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  #1  
Old 25th December 2017, 08:08 AM
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Default How To Convince Someone When Facts Fail

Scientific American

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Have you ever noticed that when you present people with facts that are contrary to their deepest held beliefs they always change their minds? Me neither. In fact, people seem to double down on their beliefs in the teeth of overwhelming evidence against them. The reason is related to the worldview perceived to be under threat by the conflicting data.
Creationists, for example, dispute the evidence for evolution in fossils and DNA because they are concerned about secular forces encroaching on religious faith. Antivaxxers distrust big pharma and think that money corrupts medicine, which leads them to believe that vaccines cause autism despite the inconvenient truth that the one and only study claiming such a link was retracted and its lead author accused of fraud. The 9/11 truthers focus on minutiae like the melting point of steel in the World Trade Center buildings that caused their collapse because they think the government lies and conducts “false flag” operations to create a New World Order. Climate deniers study tree rings, ice cores and the ppm of greenhouse gases because they are passionate about freedom, especially that of markets and industries to operate unencumbered by restrictive government regulations. Obama birthers desperately dissected the president's long-form birth certificate in search of fraud because they believe that the nation's first African-American president is a socialist bent on destroying the country.
And so it goes...

Proposed solution is simple, and fairly commonsense.
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Old 25th December 2017, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: How To Convince Someone When Facts Fail

Except it often does not work.

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6 try to show how changing facts does not necessarily mean changing worldviews.
Which sort of defeats the purpose. Even if you get someone to accept AGW, if they still have the same world view, then their behaviour will not change.

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2 discuss, don't attack (no ad hominem and no ad Hitlerum)
Well, of course, but people who emotionally invest in certain ideas will view a challenge to their paradigms as a personal attack anyway. That is the conundrum.

The best hope I think, in combating hostility to science and the habit of pseudo-science is to reduce the threat level. Science works whatever you believe, so long as procedures and methods are followed, because science is reality-agnostic, by definition. One experiments because there are no a priori truths. This is the opposite of faith, be that faith in gods, UFO's or conspiracy "theories".
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  #3  
Old 26th December 2017, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: How To Convince Someone When Facts Fail

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The Irreverent Mr Black said View Post
Scientific American



And so it goes...

Proposed solution is simple, and fairly commonsense.
I wonder whether the same solution would convince him that a historical Jesus is not a "fact" at all, but is weak evidence relying on fictional Bible stories? He seems convinced that Jeebus walked the earth and said the things recorded of him in the Bible. Methinks it would take a hell of a lot of evidence to convince him that the "Jesus of Nazareth" probably never existed.


What about religious truths?
Quote:
The proposition that Jesus was crucified may be true by historical validation, inasmuch as a man whom we refer to as Jesus of Nazareth probably existed, the Romans routinely crucified people for even petty crimes, and most biblical scholars—even those who are atheists or agnostics, such as renowned religious studies professor Bart Ehrman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—assent to this fact.

Last edited by SEG; 26th December 2017 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 26th December 2017, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: How To Convince Someone When Facts Fail

Religion is one part of it, SEG, and Jeebus is a subset of that part.

Too many people these days are not "on the payroll of", but working for free, for Big Stupid.
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Old 27th December 2017, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: How To Convince Someone When Facts Fail

Facts or data that contradict a conspiracy theory are simply more evidence of the extent of the conspiracy to a diehard conspiracy theorist.

I try to find common ground with a conspiracy theorist, in terms of their justifiable distrust (which I share to some extent) of government, corporations, law enforcement authorities and the media. Then I try to find flaws in the theory that don’t rely on trusting government, corporations, law enforcement authorities and the media.

I wouldn’t even try to convince people that large scale conspiracies are impossible.

The horrendous abuse occurring within the Catholic Church, for example, was successfully kept quiet for decades when a lot of people knew about it. I tend to talk about my own attitude towards conspiracy theories, that they are possible when you have a lot of people acting in their own interests, without the need for a coordinated large-scale deception.

Find some common ground, then try to explain why I think some conspiracy theories are dubious and some conspiracy theories are just fanciful.

Sometimes what is really going on in the world is far nastier and more corrupt than the conspiracy theories anyway. In the case of 9/11 conspiracy theories, for example, I tell people that it's just a distraction from the real conspiracy: the wobbly old WOMD conspiracy.
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Old 27th December 2017, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: How To Convince Someone When Facts Fail

Globalisation is a spherical Earthist deception.
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Old 28th December 2017, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: How To Convince Someone When Facts Fail

Quote:
SEG said View Post
Quote:
The Irreverent Mr Black said View Post
Scientific American



And so it goes...

Proposed solution is simple, and fairly commonsense.
I wonder whether the same solution would convince him that a historical Jesus is not a "fact" at all, but is weak evidence relying on fictional Bible stories? He seems convinced that Jeebus walked the earth and said the things recorded of him in the Bible. Methinks it would take a hell of a lot of evidence to convince him that the "Jesus of Nazareth" probably never existed.


What about religious truths?
Quote:
The proposition that Jesus was crucified may be true by historical validation, inasmuch as a man whom we refer to as Jesus of Nazareth probably existed, the Romans routinely crucified people for even petty crimes, and most biblical scholars—even those who are atheists or agnostics, such as renowned religious studies professor Bart Ehrman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—assent to this fact.
SEG there are many things in life which require some form of conclusion or belief about a past or future state of affairs. Of course everything which we say about the past can only be an approximate prediction, backed, or not backed, by evidence, and that evidence may have lower or higher probative value.
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  #8  
Old 28th December 2017, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: How To Convince Someone When Facts Fail

Never mind bogging down in the historic - what the fuck good is he now?

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  #9  
Old 28th December 2017, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: How To Convince Someone When Facts Fail

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wadaye said View Post
SEG there are many things in life which require some form of conclusion or belief about a past or future state of affairs. Of course everything which we say about the past can only be an approximate prediction, backed, or not backed, by evidence, and that evidence may have lower or higher probative value.
Correct, Wadaye. That's why I object to people like Ehrman saying stuff like, "But as a historian I think evidence matters. And the past matters. And for anyone to whom both evidence and the past matter, a dispassionate consideration of the case makes it quite plain: Jesus did exist. He may not have been the Jesus that your mother believes in or the Jesus of the stained-glass window or the Jesus of your least favorite televangelist or the Jesus proclaimed by the Vatican, the Southern Baptist Convention, the local megachurch, or the California Gnostic. But he did exist, and we can say a few things, with relative certainty, about him."

Plus Michael Shermer, the founder of the Skeptics Society, being unskeptical of Ehrmans assertions of "fact";
Quote:
The proposition that Jesus was crucified may be true by historical validation, inasmuch as a man whom we refer to as Jesus of Nazareth probably existed, the Romans routinely crucified people for even petty crimes, and most biblical scholars—even those who are atheists or agnostics, such as renowned religious studies professor Bart Ehrman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—assent to this fact.
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  #10  
Old 28th December 2017, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: How To Convince Someone When Facts Fail

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The Irreverent Mr Black said View Post
Never mind bogging down in the historic - what the fuck good is he now?
Well he made a fucking great whipping boy for Mel Gibson for a start. Singing about Jesus in JC Superstar only made about $US 24.5 Mill at the box office. Give him a good whipping, and subsequent Christian hard-ons made it sky rocket to $US 612 Mill. - Mel didn't spare the sauce to chalk up more pre-ticket sales than any other movie in history.


Last edited by SEG; 28th December 2017 at 10:52 PM.
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