Blog Psychology

If someone tells you they're very angry - instead of behaving angrily - they probably aren't. Anyone who constantly tells you they love you, instead of demonstrating it in a hundred little unconscious ways, doesn't. And anyone who tells you their faith is rock solid, but spends all their time virulently attacking anyone who disagrees with them, is having a crisis of faith.

Case in point: Atheism is Dead.

There's a rhetorical technique called Quote Mining, which involves presenting a stream of out-of-context quotes as "proof" that "Plato was gay", "Hitler was a vegetarian", "Obama is the antichrist" or whatever.

Sometimes it takes an expert - or at least someone who's read the works quoted - to unpick the distortions. But some quote miners, usually in their efforts to prove they're serious researchers and not quote miners, quote enough text to disprove their own thesis.

Case in point: Marxwords - Giving you all the quotations that Marxists hope you never hear about.

We stick with our friends because they treat us well, and stay away from those who've hurt us. Right? Except when our friends treat us like shit and we find excuses to forgive them, and we avoid and dislike individuals and groups who've never hurt us - indeed, we've never met.

We chose our allies because we share goals, and share enemies. Yes? Or do we change our goals and attitudes to fit our milieu? If you've ever watched someone move between social classes, the way they change their beliefs and habits can be striking. It's like the invasion of the bodysnatchers - you're dealing with a different person, but they insist they've always been as they are now. And they believe it.

Do we invent ways to find allies admirable, and rationalise reasons to dislike the enemy? I rather think so. Double standards aren't just a failure of logic, they're a vital part of society.

I flatter myself I'm anti-social.

Case in point: Shrouded in Doubt - the most unintentionally ironic blog title in the world?.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes actions do speak louder than words...but I've learned that sometimes, when someone says that they're feeling a certain way, then they really are feeling that way, regardless of how society deems such feelings should be expressed. People fake smiles when their feeling pain; people act brave when they're terrified on the inside.

    I stick with my friends because we share a mutual respect for each other and genuinely care for each other. We don't always agree, and we've had spectacular debates and fights, but we've always accepted each other's views and beliefs and individuality. Only a true friend will help you up when you've fallen down; smack some sense into you when you're full of yourself; and stand by you through the good times and bad times.