Converting the Unconvertable

By | January 17, 2018

You cannot change someone’s mind through the presentation of fact. Why

That presentation of fact happens later, after they are willing to be persuaded.

What changes people is personal interaction and communication. So outside of any change of mind, connection with people can lead to a chance for a change in direction.

It happens very, very infrequently. Marshaling fact upon fact and argument upon argument is actually ineffective in changing a mind or an opinion.

But what I’ve found is this: maintaining a consistent, fair, kind viewpoint, consistently refusing to accede to stupid and mendacious reasoning, consistently refusing to “compromise” by agreeing with putative “moderate” position, consistently refusing to allow the language and the argument to be set by the opposition, will lead to a place where *those who are persuadable* will be able to be comfortable to ask you, usually privately, if you can help them understand more.

You will likely never get your ideological opponents to agree to any of this–your refusal to let them define the terms and the arguments, your refusal to take an argument offered in bad faith at face value, their refusal to consider the wider context of any given point of argument. They understand that to give in on any single one of their marshaled points mean their entire structure collapses if they’re honest–and if they are purely tribal and ideological, the point is never to give in anyway.

You have to accept that there are people who hold on to a belief no matter what objective evidence refutes it. They have built the hut of Nikabrik from themselves, and there is no way to get them out, not even the roar of Aslan.

You should just write them off as lost, even though you might maintain a fictive relationship for the sake of politeness.