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Old 24th October 2017, 01:18 PM   #41
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Take, for instance, the debate about the tax cut. There ought to be enough statistical information out there to calculate it's actual effectiveness.
I guess this is as good a place as any to break in and ask you to support your claims. And also ask you how you define "ought" in this context.

I'm guessing it's not a moral "ought". Maybe it's a probabilistic "ought"? Or a procedural "ought"?

Anyway, once know what you mean by "there ought to be enough statistical information", we can evaluate your evidence for this claim.

Quote:
Why is there such a wide variety of opinion on the issue? Why don't we have a pretty good idea, with in statistical error, what it will do to the economy? Is economics that soft of a science?

I'm not suggesting that scientists should get into science here. I'm suggesting that scientists should take the politics out of something that should be a science.
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Old 24th October 2017, 01:30 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Ironically, this is more a rant than an argument.

The more I listen to political and philosophical discussions (read: tirades) the less I seem to feel that there is critical thinking being used in the modern world. Consider the recent threads on this board that critical thought and reason are just another kind of faith system or that critical thought isn't suitable for understanding or pursueing reality. I've recently come to the conclusion that this is an attempt to marginalize critical thought to the point that it is just another belief system. After all, critical thought is often a threat to one's faith or belief.

Do you think that, as a society, we've given up on wanting to know Reality in favor of believing what makes us feel good about ourselves? : (
I think that sometimes people just want to take a break from the pointless nitpicking, absurd wilful ignorance, and partisan contrarianism that's so often excused as "critical thinking" around here. Just discuss a topic like rational, reasonable adults.

This whole pose of "you can't have an opinion without a double-blinded peer reviewed Neill Degrasse Tyson TED talk!" gets tiresome after a while almost immediately. As does the invariable follow-up "you're just dismissing my rebuttal because you hate critical thinking!" No, we're dismissing your* rebuttal because the human experience cannot be usefully reduced to a sophomoric logical point-scoring system, and we're tired of your* douchebaggery.

One thing that dismays me about this forum is that ten years on, many topics are still at the point of re-inventing the wheel yet again. Outside of the 9-11 conspiracy theories forum, the common practice among "critical thinkers" is to adopt a pose of intentional idiocy, demanding that the most basic concepts be proven again as if for the first time, without ever making any effort to reason them out themselves, or contribute any incremental understanding to the conversation.

So most conversations go nowhere, because soon enough the "critical thinkers" arrive to insist that the conversation can't properly start until everyone has reasoned out the starting premises from first principles, to the "critical thinker's" satisfaction. I think it's ironic that the initials of "critical thinking" are "CT."








---
* That's the rhetorical you, mind.
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Old 24th October 2017, 01:31 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I guess this is as good a place as any to break in and ask you to support your claims. And also ask you how you define "ought" in this context.

I'm guessing it's not a moral "ought". Maybe it's a probabilistic "ought"? Or a procedural "ought"?


Well, let me dredge up a memory of what I meant when authoring a post over fourteen years ago. I suppose meant a probabilistic "ought", as in "There probably is enough statistical <yada yada>"

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Anyway, once know what you mean by "there ought to be enough statistical information", we can evaluate your evidence for this claim.
If you like. I think it was more of a guess, hence the 'probabilistic "ought to be"' rather than an affirmative "is". I'm not going to defend it since I no longer remember the exact context in which it was made. It may very well be wrong.
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Old 24th October 2017, 01:37 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think that sometimes people just want to take a break from the pointless nitpicking, absurd wilful ignorance, and partisan contrarianism that's so often excused as "critical thinking" around here. Just discuss a topic like rational, reasonable adults.
Oh, I see. You were making a point.

