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InvisibleSilversoul
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Belittling people?
    #4712096 - 09/26/05 12:31 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

One charge I've heard made against skeptics on this site is that we "belittle" people and their beliefs. While this may occur occasionally in people's ratings, I've seen very little of it in this forum. Perhaps, however, you could clear up for me just what you mean by belittling. If someone says the sky is purple, and I correct them by saying it's blue, am I belittling them? If someone denies that the holocaust happened, and I show them the photos and reports that prove it did, am I being arrogant? If someone believes that DDT will cure cancer, am I a selfish asshole for wanting to explain to them the danger of such a belief? It seems to me that it is easier to level such accusations against someone than to reach a more unsettling conclusion: that you hold false or irrational beliefs.


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OfflineMikeOLogical
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4712118 - 09/26/05 12:36 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Whoever said that is a stupid stupid poopoo eater...


--------------------
We got Nothing!
we're no longer selling jars.  :laugh:


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4712164 - 09/26/05 12:44 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Well if you're subtle enough you can belittle people and they could never prove it. There may be some who play that game as a lifestyle here.

If you're really working on the question and not the person asking it then there is little chance of belittleing anyone.

Only you know for sure what your motives are unless you're blatant about it. :mushroom2:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Offlinestemmer
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: Icelander]
    #4712206 - 09/26/05 12:50 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

See, icelander is doing it, and he thinks his comments are relavent to you. People dont take well to others answering their own questions. Its sad really, ive been banned many times for the same thing but was more blatent about it. You cant be too offensive if you speak the truth.


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: stemmer]
    #4712290 - 09/26/05 01:09 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

You mean your version of the truth, don't you? :wink:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Invisibleorechron
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: Icelander]
    #4712425 - 09/26/05 01:36 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

I only do it because I firmly believe that some people are stupid and get a great feeling of joy from letting them know this.

Heh. This has been my montly post...I've got a few thousand pages of reading to do and an Art History exam covering a scant 25,000 years tomorrow morning.

Oi!


--------------------
Live by the foma that make you brave, and kind, and healthy, and happy.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4712576 - 09/26/05 02:09 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

If someone says the sky is purple, and I correct them by saying it's blue, am I belittling them?

No, but what if instead you said "Anyone with a brain knows the sky is blue"?

If someone denies that the holocaust happened, and I show them the photos and reports that prove it did, am I being arrogant?

No, but what if instead of showing pictures you said "anyone who's intelligent knows the holocaust happened"?


Get my point? Telling someone the truth isn't in any way wrong and, despite what some people say, the PLAIN truth only RARELY provokes an angry response in someone holding a false belief. Delivery is everything!

You can try to educate someone, or you can try to prove them wrong for the sake of proving them wrong. One approach is likely to benefit everyone involved...the other is likely to produce feelings of resentment and anger in the person expressing the belief.


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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OfflineJacquesCousteau
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: trendal]
    #4713138 - 09/26/05 10:05 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

trendal said:Delivery is everything!

You can try to educate someone, or you can try to prove them wrong for the sake of proving them wrong. One approach is likely to benefit everyone involved...the other is likely to produce feelings of resentment and anger in the person expressing the belief.




Right on.

And this goes to the skeptic crowd:

The most common response to this statement is that the person on the receiving end should know that only THEY can cause emotional reactions in themself and that the poster can't be blamed for how his post is interpretted.

While I personally think this is completely true, it's also a complete cop-out. The key word is "should." Should and shouldn't are words that deal with a false reality. These are NOT words that are used to describe what IS.

These are words that reveal an argument to be based on a fantasy situation instead of reality. What an individual thinks "should" or "shouldn't" be is hardly relevant. What is relevant is the ACTUAL variable values of ACTUAL reality.

Now isn't that exactly what most skeptics are trying to get others to understand through the process of debunking beliefs based on fantasy? Hmmm...

