Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Love, Belief, and Why It Doesn't Matter

Have you ever been in love? I mean really, really infatuated. Remember that feeling?
Oh, wait... Actually, have you ever known anyone who fell in love? Have you watched him go through that phase when all he can think about is her? Have you watched her go through that phase when he can do no wrong?
Have you ever watched anyone fall in love with someone who was bad? Not just a bad match but a bad person.
Did you try to tell her? Did she listen to you?

You don't need to answer that question, because I already know the answer.
Of course, she didn't listen. He didn't either.
Because when you're in love, you don't listen. That's the curse of being in love.

I could go into all of  the neurochemical reasons for this, but I'm sure most of you aren't interested in the actual science behind love and, if you are, you can do your own research. It's all really quite fascinating. What it boils down to, though, is that "love" masks all the faults of the person who is the subject of the emotion. Even if that person were to stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, the person "in love" with the shooter would vote for him anyway.

Belief (or faith) is just like that. It creates the same sort neurochemical response in the brain, a response that overrides reason.

Basically, love makes people stupid. So does belief.

I could also go into why religious fanaticism is so much worse these days, and widespread, than it was, say, 50 years ago -- which has to do with religions shifting their focus to making sure that the "customer" has an emotional experience -- but it's not important at the moment. And, again, most of you probably don't actually care. Well... either you understand the situation and don't need the information, or you're bought into the religious system and will start making excuses for the Fifth Avenue shooter.

The point is this:
When someone is in love, you can't talk them out of it. There's no amount of objective data you can give someone that will convince them that the person they're in love with is going to damage them. Even if that person is doing it at that very moment.
"He beats you."
"But he loves me."
"If he loves you, he wouldn't beat you."
"It was my fault. I deserved it."
"You never deserve that. He beats you!"
"But he loves me."

Or whatever scenario you want to use.

I'm writing this post on November 5. It was supposed to be my post for today, but I didn't get it finished in time, as you can see by the fact that it has posted after the elections. The election has put this topic in my mind, because this is why you can't talk to Republicans. It's why you shouldn't bother. You can't talk them out of their abusive relationship with Trump (#fakepresident), and that's precisely what it is. He does harm and damage to the people who voted for him right along with everyone else, but they make excuses for him because they are "in love." And it's worse because the vast majority of them have it wrapped up in their fanatical religious beliefs.

This is where the exhortation to get out and vote was going to be (because, I'm sure, at this point, I don't have a lot of Right-leaning readers left (a few, yes, but not a lot), so I hope you did. I have my ballot right here next to me, and my wife and I are going to drop ours off as soon as she's home (remember, it's Monday for me). I'm kind of in holding-my-breath mode to see what happens.

Anyway... I'm in rambling stage, so I'm just gonna go now.
I'm sure I'll have something to say about the election at some point, just not today because I'm out of town.


  1. The one thing cultists want you to do is debate them. That's why I don't talk to republicans.

  2. It felt better waking up today than it did two years ago. I have a little more faith in my country than I did then.

    Still work to do...

  3. That's as good an explanation as any. I hadn't considered it from that viewpoint. At least we've now made a start, some inroads. Some oversight. I'm so happy we'll now have some oversight.