He made it very clear that anyone who disagreed with him was stupid and not worth listening to. There is nothing like an open mind. And there is nothing like a closed mind. I find both kinds on both sides of the aisle.
I sometimes wonder if we are wasting our time in continuing to dialogue with people who refuse to listen or consider plain facts. I often shake my head over the comedy line, “Who are you going to believe, me or you lying eyes?” I look at simple things like raising the minimum wage. The correlation is clear. When you raise the minimum wage the result is fewer jobs for those at the lower economic levels. Why are things like that so hard to see and accept?
Blaise Pascal had a term I came across. He called it an “inaccurate mind.”
“...one must have a quite inaccurate mind who reasons wrongly from principles so plain that it is almost impossible they should escape notice.” Pensées, Kindle Highlight Loc. 257-58I had a student doing a report on FDR. He had the idea that Roosevelt had brought us out of the Great Depression and cured the failed economy. After all, didn’t his programs put people back to work and end unemployment? Didn’t he save the country? He had been reading the works of well educated historians. I quietly walked the the computer, Googled unemployment statistics and showed the graph to him. It only took him a few seconds see that unemployment got much worse under the New Deal than is had been when the banks failed. It was clear that unemployment was never dealt with until World War II started. It was clear that Roosevelt was a failure. It only took him a few moments. Why do scholars not see it?
Could it be that having an education gives you an “inaccurate mind”?
At the same time I wonder how many times in our relationships is it us who turn off the comment section so people think we won’t listen.
Communication involves a willingness to listen.
homo unius libri