--

A method of approach that is not understanding of the very likely possibility that the recipient is emotionally vulnerable shows that the skeptic in question either a) has not thought this all through very thoroughly, (aka, is basing their reasoning on an irrelevant and subjective belief) or b) is more pre-occupied with the ego games of portraying themselves as superior than they are legitimately concerned with how they can help the individual they are approaching.

If the skeptic truly had only intention of helping others, they would offer their input in a way LEAST likely to invoke an emotional outburst. I mean, they're trying to HELP this person. How does setting off an emotional outburst that puts them into a defensive mode help to reach an understanding of the fallacy of the belief you might be scrutinizing?

Notoriously, once an individual feels emotionally violated and goes into a defensive mode, they are no longer rational. They are no longer logical. It's basically like debating with a brick wall. I'm sure we've all been there and done that.

So why, if the skeptic's intentions are pure, would they intentionally choose to respond in ways that DON'T take into account the potential sensitivity of the recipient?

--

It's like you're (general 'you' not actually you.) drawing objective conclusions from a subjective belief of how others are SUPPOSED to behave.

How does that make any sense?? How others are SUPPOSED to be is irrelevant. What you're actually up against is how others ARE.

You have to deal with what IS, not what "should be". And what IS, when it comes to humans, involves a great deal of potential emotional instability.

--

Expecting to HELP someone caught up in a fallacious belief system by getting on their defensive side is about as logical as trying to put out a fire with gasoline.

But hey... maybe I missed the point. Maybe it's not about trying to help others understand how to keep their beliefs grounded in reality...

(... my 2 cents.)


Edited by JacquesCousteau (09/26/05 10:21 AM)


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: trendal]
    #4713144 - 09/26/05 10:10 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

trendal said:
If someone says the sky is purple, and I correct them by saying it's blue, am I belittling them?

No, but what if instead you said "Anyone with a brain knows the sky is blue"?

If someone denies that the holocaust happened, and I show them the photos and reports that prove it did, am I being arrogant?

No, but what if instead of showing pictures you said "anyone who's intelligent knows the holocaust happened"?


Get my point? Telling someone the truth isn't in any way wrong and, despite what some people say, the PLAIN truth only RARELY provokes an angry response in someone holding a false belief. Delivery is everything!

You can try to educate someone, or you can try to prove them wrong for the sake of proving them wrong. One approach is likely to benefit everyone involved...the other is likely to produce feelings of resentment and anger in the person expressing the belief.




Right on indeed. Spot on, and this is exactally where the problem lies. It makes all the difference in how we work together. I have been guilty of this myself. I try not to make a living at it though. This is an important thread IMO. It could change a lot of things here at S&P if we all worked on this.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: JacquesCousteau]
    #4713146 - 09/26/05 10:11 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

:thumbup:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: JacquesCousteau]
    #4713343 - 09/26/05 11:38 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Basically, what I get from this post is that a skeptic is also supposed to be a psychologist.  Sorry, that's just not my area of expertise. :shrug:


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4713365 - 09/26/05 11:47 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Well I don't see you pissing off too many people, despite your label as "skeptic"....so you must be doing something right :wink:


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: trendal]
    #4713377 - 09/26/05 11:49 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Oh and don't sell yourself short, man. You don't need to be a psychologist to have a fair understanding of other people. You certainly don't need to be a psychologist to have a good understanding of the English language and how to use it.

If I can do it, you can. If Jacques can do it, so can you. If Icelander can do it, I think you can too. None of us have any formal training in psychology (and to be honest I don't understand other people all that well) yet we still manage to say things without constantly pissing off whoever we're saying them to.

So yeah...don't sell yourself short, man. Don't go for the cop-out, either.


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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OfflineBlueCoyote
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4713378 - 09/26/05 11:49 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Oh, I am in favour to really strongly take out all false believes, which are evidently proven wrong. That's a matter of my heart.
But please try to respect every belief, which is not proven right or wrong yet. They are the roots of discussion in this forum and should be supported for open discussions, no matter how 'strange' they sound at the begining.

Wise are those, who know the border.


