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Topic # 196531 3-Jun-2016 10:55
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A few days ago I asked a question in response to another thread but was asked by the OP to turn it into a new thread so here goes.

 

My question was what is it that makes ordinary people so suspicious of science yet so quick to embrace magic. I happen to have some friends who unfortunately fall into this category. They are all kind, intelligent people, which is why they are friends, but they seem convinced that scientific research, including the research that has led to most of the home comforts they take for granted, is somehow tainted and part of a vast conspiracy. Yet they have no problem accepting homoeopathy, astrology, Tarot, and in one case, at least, even the existence of angels! Or to be correct, this friend, regrettably a Kiwi, seems to believe in someone who claims to talk to angels, who tell him things like global warming is just a myth so don't worry about it. Apparently he is very popular in the States and has made a ton of money writing books.

 

I just don't get it. These are not stupid people. I like and respect them and they are perfectly rational and capable about other things. So what causes such people to be so dismissive of the intellectual rigour and painstaking research process of scientific method, yet so quick to embrace the most bizarre superstitions on the word of some charlatan they know only from media like the Internet? What makes the flaky stuff so much easier to believe in than real information garnered from actual facts? I would be very interested to hear what others think about the underlying reasons for this, but disparaging and belittling comments about the thought processes of such people are not really helpful. The fact is, there are an awful lot of people who do think like this, especially in places like America, and I think it is important to understand where it comes from.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 1564904 3-Jun-2016 11:02
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Some people can't cope with common solutions and have to turn to alternatives to keep their sanity. Whether its, health, education or religion some people don;t fit into the norm.

 

Or it is simply they had a bad experience with "the norm" or maybe mental issues.

 

 

 

I know some similar people and while i don't agree with what they often say or do I accept they have alternative views and let them carry on with their way of life. 


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  Reply # 1564908 3-Jun-2016 11:06
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The good thing about freedom of choice is, freedom of choice. If their freedom of choice does not affect your freedom of choice where is the harm?  





Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1564918 3-Jun-2016 11:19
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My first reaction is that it originates with religion, which teaches that faith (believing in something for which you have no evidence) is more righteous than seeking proof - in fact, someone looking for the facts is probably turning their back on God and will be condemned to spending eternity in the fiery pits of hell.

 

But then I think about astrology and the tarot, which organised religion considers to be witchcraft, so anyone who has a reading (or reads their star signs in the paper) will be condemned to spending eternity in the fiery pits of hell.

 

If you believe in both angels and astrology I'm guessing you were probably home-schooled, and that science wasn't on the curriculum. 


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  Reply # 1564919 3-Jun-2016 11:21
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It can reasonably be summed up as a "difference in approach" to thinking.

 

Science: "Show me, and I will trust you."

 

Religion:  "Trust me, and I will show you."

 

Different approaches resonate differently with different people.


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  Reply # 1564926 3-Jun-2016 11:34
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So much depends on which "truth" you want to believe.

 

I'm not a climate change believer nor non believer, I have heard differing opinions / facts and am not scientifically knowledgeable enough to argue one or the other is right. Is the earth warming, perhaps (although where did they get the weather details for 500 years ago from? readings in soil / ice etc that have been agreed upon by scientists that they mean x temperature). Is the impact of "green house gasses" the root cause of global warming or just a convenient symptom that Governments / greenies jump up and down about to raise money / taxes, Who knows

 

I strongly believe that there is alien life, theres just no way no how in the size of the known universe / galaxy that we are the only sentient beings. Are we likely to get visited / invaded as Michael Bay / Ridley Scott etc make out in their movies, highly unlikely.

 

As for other beliefs, if it makes people feel good about themselves, fantastic, good for them, just don't come knocking on my door in the middle of dinner trying to save my soul. If I want bread, I'll go to the supermarket, if I want petrol, I'll go to the gas station and if I wanted to hear someone talk about "god" I'd go to church


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  Reply # 1564933 3-Jun-2016 11:42
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As someone somewhere else said, religion is like a penis.

