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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 10:41AM

I am reading excerpts from a book, "Duped" by a Timothy R. Levine---Truth default theory and the social science of lying and deception. Goes a long way to explaining Mormonism and why my highly educated and intelligent family do not see the bogus claims for what they are.

I have always accepted that my family believe because they want it to be true. I still think this is partially true, but, this default to the truth essay I have been reading is very compelling. We are basically wired to accept all that we hear as truth as part of a communication system that assures survival.

An excerpt:

"From the advent of fake news to climate-science denial and Bernie Madoff’s appeal to investors, people can be astonishingly gullible. Some people appear authentic and sincere even when the facts discredit them, and many people fall victim to conspiracy theories and economic scams that should be dismissed as obviously ludicrous. This happens because of a near-universal human tendency to operate within a mindset that can be characterized as a “truth-default.” We uncritically accept most of the messages we receive as “honest.” We all are perceptually blind to deception. We are hardwired to be duped. The question is, can anything be done to militate against our vulnerability to deception without further eroding the trust in people and social institutions that we so desperately need in civil society?"


I do not discuss religion with my family, however, I wonder if I bought this book for my Jr. G.A. brother if it would pique his interest enough to read it. And what would happen? I would bet nothing, because, on top of the built-in truth default we have, they have the learned "desperately want-it-to-be-true" default as well. Double Whammy.

But why do some allow themselves to see deception and others do not? Seems to be the third part of the equation.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 11:04AM

Thanks for that. Adding that book to my list of stuff to read.

The default should be "bullshit until proven otherwise."

I'm astounded humans have done so well being so credulous. The bulk of humans appear to be busy scamming anyone then can. I didn't see it when I was young. People are trying to validate what they want reality to be or people are trying to find a way to take resources. It's everywhere.

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Posted by: Italia Caffe ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 11:10AM

dagny Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for that. Adding that book to my list of
> stuff to read.
>
> The default should be "bullshit until proven
> otherwise."
>
> I'm astounded humans have done so well being so
> credulous. The bulk of humans appear to be busy
> scamming anyone then can. I didn't see it when I
> was young. People are trying to validate what
> they want reality to be or people are trying to
> find a way to take resources. It's everywhere.

Credulity keeps the herd in line . Without it, leaders would have no support...

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Posted by: Italia Caffe ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 11:08AM

The whole "fake news" carry on is a perfect example of public gullibility. It isn't about quashing fake news as such, but mass censorship of the internet, and deciding which stories make it out there in the first place. It is a major level of damage control for the establishment. Throw in a bit of anti-Russian scaremongering and you support other objectives too

"The question is, can anything be done to militate against our vulnerability to deception without further eroding the trust in people and social institutions that we so desperately need in civil society?"

The real question is why we should take information at face value from governments, corporations or supposed experts. Test it all, just as you would Mormonism. They have interests of their own to protect - their budgets for one.

We don't desperately need "trust" but scrutiny in civil society!

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 07:26PM

All at once Elder Corleone shows up, perhaps writing from Italia Caffe. True newcomers?

Let's see. . .

1) You rail against "fake news" and claim that the internet is "censoring" right-wing views;

2) You denounce the "establishment;"

3) You defend Russian interference in other countries' elections, saying that skeptics of Mr. Putin are merely "scaremongering" and that the media and the government falsely blame "Russian trolls" for what is in fact true news; and

4) You imply that the US government is part of a global conspiracy, through American dominance of software, and hence that Russia could not influence American elections.

Are our two new Italian posters new to RfM? Not at all. It's the same old, flat Molson in yet another set of new bottles.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 10:52PM

That was my first vibe as well.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 11:16PM

I know. Always the same preoccupations. . .

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Posted by: Italia Caffe ( )
Date: September 07, 2019 04:10AM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> All at once Elder Corleone shows up, perhaps
> writing from Italia Caffe. True newcomers?
>
> Let's see. . .
>
> 1) You rail against "fake news" and claim that the
> internet is "censoring" right-wing views;

Where did I specify "right wing"?

