It’s very difficult for those of us who are intelligent to believe that intelligent people may disagree. Or, if they are intelligent they are the exception to the rule rather than a realization that we made need to re-categorize our rules.
We enjoy listening and watching people who share our opinion on matters. We enjoy hearing “our” people characterize “those” people of the other side, because it makes us feel better about the side we have chosen.
A friend of mine chose the open-minded side. This wasn’t 100% clear to me, until I made the accusation that she wasn’t open-minded to my point of view in an Instant Message (IM) discussion we were having. This brought out exclamation points and all caps from her end of the IM discussion. This brought forth so many IMs in such rapid-fire succession that I was forced to face the fact that she could type three times faster than I could. The gist of these IMs was that because she had chosen the open-minded side, she had immunity from being called “close-minded”, and that she could reject any and all discussions I had without further discussion.
“Your side is the side of closed-minded side,” was another take from her IMs. She then listed off a number of people from “my side” that she considered closed-minded. I never told her what “my side” was. She may have gathered it from a number of our conversations, but the point was that because my IMs were inherently influenced by a close-minded side, my IMs were inherently incorrect.
We all walk around with the notion that we’re open-minded and objective, and if you have any doubts about this. Just ask us. We’ll tell you that we’re objective and open-minded.
Some of us never take the time to consider the other side, because we don’t need to, because someone once told us what “those people” believe. Someone once characterized the other side for us in a manner we deemed acceptable, and we went with that. This idea assisted us in choosing sides, because we all want to be open-minded.
Isn’t it all about character definition for us these days? We don’t have the time to dissect an issue in the manner that highbrow theoreticians do, so we rely on those in the know to assist us in determining who is right and who is wrong. The question becomes who do we choose? Well, we hate to choose, because we hate to be led, but we do make choices.
We normally choose the people who are good looking, because movies and shows have conditioned us to believe that good looking people are right and the ugly people are evil. There have been psychological studies that prove that good looking people have an easier time swaying the people. We’re also, of course, swayed by charm and a decent sense of humor.
Having said all that, most people are so convinced that they are right that they cannot believe that an intelligent, well-informed individual can disagree with them. The person who disagrees with them is either a Neanderthal or close-minded or stupid, or all of the above. “Don’t you know the latest stats,” they will ask, “don’t you know the latest facts on a given issue?” When they are informed that stats are given to interpretation, and some facts can include half-truths and exaggerations. They’ve been told, by their moderators, commentators, and talking heads that certain truths are truths and that only a neophyte could disagree. They believe the depictions and character assessments given to those they disagree, and they cannot believe that there is another side.