The problem is that I have no problem being challenged on my ideas and claims. We can discuss a topic like rational adults and be skeptics by questioning assumptions and positions without losing our tempers and resorting to personal attacks.

eta: In fact, that seems it should be redundant.
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Old 24th October 2017, 02:55 PM   #45
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Ha ha ha, I have avoided that forum for a while
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Old 25th October 2017, 09:51 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Ha ha ha, I have avoided that forum for a while
Which one?
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Old 25th October 2017, 09:54 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Fourteen years later, it seems worse than ever.
Yes it does, but sometimes even the people who find that it is are part of the problem.
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Old 25th October 2017, 02:50 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Which one?
The Politics sub-fora
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Old 26th October 2017, 06:33 AM   #49
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I’ve been playing around on the Quora site for a while now. This is a whole bunch of cuts above the Yahoo Answers site.

Still, I’m appalled at the number of daily questions about demons, ghosts, paranormal activity, “malign spirit entities”, Juju, and the whole panoply of similar topics.

This is compounded by the answers given. Seemingly well-intentioned people who firmly believe in all these things. Questions involving the paranormal usually elicit an answer from one member who claims to be involved with a parapsychology outfit somewhere (must be the only one left...) who cites old, non-replicated studies like the “Ganzfeld” experiments as proof of psychic powers.

We know that a very large percentage of the population believes in ghosts, creationism, magic, angels and demons, and similar nonsense, and also that the knowledge of even the most basic aspects of science is severely lacking.

We have well-read, well-educated friends. Last year or so, two showed me an article about a fellow who claimed to have found buried pyramids in the Caucasus region.
I’d seen the article and also the fact that the fellow involved was a well-known “crank” archaeologist.... And that mainstream folks in the field were rolling their eyes.
I pointed this out and these nice folks seemed really put out... They had already invested belief in these outrageous claims.
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Old 26th October 2017, 11:30 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
The Politics sub-fora
I've been thinking about it. I can't decide if that's a wise move or not.
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Old 26th October 2017, 12:08 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Ironically, this is more a rant than an argument.

The more I listen to political and philosophical discussions (read: tirades) the less I seem to feel that there is critical thinking being used in the modern world. Consider the recent threads on this board that critical thought and reason are just another kind of faith system or that critical thought isn't suitable for understanding or pursueing reality. I've recently come to the conclusion that this is an attempt to marginalize critical thought to the point that it is just another belief system. After all, critical thought is often a threat to one's faith or belief.

Do you think that, as a society, we've given up on wanting to know Reality in favor of believing what makes us feel good about ourselves?
Yep:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...s-mind/534231/
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Old 1st November 2017, 10:35 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Oh, I see. You were making a point.

The problem is that I have no problem being challenged on my ideas and claims. We can discuss a topic like rational adults and be skeptics by questioning assumptions and positions without losing our tempers and resorting to personal attacks.

eta: In fact, that seems it should be redundant.
The perpetual battle between ought and is...

I agree that all of us ought to be fine being challenged on our ideas and claims. We all ought to be able to discuss topics like rational adults and be skeptics at the same time.

I think there's also a bit of cynicism built in on ISF. Sometimes actual research studies and hard facts simply don't exist for some topics. Sometimes you have to select a position based on reason alone, and then defend your reasoning. But the incessant claims to "prove it" can make it impossible to have an interesting discussion.

And at the end of the day, no matter how skeptical we are, no matter how much we employ logic... all of us will at some point resort to emotion. It's how we're wired. The ones who aren't wired that way are known as sociopaths
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Old 1st November 2017, 02:18 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Do you think that, as a society, we've given up on wanting to know Reality in favor of believing what makes us feel good about ourselves?
Not in favor of. But perhaps in equilibrium to. It's not logic that gets people to sacrifice themselves to save another, or lets people take on risks to their well-being in order to defend an abstract ideal. It's not logic that makes us cherish and value our family and close friends more than we value a stranger on the other side of the planet. We can find a rationalization for those actions, sure... but at the end of the day, empathy and compassion, anger and sorrow, these are the things that drive the majority of our behavior, and they are not rooted in critical thinking.

