From the MP:
ordinary folk do not ‘believe in conversation’ the way some philosophers do. They don’t believe that truth can be attained by dialectical means.
Even if they do believe in approaching truth dialectically, they probably only accept it within a narrow framework.
They might not believe in truth at all, or in its value.
This is the real reason why most Americans do not believe in evolution: The evolutionists are making a truth claim, but who cares? If everyone accepted evolutionary theory as true it would have absolutely no positive effect on society, except to make evolutionary political positions more socially acceptable. But politics based on evolutionary theory have always led to mass stupidity. The modern liberal scientific atheists say so, again and again, every time they deny their association with Maoism, Stalinism, Nazism, and social Darwinism.
Likewise, most Americans have only a superficial interest in religious truth claims. They are focused instead on political rhetoric, and if there appears to be a widespread alignment with Christian beliefs, it is mostly political. In fact, I think most people believe that religion and philosophy are branches of political science, because they would rather have their beliefs handed to them ready-formed by their favorite stuffed shirt than actually think for themselves.
Or they may have the notion that ‘truth is relative.’ Thoughtlessly, many dismiss all thought with ‘It’s all relative.’ So if you try to engage them on a serious topic, they may interpret your overture as an initial move in an ego game whereby you are trying to dominate them, even if that is the farthest thing from your mind. Not believing in truth, they believe in power, and interpret everything as a power ploy and a power play.
True stupidity is always revealed by the bully who cusses and puffs up and makes stupid remarks, and then when challenged, backs off.
And this goes double if, like me, you are intense of mien. For your seriousness will appear either threatening or comical to those for whom nothing matters except life’s surfaces.
This also applies to your rhetorical face, because it also happens on the Internet.