(From part 56. page 79) “It [ self sacrifice] cannot be the end product of a process of probing and deliberating. All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. The do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and there is not truth nor certitude outside it. The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observations but from holy writ…. To rely on the evidence of the senses and reason is heresy and treason….The effectiveness of a doctrine does not come from its meaning but from its certitude…. It is obvious, therefore, that in order to be effective a doctrine must not be understood, but has rather to be believed in. We can only be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand.”
Yup. I’ve had those conversations, where the other party is completely impervious to observable facts and the reality around them, logical contradictions in their own positions and statements, recognition of obvious consequences, things as basic as understanding cause and effect, and all the normal things that a rational person would be able mentally process without a meltdown.
It might be tempting to call them insane, low IQ, or just plain old shit-for-brains, but recognizing a person as being a True Believe, in the grip of what amounts to a deep religious faith with a mind paralyzed by a set of dogmatic rules may be the first step in figuring out how to actually have a conversation with them, where they are capable of doing more than parroting pre-programmed talking points of doctrine.