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The Problem of Fixed Ideas
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userStuartO
Posted: 11 January 2021 10:31 AM
Subject: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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A friend of mine, whom I met through mototrcycling years ago, live in Florida and is a man of strong religious conviction, something of a fanatcal Disney fan and also a firm Trump supporter. He posted soon after the recent Election over there that while he was disappointed about the Biden victory, he believed in accepting the result of an election and so was not planning to challenge the result. Since then he doesn't seem to have done any overt challenging but he is sharing what seem to be conspiracy theory posts from other people which challenge the truth of criticisms of Trump and his supporters (eg that they didn't really storm the Capitol and Trump didn't incite insurrection). He doesn't endorse them but he is passing them on and begging the question whether they could be truthful criticisms. Fairly obviously he still believes that Trump is a good President, even if he isn't entirely convinced that Democrats and the dark Establishment stole the Election. I haven't commented on any of this, I have merely been observing. I've been trying to understand what drives people who have strong or fixed ideas to hang on to them, even if there appears to most people to be a clear case for changing your ideas. We do of course have a few Chatterbox contributors who display fixed as well as strongly held views - for example John52 and his anti-Royalist ideas, which he rehearses every opportunity he can get.

Approximately 75 million Americans voted for Trump but since the Election the picture has changed, the facts have emerged and Trump is widely seen as denying reality in claiming election fraud and topped it all off by having incited insurrection. But has this had much impact on Trump's supporter base? Apparently not, so there is concern that there may be another round of pro-Trumpist demonstration on Inauguration Day. Perhaps that's why Trump is planning to be in Florida, to help orchestrate it.

American politics is highly polarised and even though quite a few Republican Senators seem to be deciding that enough is now enough and Trump must be got rid of asap (not least to allow Republicanism to survive) it's far from clear that there will be a 2/3 Senate mojority in favour of Impeachment. There are a few ultra-Trumpist Republican Senators and a few speaking openly of supporting Impeachment but most will perhaps keep their heads down and simply refuse to vote in support of it so Trump will be found Not Guilty again. You can perhaps write Senators off as selfish, blinkered politicians who play cards according to a combination of Party loyalty and self-interest rather than being in any way genuinely open-minded (i..e.. they are amoral individuals) but why do so many ordinary American citizens appear to be so polarised too - and willing to display such suspicion and even hatred of the other Party? My Floridian friend is a nice guy and comes across as by no means amoral or biggoted - but he is also what most of us would regard as a religious zealot.

Florida is of course part of the US Bible Belt and he's by no means on his own in holding zealous religious views. A few years ago I went to watch a motorcycle group training meeting in Florida and stayed on to have lunch with them in a burger joint and someone stood up and suggest a prayer for a Member who was ill and they all stood up immediately and joined in. Another buddy of mine in the same group doesn't comes across as at all religious but he stood up and went along with it as of course did I because it would have been bad manners to do otherwise.

I did study a bit of academic psychology as part of a course many years ago but unfortunately analysing excessive relious zeal and/or fanatical political commitment didn't crop up but I dare say it has been studied extensively. Maybe there is a personality trait which accounts for the tendency to fixed ideas and maybe it's common in the Bible Belt for votors to be Trump supporters.

Edited by StuartO 2021-01-11 10:45 AM
userjumpstart
Posted: 11 January 2021 11:34 AM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 
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Religion is a fixed idea and more often than not a dangerous one.
The two things Americans suffer is acute lack of education and an acute excess of Religion.
These two go hand in hand to whip up dismal internal and external policies in the US.
userjumpstart
Posted: 11 January 2021 11:41 AM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 
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https://news.sky.com/story/what-is-qanon-the-bizarre-pro-trump-conspiracy-theory-growing-ahead-of-the-us-election-12033874
userjumpstart
Posted: 11 January 2021 11:56 AM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 
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This is all it takes to whip up the masses.

The Sun: The truth behind videos of ’empty’ hospitals shared by coronavirus sceptics and anti-lockdown activists.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13705895/hospitals-shared-by-coronavirus-sceptics/
userStuartO
Posted: 11 January 2021 1:59 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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I was rather hoping that theories and explanations for how people get stuck in grooves of fixed ideas might be offered - after all some of our contributors on Chatterbox seem to others to present themselves as having them.

