Anti-gun Fundamentalists

Last week I mentioned that I listen to audio books when I walk the dog or run. I finished up Purple Cow and moved on to Seth Godin’s most famous work, Tribes.

I’m about three quarters of the way through it, but the other day I heard him say this:

A fundamentalist is a person who considers whether a fact is acceptable to their faith before they explore it. As opposed to a curious person who explores first and then considers whether or not they want to accept the ramifications.

Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Does that not sound exactly like Joan Peterson, the CSGV, and ubu52? Or any other virulently anti-gun person you’ve ever met?

Joe talks about their inability to distinguish between truth and falsity. Weerd talks about how he was an anti until he came across facts that didn’t back up his beliefs.

He changed his beliefs to match reality, not reality to match his beliefs. He was not an anti-gun fundamentalist, and once he examined the facts he became an advocate for the opposite side!

Why? Because we hold the only position that a rational mind can hold: an inanimate object cannot be evil. Someone who would commit murder won’t be deterred by the lesser crime of gun possession. There is such a thing as righteous violence.

You can’t talk with those people. You can’t reason with them, because they happily discard facts that don’t support their narrative. Like the guy said to Joe, “I don’t believe your facts.”

The only reason to engage them at all is not to convince them, but to convince other people that facts are greater than emotion. Linoge and Miguel regularly engage these folks on Twitter for exactly that reason.

4 comments to Anti-gun Fundamentalists

  • Thanks for the kind words and the link. (I hadn’t read that post in a while, it was good to re-read it)

    Also note that I have constantly invited everybody from the anti-gun professionals to the common laypeoples to prove my beliefs wrong. I was wrong once, so there’s no reason to simply assume I’m right now.

    I don’t spend much time inviting them anymore A) because they don’t venture outside their insulated spheres of false reality to engage in debate, and B) because they’ve proven themselves to be a cult or fundamentalist religion more than a fact-based ideology.

  • Abby Normal

    It also sounds like other fundamentalists – Islamic fundamentalists spring to mind. You could make a comparison to some Christian fundamentalists who refuse to consider evolution objectively. The same for true believers in Global Warming.

    The difference between rational conclusions and the other kind, is whether or not you are willing to be proven wrong.

  • Yeah, I definitely prefer the term “cultist”, but “fundamentalist” gets the point across… though, I would point out that a large number of us probably qualify as “Second Amendment fundamentalists” as well ;).

    But you definitely hit the nail right on the head – I do not engage the #guncontrol nutjobs on Twitter for them; I do it so all of my followers, and everyone else involved, can see the kind of people who actually support “gun control”. Twitter may not be good for a lot, but it allows a remarkably diverse cross-section of humanity to interact with few walls, save those erected by those who need them.

    In any case, those extremists/cultists/fundamentalists like Joan – and her especially – are lost to us, and nothing at all we can do, say, or try to express will change that. The trick is catching the undecideds, or those who have not fully made up their minds, before they succumb to the misinformation and outright lies propagated by the other side.

  • […] Because "rational arguments" have never been the strong suits of people who are accurately described as "cultists" or "fundamentalists".  […]

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