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Old 26th September 2017, 06:54 AM   #1
Autolite
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Does It Bother You???

I've been an Atheist and a skeptic for most of my adult life. From time to time, I get this kinda surreal 'Twilight Zone' creepy feeling knowing that we are surrounded by so many people who just refuse or who are unable to acknowledge reality.

Does anyone else here ever feel like that?

It bothers me somewhat when I get that feeling although I know that there isn't anything that I can do about it. Knowing that there is nothing I can do to change that is just how I deal with it although I find that it's still unsettling...
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Old 26th September 2017, 07:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I've been an Atheist and a skeptic for most of my adult life. From time to time, I get this kinda surreal 'Twilight Zone' creepy feeling knowing that we are surrounded by so many people who just refuse or who are unable to acknowledge reality.

Does anyone else here ever feel like that?

It bothers me somewhat when I get that feeling although I know that there isn't anything that I can do about it. Knowing that there is nothing I can do to change that is just how I deal with it although I find that it's still unsettling...

It bothers me that so many people are so susceptible to magical thinking. It also bothers me that, if we allow this magical thinking to go unchallenged, that validates and justifies, to some extent, the magical thinking that leads people to fly planes into buildings.
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Old 26th September 2017, 07:38 AM   #3
Autolite
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
It bothers me that so many people are so susceptible to magical thinking.
I have had a realization of sorts. It has taken me many years to reach this conclusion but it's the only way that I can reconcile this issue in my own mind.

"People actually want to believe the B.S."

I am now convinced that many people prefer to believe in nonsense rather than to search out or accept the truth. I am just not sure that I understand why that is...
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Old 26th September 2017, 07:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I get this kinda surreal 'Twilight Zone' creepy feeling knowing that we are surrounded by so many people who just refuse or who are unable to acknowledge reality.
I've had that a few times, usually when I reach some new level of realization about how flawed human brains are. It's never something that's actually surprising in retrospect, just something I hadn't truly accepted before. Like the first time I realized there really isn't a good argument for the existence of god (I was already an atheist, but finally accepting that *all* the arguments I could find are really lousy was strange) or when Trump won the election (like I said, it's no newsflash that people make bad choices but that was a wake up call) or when I realized just how many "skeptics" are every bit as bad as non-skeptics when it comes to areas other than bigfoot and religion.

It's all of us to one extent or another (myself included). Our brains are deeply flawed - they're superstitious and tribalistic and fight against anything that contradicts our prior decisions. We can be aware of it but even that doesn't prevent it, so it's not surprising that we see so much flawed thinking in the world.
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Old 26th September 2017, 07:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I have had a realization of sorts. It has taken me many years to reach this conclusion but it's the only way that I can reconcile this issue in my mind.

"People actually want to believe the B.S."

I am now convinced that many people prefer to believe in nonsense rather than to search out or accept the truth. I am just not sure that I understand why that is...
Folk find it comfortable to accept stuff that apparently confirms what they believe so there isn't much reason for most of us most of the time to look beyond the apparent confirmation.

I think this is also behind what a lot of out-there believers try to accuse "skeptics" of i.e. that skeptics are afraid of "the truth". They think skeptics would be "discomforted" by the such things as PSI being true, just as they feel uncomfortable about their beliefs not being true.
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Old 26th September 2017, 07:43 AM   #6
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One thing is people are stupid. Like not intelligent enough. That's depressing.
On the other hand, they don't do it on purpose. That's relief. And you can't really hold it against them.
Also they typically mean it well. Which is important. And it usually helps me get over it.
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Old 26th September 2017, 07:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I have had a realization of sorts. It has taken me many years to reach this conclusion but it's the only way that I can reconcile this issue in my own mind.

"People actually want to believe the B.S."

I am now convinced that many people prefer to believe in nonsense rather than to search out or accept the truth. I am just not sure that I understand why that is...
I had a similar conversation with a friend while driving through some traffic that was being attended to by hustlers looking for change with their cardboard signs of woe and humor. He was frustrated that able bodied people would be out doing nothing instead of something productive. I countered that they are being productive, they are selling a service. Every person that throws money into their cup gets a bit of pride, a bit of joy, a bit of self satisfaction, maybe even a bit of relief from some guilt. They don't donate to help the hustler, they pay to make themselves feel better. They pay so that they can smile after a long day or so that they can feel a bit superior as they walk into the next **** storm of a meeting.

