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May 24, 2015



It's interesting - no, amusing - that social conservatives' ideal of the nuclear family as the epitome of human relationship can be so easily burned at the stake when convenient. Maybe it does take a village after all, as Hillary was condemned in right wing circles for suggesting in her 1996 book. And while it's "fuzzy liberal thinking" that small time street criminals can be rehabilitated and should instead be condemned to lengthy prison terms, a white boy from an iconic conservative family is presented as a victim of society and not any more disgusting than you or me. Mr. White should speak for himself. While incestuous abuse is not uncommon, it's by no means the norm. This kind of "we're all just sinners" stuff is as intellectually dishonest as it gets. If anyone else is curious, an "ochlophobist" is a person who exhibits ochlophobia, which in psychiatry is an abnormal fear of crowds. That makes White seem more than a little pretentious or deluded.

Knowing better won't prevent one observation. Most liberals don't understand how fundamentalist Christians get the ideas for their 'Left Behind' books. In those Jesus isn't a sacrificial deity or wise Rabbi but a homicidal avenger bringing wrath to the undeserving. Here's one place: Matthew 15:3-4 where Jesus demands putting disrespectful children to death. Google it. Fire and brimstone types love this kind of stuff and build sects around it. Anyone really interested might look at a fairly new book ( ). I haven't read it, but have found the references in other sources.

The real wisdom here is the condemnation of groupthink, and I'd add all other fallacious and lazy modes of thinking. Granted, they're impossible to always avoid, but it can't hurt to try.

Peter G

There is a paradox here of epic proportions. Why do I,or any of us, put forward arguments in defense of our ideas and beliefs if not persuade others to join our herd? And who is not the Boolean overlap of the multiple herds to which we all belong. Groupthink is both what we fear, and our goal.. Groupthink. Another word for which is consensus.

Peter  G

Well this is getting very meta. A welcome addition by our host had the unintended consequence of reinforcing by argument my own belief in the value of skepticism. And brings home the other reason I put forward what I consider reasoned arguments. I need people to check my work and tell me why I am wrong. For which I thank all respondents. Now all I really have to worry about is accidentally wandering into the herds of people who believe everything al la Alex Jones or nothing and not recognizing where I am. Oh Montaigne what a can of worms you have opened for us to feast upon! To which I can only ad, to those who can but do not comment, a little help please? No one can work this out on their own.

Enjoy your holiday everyone.


If not checking then clarification of terms: "Groupthink" is defined by TheSage dictionary as "decision making by a group (especially in a manner that discourages creativity or individual responsibility)." A large illustration would be the herd instincts that led to the Bush II Iraq invasion. The same dictionary describes "Liberal", which is derived from the word "liberty" as "1. Showing or characterized by broad-mindedness. 2. Tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition. 3. Not literal. 4. Given or giving freely. 5. Having political or social views favoring reform and progress. These are historically the traits that make us different from conservatives. Some people on the left have liberal heroes or favorite TV personalities, but few are anything like "ditto heads." We also don't do well at repeating talking points the way conservatives do. Agreement on broad principles and policy choices is different than groupthink. You're welcome, Peter, and happy holiday to you.

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