--------------------
Though lovers be lost love shall not  And death shall have no dominion
........................................................
"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."Martin Luther King, Jr.
'Acceptance is the absolute key - at that moment you gain freedom and you gain power and you gain courage'


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OfflineMAIA
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4713397 - 09/26/05 11:56 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

If someone says the sky is purple, and I correct them by saying it's blue, am I belittling them? If someone denies that the holocaust happened, and I show them the photos and reports that prove it did, am I being arrogant? If someone believes that DDT will cure cancer, am I a selfish asshole for wanting to explain to them the danger of such a belief?




No, you're not arrogant nor a selfish asshole. Those examples are explained through science and logic, they can be proved.

But if someone believes in heaven, god, buddha or any other transcendental aspect of humanity, that person is entitled to achieve a non-scientific non-logical answer. Transcendental beliefs, like the spiritual belief, should be freely expressed without the need of scientific inquiry because they can't be objectively proved as false.

If someone says he believes in god, can you prove there is no god ?
If someone believes there is no god, can you prove there is a god ?

The answer lies within you, not on science.

Quote:

It seems to me that it is easier to level such accusations against someone than to reach a more unsettling conclusion: that you hold false or irrational beliefs.




Irrational beliefs are not automatically false. In fact transcendental beliefs are everything but rational because they don't need to be rational, it's a part of their nature. Reason is the one that can be true or false, beliefs just are.

MAIA


--------------------
Spiritual being, living a human experience ... The Shroomery Mandala



Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
Voltaire


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OfflineJacquesCousteau
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4713401 - 09/26/05 11:57 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

double double...


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OfflineJacquesCousteau
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4713404 - 09/26/05 11:59 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Paradigm said:
Basically, what I get from this post is that a skeptic is also supposed to be a psychologist.  Sorry, that's just not my area of expertise. :shrug:




It is not mine either... :shrug:


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: MAIA]
    #4713413 - 09/26/05 12:02 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

MAIA said:
Quote:

If someone says the sky is purple, and I correct them by saying it's blue, am I belittling them? If someone denies that the holocaust happened, and I show them the photos and reports that prove it did, am I being arrogant? If someone believes that DDT will cure cancer, am I a selfish asshole for wanting to explain to them the danger of such a belief?




No, you're not arrogant nor a selfish asshole. Those examples are explained through science and logic, they can be proved.

But if someone believes in heaven, god, buddha or any other transcendental aspect of humanity, that person is entitled to achieve a non-scientific non-logical answer. Transcendental beliefs, like the spiritual belief, should be freely expressed without the need of scientific inquiry because they can't be objectively proved as false.

If someone says he believes in god, can you prove there is no god ?
If someone believes there is no god, can you prove there is a god ?

The answer lies within you, not on science.



Ok, but what if I were to inquire as to why someone holds such unverifiable beliefs? What if they state those beliefs as justification for something else? Is it not kosher to pry deeper on such occasions?

Quote:

Quote:

It seems to me that it is easier to level such accusations against someone than to reach a more unsettling conclusion: that you hold false or irrational beliefs.




Irrational beliefs are not automatically false. In fact transcendental beliefs are everything but rational because they don't need to be rational, it's a part of their nature. Reason is the one that can be true or false, beliefs just are.



Non-rational beliefs are not automatically false. Irrational beliefs are necessarily false.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4713418 - 09/26/05 12:05 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Irrational beliefs are necessarily false.

Yeah, I always thought that whole Love thing was a scam :smirk:


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Belittling people? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4713425 - 09/26/05 12:06 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

If someone says marijuana should be illegal, I shouldn't be able to say "you're dumb" but I should be able to say "that's a dumb idea", especially if I follow up with the reasoning behind my comment.

Anything more in the rules requires that I dilute my message by couching it in sissy language so the poster's feelings don't get hurt. This muddies communication unnecessarily and has no place in philosophical discussion.

As has been suggested before, if you don't want your ideas scrutinized, post them in the Pub or preface your post with a Sissy Disclaimer so everyone walks on eggshells in your thread.

Problem solved for both skeptics and those prone to hurt feelings.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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