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I've heard a variety of reasons given for why people are so gullible, especially on subjects which should be obvious (flat earth, moon landings, cults etc), from poor education, to charismatic people leading others astray, to scam artists in it for the money, to a great heaping of trolls having a laugh. Is there any single underlying reason to it all or is it just a combination of many thing? 

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People like to think they have one-up on everyone else. "I know the REAL truth" sort of thing. It is am imaginary way to feel significant in a world where most of us are just replaceable cogs. A crude analogy is wanking to pretty celebrities. It is another form of self-pleasure. Just my opinion, but I think a lot of political rallies are like this.

 

It also comes back to remote possibility versus probability, and landing on the remote one as The Truth™

 

I do repair work on network and telephone cabling in some old county buildings, one of which holds mental health offices. I walked in with my bag of tools and a lady piped up "HE'S WITH THE CIA! HE'S HERE TO SPY ON MY SESSION, TRUST ME, I KNOW THESE THINGS." I wanted to say "Nah, we went wireless with satellites back in the 60s" but the staff probably wouldn't have appreciated it. 

 

A buddy of mine works with similar folks, and has asked a few seriously "You really think you're that important?" Some of them get what he's saying, others are too far gone enjoying the fantasy.

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8 hours ago, Wertbag said:

I've heard a variety of reasons given for why people are so gullible, especially on subjects which should be obvious (flat earth, moon landings, cults etc), from poor education, to charismatic people leading others astray, to scam artists in it for the money, to a great heaping of trolls having a laugh. Is there any single underlying reason to it all or is it just a combination of many thing? 

 

There are many possible external factors as you have identified.  Internal influences include intellectual laziness or dishonesty, ego and lack of curiosity.

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19 hours ago, Wertbag said:

I've heard a variety of reasons given for why people are so gullible, especially on subjects which should be obvious (flat earth, moon landings, cults etc), from poor education, to charismatic people leading others astray, to scam artists in it for the money, to a great heaping of trolls having a laugh. Is there any single underlying reason to it all or is it just a combination of many thing? 

 

Hi Wertbag

 

I can only speak about the people that I know of that happen to be caught by all of those things and more.

 

According to research there is a correlation between a person believing one false thing without good evidence and them believing other false things.

 

For example the people I know are religious, believe the bible literally, (6,000 year old earth, 6 day creation, Noah's flood, talking donkey's - the whole thing), and they also went through a 'earth is flat' period which they overcame. I think they couldn't quite make themselves believe that every space agency on earth was in on that conspiracy. Moon landings - were very much hoaxers… but I think they've come round on that one. They still think JFK was wasted by some secret cabal of some sort, and 9/11 was done by the US government. (Sorry Osama, no credit to you and you're bros)

 

Underlying all this (for these folk) is a deep distrust of government, humanity etc because of their religious convictions, especially regarding prophesies in Revelations about one world governments etc. Thus everything is a conspiracy. Immigrants and refugees is an evil plan to wipe out western civilisation, the UN is part of a global plan to destroy god etc. These core belief's underlie everything. Thus they reject things like evolution, climate change, moon landings etc. Every government left of their political pole is communist.

 

You probably have the picture now.

 

How that ties in with the entire population who believe similar things I don't know. However I don't think its a single thing, I think you'll find its a combination, with different things being a more important factor than others for different people.

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2 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

According to research there is a correlation between a person believing one false thing without good evidence and them believing other false things

That makes a lot of sense. Indoctrination into a religion involves teaching people to believe in plans and control by powers greater than yourself, to believe in magical/non-logical events as facts and to set a "us vs them" mentality. Those very same themes are the basis of most conspiracy theories. 

 

If you are taught to accept the ridiculous from birth, then other ridiculous beliefs seem reasonable.

 

It would be interesting to see statistics of the upbringing of conspiracy nuts. 

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10 hours ago, Wertbag said:

 

It would be interesting to see statistics of the upbringing of conspiracy nuts. 

I'd also be interested in knowing what kind of an education they had. 

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One interesting article I came across supports the idea that the religious make up the majority of conspiracy theorists "According to the research, 52 percent of flat-Earthers say they are “very religious” and 23 percent are somewhat religious—a far greater number than non-religious flat-Earthers." from https://relevantmagazine.com/issues/issue-97/conspiracy/

It also said that control of our lives is a major factor. We have little control over our environment, and bad things happen to good people. We try to explain why the world is as we see, lacking justice and purpose. That gap can be filled with religion, supernatural and conspiracy. If the horror is too big it needs an equally big cause. 

