Feelings v Facts

News flash: feelings and facts are NOT the same thing. The earth is round (roundISH actually). That’s a fact. It just “is”. That I however insist, all evidence to the contrary, the earth is flat — that’s a feeling. Same goes for the sun rising in the east. I may, for some reason, get it in my head that I hate the sun rising in the east. That changes nothing: the sun will rise in the east regardless of whether I keep hating it for doing that or even if I adapt — and come to love the fact. My feelings and the facts are entirely unrelated to each other. Like most sensible people, I despise daylight savings time but, it remains a fact that, twice a year, we subject ourselves to a kind of jet lag when we move all our clocks forward and backwards for reasons we cannot tell you. It’s a fact that we adjust all our clocks. WHY we do that, ISN’T based on a fact, it’s based on a feeling someone once had — that someone else related to. The next thing you know, someone’s feeling becomes a “fact” in the sense that they went and forced everyone else to experience specifically what they were feeling.

Religion relies almost entirely on feelings, facts being inconvenient if not entirely detrimental. The scientific method is a way of thinking that tries to remove all feelings from the process. It wants only facts — both facts that are obvious and facts that must be inferred. Circumstantial evidence may be inferred evidence but it’s still evidence.

Another important facet of the scientific method is its refusal to ever grant anyone “final prophet” status. Islam’s neat trick was to proclaim Muhammed not just a prophet, but the last prophet — the final and ultimate word on what God wants. So what if it contradicts everything that went before it, it’s true now because the Koran says so. Only an infidel would question it. From a marketing point of view, it’s brilliant! You can’t contradict a teaching if it’s God’s final word on the subject. If Muhammed said or taught it, it simply “is”.

No scientist — Einstein, Dawkins and Hawking included — would ever declare themselves the final word on anything. That would contradict the scientific method itself. One is always obligated to show one’s work and accept it if someone can definitely prove us wrong. We are obligated to use new information and incorporate it into the larger narrative — to try our hardest to discern facts from feelings so as to get the truest picture of what is. How that true picture makes us feel — that’s something else entirely.

Christianity wants us to accept that knowledge isn’t something a human being can acquire, it must be “revealed” to us. The command is clear: stop thinking because thinking will get you nothing; everything you need to know will be GIVEN to you on a silver platter and all you have to do is insist as a matter of faith that it’s true. Show one’s work? No. “Trust me” is the final answer.

White supremacy isn’t based on any facts despite how strongly white people feel about their “supremacy” over everyone else. By the same token, a person who insists that God speaks to them and through them isn’t any closer to universal truth about anything. Unless they’ve got texts and emails between them and God, we’re going to assume all that happened in the believer’s mind. The reason no actual texts or emails passed back and forth is because they weren’t needed. The person speaking for God was the same person receiving God’s word. If you honestly think you’re special enough for the creator of everything in existence to use YOU as their mouthpiece, that’s not because you’re actually that special, it’s because YOU think YOU’RE “God”.

That’s the feeling most theists struggle with. On the one hand, they tell themselves that a great and powerful force wants them to do its bidding. On the other hand, there’s them — staring at themselves in a bathroom mirror — God looking into his own eyes and wondering why he keeps drinking so much when he always hates waking up like this.

Can We Be Really, REALLY Honest With Each Other? If You Believe In Bullshit — WHY Should ANYONE BELIEVE YOU?

I’ll try and make this easy.  If you boarded an airplane and the pilot announced (before the doors had closed) that not only was this his very first flight as a professional pilot — and (cause that’s not enough), he doesn’t believe in science, he believes in Magic — and just to prove that HIS MAGIC is as good as OUR SCIENCE — he’s going to CUT THE ENGINES at 37,000 feet and PRAY US the rest of the way to our destination.

Who’s staying on board that airplane?  Anyone?

Make it a heart surgeon who’s shrugged off looking at your charts before cutting into you — he’s going to wait for Divine Inspiration and THEN cut you.  You staying on the table?

When people tell us they don’t know what the hell they’re doing, we should listen to them like our lives depended on it.

