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This is what we have in the South.


Tampitump
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The following is a facebook dialogue I had earlier today with a typical Southern gentleman from my area of the Bible Belt. I'm posting this to show the people here the scope and scale of the issues we face with critical thinking and reasoned discourse down here in the American South. Whether or not you agree with what I had to say, you'll still see just what I'm referring to about the typical thought process that goes on in the South. In this post I was responding with a comment on this gentleman's status. I know you'll think by reading this that I should have aborted the conversation much earlier, but I often try to hang in there with them and be patient just to see if I can make a difference in how some people think, but it doesn't often work out. Anyway, Here we go:

 

Man's Status: Voted this morning first time in my life Trump and conservative all the way if you go to vote for Hillary go ahead and unfriend me now because she don't care about your toddlers are your guns

 

Me: Good thing you voted, but by telling people with differing opinions to unfriend you, you are being just as bad as the liberals you disagree with who try to censor opposing viewpoints with their cultural-marxist, politically-correct nonsense. How can you learn anything if you shut out opposing viewpoints and live in an echo chamber? As much nonsese as there is on the liberal side, there are still some good points, and much that can be learned, just as there is on the conservative side. Just saying.

 

Him: Well I don't think either one of them is going to be a very good president I just pick the one that I thought would do better I'm not gonna vote for anybody says it is OK to abort a baby three days before it's born or anytime for that matterDonnell Drive we trade with these other countries they get the better end of the deal every time that's why were and dad will get it all these other countries money and I'll vet are homeless Hillary's been about for 30 years and she done shit I think we need to give Donald will try

 

And I meant every word I said so if that offends you you know where that delete button is

 

Me: That's a perfectly legitimate opinion, and by all means, vote for who you believe is best. All I was saying is don't immediately write off people with different opinions and shut them out. If you do, then you're just living in an echo chamber where you only hear reassuring things you already believe and resist trying to learn anything new. We all seem to get conditioned by our upbringings and our cultures to accept certain prescriptive, codified doctrines of beliefs without ever being taught to think critically and independently about real problems. I probably have a vastly different set of views than you, but I think I have a generally good understanding of where you're coming from and could articulate you're views in a way that you would agree with. I'm just looking for others to take this approach as well.

 

Him: Why think it ought to be about morals what's best for the American people not a Hillary Clinton you want to think about making America great again

 

Me: Fine. I'm not even talking about the candidates. I respect your views and opinions. I was just addressing your recommendation that people who disagree with you should unfriend you. It should be the other way around. You should seek to converse with, and understand the views of your opponents and identify the areas of disagreement whilst acknowledging the points of agreement. Shutting out opposing views altogether is a good way of blocking yourself off from never learning anything because you are only letting in the opinions that already fit with what you prefer to believe. That's all I was saying.

 

Him: i'm done with our debate these Croppie are biting them wearing their ass out (Just for clarity here, he was fishing for crappie at the time)

 

Me: I wasn't aware we were debating. Have a nice day.

 

Him: What do you work at

 

Me: I'm a full-time student

 

Him: That's why you don't want Trump for president so you don't have to pay for nothing you don't have to work for nothing everything is given to you because I got to get my ass out of bed every morning go to work pipe for y'all shit this is my damn post I'll have the last fucking word I don't care if we do this for four years

 

Me: I don't recall saying who I supported, and never referred to the candidates at all, so your entire post is erroneous and completely off topic. You've definitely proved one thing to me, and that's that trying to reason with some people is exercise that is often doomed for failure. I never criticized your political stances or your choice of candidate, and I never told you what my political views were or who I was voting for. I simply challenged your suggestion that people with opposing viewpoints should unfriend you. Now I see where you may a bit of a point, because I don't find you very open to conversation or dialogue. Have fun in your echo chamber.

 

Him: People like you are just leeches y'all just suck everything out of the American people

 

Don't nobody OU nothing

 

Me: Can you actually make a coherent argument for your case without denigrating and belittling the person you are talking to? I never once made a personal stab at you. Your original post stated that you wanted people to unfriend you if they disagreed with your political views, and all I did was reply to tell you why I think that is not a good idea. I never attacked you personally, never called you names, and never criticized your political views, though you have given me much more of a reason to dislike you than I have given you to dislike me. You know absolutely nothing about my political views or what I do during a day's time, so how about not calling me a leech? Would it help matters if I told you that I personally don't believe college should be free? Yes, you heard me right. I don't think college should be free. So basically you called me a bunch of names for viewpoints that I don't even hold, and you completely and utterly missed the simple point I was trying to make. Do you understand the first thing about how intelligent discussions work? Wait, don't tell me, I already know the answer to that... no.