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2 hours ago, Wertbag said:

One interesting article I came across supports the idea that the religious make up the majority of conspiracy theorists "According to the research, 52 percent of flat-Earthers say they are “very religious” and 23 percent are somewhat religious—a far greater number than non-religious flat-Earthers." from https://relevantmagazine.com/issues/issue-97/conspiracy/

It also said that control of our lives is a major factor. We have little control over our environment, and bad things happen to good people. We try to explain why the world is as we see, lacking justice and purpose. That gap can be filled with religion, supernatural and conspiracy. If the horror is too big it needs an equally big cause. 

 

Yes this ties back to what we were saying about how people who believe one thing without sufficient evidence or bad reasoning (Or emotion) are likely to believe other things without good evidence.

 

This goes into stuff as simple as simply accepting the claim that Fish Oil is good for you and will keep your heart healthy? Evidence for this? There is none. Early studies were promising, but subsequent studies have shown that taking fish oil pills will not increase your heart health. Yet it's a billion dollar industry that survives because people believe it helps them.

 

As for the upbringing, I can only say of the people I was talking about that they had 'light' religious upbringing, but in teens/ early 20's got exposed to heavy fundie ideas. Education was high school level, but they show a remarkable ability to spout what scientists are saying about one thing, but completely reject the science on subjects like evolution, geography, astronomy, climate change etc, largely because these things conflict with either religious or ideological beliefs.

 

(Climate change is an interesting one - these people are very much end times apocalypse, world is ending types which I would have thought CC would 'prove' that the world was going to hell. But I think because of the left/right political divide when it comes to CC because they are hard conservatives they reject what would be something in line with Revelations. These are the same conservatives that abhor immoral behaviour, but think Trump is a godsend... go figure. Weird. Sad. Covefee.)

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2 hours ago, Wertbag said:

"According to the research, 52 percent of flat-Earthers say they are “very religious” and 23 percent are somewhat religious—a far greater number than non-religious flat-Earthers."

 

How many of the other 25% are those who say, "I'm not religious; it's a relationship"? ;)

 

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On 7/23/2019 at 6:15 PM, LogicalFallacy said:

 

(Climate change is an interesting one - these people are very much end times apocalypse, world is ending types which I would have thought CC would 'prove' that the world was going to hell. But I think because of the left/right political divide when it comes to CC because they are hard conservatives they reject what would be something in line with Revelations. These are the same conservatives that abhor immoral behaviour, but think Trump is a godsend... go figure. Weird. Sad. Covefee.)

 

I think another complicating factor here is that much of the evidence for climate change relies on tenets of mainstream science which are generally held to be in doubt by this crowd. Data from ice cores? Pfft. The universe is only 6000 years old. Clearly that can't be trusted. And so on, and so forth. If you talk to an actual scientist about climate change for more than about 5 minutes, you will run into facts which are contradictory to a YEC worldview. This makes considering climate change seriously very problematic for a lot of fundies.

 

I completely agree,  btw, that once you've embraced a fundamentalist worldview,  other crackpot ideas come much more easily.  I think it has largely to do with the fact that to be a fundy is inherently to distrust the establishment. Once you start down that road, it's difficult to know where to stop. And keep in mind that I'm speaking directly from personal experience here. Studying physics as a fundy was...challenging.

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29 minutes ago, disillusioned said:

 

I think another complicating factor here is that much of the evidence for climate change relies on tenets of mainstream science which are generally held to be in doubt by this crowd. Data from ice cores? Pfft. The universe is only 6000 years old. Clearly that can't be trusted. And so on, and so forth. If you talk to an actual scientist about climate change for more than about 5 minutes, you will run into facts which are contradictory to a YEC worldview. This makes considering climate change seriously very problematic for a lot of fundies.

 

I completely agree,  btw, that once you've embraced a fundamentalist worldview,  other crackpot ideas come much more easily.  I think it has largely to do with the fact that to be a fundy is enherently to distrust the establishment. Once you start down that road, it's difficult to know where to stop. And keep in mind that I'm speaking directly from personal experience here. Studying physics as a fundy was...challenging.

 

True, however they often can shoehorn in ideas while rejecting the underlying science. For example they accept plate tectonics as an explanation for earthquakes etc while rejecting the age of earth and time scales required to move continents. They agree with Pangea, but claim the flood broke it all apart. That's what I find bemusing. I expected similar shoehorning with CC, but because of the political issue they go the outright rejection path, although some of them have been hinting that 'its happening, but mankind has no effect' route. Also they think Climate change is a UN funded plan to wipe out western civilisation with immigration from 'climate refugees' from mainly poor countries with brown coloured people. Weird the shit I used to be involved in. I feel dumb! :P :D 

 

 

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10 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

True, however they often can shoehorn in ideas while rejecting the underlying science. For example they accept plate tectonics as an explanation for earthquakes etc while rejecting the age of earth and time scales required to move continents. They agree with Pangea, but claim the flood broke it all apart. That's what I find bemusing. I expected similar shoehorning with CC, but because of the political issue they go the outright rejection path, although some of them have been hinting that 'its happening, but mankind has no effect' route. Also they think Climate change is a UN funded plan to wipe out western civilisation with immigration from 'climate refugees' from mainly poor countries with brown coloured people. Weird the shit I used to be involved in. I feel dumb! :P :D 

 

 

 

Some good observations here. It's definitely true that they like to pick and choose parts of science to accept,  when they think it goes their narrative. 

