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Why it is so difficult to persuade people

We hope that logic and fact will persuade people to good policies and actions. But the problem is, they enter into conversations looking for something that feels like them, that develops and protects their relationship to a group. Most of our attempt to persuade threaten to pull the ;listener out of the group they are in and not offering a congenial new group. If you listen to most attempts to persuade the persuader wants to change the listeners ideas but not to invite them in to their own group.

This suggests that it won’t work to try to persuade someone with better beliefs that they ought to believe in your belief . The listener won’t move unless they gain some sense of belonging from doing so. This is why identity politics gets in the way of fact-based politics. Showing you are part of a tribe is more important than the facts.

Empires, civilizations, communities are structured around belief systems, ways of understanding that give us the sense that we are right, that we belong, that we are ok in contrast to the others.

Democracy, the state, capital; these are not facts, they are closely-held belief systems that will not change, unless change leads to a new feeling of belonging and security – a strong tribal identity.

So many red-state Trump supporters can’t be persuaded by facts. They feel that giving up support for Trump leaves them without a meaningful group identity, and it is just plain scary, a step into the unknown. We must empathize with the strength of their desire to belong, and the fear of being alone.

This problem is supported by the increasing lack of community, as corporations have worked hard to be a substitute, and to tear apart community belonging, creating a world of belonging for those inside the corporations and marginalizing those outside.

The Internet connects everyone, but as isolated nodes in the network. What puts us together is also separating us into little ungovernable atoms of intensity.

To add some background, the word “truth” comes from “troth,” as in the wedding vows.

It used to mean faith, as in faith with another, but has moved from the interpersonal “faith with” to the impersonal “fact about.”

Humans world-wide yearn for relationships and are mostly offered market choices.


Nail hit on the head!

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Is it difficult? It seems as though people can be persuaded to do all kinds of things.

I think this thread gets at the crux of OGM, how to get people to learn, to change their minds about a belief already held, and/or to take action.

If you are going to continue to use this text, I would recommend a different example than this:

It may imply to some that some politicians or political parties are fact based and others are not. Or it might imply that anyone that did NOT vote for Trump have a “meaningful group identity” when many/most do not.

Polarization is making everything us vs. them. We need many communities with overlapping values and focus areas. I don’t want to be seen as in belonging to one group (“white males between the ages of 50-55 that live within 50 miles of an ocean”), but many groups. We can’t get overly tied to any one group identity.

I would like to hear more about what this means.

Thanks for posting Doug!

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Rob i don’t know what exmple text you are referring to

Wow. Learned something of true significance revealed in the a new way of under standing a word.

“Knowledge is not justified true belief”

But being wedded to a situated constellation of concepts reflecting lived experience of our being there, constituting a personal first perspective that accords with one’s experience of being.

We seek understanding so that we can be understood.

Interaction with the world and the other is where we indwell and after all our explorations come back where we started and see ourselves and the other for the first time.

It is not so much tribal identity but the conversion experience where we experience the flow of belonging.

Thanks @dougTao