Are some of your ideas deeply held, absolutist convictions, which no one is every likely to turn you away from?

Can you see that you present to others as a person of zealous and fixed ideas?

Is there a bee in your bonnet which you are easily provoked into spouting on about yet again?

Do you ever operate within boundaries largely determined by fixed ideas, eg you address a new issue by looking for opportunities to make it fit your pet theories or personal attitudes?





Edited by StuartO 2021-01-11 2:03 PM
usermtravel
Posted: 11 January 2021 2:27 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 
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Fixed ideas ?
Pay attention...





(IMG-20210110-WA0002.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments IMG-20210110-WA0002.jpg (22KB - 11 downloads)
usercolin
Posted: 11 January 2021 2:48 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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I think you may be wrong in your analysis. Go back 10 or 15 years and I would guess pretty much every Republican would have dismissed Chump as a possible leader of their party, his views on religion would have had them howling in protest let alone his support of the Democratic party (prior of Obama), yet now he's received the highest number of votes ever cast for a Republican candidate, and only second to 'sleepy Joe' in outright numbers of votes cast for any presidential candidate ever. So how can they be accused of having 'fixed ideas'?
usermalc d
Posted: 11 January 2021 3:09 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 
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colin - 2021-01-11 2:48 PM



So how can they be accused of having 'fixed ideas'?



Because they have been brainwashed by messages/ propaganda on social media - which are not regulated like the mainstream press - and have been allowed to spread lies.

Social media didn't have such a grip on people 10 or 15 years ago.

userBulletguy
Posted: 11 January 2021 3:29 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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Don't confuse religious zealots of America with everyday normal respectable Christians as they are chalk 'n cheese. The latter go to a nearby normal church, often Baptist or Pentecostal, run by a Reverend just as churches here are, whereas the former are vast glitzy buildings more akin to sprawling Las Vegas casinos with their followers financing a multi million dollar life of luxury for it's televangelists, many of whom fly around in their privately owned Citation or Gulfstream jets.

https://www.etinside.com/top-15-richest-pastors-america-promise-1-will-shock/

Copeland is batsh1t crazy.......and a Trump supporter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag0-oXl-IDw&ab_channel=HuffPost

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LtF34MrsfI&feature=emb_title&ab_channel=InsideEdition
userBirdbrain
Posted: 11 January 2021 4:24 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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I cant remember any member on here that I would say didn't have "fixed ideas" ... Members on here are that fixed where they are that anything they are uncomfortable with, dont like or disagree with usually ends with a load of names and insults that when challenged they cant prove ... Some members, seems to be single white males or those that might as well be single are worse than others
userjumpstart
Posted: 11 January 2021 4:49 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 
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Funny that ... and when you disappear from here for a break or on hols... there's practically no abusive language towards others....funny that.
userCurtainRaiser
Posted: 11 January 2021 6:01 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 
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Edited by CurtainRaiser 2021-01-11 6:01 PM
userBarryd999
Posted: 11 January 2021 6:08 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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It was the rise of Populism, the right wing, Trump, Brexit and Johnson I would say that played a big part in the division and polarised views. Anyone who gets involved in debating it now is likely to be firmly on one side of the fence and rooted to their point of view. Its what Populism does, divide and conquer, divide and rule and turn people against each other. We have seen it happen here and on most of social media. Its not pretty at times, fun at others I suppose.

The question is, can it be overcome and healed? I guess we will find out in America at least over the next few years. Its ongoing here so who knows?
userjumpstart
Posted: 11 January 2021 6:28 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 
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Lies and deception
in every direction
And then ..in the end ..you loose.
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 11 January 2021 6:53 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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StuartO - 2021-01-11 10:31 AM......................................I did study a bit of academic psychology as part of a course many years ago but unfortunately analysing excessive relious zeal and/or fanatical political commitment didn't crop up but I dare say it has been studied extensively. Maybe there is a personality trait which accounts for the tendency to fixed ideas and maybe it's common in the Bible Belt for votors to be Trump supporters.

