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The pattern behind self-deception



Skeptics Society founder Michael Shermer discusses the human tendency to believe strange things.

   

Recent comments on this video
Comment icon #12 Posted by Englishgent on 22 January, 2012, 9:41
As far as this ''rustling in the grass'' is concerned, yes, assuming it is a predator will possibly save your life. But that is purely what it is. An assumption, Not a belief. That is how we survive. We dont have to believe something, but sometimes it is wise to assume. That way you live to fight another day. IMO an assumption is not a belief, I agree with Eight Bits that a third option comes into the equation when we are talking survival.. It might be food. I think using the word belief is a bit strong, or maybe he just used the wrong analogy. IMO, belief is what happens when you actually dis... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by Render on 22 January, 2012, 10:04
As far as this ''rustling in the grass'' is concerned, yes, assuming it is a predator will possibly save your life. But that is purely what it is. An assumption, Not a belief. That is how we survive. We dont have to believe something, but sometimes it is wise to assume. That way you live to fight another day. IMO an assumption is not a belief, I agree with Eight Bits that a third option comes into the equation when we are talking survival.. It might be food. I think using the word belief is a bit strong, or maybe he just used the wrong analogy. IMO, belief is what happens when you actually dis... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by eight bits on 22 January, 2012, 12:53
Leo As Render's comment at that point was obviously his synopsis of Shermer's overall theory, who used the "we" is irrelevant to what it is taken to mean in the context of that theory. That's a nice thought, but since I was unable to answer your question as asked, I didn't, and declined to guess what you would choose to ask instead. ... but that does not mean we should dismiss them outright simply because of that. That's the second time you've dropped the D-word on me. To dismiss is to refrain from discussion without making a finding. I have done neither. Also, Shermer's own personality has li... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Copasetic on 23 January, 2012, 7:01
I think that the "rustling in the grass" isn't a good model of how people come to believe in God. A comprehensive theory of belief formation would account for both, but, in my opinion, would have different things to say about them. One key difference is temporal persistence. Whatever I am going to do about the rustling in the grass, I will do it now. Five minutes from now, I'll either have other problems, or no problems at all anymore. Either way, this matter will be closed. Belief in God, in contrast, is complicated, develops in the face of continuing exposure to experience and argumentation,... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by cluey on 23 January, 2012, 7:40
It's natural human tendancies to believe strange things!!!!!!!..........it's the degree of "strange".........that is more the issue
Comment icon #17 Posted by Habitat on 23 January, 2012, 7:52
Reinforcement in the nucleus accumbens (NA) via those dopaminergic systems from the ventral tegmental area certainly could pattern short temporal responses into long-term behavior. In fact, this very thing happens all the time. I know, I know.
Comment icon #18 Posted by libstaK on 23 January, 2012, 9:03
Reinforcement in the nucleus accumbens (NA) via those dopaminergic systems from the ventral tegmental area certainly could pattern short temporal responses into long-term behavior. In fact, this very thing happens all the time. I know, I know. Are you saying you understood Sheldon's er, Copasetic's dissertation there Habitat? Do tell.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Habitat on 23 January, 2012, 9:07
Are you saying you understood Sheldon's er, Copasetic's dissertation there Habitat? Do tell. I hope someone understands it. Even if he's the only one ! To me it was jargon on steroids.
Comment icon #20 Posted by eight bits on 23 January, 2012, 10:12
Copa at least machine learning, I don't claim to be "schooled" in anything on the 'netz. I think I may have at one time or another mentioned here that I graduated from high school. Whatever I argue must stand or fall on its own merits. Which is just how things are in real-life engineering, or so I'm told. But fair enough, things like ROC and comprehensive modeling of belief are sometimes discussed under the rubric of "machine learning." However, as is typical of engineering, they rest on a foundation of mathematics, which includes models of learning which are platform independent. so why then ... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by Damrod on 24 January, 2012, 18:21
In general, I like most of Shermer's works. He gets a bit more skeptical (cynical?) and ornery as he ages I guess. Here are a couple of very well written and insightful articles of his from several years ago...I like to post them in the middle of alternative history and paranormal discussions...just to keep people balanced...well....to try anyway...check them out. http://www.skeptically.org/logicalthreads/id15.html http://www.skeptically.org/logicalthreads/id2.html


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