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Still Waters

Dogmatic people seek less information

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On 12/30/2020 at 8:19 AM, eight bits said:

I am not comfortable that I understand "hard skeptic" and even less that I understand "dogmatic skeptic," which sounds to me like an oxymoron. That's fine, but since an oxymoron is meaningless in itself, the only way to have anything to discuss is to define it.

On the specific issue of scientific practice, and saying up front that generalizing about so many people is dangerous: it seems to me that very many scientists share a view of what they're doing that prevents dogmatism (as I understand that word). Scientists seem to me to appreciate in the main that they seek approximate truths.

Now compare that with a dogmatic religion. In some, God is literally and exactly three different persons in one single being. Any attempt to view that assertion as "approximate" (e.g. maybe there's one God, but he performs three different functions, so he seems to us to be three persons) is heresy. People have been killed for that - not approximately killed, exactly killed.

Nothing  remotely like that happens in science. I don't mean just the killing part, either.

As long as you accept that your current understanding is only the best approximation to the truth you can muster today, then you force yourself to acknowledge, even if its just over in some easily neglected corner of your consciousness, that (1) Right now, you are wrong in any "absolute" sense and (2) sooner or later, somebody's approximation will be better than what you have now. And about (2) - better if you're that somebody, so get off rusty dusty, haul it into the lab and prove yourself wrong (=  capable of a better approximation to the truth than you currently have).

Scientists are human beings. They are more fond of their own ideas than opposing ideas, or rivals' ideas, or the ideas of people they don't like for unprofessional reasons. What's more science is a game played for money and for keeps. Those scientists at Pfizer are thrilled that their vaccine works, and would have been emotionally devastated if it hadn't. Because they're human, and they like to have nice things.

But damn it, no matter how biased you are and how much is at stake, you are always better off proving yourself wrong than waiting for somebody else to do it for you.

I don't know if that helps @Desertrat56 or @Liquid Gardens sort things out or not. But I do thnk "accepting your own limits" (my truth is never THE TRUTH, but I honestly try to get close) makes "skepticism" (Cromwell's Razor: in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken) automatic.




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Posted (edited)
On 11/21/2020 at 9:38 AM, moonman said:

Obviously someone who wants to know the truth is going to look at something from every angle possible and not get their info from a single source.

Some people just need to hear one account of something (ridiculous as it may be) and declare it absolute truth - I'll never understand that narrow of a viewpoint.

Took me a while to come by my decision. I didn't make lightly either. Two years of internet searching before the hammer hit me on the head. Haven't looked back since. No organized  religious texts or vids were involved. 

Edited to add; Find it yourself. Others are just dumping their baggage on you. Not to mention that these experiences were interpreted as true by Plato. And many other very famous philosophers.

Edited by Hankenhunter

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Crazy Horse
On 11/21/2020 at 1:55 PM, Still Waters said:

People who are dogmatic about their views seek less information and make less accurate judgements as a result, even on simple matters unrelated to politics, according to a study led by UCL and Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics researchers.

The researchers say their findings, published in PNAS, point to differences in thinking patterns that lead people to hold rigid opinions.

Dogmatic people are characterized by a belief that their worldview reflects an absolute truth and are often resistant to change their mind, for example when it comes to partisan issues. This tendency can have societal impacts by polarizing political, scientific and religious debates. However, the cognitive drivers of dogmatism are still poorly understood.


Dogmatic views in science and religion, and in any other case are unhelpful for sure..

Fear, confusion and doubt shall also lead to poor decisions and sometimes catastrophic results.

Think for yourself, listen to your heart, and do not get caught-up in the deception.

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