When you have a discussion with someone, you always assume that the other person has the same faculties of reasoning that you do. Sadly however, I have read a plethora of studies and articles where the American populace seems to have lost its ability to reason.
Rene Descartes famously argued that one cannot know if one is currently being possessed by an evil demon. As someone with a philosophy degree, I know there are multiple refutations of this argument and that the notion of demonic possession is one based on nothing but garbage.
A recent survey by PPP however, showed that 68% of of Republicans think it is possible to be possessed by demons.
Now you may think “Ok, fine. America is a highly religious country and these sorts of things happen.” That’s all well and good, and whilst this aggravates the logical part of my brain somewhat, I become apoplectic when I see another study saying that only 48% of Republicans believe in climate change.
Now just think about that for a minute. There is absolutely no evidence for demons or demonic possessions. None what so ever and yet people are willing to believe it just because their parents or their pastor told them. If you can find any shred of empirical evidence, show me it and I may change my mind. Climate change however has so much evidence in support of it, you genuinely must lack the capacity to reason if you don’t think it’s happening.
Even if you don’t think climate change is being caused by man and that in fact it is due to solar flares, the wobble of Mars or aliens, at least you accept that the fact (and it is a fact) that Earth’s climate is becoming even more extreme.
88% of Obama supporters think there is solid evidence that the Earth is warming. Only 42% of Romney supporters hold the same view. Should Romney win the election, this means that America will simply put its head in the sand and ignore all the facts whilst the rest of their body gets burnt by the sun.
How can a president persuade those to support a worthy cause, namely saving the planet, when the people he’s trying to persuade wont listen to reason? Compulsory philosophy lessons in schools? Bribe them? Threaten them?
I’m no scientist and it’s not for me to say how America should try and convince it’s population that the Earth is warming up and soon were going to fry if we don’t do anything. All I can do as a philosopher and journalist is bring to light the fact that America needs to wake up, look at the facts and then act them before it’s too late.