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Folks with Delusions or Delusional Folks- What is the Best Strategy?

 
burt
 
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burt
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15 December 2018 18:55
 
proximacentauri - 15 December 2018 01:20 PM
burt - 15 December 2018 09:59 AM
proximacentauri - 15 December 2018 07:15 AM

We all have our varied perceptions of reality because our senses are imperfect. That’s not what gets us into trouble. It’s our capacity to self-delude, to seek confirmation bias, and our familial and societal indoctrination in nonsense from a young age.

How do you tell someone their belief or belief system is delusional without offending them? Not an easy task. That their beliefs are unsubstantiated by the evidence matters not to them. They are too invested in their self delusion because it comforts them and supports their ideological views of reality. They will ignore or rationalize-away any un-supporting evidence. And they will continue to seek ‘supporting’ evidence which includes personal revelations, miracles,  pseudoscience, woo, and talking heads who agree with their rank biases. “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.”

The only way out of this pattern is first to acknowledge that we are vulnerable to self-deception, then a willingness to be self-skeptical of our own beliefs and preconceived notions, and the self-discipline to maintain an open mind to other explanations. Again, not an easy task.

And there seems to be a hidden assumption here, namely that if we were all self-skeptical and maintained an open mind then we would all agree on the nature of reality?

No, but our chances of finding common ground should improve. We have no chance with certainty and closemindedness, which underpins religious belief and then often extends to politics, science, etc.

Best common ground is recognizing that we’re all human and respecting our differences, including different beliefs about the ultimate nature of reality.

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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15 December 2018 20:31
 

How long has this site been running 15 years? How many people in that time posted more then 50 posts, 250 or so and how many have posted more then 500, like 50. yet how many posts were spent talking about how attract more posters, 1000’s. And how much time has been spent on policy, policing, reprimanding, the kline bottle etc, man years. And what was/is the point(hope) of all that, to attract people who will tell you you are full of shit or that will agree with you and tell you how wonderful you are? For posterity? We’ve heard that many times but how many people do think come here or will ever come here and dig through our shit looking for gold no matter how clean the bathroom is. It is deluded to think that anything anyone one does here matters outside of here but it is just as deluded to believe that no one thinks that. 

 

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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15 December 2018 21:09
 
hannahtoo - 15 December 2018 02:37 PM
Jefe - 15 December 2018 09:24 AM
hannahtoo - 14 December 2018 08:03 PM

The delusions that are alleged on this forum are not simple things like whether a pot of water is getting close to boiling temperature.  They are big ideas.  Like evolution.

Are you suggesting that evolution is a delusional structure?

No.  I didn’t state that right.  I should have said that people have delusions about big ideas, like the origin of life.  The slow evolution of lifeforms is reality, as far as most scientific minds can tell from the evidence.  But the origin of life has had all sorts of other stories to explain it.  And people who want to attack natural selection mostly pick at its details in ways that would take too much ‘splainin’ to correct. 

This is a type of abstract thinking that other animals do not have.  I recently heard an interesting story about the link between language and thought.  The story was about deaf people who primarily use sign language.  Seems that when American Sign Language first was codified, there were signs for fewer words, but as a couple of generations passed, many more were added.  Some researchers tested older signers and found that their interpretation of a test situation was not as good as for younger signers, who grew up learning more signs, and particularly more specific, nuanced signs.  Turns out that when the participants were retested a few years later, some of the older signers improved in their understanding.  These were seniors who had been hanging out with the younger crowd and learning better signing.  The implication was that having more vocabulary enabled people to understand the world better.  Having words crystallizes concepts in the brain.

So, for the example of evolution, people who understand concepts like radiometric dating, stratigraphy, genetics, the fossil record, etc., can comprehend the proofs for evolution more easily.  But that’s a tall order.  Most people accept or reject evolution based on general ideas they were taught before adulthood.  We learn most of our delusions from people we trust.  Most of our true ideas as well.

Groovy.  Thanks for the explanation. 

I saw a TED talk recently that discussed how languages affect the way we think too.
There are degrees of precision in different languages that english can’t really approach, which is interesting to me.
I’ll see if I can dig up the link.

