Ignorance on parade

There is a tendency to create things that fit one’s world view. Bob Owens notes one case in his post A Community-Based Reality:

And so it is that “this whole thing”—the claim that conservative bloggers said Thomas didn’t exist or wasn’t a soldier—comes squarely back onto the shoulders of liberal bloggers who created the meme themselves.

When pressed to provide a specific quote from any conservative blog stating that Scott Thomas didn’t really exist, was fabricated, or was an imposter, these and other liberal bloggers have utterly failed to do so.

Why they failed should now be obvious: they made up these claims themselves.

That one is story based. Another type is the person based with an example provided by headlines like “Left for Rush Limbaugh to blame global warming on in 2008” – These set up a straw man to attack and, again, suffer from an inability “to provide a specific quote” else why the straw man, the ad hominem? Either type creates an opposition and an artificial conflict.

The headline was where Russsell Seitz took off on a typical fantasy. He seems to miss the idea that Limbaugh is a commentator and not a reporter or scientist and he makes no pretenses about his role. In regards to climate change and other issues, Limbaugh highlights the work of others and the manner of the debate. He does not ‘blame’ but rather comments on what others see. He highlights the absurdities and conflicts rather than buys trivia for digestion.

There is the issue of why this matters. After all, these folks are just talking. Everyone is entitled to have their own fun. Free speech is supposedly protected. Why should it be of any note when someone strays from the realm of reality?

A first issue in integrity is an honesty with oneself. People who head off on fantasies tend to try to make them true. Where that becomes a social problem rather than an individual problem is a difficult line to determine. What does appear to be a pattern these days is that there are a number of people who are pushing that line as hard as they can. Terrorism is an extreme case. Propaganda is more subtle but still quite demonstrable as an issue. The less clear behaviors we face now include what has been called lawfare and the continual debate about bias and the impact of social media such as illustrated in these examples. We depend upon an honesty with reality for social cohesion and effective decision. That is why it matters.

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