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Thread: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Arrow The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    I found this interesting. (Link to originating study.) In a nutshell:

    Liberals (tend to) think they're individualists and original and special. They're not.

    Conservatives (tend to) think the majority of people agree with them. They don't.

    I have no idea what to make of this information, but I find evidence-based study of political behavior fascinating. Some highlights:

    [L]iberals displayed a "truly false uniqueness effect"—they were more likely to think that their views were different from those of their peers, even when they weren't—while conservatives displayed a "truly false consensus effect," believing that their views were the same as their peers, even when they weren't.

    The authors also found evidence that the liberal false uniqueness effect has at least part of its origins in liberals' personal desire to feel unique, as measured by a "need for uniqueness" scale. In other words, liberals who were more likely to see themselves as the type of person who's different and special were more likely to think their opinions were unique as well.

    So liberals suffer from a false sense of uniqueness, while conservatives suffer from a false sense of consensus.

    versus

    Discuss.
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Interesting points. I think it may have to do with self-perception, as liberals tend to emphasise the importance of the individual in their policies, whereas conservatives tend to think of society or the family.

    Of course, the above is not always reflected in the realities of consensus within the groups. Certainly, I always get the feeling that the Republicans are more ideologically divided than the Democrats, because of the awkward marriage of social and fiscal conservatism. Although I think this is just the way things happen to be at the minute, rather than being something inherent in either the left/right.

    Ironically, I think that you tend to get more mavericks on the right of the spectrum. I think this is because the left has become more of the 'establishment', especially when it comes to social views - resulting in the same stagnation in terms of ideas you saw on the right when its more traditional social views were dominant. Also, being a maverick isn't necessarily something positive (Palin, etc).
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyfelwyr View Post
    Interesting points. I think it may have to do with self-perception, as liberals tend to emphasise the importance of the individual in their policies, whereas conservatives tend to think of society or the family.

    Of course, the above is not always reflected in the realities of consensus within the groups. Certainly, I always get the feeling that the Republicans are more ideologically divided than the Democrats, because of the awkward marriage of social and fiscal conservatism. Although I think this is just the way things happen to be at the minute, rather than being something inherent in either the left/right.

    Ironically, I think that you tend to get more mavericks on the right of the spectrum. I think this is because the left has become more of the 'establishment', especially when it comes to social views - resulting in the same stagnation in terms of ideas you saw on the right when its more traditional social views were dominant. Also, being a maverick isn't necessarily something positive (Palin, etc).
    There is probably more consensus on the left of the US political spectrum because there is a working model on the other side of the Atlantic, whereas there is no equivalent of the American social conservatives in western Europe, and the political dialogue has traditionally been between the US and western Europe. The nearest equivalents to American social conservatives are probably the social closed shops of east Asia.

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    Liberals (tend to) think they're individualists and original and special. They're not.
    I know I am, other people tell me. I'm not saying I'm special in a good way though.
    Sometimes however, I cannot fathom how people can not agree with my common sense solutions.

    I think that makes me the only true centrist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    Conservatives (tend to) think the majority of people agree with them. They don't.
    I have mourned about the phrase "Common sense" before. As they say, common sense isn't.
    I see the term mostly used by Conservatives so this fits.


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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Conservatives are generally louder than Liberals and Conservative elements are not as challenged by social perception. The loudmouths such as the Daily Mail in Britain and FoxNews in the United States are far more well known than the liberal counterparts. This leads to group polarization on the political spectrum as people are presenting a view point which may not be expected of their instinctual qualities.

    There are also arguments that conservatives are typically more authoritarian with references to authority (Religion, Nationalism, etc) and typically dominating discussions.

    So it is more than pretty-snowflakes and false-consensus, as there are discursive tools being implemented by participants, mostly unconsciously.
    Last edited by Beskar; 11-24-2013 at 07:19.
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    This research confirms my suspicions. That should make me wary, but I'm happy to take it at face value.