 

Now that I think about it,  a lot of Christians take a similar approach to Christianity. Homosexuality? Abhorrent, obviously. Retaining personal wealth? Just being fiscally responsible. They seem to like quite a few things a la carte.

 

Now, what I have noticed with respect to climate change is that some fundys will say "yes,  the climate is changing,  but it has always been changing throughout history.  This is natural!" In other words,  rejecting that carbon emissions play a role. Of course,  this makes less than no sense,  particularly on a 6000 year time scale,  but there it is.  I think this might be partly because they don't want to take responsibility,  and partly because they don't believe that humans are powerful enough to make that kind of fundamental change to our environment. It seems a little "godlike", in a certain sense. 

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3 hours ago, disillusioned said:

Now that I think about it,  a lot of Christians take a similar approach to Christianity. Homosexuality? Abhorrent, obviously. Retaining personal wealth? Just being fiscally responsible. They seem to like quite a few things a la carte.

 

That's what I always thought when I read about the inquisitions. How could anyone torture another "for Jesus"? But they justified it by thinking God was going to do this to the heretics anyway, and they might repent while being tortured. It's insane where our brains will go when we make myths a trusted and unquestioned foundational part of life. I guess that was obvious by looking at the religious monuments that survive from the past, and were built by hand. I still hear echoes of the "kill 'em for Jesus" in some Southern states Christians.

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One suggestion I heard was there is a group evolutionary trait that some men are adventurous while others are not. In a natural state the adventurous types explore and find new resources, while having a high risk/high mortality. The safe group stay home and provide more direct support for their tribe and live longer. Either group by itself would be a disaster, but together they work in synergy for the best social result. 

What if those born with the adventurous genes survived better in the wilderness by being paranoid and seeing danger everywhere, while the safe group take a more thoughtful approach. Jump to modern day where the exploring and threats are no longer an issue, but the left over mentality makes you lean one way or the other. 

I thought it was an interesting idea but I can't imagine anyway to test it. 

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It's my humble opinion that it at least partially revolves around suffering. Not all suffering, mind you, but the trust-breaking kind. And everyone is different and at varying degrees of intelligence, plus we all deal with things in different ways, so it's just a cluster. For me, personally, I am deeply skeptical of many things because the world has proven itself to regularly not be what you think it is. I will spare you the sob story, but I watched my mom be fucking fake my whole life. She was an angel to everyone around me and satan to me and my siblings. I've seen too many "it's not as it seems" stories, but it's backed up with personal pain. 

 

Pair that with my personal belief that we're all just shit-slinging monkeys who have no idea what we're doing and claiming that we "while we were wrong before, we now know _______ to be true....now". It's all bullshit, all of it lol. We are incredibly fascinating creatures, our capacity to learn and innovate based on our surroundings is sweet. But seriously, look at everything you believe. It's just unique experiences and environments that shape us, paired with a healthy serving of confirmation bias and the belief that we're better than we are.

 

That being said, there is some funny shit to watch online. 

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On 7/22/2019 at 10:32 PM, LogicalFallacy said:

 

 

Underlying all this (for these folk) is a deep distrust of government, humanity etc because of their religious convictions, especially regarding prophesies in Revelations about one world governments etc. Thus everything is a conspiracy. Immigrants and refugees is an evil plan to wipe out western civilisation, the UN is part of a global plan to destroy god etc. These core belief's underlie everything. Thus they reject things like evolution, climate change, moon landings etc. Every government left of their political pole is communist.

 

 

 

I realize you don't live in the U.S , but , despite being no longer a Christian, it hasn't made me start trusting our government.  Hell no!  And I am not fond of illegals and refugees. I don't like diversity, but then again the Japanese don't either, and they are not Christians.  Just wanted to point that out.  It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with one's religion.  As far as some of the things   you mention, prove them.   You can't.  So , it is up to faith to believe them just like a religion and a god.  

 

You are not gullible if you don't believe something that nobody can prove to you, you are only gullible if you believe something that nobody can prove .  I think this is your logical fallacy here 🙂   

 

Oh, I am open to discuss climate change, but it's probably not a topic to be discussed here?  Before I became a farmer, I was a engineer, have a degree in environmental engineering and still have my license...so I am not an idiot 🙂   

 

uh oh....is this the start of the countdown when Jane gets kicked off this forum......

 

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37 minutes ago, Jane said:

uh oh....is this the start of the countdown when Jane gets kicked off this forum......

 

Highly unlikely - Dave's bar for kicking people off the forum is exceptionally high.