People like certainty, so ideas that offer certainty have strong appeal. If that idea also offers the possibility of life after death providing certain rules and norms (usually, in fact, socially beneficial rules and norms) it appeal seems to be multiplied. Being convinced that they are right, those people occupy their own "echo chamber" so people with differing ideas become a source of concern that has to be defeated. Just look at the "religious" wars and atrocities that have over recorded history.

Similarly politics, which offers the lure of comfort during our lifetimes. The privileged seeking to maintain their comfort, the under privileged seeking to gain comfort, each identifying the other as the potential cause, or destroyer, of their present circumstances. Again, look at the wars and atrocities committed over history for political reasons.

Others despise the "free thinkers" because they are too aloof, they don't join the religious sects or political clubs, and argue against (mostly!) both. In small villages much the same happened until somewhere around the end of WW2, when improved communications, science, living standards, and education began to erode the appeal of the cultist institutions.

The problem we now have, IMO, is that the period of calm that then seemed to settle in western democracies was overtaken, little by little, by the growth of social media, in which anyone can say pretty much what they want, and then claim unfair discrimination if they are derided as fantasists, liars, or extremists - which some undoubtedly are. And so we go back to the various cults from which we emerged, except that the new cults are dissipated across continents rather than concentrated in small settlements or groups.

Inject into that mix numbers of disenfranchised and dissatisfied people who feel (in many cases correctly) that life has conspired to deal them a bad hand, and who lack the skills and education required to persuade others that they have a point, and the result is the equivalent of a pub brawl without the punches and the broken glass, as the impotent opponents seek a largely pointless win at any costs.

See how quickly almost any string on here descends into personal attack and insult, rather than discussing whatever idea has been advanced. It is easier to attack the person who advances an unpalatable idea, than to argue logically against the idea. Familiar? It should be! We haven't really changed that much since the middle agers, have we?
userBirdbrain
Posted: 11 January 2021 7:13 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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jumpstart - 2021-01-11 4:49 PM

Funny that ... and when you disappear from here for a break or on hols... there's practically no abusive language towards others....funny that.


If you find that funny you sure is more of a loop than I thought
userBulletguy
Posted: 11 January 2021 10:52 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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Stuart......I think this may answer at least some of your question. He makes some very valid points.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeMRrsSL0pU&feature=emb_logo&ab_channel=FrankSchaeffer%27sRoadTrip
userStuartO
Posted: 12 January 2021 12:28 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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Bulletguy - 2021-01-11 10:52 PM


Stuart......I think this may answer at least some of your question. He makes some very valid points.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeMRrsSL0pU&feature=emb_logo&ab_channel=FrankSchaeffer%27sRoadTrip


That's a very interesting video clip - by a man who was brought up in American Evangelist ways, advocating extreme faith-based ideas of entitlement to override democracy if necessary to achieve the aims, which he believes is the extreme, racist, self-righteous movement upon which clever,unscrupulousTrump built his power base and still holds sway. Trump probably doesn't have a religious bone in his own body, just as he probably has no moral compass, but he recognised the opportunity to pretend and charm and exploit this gullible contituency for his own purposes. However the underlying danger to democracy stems not from the way that Trump (or whoever the next opportunistic charismatic leader) became the exploiter but from the way in which people yearn for the certainty which a strict and inflexible religious creed offers, which leads them to adhere to extremist religious churches and cults, often led by clever and cunning people who make a good living out doing so. There is someting about religion which turns people on - and can also turn them into violent extremists.

Well, it's an interesting idea and throughout history religion has certainly been the cause of wars and contention between peoples. Ironically my daughter, who was studing the history of the 19th centuary, explained to me that as Victria came to the throne UK was a pretty unruly, lawless, gin-sodden place and there was huge public investment in churches and moralistic preaching, which built up a more stable and productive society which spurned an age of colonialism and missionary zeal in order to build the British Empire and tame the world. It was in the 20th centuary that the pendulum swung the other way and our society developed a combination of thriving evangelicism at one extreme and unbridled liberalism at the other.

