CDZ Fanaticism is a Disease, like Alcoholism

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Mac1958, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. Xelor
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    Xelor Gold Member

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    From the article:
    "Sustained reason is...the hard work that an addiction to fanaticism frees us from."​

    Addiction, addiction like, no addiction....I'm not interested in debating that because, to my mind, the emboldened clause in the sentence above is the key. It takes time and effort to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to exercise reason, and I'm sure you've heard the same saying I have: "it hurts my brain to..." People seem to me more suffused with sloth these days than ever before in my memory.
    Sloth begins as sensuality of despair over the prospect of having to labor rigorously to bring alive the human soul. Once emplaced in one's being, it evolves to a mental aversion to performing the rational endeavors to which the mind is well suited to perform and subsequently obliged to adhere.

    When a man rues having to do something for his sake or because his situation militates for it, he manifests the sin of sloth. A slothful man may either flee reason by entering into a state of physical or mental torpor or through a busy-ness (such as the "busy-ness" of a sort shown by fanatics of any stripe, political, religious, alcohol, etc.) that is equally fatal. In both cases either the increase or decrease of activity is slothful unto death -- mental, spiritual or, in some instances, physical -- because the sinner has abjured reason.


    What does that mean "where the rubber hits the road?" It means that although one is not required to care about everything -- nobody has time for that -- one must,, for the things about which one does care and pass judgement, get up off one's ass and do the hard work it takes to apply sound and rigorous reason. ("Rigor" without soundness/puissance -- see also: The Problem of Induction (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) -- is the "busy-ness" noted above; it is speciousness.)

    And just what it "the hard work?" It's:
    1. Developing strong critical thinking skills. Ideally one does this while one is in school. It's not as though schools don't teach kids to do it for they do, but kids and their parents, however, invest varying degrees of effort in mastering the skill. Alternatively, one can develop them after matriculating into adulthood, but it's harder to do it then. Fortunately, critical thinking is something whereof one can, unlike, say, wealth, catch up to folks who mastered the skill before one might do so.
    2. Commit to applying the critical thinking skill in a productive rather "busy-ness" way. Doing this requires one, upon hearing an idea/proposal one doesn't particularly like, looking for its merits and finding ways to build on them rather than invalidating them or ripping them (and their originator) to shreds. For example, while the implied servility itinerant to white supremacist ends is reprobate; however, that it advocates for people's socioeconomic enhancement is something that can be built upon without one's having to embrace the hateful modalities encouraged by white supremacists.
    3. Do the research to obtain a full picture of the situation, ends, confounding exigencies, etc.
    4. Refraining from having something to say when one hasn't done the research and exercised due rigor and soundness on a matter.
    Now, none of that is difficult to do, yet all of it takes time and exertion.
     
  2. Mac1958
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    Mac1958 Diamond Member

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    No doubt, intellectual laziness is one of the symptoms of this as well.

    Combine intellectual laziness with tribalism and a general narcissism, and you have an ideologue.
    .
     
  3. Toronado3800
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    Toronado3800 VIP Member

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    This is a good thread I did not expect much out of thanks to you all and the OP.

    I think it has been touched on but I see Fanaticism manifest itself in the middle class when people want a scapegoat or can not understand or accept why their life is not great. The problems of life become "their fault" or the cause of this great conspiracy.

    Why really well off folks go nuts, I am not sure of but suspect it has a bit to do with people not telling the holder of their golden spoon "no, you sound like an idiot."
     
  4. impuretrash
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    impuretrash Silver Member

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    Sounds like your garden variety democrat to me
     
  5. Xelor
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    Xelor Gold Member

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    Well, we're in nearby camps, as it were. I see those predilections as causes not symptoms. But, yes, they're all "up in there" in one way or another exacerbating the state in which we found our society.
     
  6. SeaGal
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    SeaGal Gold Member

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    A good article...and I agree, fanaticism is an affliction - a mental affliction. But a mental disorder I'm not sure that taking even 12x12 steps can be self cured...because the one taking the steps must recognize the need for a cure...and that would not be a fanatic in the first place.

    Imo, fanaticism is a disorder in an unhealthy mind ...far beyond and less common than drug and alcohol addiction or partisanship. Partisanship is akin to a 'team' mentality...'my team's better than your team, etc.'

    Fanaticism, be it religious, ideological or political - usually lacks empathy, is anti-social towards those not fellow fanatics, views harm to others as necessary collateral damage in the pursuit of the Cause...and perhaps most dangerous of all - self righteous, usually believe they are acting with the consent and approval of a 'higher authority/greater cause.'...not limited to a deity.

    It's the willingness to do harm, not the passion of the argument or the flaw in the reasoning that defines a fanatic...and the shared view, with sociopaths and psychopaths, that humanity is a failure. We have not yet identified the 'fanatic' gene - the indefinable differences in the human psyche that can turn one victim of child abuse into a psychotic killer, and another into the cop who brings him to justice. Or one church member into a gentle, generous member of society and another into a self-appointed avenging 'angel'.

    btw -
    A known cure for the misguided ideology of the left is a good mugging by reality. The partisan bickering on here?...mostly for show.
     
  7. PredFan
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    PredFan Platinum Member

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    Here's the problem with your expert psychologist:

    "Jeremy Sherman, Ph.D., compares fanaticism and alcoholism, and offers a similar 12-step program for those who are afflicted:"

    A psychologist formulates a theory which helps bring in patients and money to his practice. Not exactly an unbiased scientific theory.
     
  8. Mac1958
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    Mac1958 Diamond Member

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    Okay. Well, here's a lower-key look at it:

    The Psychology of Partisanship

    Jordan Peterson is a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto who has been studying the architecture of people's beliefs for almost 20 years. And he says that humans are far more inclined to attach themselves to rigid ideology than they are to navigate the unmapped and complex world of the open-minded center.

    "Life is really complicated," Peterson explains. "We're surrounded by problems whose magnitude exceeds our computational complexity. So much so that we often don't even know what the actual problem is. For example, when you're buying a car, what problem are you solving? Status? Financial? Getting to work? Emissions going to destroy the planet? All those and a bunch more that you're not even really aware of. And every decision is complex like that.

    "And the way people shield themselves from that complexity is by identifying more or less arbitrarily with a set of opinions and then sticking to those things like glue. People barricade themselves inside fortresses of knowledge. They're very territorial about their ideological structures. And they like to be in there with a bunch of other people who think like they do." Hence the immense popularity of highly polarized and politicized cable news shows.
    .
     
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  9. Freewill
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    Freewill Platinum Member

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    I'll never tell yinz where I am from.
     

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