Author Topic: Where Reason and Science Fail  (Read 1566 times)

Offline Semnae

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Where Reason and Science Fail
« on: October 30, 2015, 10:24:25 am »
https://www.facebook.com/godlessengineering/videos/779965412125396/

It is quite startling, in this day and age, that there are still those who will argue that the Sun travels around the Earth. How do you even respond to something like this? I could present a mountain of evidence proving the Earth travels around the Sun, but what good would it do? Any refutation would certainly fall on deaf ears.

I wager many of you would laugh and call them idiots. I feel sad for them. They are so blinded by delusion, they are unlikely ever to see the beauty of the real universe. I want to help people like them, but evidence and reason are useless in this endeavor. Like Thomas Paine said, "To argue with a man who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead."

I've heard many suggest that you cannot help people like this. It is said that I should just ignore them and let them believe whatever they want. That is just so sad. Like this, these two will never amount to anything more than a joke posted on various secular websites for people to make fun of. To give up on them amounts to admitting there are people in this world that are worthless and have no potential. I would help them, if only I knew how.

Is there truly nothing that can be done?
« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 01:01:36 pm by Semnae »

Offline Ixarku

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2015, 03:03:00 pm »
Eh, it's your choice if you want to be a bleeding heart.  I'm not one and I never will be.  I don't feel pity or sympathy for people like the flat Earthers; I feel contempt for them.  I feel contempt for anyone who willfully ignores the facts in order to support an agenda that agrees with their personal beliefs.  I feel anger at people who deliberately propagate misinformation in an effort to mislead other people.  There are always some areas that are shades of gray, where many conclusions can be drawn from the facts, but there are other things that are simply black and white, and the latter is what I'm referring to.

Sem, you cannot help someone who does not want to be helped.  This is a hard lesson to learn but an important one, and it applies to many aspects of life.  Certainly in cases like this, it's important to fight lies and disinformation with facts, but you're deluding yourself if you think people like this want to be helped.  If you want to help, then focus your attention on the ignorant but open-minded, on the uneducated, not the indoctrinated.

To give up on them amounts to admitting there are people in this world that are worthless and have no potential.

Wrong.  Everybody has potential.  Some people deliberately choose to waste theirs.  You cannot live somebody else's life for them, nor can you control them to do or say or think what you believe is right.  You also might want to reevaluate the 'worthless' judgment, as there are many misguided people in the world who are still good people and make a positive impact, despite what others might consider as shocking deficiencies of character or judgment.
If I ever meet God in person, I'm going to ask Him why he created so many stupid people, and then punch Him in the nose before he answers.

Offline buchno

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2015, 01:01:24 am »

Offline Semnae

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2015, 03:07:31 am »
Eh, it's your choice if you want to be a bleeding heart.  I'm not one and I never will be.  I don't feel pity or sympathy for people like the flat Earthers; I feel contempt for them.  I feel contempt for anyone who willfully ignores the facts in order to support an agenda that agrees with their personal beliefs.

I can certainly understand that. Science deniers cause me a great deal of frustration. I cannot, however, feel contempt for all Science deniers. I was born into a Seventh Day Adventist family and have lived in the Bible Belt all my life. I am at ground zero for this kind of thinking. If I held contempt for every Science denier, I would hate everybody whose ever loved me, and there would be no joy in my life.

I feel anger at people who deliberately propagate misinformation in an effort to mislead other people.  There are always some areas that are shades of gray, where many conclusions can be drawn from the facts, but there are other things that are simply black and white, and the latter is what I'm referring to.

I agree with you wholeheartedly on this. Quackery seems more rampant with every passing day. I created a different thread not long ago about someone who sold a "cure" for cancer to a desperate parents. They told the parents that the pain the child was experiencing meant the treatment was working. They put bleach up the kids rectum until he died. I won't get into it again here because there's already a thread about that.

Sem, you cannot help someone who does not want to be helped.  This is a hard lesson to learn but an important one, and it applies to many aspects of life.  Certainly in cases like this, it's important to fight lies and disinformation with facts, but you're deluding yourself if you think people like this want to be helped.  If you want to help, then focus your attention on the ignorant but open-minded, on the uneducated, not the indoctrinated.

I already intend to take that course of action. I'm just a few hours of field based experiences away from getting my probationary teaching certificate. I think that if someone is taught the value of evidence based, critical thinking, it will inoculate them against pseudoscience. I went through the public school system, junior college, and university, got degrees in Science, and not a single teacher ever taught me what a logical fallacy or a cognitive bias was. That is the real tragedy. All over Texas, people are being educated, but not learning how to think critically.

It's easy to look at these two and say "this is your brain on religion", but that's only a symptom of the real problem. There's no need to attack religion, because the the real problem is a severe lack of critical thinking ability. If you can teach them that, they will reject religion all on there own without having to say a word against it. This is actually a good thing, because people identify with their religion and get offended when you criticize it. It makes much more sense to go after the source.

