Health Care Debate Based on Lack of Logic

The following are excerpts from an article found here. The piece isn't on religion, but the criticisms on the defense of beliefs certainly are.

People on both sides of the political aisle often work backward from a firm conclusion to find supporting facts, rather than letting evidence inform their views.

A totally rational person would lay out — and evaluate objectively — the pros and cons of a health care overhaul before choosing to support or oppose a plan. But we humans are not so rational, according to Steve Hoffman, a visiting professor of sociology at the University of Buffalo.

"People get deeply attached to their beliefs," Hoffman said. "We form emotional attachments that get wrapped up in our personal identity and sense of morality, irrespective of the facts of the matter."

And to keep our sense of personal and social identity, Hoffman said, we tend to use a backward type of reasoning in order to justify such beliefs.

Similarly, past research by Dolores Albarracin, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has shown in particular that people who are less confident in their beliefs are more reluctant than others to seek out opposing perspectives. So these people avoid counter evidence all together. The same could apply to the health care debate, Albarracin said.

"Even if you have free press, freedom of speech, it doesn't make people listen to all points of view," she said.

Just about everybody is vulnerable to the phenomenon of holding onto our beliefs even in the face of iron-clad evidence to the contrary, Hoffman said. Why? Because it's hard to do otherwise. "It's an amazing challenge to constantly break out the Nietzschean hammer and destroy your world view and belief system and evaluate others," Hoffman said.


ismellarat said...

One side thinks they can have it all for free, and to Hell with the collapsing economy, and the other side can offer nothing better than to say, "at least it's not as bad as what they have in Cuba."

Nobody seems capable of getting to the bottom of the issue (if health care is prohibitively expensive now, what accounts for the fact that this wasn't always so? We didn't have national health care in those days, either, did we?)

I'd like to see a comprehensive discussion of what drove these costs up by double digits for so many years in the first place. As with education, I'm sure that it had much to do with government subsidies that made people indifferent to the costs, since some "other guy" was always paying the bills.

I doubt the masses will come to understand that (math and economics just aren't their idea of a good time), short of a real crisis, which may not be too far off.

We already have $65 trillion in unfunded liabilities, by one measure - about $650,000 PER HOUSEHOLD, and 43% of those don't even pay taxes.

This won't end well.

Corky said...

The logical conclusion that one comes to in face of the facts and evidence that the government mishandles everything else is that health care would be no exception.

If we had a government that had the interests of the people at heart, things might work for the good of the people.

However, we don't have that. What we have is a bunch of bumbling bureaucrats and idiots who spend $300 for a hammer and $500 for a toilet seat.

What we have is a government with the interests of big corporations at heart.

When national health care becomes in the best interests of the corporations - THEN we'll have national health care.

tddoog said...

Except the facts and evidence that the Republicans put forth doesn't support their opinions.

Medicare, which is government run, exceeds the the quality of the private insurers.

What do the prices of hammers and toilet seats have to do with health care?

Corky said...

What do the prices of hammers and toilet seats have to do with health care?.

Just a couple of examples of government waste of tax dollars.

I know about medicare, I'm on medicare. I'm also on the expensive supplemental insurance you have to have in order to get by on medicare to keep from losing your home in your old age because of not being able to pay a big hospital bill.

Never mind, you'll find out how it really is one day.

Andre said...

Coincidentally, (or is it?) the day before I saw this post, I was talking to a co-worker about a similar partisan debate over whether it was the right decision to go to war, as mentioned in the article. He gave me 18 pages worth of info outlining the case that it was the wrong decision, while showing how intelligent people with the opposing view will go about rationalizing away the evidence just so they can hold on to their belief. I admit I haven't gotten around to reading the piece as yet, but from what I was told, I can see and understand the possibility of its truth. After all, this is evident with regards to religion and Christianity in particular. So I've really been wanting to comment on this post since I read the link, but I didn't get a chance. I did get a chance though to read another article through that same link titled "40 Years After Moon Landing:Why Aren't People Smarter?"

Both links I think reflect the belief and thinking behind Christianity. I'm sort of biased towards the latter because it speaks to me on a personal level in one way, but also I think it speaks loud and clear as to why the bible and the church have and still persevere. I obviously recommend reading the article, but I'll start with a comment by Vomit_Launcher to make my point.
I Quote: "This reminds me of a college boyfriend. We had just graduated the month before and we watching fireworks in the distance on the July 4th. He said, "I always wondered why you can see the fireworks before you hear the boom."
I said, "Well, light travels faster than sound. Didn't you learn that in science class?"
He said, "Well, yeah, but I never thought about it."
The inability to apply knowledge to reality is definitely lacking." -End Quote.
This last statement is right on the mark when applied to the majority of Christians.

The writer of the article notes "Despite a long tradition of free, compulsory public education (and more college graduates than ever), as a whole we don't seem to be getting much smarter." And asks, "Why? If we can put a man on the moon, why can't we rise above bad thinking?" He's aware that "Efforts to make our kids smarter will inevitably crash up against a biological barrier: Our brains are actually hardwired to hinder our attempts to think critically." This leads him to say, "In a way, the better question is, shouldwe expect people to be any smarter?" All things considered and when it comes to Christianity, is it any wonder why it is so persistent? If people are not getting any smarter in regards to critical thinking, how will they finally come to realize the delusion that it creates? You see, Christianity does not spread and grow because of any truth to it, it does so because of people lacking the critical thinking skills it takes to know better (for the most part). And let me just add that it is the critical thinking skills used that will/can lead one to atheism or to reject Christianity, whether you were a fundamentalist or Liberal.

This is why I think the psychology of belief is so important in understanding that not only is this blog debunking Christianity but that it's been long debunked already. People will read things like Valerie Tarico's series "Christian Belief Through the Lens of Cognitive Science" and not realize the power of it's implications against their faith. Again, this not unexpected.

Leopardus said...

Saw this article the other day and gave it the "No shit Sherlock" award for the month.