, I think that there has to be a medical indication, so again I don't think that abortion should be considered illegal under all circumstances at all times.

    Michael wrote a thread a few days ago in which he derided oral contraceptives as causing voluntary sterility and dropping the birth rate below replacement, without providing a solution.

    Possible solutions? Ban OCs? I can see that there will be a flourishing black market in smuggled OCs from countries where it's legal. Ban abortions? Perhaps that might work too in boosting the birth rate, mainly of unwanted children.

    Michael isn't radical enough. If he wants the birth rate to increase, he should be insisting that women should be required to have one child before going to university or starting to work. It's only 9 months of her time. The child wouldn't be a burden. There's plenty of couples who want to adopt a baby, so a compulsory pregnancy fulfills the needs of at least two groups; the state and couples who want another child. The autonomy of the woman doesn't count ...

    As a liberal, I take the view that if the country decides that it needs more babies, then it needs to provide financial support to those who do have more babies. In other words, increase taxation (which is anathema to Michael) to pay for it.

  7. Michael,

    And your response to MY comment? You have the annoying habit of ignoring truth comments. Respond, so I can stop reading your blog. Your ideas aren't new. They're just unsupported old ones.

  8. Michael,

    Since you haven't responded to my comments, I take it you don't have any answers? And you concede that conservatives score low on openness to new ideas, like to look at the world in black and white without nuances and like to reject confounding evidence regarding cherished ideas? You also concede I didn't use the word 'close-minded' in relation to conservatives?

    It's a relief not to have to read this blog again. There have never been new ideas. Just unsupported old ideas.

    The jokes weren't very funny either.

    1. bach:

      Why would you imagine that I am obliged to reply? I'll reply if and when I feel a reply is warranted, and if I have the time and inclination to do so.

      I must say that your recent pout is bizarre. You are free to read or not read anything you like. Why would your decision not to follow this blog obligate me to any kind of response?

      you've always welcome here, and I appreciate your input. Breath-holding tantrums won't get far with me.

    2. Michael,

      So point out to me me where I wrote 'Im not listening to you anymore because you're closed-minded'.

      You put the sentence in quote marks after all, as if I'd actually written that statement, instead of you taking my nuanced statements and making it into a black and white statement. Proving what I'd actually written, ironically.

      You're dishonest, superficial and largely irrelevant. And you're posting a lot more of the same material, which isn't creating much interest in your readers to cause any comments.

      I wonder ... Do you have access to any statistics concerning your blog? How many people read it it, how often, where do they live? Some website providers offer tools for assessing this.

      I suspect you're a very minor presence on the web.