I disagree with you on one particular point. We can't exclusively teach critical thinking skills to the young. If you do that, things might get better in about 80 years, but who really wants to wait that long? Adults vote. Adults influence the world around them. Adults indoctrinate their children. People spend 3/4ths of their lives as adults. Most adults are no longer in school, so what the world desperately needs right now is a medium for teaching critical thinking skills to adults.

To give up on them amounts to admitting there are people in this world that are worthless and have no potential.

Wrong.  Everybody has potential.  Some people deliberately choose to waste theirs.  You cannot live somebody else's life for them, nor can you control them to do or say or think what you believe is right.  You also might want to reevaluate the 'worthless' judgment, as there are many misguided people in the world who are still good people and make a positive impact, despite what others might consider as shocking deficiencies of character or judgment.

Is this really a choice? Most people are indoctrinated into what they believe based on their geography. How much free will can someone without basic thinking ability really have? The fact is, if you or I were born in the Middle East to a Muslim, science denying family, we'd likely be Muslim science deniers.

Offline capnmorgan

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2015, 05:34:35 am »
Mankind has free will.  They exercise theirs by choosing to believe how they do.  You can either use yours to keep poking at the brick wall, or to move on.  That's usually why I just see something like this and let a "boobies" fly.


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Offline Mistgun_Zero

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2015, 05:41:29 am »
@Semnae: Stop caring.

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Offline Semnae

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2015, 07:10:08 am »
You cannot reason with fanboys.

I wish I read this before making my last post. Excellent article that sheds a lot of light on the issue!
« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 07:12:32 am by Semnae »

Offline GoGeTa006

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2015, 07:10:19 am »
There's a saying in spanish:
"No hay peor ciego que el que no quiere ver"

---

"The worst kind of blind man is the one who doesn't want to see"


sad but true

Online Burkingam

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2015, 08:09:14 am »
When I'm wrong, I want to know it. I actively try to find that out. But obviously there are people who don't think like that. It's really hard for me to empathise with them. Nevertheless, you can't reason with someone who refuses to be reasoned with. And remember that the freedom to think freely includes the freedom to think really dumb things.
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Offline Fool010

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2015, 08:22:24 am »
All over Texas, people are being educated, but not learning how to think critically.

Not specific to Texas. Educative systems all over the world fail because they only provide knowledge, not education. Knowledge itself is only a tool, as such it's useless if you don't teach what that tool can do and how you can use it. Any tool is just as good as the one using it. A good tool will allow you to do more, even push back your limitations but in the end, those limitations will remain. Because that's what science is, a mean, not an end. That's what too many atheists and science worshipers tend to forget. Science is no alternative to belief for one simple reason .... it's not meant to. Both science and religion are our creations, but science evolved with us while religion didn't. Science represents what we are now and gives glimpses of what we may become whereas religion represents what we once were.

In the end, they're meant to answer different questions. It's not a matter of which one should be exclusively used, that's not why we created them. They're supposed to coexist, but for some reason we kept evolving our science while religion stood still. Science is a great tool when it comes to all things mechanic -in the broadest sense possible-, unfortunately man is a bit more than just an organic machine. You can't teach everyone critical thinking for a simple reason : not everyone can.

Let's at least get rid of something, science doesn't turn you into a better person. If you're a sack of shit, you'll be one either religion or science fuels you. Science doesn't prevent you from being an asshole.

Religion fails because it's supposed to answer a question that can't be answered : why ?

On the other hand, science had a much better pick. No matter how complex the answer, "how ?" is a much easier question to answer.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 09:04:32 am by Fool010 »
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Offline Ixarku

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2015, 01:52:44 pm »
I disagree with you on one particular point. We can't exclusively teach critical thinking skills to the young. If you do that, things might get better in about 80 years, but who really wants to wait that long? Adults vote. Adults influence the world around them. Adults indoctrinate their children. People spend 3/4ths of their lives as adults. Most adults are no longer in school, so what the world desperately needs right now is a medium for teaching critical thinking skills to adults.

You can only teach somebody who wants to be taught.  This is why public education is important - to counter some of the harmful influences that adults have on their children.  But you're basically pissing into the wind trying to change the mind of a hardened believer.  I'm paraphrasing a saying here, but it's still apt:  arguing with an idiot is like playing chess with a pigeon -- you'll just look like an idiot yourself and the pigeon's just going to shit all over the board.


To give up on them amounts to admitting there are people in this world that are worthless and have no potential.

Wrong.  Everybody has potential.  Some people deliberately choose to waste theirs.  You cannot live somebody else's life for them, nor can you control them to do or say or think what you believe is right.  You also might want to reevaluate the 'worthless' judgment, as there are many misguided people in the world who are still good people and make a positive impact, despite what others might consider as shocking deficiencies of character or judgment.

Is this really a choice? Most people are indoctrinated into what they believe based on their geography. How much free will can someone without basic thinking ability really have? The fact is, if you or I were born in the Middle East to a Muslim, science denying family, we'd likely be Muslim science deniers.

