Beyond rationality?

In the better of times, the fact that most people’s belief system is relatively immune to rational argument is not all that frustrating. It is more amusing than anything. But in times of crisis the conservatism of people’s irrational belief systems seems much more alarming. Much more seems then to ride on an ability to change as a response to reason, when not to do so can be rather deadly.

That is what is causing so much of our more liberal element of the population to go so frantic with alarm these days. We are in a world crisis and yet the population as a whole appears totally mired in stupidity as usual. They still seem to want to play by the old rules.

Playing dumb has gotten most people by quite well for generations, so why change now seems to be the general attitude? Playing dumb keeps you from getting hurt is age old all-American consensus. Plus, it just seems more polite to play dumb! It avoids fights.

Or does it? Playing dumb in critical times doesn’t work like it does in relatively placid periods. It can now get you in trouble, because failure to use one’s brains can now imperil the group as a whole. Sure there are still conservative people at the top telling folk to act like dumb nitwits, but now your next door neighbor might be getting alarmed when you do so. Why don’t you respond to reason he might want to know insistently?

True, some people will never respond to rational input. They are just chronically wired backwards or not wired to function at all. But most people eventually can come around. Some fast, some not so fast, some come around very, very slowly.

Crisis does cause rapid change of seemingly permanently frozen viewpoints and ways of response. But between different people, there are different lag times between when crisis is first perceived and when crisis is actually acted upon. Some jump to, and others hold off as long as they possibly can. There is hope though, though the rational response may well come very late and may come from unexpected quarters, as well.

Most of us are not totally beyond rationality in moments of crisis, it’s just that we don’t want it to be so. Even if the old was not so hot we tend to want to hold on to it, simply because at least it is known while the future is not. We tend to lag behind.

While trying to write about the rapidly changing current events in this crisis time, some times it just seems to be almost besides the point? Most Americans don’t seem to be responding well to the rapidly changing circumstances and are acting like deer frozen in the headlights of onrushing cars. They don’t want to act on the input they receive, but just want to stand watching it come on. So why try to convince them to act differently?

How beyond rationality has the ‘silent majority’ of America actually become? If it is too much, then our country will imperil the world as a whole, as well as endangering themselves. It is certainly time to act though because we are in a bigger crisis than humanity has ever had. It is time to have the alarm sounding and is not mere fear-mongering as Conservatives still want us to believe. What will you do?

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