Sunday, 10 September 2017

Cows that exhale oxygen on a flat Earth

It is really hard to do but sometimes we need to look deep inside right wing nutjobs, bigots, and trolls to understand where they are coming from and how they are able to function in their daily lives when they are full of hate, conspiracy theories, oversimplified views on life, and respect for exploitative authority! Let me perform the tough task of looking at them from an empathetic point of view.

Right wingers come in many different forms with different levels of hate, jingoism, fanaticism, and irrational beliefs. I am going to specifically focus on those who have crazy irrational beliefs. After painfully observing such people online and a few of them offline over a large period of time, I have an idea of where they are coming from.

One can attribute the ostracism of homosexuals, sexism against women, narrow-minded social beliefs, and racism to bigotry. But what has baffled me over the years is the right-winger stubbornness to disbelieve everything liberals say even though it makes perfect sense! "Since a 'libtard' said it and is advocating for it, it HAS to be wrong." That is how their brains are unfortunately wired.

Why do so many Americans deny climate change or believe in a flat earth? Why do so many Indians believe that cows exhale oxygen which enriches our environment and why are left-handed Indian children forced to write and eat with their right hand? A major source of such inane, self-defeating beliefs is an ingrained inferiority complex fueled by the academic industry and the glamour industry.

Academics are in large part believers of science and socially liberal. The famous ones like Neil Degrasse Tyson and Bill Nye promote science as a 'cool' thing. This irks people who are not academically oriented or have a good educational background. Such people are often dogmatically religious as well. It irks them because they have not built the temperament to understand the concept of critical reasoning which could be because or their upbringing or their circumstances. No human wants to feel inferior, so in order to fill that void they start believing in simpler theories that are not cognitively taxing and make more sense. "I look around me and can clearly see that the Earth is flat so it must be flat!" "Cow is our holy animal and it can do no wrong, HENCE it has to be true that it exhales oxygen!" "Oil helps economy. It creates jobs! So how the hell can oil be bad?" "All my neighbor's children are right-handed. So logically, my child also HAS to be right-handed". Such people mistake simplistic thinking for irrefutable logic because their sub-conscious wants them to feel good about themselves by keeping them in a denial mode. The very definition of "conservative" is not wanting to know beyond what one already knows and is comfortable with!

Such an inferiority complex is further fueled by both Hollywood and Bollywood being largely liberal. When glamorous people have opposite views from you, it can get painful as you do not feel to be a part of their in-group. You resent the fact that you neither look nor think like them and therefore will make an extra effort to refute the most obvious things! A holy cow becomes a part of your identity and any fact that shows it in bad light, even if it is exhaling carbon dioxide, has to be wrong!

I often indulge in masochism and look at online posts of flat-Earthers. I have always failed to find a justification from them about why NASA would lie to us. Then I realized that they resent the fact that deep down in their sub-conscious, they know that they are not that smart. This ingrained inferiority complex makes them believe anything that refutes basic scientific knowledge. After all, you can feel really powerful when you make your own shit up! It's a drug that they are now addicted to and cannot give up even in case they'd like to do so.

In a nutshell, what I am essentially saying is that the strength of belief in an obviously false theory is caused by the need to fill an intellectual void which is mediated by a sub-consciously generated inferiority complex. 

I know have not presented any empirical evidence for the above and I have largely spoken like an armchair psychologist. However, my intuitive theory can be worth testing.

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