> 2) You denounce the "establishment;"

And?

> 3) You defend Russian interference in other
> countries' elections,

No, I don't.

I think that is genuinely fake news. America makes its own mess well enough without Russian help. If there was any Russian interference, its effect was minimal. (The "fake news" scare mongering doesn't apply to major outlets, only minor ones. And when CNN does what Russia Today does, no one bats an eyelid. How many people watch Russia Today anyway? Very few. But if freedom of speech genuinely applies, then they should get their say too)

There is a level of hypocrisy here since the USA interferes regularly with other countries' politics. Not just by invasion but by other means. The Russian scaremongering allows Americans to tap into their latent xenophobia and avoid blaming their countrymen for anything that goes wrong.

> 4) You imply that the US government is part of a
> global conspiracy, through American dominance of
> software, and hence that Russia could not
> influence American elections.

Again, you're adding stuff here which I didn't say, especially the latter part. Russian influence on that election was minimal. Unlike US influence upon Yeltsin's government (which turned Russia into even more of a basket case). Putin's powerbase comes out of Yeltsin's legacy of chaos and corruption.

The USA has always aimed at world dominance. It's not even a secret. Phrases like "leader of the Free World" imply such.

By the way, major US software corporations such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft are used to gather information which the intelligence community cannot by law, since as corporations, they are subject to different rules. And idiots consent to it without reading the small print.

If we're talking about being duped, why does this author think we should automatically accept everything our leaders tell us? It is no secret that they lie. Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were just the ones who got caught doing it... that is as bad as Mormonism which says "when the prophet speaks, the thinking has been done."

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: September 07, 2019 04:13AM

Coincidence again that Elder Corleone and Italia Caffe posted at about the same time earlier today and now Italia Caffe and Gourd Vidal are posting at virtually the same moment?

Choose a single name, Jordan, in accordance with the board rules.

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Posted by: Salty Old Seadog ( )
Date: September 07, 2019 12:59PM


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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: September 07, 2019 04:28AM

> Where did I specify "right wing"?

You didn't. But that complaint is flavor of the month among right-wing nutjobs, so whining about "censorship" of some views puts you in that category--but we already know that from your record of posts under other monikers, Jordan.


------------------
> If there was any Russian interference, its
> effect was minimal.

Proof? Or do we take that on faith in your researches and objectivity?


-------------------
> And when CNN does what Russia Today
> does, no one bats an eyelid.

CNN is as bad as RT. Do you see? You just confirmed that my characterization of you as a right-wing zealot.


-----------------
> The Russian scaremongering allows Americans to tap
> into their latent xenophobia and avoid blaming
> their countrymen for anything that goes wrong.

Here again you indicate your inability to avoid revealing yourself. You don't refer to Americans with the pronoun "our" but "their," meaning that you are not a US citizen. These constant reminders that you are not American, combined with your--try as you might--unconcealed right-wing conspiracies, leaves little doubt as to who you are.


-------------------
> Russian influence
> on that election was minimal.

Proof? Even an attempt at an argument?


-------------------
> Unlike US influence
> upon Yeltsin's government (which turned Russia
> into even more of a basket case).

Proof? Even an attempt at an argument?


--------------------
> Putin's
> powerbase comes out of Yeltsin's legacy of chaos
> and corruption.

And that is the fault of the United States? How?


----------------
> By the way, major US software corporations such as
> Google, Facebook and Microsoft are used to gather
> information which the intelligence community
> cannot by law, since as corporations, they are
> subject to different rules. And idiots consent to
> it without reading the small print.

Relevance?


------------------
> If we're talking about being duped, why does this
> author think we should automatically accept
> everything our leaders tell us?

I think you will be hard-pressed to find a single instance in which I ever said anyone should unthinkingly accept anything anyone says. Of course, some liars are easier to identify than others. Right?


------------------
> It is no secret
> that they lie. Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were
> just the ones who got caught doing it...

Wow. What an insight.

