Help me...

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Iroscato
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Help me...

Postby Iroscato » 2011-09-23 07:35am

I'm arguing with a creationist dickhead who is convinced you can choose to believe in something, and change your opinions by will alone. I am arguing this is bullshit of the highest order. For example, I believed Obama was going to sort everything out in America, and now three years on I have seen evidence that defeats this view. I didn't wake up one day and think to myself 'hmm, I will not agree with anything Obama says from this day'. He's doing my fucking head in. He doesn't seem to understand that by examining evidence for evolution, I had my opinion changed by it. I did not make a CHOICE to suddenly believe it.

Give me some ammo, he has to shut up and look at the screen, and not talk to me if you do!
Yeah, I've always taken the subtext of the Birther movement to be, "The rules don't count here! This is different! HE'S BLACK! BLACK, I SAY! ARE YOU ALL BLIND!?

- Raw Shark

Destiny and fate are for those too weak to forge their own futures. Where we are 'supposed' to be is irrelevent.

- SirNitram (RIP)

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Number Theoretic
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Re: Help me...

Postby Number Theoretic » 2011-09-23 09:06am

A thought which i mentioned in the "What is faith"-Thread: To actually be able to believe in something, it has to make at least some sense. And if something has clear evidence, then it makes a great deal more sense than something for which there is no evidence.

It's just the way how forming a belief works: you have to support your belief with evidence or at least confirmations that it makes sense.

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Spoonist
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Re: Help me...

Postby Spoonist » 2011-09-23 09:07am

Chimaera wrote:I'm arguing with a creationist dickhead who is convinced you can choose to believe in something, and change your opinions by will alone. I am arguing this is bullshit of the highest order. For example, I believed Obama was going to sort everything out in America, and now three years on I have seen evidence that defeats this view. I didn't wake up one day and think to myself 'hmm, I will not agree with anything Obama says from this day'. He's doing my fucking head in. He doesn't seem to understand that by examining evidence for evolution, I had my opinion changed by it. I did not make a CHOICE to suddenly believe it.

Give me some ammo, he has to shut up and look at the screen, and not talk to me if you do!
You are treading on thin ice there since you and him are conflating a couple of different concepts with similar words associated with them.

It would do you good to ask for common definitions of the contested terms. You will find out that they will almost certainly be different.

Counterpoint - you can make yourself believe almost anything, by choice even. Its a key part of how to go "under cover" or how some spy schools operate. Its also a key point of psychological survival under extreme circumstances, like war.This is where compartmentalization comes in. Its even a technique for actors etc. There are plenty of examples of would be journalists going under cover into cults/sects/gangs who then wind up joining them instead and accepting their worldview. The extreme being the stockholm syndrome etc. But that is not what your example was about so its a red herring.

Lets take a more fitting everyday example. Person X. As a kid X believed in santa claus. As a teen X found out that santa was just dad in a costume. So the grown up X does not "believe" in santa, however through social conditioning and compartmentalization he chooses to continue to "believe" in "the spirit of christmas" and as such will trick the next generation into believing in santa as well.
Now due to evidence he will be wary of impersonators, but it is an actual choice if he would stop believing in santa/"the spirit of christmas", this since just because dad was an imposter does not remove the warm fuzzy feeling X wishes to retain.
Now X will never mistake dad for santa and would be rational to conclude that santa does not exist. But there is a choice to disregard old conditioning, because the mind is wired the wrong way.

Now for your evidenced based assumption that you did not make a choice about evolution, that is not entirely true. There are plenty of creationists out there that prove that hypothesis wrong by chosing to remain ignorant although presented by evidence to the contrary. Same thing with Obama followers.
So the choice is also reversed, the mental defensive mechanism is a negative one not a positive one. One usually chose to ignore evidence that goes against beliefs that are dear to us, not vice versa. X will probably have been in plenty of situations throughout his childhood where evidince cropped up that the santa story isn't real, but as they conflicted with the given worldview the mind choses (usually unconsciously) to ignore them. X will also wish to retain all that which X thinks was positive with the conditioning, to the point of creating a lie.
Like rationalists who continue to lie to their children about magic and santa, knowing that it is a lie.

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Number Theoretic
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Re: Help me...

Postby Number Theoretic » 2011-09-23 12:37pm

I'd like to add something to what spoonist said. Not only does your brain suppresses or ignores facts or hints that contradict your belief, it also constantly looks for evidence for your beliefs. And the standards for "evidence" can get reeally low. Se for example this poor excuse for "evidence" of a young earth.
To sum it up: Beliefs are self-reinforcing. That's why it is so hard to revise a wrong belief.

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madd0ct0r
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Re: Help me...

Postby madd0ct0r » 2011-09-27 07:33am

for an elegant win (as opposed to crushing himm with definations and logic, which he won't accept), you need to win the argument using his own assumptions.

