Consensus On Kitten Killing

by digby

Paul Rosenberg weighs in on the question of why global warming deniers are global warming deniers with a wonderful post examining the motives of self-delusion and the question of consciousness.

Here's an excerpt:

They ... have developed the need for a shadowy conspiracy--even though in this case there is no division at all between global warming experts and the rest of the scientific community. It's enough to simply pretend such a division exists, if one cannot be created. Others of like mind have spent decades trying to do the same evolutionary biology, too. The anti-reality cultists need to create a cultist enemy in their own image. It's the only thing they actually understand.

This is what I mean by "malicious bullshitting."

Bullshitting is not lying, per se. It's the confabulation of truth and fiction, whatever comes to hand. And when done by a group of people, not just an individual, it has the power to create a social reality more powerful for us as social animals than the reality of the physical world...

[R]ightwing cultism ... promotes cognitive "skills" such doublethink"
"To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself -- that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink.[1] "

"The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them....To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies - all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.[1] "

And yes, there is a long discussion of kitten killing.