I've long wondered about some of the assumptions we make with respect to human evolution. We assume that higher intelligence is equivalent to a higher survival or selection likelihood. I'm not so sure that's true. From an evolutionary standpoint, higher intelligence doesn't seem to contribute to a higher likelihood of procreation - while some degree of intelligence seems to be desirable in a mate, it also (subjectively) seems to become slightly less attractive once you're past a certain point. And more intelligent people tend to have fewer offspring. The higher the degree of intelligence, in general, the lower the tolerance for risk-taking. Regardless of how much we as individuals value intelligence... it may have a point of diminishing returns when it comes to evolution.

I wonder if there could be a similar mechanic involved with belief. I think it's plausible that there's a point of diminishing returns for critical thinking. Perhaps there is evolutionary value in a certain level of non-rational action based on belief.

I dunno. I'm not an expert in evolution or biology or psychology, or any other applicable -ology here. It's just thoughts.
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Old 3rd November 2017, 03:58 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I've long wondered about some of the assumptions we make with respect to human evolution. We assume that higher intelligence is equivalent to a higher survival or selection likelihood. I'm not so sure that's true. From an evolutionary standpoint, higher intelligence doesn't seem to contribute to a higher likelihood of procreation - while some degree of intelligence seems to be desirable in a mate, it also (subjectively) seems to become slightly less attractive once you're past a certain point. And more intelligent people tend to have fewer offspring. The higher the degree of intelligence, in general, the lower the tolerance for risk-taking. Regardless of how much we as individuals value intelligence... it may have a point of diminishing returns when it comes to evolution.
In prehistory, during which most of human evolution occurred, More intelligent males tended to be better hunters than less intelligent males. Better hunters had more meat to trade for sex. Additionally, more protein was required to allow the evolution of bigger brains.

Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I wonder if there could be a similar mechanic involved with belief. I think it's plausible that there's a point of diminishing returns for critical thinking. Perhaps there is evolutionary value in a certain level of non-rational action based on belief.
People have been selectively bred to conform to the belief systems of their societies, by the expedient of killing those who did not conform. Historically, the advantage of conformity was that you didn't get murdered for heresy.
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Old 4th November 2017, 03:39 PM   #55
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I've heard various people opine many times in the last few months that we are now leaving in a "post-truth" world, that the concept as it has traditionally been used is simply widely considered no longer valid, that in today's culture every thing is subjective, everything is a point of view, everything is simply this or that sides "version" of something and that the idea that one statement is wrong and another one is right is becoming more and more devalued.

There is, sadly, a lot to support this but I'm not sure if it is a revelation that is being framed in an accurate or meaningful or useful way.

I make no excuses for feeling that discourse on pretty much every level of our society right now has reached absolute bottom of the barrel scrapping standards. Everything discussion no matter how complex can barely get started before it is immediately drug down the two loudest sides trying to gotcha each with accusations of Youtooism, Whataboutism, and the only cardinal sin left in our discourse, "Hypocrisy" while only to defend themselves with nothing but "I'm not as bad as the other side" none of which in any way help us understand or gauge the validity of whatever is being discussed.

Essentially while I'm not sure if truth is as far gone as sometime I fear it is, I do think the trend more and more toward arguments being focused on creating a narrative is extremely harmful.
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Old 6th November 2017, 11:04 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Toontown View Post
People have been selectively bred to conform to the belief systems of their societies, by the expedient of killing those who did not conform. Historically, the advantage of conformity was that you didn't get murdered for heresy.
Hmm. Fair point.

When do you expect we'll start murdering the brainiacs? Or will we be exterminating the morons instead?

Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
I've heard various people opine many times in the last few months that we are now leaving in a "post-truth" world, that the concept as it has traditionally been used is simply widely considered no longer valid, that in today's culture every thing is subjective, everything is a point of view, everything is simply this or that sides "version" of something and that the idea that one statement is wrong and another one is right is becoming more and more devalued.

There is, sadly, a lot to support this but I'm not sure if it is a revelation that is being framed in an accurate or meaningful or useful way.

