Friday, 15 June 2012

There is an ongoing discussion

- or perhaps argument - on the letters pages of our state newspaper. It revolves around the question of "refugees", "asylum seekers", boat arrivals, foreign policy and related issues.

I have mentioned this before. I have also mentioned that there is a particularly vociferous participant in this debate. She speaks with great assurance. Her views are very definite. She is right and the rest of us, should we dare to disagree, are wrong. It would be very difficult, probably impossible, to get her to change her point of view.

Yesterday, in our local shopping centre, I was bailed up by three different people. All of them wanted me to write another letter to the paper telling her she is wrong. I declined.

I tried to explain that some people will not, even in the face of the strongest evidence possible, change their minds. They will rationalise. They will say that something is just an "exception to the rule" they believe in. They will say that belief in something is not strong enough. They will claim some sort of interference. They will have, at least in their own mind, an answer.

We all, at least to some extent, do it. We see what is not there. We believe things that cannot be. Our memories are faulty but we are still "absolutely certain" or even just "sure" of facts. Faced with evidence of our faulty memories we do not want to believe it. It makes us less certain of who we are.


Ann said...

I am always taken aback by the many people out there like that. Nothing can change their point of view which is always right regardless of who or how many it may hurt of disadvantage. That is until they personally experience or are subjected to circumstances they hold to be right regardless. These are people with no empathy. Do you think me harsh?

catdownunder said...

No. I find the psychology interesting. It seems some things are so rooted in their psyche that nothing will change them - and that, all too often, these people are the predominant part of our collective psyche.