"Today, Tennessee Walking Horses are known throughout the industry
as the breed that shows abused and tortured horses."

~ Jim Heird, Ph.D., Do Right By The Horse, February 2010

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."

~ St. Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ARTICLES - "Why do facts not matter to some people?"

After a...well, let's call it "lively" discussion concerning a young man who supports people who sore horses and the BL and the fact that he called me the C-word (among other things) because I am against soring and the Big Lick, I realized how true this article really is.

This is an article from Quora, which you might have to be a member of to read it.  So I've copied and pasted it below.  (My apologies to Quora).  Click here for the link to the article.

As I was having this "discussion" with this young man, he would say things like the PAST Act is going to eliminate all horse shoes, even keg shoes.  I posted the letter from Reps Cohen and Whitfield stating that it would not eliminate all horse shoes.  Click here for the letter.  He ignored it.

He then stated that the Auburn Study said that pads actually protect the horses.  I posted the Auburn Study cover letter that explained how the vets in the Auburn Study said that stacks actually caused more instances of laminitis, contracted heels, thrush, and other problems.  Click here for the cover letter.  He ignored it.

At one point in the "discussion," the young man claimed he never called one of the other people in the discussion names.  I then copied and pasted his posts for him where he called the guy a liar, a deceiver, and some other choice words.  He ignored it.

He kept pointing out how there's abuse in other breeds.  We said stay on topic--the HPA is the ONLY federal law against a specific type of abuse against horses.  When people are ready to pass a law stating that X abuse in X discipline is illegal, then we'll jump on that that bandwagon.  He ignored it.

He started talking about ear cropped and tail docking in dogs, and basically said, "You are okay with that, right?"  I said quite frankly, no, and what does that have to do with anything?  We're talking about horses, not dogs.  He ignored it.

I could go on and on, but this kid was clearly just not getting it and not believing the facts we were presenting him.  So the below article really explains why this phenomenon happens.  It's pretty incredible.  It also explains why we need to keep at our Congresspersons to get them to sign on to the PAST Act and to make it an amendment to the HPA.  These people who support the BL and soring aren't going to change their minds because they're not willing to do so.  Some will, of course, and some certainly have.  But it's not enough.  So instead, we need to focus on the lawmakers and people who can make a change rather than expecting a change to come from within.

I will have more information on who to contact soon, and I am still transcribing the hearing.  But keep calling, faxing and emailing.  The Lickers will be in DC with their "facts" on December 10, so get your information in before then!  Stay tuned!

Quora Article Link

Question: Why do facts not matter to some people?
I understand that when people have already made up their mind in certain regards, facts only bolster their opinions in believing their delusions. Why is this? Also does anyone have any articles related to this principle?

Answer from Adam Mordecai
Facts do matter to most people. They just aren't trained or taught how to hear them, because psychologically speaking, they are protecting themselves.

Linked articles:
In Politics, Sometimes The Facts Don't Matter
How Facts Backfire

"Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger."

Anyone strongly devoted to a set of ideas or beliefs generally comes to them over a long period of time. Think of their brain as a dam. If the dam starts to crack, it deteriorates. If the dam breaks, then they have to question everything they've learned and known to be completely true for the last x years.

That means their friends, everything they've read, everything their parents taught them, everything their culture taught them could be a lie.

With that math, you have two choices:
1) ignore the one fact in front of you, or
2) accept it and question every belief you've ever had about everything you know.

#2 is too large a leap for the majority of people.

If it's something innocuous, they can hear you, but if you provide evidence of something that would make them question their entire belief system, their defense mechanisms kick in. Or if they face their reality, thanks to being exposed physically to the truth, rather than you sharing some stats, this can happen:

Facts are cold, impersonal details that have no connection to that person's reality. In order for them to really hear you, they need to personally connect to it. Thus, you have Nancy Reagan supporting stem cell research, and Rush Limbaugh supporting drug rehabilitation and Dick Cheney being okay with gay people. Until a person personally experiences something to counter what they believe, they will ignore the facts and trust everything they've already been taught.

The good news is, if you become adept at connecting to people personally, they'll be more inclined to ease off their shutdown switch and hear you. Problem is, you have to do it one person at a time.

I heard an amazing story recently about a group of immigration rights activists who were marching on Washington, walking from Florida. Along the way they participated in town halls. At a town hall in SC, an old white guy got up, and started yelling at them, accusing them of murdering his wife, because they were using all the medical resources that would otherwise have gone to his wife and the organ transplant she needed. Fox News had told him all about it.

Rather than responding with facts like "immigrants don't use any resources unless they are on the verge of death, for fear of being caught and deported," the activist, Juan, told the story of how 23 members of his Colombian upper middle class family sought political asylum in the US to protect them from being assassinated, how they were rejected, and how they went underground to save their lives, and went from being doctors and lawyers to janitors and maids. They went from having a bunch of homes for their extended families, to all living under one roof in a small two-bedroom house. They were then slowly deported one by one, starting with Juan's mother, until all that was left was Juan, his mentally handicapped sister, and his dad. Juan got into college, and then his dad and sister got deported.

After he had made a personal connection about losing family with the old white guy, then he shared all the facts.

The old man ended up crying and hugging Juan, apologized for not understanding the truth, and wished them well on their journey, stating that he would be more careful about what he believes from now on.

[Broken link here]

If an old white guy in SC and an immigration activist can hug and break bread, then facts can matter. You just have to make a personal connection first to get people to open up and listen.

And then stop them from watching any TV news ever again, so they don't get the wrong impression.

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