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Author Topic:   A Guide to Creationist Tactics
ringo
Member
Posts: 13313
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 76 of 136 (390119)
03-18-2007 7:18 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by jt
03-18-2007 4:06 PM


Re: cognitive dissonance and belief
jt writes:

They have simply heard arguments, weighed evidence and concluded that one side is dramatically more convincing than the other.

I don't think that's true at all. From what I've seen, creationists reject evolution a priori - without considering the evidence or even knowing what it is.

"Brainwashing" is a very apt term, since they absorb only the sanitized "evidence" offered by creationist sources. The brain is not only scrubbed clean of anything that could change their mind, but also scotch-guarded to prevent any new information from sticking.

It isn't just willful ignorance - it's militant ignorance.


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18767
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 77 of 136 (390128)
03-18-2007 8:08 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by NosyNed
03-18-2007 5:21 PM


Re: weighing evidence
For a large portion of the creationists this is a very inaccurate description.

What you quoted was from JT's comments quoted by PZ. She has yet to use the quotebox or quote feature ... (see comments above).

I think it's time to do so - for the sake of clarity for other posters, and so confusion like this doesn't keep going..


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RAZD
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Posts: 18767
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 78 of 136 (390132)
03-18-2007 8:16 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by princesszin
03-18-2007 4:43 PM


Re: cognitive dissonance and belief
How do you think this cicle can be broken up? He's certainly interested in the topic, since he attacks it. That could be a good sign.

He would need to be willing to discuss it with the condition that he could be wrong. Without that it will be like talking to a "screaming weasel on a pogo stick" (per description from tusko, Message 1 on www.conservapedia.com - What do you think?).


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we are limited in our ability to understand
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RAZD
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Posts: 18767
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 79 of 136 (390140)
03-18-2007 8:46 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by jt
03-18-2007 4:06 PM


Re: cognitive dissonance and belief
Hey JT, welcome back.

Cognitive dissonance does not come from holding beliefs that conflict with reality; it comes from being aware of the conflict. My suspicion is that VenomFangX sincerely believes that the evidence is on his side, and does not suffer from cognitive dissonance at all.

But he is in dissonance -- that is why he has to label evolution a lie to maintain his beliefs. He believes the evidence is on his side because he rejects all the other evidence as lies.

The nature of the most types of fundamentalist philosophy makes it difficult to see alternatives as anything but insane; if someone is a fundamentalist, almost by necessity that person will have an extremely high level of confidence. But this does not mean that fundamentalists have been brainwashed. They have simply heard arguments, weighed evidence and concluded that one side is dramatically more convincing than the other.

It's not simply hearing arguments from both sides and choosing to be a fundamentalist. It's more being bombarded by fundamentalist propaganda along with strong {religious\home\peer} pressure to succumb -- hence the authoritarianism reference and link. Seeing as - in this case - it likely started at a young age and in a protected environment (VenomFangX was likely home-schooled or went to a creationist run school, I'd guess) it does indeed amount to brainwashing.

I don’t think this is an accurate characterization of most fundamentalists.

I agree that it doesn't apply to all fundamentalists, just those where authoritarianism\absolutism comes into the picture.

As an aside, interactions on this discussion board (some even with you!) have converted at least several fundamentalist creationist posters to some variety of evolutionist (myself included), and have likely done the same to many lurkers. I think that most fundamentalists are sufficiently open-minded and rational that they could work through the cognitive dissonance and change their mind if they thought they were in error.

I think those (few on record) that have converted were questioning types of individuals. It only takes one psychologist to change a lightbulb ... if the bulb wants to change.

Compare those that convert to Randman or Herepton: there are some that will never convert, imh(ysa)o, without some kind of intervention.

Thanks.


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we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18767
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 80 of 136 (390149)
03-18-2007 9:02 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by princesszin
03-18-2007 4:08 PM


Re: cognitive dissonance and belief
What I found frightening is that Kabane52 received many comments (several hundred) on his videos. There are quite a few among them such as 'shut up fatty' or something to that effect.

Ah the power of self-righteous aggression.

http://members.shaw.ca/perchaluk/drbob/chapter2.pdf

quote:
But high RWAs typically think they’re way, way better. They are the Holy Ones. They are the Chosen. They are the Righteous. They somehow got a three-for-one special on self-righteousness. And self-righteousness appears to release authoritarian aggression more than anything else.

