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One of these things is not like the other ones
#1
One of these things is not like the other ones
Among liberals, there is a common belief that conservatives are more ________ than liberals, with the blank being filled in by various things: 'dishonest', 'hypocritical', gullible', 'stupid'. The pandemic, as the national media tells it, has separated the wheat from the chaff, with red states and conservative voters being more likely to believe misinformation and more likely to believe in conspiracy theories. Conservatives will fire back that such studies are methodologically flawed, which has at times been an issue in such studies, or that the results are not representative, or otherwise not true. Conservative America seems to believe itself no different than liberal America, and "both sides" arguments abound in discussions where liberals and conservatives clash. Are the liberals right? Or conservatives in saying the national media is infected by distorting bias that obscures the truth that conservatives are no different from liberals?

Can we trust any of these generalizations? Or are we just, each to their own, consuming the output of their own ideological silos?


For years a similar situation has existed between atheists and theists, that theists are more X than atheists, with X being filled by varying things, such as 'stupid', 'ignorant', 'fantasy-prone', 'delusional', and so on. There's support for some of these statements, but some seem overblown, or inextricably linked to confounding factors, like population-level differences in education in certain states, and so forth. And no stranger to such debates, theists have defended themselves against such generalizations by arguing that theism is rational, or that other more important metrics, like happiness, health, depression, and suicide rates are higher among atheists.

Can we believe these generalizations, or are we just looking for comforting labels to slap on the religious? Is there a grain of truth to them, or are we making mountains out of molehills?

Brian37 repeatedly harps on tribalism being a significant factor in the bad things of the world. Are we simply letting ourselves succumb to tribalism by focusing on such things?

Or is there a place and a value to exploring and promoting such generalizations?

Are X really Y?
[Image: Fenrir-sign.jpg]
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#2
RE: One of these things is not like the other ones
If I didn’t believe that conservatives were dishonest, hypocritical, gullible and stupid, I wouldn’t be the flaming liberal socialist that I am. Are such generalizations unfair? Possibly, but I’m not sure what the resolution is. 

People are going to reject the results of studies and metastudies that cast them in a bad light. Human nature.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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