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Discussion Starter #41
It's really interesting, isn't it? (I mean apart from any specific example and whether it's true or false or partly true.....)

I guess some people feel that there "must be" someone who's in control of everything; that things "just can't" be random. So they either become religious, or they believe in some secret conspiracy of those who are keeping the truth from the rest of us. In a way it's a comforting belief that someone out there actually has a plan.

Plus, also, they often don't have a well-developed way of evaluating whether something makes sense, even on its own terms. I remember Joe Rogan talking about how the moon landing was faked (he's since changed his public position on that, and I am not sure he was ever sincere about it), and the question he would never address was "so how many people are in on it?" (Plus I guess also "how come the russians didn't expose it?"). People who go for this kind of stuff instead focus on some tiny detail, like it looks like there's something wrong with this one photograph or something, and just pretend not to hear those two bigger questions. In this respect it seems like it could be related to problems of intrusive thoughts.
The alternative is that the world is random, chaotic and ultimately absurd. It is the point argued by existentialism and something a normal healthy mind rejects.

It is the point at when people are cynical (in the modern sense) enough to see through the normal day-to-day assumptions, but not to enough to reject the ones that suit them.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Yes. You can watch this playing out daily in our own forums on the Corona virus. People who through some combination of personality, upbringing, education, and exposure have a poorly calibrated B.S. detector when it comes to evidence.
My wife is a big John Oliver fan, I am not so much.
In the last few minutes, he is urging critical thinking as the antidote to these theories, but I do not think that is true.
The truth is, Government policies are a hodge podge of poltical interests, what can be enforced, what can be communicated, etc and not just the science. The science is never going to tell you what to do and only offer a changing model. But, the message people get will be grossly simplifed for the sake of communication.
When people use their critical thinking, they will note the flaws and inconsistancies, but only the ones that offend them and even then they likely to come to a stupid conclusion. It is not the lack of criticial thinking, it is critical thinking that overestimates your own understanding and intellect.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Ok, I'll cautiously accept your explanation, because as someone who disagrees with almost EVERY political stance you post (and yet I still believe YOU are intelligent), I definitely FIT into what you said, whether it was intended for ME or not.

AND...can you not hear how biased, condescending, and smug what you wrote sounds...? You are judging other people (who ARE smart too!) in a way that you call THEM out for judging you and others...you lose credibility for that with people who might be trying to listen to you as someone with an opinion worth hearing, whether agreed with or not.

And the people who BELIEVE Alex Jones (I don't) (I'm not sure who he is), think YOUR BS detector is broken, and THEY are just as right FOR THEM as you are for you...
It is always good to call people out.
That said, and perhaps this is the scientist in me, I do think there is objective truth. We will not get to it, but we can model it more closely.
That involves acknowledging our biases, and understanding the reasons we come to the conclusions we do as a sepate thing to the rationalisation. But, while our own truths are as meaningful to us, we must accept we do not live in different realities.
 

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It is always good to call people out.
That said, and perhaps this is the scientist in me, I do think there is objective truth. We will not get to it, but we can model it more closely.
That involves acknowledging our biases, and understanding the reasons we come to the conclusions we do as a sepate thing to the rationalisation. But, while our own truths are as meaningful to us, we must accept we do not live in different realities.
Are you agreeing or disagreeing with me...? Not that I mind either way, but I have a different response depending on which it is...Lol!!

And what do you mean by "objective truth"?
 

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Trump embodies many of the conspiracies you listed earlier and even more.

If he were at slightly curious about serious issues both domestic and foreign I could tolerate his bombastic tone. But the man is our “crazy uncle” spewing conspiracy after conspiracy and also telling us how great he is. I don’t care how great he is, I would rather he demonstrate how he will work for all Americans (not just those who voted for him).


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Can anyone explain his latest liaison with Dr. Stella Immanuel. I thought he never wanted to be associated with immigrants and particularly ones of color.
 

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AND...can you not hear how biased, condescending, and smug what you wrote sounds...? You are judging other people (who ARE smart too!) in a way that you call THEM out for judging you and others...you lose credibility for that with people who might be trying to listen to you as someone with an opinion worth hearing, whether agreed with or not.

