I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

346. Gullibility and Equal Rights

Gullibility and Equal Rights   
While the starting point for the following thoughts was religion, indirectly it is about gullibility, because gullibility enables religions as it enables other believes.

On a dating site I participated in a discussion concerning closed groups and equal rights.   The site software disallows all non-believers from entering the religious groups, while religious people are not impeded from entering the one group for non-believers.   
One person fervently claimed this to be a denial of equal rights.   When I attempted to point out, that equal rights implies the respect for equally capable and healthy people, and that I do not respect believers enough to even want to have equal rights, I was surprised by the hostility of the reaction.    

There are two very different kinds of discrimination, exploitative and compensatory/protective discrimination.   
Demanding and fighting for equal rights are the valid response to exploitative discrimination, while compensatory and protective discrimination serves to give equal opportunities to people with some special need.

I will use parking as a metaphor.   By equal rights alone, all public parking lots are equally open to all people.   If parking lots were reserved to people according to the color of their skin, this would not only be absurd and irrational, but in fact a valid reason for an outrage and claim of equal rights.  
But there are parking lots reserved for people, whose ability to walk is impaired, and this is not an infringement of equal rights.    The base line is the ability to walk, and those, who cannot, need special consideration to compensate.   Those able to walk are the majority, they are allowed to use most of the parking spaces.  

Considering believing, the baseline is being mentally healthy and fully evolved as an atheist, skeptic, non-believer, who needs no psychological crutch.   But the gullible are like people, who have been brought up in a wheelchair and never tried walking, as if the option of walking never even occurred to them.   Therefore none of them has a clue, if he could walk or would be helpless without the wheelchair.   Those, who do walk, are a minority, those in the wheelchair are the majority.   Nearly all parking spaces are usurped by people in wheelchairs leaving only the remotest ones to the walkers.  The few walking people are overrun and pushed aside by the traffic of predominant wheelchairs on the sidewalk.       
But equal rights are not applicable, because ruthless taking away the wheelchairs from everybody would cause disaster to those, who really cannot walk.  Those able to walk should be encouraged and motivated to do so without endangering those really in need of a wheelchair.  

This metaphor has limitations.   Because no sane person would ever take someone's wheelchair away, because the need is obvious.  
In entry 345 is described, how gullible people choose the belief, that fits them best.   Since there are so many different believes, each a reaction to a different underlying psychological trouble, it is difficult to know, in what state of desolation any one of them would be without the emotional and mental crutch of the belief.   I do not know, how many of the gullible would get dysfunctional and devastated, if deprived of their belief, and how many have mental capacities for rationality and consequencity, enabling them to improve their coping without a belief.   
When comparing a delusional belief to an addiction, both have a lot in common.  But there is one important difference.  While withdrawal comes by itself, when the homeostasis is not maintained by regularly supplying the addictive agent, the gullible only experience withdrawal, when they are deprived of their belief.   Else the degree of their dependency remains hidden.   As long as a gullible person is never deprived of his belief, it is impossible to know, if he is addicted to his delusion or not, if he would react with withdrawel symptoms or not.  For some, sudden withdrawal can be such a disaster, and they need the same consideration as those unable to walk.  

Therefore it is very unfortunate, that the gullible are the majority.  While the addicted delusional ones need to be protected against sudden withdrawal, the world would be a better place, if all the others could be reached by education, until rationality is the baseline of sanity for the majority.   Randi's JREF and skeptical organisations are doing good work, but gullibility has a strong appeal to the intellectually lazy, just as the wheelchairs in my metaphor have for the physically lazy.   In an ideal world, those pathologically gullible needing their delusions to prevent their becoming dysfunctional would be kept in mental institutions, while the normal every day life would lead a life of rationality and consequencity.