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Author Topic:   Why Creationists' Willful Ignorance?
dwise1
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Joined: 05-02-2006
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Message 16 of 182 (628632)
08-11-2011 2:56 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Taq
08-11-2011 12:59 PM


Re: Projection
Tied closely to willful ignorance is the need to project. I don't think creationists do this on purpose. In fact, I think it is part and parcel of the thought process that results in willful ignorance.

Exactly what I was thinking, that they are projecting their own view of education onto other systems and philosophies of education; eg, public education, science education.

My own concern is to verify whether they actually practice what they project.


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jar
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Posts: 33957
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 17 of 182 (628633)
08-11-2011 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by dwise1
08-11-2011 2:56 PM


Re: Projection
I think all those traits might be true of the rank and file followers but when it comes to those who claim to be scientists the only thing I can say is that it is profitable and easy to lie.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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dwise1
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Posts: 5113
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 18 of 182 (628635)
08-11-2011 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Butterflytyrant
08-11-2011 12:34 PM


Re: Fundamentalist educator
I think part of the reason that nobody in the class asked any questions was that they didn't understand enough to be able to ask a question. Also, they weren't there to learn, but rather to "gather ammo" for their own proselytizing efforts. Fundamentalist Carl Drews noticed that to be what most of the other students in his creationism class were there for; when he brought in the results of his research into the claims made on the previous week's tape, most of the class would even look at it -- they just want more of that convincing-sounding ammo, so they could care less whether it was false.

{ABE: On another forum years ago, a creationist's response ("Well, you don't think our claims are convincing because you're not already convinced {like we are}") made me finally realized that they don't care about the truth, but rather they just want something that sounds convincing. In reply, I outlined the differences between scientists and "creation scientists". Later, I converted that to a table and started to write a web page around that table. I never finished that page, but here's a link to it: http://cre-ev.dwise1.net/cs_vs_sci.html -- nothing on my site links to it, so this is the only link ... well except for one link down towards the bottom of my "My Position" outline on my index page. }

We've got a local creationism activist, Bill Morgan, who seems to hold Kent Hovind as his model and idol. Guy's a pathological liar, even lying about things that made no sense at all to lie about. In one of his "publications" (mainly a really poor man's remake of Chick Pubs' Big Daddy?), he used the old misrepresentation of Punctuated Equilibria (PuncEq), that a lizard laid an egg and a bird popped out. I pointed out that it was wrong and in response he came back with an incredibly good and accurate summary of what PuncEq is and what it teaches. And then he continued to feed his public that old misrepresentation, even though he knew better. He even responded to me once that nothing is more important than the truth and immediately followed it with yet another lie. It appears that part of his motivation is the adulation he receives from his followers; like my one dog would do anything for a belly scratch, he'd do anything for an ego stroke.

From what you describe of what your friend was going through leading up to his conversion, that sounds likely to be part of his motivation. I've read other accounts of others who got sucked into fundamentalist churches by the overwhelming displays of love and acceptance that they got bombarded with. Say, don't cults use the same tactics?

Dan Barker was born and raised a fundamentalist and as a teenager was personally called into the ministry by God. Then after many years of preaching, he began to think and to read and developed into "America's Leading Atheist". I'd like to share a couple of his observations:

1. The mind of a fundamentalist can be described as "when your theology becomes your psychology." I think we can all see that at work in the fundamentalists we encounter. Because I got recruited to help a local mega-church's singles ministry (about 15,000 singles) with its weekly dance class, I also got talked into going through its DivorceCare program as well as attend a few very popular presentations by two Christian counselors. Although they made use of fairly standard counselling ideas, everything was twisted around to all depend on Jesus and what Jesus wants for us and whether the choices we make work to bring us closer to Jesus. In DivorceCare, the overriding message was that only Jesus can help you to recover from divorce, so {subtext}if you're not a Christian then you are sh*t out of luck{/subtext}.

2. Barker saw preachers who were spouting theological nonsense and he even engaged in it himself at times. Nobody in the audience ever questioned them, even though somebody out there had to have know that it was nonsense. Rather, the reaction was that "he was caught up in the Spirit" so they accepted what he was saying. And then after his deconversion, none of them would accept anything that Barker said, even when it was the plain simple truth.

Edited by dwise1, : ABE & link to http://cre-ev.dwise1.net/cs_vs_sci.html


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jar
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Posts: 33957
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 19 of 182 (628636)
08-11-2011 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by dwise1
08-11-2011 3:30 PM


Re: Fundamentalist educator
SOURCE vs CONTENT yet again,

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 327 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 20 of 182 (628647)
08-11-2011 6:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by dwise1
08-07-2011 11:03 PM


It should be borne in mind that most creationists are what one might call passive creationists. They accept what they're told, they take no particular interest in the subject. Well, there are a lot of passive false beliefs. People think that Marie Antoinette said "Let them eat cake". They've heard it, they've not investigated it, for some inexplicable reason they're not particularly interested in the French Revolution.