    I always say there are two kinds of Norwegians: social democrats, and social democrats who don't know they're social democrats.
    Last edited by HoreTore; 11-24-2013 at 11:35.
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    This research confirms my suspicions. That should make me wary, but I'm happy to take it at face value.

    I always say there are to kinds of Norwegians: social democrats, and social democrats who don't know they're social democrats.
    In comparison with the US, virtually all western Europeans are social democrats.

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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    In comparison with the US, virtually all western Europeans are social democrats.
    ....And we are.

    The only unique persons in society are those in mental institutions.
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    Who said there is no model for US conservatives to look to? Modern Russia is perfect. Socially conservative, massive wealth gap, different legal standards for the rich and poor, military and intelligence spending are the main functions of government, and the top political roles are locked down by a reliable pro business hardass.

    Sounds like Red State Paradise.
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    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    This is an archaic breakdown of differences. Most of the Conservatives that I know are rabid individualists, looking at society as the unfortunate necessity that it is, rather than some gold standard that must be maintained and protected. I realize that traditional conservatives were all about preserving and expanding what they believed was 1950s white Christian society through law, but do you know many of those anymore? Politically, I seek only to enhance the rights of the individual. As Thatcher said, "there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, there are families". Aren't most of us "liberals" by a 19th century standard?

    We should pass laws that protect the rights of individuals, uproot the laws that don't. Society is determined on an individual basis. Mine is different from yours and vice versa. Although they may overlap, we are not one society and the individual is not beholden to anyone.
    Last edited by ICantSpellDawg; 11-25-2013 at 15:04.
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by ICantSpellDawg View Post
    This is an archaic breakdown of differences. Most of the Conservatives that I know are rabid individualists, looking at society as the unfortunate necessity that it is, rather than some gold standard that must be maintained and protected. I realize that traditional conservatives were all about preserving and expanding what they believed was 1950s white Christian society through law, but do you know many of those anymore? Politically, I seek only to enhance the rights of the individual. As Thatcher said, "there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, there are families". Aren't most of us "liberals" by a 19th century standard?

    We should pass laws that protect the rights of individuals, uproot the laws that don't. Society is determined on an individual basis. Mine is different from yours and vice versa. Although they may overlap, we are not one society and the individual is not beholden to anyone.
    You manage to both exemplify the stated trend perfectly whilst failing to address (or missing) the salient point entirely. Here, let me highlight it for you:
    Aren't most of us "liberals" by a 19th century standard?
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by ICantSpellDawg View Post
    This is an archaic breakdown of differences.
    Study was published this month. And it seems quite relevant, although defining "liberal" and "conservative" is a bit tricky, especially in the USA, where these words no longer mean what they mean.

    However, Tellos has you dead to rights. Your tendency to represent your views in the first person plural kinda ... reinforces what the study found. You do seem to believe that you are part of an overwhelming majority, despite the radical nature of your expressed views.
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    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    Study was published this month. And it seems quite relevant, although defining "liberal" and "conservative" is a bit tricky, especially in the USA, where these words no longer mean what they mean.

    However, Tellos has you dead to rights. Your tendency to represent your views in the first person plural kinda ... reinforces what the study found. You do seem to believe that you are part of an overwhelming majority, despite the radical nature of your expressed views.
    I don't believe that i'm in the majority to any extent. I'm a crazy, gun obsessed, crypto-anarchic conservative who is a libertarian and attends Mass in a suburb of NYC. I pay close attention to politics. I am a minority within a minority. When I say "most Conservatives I know" I mean the small handfull. In fact, most people are merely populist sheep who go wherever the wind blows and seldom, if ever, have a political philosophy of any kind. If they do it is usually because it is the local favorite.

    When we are talking about ideologies, we should talk about people who actually hold them.

    Its always great to read that "conservatives" are deluded and that "liberals" just aren't giving themselves enough credit. I'm sure that this study is scientific and in no way seeking specific outcomes.
    Last edited by ICantSpellDawg; 11-26-2013 at 01:15.
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by ICantSpellDawg View Post
    Its always great to read that "conservatives" are deluded and that "liberals" just aren't giving themselves enough credit.
    That's a very interesting spin on the study.