Despite all the things in scriptures about loving others, forgiving others, leaving punishment to God, and so on, authoritarian followers feel empowered to isolate and segregate, to humiliate, to persecute, to beat, and to kill in the middle of the night, because in their heads they can almost hear the loudspeakers announcing, “Now batting for God’s team, his designated hitter, (their name).”


The militant followers that will gladly fly a plane into a building. It does not matter what the religion is.

Yes it's scary.


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we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by princesszin, posted 03-19-2007 3:22 PM RAZD has responded

  
princesszin
Junior Member (Idle past 3669 days)
Posts: 21
Joined: 03-11-2007


Message 81 of 136 (390260)
03-19-2007 3:22 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by RAZD
03-18-2007 9:02 PM


Re: cognitive dissonance and belief
Hullo RAZD,

Your quote was, "But high RWAs typically think they’re way, way better. They are the Holy Ones. They are the Chosen. They are the Righteous. They somehow got a three-for-one special on self-righteousness. And self-righteousness appears to release authoritarian aggression more than anything else.

Despite all the things in scriptures about loving others, forgiving others, leaving punishment to God, and so on, authoritarian followers feel empowered to isolate and segregate, to humiliate, to persecute, to beat, and to kill in the middle of the night, because in their heads they can almost hear the loudspeakers announcing, “Now batting for God’s team, his designated hitter, (their name).”"

What is RWA?

I always have to think about the film 'Frailty'. Not so much the film itself, more the way people reacted to it. The reactions differ from each other very much.

Andrea


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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princesszin
Junior Member (Idle past 3669 days)
Posts: 21
Joined: 03-11-2007


Message 82 of 136 (390261)
03-19-2007 3:33 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by NosyNed
03-18-2007 5:21 PM


Re: weighing evidence
Hullo Nosy,

You write, "They have been fed some simplistic junk and work very hard to not take any any new information. They repeat what they have been told without thinking it through.

We see a few of these pass through here every month. They are dogmatic, arrogant and not prepared to ask a question or listen to anything said.

On the occasion when one will engage in a give and take they often shy way as soon as they see they are being lead to a conclusion that they don't like.

A common dodge is the "it is just different interpretations of the evidence". However, when asked to supply the base evidence and give a detailed interpretation explaining it they duck and run. None of them have EVER actually worked through an "alternative" explanation that considers even a small part of the total evidence."

I agree completely (the quote wasn't from me).

As you've already told me on the forum (and summarised it here, too) this is the biggest problem with creationists.

I'm still trying to figure out how one could break this cycle (I'm sorry for spelling it wrong the first time, I corrected it).

There are so many different things that add up. It's a kind of ignorant child of an ignorant education politics, it seems to me.

Andrea


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princesszin
Junior Member (Idle past 3669 days)
Posts: 21
Joined: 03-11-2007


Message 83 of 136 (390262)
03-19-2007 3:39 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by ringo
03-18-2007 7:18 PM


Re: cognitive dissonance and belief
Hullo Ringo!

You wrote, "I don't think that's true at all. From what I've seen, creationists reject evolution a priori - without considering the evidence or even knowing what it is.

"Brainwashing" is a very apt term, since they absorb only the sanitized "evidence" offered by creationist sources. The brain is not only scrubbed clean of anything that could change their mind, but also scotch-guarded to prevent any new information from sticking.

It isn't just willful ignorance - it's militant ignorance."

Yes. Here's another example. There was a person who told me that everyone was atheist around him and he became a Christian later on. He believes that he was running away from Christianity and that's why he believed in atheism.

But now he knows that evolution is not true, because he likes it much better that we were created, than that something comes from nothing.

Andrea


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18767
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 84 of 136 (390337)
03-19-2007 9:22 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by princesszin
03-19-2007 3:22 PM


Re: cognitive dissonance and belief
What is RWA?