And the same could be said of a lot of people believing things that are actually true. What proportion of people who think that the world isn't flat could give you cogent reasons why it's round? It's a received idea.

Which is not a bad thing, generally speaking. If we had to verify for ourselves all the things we think we know then we'd hardly have time for anything else.

Then there are the activist creationists. But many of them are peculiarly passive. They have a religious obligation to recite certain words to certain people. "The Second Law of Thermodynamics blah-de-blah-de-blah ...". But they are still not actually interested in the subject matter. They feel duty-bound to say certain things about thermodynamics: the fact that there is a science known as thermodynamics and that books on it are freely available at their local library doesn't even pique their interest; that's not the sort of thing they're interested in. They can recite their nonsense about it without once being tempted to learn anything about it --- their ignorance is not willful, but apathetic.

What does that leave us with. Well, there are the *** For Jesus mentioned in another post. I've met one of them myself, as I shall describe in a later post. But while the are willful, they are not ignorant.

Then there are the people who to try to nail creationist arguments down, and give up on creationism because they find that they fail. They study (to take the same example again) thermodynamics, so that they can say: "Look, evolution's impossible, and here's the math". Then they find out that they're wrong, and so they cease to be ignorant.

And then there's a residue of people who are willfully ignorant. But perhaps even the would be merely apathetically ignorant unless challenged on the subject.

To take a case from my own experience, I stumbled across a website where some guy was being wrong about geology. Par for the course, you will say. But the way in which he was being wrong about geology led me to enter into correspondence with him. According to him, geologists think that rocks are formed by underwater sedimentation followed by uplift or recession at which point rocks are formed by the sediment drying out.

When I suggested to him that he should find out how geologists actually think rocks are formed, by reading a geology textbook, he refused to do so on the grounds that he disagreed with the philosophy expressed in geology textbooks.

The fact that there is no philosophy in geology textbooks is something that he also won't find out by not reading geology textbooks. But even if there was, he might still have wished to know his enemy. He is left in the peculiar position of arguing against an idea that no-one holds; he is incapable of debunking actual geology because he has no idea what it is.

Well, I feel that I have rambled on long enough. The point I wanted to make is that willful ignorance is actually rather rare. I think that ignorance among creationists is usually the result of apathy, uninterest, passivity, and laziness. After all, how hard do you have to try not to know something? That's easy. Any fool can do that.


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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 327 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 21 of 182 (628649)
08-11-2011 7:03 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Butterflytyrant
08-11-2011 10:17 AM


LFJ
He told me that it did not matter what he told them. He did not see it as lies. He 'knew' that the earth was 6000 years old and that evolution was false. He told me that as his views were the truth, it did not matter how he convinced others of it. I suggested that this was dishonest. He disagreed with me and said that as long as they came to the true faith, regardless of how this was achieved, he was being honest to the only one who mattered. That was god.

The first activist creationist* I met was an interesting example of a LFJ.

Having established that I believe in evolution, he proceeded to tell me that the theory of evolution said that a pig could grow wings and fly away. Obviously I began correcting him on this basic misconception. Then he angrily expostulated that of course he knew what the theory actually says, and that the only reason I thought that he actually believed what he had just said was that I stereotyped Christians as being ignorant.

Well shame on me.

* I say the first activist creationist because I must have met lots and lots of passive creationists, including nearly every member of the church in which I was baptized. They didn't make a big fuss about it, despite knowing that I was an evolutionist. I still think of them all very fondly.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 22 of 182 (628654)
08-11-2011 9:24 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by dwise1
08-07-2011 11:03 PM


They need to understand what's happening in the real world in order to deal with very real problems.

Do they really have a need to understand?

Generally speaking, most people don't understand what's happening in the real world, and for the the most part they get along just fine. If that means they make poor decisions about economics, global warming, when to go to the doctor, or who to vote for, then so be it.

People who insist that Genesis literally describes how creation happened are just fine not becoming scientists, so scientific reality simply does not intrude on any activity they have any desire to take part in.

The bottom line for most fundamentalists is that evolution, big bang cosmology, geology, paleontology, etc. are completely wrong about everything. Why scientists are in those fields are wrong scarcely matters, so if it turns out that some easy to believe explanation of why they are wrong is incorrect, then the correct explanation, which they would barely understand is out there. Digging to far into things may risk a Faustian outcome.

Further fundamentalism comes with the ultimate rebuttal. From 1 Corinthians 3:18-20:

quote:
18Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

20And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.


So yeah, the empirical evidence may show something, but a fundamentalist can cite the verses above and others if needed to simply dismiss such evidence.

