The Method Matters

“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he never reasoned into.” — Jonathan Swift

How true! People who don’t reach their conclusions via reason are not going to listen to reason. People don’t become alcoholics or drug addicts via reason; people don’t become religious fanatics via reason; and people don’t become socialists via reason. So why would you expect reason to be a successful intervention for these problems? Really, it’s reality that has to intervene first, before reason can take hold — assuming the people with the nutty ideas or habits even recognize reality. The alcoholics or drug addicts do sometimes turn around; the religious nuts sometimes do; the socialists virtually never do. This last group, unlike the first two, falsely believes it has reason on its side. That’s why they’re so arrogant, and why they’re so mean, intolerant and abusive when challenged.