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Posted by: Italia Caffe ( )
Date: September 07, 2019 01:27PM

Authority. Obedience. The leaders won't misguide you. The core beliefs of Mormonism... And the naively patriotic everywhere. The cry of bipartisans - "the other guys did it and ran away". The Devil, I mean the other party, made us all do it. Don't you know the president, the POLDS, has unique revelation? He will never lie.

The LDS mentality bleeding into everything.

Yeltsin's American "advisors" were featured on the cover of Time Magazine back in the nineties. There is even a motion picture about Yeltsin being "helped" in an election by Americans. I've no idea if that "help" went further than the film suggested. Probably did.

But hey, blame the Russians. They iz furrinners y'all, stop the furrinners. Even though our great grannies wiz furrin too.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 11:15AM

Scaremongering does not necessarily mean the claim is wrong.

Sometimes stating the facts is taken as scaremongering by people who don't want to hear it.

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Posted by: Italia Caffe ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 12:56PM

A lot of the time the scaremongering is wrong. Every troll is supposed is supposed to be Russian. Subversive ideas are all apparently Russian too.

Never mind that the US controls the software and the Chinese control the manufacturing of most of the hardware.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 11:37PM

Boris Badenov: Ve use Facebook to kill moose and squirrel.
Natasha Fatale: Brilliant, darlink! I vill hack Huawei server.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 12:07PM

but then we were raised mormon, but my family was a lot different than TBM families. When he figured out my husband is gay, he kept asking me for years, "Did you know he was gay when you married him?" I would avoid his question. He always said that I was too intelligent to do that. About a year before he died, I told him they told me it was up to me to save him. Then he understood. He was very angry.

But I bought into mormonism more than he ever did. He had his huge questions. I do believe most of his was based on family. His parents. He dearly loved and missed his parents. His dad was his best friend.

I wanted to believe that if I lived the way they told me to that I wouldn't have to suffer. I was so afraid of suffering and especially of losing my marriage. The joke was on me.

I'd challenge anyone to live through what I did with the damn leaders and still end up mormon.

But I do get why they believe, most people. Not the scientists and chemists I worked with. I don't get why they believe.

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 12:15PM

Done & Done, why did I have to read your post after seeing "Rashomon" for the first time?

In the film, four characters tell their version of a rape and murder. But in the film, all four characters tell different versions that flatter themselves and make the others look worse. The audience and a wandering monk in the film are left wondering, "Which character told the truth about what happened? Did ANY of them tell the truth?" And later may start wondering, "If the characters in the film told different versions based on their egos, is it possible that most of what people tell each other is a version that flatters themselves and their own self-interests? And if that's true, how can I trust what people are saying is true?"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashomon

Combine those questions with the excerpt from Levine's book about people being hardwired to "truth-default," and now the line of thinking is, "We think that the things we hear are true and we need that to have a basis of trust in a society. But if stories and versions of events that people tell might be versions that flatter themselves and serve their interests, the truth-default state might not be working in our favor. It might, in fact, be a disadvantage allowing those around us to take advantage of us and for us to take advantage of others. And if the trust-default is part of what a civil society is built on, . . ." (If readers are following this train of thought at home, it's okay to scream if you haven't already.)

As for why people can see through deceptions despite being truth-default and the problem of the paragraph above, all I can say to both is, "I don't know."

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 01:20PM

I don't know either, but I like the exploration of the topic as it is certainly relevant in every aspect of our lives.

One thing I liked about what I read is it separated the lie from deception as two separates.

If a person actually believes what they are saying even if it is erroneous, are they really trying to deceive or only lying by defaulting to believing something to be true even if it isn't, or not realizing they are slanting the facts to favor themselves?

Lying used to seem so straightforward, haha.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 05:47PM

Excellent film.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 07:27PM

With regard to 'belief', I am on record here as being of the opinion that there is no such thing as a 'non-fiction' account of, basically, anything.

We will never know the 'true' facts of any event that require the recollections of those who were present.


In his novel, "Stranger in a Strange Land", Robert Heinlein created a 'job' called a Fair Witness, and those who became Fair Witnesses could be counted on to fully accurately and truthfully report events that they'd been hired to witness. They were trusted... As to how they made a living, etc., and why they were not subject to threats or inducements was not made clear.