It is the same thing that churches sell: a feeling.

That there is a market for such is just a bit weird to me, but then there are markets for all sorts of products and services I have no desire for. Do I waste my time by constantly hemming and hawing, balancing the pros and cons and trying to figure out exactly why anyone would ever buy Pepsi?
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Old 26th September 2017, 08:26 AM   #8
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I don't really care what people choose to believe, who am I to tell them what to think? As long as they're not causing anyone any real harm then why bother? Some people like listening to Morrissey, who I think is a deplorable twat. Live and let live, innit.
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Old 26th September 2017, 08:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I've been an Atheist and a skeptic for most of my adult life. From time to time, I get this kinda surreal 'Twilight Zone' creepy feeling knowing that we are surrounded by so many people who just refuse or who are unable to acknowledge reality.

Does anyone else here ever feel like that?
Not me. I understand the appeal of that sort of thinking very well. I've been an atheist for at least 25 years and even now sometimes I can feel my brain trying to imagine a way out of mortality. Sometimes I even play-pretend to be going along with the fantasy... it has a very soothing effect.

Stupid brain.
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Old 26th September 2017, 09:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
I've had that a few times, usually when I reach some new level of realization about how flawed human brains are. (..) Our brains are deeply flawed
There's nothing wrong with human brains! (Well, of course, there are a couple that are flawed, otherwise brain surgery wouldn't be necessary, but that's not what's bothering people in this thread )
Brains enable us to think, to understand, and the ability to think includes the ability to come up with completely wrong ideas as well as the ability to correct them - if you choose to do so.
The question that we should ask ourselves is not why people now and then come up with bad ideas, but why so many people choose to hold on to them in spite of the sometimes pretty obvious signs that they are wrong.
However, that question has also been answered - and in recent years the answer has been confirmed in experimental settings: Many people have miserable lives and need religion and superstition as consolation, so if you want to improve their willingness to think straight, you should try to create living conditions that allow them to do so.
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Old 26th September 2017, 09:54 AM   #11
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Sometimes it worries me a great deal. I try very hard to live and let live as long as they are not a danger to me or others. I guess it mostly bothers me when I see people use those magic thoughts to make major decisions or use them as an excuse to hate or commit crime. I have a have a harder time not feeling a bit superior. I know it's wrong but I do feel it sometimes. Especially around footers.
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Old 26th September 2017, 09:54 AM   #12
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Despairing at all the alleged "flawed human brains" is the downside of the arrogance of the comforting delusion that your brain is superior to those of all the flawed people surrounding you.
But that's a different discussion
or two.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th September 2017, 09:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
There's nothing wrong with human brains! (Well, of course, there are a couple that are flawed, otherwise brain surgery wouldn't be necessary, but that's not what's bothering people in this thread )
I disagree. If human brains had been designed rather than evolving, I would say they have some serious design flaws. Most of the problems we face are due to the way that we think and form opinions, which means while we can overcome any one bad belief we're just going to replace it with another.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Brains enable us to think, to understand, and the ability to think includes the ability to come up with completely wrong ideas as well as the ability to correct them - if you choose to do so.
Don't get me wrong, thinking is great. A+ would try again. But there are flaws in our underlying psychology that mean that even very smart people who love thinking will cling to bad ideas, form biased opinions, etc.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
The question that we should ask ourselves is not why people now and then come up with bad ideas, but why so many people choose to hold on to them in spite of the sometimes pretty obvious signs that they are wrong.
It's how our brains work. Once we make a decision (and then make up a reason about why we made that decision, which may or may not have anything to do with why we *actually* made the decision) we will generally defend it even when faced with conflicting evidence. This drive is so strong people will end up believing something MORE when they are shown that it is false in many cases.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Many people have miserable lives and need religion and superstition as consolation, so if you want to improve their willingness to think straight, you should try to create living conditions that allow them to do so.
That's something that can somewhat impact one narrow range of beliefs. But the flaws in our thinking will still exist, and will still result in racism, sexism, science denial, etc.
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Old 26th September 2017, 09:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Many people have miserable lives and need religion and superstition as consolation[/url], so if you want to improve their willingness to think straight, you should try to create living conditions that allow them to do so.

