Why people believe things you don't believe in


Everybody “knows” that it is because they are stupid poopy-heads.


Looking forward to listening to this (and probably will read Storr’s book).
One of my favorite areas to spelunk – the nature of people’s reality tunnels…

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”
– John Lubbock

That leads to a second question - what are you are wrong about? Storr says when he asked himself this second question, he started listing all the things he believed and checked them off one at a time as being true, he couldn’t think of anything he was wrong about.
This seems like a strange example. I can think of things I'm more or less confident about, and I know that every ten times I'm 90% certain, I can expect one mistake. But I wouldn't expect any of them to be mistakes taken on their own, or I wouldn't be *wrong* about it, because that would be me knowing it wasn't true.

They are judging the evidence presented to them based on a model of reality, a map that they’ve used their entire lives, and you can’t just tell someone that his or her map is a fantasy realm that doesn’t exist and expect them to respond positively.

Heck, I’m prepared to believe that the earth is flat and was created in 6 days, 6000 years ago, and not warming up at a rate that it would harm human society within a generation due to man-made CO2 emissions, as soon as science starts to produce compelling evidence for it.

I guess it all boils down to the ability to accept change. About not being conservative.


Because we’re all different.


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At last. Somebody with the courage to say what I’ve always known. Until you disagree with me.:smile:

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It is a unifying principle – if you can get two parties to recognize each others poopy-headedness, then you can move on to more nuanced issues like the quantity of flames emanating from the opponent’s trousers1. Sometimes it takes another unifying action such as complementing or showing concern for each others’ mother before one can move on to the issues at hand.

1If one can get them to agree on what comes after “liar liar pants on fire”, then your job is done.2

2 the correct answer is “nose is as long as a telephone wire”


I will often say, “I wouldn’t mind being wrong about that” relating to something I’m pessimistic about. I think of it as the opposite of wishful thinking.


Hasn’t this guy ever visited an Internet forum?


Get back to work.

We explore the psychology of belief through interviews with Margaret
Maitland, an Egyptologist, who settles once and for all whether or not
aliens built the pyramids.

Well, duh. I would be more impressed if she proved that Ancient Egyptians were black. ( I agree with Cheikh Anta Diop.)

I’m psyched to listen to this whole thing. In my immediate sphere:

1-tea partyer dude who hates all Muslims and are convinced they are ready to come get us; also all those children coming over from Mexico are all warriors from the drug front there - all of them

2- Lady who really does medical intuition over the phone; she’s written quite a good book about it explaining her beliefs

3-An influential teacher who I dearly love who believes he is communicating with dead people and channeling Jesus

4- An lifelong alcoholic who tells me his new nephrologist hasn’t the slightest idea how he developed diabetes as he has no risk factors

and then there’s me and all my kooky beliefs that I know make no logical sense.

And Ramchandran is the bomb!


I’ve always liked the witticism “Don’t believe everything you think.”

And when offering advice or opinions, I will often remind my victim that “Just because I believe something doesn’t make it true.”


I listened to this because I’m interested in the topic and, again, had to stop about half way.

If I am the only one here who finds the Host of this show really dim, unable to engage in intelligent discussions but rather just paraphrasing a dumbed down version of what his guests have just said, I’ll feel pretty lonely.

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Or deranged / psychotic / under narcotic influence / lying / religious

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Mainly poopy-headedness though.


If you’re talking about reactionary extremists, sure, but if you mean the dictionary definition of the term, then conservatives are able to accept change, they just need to see more proof that it’s worth changing the status quo. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” works fine until there is reasonable proof that it’s time to fix it. It doesn’t mean never fix anything.

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

I’m talking about new insights that shatter old, mostly dogmatic, paradigms, obviously.

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