Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The dialogue itself needs examining.

Let's consider two types of debate.

One is between scientists (or people dealing with real life challenges) who have a collective goal of achieving the greatest understanding available.

The other is between contenders in a bitter political battle, who's collective goal is to achieve their stated agenda.
~ ~ ~

These two different types of dialogue follow very different rules and dynamics.

For instance, in the first making mistakes is OK, because it's those "mistakes" that open up new perspectives and it's through recognizing and resolving our mistakes that we learn.  In other words, mistakes are a part of life and the building blocks of learning.

In the power-politic dialogue, it's different.  Admitting mistakes is seen as a defeat and mistakes are often morphed out of all reason into bludgeons to damage and reject all the other is trying to convey.  The object of such a dialogue is to marginalize and defeat an opponent, not to learn anything from them.

And such are the different rule-sets that govern the two sides of this Manmade Climate Change dialogue.
~ ~ ~

But, the situation is even worse.

If you have a huge group of people who believe Earth is six thousand years old and put here in a magical six day fit of creation - all intended to provide humans with a larder for the raiding and nothing more... how does one communicate with that mind-set?

How do we get through to people who believe faith is more powerful than down to Earth reality?

How do we get people to listen, when disbelieve is an Article of Faith?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Here's an interesting lecture for those who want to learn more:

Uploaded on Oct 24, 2011
Dr Richard Milne, School of Biological Sciences, 
presents Critical Thinking on Climate Change: 
separating skepticism from denial.


1 comment:

Sou said...

That's a great presentation by Richard Milne. I used to refer "sceptics" to it. Sadly many of them had such poor critical thinking skills that they were unable to digest it.

I got questions about Richard's field of research - as if that had anything to do with this particular lecture or being able to tell the difference between science and policy. (Richard is a biologist IIRC, so is well-qualified in any case, but science deniers are a funny lot.)

It's evident that some people's brains are wired in such a way that they cannot think logically. Or at least on certain topics their emotion totally overwhelms their reason. Based on what I've read, I put it down to the fear factor - threat to "world view" - that shuts down the analytical part of the brain.

That emotive reaction process was fascinating to watch in real time when I used to post on HotCopper. The irony didn't escape me but it escaped the fake sceptics.