“I’m not a natural leader. I’m too intellectual; I’m too abstract; I think too much.” -Newt Gingrich
When an issue comes up, and it can be decided based on facts — on data, on evidence, on things you can measure and quantify — is it ever okay to decide that issue based on your feelings rather than what the facts indicate? It isn’t just Newt Gingrich’s comments about violent crime, meant to incite fear even as crime rates continue to drop nationwide, but a symptom of a larger epidemic in the world.
Whether you believe vaccines cause autism, fluoridated water doesn’t help your teeth, homeopathy can cure cancer or that the Earth isn’t getting warmer due to human activity, there is strong, overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Yet we all have our ideology, we all engage in motivated reasoning, and we all, at times, go with our feelings anyway.