Saturday, June 2, 2012

Law of Osmosis: Propaganda and Brain Cell Osmosis. Repetition is stronger than fact


Law of Political and Religious Brain Cell Osmosis.
History don't last.  Spinnin' do.

Repeat enough, regardless of the reason or the veracity, add fear, and the factoid will be absorbed and reborn as incontrovertible fact, in the mind of the hearer. Propaganda 101.  Is that so? Law of brain cell osmosis.  And if that is so, does this follow:  that all the persuader has to do is repeat the factoid, hide or ignore the facts, and watch believers flock.
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Vet beliefs religious.. Vet beliefs political.  True or false:  Humans can do what they want with the world because it exists for us and  the deity will not let it be destroyed.  True or false.  My political party is to be trusted because it exists for my benefit and deity guides it. Or some such. 
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Then, asks an outsider. How to get the believer's brain to budge, once it is comfortable with what it has been told.  The answer comes:  Facts will no longer work.  Facts are only effective before a belief is adopted.  Again, is that so?
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Field trip.  Observe, report, theorize.
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I.  Take religion, in time for Christmas.
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True or false. Jesus clearly was born in Bethlehem of Judea.
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False.

Will the facts make a difference next Christmas?

 The evidence of that birthplace in Judea is uncorroborated and unreliable.  The claims of Luke and Matthew instead are claims by unknown writers, using those names for weight perhaps, and neither was a first-hand observers, and neither of whom was either of the actual disciples of those names.  Pseudonyms for unknowns.
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Check corroboration.  Nothing found supports any Herodian era or Early Roman era activity there in excavations.  See http://www.archaeology.org/0511/abstracts/jesus.html, article Where Was Jesus Born, by Aviram Oshri.
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Check common sense.  Bethlehem of Judea is some 90 miles from Nazareth -- hardly doable for a full-term pregnant woman on a donkey, joggle bump.
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Check witness credibility.  Those writing under the names of Matthew and Luke wrote to establish the institutional bona fides of a new religion, not to be neutral historians. If they could tie Jesus to the House of David (that would be the Bethlehem of Judea, where, tradition claims, King David had been born 1000 years before) , that supports the Messiah idea, and Old Testament prophesies fulfilled and the like.  Home run.  Mary is said to be of the house and lineage of David, is that so?  Was she?  That puts a matrilinear line in place in this patriarchal society, however, so how could that be?

Check alternatives. There is another Bethlehem -- Bethlehem of Galilee, some 4 miles west of Nazareth, but not of the David line.  Bethlehem of Galilee is in the line of Zebulun, see Joshua 19:14, says the site at p.43.

Check its corroboration: It is full of artifacts from the time at which Jesus would have been born.  It was a major town then.
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At the very least, there is ambiguity here, no certainty to the claim that Bethlehem of Judea was the birthplace. History don't last.  Spinnin' do.

II.  Take Politics, in time for elections. 

True or False.  The state of an economy clearly rests with the President at the time.

False. Nothing is clear, only subject to the persuasion skills of the persuader; but some arguments hold water more than others under vetting.

The evidence of full responsibility is uncorroborated and unreliable.

Multiple factors.  Role of filibuster obstructionism:  see The Problem with Filibusters, at http://suite101.com/article/the-problem-with-filibusters-a207870.  Can one blame a logger for failing to get all the trucks through when somebody keeps piling up boulders in the roads? 

Check another alternative:  economy reflects policy to obstruct, defeat, install own guy regardless of merit of proposals on table, etc. Is that given air time? See http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/47660702/#47660702

Will the facts make a difference next election?  That depends on who wins the repetition wars. 

III.  Bottom line for both.

Facts will not change minds once the self has identified with another belief system.  See Opening the Political Mind, by Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~nyhan/opening-political-mind.pdf.  History don't last.  Spinnin' do.  Slant. Interpretation.  Factoids.

If I am a Christian, I have to believe what the Bible says.  Period. What if the Bible is wrong, factually?  That is not possible.  I believe the Bible. If I am a Republican, I have to believe what Republican authority tells me.  What if the authority is wrong?  That is not possible.  I believe in the Republican party, or substitute your own.

Billionaires wuv me,
This I know.
Advertising tells me so.
They don't need jobs,
I have none.
They say they're Republican,
So am I! So!

They give bus tours
Signs and food.
I get to socialize,
That's goooood!
Brain highjacked 
So billionaires
Can keep their privilege.
I'm Republican!  So they should.