And the people who BELIEVE Alex Jones (I don't) (I'm not sure who he is), think YOUR BS detector is broken, and THEY are just as right FOR THEM as you are for you...
I don't mind being called smug on this. What you are asking is that we respect this kind of thinking:

Netwon Conn. was a false flag operation. No children died, it was all staged.
9/11 was an inside job. The twin towers were taken down by the government.
Bill Gates is a eugenicist trying to wipe out minorities.
The government is killing people with the weather.
Hillary Clinton is running a pedophile operation out of a DC Pizza parlor.
Millions of illegals voted in the last presidential election.

Just to scratch the tip of the iceberg. That I cannot do.

Noah Pozner's father is living in secrecy now because he can't get away from Jone's followers who find him and harass him every time he moves. Edgar Welch shoots up a pizza shop in DC looking for the child trafficking ring in the basement. Parents stop vaccinating their children even though every study ever undertaken on the issue covering millions of cases debunks the already known to be falsified claim. The man in the White House started his rise in politics as a birther.

Critical thinking matters. It matters even more in a democracy, where we have invested the power of government in the people. Latching on to every wild eyed fantasy that comes down the pike is a recipe for disaster. One of my favorite personalities is the Amazing Randi, who as an ex-magician has spent the latter part of his life debunking psychics, mystics, astrologers, and the like - you know, people who are actively stealing from those who cannot figure out for themselves the BS from the roses.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Are you agreeing or disagreeing with me...? Not that I mind either way, but I have a different response depending on which it is...Lol!!

And what do you mean by "objective truth"?
Mainly agreeing!
My, possibly semantic, disagreement was based on a few other internet discussions I have been having, I am afraid.
I do not think I am particularly rational. Most of my views can be predicted by my experience, background, social standing and culture. I meet many who believe they are utterly rational. Yes, I do not see any reason for their conviction beyond assertion and failure to acknowledge their own bias.
I can see that we can generally see the same thing differently compared to our perspective. We agree completely there. Ultimately, neither perspective will be completely true. But, they are perspectives on the same thing and one is likely to be closer to the truth.
All scientific models are wrong, but some are less wrong than others.
Sorry, I have not put it well, but tried my best :)
 

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Discussion Starter #48
....

Critical thinking matters. It matters even more in a democracy, where we have invested the power of government in the people. Latching on to every wild eyed fantasy that comes down the pike is a recipe for disaster. One of my favorite personalities is the Amazing Randi, who as an ex-magician has spent the latter part of his life debunking psychics, mystics, astrologers, and the like - you know, people who are actively stealing from those who cannot figure out for themselves the BS from the roses.
I am quite bright.
I still struggle to be remotely rational. I will give myself some credit for being aware of this, whereas most people are not. We are all pretty stupid and thinking we can individually, critically think our way out of things is rather dangerous in itself. Perhaps.
 

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I am quite bright.
I still struggle to be remotely rational. I will give myself some credit for being aware of this, whereas most people are not. We are all pretty stupid and thinking we can individually, critically think our way out of things is rather dangerous in itself. Perhaps.
No one is bias free or completely rational. Being aware of this is the first step. Follow that up with a healthy dose of extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and willingness to change your mind when proven false, and you're most of the way there. You will sometimes be wrong, but at the very least not easily fooled.

Oh, plus the most important lesson of all: correlation does not imply causation.
 

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No one is bias free or completely rational. Being aware of this is the first step. Follow that up with a healthy dose of extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and willingness to change your mind when proven false, and you're most of the way there. You will sometimes be wrong, but at the very least not easily fooled.
In other words, if the world was more like you we would all be better off. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #51
You are completely misunderstanding me if you think I believe I have a "gotcha"...that's just not how I communicate with other people when I want to understand something. I am SEEKING CLARITY...which is NOT very forthcoming, for the record...about how different Christians interpret the Bible based on what is going on inside their own minds.

ALL I SEE in any of these opposing viewpoints (the "Christian" viewpoints), are MAN'S TRUTH. I haven't read anything from any poster answering any direct question about WHERE they are getting their interpretation, or WHY they make allowances in some instances for what they are so against. And that's fine with me...THAT is an answer for me in and of itself.

I was raised in a Fundamentalist Christian family my entire life - I went to church 3-4 times a week, I went to Christian school (until high school), I went to Bible camp, we went to Revivals and weekend retreats, my step-father (whom I adore) was a pastor for 10 years, I won awards for memorizing scripture, I taught Sunday School, etc etc.
And in ALL that time, I came across huge numbers of Christians who had many different interpretations for supposed "laws" in the Bible (the divorce example was one of them), and very good arguments for why they believed that way, and guess what - THEY WERE ALL DIFFERENT. They all had their own "truth", and applied it to their lives...and most of the time, also attempted to apply it to other people's lives as well.

