Why you often believe people who see the world differently are wrong

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I find this post deliciously funny!

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Can thinking a scientific world view is better than a religion-based world view be called naive realism too?


There’s no objective stance, perceptually speaking.

Sure there is. Look at the page source:

a href="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ec/Anomalous_motion_illusion1.png”

Ah! Not .APNG, so probably not animated. To be sure, I could get into the image’s hex and look for the acTL, fcTL, and fdAT chunks. If they’re not there, it’s not animated, and so not moving.

Ugh. On second thought, it’s too early in the damn day for this.

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Why do you assume that I do?

I don’t know, but it’s a great question.

In religion, it’s permissible (though not required) to lack objective evidence for your beliefs, but in science, that’s really not at all acceptable.

Religion and science are 100% compatible, as proven by the observed existence of scientists like Carl Sagan and religions like the Unitarian Universalist Church. It’s true you can’t believe in certain specific religions if you want to also be a scientist, of course.

Therefore, if you believe religion and science are opposed or mutually exclusive, I’d have to say your worldview is religious, because that belief is faith-based and contrary to empirical observation. Q.E.F.

When I try to persuade a biblical fundamentalist to always do the right thing, I argue from a previously agreed scriptural basis (I let them pick the book and I pick the version, which generally gets us the KJV Bible). Using the same idea, the “standing on the side of love” campaign was a key strategy to winning approval of gay marriage from the majority of US Xians; it was easy to show that Jesus would have been on our side, not on the side of the hate preachers, using the bible itself as evidence.


Because you’re arguing with a headline.


My definition of argumentation is that of debating different positions. Asking a question without offering a differing view does not qualify, for me. Of course, depending upon what the answers are put forth, I might later express a difference of opinion based upon this. But, basically, clarification of each participant’s positions may be required before we can even know what is being discussed.

Suffice it to say that telling other people what they believe is an unsupportable way to provoke people into a debate. I’d rather simply read some research papers.

Dude, your whole schtick is assuming people are wrong, and trying to teach them that your point of view is the right one. By the evidence of your posting here, you even hold your knee-jerk contrarianism to be the ideal attitude and anybody who doesn’t hold to that ideal to be wrong, no matter what their stance. So, even though the question in the headline isn’t addressed to you in particular, you are the poster child of this particular attitude, which you only reinforce by choosing to argue with it.

Now, tell me I’m using the word ‘argue’ wrong again because it’s not the way you’re choosing to define it at this moment.


It should not be about who’s right or wrong. It should be about who’s answer is the most beneficial. Like: who’s answers are more beneficial? Answers from ‘creationists’, or from ‘evolutionists’? What has the theory of evolution brought us? An idea of how new species form, improved crops, drugs and vaccines. What has the story of Adam and Eve brought us? Flame wars on the internet. It does not matter who’s right. It matters which answers improve our lives.

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How can a “person” be “wrong”? A person is not an answer to a question. Judging who a person is is not the same as evaluating what they say. Some of people’s communications may be more or less accurate than others.

[quote=“popobawa4u”]3 X 5 = 14
3 X 5 = 15[/quote]

There, I have made two statements. Am I wrong? Or does this even directly have anything to do with me and my models of the world? I would say that one statement is demonstrably more accurate than the other. Also, this example shows that I can make a false statement for purposes of illustration, assuming no necessary congruence with my cognition nor perceptions.

If you think so, you might fundamentally misunderstand what I am trying to do. I have no interest at all in persuading others to see anything my way. I don’t even believe in coercion or persuasion. For me, debate is not a contest, it is rather an exercise in comparative realities. That we get to know each other, and create our culture, by getting into the technical details of how ourselves and others think. Despite what some may assume, there does not seem to be any objective evidence to suggest that it matters whether my views are “validated” by others. Or yours, or anybody elses.