Really?

Given that the promise of an eternity of bliss coupled with the threat of eternal damnation has been used to keep uppity commoners in their place for thousands of years, I think you have the cart before the horse.
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Old 26th September 2017, 09:57 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Despairing at all the alleged "flawed human brains" is the downside of the arrogance of the comforting delusion that your brain is superior to those of all the flawed people surrounding you.
Just to be clear in case that was directed at me: I am not suggesting that my brain is somehow magically free of these flaws. It's not.

Being aware of these flaws, and accepting that being aware of them doesn't make them go away, makes it a little more likely that I'll catch myself - but there's no guarantee in any particular situation and in fact it's essentially guaranteed that I make these same errors all the time to one extent or another.
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Old 26th September 2017, 10:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
That's something that can somewhat impact one narrow range of beliefs. But the flaws in our thinking will still exist, and will still result in racism, sexism, science denial, etc.
You are obviously enjoying your pessimism so much that I'll leave you to it.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th September 2017, 10:05 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Really?
Yes, really!
Quote:
Given that the promise of an eternity of bliss coupled with the threat of eternal damnation has been used to keep uppity commoners in their place for thousands of years, I think you have the cart before the horse.
The promise of eternal bliss and fear of damnation still has to be believed. And if nobody else delivers the promise people come up with comforting delusions of their own in circumstances where they need them. You have the cart before the horse if you think that they suppliers of the opium of the people come before the need for the opium of the people.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th September 2017, 10:07 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
The promise of eternal bliss and fear of damnation still has to be believed.
No, all you have to do is pretend to yourself that you believe.
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Old 26th September 2017, 10:08 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
in fact it's essentially guaranteed that I make these same errors all the time to one extent or another.
The delusion even comes with a guarantee? Lucky you. You may try to convince me that your brain is flawed, but I still think that it's your thinking! And you're in charge of that, nobody else is.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th September 2017, 10:10 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Yes, really!


The promise of eternal bliss and fear of damnation still has to be believed. And if nobody else delivers the promise people come up with comforting delusions of their own in circumstances where they need them. You have the cart before the horse if you think that they suppliers of the opium of the people come before the need for the opium of the people.


Organised or casual opium?


I think to be comforted by a delusion while in a crap situation is no comfort at all.
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Old 26th September 2017, 10:14 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
You are obviously enjoying your pessimism so much that I'll leave you to it.
I'm not pessimistic, in general. And I don't see this as pessimistic, just as a factual discussion of human psychology.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
The delusion even comes with a guarantee? Lucky you.
Delusion? I'm talking about science here.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
You may try to convince me that your brain is flawed, but I still think that it's your thinking! And you're in charge of that, nobody else is.
You believing that your brain is somehow free of all bad ideas through the power of superior thinking would seem to run afoul of your own advice:

Originally Posted by dann View Post
<...> is the downside of the arrogance of the comforting delusion that your brain is superior to those of all the flawed people surrounding you.
Substitute "thinking" for "brain" of course.
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Old 26th September 2017, 10:16 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Organised or casual opium?
It doesn't matter much. Even organized religion is customized by the believer to suit his or her individual needs.
Quote:
I think to be comforted by a delusion while in a crap situation is no comfort at all.
It won't help you out of the crap situation, on the contrary, actually, but it's still comforting. That's the whole point of it and the reason why you make it up - or accept it if handed to you by somebody else.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th September 2017, 10:18 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
It doesn't matter much. Even organized religion is customized by the believer to suit his or her individual needs.[/quote

It won't help you out of the crap situation, on the contrary, actually, but it's still comforting. That's the whole point of it and the reason why you make it up - or accept it if handed to you by somebody else.
If someone's happier while they're drunk, should we make sure they're drunk all the time?
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Old 26th September 2017, 10:18 AM   #24
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This is who we are. It's not me vs the ignorant fools around me. I've been an ignorant fool myself. Whenever I think I'm more "woke," I remember how woke I thought I was when I was a Theist. I try to embrace that I'm still learning.