Sure, and if you want to fight against that, feel free to head to the Middle East.  Just be careful you don't end up becoming a news story on CNN.  Another really important life lesson is to know how to pick and choose your battles.  Weirdly, you're beginning to sound like a liberal Atheist equivalent of those Christian missionaries that head out into parts unknown to meddle with other people's beliefs.  It's not a vocation I particularly approve of.
If I ever meet God in person, I'm going to ask Him why he created so many stupid people, and then punch Him in the nose before he answers.

Offline mgz

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2015, 07:16:52 am »
https://www.facebook.com/godlessengineering/videos/779965412125396/

It is quite startling, in this day and age, that there are still those who will argue that the Sun travels around the Earth. How do you even respond to something like this? I could present a mountain of evidence proving the Earth travels around the Sun, but what good would it do? Any refutation would certainly fall on deaf ears.

I wager many of you would laugh and call them idiots. I feel sad for them. They are so blinded by delusion, they are unlikely ever to see the beauty of the real universe. I want to help people like them, but evidence and reason are useless in this endeavor. Like Thomas Paine said, "To argue with a man who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead."

I've heard many suggest that you cannot help people like this. It is said that I should just ignore them and let them believe whatever they want. That is just so sad. Like this, these two will never amount to anything more than a joke posted on various secular websites for people to make fun of. To give up on them amounts to admitting there are people in this world that are worthless and have no potential. I would help them, if only I knew how.

Is there truly nothing that can be done?
tldr if people believe that shit they shouldnt be people you talk to or associate with the math has proven we rotate around the sun and has been available for quite some time.

Online Burkingam

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2015, 09:22:29 am »
I wouldn't fault someone for merely questioning how we know the Earth is flat but a minimum of research should give them plenty of evidence, even if they have a paranoid distrust of any information coming from governments.
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Offline Fool010

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2015, 12:35:27 pm »
I wouldn't fault someone for merely questioning how we know the Earth is flat but a minimum of research should give them plenty of evidence, even if they have a paranoid distrust of any information coming from governments.

Contrary to most common misconceptions, even catholic scholars during the so-called dark ages widely considered the earth to be spherical. Backward thinking was imposed at higher hierarchical levels. Religion itself isn't the issue, organized religion is. It uses the spiritual need of the many to control them. Keep the masses ignorant and scared and they'll obey. That being said, politics work the exact same way.
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Offline Saras

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2015, 12:43:20 pm »
I'm surprised that people consider public education to be a tool to bring knowledge. At best, it's a tertiary priority. The first one is to get the little barbarians to function in society.

Deep down think about the actual material these kids cover and the amount of knowledge they retain. Compare university to high school, the amount of stuff you cover in a semester of university is probably significantly more material than you do in two years of high school.

For an institution that's supposedly focused on education of the mind, it moves at a snails pace AND has next to no sticking factor to the brain. Basically no one remembers shit after a month or two.

Offline ErebusAngel

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2015, 10:13:35 am »
Knowing the truth and wanting to know the truth are certainly correct ways for humans to go forward. But I don't think that not knowing or being misinformed by itself is wrong. In the story, Sherlock Holmes didn't know that the earth revolved around the sun nor did he care to find out  before Watson told him but he knew about everything that he needed to know to be a detective. The point is, it shouldn't really matter whether there are some people who doesn't know or misunderstands certain information unless:

1. They are actively spreading the incorrect information.
2. They are actively hampering the people who are seeking out the truth.
3. They are actively stopping people from applying their knowledge of the truth to improve society (like in the case of vaccines).
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Online Burkingam

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2015, 10:29:55 am »
I'd think #2 applies by default. It's hard to seek the truth when you are already convinced you have the answer.
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Offline Semnae

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2015, 02:11:00 am »
Here's an interesting study that show the relationship between intelligence and religiosity.

http://m.psr.sagepub.com/content/17/4/325

Offline capnmorgan

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2015, 08:32:51 am »
Then according to the logic of the link, in no possible way should I have been able to successfully argue with you, fool10, or anyone else on this forum about any subject whatsoever seeing as how I am religious. According to the results of your supplied thesis, you should have already won every argument and therefore negated the need for any of us to be here.  Long story short, Semnae spends more time surfing the web just to say folks who follow a religion are stupid. We get it, you're the oppressed atheist who sees himself as a pariah and is waiting to be martyred for the TRUTH! Either move on or hop up on a tree and hand someone a nailgun. This in the middle shit is getting old.


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Offline Fool010

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Re: Where Reason and Science Fail
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2015, 06:45:20 am »
I actually somehow agree with the baseline idea about stupid people being more prone to religion. It still doesn't mean everyone who believes is an idiot, neither does it mean you have to be an idiot to believe. When you're a religious idiot, you were an idiot before embracing religion and you'd still be one if you turned away from religion. Religion isn't a cause for idiocy, it can be a consequence from idiocy.

To rephrase the topic title, this is a case when science fails at reason.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 07:23:57 am by Fool010 »
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