    Meanwhile: It's all in the face, bro.

    Todorov showed pairs of portraits to roughly a thousand people, and asked them to rate the competence of each person. Unbeknownst to the test subjects, they were looking at candidates for the House and Senate in 2000, 2002, and 2004. In study after study, participants’ responses to the question of whether someone looked competent predicted actual election outcomes at a rate much higher than chance—from sixty-six to seventy-three per cent of the time. Even looking at the faces for as little as one second, Todorov found, yielded the exact same result: a snap judgment that generally identified the winners and losers. Todorov concluded that when we make what we think of as well-reasoned voting decisions, we are actually driven in part by our initial, instinctive reactions to candidates. [...]

    In a 2009 study published in Science, the psychologists John Antonakis and Olaf Dalgas suggested that, when we judge a candidate as more or less competent, we do it in the same way that children do. They first asked a group of adults to rate pairs of faces, taken from the 2002 French parliamentary elections, based on how capable they seemed. When they compared the ratings to actual election results, the correspondence was seventy-two per cent. The ratings even predicted the margin of victory; the more competently-rated the face, the higher the margin. The researchers then had a group of children play a computer game, simulating a boat trip from Troy to Ithaca, in which they had to choose a captain for the voyage; their options consisted of the same 2002 election candidates. The two sets of responses were indistinguishable from each other: seventy-one per cent of the time, the children picked the election winner to pilot the boat.
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    Todorov showed pairs of portraits to roughly a thousand people, and asked them to rate the competence of each person. Unbeknownst to the test subjects, they were looking at candidates for the House and Senate in 2000, 2002, and 2004. In study after study, participants’ responses to the question of whether someone looked competent predicted actual election outcomes at a rate much higher than chance—from sixty-six to seventy-three per cent of the time. Even looking at the faces for as little as one second, Todorov found, yielded the exact same result: a snap judgment that generally identified the winners and losers. Todorov concluded that when we make what we think of as well-reasoned voting decisions, we are actually driven in part by our initial, instinctive reactions to candidates. [...]
    Oh come one, in the last election here I previously thought about the party programs but when I was in the ballot box I saw the local candidates of my district and had no idea who stood for what because I hadn't bothered to check this. As a result, I used a very scientific method:

    1. the girls, politics need more women and something below my waistline agrees.

    2. the party, do not go for girls from complete whacko parties.

    3. make a cross based on party preference and the jobs of the candidates (jobs are listed).

    4. go home and check result.

    5. satisfaction.

    6. find out someone else won the district anyway.
    Last edited by Husar; 11-26-2013 at 02:28.


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    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    That's a very interesting spin on the study.

    Meanwhile: It's all in the face, bro.

    Todorov showed pairs of portraits to roughly a thousand people, and asked them to rate the competence of each person. Unbeknownst to the test subjects, they were looking at candidates for the House and Senate in 2000, 2002, and 2004. In study after study, participants’ responses to the question of whether someone looked competent predicted actual election outcomes at a rate much higher than chance—from sixty-six to seventy-three per cent of the time. Even looking at the faces for as little as one second, Todorov found, yielded the exact same result: a snap judgment that generally identified the winners and losers. Todorov concluded that when we make what we think of as well-reasoned voting decisions, we are actually driven in part by our initial, instinctive reactions to candidates. [...]

    In a 2009 study published in Science, the psychologists John Antonakis and Olaf Dalgas suggested that, when we judge a candidate as more or less competent, we do it in the same way that children do. They first asked a group of adults to rate pairs of faces, taken from the 2002 French parliamentary elections, based on how capable they seemed. When they compared the ratings to actual election results, the correspondence was seventy-two per cent. The ratings even predicted the margin of victory; the more competently-rated the face, the higher the margin. The researchers then had a group of children play a computer game, simulating a boat trip from Troy to Ithaca, in which they had to choose a captain for the voyage; their options consisted of the same 2002 election candidates. The two sets of responses were indistinguishable from each other: seventy-one per cent of the time, the children picked the election winner to pilot the boat.
    This study is interesting. I don't believe that people often make ideologically rational decisions, but rather rely on instinct and "gut" reactions, which are unhelpful in a political arena.
    Last edited by ICantSpellDawg; 11-26-2013 at 03:29.
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by ICantSpellDawg View Post
    This study is interesting. I don't believe that people often make ideologically rational decisions, but rather rely on instinct and "gut" reactions, which are unhelpful in a political arena.
    There's an awful lot of research on the decision-making process that indicates we make up our minds, and then use reason to justify our decision after the fact.

