Friday, October 31, 2008

Why We Believe?

An article came out in Newsweek today called "Why We Believe". An interesting although abreviated article with citations from people like Mike Shermer. It is appropriate for two reasons. One Halloween is today Friday the 31 and two we have a V.P. candidate who believes in creationism, armageddon and all sorts of silliness. What is interesting that even very sophisticated people like doctors can believe and act on BS. It is the way the mind works and "Normal" is not us critical thinkers but the vast majority who believe in BS, ie. ghosts, gods, demons, reincarnation and the like. That is to say belief requires a open mind, that is not bound by evidence of the senses, but emotions such as "hope and despair can trump the evidence." The higher regions of the mind that critically analyize evidence are shortcircuited by the emotions and override the senses leading to seeing ghosts, hearing voices and general gullibility. It goes on to further say that is is 80% or more of the population that work on such levels of the mind. They don't have an analytic scientific mind, but a emotional gullible mind. It also explains why politicians are elected not based on issues but on emotions related to personality. It is insightful and also depressing to me emotionally. It that is the case then what of our future as a movement or indeed of our species? Chew on that for awhile.
Remember November 15, 7 pm at CFM for the Minot Skeptical Society Meeting.

Skeptical DoDi

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