« on: December 17, 2012, 10:33:25 pm »
But considering this thread unrolled into the familiar "atheism sucks" rather than discussing this particular kind of cognitive dissonance, I'll pass on the rest.
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I agree with you, but the article posted seems to say that even if it's "yes" and "yes", and the guy's credentials check out, we shouldn't trust their knowledge, because we haven't done the experiment ourselves.
The argument that's being made is that in both religion and science, you're only accepting on Faith alone; you don't have direct knowledge. My point is that this is a false equivalence; the scientist has data, evidence, and predictive ability, while the guru does not.
But, I think lots of people's ideas are crazy. If they had evidence, would I recognise it?
The second part brings to mind Yudkowsky's shoelace example. If the expert and you are rational folk who believe each other to be honest then the expert's belief is evidence, yeah? I don't quite know how you go about assessing whether an expert is honest, or whether you need a belief that if a great enough number of experts consider and support an idea that it's likely that it's true.
The first conclusion of this essay is that many of us live in different worlds with different personal belief systems. And, although many of us believe that ours is correct, it is no trivial task to convince others. Once a belief system is developed, it is, almost completely, locked in. The term epistemic closure* has been popular recently. Each of these systems is self-consistent and forms a bubble of epistemic closure. When a person is in one closed belief structure, ideas outside of that structure just seem crazy. Within the structure, things make sense. There is logical consistency and no cognitive dissonance. Trying to believe ideas outside of a belief bubble creates creates ideational tension and is not stable.
The second conclusion of this essay is that most of our fundamental knowledge is not acquired by personal interaction with the world, but is delivered by experts. People cannot just call themselves experts, however, and be experts. The set of experts that Joe trusts has no overlap with the set that Mary trusts. Both Joe and Mary think that the experts outside of their bubble are fanatics, and, possibly, evil.
If we look at the universe as devoid of gods, spirits, morality or higher purpose, just a cold wiff of spinning complications of hydrogen, then what is there to move ourselves by? It's a lonely view.
My only cure thusfar has been momentum and focus. I have Science!, and will carry it out as long as I can. I will observe and learn and poke, I will endure in this pursuit as long as I can, until my perspective is extinguished. If there is more, then looking for it is worthier than just winking out in despair. If there was nothing there anyways, well then it's still the better for having explored it.
I will say, in defense of Hitchens, that he is better than the people responsible for this trainwreck of an article.
A young high school football star, killed in a tragic car accident.
It really makes you think...
A bright young honors student, dead at 17.
It really makes you think...
A loving family man, shot in the street for no reason.
It really makes you think...
No, it doesn't.
What people are really saying when they say that is that "I'm not used to thinking, it makes me stop smiling". Thinking about the consequences of our actions, the realities of life and death, and the bitterness of the inevitable end are hard things. I walk around with a smile, just like anyone else, most of the time. I rarely contemplate these things unless I'm sitting alone in my room. But some days... some days, I do think about it all. And I don't smile. But neither do I frown. I am merely neutral. and if someone asks what I am thinking, and I answer honestly, they think I'm morbid, or gothy, or a real "misery chick". While they believe that I'm fascinated with death, I am merely contemplating the brevity of life and what it is that I can do to make the final curtain less dark and grim. I'm a realist, but also, optimistic that the future is not just a fade to black.
Doktor D. Jennifer Phox,
(the dreadful hours, my first thought to your latest offering was "It really made me think..." a phrase that I have grown weary of in the past few days. So, thanks for reminding me to think.)
"I believe such-and-such"
"Just do the research and you'll see"
Never gets old, does it?
Here’s the problem: we’ve all been played. All of the focus is on the presidential election, in a winner-take-all two party system. And the presidential election is a distraction. It’s been reduced to a numbers game, a horse race where policies don’t matter, and all you have left to do is to pick one out of two. All the work has been done before you enter the voting booth, and that work is aimed at limiting your choices. So this time around, your choice is the evangelical Christian who brags about killing terrorists while making incremental improvements to the economy, or the Mormon robot who’s going to serve as a slave to the bankers and merchants of greed who destroy the economy, or nothing. So you try to pick the lesser of two evils.
I know what people will say. You have to vote on your principles, or nothing will change. When I just look at the issues, I agree: I ought to vote for Jill Stein, whose stand on just about everything agrees with mine. (Don’t tell me about Gary Johnson — I look at his positions and see a selfish moron who’d be worse than Romney). But Jill Stein isn’t going to win, and my vote would be thrown away, and worse, Jill Stein is throwing away her time and effort in a quixotic race that has already been decided. It will be one of two. The two are fixed. Third party candidates are a snare and an illusion.
I’m not saying that we’re doomed, though, just that the presidential race is the wrong place to effect change.
The right place is everywhere else. Maybe the primary campaigns would be better: we need to get candidates in place that don’t require us to hold our noses in order to vote for them. The Republican field is always a race to find the one candidate just crazy enough to satisfy a badly deranged base, while not so obviously crazy as to alienate everyone else, so forget them. The Democrats always seem to be looking for the moderate who won’t really change the system (that would be scary) and who will inspire just enough to squeak into office…but not inspire so much that people will wake up to our problems. I suspect that both parties will fundamentally resist change.
Yes, but I think the opposite may be true of Holist: he has delusions of grandeur.
Nah. Through biological and social luck of the straw, I'm simply smarter than most of you.
It's "luck of the draw," holist.
You say that now, but just wait until they start burrowing into your skin while you sleep and crawling around all night long.
They will leave, but that just means people will think you're crazy when you tell them about it.
I said thank you, walked out of there, and thought...was that at all useful? REALLY? DID I JUST WASTE MY TIME?!? What good advice he gave I was already doing, and the rest contradicted what I'm learning from experiment. So, basically, I'm done with this advice. DONE. I'mma listen to my body, and if I feel good and my blood sugar levels look good, then I'mma do it. Regardless of whatever self proclaimed expert says. DAMN.
I thought he was a doctor. Anyway, you're right. You should stick with your opinion on what's good for you. Don't listen to those secular "doctors" and their "science". You should totally experiment with your metabolism.
These people can help you: http://www.mystickwicks.com