    So the more brainpower and knowledge we bring to bear, the better our rationalizations.

    But how do we actually make decisions? Seems like a pretty murky process, and I'm eager to read more on the topic.
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by ICantSpellDawg View Post
    Its always great to read that "conservatives" are deluded and that "liberals" just aren't giving themselves enough credit. I'm sure that this study is scientific and in no way seeking specific outcomes.
    I think you'll need to see the Life of Brian ("you are all induviduals") and reflect over the uniqueness of the teenage rebellion. Or people that's into Indie a bit too much.

    Or: "The king of heaven doth bid you keep his sabbath and reverence his sanctuary. Now the king of England is a mortal man and bids you break is. Choose whether of them you will follow." (now that's a blantant old conservative and hints about the devotion given by it).

    It's more that conservatives wants to be the pillar of community, while the liberals wants to be special snow flakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    There's an awful lot of research on the decision-making process that indicates we make up our minds, and then use reason to justify our decision after the fact.

    So the more brainpower and knowledge we bring to bear, the better our rationalizations.

    But how do we actually make decisions? Seems like a pretty murky process, and I'm eager to read more on the topic.
    It's quite messy. We also have a center who can admit we're wrong. Is always in conflict with the justification center, that says we can never be wrong, no matter how stupid it is. iirc it in different sides of the brain as well, so they communicates a bit poorly.

    I think one big part of the justification center is to make the world and you make sense. You'll do and see crazy things from time to time and poof it's suddenly somewhat understandable. We've sacrificed people for it, and that because we value people highly, so evidently feeling that the world makes sense, that we can influence it, is of very high importance. In particular for some people.
    We are all aware that the senses can be deceived, the eyes fooled. But how can we be sure our senses are not being deceived at any particular time, or even all the time? Might I just be a brain in a tank somewhere, tricked all my life into believing in the events of this world by some insane computer? And does my life gain or lose meaning based on my reaction to such solipsism?

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    Hmm, I might have to read this book, since this subject is so interesting.

    Lehrer's description of the amazing ability of dopamine to "predict" upcoming events is gripping all the way along, but I was delighted to learn that neuroscientists call signals for missed predictions (that is, the signal released when dopamine is released in anticipation of a reward that doesn't come), emanating from the anterior cingulate cortex the "Oh shit" circuit. The ACC is closely wired to the thalamus, so activation of the "Oh shit" circuit galvanizes the conscious mind, bringing the stimulus right to the front of our attention. [...]

    Dopamine is the neurochemical star of the book, and its many pathologies make for gripping reading. There's a case study of Ann Klinestiver, a sedate school-teacher who was given strong doses of Requip a dopamine agonist (it imitates dopamine's action in the brain), as treatment for worsening Parkinson's Disease. Like 13 percent of Requip patients, Ann developed a gambling compulsion for slot machines that eventually ruined her life, costing her her husband, her family, and all her assets (she finally went off Requip and opted for severely constrained movement but no gambling).

    The pathology here is all about missed predictions. Dopamine helps the brain to find patterns and thus make predictions about the future. But slots are random, and so in a normal brain, slot-play follows a common pattern: first the brain is delighted by the chance to chew on such a meaty problem. It formulates hypotheses about the slots' action, and then new input (mistakes that light up the Oh shit circuit) cause it to start over. But after a short time, a normal brain gives up -- there is no pattern to see, so there's no point in playing on.