I don't care who believes what - I am interested and intrigued by all the different beliefs. But if someone wants to sway me to their opinion (and that is all these declarations are - individual opinions), then they had better explain it to me and answer my questions with more than simply, "Because you are wrong, you just won't accept the truth"...that doesn't give credibility to their beliefs (or their path to those beliefs) to satisfy my mind.

I am never trying to "GET" anyone or be sarcastic or snarky...anything I post with questions is me REALLY wanting to know...anything that sounds like "gotcha!", is only me still wanting more information, and trying to be clear. That's IT.
I am never offended by being challenged - I WANT to be challenged, and I enjoy doing the same to others (always with respect), because I am simply trying to understand opinions that don't make sense to me. If I am wrong about something, I WANT to know...but I'm always going to dig at the other opinion to make sure it is solid and in line with MY principles.

Also, I find it interesting that as clearly as I asked my question that you quoted, you gave me no real answer. NO Christian has answered that question...could that be because there is NO real answer...? (NO sarcasm implied in that question)
I think we see things very similarly. I am Catholic and still am.
Accordingly, I was taught the story of the shadows on the wall and rather accept it.
There are ultimate truths, but we will not know them as anything other than approximations. The rules we live by are based on God's universal laws, but the rules we have are also social and corcumstancial. The way to live in a more feminine, domesticated society will be different to the stone age. And, depending on the person you are dealing with.
 

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In other words, if the world was more like you we would all be better off. :)
Well, I'll put it to you this way. Do you think the world would be better off with fewer critical thinking skills?

Reasonable people can disagree in a reasonable argument, but we should all be able to at least raise an eyebrow to the absurd. You don't like me, and I get that, but if you were to carefully study what most gets my hackles up 'round here you would find it surrounds issues of inaccuracy. Politics is visceral. Most of it comes from how we feel and cannot be objectively proven. But some things can - like climate change, to take the most glaring recent example.

I'd wager that there's some part of your personality you think we could all use a little more of too, unless you're the most humble person I've ever met.
 

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"Abstract
Historical records suggest that the political extremes—at both the “left” and the “right”—substantially endorsed conspiracy beliefs about other-minded groups. The present contribution empirically tests whether extreme political ideologies, at either side of the political spectrum, are positively associated with an increased tendency to believe in conspiracy theories. Four studies conducted in the United States and the Netherlands revealed a quadratic relationship between strength of political ideology and conspiracy beliefs about various political issues. Moreover, participants’ belief in simple political solutions to societal problems mediated conspiracy beliefs among both left- and right-wing extremists. Finally, the effects described here were not attributable to general attitude extremity. Our conclusion is that political extremism and conspiracy beliefs are strongly associated due to a highly structured thinking style that is aimed at making sense of societal events."
 

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Well, I'll put it to you this way. Do you think the world would be better off with fewer critical thinking skills?

Reasonable people can disagree in a reasonable argument, but we should all be able to at least raise an eyebrow to the absurd. You don't like me, and I get that, but if you were to carefully study what most gets my hackles up 'round here you would find it surrounds issues of inaccuracy. Politics is visceral. Most of it comes from how we feel and cannot be objectively proven. But some things can - like climate change, to take the most glaring recent example.

I'd wager that there's some part of your personality you think we could all use a little more of too, unless you're the most humble person I've ever met.
I don't know why you would say I do not like you; I know very little about you except what is in your posts. No one is perfect - I just have an issue with people that believe they are perfect; and, because people do not see things the way they happen too, those people are somehow flawed.
 

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I don't know why you would say I do not like you; I know very little about you except what is in your posts. No one is perfect - I just have an issue with people that believe they are perfect; and, because people do not see things the way they happen too, those people are somehow flawed.
We are all flawed, and my imperfections are huge. Everyone has their hot-button issues; this one happens to be mine.
 

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I believe that governments are looking for ways to minimize the population. Texas elected officials really showed their hand when they encouraged old people to just die. But that would be unfair to all the private equity and hedge funds who run prisons and nursing homes and get paid on a per head basis.