I believe Plato was Heinlein's influence, with his proposed Philosopher-Kings, who would rule with the thought in mind the needs of the majority came first, rather than what we normally see, 'ruling because I profit.'

But the only way to create a caste of philosopher-rulers is to have kids grow into that role as guided by already existing, mature philosopher-kings, and such don't exist.

People believe in what they find useful, and consider necessary. And then they get drunk and party and wake up to consequences.

Life is, at this point, preferable to any known alternatives.



"Party on, Wayne!
Party on, Garth!"

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 12:21PM

It's difficult for someone to understand something when their entire identity and family and social structure depends on their not understanding it.

Converts don't have that social pressure, so they are much more likely to walk away from Mormonism. It takes a couple generations to set the hooks really deeply.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 01:14PM

For sure. How strong is the hold on you?

What I got from reading about the truth default is that it serves herd mentality but not the individual. Which for me begs the question, "Isn't the ideal then to become the lone wolf? The dreaded Black sheep?" At least as a new beginning?

I for one was overjoyed to leave the pack. They scared me more than being on my own did.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 06:02PM

I am clearly the family black sheep in my generation. The next generation ranges from medium gray to deep black. I think I can take some credit for breaking the ice, to mix metaphors.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 06:45PM

D&D,

For the bulk of HSS history, the survival of the individual was only possible in the group. Until 10,000 years ago--much later for most peoples--humans functioned in hunter-gatherer clans of probably no more than 25 or 30 people. Some foraged for nuts and berries, others hunted or fished: they shared the spoils. When threatened, the group banded together in defense. When one fell ill, the others fed and cared for him. Since membership in the group was essential to the survival of each person and for the perpetuating of her genes, there was a high premium on loyalty to the group.

Life as a loner is much more possible now that it was for most humans millennia or tens of millennia ago. It shouldn't be surprising, therefore, to see the old credulity and group think remain strong in modern society. Even if we view ourselves as independent loners, we remain dependent on groups for security, food, income, healthcare, pensions, and many other things. To that extent natural selection may still militate in favor of the sacrifice of group identification.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: September 07, 2019 09:54AM

I was just reading a coming out story and one of the questions was "Did you choose a new family?"

For most this would be an odd question--blood is thick and family is family even if you don't like each other. Some will tolerate Mormon bullying just to maintain family ties for instance.

But as many do, and I did, as we were forced out of our tribe/family or pushed to the fringes because of who we were, we did choose new families. I had an amazingly tight group when I first left the church and came out. So in one sense the black sheep finds a new herd. Carefully chosen this time. And then we all continue the truth default syndrome I suppose.

Except. I like to think that the experience of ostracization and betrayal may give one much better odds of not using the truth default automatically always. I will say as an employer I get lied to a lot. As a result I take a guilty until proven innocent approach with most things I am told. No truth default.

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Posted by: Wally Prince ( )
Date: September 09, 2019 04:11AM

such as education, critical thinking proclivities, innate levels of suspicion/mistrust, I know with every fiber of my being that virtually all of my close TBM relatives and friends would never in a million years buy into Mormonism if they were just hearing about it today for the first time from some Mormon missionaries.

Joseph who?

Where are the golden plates now?

Well that's convenient (eye roll).

Translated from Reformed what?

How?

A rock in a hat, you say?

Listen, you kids are cute and that's a funny story. I'm sorry but I'm really busy with real-world things right now. Why don't you come back later and I'll treat you to an ice cream cone or something.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 02:40PM

This is a really interesting question and the answer is either deep or complex.
The reason I ended up seeing the truth of the scam was that I did not fit into the mormon culture and therefore saw its dark underbelly. Like others here I could literally write a book just on those weird, bad experiences with people. (I unintentionally blew up/derailed a different thread yesterday with such experiences - didn’t mean to get carried away, sorry). But I’d also experienced bad stuff prior to joining lds.inc so I also had some frame of reference too. I knew what bad, good, healthy, unhealthy, abusive behaviour was to some extent. If you are a standard mormon, like my brother, with all the trimmings, and no other experiences, it’s working for you and you have no reason to look elsewhere, and even if you thought looking elsewhere or questioning anything that was ok (note: it’s not), you still wouldn’t WANT to know.
My therapist is a never-mo. Sometimes a fresh perspective is enlightening. She said: “well it works quite well for them doesn’t it!?” (It was a derogatory remark: my therapist is awesome).