 

Its nice that you have one, but don't assume everyone else has one or wants one, don't wave it around in public, and don't force it on my children.


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  Reply # 1564943 3-Jun-2016 11:48
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Because they have had belief brainwashed into them from an early age, and because of that brainwashing think it's perfectly reasonably to believe in the tooth fairy, magical zombies in the sky, colours curing cancer, chemtrails, and all those other fun things instead of science and logic.

 

Religion, like porn, needs to be R18 and kids should not be exposed to it, instead all children should be taught critical thinking and logic, to question and challenge, and to never blindly accept things on faith.





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  Reply # 1564953 3-Jun-2016 12:08
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As far as I can see, we all live by faith. We all learn to trust something before we understand what we are trusting.

 

At the personal level, I've trusted my parents to love me.

 

At the material level, I have accepted that I will not fall off the earth that I walk on. I don't think about it much - it's just one foundation for my life on earth. After a good education, I have some understanding of why I can rely on gravity. But my understanding is a long way from understanding what gravity actually is, why it operates the way it does and whether it will keep working the rest of my life. I clearly have faith that gravity will keep me on earth. I'm pretty sure that we have all had or have this faith.

 

(P.S. FYI, we could get into philosophy and arguments about epistemology, reality, etc. but I won't be bothered joining in.)


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  Reply # 1564956 3-Jun-2016 12:11
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Lias:

 

Because they have had belief brainwashed into them from an early age, and because of that brainwashing think it's perfectly reasonably to believe in the tooth fairy, magical zombies in the sky, colours curing cancer, chemtrails, and all those other fun things instead of science and logic.

 

Religion, like porn, needs to be R18 and kids should not be exposed to it, instead all children should be taught critical thinking and logic, to question and challenge, and to never blindly accept things on faith.

 

 

And this would be a perfect world.


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  Reply # 1564982 3-Jun-2016 12:27
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Rikkitic:

 

I just don't get it. These are not stupid people. I like and respect them and they are perfectly rational and capable about other things. So what causes such people to be so dismissive of the intellectual rigour and painstaking research process of scientific method, ...

 

 

One reason is that science is not the dispassionate enquiry we were taught. It is so easy to find "intellectual rigour" giving way to vested interest and "scientific method" subverted for non-scientific ends. Rational pursuit of fame and economic gain are reasons why science has such a poor reputation. I feel like "scientists" are one of the great disappointments exposed in my lifetime:

 

http://www.neatorama.com/2006/09/19/10scientific-frauds-that-rocked-the-world/

 

I'm not sure that the Tasaday discovery during my childhood is really science but it feels like another disappointment.


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  Reply # 1564988 3-Jun-2016 12:33
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Some people are very stupid. After all, half of the population is of below average intelligence for a start.

 

I don't much care if they want to believe in nonsense.

 

What irks me is that I am supposed by law to respect their idiocy.

 

To use the gravity analogy above, you do not necessarily need to understand it - you can prove it exists by dropping a plate or trying to jump off the world. You cannot prove that any one of the certainly thousands and probably hundreds of thousands of gods and goddesses humans have invented ever actually existed.

 

Who was right? What if, say, the Romans were correct and christians are wrong? Or maybe the Egyptians? Or perhaps Mythras? Or Baal? Or was it Odin?

 

I'd disqualify anyone religious from holding public office. 






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  Reply # 1564991 3-Jun-2016 12:36
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Rikkitic:

 

A few days ago I asked a question in response to another thread but was asked by the OP to turn it into a new thread so here goes.

 

My question was what is it that makes ordinary people so suspicious of science yet so quick to embrace magic. I happen to have some friends who unfortunately fall into this category. They are all kind, intelligent people, which is why they are friends, but they seem convinced that scientific research, including the research that has led to most of the home comforts they take for granted, is somehow tainted and part of a vast conspiracy. Yet they have no problem accepting homoeopathy, astrology, Tarot, and in one case, at least, even the existence of angels! Or to be correct, this friend, regrettably a Kiwi, seems to believe in someone who claims to talk to angels, who tell him things like global warming is just a myth so don't worry about it. Apparently he is very popular in the States and has made a ton of money writing books.

