Do you ever notice how some people change the facts depending on the situation?
Here's an example. Certain people tend to dislike racial profiling (I'll call them liberals, and I'll later explain why that's one of the better descriptions to use).
In the case of Muslims, liberals tend to make a claim that goes something like this: Not all Muslims are terrorists, so Muslims shouldn't be singled out for racial profiling of terrorists. In the case of Muslims, large percentages of them are more religious than non-Muslims, and hence they likely tend to become influenced by their religion, which is, of course, an environmental influence. The Koran has both negative and positive verses in its text. Some text directly advocates peace, some text directly advocates violence.
Liberals tend to downplay the environment influence of the Koran on Muslims, and don't advocate profiling, even though profiling is rational when you consider that the violence in the Koran would influence a small proportion of Muslims to become violent, and when you consider that almost all terrorists are Muslims (you may counter by saying that the peaceful sections of the Koran would counterbalance this, but they wouldn't, really, because most Muslims are by nature peaceful, and hence would've tended to be peaceful regardless of whether the text told them to be).
Then you have another scenario. When it comes to talk of behavioural differences between groups, liberals tend to do a complete 180, and suddenly take the position that the environment is the main influence, not genes.
Well, you can't have it both ways (assuming the environmental impacts in the two situations being compared would both be significant enough to either affect or not affect behaviour).
Either the environment is a factor, or it isn't!
So, when I hear these contradictory arguments coming from the same groups of people, I tend to think that they actually don't believe what they are saying, because they tend to contradict themselves!
It seems that their main purpose is to advocate the argument that they prefer, depending on the context, and to hell with logic.
What could be motivating liberals to contradict themselves?
Looking at both examples I gave, what's a common denominator that could account for why they contradict themselves? I'll let you try to figure that out. I have an idea; I'd like to hear responses.
Now, conservatives can certainly also contradict themselves. But in regard to this example, and in general, I believe that the tendency occurs much more often among liberals.
My preferred descriptor was not "liberals", because that can get people on the defensive. However, I didn't think that a more accurate term was useful either.
The most accurate term may be to call such contradictory people “irrational”. But then my argument would have sounded funny.
I would have been saying: Irrational people believe the environment is not a main factor in one scenario, then they contradict themselves and say that in a similar scenario the environment is a main factor.
And some readers may have then said to me: So what? That's not surprising...they are irrational, it’s to be expected that they contradict themselves! What's your point?
So, you can see why I felt the need to describe these people as liberals. But I’m open to suggestions from readers who can provide me with a less inflammatory description that would still get my point across.
If readers can think of any situations in which conservatives typically contradict themselves, let me know!