In UK we've always had evangelical religious sects but with the odd exception they've never achieved much scale of establishment. We imported Billy Graham in the 1950s and I understand there are some very large evangelical churches in N Ireland but isn't it mostly small, separate evangelical churches here in UK? During the last 50 years we have of course accumulated an awful lot of mosques, especially in the North.

Edited by StuartO 2021-01-12 12:50 PM
userBulletguy
Posted: 12 January 2021 4:29 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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StuartO - 2021-01-12 12:28 PM

Bulletguy - 2021-01-11 10:52 PM


Stuart......I think this may answer at least some of your question. He makes some very valid points.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeMRrsSL0pU&feature=emb_logo&ab_channel=FrankSchaeffer%27sRoadTrip


That's a very interesting video clip - by a man who was brought up in American Evangelist ways, advocating extreme faith-based ideas of entitlement to override democracy if necessary to achieve the aims, which he believes is the extreme, racist, self-righteous movement upon which clever,unscrupulousTrump built his power base and still holds sway. Trump probably doesn't have a religious bone in his own body, just as he probably has no moral compass, but he recognised the opportunity to pretend and charm and exploit this gullible contituency for his own purposes. However the underlying danger to democracy stems not from the way that Trump (or whoever the next opportunistic charismatic leader) became the exploiter but from the way in which people yearn for the certainty which a strict and inflexible religious creed offers, which leads them to adhere to extremist religious churches and cults, often led by clever and cunning people who make a good living out doing so. There is someting about religion which turns people on - and can also turn them into violent extremists.

Well, it's an interesting idea and throughout history religion has certainly been the cause of wars and contention between peoples. Ironically my daughter, who was studing the history of the 19th centuary, explained to me that as Victria came to the throne UK was a pretty unruly, lawless, gin-sodden place and there was huge public investment in churches and moralistic preaching, which built up a more stable and productive society which spurned an age of colonialism and missionary zeal in order to build the British Empire and tame the world. It was in the 20th centuary that the pendulum swung the other way and our society developed a combination of thriving evangelicism at one extreme and unbridled liberalism at the other.

In UK we've always had evangelical religious sects but with the odd exception they've never achieved much scale of establishment. We imported Billy Graham in the 1950s and I understand there are some very large evangelical churches in N Ireland but isn't it mostly small, separate evangelical churches here in UK? During the last 50 years we have of course accumulated an awful lot of mosques, especially in the North.

Interesting eh? I dropped on it purely by chance whilst surfing YT last night.....maybe it was 'divine intervention'!? Trump uses (abuses) Christianity as a stage prop and surrounds himself with nutjobs like Paula White who he employs as his "faith advisor". Like most of her ilk she's batsh1t crazy;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4daeEacIVI&ab_channel=NowThisNews

America breeds folk like her, lots of them and the one common theme that runs through all is money, serious wedges of personal wealth. Much of it is fundamentalist right wing evangelism run by false prophets as a business. I'm not sure about Billy Graham, afaik he was a fairly moderate type and decent bloke who made his mark after refusing to continue holding segregated rallies. In '50s America that was seriously risky and could easily have been the end of him, but it wasn't and won the respect of prominent black figures such as Luther King.

We don't have anything here remotely comparable to US on the 'religious zealot' scale. A sect calling itself the Exclusive Brethren is the most extreme with pretty bizarre practices but they are not driven by money and power.
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 13 January 2021 1:08 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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Bulletguy - 2021-01-12 4:29 PM.................................https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4daeEacIVI&ab_channel=NowThisNews...............................

'Strewth! Time for the men in white coats! She needs treatment. And she advises Trump? Or, has she captured him? Positively mediaeval! I thought we were supposed to have progressed a bit over the past few centuries!
userStuartO
Posted: 13 January 2021 1:32 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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I wonder how much the tendency to zealousy in either lifestyle, religious or political matters is primarily the result of environment (i.e. the social environment you grow up in) more than anything else, although personality type and perhaps other factors might also be quite relevant. If you are brought up within a strict family and religious lifestyle (such as within a zealous religious sect such as Jehovah's Witnesses) unless you have an opportunity to see another way you might never even question whether your lifestyle makes social or theological sense, it's just the truth as you know it.