Sorry, should have explained that. The book uses that as short-hand for "Right-Wing Authoritarian"

http://members.shaw.ca/perchaluk/drbob/chapter1.pdf

quote:
Authoritarian followers usually support the established authorities in their society, such as government officials and traditional religious leaders. Such people have historically been the “proper” authorities in life, the time-honored, entitled, customary leaders, and that means a lot to most authoritarians. Psychologically these followers have personalities featuring:
1) a high degree of submission to the established, legitimate authorities in their society;
2) high levels of aggression in the name of their authorities; and
3) a high level of conventionalism.
Because the submission occurs to traditional authority, I call these followers rightwing authoritarians.

He also notes that you can be politically liberal and still have RWA tendencies.


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we are limited in our ability to understand
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... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.

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princesszin
Junior Member (Idle past 3669 days)
Posts: 21
Joined: 03-11-2007


Message 85 of 136 (390820)
03-22-2007 7:29 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by RAZD
03-19-2007 9:22 PM


Re: cognitive dissonance and belief
Hi RAZD,

Thanks for your reply.

I'm definitely A, if not RWA. And I'm conservative (I don't use it politically) in a lot aspects of life. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. :)

Andrea


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 18767
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 86 of 136 (397851)
04-28-2007 12:12 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by jar
11-17-2006 11:35 AM


Someone Who Cares and the Tactics of Delusion
Another classic bravado stance, exemplified by Someone who cares on
Message 98:

quote:
I started reading the first couple and I could think up of a simple reply for each of them, and as for the more complex issues- I could research them and come up with a reply anyway because I've got the truth on my side, so I will always win.

The fact that one can "think up" an answer does not make it true, and assuming that your answer is true before hand is a logical fallacy. What we see here is a declaration of delusion:

delusion -noun1. an act or instance of deluding.
2. the state of being deluded.
3. a false belief or opinion: delusions of grandeur.
4. Psychiatry. a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact: a paranoid delusion.

Truth is demonstrated by the validity of the argument and the way it explains the evidence. All the evidence, not just bits and pieces.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : fixed stray symbols


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
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Bikerman
Member (Idle past 2423 days)
Posts: 276
From: Frodsham, Chester
Joined: 07-30-2010


(1)
Message 87 of 136 (571675)
08-01-2010 10:46 PM


General hello
Hi chaps(esses),
I'm making this general so that you don't see a new name just butting in without at least a short introduction to who it is. Bikerman aka Chris S, middle-aged lecturer, teacher, systems manager, recording engineer. Expertise in IT and gaining more in physics with each passing month. Home forum base is Science Forum. Forums I moderate or help moderate - the aforementioned science forum, Frihost and another that I don't post the address to in public forums.

I have spent about 15 years debating creationists in various forums/arenas including being one of two key speakers debating the Australian creationist John MacKay on his tour of schools and universities in 2006. A colleague and I asked to be allowed to take part in the debate and they obviously thought we were either sympathetic (though we gave no such impression deliberately) or easy meat for an experienced debater like Mackay. (We slaughtered him according to the only impartial people present - two journalists from the local paper, and were roundly booed and catcalled by the rest of the 150 people present who, we found out, all came from three local evangelical church groups).

In short then, I know the game, have played it at pro-am level, and hope to contribute something useful.

PS - I'm a Brit in case you can't hear my accent

Edited by Bikerman, : adding the PS


    
Bikerman
Member (Idle past 2423 days)
Posts: 276
From: Frodsham, Chester
Joined: 07-30-2010


Message 88 of 136 (571681)
08-01-2010 11:18 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by princesszin
03-19-2007 3:39 PM


Re: cognitive dissonance and belief
quote:
Yes. Here's another example. There was a person who told me that everyone was atheist around him and he became a Christian later on. He believes that he was running away from Christianity and that's why he believed in atheism.

But now he knows that evolution is not true, because he likes it much better that we were created, than that something comes from nothing.



