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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Legal Cognitive Dissonance

You know what cognitive dissonance is, right? It is the mental discomfort you experience when you hold as true two (or more) conflicting views. Here's a simple example. "It's wrong to steal ... but it's okay for me to take office supplies from work." Huh? That sort of thing.

Here's a really clear example. H.R. 1997 is called "Laci and Conner's Law" after Laci and Conner Peterson who were murdered by Scott Peterson. Laci was Scott's wife, and Conner was their unborn child. This law states, "If [a] person ... intentionally kills or attempts to kill [an] unborn child, that person shall ... be punished ... for intentionally killing or attempting to kill a human being." The law is "The Protection of Unborn Children" act and defines the "unborn" as human. The law goes on to state, "Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the prosecution ... of any person for conduct relating to an abortion ..." Thus, while the unborn are indeed human children and killing them is murder, it is not murder if it is abortion. Cognitive dissonance.

Recently New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on all sugary drinks over 16 ounces in New York City. This is in keeping with other bans such as outlawing transfats in restaurants. While corporations that sell such products are, of course, upset about it, the New York City board of Health is in strong support of such a ban. Now, Mayor Bloomberg's position is unequivocally pro-choice on the issue of abortion. So Mayor Bloomberg et.al. are of the very clear view that it is a fundamental right to choose to murder your baby, but not your right to choose what to eat. Cognitive dissonance.

The problem with cognitive dissonance, of course, is that too many people are so used to suppressing the truth in unrighteousness and ungodliness that they no longer experience the dissonance of holding two patently opposing viewpoints.

8 comments:

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

It surely is an upside-down world!

David said...

That's because they are thinking about what they want, not what is right and wrong.

Stan said...

To both Glenn and David,

I think it's clear evidence that sin rots the brain. (Or, as Paul puts it, "God gave them up to a debased mind" (Rom 1:28).)

David said...

I am unclear on something though, why is it only now that someone has given this law a name? I've always known the standard to be that if you kill a pregnant woman and her child, then you will be charged with 2 counts of murder. If this has been the standard, why does it suddenly need some law on the books to make it official?

Stan said...

They made it a federal law so that it was universally (as in, nationally) regarded as murder. Some states wavered. Some saw the cognitive dissonance and thought, "How can we make one murder without making the other murder?" Now it's the law. They can say, "That's how!"

I remember a couple years after Roe v Wade was law, a pregnant woman was shot by a police officer. The woman lived, but her baby died. The Feminist Activists (NOW) were up in arms. "It's murder!!" When they were asked, "How is that murder but abortion" (which they dearly loved) "isn't?", they said, "The difference is that baby was wanted." Got it. Clear. Thanks. (Yikes!) This law now says, "Because we said so."

Dan said...

Even if no one else wanted me, I'd still want me. How do they know that the Baby doesn't want itself? All baby's might well be wanted after all.

Colt said...

I sometimes haven't wanted me and felt like no one else does, but God does. That answer there chilled me pretty bad. Very cynical. Ever read The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist? I'm getting deja vu's from that answer.
I once wrote in a school essay that cognitive dissonance was one force that would prevent 1984's logic bomb, doublethink, from actually working. Now, though, I read that people can adapt to it to the point where they aren't even cognizant of it anymore. It makes me wonder if maybe there are some ridiculous-sounding dichotomies bouncing around in my own head I might not be aware of...

Stan said...

Never read The Unit.

Colt: "It makes me wonder if maybe there are some ridiculous-sounding dichotomies bouncing around in my own head I might not be aware of."

That really is the question we all need to ask ourselves, isn't it? I'm pretty sure we all need "the renewing of your minds".