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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16 December 2018 04:16
 

I’m perplexed by the dilemma posed in the OP, and its clarification, not in its terms, but that there even is one.  As long as I have been here and as much disagreement as I have seen, it has not occurred to me to say anyone on this forum is deluded, not in any serious sense.  Self-interested confirmation bias—sure, any one of us can fall into that sometimes.  Refusal to grant a point, no matter how compellingly put—ditto.  Mere assertion as though assertion without reason was enough for dismissal—that may be the modus operands of an occasional few.  But delusion?  What example?  Where is it?  What curious perspective on human nature derives delusion simply because we are intractable in our disagreements; because we are sometimes short on facts and logic (or too long on them); because someone posts like a provocative troll, or what not?  What is the utility in posing this dilemma, but to scold and abuse with a backhanded slap?  And I see the slap scored, alas.  Why not a place for everyone, trolls included?  Why not let the hundred flowers bloom and remain content in the incertitude that one does not have The Truth or access to The Real on anything, only a provisional point of view, one tested by trial among one’s peers?  Sure, press a point to one’s limits and convictions, but stay on this side of those limits and assert no privileged to access to The Real or The True presupposed in asserting delusion. 

It seems to me posing the dilemma of disagreement, divergence, and non-consensus in terms of delusion is a non-starter, and a counter-productive one at that, for the very posing requires a (self-anointed) access to some truth from which delusion can be seen as delusion.  For a pot of water, that is easy; anyone can do it.  Stick a finger or a thermometer in it.  But like hannahtoo has indicated, what really matters to most people—to us all, perhaps—is rarely so simple, and there asserting delusion just begs the questions we are ultimately asking.  With this complexity and inherent uncertainty in mind—and with all privileged access to the True or the Real dissolved—on what basis is there to call any poster deluded?  Sure, from our attachment to our unique chunk we want to say those who don’t share it are deluded, but who’s so secure in their own chunk to divine even when and where delusion occurs, much less that it must occur once we leave the province of the simple, perceptually real?  Must occur?  Quite the contrary.  Avoiding delusion is as easy as kiss-my-hand when the very status of objective reality is in play.  Under those conditions, it is all but impossible even to be deluded.  When the very status of the objectively real is in question, as a strategy for posing the dilemma of debate “delusion” should be off the table, for there it merely becomes a term of abuse or, god help us, the banner for a tribe.

 

[ Edited: 16 December 2018 04:28 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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16 December 2018 06:21
 

A lot of people post steadily and a lot of people get edged out of conversations.  Steadily.  There are a lot of assumptions about intentions and many impressions stemming from misunderstandings.  Formed and never straightened out.  Take a moment to consider what you really know compared to what you think you know but never ask.  And whether not talking about something is tantamount to not knowing about something.  Silence isn’t necessarily ignorance.  I don’t think anyone has the monopoly on feeling like an outsider at this forum.  You can hear the sentiment everywhere including from those you’d least expect.  (Nothing a few thousand more posts can’t cure, eh?)

We are all responsible for our behaviour at this forum.  That’s not quite how it works though, does it?  The non stop posters run the show while the rest patiently wait for a turn that never comes.  Those wanting the centre of attention tend to get it as the rest fade into the background like furniture.  This compels people to settle into, what can only be described as, self appointed roles and play them to the hilt.  And then feel threatened when others chime in.  As if those who share similar attributes take something away from them.  When you think your individual happiness should come at the expense of ten others I think that’s a problem.  And it shouldn’t become everyone’s problem.

 
 
proximacentauri
 
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proximacentauri
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16 December 2018 06:54
 
burt - 15 December 2018 06:55 PM
proximacentauri - 15 December 2018 01:20 PM
burt - 15 December 2018 09:59 AM
proximacentauri - 15 December 2018 07:15 AM

We all have our varied perceptions of reality because our senses are imperfect. That’s not what gets us into trouble. It’s our capacity to self-delude, to seek confirmation bias, and our familial and societal indoctrination in nonsense from a young age.

How do you tell someone their belief or belief system is delusional without offending them? Not an easy task. That their beliefs are unsubstantiated by the evidence matters not to them. They are too invested in their self delusion because it comforts them and supports their ideological views of reality. They will ignore or rationalize-away any un-supporting evidence. And they will continue to seek ‘supporting’ evidence which includes personal revelations, miracles,  pseudoscience, woo, and talking heads who agree with their rank biases. “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.”

