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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Irrational thinking...  |  Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 10:19 pm

Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:44 am
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Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne

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I went to my local working mens club for a cheeky beer after work. I got chatting with the guys at the bar, a mixed bunch (one of the benefits of this type of place). In the discussion was myself (a scientist), a postman, a building contractor and an undertaker. The discussion, somehow, moved to the supernatural... All of my fellow barflies claimed to have seen a ghost. I called bullshit and asked them to give solid evidence why I should believe their claims. After about 30 minute of me pointing out their logical fallacies and explaining why anecdotes are not good evidentiary material they continued to stick with their beliefs even though they acknowledged all of my rebuttals of the points they made... These guys are not stupid but even though intellectually they agreed I had shot them down they maintained their belief in the supernatural. This pissed me off so much I decided to have an early night... What is wrong with people!

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"The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart"

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geordief
Post  Post subject: Re: Irrational thinking...  |  Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 12:11 am

Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:45 pm
Posts: 255

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PhDemon wrote:
I went to my local working mens club for a cheeky beer after work. I got chatting with the guys at the bar, a mixed bunch (one of the benefits of this type of place). In the discussion was myself (a scientist), a postman, a building contractor and an undertaker. The discussion, somehow, moved to the supernatural... All of my fellow barflies claimed to have seen a ghost. I called bullshit and asked them to give solid evidence why I should believe their claims. After about 30 minute of me pointing out their logical fallacies and explaining why anecdotes are not good evidentiary material they continued to stick with their beliefs even though they acknowledged all of my rebuttals of the points they made... These guys are not stupid but even though intellectually they agreed I had shot them down they maintained their belief in the supernatural. This pissed me off so much I decided to have an early night... What is wrong with people!

You are irrational yourself in expecting them to change their opinion over a drink (but I guess you knew that ;) )

The irrational and the rational are probably symbiotic bedfellows in the mind and blend into one another.

I think it is possible to favour one aspect over the other in the same way we can exercise our body's muscles . Is it possible to say whether a new born baby would be more likely to have a successful or enjoyable life if its rational capabilities were favoured over its irrational ones (or vice versa) ?


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Irrational thinking...  |  Posted: Sat May 27, 2017 7:22 pm
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Location: Cardiff, Wales

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I assume that with ghosts it's like with UFOs : first you have to believe in them, and then you'll see them

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geordief
Post  Post subject: Re: Irrational thinking...  |  Posted: Sun May 28, 2017 7:44 am

Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:45 pm
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Do we have to give a name to something otherwise unspecified we fear ? We fear the dark because it is a cover for the unknown and dangerous. Do ghosts and ghoulies "materialise" out of this fog of ignorance and apprehensive so as better to categorize them?

Is there an analogy to the way particles are a "materialization" of fields ? (if I got that any way right)

Once we have these new named "creatures" then we can go further and describe their behaviour (and make stories about them )


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One beer
Post  Post subject: Re: Irrational thinking...  |  Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:26 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:05 am
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A number of possibilities spring to mind:

~ Having stated their belief in ghosts, your new friends found it hard to lose face so they continued to state their claims even after you had proved their claims to be impossible. Loss of face is not something that most folk are comfortable with, a sad fact that has caused countless arguments, fights and wars. Presented with someone, yourself, who probably seemed more intelligent than them, they felt inferior and had to somehow save face. Being presumably unable to construct counter arguments, persisting with their claims was the only thing they could do. (Religion follows a similar modus operandi.)

~ They were simply not all that intelligent. They could follow your counter arguments but could not change their thinking. Or they did not understand your counter arguments but pretended they did, so as not to look dim and lose face.

~ They were winding you up, If I may point out, you have quite a fiery demeanour - witness your posts on a previous science forum and the incident you spoke about in the pub where you were trying to prove global warming to another group and got yourself thrown out of that pub. I have had this happen to me - I do not always notice when I am being wound up, and there are people who enjoy seeing how cross they can get someone to be.

~ Possibly you get too passionate about such things and perhaps you need to learn to turn the other cheek? You won't win every argument - even if you are right - and you should not let that bother you. Life is too short and getting stressed is very bad for one's health. Chill out.

OB

PS. I was once in Arnhem as part of a crew filming a report about WW2 for BBC TV, and we were at a war cemetery where Prince Charles was visiting to pay his respects. After we had finished and were packing up our equipment, it was getting dark. As I was coiling wires etc, I was looking at the rows and rows of identical white gravestones and I suddenly had the weirdest feeling. There in front of me each gravestones had turned into a soldier, and there were rows of soldiers standing to attention silently in the graveyard. The soldiers were all a vague semi transparent white colour. A moment later they had gone and the gravestones remained.

Obviously this was not real, and the figures I saw were not ghosts* - it was just my mind creating an image in my mind's eye. (*Or perhaps that is what a 'ghost' actually is - just one's imagination?) Very very spooky though.

OB


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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Irrational thinking...  |  Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:43 am

Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:44 am
Posts: 497
Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne

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Wise words...

I've now got to know some of those people better and I've concluded that, although they actually DO believe ghosts exist, it was mainly the "wind up" option! Now I know the group dynamic I get my own back by winding them up ;)

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"The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart"

- Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan


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