I think Princess Di's death was planned. Obviously not to a T, but just enough to take advantage of an opportunity. I don't say this too loudly when I'm in the UK.

i believe along with my sister that human life and the earth are just topiary to the titans of the universe. in order to rebalance things, the titans step in. This would explain UFOs, wierd weather patterns and others.
 

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I don't mind being called smug on this. What you are asking is that we respect this kind of thinking:

Netwon Conn. was a false flag operation. No children died, it was all staged.
9/11 was an inside job. The twin towers were taken down by the government.
Bill Gates is a eugenicist trying to wipe out minorities.
The government is killing people with the weather.
Hillary Clinton is running a pedophile operation out of a DC Pizza parlor.
Millions of illegals voted in the last presidential election.

Just to scratch the tip of the iceberg. That I cannot do.

Noah Pozner's father is living in secrecy now because he can't get away from Jone's followers who find him and harass him every time he moves. Edgar Welch shoots up a pizza shop in DC looking for the child trafficking ring in the basement. Parents stop vaccinating their children even though every study ever undertaken on the issue covering millions of cases debunks the already known to be falsified claim. The man in the White House started his rise in politics as a birther.

Critical thinking matters. It matters even more in a democracy, where we have invested the power of government in the people. Latching on to every wild eyed fantasy that comes down the pike is a recipe for disaster. One of my favorite personalities is the Amazing Randi, who as an ex-magician has spent the latter part of his life debunking psychics, mystics, astrologers, and the like - you know, people who are actively stealing from those who cannot figure out for themselves the BS from the roses.
I am NOT saying you need to respect any viewpoint you disagree with - I don't respect MANY of yours...I am saying you are a hypocrite if you demand respect for your right to hold your own views, but refuse to do the same for others. I am saying you are an elitist if you think YOU hold some kind of corner on truth in opinion. Your beliefs are ONLY THAT - YOUR BELIEFS.

And when I read posts (from anyone) decrying intolerance and BIAS...from people who then display their own absolute intolerance and bias, I can't read anything else from them with any real interest.

Now if you want to come on here and post your views to your other like-minded posters and mock anyone who doesn't agree with you, that's one thing (and perfectly ok)...but if you want people who could be swayed by your arguments to actually consider them as coming from an unbiased frame of mind, if you want to be considered CREDIBLE, if YOU want to be respected if not agreed with...well then, you cannot be a hypocrite.

Because hypocrisy taints your credibility...to anyone with critical thought.
 

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Well, I'll put it to you this way. Do you think the world would be better off with fewer critical thinking skills?

Reasonable people can disagree in a reasonable argument, but we should all be able to at least raise an eyebrow to the absurd. You don't like me, and I get that, but if you were to carefully study what most gets my hackles up 'round here you would find it surrounds issues of inaccuracy. Politics is visceral. Most of it comes from how we feel and cannot be objectively proven. But some things can - like climate change, to take the most glaring recent example.

I'd wager that there's some part of your personality you think we could all use a little more of too, unless you're the most humble person I've ever met.
But the definition of ABSURD is subjective, and YOUR definition IS NOT the "correct" one.

Also, I don't think anyone should have a little more of any part of MY personality...but that doesn't make me "humble"...it makes me a REALIST, in my opinion, because I would NEVER expect anyone to be like me, or even WANT to be like me. There's nothing particularly great about ME...I'm just MYSELF, and all I ask is for the liberty to be so, whether someone agrees with me or not. And even THAT I don't feel entitled to...although if I am not allowed to be myself with someone, I will stay away from them...but I'll never demand that they change to suit ME.

I enjoy differences, I appreciate them, they help me know and understand myself better and I learn things when I consider and think about different types of people and what they believe and WHY they believe those things.
 

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I am NOT saying you need to respect any viewpoint you disagree with - I don't respect MANY of yours...I am saying you are a hypocrite if you demand respect for your right to hold your own views, but refuse to do the same for others. I am saying you are an elitist if you think YOU hold some kind of corner on truth in opinion. Your beliefs are ONLY THAT - YOUR BELIEFS.
You don't have to respect my opinion, and I'm not asking you to. If you believe all opinions on all topics are equally unassailable just because someone holds them, then just move along. We're never going to agree on that.

Alex Jones is a liar and a con-man. Believing what he spouts as the truth is FTMP to be objectively wrong.
 
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