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Great article on belief

Old 11-23-2014, 03:04 PM
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Great article on belief

It seems that we derive a psychological benefit from believing in things that can't be proven wrong, and that when we're presented with evidence contradicting our opinion on something, we turn to unfalsifiable evidence for comfort.

We Like It When Our Beliefs Can’t Be Disproven -- Science of Us
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Old 11-23-2014, 03:08 PM
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I have an acquaintance who cannot have a conversation with anyone without "proving" them "wrong" every ten minutes with her phone and Google.

So annoying. Like, who cares what the "correct" recipe is for hummingbird nectar unless you're in the process of making it? It's sugar and water. 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 1:1 - they don't care.


Keep life simple.
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:36 PM
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all I got from that article was the fact that obama is a liar is not unfalsifiable.
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:55 PM
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Yes, there have been many studies that indicate just how hard it is for someone to change a "hard-wired belief" - even if there is clear evidence (scientific, even!) to the contrary. It is, indeed, a human trait that perhaps ironically has been passed down through evolution because it helped our communal societies in the past.

I took a course from Dr. David Christian - he got his BA and Masters from Oxford University, and currently is a professor at a large university in Sydney, Australia. He clearly explains exactly how the stars were formed, the chemical reactions that took place to make it happen, and even how all those little carbon atoms eventually mixed with the right nitrogen atoms to help kickstart life itself. I took that course for free. Heck, Charles Darwin's Origin of Species is available in audiobook form on Youtube, for gosh sakes.

The point is that the truth is out there. It's easy to find. You can learn it online, in a classroom, or in a book. But to most, it's easier to just to pretend it doesn't exist. Since that information contradicts many people's hard wired beliefs, it's almost impossible for them to accept that their beliefs might be incorrect. That's just part of being human.

It's pretty easy to see that Atheism will eventually take hold, and the human race will someday live without Gods. However, it's going to be a long process and probably take 1000 years before it's more popular than religion. Hopefully we won't all kill ourselves because of laws created by invisible men before that happens.
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:03 PM
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one of the unfortunate things bigs is that some use the 'shield' of their own god to fight the tyranny of anothers' god. it has gone on for millennia and sadly will continue.
I don't need a god to know right from wrong.
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Old 11-24-2014, 07:01 PM
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My family doesn't understand me. They're all getting more religious as I'm getting more agnostic. Still, I'm reminded of the old joke about the mathematician and God. After laboring for years, the mathematician finally did it. Eureka moment. He had proved the existence of God. A great voice comes out of nothing and says, "Ok, now you hide."

All I "know" is that the laws of probability and the essence of possibility leave room for a supreme being. Whether the form of that is the the all-everything being, or just some galactic 12th-grader with a big science project is open to discovery.

But, all possibilities exist.
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Old 11-24-2014, 07:49 PM
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I noticed that many people will reject any new information that conflicts with what they think they already know. It's not only done with religion but also with things that could easily be cleared up.
This one example has happened to me so many times at work I have stopped sharing my info because I got sick of being called nuts. We have a pension and we also have a 401K. If you have been there long enough you can retire as early as 55. These old guys keep talking about how they can't afford to retire because they have to wait until 59.5 to get the money out of the 401k without the 10% early withdraw penalty. I told a couple of them they could access it in the year they turn 55 provided they retire. I think they actually were pissed at me. I even told them the IRS code for it was 72t. None of them looked it up. Whatever....
The thing that really bothers me though is wondering if I do that too. Sometimes I wonder how flexible I am to assimilating new information if it goes against my established views.
It is probably a good thing they keep working because now these knuckleheads are buying Dinar. A quick google search reveals it's a scam! Whatever....
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:43 PM
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Great post and interesting article

Its hard to gauge sometimes what role Belief plays in human lives, it can be argued that in some ways its like a glue that holds things together, provides comfort or purpose, But equally it smashes things apart in dogma and tightly held onto practices that hurt and destroy others. Almost all major conflicts and people hurting people have some kind of belief system underpinning the actions. These beliefs are usually close-minded and not up for critical evaluation and those who promote the belief are the ones who resist skepticism.

I personally have no problems in people believing what they want, but if you bring those beliefs into the public arena then, I do have a problem, especially if the belief asks me to accept it without question OR even worse asks me to follow it without descent skeptical evaluation. (Sometimes follow things as a law as well)

The one place that I think is worth challenging, in regards to belief is our very own recovery communities. There are so many people saying so many things, and its mostly built upon unchallenged belief. Many claims are dogmatic absolutes and even when We pretend that we accepting of others ways to recover, many times (I was this way for many years) we secretly think we personally have the right way. .
I often wonder how much good science and research is blocked by these beliefs, we may never really know, addiction could very easily be a product of the recovery movement as much as a product of the behavior/drug of choice.

I guess this is why I promote first and foremost a skeptical and questioning attitude to what we hear in recovery, when claims are made we deserve evidence and descent science backing them up. Its not believing or believing in gods, or pseudo science that is the issue in my opinion, its credulity thats the issue. Sometimes we so desperately want to break free and are so lost we accept many things unchallenged, and as human history tells us this desperation, high emotion is fertile ground for credulousness.

