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lostfan

How come smart people always argue politics and never agree?

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My theory: the smarter a person is the easier it is to rationalize something they believe.

 

Balta and 2k5 for example, both obviously not dummies, hardly ever agree about anything or see anything the same way. But both are totally convinced they're right and the other is totally wrong, and when they see something that goes against what they believe or challenges their assumptions they have an explanation for why that is.

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QUOTE (lostfan @ Apr 22, 2011 -> 11:26 PM)
My theory: the smarter a person is the easier it is to rationalize something they believe.

 

Balta and 2k5 for example, both obviously not dummies, hardly ever agree about anything or see anything the same way. But both are totally convinced they're right and the other is totally wrong, and when they see something that goes against what they believe or challenges their assumptions they have an explanation for why that is.

 

I'd bet that if you really scaled most of the people in here on how they felt about things from 2003 to 2011 there'd be quite a few policies they feel differently about, and it's affected by debates on this board.

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QUOTE (bmags @ Apr 22, 2011 -> 06:48 PM)
I'd bet that if you really scaled most of the people in here on how they felt about things from 2003 to 2011 there'd be quite a few policies they feel differently about, and it's affected by debates on this board.

Maybe with the benefit of hindsight but probably at the time, people were pretty locked in to whatever their opinion was.

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QUOTE (lostfan @ Apr 22, 2011 -> 06:50 PM)
Maybe with the benefit of hindsight but probably at the time, people were pretty locked in to whatever their opinion was.

My 3 big political predictions of the decade, all made in 2002-2004, were:

 

1. This war is the stupidest f***ing idea ever.

2. The WMD thing is a bald faced lie

3. We're in the middle of a monstrous credit bubble that is going to burst sometime before the 2008 election, and whichever side wins in 2004 is going to get slaughtered in 2008 as a consequence (I wrote about 1500 words on that in 2004 as a guest post for a friend's blog, so that oen was actually on record).

 

 

I thought Afghanistan in 2001 was going to be a hell of a lot harder than it was at the time, that's one of my biggest misses. Skepticism on the "Surge" is probably on that list also, but we can argue about what exactly happened there until we're blue in the face.

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Before I really got into politics my big prediction was "these tax cuts are a terrible idea, we just started a war and this is going to lead to massive deficits"

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There will be differences because there are often times no clear right or wrong answers. It becomes what your vision for America is. Is it a survival of the fittest or more cooperative. Is the government there to help everyone, or to help no one?

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I was just going to post something similar to what Tex said. When you aren't very smart (or knowledgeable) on a topic, you can be swayed by facts. However, when you are reasonably well informed, it becomes a philosophical debate and stances on issues reflect the philosophical (note: not necessarily party) views of the opinion holder. There is no out and out proof that any one philosophy is better than the other, and since most different philosophies have their merits, you cannot discredit most philosophical views. As a result, you get endless arguments that sometimes don't lead anywhere.

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I'm not going to give most people that much credit though... at least half of people are just followers.

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I think it's mostly because nobody really goes into an argument for the sake of getting to the truth. The argument itself and who wins it are more important to the human brain once it gets involved. When you add in the fact that there are so many variables in political arguments, it gives anybody the freedom to write off any fact or statistic used by the opposition as faulty and biased, and they might even be able to present their own facts or statistics which support their side. There is just no way to win an argument where there is anything less than 110% certainty of one side being correct, and even then you'd probably have a conspiracy theorist pop up...

 

Just my 2 cents.

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I'm not going to give most people that much credit though... at least half of people are just followers.

Half? I would say its about double that.

 

Intelligent people can be partisan hacks too.

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I´m a liberal but I avoid going into the political debate forums here at ST because

1. You´re never gonna convince the other side and vice versa...

2. Don´t want to harbor bad feelings with fellow ST posters because of politics.

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I would guess because that’s how they were taught to question everything.

Myself, I’m a social conservative and an economical liberal (I’m a staunch labor supporter and a creationist)

The good thing is I always half agree with the right and left... could listen to Mark Levin /Hannity and Matthews, but be pissed at them half the time.

For example, before I transferred to my current school I was not pro-union, now after learning the history of labor (albeit from a union man) I am support of unions and all government programs.

The more educated I get, the more my views change. But it certainly has do with the environment where you are educated.

 

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QUOTE (lostfan @ Apr 27, 2011 -> 08:22 AM)
Education makes you more likely to stick to your views more often than not.

I think that is true in the majority of cases.

 

But what if you have a kid raised by conservatives and goes to one of the most liberal and diverse schools (the most diverse in the SUNY system) in a blue state. Basically the textbooks have been written by liberals, taking a one-sided approach, a few I can name of off the top of my head:

A text book called "Labor's Untold Story", written by a union (United Machine, Radio & Electrical Workers, I believe associated with the IWW)

"American Democracy in Peril", liberal author

"The Politics of Power: A Critical Introduction to American Government", liberal author

 

 

 

Call me naive.... but my views on have changed completely, at least fiscally I've moved to the left

 

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