. . . some say, me included, data and logic should play a major role in decision-making. An informed decision has a greater chance at being the correct decision, as opposed to, for example, one based on emotions.
Skeptics and critical thinkers pride themselves in “looking at the data” . . . but there is one area dear to me where I see no evidence of this happening. Our esteemed leaders have made it known they are ready to use Executive Power (it sounds vaguely dictatorial) to “get things done”, and my more liberal readers applaud the statement.
Of course, they forget the wheel of political favor keeps rolling, and there will come a time (despite all the recent rhetoric about the GOP being done for) when “the other side” will come into power, and employ similar tactics to further their oppressive and repressive agenda.
Boy; won’t my liberal readers scream bloody murder, citing abuse of power, etc. . . . but for now, they are happy to see their own agenda furthered regardless of the process. Screw checks and balances, discussions, debates . . . all them congressmen and senators are too scared to do the job, so it’s up to a semi-dictatorial figure to take charge. (Side note . . . why did they vote those guys into office if they think them so weak-willed and corrupt?)
I’m speaking, of course, about guns, gun control, etc.
I’ve challenged people to do their own research, but that’s like asking a religious person to actually read the bible; ain’t gonna happen.
I’m tired, and recently it has been pointed out to me that using words like “idiots” does not help me further my case, regardless how earnest I am about it.
So, let me point to others who are less confrontational than I am. Read this stuff about violence . . . all of it from Sam Harris. I could cite other sources, but some of my liberal readers might give Harris a listen. He does, after all, make a convincing argument as to why religious beliefs are dangerous, and should be challenged. Well, here some other beliefs that should be challenged.
If you, dear reader, made it this far, at least read this piece:
You don’t have to like guns, buy a gun, or use a gun. This is an article on what to do when faced with violence. At the end of it there are suggested books one should read. I’m willing to bet not one in fifty readers (2%) will actually read the article (remember, WP tracks clicks, so I’m not just making up numbers), and of those, not one in one hundred (1%) will bother to follow up with the books, despite the low cost of buying those books (three of them can be had for less than $20).
The reason? They do not think it will happen to them. What’s that word I should not use? Oh yeah . . . never mind.
If you read the above piece, and have not been put-off by my derisive and (some say) dismissive tone, you now come to the second piece.
Again, don’t have to like guns, buy a gun, or use a gun. But you should understand why others might think differently than you do. Why, you might even consider that maybe, just maybe, they (and me) are not mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging boobs for thinking that defending oneself against a stronger, faster, younger, and ruthless attacker might be more successful if one can employ some leverage.
I get it . . . you don’t think you will need to. Good for you. Others don’t think the same as you, and maybe, just maybe, they have some experience in the area that you do not possess. Again, lucky you.
Some idi . . . detractors took Harris to task for writing that last article. Leveraged all sorts of criticism upon his views. That’s despite, you know, data, history, psychology, DoJ, FBI, and CDC studies – I mean, who needs all that stuff when one has an opinion? (Even one of my favorite groups, the crew at The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast, after flat-out saying there is no evidence linking gun control, or lack thereof, to mass shootings, AND after agreeing studies on gun violence are ambiguous, all agreed it could not hurt to, you know, enact something . . . anything. Logic, at its finest).
Harris does a decent job addressing some of the major egregious criticisms in the following article.
But he misses some data, and some obvious rebuttals. FSM knows, I ain’t as smart a cookie as Harris, but even as he quoted some of the “counter-arguments” and criticism, I was already formulating responses that should be obvious to even people who watch reality shows. Harris, however, employs a light-hand in guiding the detractors toward examining the totality of the debate, and dealing with realities.
Honest, I don’t know how he does it . . . I don’t know how he can look out at the masses (be they the JC is Our Savior crowd, or the Obama is Our Gun Control Savior crowd), and keep it together.
Maybe the reason is . . . we are stuck here. For better or for worse, we have to deal with them who use selective reason, who are swayed by emotions, who have no concept of how their actions hurt others. He chooses to give them more respect than I can muster up.
I already avoid blogs and people who are overtly religious (god-blessing and god-thanking their way around the Internet) because at the very core of their belief is the desire to control portions of my life, and now I will have to curtail my involvement with the other side because they too harbor the notion they know what is best for me.
Both use the same “logic” . . . it’s for the greater good, you see. Well, no . . . not for my greater good, or that of millions like me. It’s for the “other” greater good. The one based on opinion, and specifically, their opinion.
Between those two camps, the gray area in the middle, is where I look to find some hope for the human race. Perhaps that is who Harris is appealing to . . . those who have learned there are no easy answers, least of all for complex issues.
And, really . . . though you may not like guns, may not want to buy a gun, or think you will ever have use/need for a gun, read about violence. It’s good stuff for you to know, even as my most fervent wish is that you will never encounter it.
Please, if you are considering bestowing me some recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so. I will decline nominations whereby one blogger bestows an award onto another blogger, or group of bloggers. I appreciate the intent behind it, but I would much prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way. That would actually mean something to me.
Should you still nominate me, I will strongly suspect you pulled my name at random, and that you are not, in fact, a reader of my blog. If you wish to know more, please read below.
Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not personally hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.
. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.