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The Boston Atheists Meetup Group Message Board › Phil Plait, on "Don't be a Dick" - Or, how to make skeptics and in

Phil Plait, on "Don't be a Dick" - Or, how to make skeptics and influence reason

Tamar
Tonthetown
Boston, MA
Post #: 3
The lecture from which one of the key clips is taken on "Symphony of Science." (Thanks for sharing, Stefan Tilke.)

A little long, but time extremely well spent. Listen to it on the computer while multi-tasking. Intelligent, insightful, and entertaining. (Though does not contain his best line "I'm Phil and I'm a dork, its been 20 minutes since my last tweet.")



Tamar
Tonthetown
Boston, MA
Post #: 4
Hmmm....the link did not appear. That's annoying. Guess I'm not a talented enough dork...

http://vimeo.com/1370...­
kyanite11
user 13397562
Belmont, MA
Post #: 1
Thanks for sharing. This is a challenge for sure, but we have to do our best.

Especially me, ever since I became a proper skeptic I've alienated nearly all of my close friends. I never use insults when I'm arguing, but I am passionate and I have facts on my side. So it seems no matter how polite I am I always come across as a bit of a dick. My friends are liberal with beliefs ranging from Christianity to new age spookiness. They're intelligent people but they've been completely swept up in this post modern torrent. If you ask them they say all beliefs are equally valid and should be respected, and no one really knows anything for certain etc etc. Now every time I open my mouth around them they think I'm being grumpy and backwards. It's just so frustrating and sad how "uncool" facts and evidence have become. I really hope I get better at dealing with this.
Tamar
Tonthetown
Boston, MA
Post #: 5
I agree with you its intensely annoying. But I agree with "Dr. Phil" the dickness doesn't help our cause. Unfortunately we live in the era when one has a right not only to one's own opinion, but also to one's own facts. As PP puts it, and the scientific psychological evidence bears out, you can't argue people out, the more you argue, the more entrenched people become in their own bs. That's why I'm such an admirer of folk's like The Amazing Randi, who put it to the test and expose these charlatans on their own turf. But still, the reality is people believe what they want to believe, because they need to. www.randi.org.

(I, for example, believe that the spirit of my mother - life-long atheist, scientist, skeptic, and bargain shopper - resides at Frugal Fannies, and the only way to keep it from haunting me is to make sure I never pay retail.)
Zachary B.
zakbos
Boston, MA
Post #: 192
As PP puts it, and the scientific psychological evidence bears out, you can't argue people out, the more you argue, the more entrenched people become in their own bs. That's why I'm such an admirer of folk's like The Amazing Randi, who put it to the test and expose these charlatans on their own turf. But still, the reality is people believe what they want to believe, because they need to. www.randi.org.

Interestingly, Randi has been at times called out for his aggressive "dickness." My objection to the objection that folks should not be jerks, is that it is a blunt instrument, wielded as easily against the earnest and persistent as against the rude and antagonistic. Civility and good will should issue from the same source as our criticism, but we don't do ourselves and the cause of more widespread rationality any good by making such loud complaints about the manners of others.

All best,

Zachary
Tamar
Tonthetown
Boston, MA
Post #: 6
Agreed. (I think). If what you said was: "can't we all just get along, even when we're right and they're wrong?" Inevitably, they'll be something about which I'm right and you're wrong, and I'll certainly hope to be polite - if passionate - about it :-)
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