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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Facing the True Believer™

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C65989237/E874747629

Emotional vs Rational Discussions

Last week I had what I thought was a talk with rational people. I was mistaken.

Today it seems that we pay more attention to the trappings than the core. True Believers™ are everywhere. They may claim rational beliefs, but there is no chain of reason. Facts that contradict their agenda simply are not acknowledged.

It doesn't matter if they are evangelical Christians, radical Greens, puritanical Pagans, or do-anything-to-stop-Bush liberals, the mindset is the same. Only the names and goals have been changed to protect the guilty.

Crusaders are a particularly pernicious form of True Believer™ who don't stop until everyone is saying the exact same things at the exact same time.

This particular discussion was over Bush and his failings. Since I was dealing with members of the anyone-but-Bush crowd, all government failure was attributed to Bush, regardless if he was responsible for it or not.

I've seen the same thing too many times in Pagan circles. Gerald Gardner for example had some sexual issues, that certainly colored his creation/modification of Wicca. But I have met Wiccans (not wanna-bes but actual Wiccans) who would attack you if you dare voice any criticism of his writings.

Silver RavenWolf has a cult of followers among pre-teen and teenage girls. Deviate one inch from SRW's "Holy Writ" and they will flame you into next week.

Incidentally, the only reason I do not denounce SRW more is because I haven't decided if she is doing the cult-thing deliberately or not.

There are still Dianic circles out there who still sneer at the idea of a man having any kind of relationship with a Goddess. There are covens who berate solitaries and solitaries who despise covens.

All these True Believers™ share one thing. They have built their entire rationality on at least one unquestionable given. To them, it is an absolute truth and to doubt it is nothing less than heresy.

In this particular case, I thought that the President deserved some criticism but not all that he was getting. Even when I cited sources that they themselves had approved of, my facts simply didn't exist in their worldview because the facts violated their absolute.

It would be the same if I told a radical Green that there was no evidence of human-caused global warming. That fact simply can't exist in the same worldview with their core beliefs.

To quote Terry Goodkind's Wizard's Third Rule, "Passion rules reason."

Until I can deal with the emotion attachment to their absolute, all the reasoning in the universe won't change their minds.

I'm not sure if I should do that. Ethics can be a bitch sometimes.

Posted: Mon - September 12, 2005 at 08:21 PM

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