While politicians may not have their hand on a literal wheel — what they do can and does have almost the same impact.  So — WHY they do WHAT they do is important because it indicates whether or not they’re representing OUR interests or whether they’re conflicted somehow.  For my part, I prefer that people making decisions that impact others have the same ‘RESPECT for Reality that I have.

I believe FACTS matter far more than FEELINGS.  I recognize that FACTS can ’cause’ FEELINGS to happen — and those feelings can effect how we perceive those facts — but those FEELINGS do not ever ‘CHANGE’ those FACTS.  FACTS remain FACTS regardless of how ANYONE ‘feels’ about them.

So — when people inclined to poor decision-making BECAUSE THEIR DECISION-MAKING PROCESS INVOLVES ‘MAGICAL THINKING’ go to make a decision, they tend to skip right past all Logic, Analytical Thinking and Thoughtful Analysis to their Magical Thinking Wheelhouse and push ‘Start’.

The Facts On The Ground do not matter.  You have BULLSHIT singing in your ears (badly and completely out of tune).   Bullshit always has its way.

We are living during War Time, folks — but not just ONE WAR… No, we’ve got TWO WARS on our hands.  Good thing they’re ‘related’ — otherwise this could get complicated.

War #1) THE CYBER WAR — the one Vladimir Putin & Russia are waging on us with the full and complete cooperation of Donald J Trump, his Crime Family & the Whole Republican Party.  We’ve ‘talked about that’ here and will again, I’m sure.  War #2) THE CULTURE WAR — The one the Republican Party has chosen to wage on the American People.

The Republican Party does this at the behest of its SECOND Most Vocal, Forceful Constituent — The Hardcore Christian Right Wing.  The MOST Vocal (behind the scenes — and ‘in its own way’), Forceful Constituent is MONEY, of course — and the handful of Rich, White, Christian families who HOARD that money as if it could save them from ‘DEATH’ itself (it won’t).

 

Right now, decisions and decision-making are coming at us more quickly than most people can handle.  That’s not a coincidence.  Those pushing the rush of decisions want people to fall back on the decision-making skills that they learned while going through the American Educational System– Oh, wait… that’s right — we don’t TEACH ‘decision-making skills’.  We RUN from them — preferring to stick a bible under their noses (a bible no one has cracked or WILL crack) with a handful of ‘Do It Cos Big Daddy In The Sky Sez Do-It’ type ‘lessons’.  And that, or some variation, is what amounts to ‘Doing Something”.

Here’s the problem in cold, hard, practical terms.  Sorry if it offends.  No, actually — not sorry at all…

Your average republican (and they put a shine on the word ‘average’ like no one else) ‘CLAIMS’ TO BELIEVE – AS FACT that:  “A Magical Man In The Sky had UNPROTECTED SEX with a Young Female Human who had never had sex before and produced together a ‘Man-God-Baby’ whose ‘mission on earth’ was to ‘DIE’ for All Humanity’s ‘sins’ because A WOMAN named ‘Eve’ once ate a piece a fruit she shouldn’t have — because a TALKING SNAKE told her to…”.

Pretty strange story, right?  But there are more than a few Christians — IN CONGRESS no less — who will claim — out in the open — ON TV EVEN — that they absolutely, positively believe that these things ALL actually happened EXACTLY AS WRITTEN.  That THEY are HISTORICAL FACTS that are INDISPUTABLE.  These ‘LEADERS’ who control what we do as a Nation — have as their KNOWLEDGE BASE a story which while ‘instructive’ and ‘imaginative’ IS NOT HISTORY and to act like it IS history — while DENYING ANY UNDERLYING MESSAGE THE STORY HAS — is an example of the MOST cynical bullshit.

And it’s BULLSHIT.

You might as well say ‘Yeah, I see the apple falling — but I’m still not buying into this ‘gravity’ thing…’.

You’ve told the class — unequivocally — that you are a sucker, a day trader, a headlines only reader.

And, you’ve told them that facts ultimately do not matter to you.

Given a choice between decision-making based on ‘faith’ (which is… guesswork?  Wishful Thinking?  Hopefulness on Steroids?) and Stone Cold Reality, I’ll take the Stone Cold Reality, please.

Realists keep their eyes open — they HAVE TO.