With my last breath, I will still be pleading with ideologues: Please think. Please learn to reason before it’s too late for our country and our species.
Reason does not come from any hidebound text written by long-dead soothsayers or from the glitzy stage of an evangelical mega-church. It comes, rather, from the quiet and disciplined use of the frontal lobe of the brain, which, if you are a religious sort, you must at least grant was a gift that God could not have meant for us to waste.
It would be hard to conjure many human undertakings that were grounded in reason and mindfulness that turned out badly. On the other hand, human undertakings grounded in mindless dogmas or emotional appeals or the bastardization of reality almost never turn out well. We know this through a process called observation, which allows us to reason inductively. In turn, we discern governing principles that seem to apply across the board, and we apply these principles deductively. Along the way we indulge a healthy dose of experiential sense, and we also must often reason analogically–by finding similarities and distinctions that help us sort out what is good and useful from what is bad and harmful.
For most of us, our training in analogical reasoning started with this Sesame-Street jingle and exercise:
But alas, NRA dogmatists, like most brainwashed hacks, couldn’t pull this off. Here’s a headline from a recent Mediaite article:
Frank Luntz Focus Group of Current and Former NRA Members Sounds Off: ‘Are We Gonna Ban Knives?!’
Why no, Einstein, we are not “gonna ban knives.” Here’s why. Let’s play a game of Which one of these things is not like the others. If you can’t figure it out, go fetch a 4-year-old who is uncorrupted by your extremism and that 4-year-old will get you on track in no time:
Did you figure it out? If you did, you’re a rational human who can reason at least on the level of a verbalizing toddler. If you were stumped, check your wallet for an NRA membership card. I’ll bet you’ve got one in there.