You might be assuming too much! * How do we know that my post might have been some unthinking, reflexive action? How would we know if I even believe in an “ideal attitude”, or if my post exemplifies it? And how would I use this question as an evaluation for vetting other people? And for what purpose? Your statement above seems loaded with assumptions about both me and communication. Are you interested in unpacking these? Do you imagine that I would think less of you whether or not you choose to?

  • *This in no way implies that others, in their own ways, might not also be assuming too much! You need not take it personally.

Does having multiple definitions make all but one of them “wrong”? Words do not seem to have meanings independently of their usage by people. So I find that communications are more clear when instead of suggesting “this IS what it means”, that people take some responsibility for what they mean. Which is what I tried to do by saying:

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I like that! Pragmatism has always appealed to me…

Works for me! I expose my ideas to other people’s criticism, not because I want to “lose” or “win” arguments, but because I think all of us could conceivably benefit from learning the frameworks that others use to make sense of the world. It’s a sharing thing, right? Mutual benevolence.

But I also realize our posts may well be read by President Obama and other influential people, so if I can rhetorically oppose a dangerous, pernicious meme (and, hopefully, demonstrate a better way of thinking or behaving) I often will. So it’s not like I’m never playing to “win” - it’s just that my idea of “winning” is that we all achieve some useful enlightenment, as measured by the pragmatism that Arduenn espoused. Nobody has to “lose” and my ideas don’t have to dominate.


Creationists believe that humans are special. That people matter. Evolutions say we are just apes with larger craniums.

That’s the point. You might agree with X, but that doesn’t mean Y has no value.

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So, uh. Is there an objective reality and are people wrong in it?

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For many things it doesn’t matter if they are right or wrong. It’s just stuff to help people through their lives, and then one day they die and then it doesn’t matter anyway.

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But, beneficial to whom?

Who exactly are we?

Sure, but first we need to decide who we are. The implicit danger is to assume that other people would naturally share the same goals and values. To naturalize and universalize something you see the reason of, and then decide that it is beneficial enough that “any reasonable person” would agree. This then inevitably leads to the problem of dividing people between those are (according to an arbitrary standard) reasonable, and those who are not.

Positing any totality reveals the classical problem of the benevolent dictator, that one needs to bypass the individuality and agency of the masses of individuals. It would sure be convenient if people had similar (or even compatible) goals and values, but attempts to demonstrate or cultivate it are always by nature coercive. It seemed like an “enlightened” perspective in the Enlightenment through the Industrial Revolution when culture (in some areas) was homogeneous enough that it could be assumed that most people “obviously” wanted to live the same ways - because they had (mostly) the shared experience of being white Christian male property owners. People in even contemporary Western liberal individualist cultures seem to take for granted those commonalities which are assumed.

Reason and science are crucial as representing the most accurate perspectives on the world at large. But they do nothing whatsoever to helping people to organize a reasonable society. Because, unfortunately, most social activity has nothing to do with reason. So we cannot assume the classical forms of government and business as having any universally reasoned underpinnings. And we are even less able to posit a new one-size-fits-all system than in the past. The notion that individuals can be fairly represented by a vast system in a scientific and multicultural world seem quite untenable, and IMO undesirable. Having scientific thinking subservient to instinctive territorial games is dysfunctional at best, and destructive at worst.

This is why I am opposed to the notion of “influential people” generally. Pragmatism seems to me to be based upon getting people to do their own work, rather than searching for consensus. The practical approach towards scientific government is to allow people to organize so that they form research enclaves.


I’m just attempting to set terms. You could read the article and come to the conclusion that those possibilities - that there is an objective, consensus reality and that there exists the condition of people being (objectively) wrong - might not be assumed.


In psychology they call thinking that you see the world as it truly is, free from bias or the limitations of your senses, naive realism.

I hope I’m not hijacking this really important conversation, but I’d like to point out this is the fundamental philosophical error of Ayn Rand.


Now everybody’s going to be calling each other naive realists for the next two years.


If you think that, you’re a naive realist.