FROM THE DOWNHILL SLOPE

THINK YOU ARE RATIONAL? HA. THINK AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS VERY HUMAN FALSE BELIEF

A very scholarly article, but one that points via many research paths to how deeply prejudiced we are, influenced my choice of today’s from the downhill slope. It is mostly a spelling out of my political stances.   Here is a quote I found useful for thinking about our current crisis and demonstrations.  The words in parenthesis and the bolding are my additions.

We are easily influenced by frames and anchors (former beliefs) ; we’re overconfident; we fear losses more than we value gains. Prospect theory, they argued in 29 equation-packed pages, provides a more psychologically realistic model of economic behavior.

 The Anatomy of Influence – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Some of my WOO’s (Wise, wacky, wicked  weary or wearisome Old  One) thoughts From the Downhill Slope:

 1. Our brains and the way we learn–from experiences and voices of authority–guarantee bias and prejudice.

 2. The more strongly we feel about something, the more likely a bias or prejudiced operates.

 3. Thinking we know is far more comforting than doubting ourselves or the voices of authority we listen to.  We tend to listen only to the voices that support our beliefs.  When I peruse Facebook I see the truth of this statement.  Most read and post only what they already believe.

 4. Doubt causes uncertainty, anxiety, anger fear, and pain.

 5. The common reactions to uncertainty include denial or blaming or action.

 6. Uncertainty denied increases the power of former beliefs.

 7. Blaming yourself causes depression.

 8.Blaming others causes anger.

 9. Acting on uncertainty empowers you, makes you feel strong and in control.

10. Acting on uncertainty is best done by rationally deciding if your acts are reasonable and not driven by false beliefs,  prejudices, or others playing on your emotions. Not an easy task.

Many have assumed I am for the current demonstrations.  Certainly I rant against greed, the consumerism of our nation while others starve.  I was active in protesting the Viet Nam War, I am seen generally as a liberal–bleeding heart liberal by some.  Others see me as a Tea Party Person.  Some see me as anti-religion or Libertarian–mainly because of my stance on the Right to Life, the religious restraints that have been put on access to contraception, my resentment about efforts to control sexuality  among consenting adults, my desire to have all drug’s legalized, and the fact that my husband and I own a pistol and I have posted a picture of myself at the shooting range on my Facebook page.  I am all these things.

What disturbs me about the current demonstrations is the refusal of some to do as asked by the police.  The training I had as a Viet Nam protester and as taught by Gandhi and King emphasized  non-violence.  You either moved when asked to do so by the police, or simply became a limp body they had to carry into the paddy wagons.

I would happily demonstrate if those values were operating today.  My heart says for many of the demonstrators that is true, but sadly for too many others that is not where their hearts are.

I also fear as I  frequently say that far too often the bullies rule.  By bullies I mean anyone willing to use force and violence to get their own way.  Some are belief bullies.  They want others to believe as they believe.  Others are power or money seekers.  They end up ruling because most of us are not violent.

I leave you with three quotes.

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Jesus as reported in Matthew 5:38-42, NIV

Nonviolence is an intensely active force when properly understood and used.

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948)

One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)


Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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