Saturday, November 15, 2008

What is an ideologue?

An ideologue is someone who looks at everything through the "glasses" of their favored viewpoint, and refuses to allow any merit in the perspective of someone who sees things from an opposing perspective. In debate or discussion an ideologue will invariably make no concessions whatsoever to the other side. Nothing that someone on the other side says has any legitimacy whatsoever.

People who disagree with me are more likely to be ideologues than people who agree with me.

12 comments:

Ilíon said...

Then again, perhaps there is no substance to the opposing view.

Is the "non-ideologue" under a logical and/or moral obligation to pretend there is ... just to display his bona fides as a "non-ideologue?"

And *who* gets to determine that the "non-ideologue" has done enough to display his bona fides as a "non-ideologue?" The person(s) holding the opposing view?

Steven Carr said...

'Nothing that someone on the other side says has any legitimacy whatsoever.'


You can find many postings on this blog, pointing out where Richard Dawkins make legitimate points.

Jim Jordan said...

I'm wondering how an opposing viewpoint can have legitimacy and still be wrong. Do you mean "I know why you think that, but it's wrong because..."?

Sounds like you're saying "people who disagree with me give me no credit for my ideas, therefore they must be ideologues". If there was something more to it, I missed it.

J.L. Hinman said...

spoken like true ideologues

Ilíon said...

VR: "... People who disagree with me are more likely to be ideologues than people who agree with me."

I'm quite certain that sentence was very tongue-in-cheek. I'm quite certain the intent is to humorously state the fact that we all tend to be more forgiving and less critical of that with which we already agree.

Ilíon said...

S.Carr: "You can find many postings on this blog, pointing out where Richard Dawkins make legitimate points."

Shoot! Why is VR wasting his time claiming that Richard Dawkins -- a self-admitted liar -- has good points?

RD said...

Jim Jordan: Certainly a view can be false and still be legitimate, although I'm not sure what "legitimate" means in the context of this discussion. Surely, we can have false beliefs that are justified. Moreover, according to Rawls, there are many comprehensive world views, only one of which is true, but many of which are reasonable. Even the true comprehensive world view could have reasonable objections brought forth against it.

I would define an ideologue as one who tacitly rejects everything that a community of experts (philosophical, scientific, etc.) says in favor of their own uninformed view. It's pretty easy to spot an ideologue; the presence of logical fallacies in the person's arguments, like red herrings, straw men, and the use of ad hominem attacks. There's also a general lack of interest in becoming educated about the content of the views one opposes.

Ilíon said...

RD: "It's pretty easy to spot an ideologue; ..."

Yes, frequently it is. For instance, some ideologues can be expected to say things like this:
"I would define an ideologue as one who tacitly rejects everything that a community of experts (philosophical, scientific, etc.) says in favor of their own uninformed view."

And how does "Ideologue A" (who is saying something like the above) know that this is true of "Ideologue B?" Why, the fact disagreeing with "the experts," of course!

Anonymous said...

Recent studies indicate that some people are more likely to believe a falsehood after they've heard a refutation of it. Despair....

RD said...

ilion: That's a lovely straw man you've constructed.

The "tacitly" part of the sentence you quoted is important. I didn't say that an ideologue is anyone who doesn't accept what a community of experts says. Re-read the sentence carefully:

"I would define an ideologue as one who TACITLY rejects everything that a community of experts (philosophical, scientific, etc.) says in favor of their own uninformed view."

You don't have to accept everything that purported experts say to not be an ideologue. You do, however, have to be informed about what the views are. Identifying an ideologue then become a simple matter; those who refuse to even consider what one's opponent says are ideologues (if you don't consider it, how are you to know it should be rejected?). Those who are conscientious in their rejection of a given view (i.e. those who have thought about the matter) are not.

Maybe I should just stop feeding the troll.

Ilíon said...

Recent studies also indicate that some persons will believe anything prefaced by something like "Recent studies suggest ..." or "Science shows ..." and such.

Ilíon said...

RD, are you planning to stop feeding yourself?