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Old 08-06-2014, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
5,834 posts, read 4,536,707 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~PaperMoon~ View Post
That's why I don't listen to skeptics because they are just as blind as they accuse believers of being. They think because they can spout out science that that somehow excludes them from being blind and in denial. Even when something IS real, it will never be real for skeptics.
You're placing all people who express skepticism in one bucket and assigning beliefs to them based on your prejudices. It's called black and white thinking, or in psychology, splitting, and it's the basis of a straw man argument that I've heard many times in this forum. You're painting "skeptics" with a broad brush.

Try this:

"That's why I don't listen to Republicans because they are just as blind as they accuse Democrats of being. They think because they can spout out their beliefs that that somehow excludes them from being blind and in denial. Even when the opposite belief IS true, it will never be true for Republicans. "

Now replace Republicans with Democrats, and Democrats with Republicans in the passage. Or Republicans with scientists and Democrats with mediums. Since many of my posts in this forum are from a skeptical point of view, that must mean by now you've moved on to another post since you never listen to "those kind of people" ... meaning people like me. "You know how THOSE people are..." How do you suppose that makes skeptics like me feel when we post here? Welcome? Accepted?

It's not a black and white world, and few skeptics are 100% skeptical about everything. I suspect many people in this forum don't understand this, based on the reaction I've seen to some of the more skeptical posts here. And plenty of so-called "believers" are blind to the possibility that they just might be dead wrong about their beliefs.

Here is an example: when I was studying the environmental sciences as a grad student in a major eastern university, a fellow grad student and I approached a well-know ecologist (the science, not the activist movement) in the department about possibly doing an ecological study of Loch Ness to see if it might support a large vertebrate (if nothing else, it would have been a great place to try some single malts). He told us he thought that would be a hard sell, but opening a file cabinet drawer he showed us his collection of sasquatch research materials (this was in 1976, by the way) ... he thought the ecosystem in the Pacific Northwest could very well support a large undiscovered primate breeding population.

Did he take a skeptical, scientific approach to things? You bet ... so have all the scientists I've known over the years. But many of them are open to the possibility that we don't know everything under the sun ... not all are radical materialists, and many of them have religious or spiritual beliefs in spite of their "skepticism".

Last edited by Vasily; 08-06-2014 at 09:41 PM..
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:42 AM
 
7 posts, read 4,282 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasily View Post
Yeah, it's called the Semmelweis Reflex, and the stronger the belief in a paradigm, the less likely it is that the observer will accept data that conflict with his paradigm. It's a way of dealing with cognitive dissonance and it cuts both ways: the skeptic defends his belief in a rational world by not seeing the levitation, the true believer defends his belief in the paranormal by imagining a mystical mist. There's also group dynamics going on when you have a bunch of people observing an event that can affect perceptions. An interesting article on conceptual conservatism:

COGNITIV
I'm still reading the link you shared. Thanks for sharing it because it is very interesting. It's tempting to think "I'm the exception" to the effect of conceptual conservatism but this paper makes a strong case to the contrary.
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