But I do feel lonely at times. My very best friends are not learning, they simply continue to circle around the same woo-woo and delusions. I express when I disagree, but I'm not on a crusade to change them. I want them to have their own process, but they aren't proceeding, and I can't stay with them where they are.
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Old 26th September 2017, 10:27 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I've been an Atheist and a skeptic for most of my adult life. From time to time, I get this kinda surreal 'Twilight Zone' creepy feeling knowing that we are surrounded by so many people who just refuse or who are unable to acknowledge reality.

Does anyone else here ever feel like that?

It bothers me somewhat when I get that feeling although I know that there isn't anything that I can do about it. Knowing that there is nothing I can do to change that is just how I deal with it although I find that it's still unsettling...

It bothers me that atheism is the only "religious" belief that is still taboo.

Even the Clinton's opposition research team thought about highlighting Bernie Sanders' atheism but not his Judaism. (To their credit, they didn't do it.)
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Old 26th September 2017, 12:53 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
If someone's happier while they're drunk, should we make sure they're drunk all the time?
You seem to think that I'm defending the opium of the people. I'm not.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th September 2017, 01:25 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
Delusion? I'm talking about science here.
Science has got nothing to do with your ideas.
Science will tell you this:

Why proper housing, irrigation (= food on the table) and health care solve the problem of religious superstition.
Why the abolishment of poverty solves the problem of people believing in witchcraft.
How children taken hostage in Beslan invented (and reinvented) religion.
What makes people need (and consequently makes them fall for) fortune tellers.
What James Randi has to say about the need to believe.
How lack of control leads to superstition.
How access to proper health care is a precondition for discarding witchcraft.
How even educated terminal cancer patients choose to disregard what the MD tells them (i.e. their need to believe).
(And no, this is still not in defence of religion!)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 26th September 2017 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 26th September 2017, 01:32 PM   #28
dann
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PS And how religion is slowly dying out in Scandinavia. (Read Society without God by Phil Zuckerman)
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th September 2017, 01:37 PM   #29
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It bothers me that as a species so many humans are still so primitive with magical thinking. It should be something we outgrew centuries ago.
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Old 26th September 2017, 01:52 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Not me. I understand the appeal of that sort of thinking very well. I've been an atheist for at least 25 years and even now sometimes I can feel my brain trying to imagine a way out of mortality. Sometimes I even play-pretend to be going along with the fantasy... it has a very soothing effect.

Stupid brain.

You agreed with Ziggurat earlier, and were somewhat freaked. Now I'm going to agree with you too - double-freaked?

Atheism and deep skepticism and all the rest is actually quite disturbing, in a way. Die ... lights off ... nothing left ... absence. The brain can't picture that and tries to reject it.

Plus, people seem to have fun with their psi and vibes and crap. There's not much fun in the opposing camp
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Old 26th September 2017, 02:01 PM   #31
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It annoys me more than it bothers me, but the more I internalize this, the more I become a sort of pessimistic that people who want to believe what they want to believe, will continue to do so, and that I shouldn't bother wasting one second trying to convince anyone of anything, since in the end, doing so is perhaps nothing more but an attempt of my own ego to feel validated at convincing other people of what I personally believe, even if I have every single reason to think that I'm right.
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Old 26th September 2017, 03:17 PM   #32
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No, it doesn't bother me. I got over that years ago. I'll engage with someone if they directly engage me, but otherwise I let it slide. I've got much more important and immediate things to be bothered about.
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Old 26th September 2017, 03:27 PM   #33
desmirelle
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I've been an Atheist and a skeptic for most of my adult life. From time to time, I get this kinda surreal 'Twilight Zone' creepy feeling knowing that we are surrounded by so many people who just refuse or who are unable to acknowledge reality.

Does anyone else here ever feel like that?