The only way out of this pattern is first to acknowledge that we are vulnerable to self-deception, then a willingness to be self-skeptical of our own beliefs and preconceived notions, and the self-discipline to maintain an open mind to other explanations. Again, not an easy task.

And there seems to be a hidden assumption here, namely that if we were all self-skeptical and maintained an open mind then we would all agree on the nature of reality?

No, but our chances of finding common ground should improve. We have no chance with certainty and closemindedness, which underpins religious belief and then often extends to politics, science, etc.

Best common ground is recognizing that we’re all human and respecting our differences, including different beliefs about the ultimate nature of reality.

Not if those beliefs about the ultimate nature of reality include a book of ideas scripted by the ‘one true creator’ of the universe that direct it’s adherents to subjugate women, punish homosexuals, seek to govern via theocracy, and seek to impose their belief system on the whole of humanity. Those beliefs about the nature of reality should not only be disrespected but ardently opposed.

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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16 December 2018 08:10
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 16 December 2018 04:16 AM

I’m perplexed by the dilemma posed in the OP, and its clarification, not in its terms, but that there even is one.  As long as I have been here and as much disagreement as I have seen, it has not occurred to me to say anyone on this forum is deluded, not in any serious sense.  Self-interested confirmation bias—sure, any one of us can fall into that sometimes.  Refusal to grant a point, no matter how compellingly put—ditto.  Mere assertion as though assertion without reason was enough for dismissal—that may be the modus operands of an occasional few.  But delusion?  What example?  Where is it?  What curious perspective on human nature derives delusion simply because we are intractable in our disagreements; because we are sometimes short on facts and logic (or too long on them); because someone posts like a provocative troll, or what not?  What is the utility in posing this dilemma, but to scold and abuse with a backhanded slap?  And I see the slap scored, alas.  Why not a place for everyone, trolls included?  Why not let the hundred flowers bloom and remain content in the incertitude that one does not have The Truth or access to The Real on anything, only a provisional point of view, one tested by trial among one’s peers?  Sure, press a point to one’s limits and convictions, but stay on this side of those limits and assert no privileged to access to The Real or The True presupposed in asserting delusion. 

It seems to me posing the dilemma of disagreement, divergence, and non-consensus in terms of delusion is a non-starter, and a counter-productive one at that, for the very posing requires a (self-anointed) access to some truth from which delusion can be seen as delusion.  For a pot of water, that is easy; anyone can do it.  Stick a finger or a thermometer in it.  But like hannahtoo has indicated, what really matters to most people—to us all, perhaps—is rarely so simple, and there asserting delusion just begs the questions we are ultimately asking.  With this complexity and inherent uncertainty in mind—and with all privileged access to the True or the Real dissolved—on what basis is there to call any poster deluded?  Sure, from our attachment to our unique chunk we want to say those who don’t share it are deluded, but who’s so secure in their own chunk to divine even when and where delusion occurs, much less that it must occur once we leave the province of the simple, perceptually real?  Must occur?  Quite the contrary.  Avoiding delusion is as easy as kiss-my-hand when the very status of objective reality is in play.  Under those conditions, it is all but impossible even to be deluded.  When the very status of the objectively real is in question, as a strategy for posing the dilemma of debate “delusion” should be off the table, for there it merely becomes a term of abuse or, god help us, the banner for a tribe.

That’s all fine if you’re going by definition 1b below:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/delusion
1a, on the other hand, represents a more casual use of the word. There’s often the “1a” to consider in these kinds of discussions.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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16 December 2018 08:15
 
GAD - 15 December 2018 08:31 PM

How long has this site been running 15 years? How many people in that time posted more then 50 posts, 250 or so and how many have posted more then 500, like 50. yet how many posts were spent talking about how attract more posters, 1000’s. And how much time has been spent on policy, policing, reprimanding, the kline bottle etc, man years. And what was/is the point(hope) of all that, to attract people who will tell you you are full of shit or that will agree with you and tell you how wonderful you are? For posterity? We’ve heard that many times but how many people do think come here or will ever come here and dig through our shit looking for gold no matter how clean the bathroom is. It is deluded to think that anything anyone one does here matters outside of here but it is just as deluded to believe that no one thinks that.