    But in a brain where the dopamine levels are abnormal, surrender never happens. The brain is in a constant state of reward, because of all the "new input" (random noise) that arrives every time the lever is pulled.
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    I don't know, I've always seen many conservatives- particularly socons, exhibiting a siege mentality....
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Anything that tries to explain behaviors through brain chemistry is laughable at this point.

    There are still hypotheses out there that challenge the notion of drugs being addicting in and of themselves.
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Anything that tries to explain behaviors through brain chemistry is laughable at this point.
    You're right - it's too holistic. We need to get at more discrete parts, if not as fine-grained as possible.

    There are still hypotheses out there that challenge the notion of drugs being addicting in and of themselves.
    Isn't it pretty-well established that it's about rewarding behaviors now? The correlates of addiction seem to be the same whether it's a chemical/pharmacological substance or an activity.
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    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiahou View Post
    I don't know, I've always seen many conservatives- particularly socons, exhibiting a siege mentality....
    Any excuse to cast aspersions onto Conservatives.

    Newsflash - conservatives are fat, stupid and they smell. Also, due to genetically bestowed mental illness, they have walled themselves in from reality. Also also, people who think they are conservative aren't, because everyone is liberal which is actually the greatest thing to be, even though the terms effectively mean nothing. Cool story.
    Last edited by ICantSpellDawg; 11-27-2013 at 13:24.
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    The No-True-Conservative fallacy.


    *Both Xiahou and ICantSpellDawg are conservatives.
    Last edited by Beskar; 11-27-2013 at 14:31.
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  25. #25
    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by ICantSpellDawg View Post
    Any excuse to cast aspersions onto Conservatives.
    Victimization, much?
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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  26. #26
    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    How could we be victims? Don't victims vote Democrat?

    As we all know, victims have legitimate grievances. Conservatives have no ability to connect dots rationally and therefore all grievances are merely perceived rather than legitimate.

    Studies show that conservatives are able, in spite of the statistical improbability of this, to be wrong on everything. It would almost imply an ability to know the correct answer to everything and then go out of our way to select the opposite. Fortunately, we have liberals to shine like a beacon of wisdom to show us the right way on everything so that we can actively choose the opposite.
    Last edited by ICantSpellDawg; 11-27-2013 at 14:54.
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  27. #27
    Master of useless knowledge Senior Member Kitten Shooting Champion, Eskiv Champion Ironside's Avatar
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiahou View Post
    I don't know, I've always seen many conservatives- particularly socons, exhibiting a siege mentality....
    The response is more telling. The conservative would be more prone to dream of galvanising the people ("hidden majority") and break the siege that way, while the liberal would be more prone to focus on standing out by becoming more radical, even if they know that it's not the way of winning, embracing their minority status so to speak.
    We are all aware that the senses can be deceived, the eyes fooled. But how can we be sure our senses are not being deceived at any particular time, or even all the time? Might I just be a brain in a tank somewhere, tricked all my life into believing in the events of this world by some insane computer? And does my life gain or lose meaning based on my reaction to such solipsism?

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  28. #28
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by ICantSpellDawg View Post
    Any excuse to cast aspersions onto Conservatives.
    I think maybe you're reading a bit much into the study, not to mention taking great offense at data describing delusional tendencies in both liberals and conservatives.

    If your takeaway from a study demonstrating illogical thoughts on both ends of the simplified spectrum is, "Once again we are oppressed!" then ... well, that's a very selective read, don't you think?
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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  29. #29
    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    Default Re: The divergent fallacies of liberals and conservatives

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    I think maybe you're reading a bit much into the study, not to mention taking great offense at data describing delusional tendencies in both liberals and conservatives.

    If your takeaway from a study demonstrating illogical thoughts on both ends of the simplified spectrum is, "Once again we are oppressed!" then ... well, that's a very selective read, don't you think?
    Yes, I get it. Big deal. Ugh, it is difficult to find a good topic to argue about these days.
    "That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."
    -Eric "George Orwell" Blair

    "If the policy of the government, upon vital questions affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court...the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned the government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."
    (Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, 1861).
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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