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Old 11-25-2014, 08:53 AM
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Dinosaur Thinking

Man, this is one great Thread! I don't want to thank Posters individually and overlook anyone because each Post has wonderful, unique insights.

Having spent my entire Career in the Hard Sciences, I inherently lean toward Scientific Rigor. That said, I see instances all around me [and in myself] of what I call 'Prehistoric Man Brain' in action. I have no fear of Flying, but would take no issue with Aretha Franklin who only drives to all her destinations. Someone posted here recently about the 'need' to 'throw down a few first' to deal with his flying fear.

Scientific Rigor finally prevailed in this Case I followed intently re: extinction of the Dinosaurs. We used Iridium where I worked, and it's one of 'those' Minerals coveted on the Worldwide Market. Non-Earthly levels of Iridium were pivotal in buttressing the claim that a large Asteroid hit the Yucatan Peninsula, wiping out much of Life then on Earth.

Meanwhile, new Satellite Imagery on non-visible Wavelengths clearly points out Asteroid aftermaths at various Sites on Earth. Imagine Material Deposition in concentric rings; not unlike watching a drop of Milk ripple outward in slow motion. The Italian Site of such 'ejecta' is especially fascinating, and telling.

At the time, Alvarez's Theories were really skewered in the 'Scientific' Community. He upset the proverbial Apple Cart of the time, just as Copernicus and others did Centuries ago. I've been to Lawrence Berkeley Labs, and places like CERN in Geneve. It was always invigorating to see the leading edge of Research on various Theories.

To me, the tie-in to observing Scientific Rigor in Recovery is very germane. Centuries ago, we didn't understand Human Blood Circulation, and chalked it up to all sorts of wild, non-Scientific mechanisms. In a like manner, we thought Drunks to be 'possessed' somehow. Bad Character. Yeah, that's the Ticket. Bad Character. No? OK then, infestation by Bad Spirits. Ummmmm, maybe not...

The more that Science augments understanding, the more potential there is for successful, long-term Recovery. We can continue to learn not only what works, but why.


'Alvarez Theory Of Dinosaur Die-Out Upheld...' ~ Lawrence Berkeley Lab News Center

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Old 11-25-2014, 09:11 AM
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as some people like scientific proof on things i offer up this

try getting drunk if you don't pick up the first drink of alcohol

i don't need anymore proof than if i don't pick up the first drink i can not get drunk.

no matter how much you can analyze things, or try out some sort of math equation the results will be 100% solid concrete proof that if you dont take the first drink you can not get drunk.

i believe it 100 % unless of course someone can prove me wrong ?
i accept it without any argument at all these days as i used to argue it was the 10th drink that got me drunk but if i dont pick up that first drink i will never get to number 10

its so simple its easy to miss especially for the more inquisitive mind as they just don't seem to accept this simple formula, there convinced there has to be more to it rather than accepting it is how it is
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by desypete View Post
as some people like scientific proof on things i offer up this

try getting drunk if you don't pick up the first drink of alcohol

i don't need anymore proof than if i don't pick up the first drink i can not get drunk.

no matter how much you can analyze things, or try out some sort of math equation the results will be 100% solid concrete proof that if you dont take the first drink you can not get drunk.

i believe it 100 % unless of course someone can prove me wrong ?
i accept it without any argument at all these days as i used to argue it was the 10th drink that got me drunk but if i dont pick up that first drink i will never get to number 10

its so simple its easy to miss especially for the more inquisitive mind as they just don't seem to accept this simple formula, there convinced there has to be more to it rather than accepting it is how it is
How did you end up there? This isn't specifically about religion or alcoholism but just about how our brains work. It even says there is a benefit to belief. I have defaulted to supernatural many times since quitting. It has helped greatly when I felt out of control. It was very comforting.
The belief that I somehow had my drinking under control was the falsehood. Admitting that yeah, I had to quit entirely is the thing I didn't want to see. I had plenty of evidence to the contrary but none of it could pierce that veil.
Even my husband told me I should just cut back. No matter how many people told me I wasn't "alcoholic" I knew better because I had been on both sides of the thinking and I knew which one was reality.
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by silentrun View Post
The belief that I somehow had my drinking under control was the falsehood. Admitting that yeah, I had to quit entirely is the thing I didn't want to see.
The "old me" had one hell of a time grasping that truth as well. I remember going to get assessed for my drinking problem before rehab.

The professional expert who spoke with me presented his findings: He said I was in denial. He said my plan was flawed, and that rehab was perhaps the only thing that could save me at this point....upon hearing that, I immediately assumed that he was somehow being paid off by the rehab clinic in order to gain clients. I felt he was a very simple creature who could not understand more intelligent folks like myself. I thought, perhaps, one of my friends had called him up before our meeting and told him to say those things, just to scare me straight. Not once did I bother to listen to his findings, nor did I have the slightest doubt that he was dead wrong.

Now that's all kinds of crazy - but those were my initial thoughts! I had never, ever considered that I could have been an alcoholic. That truth just didn't exist in my brain.
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