 

I just don't get it. These are not stupid people. I like and respect them and they are perfectly rational and capable about other things. So what causes such people to be so dismissive of the intellectual rigour and painstaking research process of scientific method, yet so quick to embrace the most bizarre superstitions on the word of some charlatan they know only from media like the Internet? What makes the flaky stuff so much easier to believe in than real information garnered from actual facts? I would be very interested to hear what others think about the underlying reasons for this, but disparaging and belittling comments about the thought processes of such people are not really helpful. The fact is, there are an awful lot of people who do think like this, especially in places like America, and I think it is important to understand where it comes from.

 

 

 

Magic is emotionally satisfying. You just have to know what you WANT to be true. 

 

Science means you have to think and understand things as they really are. 

 

People don't like to think. They will fight wars rather than think. (Invading Iraq in 2003, for example). 

 

Science is much harder and most people are (intellectually) lazy. They will punch you in the face if you try to make them face that simple fact. 

 

Magic wins. There could be no religion without it. The thousands burned at the stake or otherwise murdered over the centuries know very well magical thinking can be lethal. 





____________________________________________________
I'm on a high fibre diet. 

 

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  Reply # 1565014 3-Jun-2016 12:57
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Follow the money ....

 

Ask the Universe .... again, follow the money.

 

Religion ... follow the money ...

 

Astrology and Tarot readings  ... follow the money ..

 

Health alternatives and homoeopathy - follow the money ...

 

Self-help books ... Follow the money

 

There's always a sucker easily parted from their money.

 

 





My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government


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  Reply # 1565016 3-Jun-2016 13:00
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Hammerer:

 

Rikkitic:

 

I just don't get it. These are not stupid people. I like and respect them and they are perfectly rational and capable about other things. So what causes such people to be so dismissive of the intellectual rigour and painstaking research process of scientific method, ...

 

 

One reason is that science is not the dispassionate enquiry we were taught. It is so easy to find "intellectual rigour" giving way to vested interest and "scientific method" subverted for non-scientific ends. Rational pursuit of fame and economic gain are reasons why science has such a poor reputation. I feel like "scientists" are one of the great disappointments exposed in my lifetime:

 

http://www.neatorama.com/2006/09/19/10scientific-frauds-that-rocked-the-world/

 

I'm not sure that the Tasaday discovery during my childhood is really science but it feels like another disappointment.

 

 

 

 

The great thing about science is that it is self correcting.

 

The very nature of the scientific method means when you make a claim/theory/hypothesis (especially something controversial or new) then it then becomes something that other scientists will work hard to replicate, prove or disprove.

 

from the very first thing on that list:

 

"when Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announced to a hungry scientific world that they'd discovered cold fusion in 1989 (a process that supposedly used much less energy), the duo were welcomed with splashy headlines.

 

Other scientists were dubious, and when Pons and Fleischmann withdrew their paper from Naturemagazine and refused to answer questions, charges of fraud were made. Pons and Fleischmann never gave enough details of the experiment to allow others to replicate it, and more than 10 years later no one has been able to replicate their results."

 

 

 

now, compare that with the various 'magical' claims.   All too often with these things people accept them at face value without any sort of rigour and are encouraged NOT to test them at all. 

 

Magical Thinking:    You say you saw angels in your garden?  That's incredible. You must be so blessed.

 

Scientific Thinking:  You say you saw angels in your garden?  That's interesting.  How do you know they were angels? How have you excluded the other possibilities for such an experience, like a trick of the light, people playing a prank? a hallucination? lucid dream etc?





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  Reply # 1565022 3-Jun-2016 13:08
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Playing this in schools might help.



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