And yet there are strict religious sects, such as the Amish of Pennsylvania, which encourage their young men to leave the sect to see the world and perhaps to sow their wild oats, confidently expecting them to want to return to the comfort and security return to the fold, which it seems they mostly do. And they then settle down marry an Amish girl and lead a conventional Amish life. Some Amish move on and change to other, slightly different Amish-type communities but overall most Amish stick to the group they grew up in. Only a minority leave the Amish way of life altogether but there have nevertheless been important schisms in the Amish/Mennonite communities over the centuries resulting in seperation of communities into religious comunities which adhere to different ideas. This has also been true of Islam, which has multiple (and sometimes continually warring) groupings.

There was a chap I met at University in Glasgow who had been brought up within a family of strict religious conformity (probably The Bretheren) who found the freedoms of student life so appealing that he went completely off the rails and got thrown out of dental school. But two years or so later had started his tertiary education again, studying biochemistry at a different university (also in Glasgow) and became a dilgent, high-achieving student, leading a busy and happy life shacked up with his girl friend and with no apparent continuing interest in religion at all.

So while there are exceptions, membership of a strict religious (or political) grouping favours sticking with it indefinitely - and perhaps unquestionningly, even though the belief system or doctrine or core political ideas might have features which strike outsiders as odd. These are matters of faith, which are therefore not to be questioned.

Not sure whether this takes us towards an understanding of Trumpism as it has emerged and as it threatens to rear it's head again in 2024 but some of it may be relevant somehow.
userBulletguy
Posted: 13 January 2021 3:16 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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Brian Kirby - 2021-01-13 1:08 PM

Bulletguy - 2021-01-12 4:29 PM.................................https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4daeEacIVI&ab_channel=NowThisNews...............................

'Strewth! Time for the men in white coats! She needs treatment. And she advises Trump? Or, has she captured him? Positively mediaeval! I thought we were supposed to have progressed a bit over the past few centuries!

Given his history i'd say she captivated him! Europeans have progressed more, it's America that's always remained stuck in some kind of weird conservative timewarp imo though there are extreme contradictions in that even. Eg, topless sunbathing is forbidden in some states (even though not actually illegal), yet the US has a massive hardcore porn industry. To me it's at odds with their views on so called "family values" in the same way some states still allow/enables child marriage which I find pretty gross https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/200-000-children-married-us-15-years-child-marriage-child-brides-new-jersey-chris-christie-a7830266.html
userBulletguy
Posted: 13 January 2021 3:22 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 


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StuartO - 2021-01-13 1:32 PM

I wonder how much the tendency to zealousy in either lifestyle, religious or political matters is primarily the result of environment (i.e. the social environment you grow up in) more than anything else, although personality type and perhaps other factors might also be quite relevant.

I imagine it's quite significant in red states and small town America with narrow minded views.

Not sure whether this takes us towards an understanding of Trumpism as it has emerged and as it threatens to rear it's head again in 2024 but some of it may be relevant somehow.

As long as they continue with their totally wacked out nutjob conspiracy theories about Dems being Satanists, Communists and Paedophiles, they're going nowhere except backward. And now some Reps have openly condemned Trumps sedition, they will be targets too. Biden has a heck of job getting this lot pulled back together and between now and his inauguration, Trump will do as much damage as he can.

Americans killing Americans......it's almost as though they're peed off the virus has taken their fun away of killing each other!
userjumpstart
Posted: 13 January 2021 4:29 PM
Subject: RE: The Problem of Fixed Ideas
 
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Brian Kirby - 2021-01-13 1:08 PM

Bulletguy - 2021-01-12 4:29 PM.................................https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4daeEacIVI&ab_channel=NowThisNews...............................

'Strewth! Time for the men in white coats! She needs treatment. And she advises Trump? Or, has she captured him? Positively mediaeval! I thought we were supposed to have progressed a bit over the past few centuries!


We have...... Americans haven't. Those persecuted religious castoffs from Europe in the past , you can see why they were persecuted.
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