If you think regulars around here are hoping to achieve anything more significant than the pleasure of conversation, you’re deluded. I don’t know how such an obvious delusion managed to land in your head. Too much caffeine, perhaps?

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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16 December 2018 10:03
 
nonverbal - 16 December 2018 08:15 AM
GAD - 15 December 2018 08:31 PM

How long has this site been running 15 years? How many people in that time posted more then 50 posts, 250 or so and how many have posted more then 500, like 50. yet how many posts were spent talking about how attract more posters, 1000’s. And how much time has been spent on policy, policing, reprimanding, the kline bottle etc, man years. And what was/is the point(hope) of all that, to attract people who will tell you you are full of shit or that will agree with you and tell you how wonderful you are? For posterity? We’ve heard that many times but how many people do think come here or will ever come here and dig through our shit looking for gold no matter how clean the bathroom is. It is deluded to think that anything anyone one does here matters outside of here but it is just as deluded to believe that no one thinks that.

If you think regulars around here are hoping to achieve anything more significant than the pleasure of conversation, you’re deluded. I don’t know how such an obvious delusion managed to land in your head. Too much caffeine, perhaps?

I don’t know about you, Dave, but I’m hoping to achieve Dharana by posting here….  wink

(Special characters rejected by the forum software).

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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16 December 2018 10:09
 
nonverbal - 16 December 2018 08:15 AM
GAD - 15 December 2018 08:31 PM

How long has this site been running 15 years? How many people in that time posted more then 50 posts, 250 or so and how many have posted more then 500, like 50. yet how many posts were spent talking about how attract more posters, 1000’s. And how much time has been spent on policy, policing, reprimanding, the kline bottle etc, man years. And what was/is the point(hope) of all that, to attract people who will tell you you are full of shit or that will agree with you and tell you how wonderful you are? For posterity? We’ve heard that many times but how many people do think come here or will ever come here and dig through our shit looking for gold no matter how clean the bathroom is. It is deluded to think that anything anyone one does here matters outside of here but it is just as deluded to believe that no one thinks that.

If you think regulars around here are hoping to achieve anything more significant than the pleasure of conversation, you’re deluded. I don’t know how such an obvious delusion managed to land in your head. Too much caffeine, perhaps?

Then why all the fuss and hand-wringing. It’s clear from the posting here but deluded people don’t see their delusions as they are normal to them. So how do I know I’m not deluded on this, because I was knocked out of it by reality, couldn’t get back in, and ended up on the outside looking in.

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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16 December 2018 10:11
 
GAD - 16 December 2018 10:09 AM
nonverbal - 16 December 2018 08:15 AM
GAD - 15 December 2018 08:31 PM

How long has this site been running 15 years? How many people in that time posted more then 50 posts, 250 or so and how many have posted more then 500, like 50. yet how many posts were spent talking about how attract more posters, 1000’s. And how much time has been spent on policy, policing, reprimanding, the kline bottle etc, man years. And what was/is the point(hope) of all that, to attract people who will tell you you are full of shit or that will agree with you and tell you how wonderful you are? For posterity? We’ve heard that many times but how many people do think come here or will ever come here and dig through our shit looking for gold no matter how clean the bathroom is. It is deluded to think that anything anyone one does here matters outside of here but it is just as deluded to believe that no one thinks that.

If you think regulars around here are hoping to achieve anything more significant than the pleasure of conversation, you’re deluded. I don’t know how such an obvious delusion managed to land in your head. Too much caffeine, perhaps?

Then why all the fuss and hand-wringing. It’s clear from the posting here but deluded people don’t see their delusions as they are normal to them. So how do I know I’m not deluded on this, because I was knocked out of it by reality, couldn’t get back in, and ended up on the outside looking in.

Pro-tip:  We’re all deluded about something.

 

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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16 December 2018 10:17
 
LadyJane - 16 December 2018 06:21 AM

A lot of people post steadily and a lot of people get edged out of conversations.  Steadily.  There are a lot of assumptions about intentions and many impressions stemming from misunderstandings.  Formed and never straightened out.  Take a moment to consider what you really know compared to what you think you know but never ask.  And whether not talking about something is tantamount to not knowing about something.  Silence isn’t necessarily ignorance.  I don’t think anyone has the monopoly on feeling like an outsider at this forum.  You can hear the sentiment everywhere including from those you’d least expect.  (Nothing a few thousand more posts can’t cure, eh?)

