There is this common archetype of redneck people living somewhere far off from civilization who do not like outsiders. They feel threatened by the new ideas outsiders might be bringing them. This is simply due to the fact the rednecks like the way they are living and don’t want it to change. Those who might be harbingers of change are viewed as dangerous or evil. However, it’s not just the rednecks who are like this. We all are.
We all have our ideas of how things work, and generally like to assume we are right, and unless we are feeling intellectually brave we do not like those beliefs to be threatened. Christians who believe in the wisdom of the Bible do not like people to point out the various scientific fallacies espoused by the book. Likewise “scientific” materialists do not like religious and spiritual people, or quantum physics, to point out many of the fallacies of modern science. A liberal believes a successful society is achieved a certain way and those who do not agree are labeled selfish or stupid conservatives, and vice versa. Someone who believes in the current social order do not like conspiracy theorists highlighting the manipulation and dark aspects of our society. And conspiracy theorists who believe that the Illuminati is behind everything don’t like people proving that some things are not a conspiracy, and lash out on them with accusations of being a sheeple.
We all engage in this sort of intellectual redneckism in one way or another. It’s not something to be ashamed of, but rather to be recognized. At times we do not feel so strong to take on perceived threats against our beliefs, so we retreat into the comfort zone. That is also quite acceptable. However we should not view that comfort zone as reality, as how things really are, but as a sign of our weakness have yet failed to overcome. Modern life, compared to how things were before the digital age, is much more complex in many ways. We are confronted with countless ideas that oppose ours every day unless we shut ourselves from that. This does not apply only to important social, moral and spiritual issues, but to things like our favorite music or movies. Sometimes it can be difficult to accept that someone seemingly rational human being likes Star Wars episode one, for example. If bombarded with things we are hostile to continuously we may feel the desire to shut down. For example, I spend too much time watching all kinds of nonsense on Youtube every now and then because of this. However, we should realize the problem lies with us and our inability to handle reality at times, not with the reality itself, since many of the things we feel threatened by are not really dangerous to us.
Somebody who has a different opinion to you is not inherently a threat to you. That should be obvious. A Creationist and a Darwinian Evolutionist should be able to converse about their beliefs without feeling the need to make the other see things their way. Sharing of information should not be battle for survival. It only becomes that if you choose to view the information as a threat. That is not to say there are no real threats in this world, there are. Such as the encroaching global police state, Monsanto and GMOs and stuff like that. That is precisely why we should distinguish a real threat from an illusory one of our own creation.