Absolutist Thinking

Sometimes I feel like I am surrounded with rigid thinkers who say their way or the highway on numerous issues. Conversion is a term used mostly by religious organizations meaning that an individual has accepted the structure of belief of a particular theology. What it means psychologically is that an individual sees the world from a different point of view and accepts, mentally, a different view of life usually in less than thirty six hours. This has more than religious aspects. One can accept a new religious belief, or a new political party, or new social belief. It might even be that annoying woman down the street suddenly becomes someone to almost be worshiped. It’s called falling in love with an idea or a view of life. Not all people are subject to conversion, but a few are repeatedly converted to one thing or another. Not all believers are converts. Some come to beliefs slowly or find it safe or convenient to follow the norms presented by family or government. True religious and political converts tend to be more extreme and demanding in their beliefs.

For instance, the subject of climate change has many true believers holding absolutely that there is no climate change. They will claim that the data is made up or it is normal weather variation. The true believers on the other side will claim that climate change is here and it is the fault of human activities and many people are doomed. If you read scientific reports on this subject, you will find they use a lot of waffle words such as likely, possibly, and seems to be a trend. They keep changing the expected temperature rise as new data comes in. Both sides ignore the waffle words to strengthen their case. A second area where people have been converted to a narrow point of view is that humans have two clear cut genders and that is how it is. That’s how it is most of the time, but biological development makes mistakes due to millions of different variables and billions of molecules.

Every human is different than all the others in who knows how many ways. Gender variation is just one of them. When people have deeply held beliefs that things must be a particular way, it is frightening to see that things may be different. Perhaps it is safer to defy the evidence and fight for what it should be. There is recorded history back into early Greek times of lesbians, gays and transsexuals. The term lesbian comes from the isle of Lesbos where Sappho wrote poetry about women lovers 2500 years ago. I chuckle at the battle over health care. One set of true believers oppose it adamantly and the other side supports it without question. They both harangue us endlessly with charges that having the law or losing the law could doom American society one way or the other.

I suspect that most of these true believers have little or no understanding of the law itself. The claims are made of empty air, mostly hot. No one cites chapter and verse for their arguments. The law, like human biology, has a lot of details that could (waffle word) go wrong. All germs i.e. bacteria are evil and could kill you is a view held by a set of the converted true believers. Another set of true believers firmly believe that vaccination serum is more dangerous than the disease. As usual, these believers are separated from reality. Research finds that much of our body weight is made up of bacteria that we could not live without. Babies who nurse and who are born by way of the birth canal are found to have higher resistance to bad bacteria and have a better make up of good bacteria.

I read a study 50 years ago which showed that people who grow up in somewhat unsanitary environment have a higher resistance to some diseases particularly multiple sclerosis. I want clear proof before I take up true believership.