We are all responsible for our behaviour at this forum.  That’s not quite how it works though, does it?  The non stop posters run the show while the rest patiently wait for a turn that never comes.  Those wanting the centre of attention tend to get it as the rest fade into the background like furniture.  This compels people to settle into, what can only be described as, self appointed roles and play them to the hilt.  And then feel threatened when others chime in.  As if those who share similar attributes take something away from them.  When you think your individual happiness should come at the expense of ten others I think that’s a problem.  And it shouldn’t become everyone’s problem.

So now we can add another victim to the ever growing saviors list of victims that need to be saved, the underrepresented poster. Affirmative posting? Posting quotas? A point system based on identity postics?

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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16 December 2018 10:19
 
proximacentauri - 16 December 2018 06:54 AM
burt - 15 December 2018 06:55 PM
proximacentauri - 15 December 2018 01:20 PM
burt - 15 December 2018 09:59 AM
proximacentauri - 15 December 2018 07:15 AM

We all have our varied perceptions of reality because our senses are imperfect. That’s not what gets us into trouble. It’s our capacity to self-delude, to seek confirmation bias, and our familial and societal indoctrination in nonsense from a young age.

How do you tell someone their belief or belief system is delusional without offending them? Not an easy task. That their beliefs are unsubstantiated by the evidence matters not to them. They are too invested in their self delusion because it comforts them and supports their ideological views of reality. They will ignore or rationalize-away any un-supporting evidence. And they will continue to seek ‘supporting’ evidence which includes personal revelations, miracles,  pseudoscience, woo, and talking heads who agree with their rank biases. “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.”

The only way out of this pattern is first to acknowledge that we are vulnerable to self-deception, then a willingness to be self-skeptical of our own beliefs and preconceived notions, and the self-discipline to maintain an open mind to other explanations. Again, not an easy task.

And there seems to be a hidden assumption here, namely that if we were all self-skeptical and maintained an open mind then we would all agree on the nature of reality?

No, but our chances of finding common ground should improve. We have no chance with certainty and closemindedness, which underpins religious belief and then often extends to politics, science, etc.

Best common ground is recognizing that we’re all human and respecting our differences, including different beliefs about the ultimate nature of reality.

Not if those beliefs about the ultimate nature of reality include a book of ideas scripted by the ‘one true creator’ of the universe that direct it’s adherents to subjugate women, punish homosexuals, seek to govern via theocracy, and seek to impose their belief system on the whole of humanity. Those beliefs about the nature of reality should not only be disrespected but ardently opposed.

Note the condition of “...respecting our differences…” Note, too, that it’s the attitude toward the book…

 
burt
 
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burt
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16 December 2018 10:21
 
Jefe - 16 December 2018 10:11 AM

Pro-tip:  We’re all deluded about something.

Must one be luded before one can be deluded?

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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16 December 2018 10:22
 
Jefe - 16 December 2018 10:11 AM
GAD - 16 December 2018 10:09 AM
nonverbal - 16 December 2018 08:15 AM
GAD - 15 December 2018 08:31 PM

How long has this site been running 15 years? How many people in that time posted more then 50 posts, 250 or so and how many have posted more then 500, like 50. yet how many posts were spent talking about how attract more posters, 1000’s. And how much time has been spent on policy, policing, reprimanding, the kline bottle etc, man years. And what was/is the point(hope) of all that, to attract people who will tell you you are full of shit or that will agree with you and tell you how wonderful you are? For posterity? We’ve heard that many times but how many people do think come here or will ever come here and dig through our shit looking for gold no matter how clean the bathroom is. It is deluded to think that anything anyone one does here matters outside of here but it is just as deluded to believe that no one thinks that.

If you think regulars around here are hoping to achieve anything more significant than the pleasure of conversation, you’re deluded. I don’t know how such an obvious delusion managed to land in your head. Too much caffeine, perhaps?

Then why all the fuss and hand-wringing. It’s clear from the posting here but deluded people don’t see their delusions as they are normal to them. So how do I know I’m not deluded on this, because I was knocked out of it by reality, couldn’t get back in, and ended up on the outside looking in.

Pro-tip:  We’re all deluded about something.

Pro-pro-tip: that was never in dispute and I covered it for this particular case

 

 
 
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