Let’s not forget that mormons are told it is basically a sin to question, and a sin to look. This is part of the brainwashing. Mind control is why “they” continue to believe - ref: the BITE model, by Steven Hassan. Let’s remember that the mormon “religion” is in fact a cult, probably officially, by both theological and sociological /psychological definitions. (Steven Hassan, who is a leading expert on cults, has more or less agreed that this is the case. Translation: its a f***ed up Cult, LITERALLY, and not by using the word as a derogatory remark.

I did not go looking for anti mormon stuff because I had doubts, I went looking for more info to strengthen my testiphony, which I felt was necessary to endure the misery of being around mormons. At that point I still thought it was 100% true though.

We can perhaps thank FARMS (or whatever the hell its called now -whatever) for people like me resigning from TSCC. It is church approved and simultaneously, thankfully, full of crap. I went there to learn; I went there to find the best defences from mormon apologists. It is a JOKE. Hilarious!! I learnt a lot but not what I was expecting nor in the way I was expecting.

Perhaps where another person might experience the same stuff as I did but instead still cling onto the blindness of a testiphony, rather than break out of the brainwashing, perhaps is due to some kind of personality difference. People are complex. I was also aware of mind control as I’d studied psychology, so perhaps life circumstances can sometimes counteract the grip of a cult on a persons mind. Too bad we don’t learn this stuff in school.

All very complex, but interesting. I might check out that book sometime. How does it intertwine with my thoughts?
I have found myself almost believing in some conspiracy theories. I’ve tried my best though to look at both sides of the story (case in point: 9/11 - very controversial to admit to even considering it). I end up just being undecided. Whatever conclusion you come to, and whichever side you take, someone can still argue that you’ve been duped. But as for the mormon cult, I find it obviously a fraud and it was easy to conclude that it was after weighing up the evidence. The reason why so many people still believe is because they *won’t* look: they are brainwashed. Religion IMO has a whole higher level of control over a person especially if it is a controlling cult (Behaviour, Information, Thoughts, Environment control).

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 04:52PM

I am reading excerpts from a book, "Duped" by a Timothy R. Levine---Truth default theory and the social science of lying and deception. Goes a long way to explaining Mormonism and why my highly educated and intelligent family do not see the bogus claims for what they are.

COMMENT: This appears to be yet another psychological study and theory that makes neurological and biological claims with no legitimate biological or neuroscientific evidentiary support. Such studies typically engage in neurological speculation, claiming that certain human propensities are "hard wired," based upon weak and loose psychological "data" obtained by some sort of questionnaire or interview process. I admittedly have not read the book, which is why I used the words "appears to be" but I am highly confident that this is not science at its best (to state it kindly).
______________________________________

I have always accepted that my family believe because they want it to be true. I still think this is partially true, but, this default to the truth essay I have been reading is very compelling. We are basically wired to accept all that we hear as truth as part of a communication system that assures survival.

COMMENT: Yes, the book is undoubtedly compelling for you. But, it is not because your brain is hard-wired to accept everything as truth (as might be assumed by the truth-default premise). Rather, it is because the premise undoubtedly plays well with your preconceived ideas as to what is wrong with your the reasoning skills of your Mormon family members.

Note that the real reason Mormons (your family and mine) still believe in Mormonism can be stated in one simple sentence; no psychological study needed, just common sense:

"People who retain their belief in Mormonism (or any other religion) in the face of contrary evidence do so because they value their faith over and above any probability assessment 9by themselves or others) that the object of their faith is not true."