I make no excuses for feeling that discourse on pretty much every level of our society right now has reached absolute bottom of the barrel scrapping standards. Everything discussion no matter how complex can barely get started before it is immediately drug down the two loudest sides trying to gotcha each with accusations of Youtooism, Whataboutism, and the only cardinal sin left in our discourse, "Hypocrisy" while only to defend themselves with nothing but "I'm not as bad as the other side" none of which in any way help us understand or gauge the validity of whatever is being discussed.

Essentially while I'm not sure if truth is as far gone as sometime I fear it is, I do think the trend more and more toward arguments being focused on creating a narrative is extremely harmful.
You are not at all wrong, sadly. I'd love to argue against this... but I can't.

ETA: I generally lump it all together as "loopholisms". I blame it on the lawyers
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Old 11th November 2017, 11:46 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
I've heard various people opine many times in the last few months that we are now leaving in a "post-truth" world, that the concept as it has traditionally been used is simply widely considered no longer valid, that in today's culture every thing is subjective, everything is a point of view, everything is simply this or that sides "version" of something and that the idea that one statement is wrong and another one is right is becoming more and more devalued.
This seems to be accurate for people who value Breitbart, Limbaugh, Fox, Mark Levin, or any of the dozens of conservative, religious nuts on Christian cable networks.

Quote:
Everything discussion no matter how complex can barely get started before it is immediately drug down the two loudest sides trying to gotcha each with accusations of Youtooism, Whataboutism
No. If you watched the 2016 election you saw that with both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Both would make grand claims but provide no details on how it would actually work or be feasible. Clinton on the other hand actually did try to be reasonable. So it wasn't about both sides using the same tactics as you've just claimed. I also don't see this with CNN or MSNBC, just Fox.

Quote:
Essentially while I'm not sure if truth is as far gone as sometime I fear it is, I do think the trend more and more toward arguments being focused on creating a narrative is extremely harmful.
Well, for a long time we had Glen Beck giving alternative versions of history. For example it was claimed that the Great Depression was somehow caused by FDR before he got into office. Fox exaggerated the size of the protesters at Obama's nomination and the size of the tea party rallies. Trump continues the tradition by exaggerating the size of his crowds, the size of his popular vote, and his electoral margin. But none of this is new. Things like this went on before the American Revolutionary War.

I can tell you what part of the problem is:

1.) When issues are complex people will tend to fall back on prejudice and emotional arguments.
2.) When people feel scared or uncertain they will tend to fall back on prejudice and emotional arguments.
3.) When people don't have time to process information they will tend to fall back on prejudice and emotional arguments.
4.) If people don't feel that information is relevant to them they will tend to ignore it.
5.) People can be persuaded by someone who appears likable and friendly like Joel Osteen.
6.) People can be persuaded by pure charlatans like Benny Hinn and Oral Roberts.
7.) People may be drawn to people who appear confident like Ronald Reagan or Donald Trump even when they are not terribly competent.
8.) People are more likely to listen to people they consider to be part of their circle.

We know that things like this can be turned around but the examples that I am aware of involved personal interaction. I don't know of examples that worked using newspapers, magazines, online articles, radio or television.

edit: okay let me correct that. I do know of one example that worked via television in Mexico.
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Old 12th November 2017, 01:47 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Ironically, this is more a rant than an argument.

The more I listen to political and philosophical discussions (read: tirades) the less I seem to feel that there is critical thinking being used in the modern world. Consider the recent threads on this board that critical thought and reason are just another kind of faith system or that critical thought isn't suitable for understanding or pursueing reality. I've recently come to the conclusion that this is an attempt to marginalize critical thought to the point that it is just another belief system. After all, critical thought is often a threat to one's faith or belief.

Do you think that, as a society, we've given up on wanting to know Reality in favor of believing what makes us feel good about ourselves?
Valid observation. I feel, it is happening even in our sides. Basis: If happening globally, may it be due to some natural environmental change.
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