 

Him: Well I'm just saying you 2829 years old and you're a full-time student that tells me right there has been a lot of money wasted on you know nobody OU nothing most everybody's got something got out of him work for it I'm done for the sales The hard-working taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for your way and I told you what to do if you didn't like it that's really easy delete

 

Why don't think college I'll be free not on my dime anyway

 

Me: That's fine. That's not even what I was talking about. At this point, I see that reasoned discussion with you is an exercise in futility, so I will go ahead a cop out of this discussion with the remainder of IQ points intact. I'll give you the final word, but before I go, I invite you to go back through this entire post and read every comment that was made. Notice how intelligent, respectful, and on-topic my posts are, and how bombastic, disrespectful, and rude your comments are. Read your comments and you'll get a feel for how NOT to engage in a reasoned conversation. Bye

 

Him: I don't remember asking you for your opinion

Edited by Tampitump
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If I seem incoherent or stubbornly moronic on this forum, just remember that this man is part and parcel of the norm that I grew up in. I'm still decoding and deprogramming from 20+ years of hidebound, insular, troglodyte thinking.

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He no doubt walked away thinking he owned me.
I marvel at the masterpieces of ignorance that are born in such staggering amounts in my region of the world. I have little to no confidence it will get better. People not from here just don't fully get it.

I read all that in a redneck voice and it fits perfectly. But I think you should keep your sentence to one because I think he TL;DR everything and assume you were just a liberal because you are young.

This man does not represent the fringe of our society here, he represents the norm of my hometown and region. Tradition is the ultimate metric of politics and whether or not something is right or good. If it wasn't somethin' your momma told ya, then its just the devil's work.

 

I now believe iNow on the whole "humans are not much better reasoners than chimps" argument. I never realized how utterly doomed we are until I discovered skepticism and free-thought about five years ago. We will never create a true global society with peaceful relations with the entirety of the human species, and we are doomed to fail at the project of keeping the universe from destroying us. People who don't think we are as far away as I imagine have never been to the bible belt or witnessed pure, concentrated, and willful ignorance and stupidity like I have my entire life. I love my friends and family, but the state of our discourse and thought is irreparable at this point I'm convinced.

Edited by Tampitump
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The fact that you can think that is pretty much proof that we are not damned; our ability to introspect and learn is amazing and will keep us going. Chin up; we have a true global society to create!

This is one of the only instances in which I will admit that I am a diamond in a vast sea (in a good way). The deterministic universe rolled the dice in my favor and I got very lucky to be exposed to intellectuals who revolutionized my thinking and basically helped rebuild my brain, and I'm universes away from being a perfect thinker. I have very low to virtually zero expectations that this large chunk of the US will ever crawl out of its swamp. You saw here how starting a dialogue wherein truth and representing your opponent accurately is valued is a completely failed exercise. It will fail every single time with these people. If it ain't what mamma or Jesus said, its the Devil.

Edited by Tampitump
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This is one of the only instances in which I will admit that I am a diamond in a vast sea (in a good way). The deterministic universe rolled the dice in my favor and I got very lucky to be exposed to intellectuals who revolutionized my thinking and basically helped rebuild my brain, and I'm universes away from being a perfect thinker. I have very low to virtually zero expectations that this large chunk of the US will ever crawl out of its swamp. You saw here how starting a dialogue wherein truth and representing your opponent accurately is valued is a completely failed exercise. It will fail every single time with these people. If it ain't what mamma or Jesus said, its the Devil.

Let's see. On average I would assume 1/200 people are smart enough to think freely and level headed, not aided entirely by media. Media that they choose what they wish to hear. So 1/200 people are a diamond in the ocean if I'm guessing correctly, that means we are certainly not screwed. Well, people like me are, but your still good. The diamonds in the sea are COMPLETELY safe. Until one of the 99.95% or Trump gets their hands on some nuke codes. Then we're all dead. Cheers.

Edited by Raider5678
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Let's see. On average I would assume 1/200 people are smart enough to think freely and level headed

I'm not sure where you got that number, but I'm positive you didn't get it from the rural bible belt areas. Its easily more like 1/8000 down here. I only know one person I went to high school with who is a free-thinker. The only other ones I know around here are not originally from here.

Edited by Tampitump
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