___________________________________________

An excerpt:

"From the advent of fake news to climate-science denial and Bernie Madoff’s appeal to investors, people can be astonishingly gullible. Some people appear authentic and sincere even when the facts discredit them, and many people fall victim to conspiracy theories and economic scams that should be dismissed as obviously ludicrous. This happens because of a near-universal human tendency to operate within a mindset that can be characterized as a “truth-default.” We uncritically accept most of the messages we receive as “honest.” We all are perceptually blind to deception. We are hardwired to be duped. The question is, can anything be done to militate against our vulnerability to deception without further eroding the trust in people and social institutions that we so desperately need in civil society?"

COMMENT: O.K. Where is the evidence--any evidence--that there is a "near universal human tendency" towards a "truth-default?" What I would be looking for here is hard statistical data resulting from a very well-defined psychological assessment mechanism, with a very large and culturally diverse sample size. Do you find that here?

But that is not all. I would want to see a specific connection to neuroscience such as to justify the "hard-wired" assessment, with a credible evolutionary "just-so story" as to how and why it evolved. I already know that there is no evidence supporting such a claim, because I know the literature on these matters. In short, the author no doubt makes an inference to biology and neuroscience simply from poorly conceived psychological "data."

We might ask further: Where is the "truth-default" mechanism when people hear facts about climate change, but then reject this truth? Or, when they here facts about Mormonism, but reject such true facts? It is quite obvious that this issue is not about any "hard-wired" propensity to be duped. It is more about the propensity for people to accept information that conforms to their established worldview; even if such information is manifestly not true.

It is our established worldview that holds the default key as to what we believe or not believe. *That* is the psychological default mental state that makes transition hard. It is not any hidden psychological propensity to accept anything and everything as true. In short, we too readily accept information that we like; and too readily reject information that we don't.
_________________________________________

I do not discuss religion with my family, however, I wonder if I bought this book for my Jr. G.A. brother if it would pique his interest enough to read it. And what would happen? I would bet nothing, because, on top of the built-in truth default we have, they have the learned "desperately want-it-to-be-true" default as well. Double Whammy.

COMMENT: It is NOT a double whammy. The "desperately want-it-to-be-true" comes closer. And note that the propensity to want your beliefs validated has nothing to do with any propensity to deem statements and claims in general as true. It is NOT the truth of the facts or information that matters, it is how it fits with preconceived beliefs. If it fits, people will want to believe it is true; but if does not fit, people will want to belief that it is false.
_______________________________________

But why do some allow themselves to see deception and others do not? Seems to be the third part of the equation.

COMMENT: I suggest that you are no different than your smart Mormon family members in your ability to assess truth. Your reasoning skills are no better than theirs. What is different is that you have a different worldview to protect, and different values associated with that worldview. It is perhaps unfortunate that people entrenched in Mormonism place a higher value on faith than facts. But, they do not want to be duped any more than you do. They are just willing to take more of a risk of being wrong when the value of their faith is so central to their worldview. Moreover, they place a high evidential value on their subjective spiritual experiences, which they deem support such faith.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 06:05PM

Excellent reply.

"Moreover, they place a high evidential value on their subjective spiritual experiences, which they deem support such faith."

Exactly. I disagree with my kin to the degree with which I credit things as spiritual. There is an almost universal feeling in humans for spiritual reality. The question is why? People who don't believe in spiritual realities also claim things in error based upon evidence that isn't conclusive. And it amazes me Arthur Conan Doyle believed what he did.

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: September 06, 2019 08:50PM

Exactly. I disagree with my kin to the degree with which I credit things as spiritual.

COMMENT: Yes, but the real rub, it seems to me, is that there is an over-respect for the "spiritual" which affects how they process mundane information about their religious faith. So, the "spiritual" tends to interfere with and invalidate the rational processing of such information. So, that is part of the dynamic. Now, I have a great deal of respect for things spiritual, but one has to be very careful about the weight that such things are given when faced with contrary evidence.
________________________________________

There is an almost universal feeling in humans for spiritual reality. The question is why?

