When it comes to logic versus emotion, you have to rely on logic!
“Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feeling for the strength of their argument. The heated mind resents the chill touch and relentless scrutiny of logic.” – William E. Gladstone
The political and moral philosophy of the left is flawed. In almost every respect, when liberal doctrine is scrutinized, it can be pulled apart until nothing remains but loose threads. Given that, how has the left been so able to convince millions upon millions of people that their philosophy is rational, and most of all, that it is the “intellectual” alternative to conservatism? The answer is surprisingly simple: feelings.
What we feel often dominates what we know to be the truth; our emotional response to stimuli overwhelms our logical functions. So, if ever there was a way to trump logical, and reasoned arguments, it’s through emotional hype–and that’s exactly what the left does. For example, the most popular liberal argument for abortion: viability. It has no logical foundation, but it is pervasive regardless.
According to The College Fix:
“A trend seen by pro-life activists that frequently engage college students on campuses nationwide is the growing acceptance of post-birth abortion, or killing the infant after he or she is born, campus pro-life outreach leaders tell The College Fix.”
The article goes on to talk about how newer generations of college students seem to be accepting the notion that if one is going to argue viability, one must apply it consistently. But for the majority of pro-choice liberals, the notion of post-birth abortion is horrid. Their emotions cloud their logical judgement, causing them to scream apples and oranges at anyone who advances the viability argument to its logical conclusion. Logically, because the argument of viability rests on stages of development, and the value of those stages based on self-awareness, and the ability to survive independently, the logical conclusion is to allow for much more than just pre-birth abortions. If the viability argument is applied consistently, anyone who cannot care for themselves, such as the elderly, the disabled, or children up to a certain age, are not viable, and are therefore terminable.
Another example is alleged Islamophobia. Bill Maher is set to be the 2014 fall commencement speaker for UC Berkley, but due to his recent comments regarding radical Islam, a petition has been started by the student body to have him disinvited. The petition states:
“Bill Maher is a blatant bigot and racist who has no respect for the values UC Berkeley students and administration stand for…In a time where climate is a priority for all on campus, we cannot invite an individual who himself perpetuates a dangerous learning environment…Bill Maher’s public statements on various religions and cultures are offensive and his dangerous rhetoric has found its way into our campus communities.“
It’s interesting that it took Maher’s comments about Islam to make him a reviled figure. By the way, and to no one’s surprise, according to CNN: “It appears to have been written by Khwaja Ahmed, an active member of the Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian Coalition.” This is another example of emotions blinding logic.
What Maher said about radical Islam is no more offensive than many of the things he has said about Christians over the course of his twelve year stint on HBO–although much of what he said about Islam is actually true. Radical Islam is a very real and pervasive threat, but the left refuses to see that. To most liberals, any attack on radical Islam equals bigotry. Despite piles of evidence that a large portion of the Muslim world adheres to radical Islamic principles, liberals believe that conservatives are blowing the issue out of proportion, and degrading all Muslims in the process (Watch Ben Shapiro’s “The Myth of The Tiny Radical Muslim Minority” on YouTube for more information). They don’t believe that we can discern peaceful Islam from radical Islam. They feel a sense of righteous duty to protect a slandered people. They have set aside logic for rage, and in doing so, have behaved inconsistently. Had Maher said something seemingly degrading about Christians, or Christianity, I can assure you there would be no petition—in fact, the student body would be applauding his “bravery.”
Emotions cloud logic, that’s why it’s so difficult to debate liberals. While they’re on an emotional high fueled by righteous indignation, we are on the logical plane. So, how can we debate liberals if they’re off in the stratosphere, while we’re down on earth? Destroy their emotional cloud with your logic. Take things step by step, ask them to explain to you the evidence they have that supports their side. Liberals love to argue the big picture, because it gives them wiggle room to lure you down pathways of circular logic, so make your argument incremental. Piece by piece, break apart their argument until it is nullified in its entirety. Now, at that point, they may pull away, or redirect, because they’re afraid—and there’s little you can do about that—but know that you’ve made an impression.
The heated mind may resent the chill of logic when exposed all at once, but in degrees, and increments, you can make a difference, and win decisively.