Friday, August 29, 2014

Liberalism Causes Mental Illness

Years ago, I first learned that several different groups of people - Marxist sociologists, English professors, psychologists, progressives, modern liberals, feminists, born again atheists, and some guy named Terrence from New York - started to toy with the idea that religion is a mental illness. I'd heard the idea before. It isn't all that new of a phenomenon, beginning as a means for nihilistic philosophers to explain away beliefs which they could never understand, by condemning the vast majority of people who they could never understand. (Nihilistic philosophers include but are certainly not limited to people like Hegel, Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, and the whole school of critical theorists.)

For example, take this article from Psychology Today where the author claims he isn't arguing that religious people are insane, but "merely pointing out that the same belief is either sacred or a sign of mental illness depending on the context in which it is believed." Which means something like "you believe what you want to, but your belief in God sure looks crazy to me."

Given the climate of pointing the insanity finger, I wasn't terribly surprised to find a couple of "news" articles broadening the leftist meme past the point of absurdity. One such story questions the mental stability of those who aren't convinced about the evidence pointing to human-caused global warming. In a paper by a University of Oregon professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies, Kari Marie Norgaard, she presented the following synopsis:
Existing scientific conversations have generally failed to include psychological understanding of individual behavior, or sociological insights regarding culture and social organization. This session highlights key psychological and sociological concepts essential to understanding social inaction.
This academic-speak gibberish basically points to a research paper in which "she argues that 'cultural resistance' to accepting the premise that humans are responsible for climate change 'must be recognized and treated' as an aberrant sociological behavior." In a word, climate change skepticism is now a mental illness. (Well, I suppose you could argue that the mental illness comes from trying to figure out how "global warming" suddenly became "global climate change." Hint: The data didn't fit the conclusion.)

Now it looks as though some researchers are trying to find the root of the "problem" of conservatism itself. In a paper published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the authors propose that "low effort thought promotes political conservatism." Their conclusion?
These data suggest that political conservatism may be a process consequence of low-effort thought; when effortful, deliberate thought is disengaged, endorsement of conservative ideology increases.
While the authors go to pains to say that there may indeed be thinking conservatives (of course, they've never met any), their conclusion uses academic-speak to try to prove that conservatives are stupid by default. (Their argument, by the way, begs the question. Their premises are based on the assumption that conservatives are stupid, therefore their conclusions inevitably conclude that conservatives are stupid.) (A lot of lefties use this type of argument.)

The authors do admit that conservatives may have a psychological advantage, that is, until they start to think. Then, the authors note, conservatives may have to give up their position in favor of the liberal view.

These "mad" forays into conservative psychoanalysis do add up to only one conclusion: liberalism causes mental illness. Since liberals keep arguing these untenable and silly ideas, they've succeeded in driving the rest of the world crazy.