Facts Don’t Care About Your Feelings?

Ben Shapiro’s slogan is, “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” And he’s not wrong. Our feelings have no bearing on facts. Our feelings cannot change facts. Facts are reliable; feelings are not.

Facts are more important than feelings. But we live in a postmodernist culture. The truth isn’t the truth anymore. Facts are offensive now. Science is hate-speech now. We are increasingly interpreting the world around us through feelings, not facts.

Postmodernism threatens to make facts obsolete. Therefore, although facts don’t care about feelings, people do. People care about feelings, not facts—not anymore. And that’s why I changed how I write about social issues.

My first articles about race were three years ago in a series of articles about Black Lives Matter. The articles were covered with facts. And I believed that if I presented raw statistics in the articles, people would be convinced by my arguments against Black Lives Matter. But I was naive and I was wrong. I’m thankful that some people were helped by the articles, but the articles weren’t as convincing as I hoped.

I think one of the reasons why those articles are weaker than my more recent articles on social issues is that I didn’t understand at the time that statistics appeal only to the mind, not the heart. Statistics do not make us feel. They are not memorable. Statistics are not as effective as stories.

For instance, you know who William Shakespeare is. You probably know that he is considered the best writer of all time. But I bet you don’t know who Carl Friedrich Gauss is. You probably don’t know that he’s considered the greatest mathematician of all time. I think we’re more familiar with Shakespeare than Gauss because stories are more memorable than statistics.

Statistics are important. I am not suggesting that they are unhelpful sources for truth. I’m suggesting that they are more effective when coupled with stories that draw out people’s feelings.

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Our opponents convince the world to agree with them because they tug at their emotions. They engage their feelings. They share stories. They create heroes and villains. They create oppressors and victims—and we reply with facts. Our immediate response to their stories are statistics. And we shouldn’t abandon that. But I think we need to fight their stories with statistics and stories too.

That’s why I changed how I write about social issues. If you read my article on Brett Kavanaugh, for instance,  you know that the article wasn’t really about Kavanaugh. It was about me. I only mentioned Kavanaugh once in that article. I didn’t address the actual investigation. I didn’t share statistics, I only shared my story. I did that because I wanted to engage your mind and your heart. And from the reactions to the article, it seems like that was turned out to be more effective than I imagined.

I want to keep doing that. I want to be the kind of blogger that stimulates your mind and your heart. I’m convinced that though facts don’t care about feelings, I care about feelings, you care about feelings, so I’ll keep sharing stories that will attempt to engage your mind and your heart.

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