'I can choose to believe what I want'

'yah, but i find it much easier to believe stuff there's evidence for then stuff that there's evidence against'
'no matter what effort i put in, believing there's gold bullion in my cupboard never really sticks, especially whenever I open the door'

'I see quite a lot of evidence for evolution, and my belief that was what happened has slowly increased with each piece of evidence assessed. It's not like I question whether the sun will rise tomorrow. I've seen enough sunrises to not really require any act of faith to believe it will.

'the same way, believing in evolution is easy for me now, much easier then the creation story, because that involves quite a lot of creative thinking to make it match the evidence.'

'and besides, a self replicating molecule that can slowly build and sustain this huge web of life on our planet. That's a pretty elegant way for a god to go about his business.'
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SpaceMarine93
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Re: Help me...

Postby SpaceMarine93 » 2011-09-27 12:06pm

He's a f***ing hypocrite and a troll, the best you should do is to ignore him.
Life sucks and is probably meaningless, but that doesn't mean there's no reason to be good.

--- The Anti-Nihilist view in short.

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Batman
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Re: Help me...

Postby Batman » 2011-09-28 11:52pm

SpaceMarine93 wrote:He's a f***ing hypocrite and a troll, the best you should do is to ignore him.

Yes, that much is pretty obvious, but apparently that's not what Chimaera is after.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

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Iroscato
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Re: Help me...

Postby Iroscato » 2011-09-29 06:09am

Here's the thing; he admits that over the course of millions of years, species 'change' and 'adapt', but he refuses to believe that they 'evolve'. It's like the actual word itself is evil to him. But that can't be true, right?
..
...
....
Right?
Yeah, I've always taken the subtext of the Birther movement to be, "The rules don't count here! This is different! HE'S BLACK! BLACK, I SAY! ARE YOU ALL BLIND!?

- Raw Shark

Destiny and fate are for those too weak to forge their own futures. Where we are 'supposed' to be is irrelevent.

- SirNitram (RIP)

Samuel
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Re: Help me...

Postby Samuel » 2011-09-29 07:33pm

Chimaera wrote:Here's the thing; he admits that over the course of millions of years, species 'change' and 'adapt', but he refuses to believe that they 'evolve'. It's like the actual word itself is evil to him. But that can't be true, right?
..
...
....
Right?


They are actually different things. You can believe in adaption without evolution if you believe that organisms come with a limited amount of mallability. Think of it as the difference between wearing different color shorts versus the shorts changing to pants.

The key to deal with that is to ask him to define the point that organisms can't change over and show evidence that they have. It is time consuming and difficult, but seems to be the most through way to deal with this.

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Batman
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Re: Help me...

Postby Batman » 2011-09-29 09:45pm

Chimaera wrote:Here's the thing; he admits that over the course of millions of years, species 'change' and 'adapt', but he refuses to believe that they 'evolve'. It's like the actual word itself is evil to him. But that can't be true, right?
..
...
....
Right?

Right. Well, mostly. 'Change' and 'adapt' don't automatically mean evolve, but the moment those changes carry over to the next generation via nothing other than genes than yes, that's evolution at work. Though I'm not entirely sure your...conversation partner actually knows what that word means.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

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Number Theoretic
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Re: Help me...

Postby Number Theoretic » 2011-09-30 04:13pm

Maybe you just have to spell it out to him that evolution is not "the religion of atheists" or something like that. It's just the natural extension of the notion "animals adapt gradually to their environment over several generations". And that completely new species can emerge from this process is only a natural conclusion.

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Iroscato
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Re: Help me...

Postby Iroscato » 2011-09-30 05:17pm

Ok I shall quickly outline his thoughts and opinions, so you may either mock them or despair at them.

He thinks Richard Dawkins is extremely stupid, gay (which is somehow a bad thing in his mind), and doesn't have a clue what he's going on about.

He believes that only microscopic organisms, such as viruses and bacteria, evolve, but NOT larger lifeforms. For some reason.

He doesn't seem to understand that a god able to create the entire universe and keep an eye on every living thing in it, always, would have had to have been an extraordinarily complex being in the first place.

As mentioned before, he fully accepts that DNA does not replicate itself 100%, that over the course of thousands of generations, species mutate slightly and that sometimes those changes become beneficial, but refuses to call it evolution, or even connected to evolution.

He cannot come up with evidence, ever, no matter how many times he is asked. Meanwhile, he simply refuses to believe the masses and masses and masses of evidence I present to him.

*Brain haemorrhage time*.

He is, without a doubt, the most stupid person I have ever met.
Yeah, I've always taken the subtext of the Birther movement to be, "The rules don't count here! This is different! HE'S BLACK! BLACK, I SAY! ARE YOU ALL BLIND!?

- Raw Shark

Destiny and fate are for those too weak to forge their own futures. Where we are 'supposed' to be is irrelevent.

- SirNitram (RIP)

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Batman
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Re: Help me...

Postby Batman » 2011-09-30 09:30pm

Since 'shoot him and give the average IQ of the country a considerable boost' is probably not an option I say stop trying to talk to him about this matter. He's obviously not willing to reasonably discuss it.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'


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