Now, look here and see 2 common features of such postings.
1) An example is offered, but it is entirely anecdotal, as well as highly questionable.
2) The common mistake (or deliberate ploy) to associate atheism with faith - 'believed in atheism'. I don't have to tell most people that atheism is a lack of belief in God(s) and therefore not itself a faith position. Strong atheism IS a faith position - the assertion that God does not exist cannot be proven. Many creationists deliberately introduce this line of attack since it allows them, at a later time, to turn round and say that you agree that atheism is just another belief. That is why it is important to challenge this every time it occurs. Not to change the mind of the poster, simply to register the challenge publicly so there can be no later assumption of agreement.
To make it plain for you Princesszina:
Atheism = lack of belief in Gods. That is not the same as saying God does not exist - he may well do, I just don't see sufficient evidence (or in fact any evidence) to support such a weird and wonderful proposition.
Let me turn it back on you - do you believe in the Gods Jupiter and Mars? I presume not. So does that make you a believer in the non-existence of Jupiter and Mars? See the problem?
If you want to take that line then we are all atheists with the only difference being the very minor one that I believe in one less God than you do. (To complete the paraphrase)* - When you, Princesszina, can honestly understand why you do not believe in Jupiter, Mars, Thor, Hermes, Ra, Isis and the other twenty thousand or so Gods I could list, then you will be closer to understanding why I don't believe in YOUR God.

Most atheists in my experience (including myself) are pretty sure there is no God but would change in light of evidence, because our scientific curiosity and interest is far more important to us than religion as an issue, and integrity to scientific methodology compels me to accept any suitable supported and evidenced hypothesis as a good working theory.

Lastly, I am sure that you, Princesszin, are quite young from your posting and I have no wish to play my normal full-out game against a much weaker opponent because it troubles my british sense of fair play. I would simply point out that unupported stories about people you say you know or have met is generally known as anecdote and is not generally believed. Not that I am saying you are lying - I am not. But neither would I wish to accept any such account without some evidence to support it, so let's say I am being properly sceptical and true to my scientific principles.

* Stephen Roberts: "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours"

Edited by Bikerman, : No reason given.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 89 of 136 (571684)
08-01-2010 11:32 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by Bikerman
08-01-2010 11:18 PM


Re: cognitive dissonance and belief
Atheism = lack of belief in Gods. That is not the same as saying God does not exist - he may well do, I just don't see sufficient evidence (or in fact any evidence) to support such a weird and wonderful proposition.

Consider me one atheist who soundly rejects what is basically a word-game - there's no difference between lack of belief and non-belief, by the law of the excluded middle. God has to exist or not-exist; it has to be one or the other, not both or neither. You can have varying levels of confidence in either position, all the way up to levels that are probably not logically or evidentiarily justified (Strong Atheism and Strong Theism, perhaps), or you can take absolutely no position on the matter at all.

But there's really no basis to say that "lacking a belief in the existence of God" is different than "believing that God does not exist, to a specified degree of certainty." Those really are the same thing. The only way for them to be different would be that someone who had never even heard of God really does lack a belief in God yet takes no conscious position on the existence of God at all.

Let me turn it back on you - do you believe in the Gods Jupiter and Mars? I presume not. So does that make you a believer in the non-existence of Jupiter and Mars?

Persons who do not believe in the existence of Zeus and Ares must necessarily be people who believe in the non-existence of Zeus and Ares.

Most atheists in my experience (including myself) are pretty sure there is no God but would change in light of evidence

I certainly agree (not that you asked.) But the tendency among many is to cite this in support of a supposed difference between non-belief in existence and belief in non-existence, and that's invalid. The reason that the majority of atheists nonetheless leave the possibility of being convinced is because of their position on certainty, not their position on God.


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Bikerman
Member (Idle past 2423 days)
Posts: 276
From: Frodsham, Chester
Joined: 07-30-2010


Message 90 of 136 (571686)
08-01-2010 11:49 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by crashfrog
08-01-2010 11:32 PM


Re: cognitive dissonance and belief
No I disagree. I understand your point and it is probably valid for the majority of us, but I think a distinction should still be made. The reason is : person A has never heard of God B. They take no position from ignorance rather than belief/faith. They are an atheist by any definition, but they would, perhaps, love to believe in God B if someone told them about it.
Then take the similar position of young or disabled people - they cannot form a true belief (in some cases I quickly add, not all).
Now, you can say that this applies to everything else - politics, fave band etc but I say there is a fundamental difference. We live in societies that brand children by religion from birth. It is perfectly legitimate for English faith schools to accept 'catholic children'.
It would be very contentious for me to say my 3 year old* was a Marxist, but not to say he is a Christian.

* hypothetical - I have no children


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