Almost everyone likes to think of themselves as good people. Many conservatives think that opinions and beliefs and actions have a right and wrong aspect, and that any opinion, belief, or action is either 100% right or 100% wrong. Thus, if we use basic logic to combine two statements we can deduce why so many conservatives experience cognitive dissonance, and why they detest and vehemently attack progressives and Democrats on every issue.
1) A good person never does bad things.
1) I am a good person.
i. Therefore I never do bad things.
2) Harming the environment is bad.
1) Scientists say that the cumulative effects of drinking water from plastic bottles is harming the environment.
i. I drink water from plastic bottles.
i. Therefore I am a bad person.
A person that does not think in absolutes would not conclude that a person is a bad person just because he had done things that we now realize are bad, but when you think in terms of absolutes you must either conclude that you are a bad person, or that the 2nd logic tree has a flaw in it. If I cannot accept the conclusion of the 2nd logic tree, that “I am a bad person”, can I find a flaw in the statement I derived it from, “I drink water from plastic bottles.”. Well, I know this is true, but what about the statement above that one in the logic tree, “Scientists say drinking from water bottles is bad.” I have the newspaper article right here in front of me, along with a lot of similar claims on legitimate, respected Internet sites. So how about the starting statement of the 2nd logic tree, “Harming the environment is bad”? Well, I agree with that statement also. Ugh. The only statement that I see that could have flaws is the 2nd statement. Perhaps I can think of problems with the 2nd statement, or perhaps there are teams of people that can feed possible problems with the 2nd statement to radio show hosts whose primary job is to help me alleviate my cognitive dissonance (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, etc.) Some of the possible flaws with the 2nd statement are:
- Perhaps only a few scientists are making this claims.
- Perhaps the scientists are lying for some reason.
- Perhaps the scientists have bad data or the results of their studies are wrong.
- Perhaps the scientists are part of the intellectual elite that we already know are trying to deceive us.
Hey, I’m beginning to find a number or reasons for ignoring these scientists and they are reasons that fit in with what I already believe. Whew, what a relief that I tune in for my daily broadcast of cognitive dissonance resolution.