COMMENT: Well, some dismiss this as some sort of evolutionary mechanism in the form of a "just-so story." Others, myself included, are willing to entertain a transcendent explanation, but one that does not get carried away in religious interpretations.
_____________________________________________

People who don't believe in spiritual realities also claim things in error based upon evidence that isn't conclusive.

COMMENT: I find it quite amusing how cosmologists and particle physicists, for example, are so dismissive of all things transcendent---but have no problem with multiple universes, or super strings (String Theory). It is perfectly O.K. to speculate to the hilt in adopting physical theories, so long as you keep God out of it.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: September 09, 2019 10:53AM

"Now, I have a great deal of respect for things spiritual, but one has to be very careful about the weight that such things are given when faced with contrary evidence."

I'll give you a personal example.

When I met my wife for the first time we both had a visceral experience with each other. We both felt drawn to each other. At the time and in the Mormon context we both reached a spiritual conclusion for a very very strange phenomenon.

Today my wife still thinks her personal deity did it. It is what has kept us together and we both know it.

When I was entertaining atheism or stopping my beliefs in any gods personal or otherwise I came up with other conclusions.

I think that pheromones, genetic fitness, and our ideal age of recently matured brains and breeding timing. We both felt an instinct to get together. It was as if our bodies had bonded and our brains were kicked into finding a reason for it. If I've ever felt instinct strongly it was when I met her. I know I felt something instinctual and she does too.

It is just what we tell ourselves in the why.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: September 07, 2019 12:27AM

"Moreover, they place a high evidential value on their subjective spiritual experiences, which they deem support such faith."

That’s a virtue to be balanced against the fact that Mormons hate to be called Mormons. Dear Leader said the moniker should now offend them and now it does. It’s that kind of kowtowing that earned “Mormon” its ridicule in the first place. Mormonism is a parasite on more benign (although far from perfect) religious structures. It can’t be and shouldn’t be mainstreamed. The world is better of if they remain kooks so as not to give mainstream religion a bad name.

I would add that modern objective thought is a recent development in human history. It has yielded great scientific progress. That doesn’t mean it’s a panacea. Even as recently as 1776, “we hold these truths to be self evident” was put forth as a subjective truth important enough to found a nation upon. In the 19th century, truth was more subjective than it is today. Mormonism is like a train that now has to roll on asphalt.

Suppose subjective truth really is existentially more important than objective truth. Then TSCC has shot itself in the foot with its willful blindness and stonewalling. They ran a good faith into the ground. The BoM, at least parts of it, is true in principle. TSCC should square that against their objective truth claims, which can’t happen because it’s totally against Mormon culture. They would have to admit that their sh*t actually does stink. So shelves will keep collapsing and the brain drain will continue.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/07/2019 12:46AM by babyloncansuckit.

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Posted by: schrodingerscat ( )
Date: September 09, 2019 09:00PM

Same pathology you see with Flat Earthers and other conspiracy theorists on YouTube.

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: September 16, 2019 05:35PM

I do like his comment that we are hard-wired to be duped. I believe that is true. It's the default. I'd really love to read some studies on the evolutionary reasons for that. I'm sure they're there.

We make lots of mistakes in our learning how to search for truth. Facts can be subjective. But at the bottom of it all, there is always fact. The closer we can get to it, the more truth we've found. But how close do we really want to get? We want to trust our instincts, our feelings. Yet confusing feelings with facts is where the problem lies.

So even the most educated human can travel down the road, following the road signs that point to fact. Then we come upon an uncomfortable one and the "I don't feel like that is right and I'm a smart, educated person, so I'll follow my instincts" kicks in. It's gotten all of us into trouble. Many of us know that so we work harder than ever to avoid the feelings trap. But still not easy. Especially when we're being duped by people we want to believe would never purposely do that. But they do. They do it because they know how to push your feelings button.

When it comes to mormonism, it's easy for us now to say, "there's no reason that a person who can read could possibly still believe." But they have to want to know the facts and no amount of education can help us in that regard sometimes.

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