For those few fundamentalist that deal with addressing creation/evolution topics in a scientific fashion, I believe that many of them are not simply willfully ignorant. Many of them are simply dishonest.


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dwise1
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Posts: 5113
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 23 of 182 (628662)
08-11-2011 11:57 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by NoNukes
08-11-2011 9:24 PM


OK. So how do we keep them from screwing up science education for the rest of us? And for their kids after they deconvert.

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hooah212002
Member (Idle past 77 days)
Posts: 3193
Joined: 08-12-2009


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Message 24 of 182 (628663)
08-12-2011 12:39 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by NoNukes
08-11-2011 9:24 PM


Do they really have a need to understand?

In MY opinion, yes, since they procreate. It benefits humankind. The less ignorant people we have running around, the better.

If that means they make poor decisions about economics, global warming, when to go to the doctor, or who to vote for, then so be it.

But what about when those people are loud about their ignorance? So loud that they justify the rest of the ignorant flock? There happens to be a large enough group of scientifically illiterate people that we have to have debates about scientific facts.....

If people choose ignorance, fine. So long as they are aware they are wrong. But those of us with the ability owe the human race to try and edumacate people (not saying I do that great of a job, but I KNOW I'm an asshole).


"Why don't you call upon your God to strike me? Oh, I forgot it's because he's fake like Thor, so bite me" -Greydon Square

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AZPaul3
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Posts: 6739
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 25 of 182 (628682)
08-12-2011 8:43 AM


One Perspective

Modified with permission of the author.
Original Here
Many thanks to Zach and SMBC


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bluescat48
Member (Idle past 3465 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 26 of 182 (628683)
08-12-2011 8:57 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by AZPaul3
08-12-2011 8:43 AM


Re: One Perspective
Ain't it the truth.

There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 27 of 182 (628691)
08-12-2011 9:59 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by hooah212002
08-12-2011 12:39 AM


In MY opinion, yes, since they procreate. It benefits humankind. The less ignorant people we have running around, the better.

You support eugenics too?

But what about when those people are loud about their ignorance? So loud that they justify the rest of the ignorant flock? There happens to be a large enough group of scientifically illiterate people that we have to have debates about scientific facts.....

If people choose ignorance, fine. So long as they are aware they are wrong. But those of us with the ability owe the human race to try and edumacate people (not saying I do that great of a job, but I KNOW I'm an asshole).

Thank god we have you guys to make sure everyone's thinking is correct!

There happens to be a large enough group of scientifically illiterate people that we have to have debates about scientific facts.....

Honestly, how many of these people do you think there are?


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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 28 of 182 (628695)
08-12-2011 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by hooah212002
08-12-2011 12:39 AM


hooah212002 writes:

NoNukes writes:

Do they really have a need to understand?

In MY opinion, yes, since they procreate. It benefits humankind. The less ignorant people we have running around, the better.

Sounds like you have a need for others to understand. But do those people you are talking about share that need? I'm suggesting that they don't.


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1.61803
Member (Idle past 780 days)
Posts: 2928
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004


Message 29 of 182 (628696)
08-12-2011 10:24 AM


willful ignorance is the way one preserves ones world view. Knowlege, once obtained requires the responsibilty to filter that knowlege through ones beliefs, views, religion and politics.
And imo depending on the number of layers can be fatiguing to be sure. Much easier to just put up a blockade and be done with it.
Ignorance is bliss sort of mentality.

dwise1
Member
Posts: 5113
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 30 of 182 (628698)
08-12-2011 10:34 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by New Cat's Eye
08-12-2011 9:59 AM


hooah212002 writes:

There happens to be a large enough group of scientifically illiterate people that we have to have debates about scientific facts.....

Honestly, how many of these people do you think there are?

According to P.T. Barnum, a new one's born every minute.

Of course, the scientific illiterates I'm talking about are creationists, who are fed a steady diet of PRATTs in the creationist literature while being kept ignorance of the fact that many/most of those PRATTs were refuted decades before they were born.

Case in point: at local "just jump right in" amateur debate nights circa 1990, a young creationist jumped in announcing "a brand new scientific finding that will just blow you evolutionists away": the speed of light is slowing down. Immediately, half the audience broke into howls of uncontrollable laughter and started explaining to him that that PRATT was more than a decade old and immediately refuted and here's what's wrong with it. Blew the poor guy away.

My addition to this sub-topic: If someone wants to remain ignorant about something, then no problem. Not only is everybody ignorant about many things, there are also things that they would want to remain ignorant of; eg, for me that would be sports, "reality" TV, fashion, most post-1971 popular music, especially rap.

The problem is when their ignorance has a political agenda that will sabotage society. To quote the women in British personal ads after listing what they don't want in a man: "You know who you are!"


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