Emotions a Poor Foundation for Decisions
28 March 2019
We have probably all done it, made that emotive purchase, be it the shoes, the motorbike, or the section, and then woken up later going, “Whoops!!”
Advertisers know it works and that is why they invest so much trying to tap into or awaken your emotions so that a sale can be made, or someone can gain an advantage.
This is the reason we have “due process,” a series of steps, previously determined, that must be followed before making a decision. It helps us look objectively at the issue at hand, weigh the pro’s and con’s, and then come up with a reasoned and calculated response.
Parliament is set up to run this way. An idea is presented and if enough representatives think it has merit, then it is sent to select committee where the public have the opportunity for input. Then it is back to parliament where the revised version is presented for consideration and then possibly ratification. It is not a perfect system, and it can be manipulated, but as our international reputation for corruption shows, it is comparatively robust.
Without due process then, decisions can look great short term, but have devastating long term consequences.
I am not saying that banning semi or fully automatic centrefire rifles is wrong. I personally see no need for anyone in New Zealand to be running around with one, but banning them outright, with no consultation, sets a dangerous precedent where ruling parties think they can make sweeping policy changes with no interested or affected parties’ input.
There is a word for that, and it is not “Democracy!”
Coming shortly, to a nation near you, will be a discussion on free speech. There are some who think that if they are offended, or their feelings are hurt, then that is hate speech. Wrong.
Hate speech is when someone is incited to violence, but emotions being offended is not a reliable indicator of hate speech.
The opposite of free speech is Tiananmen Square, the silencing of any dissenting voices, and I believe it is essential that all people who value their freedom, stand up for their right to express differing views, without being labelled “haters” or “evil”.
Removing the emotion out of conversations is key to achieving this.
You can fight pollution, but not hate the manufacturers of plastic bags; you can support Euthanasia, but that should not mean that you harbour ill-will to those who feel it is wrong; and you may believe that children are individuals from conception and that abortion is murder, but that does not condone any violence towards anyone in the industry or someone who has had an abortion.
Let us have healthy, honest, debate about the issues, but leave the name calling and dishonouring talk out of the conversation.