 

You can basically peddle whatever belief you like as long as its in the appropriate forum.

 

We can discuss climate change in the Science forum if you want to start a topic there.

 

However not you are responding to a post in which I was pointing out some similar themes in people who believe stuff which is completely unreasonable to believe. It's not a catch-all for everyone who doesn't believe the same things I do.

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39 minutes ago, Jane said:

 

I realize you don't live in the U.S , but , despite being no longer a Christian, it hasn't made me start trusting our government.  Hell no!  And I am not fond of illegals and refugees. I don't like diversity, but then again the Japanese don't either, and they are not Christians.  Just wanted to point that out.  It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with one's religion.  As far as some of the things   you mention, prove them.   You can't.  So , it is up to faith to believe them just like a religion and a god.  

 

You are not gullible if you don't believe something that nobody can prove to you, you are only gullible if you believe something that nobody can prove .  I think this is your logical fallacy here 🙂   

 

Oh, I am open to discuss climate change, but it's probably not a topic to be discussed here?  Before I became a farmer, I was a engineer, have a degree in environmental engineering and still have my license...so I am not an idiot 🙂   

 

uh oh....is this the start of the countdown when Jane gets kicked off this forum......

 

 

This could be fun. 

 

I think if you're expecting to get kicked off,  you'll have to do quite a bit more than this. Having said that,  this is getting political, and such discussions are usually held in "Totally off Topic". This is by the by,  as far as I'm concerned; I don't care one way out the other. Just fyi.

 

For the rest, I'll let LF respond. He's more than capable of taking care of himself.  But it bears noting that I don't see how LF committed the fallacy you alleged him to have committed. I just don't follow what you're saying there.

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29 minutes ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

 

We can discuss climate change in the Science forum if you want to start a topic there.

 

However not you are responding to a post in which I was pointing out some similar themes in people who believe stuff which is completely unreasonable to believe. It's not a catch-all for everyone who doesn't believe the same things I do.

 

I think the Church of Global Warming is completely unreasonable to believe , sorry...and I am saying this as someone that had a job very directly related to climate and weather , and the almighty EPA  

Maybe I should just send you a link to a forum this type of stuff gets discussed all the time, so I don't have to repost everything. Or maybe I will just stick to religion here and not make enemies ?  I think maybe I will just stick to religion here. There are some interesting people here and I would like to stay. 

  In my experience, people react badly when their most sacred believes are attacked. You should understand that.  Christians most of the time do not appreciate if you point out the mistakes in the Bible, or that God is an asshole.  Same goes for other issues people "feel" strongly about.  None of this has anything to do with science btw.   Science works like this: you have a hypothesis , you do experiments, you have control groups, and then you find out if your hypothesis is correct or not.   It does not work by repeating a lie often enough until people believe it for ulterior motives. 

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36 minutes ago, disillusioned said:

 

This could be fun. 

 

I think if you're expecting to get kicked off,  you'll have to do quite a bit more than this. Having said that,  this is getting political, and such discussions are usually held in "Totally off Topic". This is by the by,  as far as I'm concerned; I don't care one way out the other. Just fyi.

 

For the rest, I'll let LF respond. He's more than capable of taking care of himself.  But it bears noting that I don't see how LF committed the fallacy you alleged him to have committed. I just don't follow what you're saying there.

 

 

I got kicked off an atheist forum the very first day I joined for not agreeing with them on some issues like that.  That's why I said that. 


It is not logical to believe something that you cannot prove. That's all.  The whole concept of faith always bothered me as a Christian.  It's amazing how self deluded I must have been at one point.  

 If you were not there and saw it for yourself , nor can you repeat some experiment that comes out the same way ( like verifying gravity on earth for example) , and all you have is someone else's word for it that it is true , it is not necessarily true.  They could lie to you, they could be mistaken.  Make sense now?    He gave the example of the earth being flat.  I KNOW for a fact the earth is not flat. A simple proof would be surveying works and it take curvature of the earth into account.  Plus you can sort of see it flying from one side of the planet to the other. There is no edge.  Plus nobody gains anything from the earth being round.  So why lie about it?  Many countries have satellites in orbit also.   They work.  There are many ways to prove the earth is not flat is my point.     BUT, at one point in time hundreds of years ago, almost everyone believed the earth was flat and they took this as a fact.  To them, it was true.  Even if they couldn't prove it. Because they did not have proof that it was round.   Nothing is a fact until proven.  That's all.  

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Jane said:

I got kicked off an atheist forum the very first day I joined for not agreeing with them on some issues like that.  That's why I said that. 

 

Some forums do not allow denial of certain topics - that is true. That is not us though.

 

I've gone ahead and posted a topic in the Science forum if you'd like to present your opening argument there

 

I look forward to having a discussion with you. As always everyone is welcome to join in.

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