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The Cleveland Freethinkers Message Board The Cleveland Freethinkers Discussion Forum General Discussions › The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science

The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science

Cleveland, OH
Post #: 541
Interesting and disturbing:
A former member
Post #: 124

Thanks for posting this. In line with the overall assessment of the study(s), I think we all struggle with this very thing on some level, daily. I'll admit that I do. It can take real, controlled effort to remain open to all the possibilities, in the face of one's already established standards of belief. If everyone read this article, perhaps everyone (or at least a healthy percentage of people) would try to live and think more conscientiously of the way that they receive new information. That would be significant societal betterment, right there.

What a great (and yes... disturbing) read.
Rafiq M.
Bogor, ID
Post #: 682
Thanks, Morgan. We need to be reminded that we will not succeed in persuading most people through reasoned argument.

    A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.’ – Leon Festinger

    ...And that undercuts the standard notion that the way to persuade people is via evidence and argument. In fact, head-on attempts to persuade can sometimes trigger a backfire effect, where people not only fail to change their minds when confronted with the facts—they may hold their wrong views more tenaciously than ever.

Even discussions among ourselves on this and our "sister" forum on passionate issues such as the death penalty and the availability of guns shows how difficult it is.

The fact that we see that the rational argument is "bleedin' obvious" does not mean that debating with intelligent and educated people will actually persuade them; they are, perhaps, likely to construct even more elaborate defences to protect themselves.

Indeed, this is something I have noticed about myself. If my peer uses arguments I like, I relish them and feel comfort from the fact that I am not alone. Their value is in cohesion, less as a weapon to use to persuade others. Yet we must persuade others if we are going to change anything.

The battering ram may not be as effective as the paintbrush or comic book. We need to move the emotions, to make people laugh and cry and wonder. And then wonder some more.
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