Just read NRO’s Jonah Goldberg’s eagerly awaited “G-File” for the week. (@JonahNRO). Jonah is always fun to read because he has an almost Jane Austin ability to make a phrase both insightful and funny.
But it is a shame that I already knew what I was going to read. Because Jonah, like everyone else in America, already have their (our) minds made up. The hearing this week didn’t change anyone’s opinions. We all just took out the parts that supported our pre-existing opinions and used them to support. My twitter feed (@EdLongshank) has both liberals and conservatives (since porn is bipartisan 🙂 and no one said yesterday, “Eureka, If I had known this I would have had a different opinion”
On other subjects that I have debated – Porn (this blog), Young Earth Creationism/Evolution, Medical Herbal remedies, Vaccinations – I have rarely met anyone who actually cared about the evidence. More likely the would take William Jennings Bryan position (“The people of Nebraska are for free silver, so I am for free silver, I will come up with the reasons later”)
This has not always been so. There was a day when a man could say – “Every man thinks he is right on everything, but experience teaches him that he is wrong on some. He knows not which” (I don’t remember the source of this quote). But few men ever says that anymore. I have changed my mind on every one of the controversial issues listed above, but I know of few others who have.
I used to think that people believed things because they thought that they were true – otherwise they would not “believe” them. I said this to a young patient the other day and she looked confused. In her world belief is not a matter of truth, but of choice. If you choose to “believe” something that you don’t BELIEVE IS TRUTH, then evidence is meaningless.
This is why the president’s new meme “FAKE NEWS” doesn’t mean untrue facts, it means “statements that I don’t like”
I won’t get into who started this. I noticed it first during the OJ Simpson trial and it got worse during the Clinton years, but it was probably around before then.
I hate to be all apocalyptic and say, “THE END IS NIGH” but I think that it may be.