Batocchio of Vagabond Scholar has an excellent post up today analyzing the hypocrisy of their demands for special political privileges that theocratic religious authoritarians constantly make. The whole thing is worth reading, as Batocchio is one of the best long-form bloggers out there.
However, this assertion of his really caught my eye, as it starkly highlights the essential difference between the cognitive makeup of normal decent people and the pathology of religious (or other right-wing) authoritarian followers:
I wanted to assume, charitably, that some religious authoritarians were merely cloistered and unreflective, and had not really thought through the logical consequences of their positions.
The issue isn’t inattention or unreflectiveness. Religious authoritarian followers and other sorts of right-wing authoritarian followers have a cognitive makeup in which there simply is no such thing as objective reality–whether logical or empirical–that demands any sort of consistency whatsoever. It is hard for people whose minds aren’t warped in that particular way to grasp, but the notion that an assertion of fact has to be true or false simply doesn’t exist for them. When you are operating in such a cognitive regime, what normal decent people see as denial, hypocrisy, inconsistency, petulant demands for special privileges, and lying are indistinguishable from their opposites.
It was like John Kyl and “that was not intended as a factual statement”. When *nothing* is intended as a factual statement–indeed, when there are no such things as facts–there can be no such things as hypocrisy, inconsistency, or lying. And this is what makes genuine religious belief so utterly toxic: it demands rejection at the deepest level of cognition of the very notion of fact.