It bothers me somewhat when I get that feeling although I know that there isn't anything that I can do about it. Knowing that there is nothing I can do to change that is just how I deal with it although I find that it's still unsettling...
If fretting over other people's belief systems is your worst problem, you are one lucky person.

Also, it's not your problem unless they're in your face about it, so let it go. *cue song*
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Old 26th September 2017, 04:06 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Science has got nothing to do with your ideas.
I consider psychology to be science, do you not?

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Science will tell you this:
Okay it looks like these are all just links to other posts you've made. At a glance it doesn't look like any of them contradict what I said.

For example, I said:

Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
Once we make a decision (and then make up a reason about why we made that decision, which may or may not have anything to do with why we *actually* made the decision) we will generally defend it even when faced with conflicting evidence. This drive is so strong people will end up believing something MORE when they are shown that it is false in many cases.
This is a fact, and none of your links seem to say anything to contradict it. If we magically got rid of belief in witchcraft and magic and religion our brains would still work this way, and that would still cause problems.
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Old 26th September 2017, 05:32 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I have had a realization of sorts. It has taken me many years to reach this conclusion but it's the only way that I can reconcile this issue in my own mind.

"People actually want to believe the B.S."

I am now convinced that many people prefer to believe in nonsense rather than to search out or accept the truth. I am just not sure that I understand why that is...
You are 100% correct.

Few people are comfortable in the realisation that their pathetically feeble lives have no more meaning than a speck of dust in Saturn's rings, so they want to believe there's something more than one's physical life span. From Buddhism to the sky-daddy to telekinesis to mediums to UFOs, all irrational beliefs promote the idea that the material plane of existence we're in isn't the only one.

They're all crutches in one form or another, because all supernatural beliefs lead to the same door and result in the same crippling of minds.

Would we have had Iraq & A'stan if Dubbya and that scumbag Blair hadn't had their sky-daddy's blessing? Would people read Alex Jones if they could accept they were at the bottom of the food chain because they were born stupid &/or lazy? Would fat chicks go to psychic readings if they were aware they could actually improve their lives through effort?

Much better to believe there's something bigger than one's enemies and overlords.
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Old 26th September 2017, 06:35 PM   #36
Autolite
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Few people are comfortable in the realisation that their pathetically feeble lives have no more meaning than a speck of dust in Saturn's rings, so they want to believe there's something more than one's physical life span. From Buddhism to the sky-daddy to telekinesis to mediums to UFOs, all irrational beliefs promote the idea that the material plane of existence we're in isn't the only one.

They're all crutches in one form or another, because all supernatural beliefs lead to the same door and result in the same crippling of minds.

Would we have had Iraq & A'stan if Dubbya and that scumbag Blair hadn't had their sky-daddy's blessing? Would people read Alex Jones if they could accept they were at the bottom of the food chain because they were born stupid &/or lazy? Would fat chicks go to psychic readings if they were aware they could actually improve their lives through effort?

Much better to believe there's something bigger than one's enemies and overlords.
I haven't yet read all the replies but I think that you've really 'hit the nail on the head' here! The idea or desire that there must be something 'else' just overwhelms all logic and rationality.

I know that when I die, I return to non-existence for an eternity. And I'm perfectly okay with that. It doesn't bother me in the least. I'm not entirely sure why so many people would have such a problem with that. I kinda think that it takes all the pressure off...
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Old 27th September 2017, 05:35 AM   #37
dann
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
I consider psychology to be science, do you not?
Sometimes, not always. That depends on the specific piece of alleged psychological research.
I refer to both psychologists and sociologists in my links above.
Quote:
Okay it looks like these are all just links to other posts you've made. At a glance it doesn't look like any of them contradict what I said.
Links to other posts I've made where I quote and link to other people's research and specific examples of how superstitious delusions arise.
Quote:
For example, I said:
Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
Once we make a decision (and then make up a reason about why we made that decision, which may or may not have anything to do with why we *actually* made the decision) we will generally defend it even when faced with conflicting evidence. This drive is so strong people will end up believing something MORE when they are shown that it is false in many cases.
This is a fact, and none of your links seem to say anything to contradict it. If we magically got rid of belief in witchcraft and magic and religion our brains would still work this way, and that would still cause problems.
No, you may believe that it's a fact, but it isn't - even though you yourself seem to conform to your own hypothesis by believing something even more when confronted with examples that show that you're wrong:
1) Sometimes people make decisions and defend them when faced with conflicting evidence. It is not hard to find examples of this, and you are one of them, but that doesn't justify that you describe it as "generally." Most people make a number of false assumptions on a daily basis and correct them when they find out that they are wrong. (Since I'm hard of hearing, I am likely to say, "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you said …" more than once every day, and that is how people generally think and behave: They are pretty rational creatures most of the time! That is a fact, however much you deny it!)
2) And then there are the things that people need to believe, like, for instance, the idea that people generally defend decisions once they've made them "even when faced with conflicting evidence."
However, in spite of happening frequently, there's nothing general about it, but you've taken this behavior and generalized it to the extent that to you it has now become something that's caused by nature, i.e. brain evolution.
Since you yourself are an obvious case in point, you should ask yourself why this idea is so dear to you in spite of being obviously wrong: If you point out to somebody that they are about to eat a poisonous mushroom that they decided was harmless when they picked it, they don't usually insist that they are right and go ahead and eat it just to prove you wrong. (And I'm not claiming that it doesn't happen, only that it is not a general tendency.) And if somebody is about to walk out in front of a car because they mistook the red light for green, they don't usually insist that you're wrong when you point it out to them what happened!
These are examples that might have occurred to you if you hadn't been so adamant about your false hypothesis, your very alternative 'fact'. So now it would be a good idea for you to consider what causes your apparent need to believe.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 27th September 2017 at 06:03 AM. Reason: to correct grammar :)
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Old 27th September 2017, 05:51 AM   #38
dann
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I haven't yet read all the replies but I think that you've really 'hit the nail on the head' here! The idea or desire that there must be something 'else' just overwhelms all logic and rationality.
No, and you know that that's not the case: The need for religion does not "overwhelm all (!) logic and rationality." Even in the most extreme fanatics, all rationality has not succumbed to religious delusion. Even the members of a suicide cult like Heaven's Gate knew how to cross the street, how to purchase black Nike sneakers and how to earn the money to pay for them. (They appear to have been essential to their imaginary journey to Sirius.) And the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks did not rely on their prayers to Allah to help them kill themselves and a whole lot of others: At least some of them knew that in order to fly a plane into a building, they would need flying (but, of course, not landing) lessons.
Most Christians or Muslims are rational enough to tell the difference between reality and their comforting delusions. Only in very rare and extreme cases do they get them confused.

Quote:
I know that when I die, I return to non-existence for an eternity. And I'm perfectly okay with that. It doesn't bother me in the least. I'm not entirely sure why so many people would have such a problem with that. I kinda think that it takes all the pressure off...
So there you have it! "The idea or desire that there must be something 'else'" doesn't overwhelm "all (!) logic and rationality." You yourself don't believe that!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 27th September 2017, 06:00 AM   #39
dann
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
many people prefer to believe in nonsense rather than to search out or accept the truth. I am just not sure that I understand why that is...
I've answered this above:
Originally Posted by dann View Post
The question that we should ask ourselves is not why people now and then come up with bad ideas, but why so many people choose to hold on to them in spite of the sometimes pretty obvious signs that they are wrong.
However, that question has also been answered - and in recent years the answer has been confirmed in experimental settings: Many people have miserable lives and need religion and superstition as consolation, so if you want to improve their willingness to think straight, you should try to create living conditions that allow them to do so.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 27th September 2017, 06:33 AM   #40
Scorpion
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I've been an Atheist and a skeptic for most of my adult life. From time to time, I get this kinda surreal 'Twilight Zone' creepy feeling knowing that we are surrounded by so many people who just refuse or who are unable to acknowledge reality.

Does anyone else here ever feel like that?

It bothers me somewhat when I get that feeling although I know that there isn't anything that I can do about it. Knowing that there is nothing I can do to change that is just how I deal with it although I find that it's still unsettling...
Define reality? And don't tell me about things you can see and feel because everything is an illusion.
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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