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tsuomela : belief   102

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The PNSE Paper | Slate Star Codex
"I’ve mentioned this a few times, but it’s worth going over in detail. The full title is Clusters Of Individual Experiences Form A Continuum Of Persistent Non-Symbolic Experiences In Adults by Jeffery Martin, with “persistent non-symbolic experience” (PNSE) as a scientific-sounding culturally-neutral code word for “enlightenment”. Martin is a Reiki practitioner associated with the “Center for the Study of Non-Symbolic Consciousness”, so we’re not getting this from the most sober of skeptics, but I still find the project interesting enough to deserve a look."
religion  enlightenment  belief  experience 
october 2019 by tsuomela
Modernitys Spell - The New Atlantis
"Credulity: A Cultural History of U.S. Mesmerism By Emily Ogden"
book  review  intellectual  history  credulity  belief  rationality  18c  19c 
april 2019 by tsuomela
Elegy for a Country’s Seasons by Zadie Smith | The New York Review of Books
"Oh, what have we done! It’s a biblical question, and we do not seem able to pull ourselves out of its familiar—essentially religious—cycle of shame, denial, and self-flagellation. This is why (I shall tell my granddaughter) the apocalyptic scenarios did not help—the terrible truth is that we had a profound, historical attraction to apocalypse. In the end, the only thing that could create the necessary traction in our minds was the intimate loss of the things we loved. Like when the seasons changed in our beloved little island, or when the lights went out on the fifteenth floor, or the day I went into an Italian garden in early July, with its owner, a woman in her eighties, and upon seeing the scorched yellow earth and withered roses, and hearing what only the really old people will confess—in all my years I’ve never seen anything like it—I found my mind finally beginning to turn from the elegiac what have we done to the practical what can we do?"
climate  climate-change  global-warming  religion  belief  argument  action 
march 2014 by tsuomela
302 Found
"M. J. Lerner (1980) proposed that people need to believe in a just world; thus, evidence that the world is not just is threatening, and people have a number of strategies for reducing such threats. Early research on this idea, and on just-world theory more broadly, was reviewed in early publications (e.g., M. J. Lerner, 1980; M. J. Lerner & D. T. Miller, 1978). In the present article, focus is directed on the post-1980 experimental research on this theory. First, 2 conceptualizations of the term belief in a just world are described, the typical experimental paradigms are explained, and a general overview of the post-1980 experiments is provided. Second, problems with this literature are discussed, including the unsystematic nature of the research. Third, important developments that have occurred, despite the problems reviewed, are described. Finally, theoretical challenges that researchers should address if this area of inquiry is to advance in the future are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)"
social-psychology  just-world  belief  world  ethics  bias  psychology 
january 2014 by tsuomela
The Flying Snowman in Science Fiction Films like "Star Trek" - AMC Blog - AMC
"That's my term for implausible elements or events in science fiction or fantasy works that throw you out of the story, even if you've accepted other, previous implausible elements or events. I got the term after my wife, who was reading a storybook to our daughter in which a snowman came to life, ran about, and even ate hot soup, objected to the idea that such a snowman could fly. She could handle a snowman spontaneous gaining life, but flying? That was going too far. "
sf  fiction  belief  art  movies  experience  psychology 
june 2013 by tsuomela
Philosopher of Love | The American Conservative
"To live well, Schindler argues, is to live in a way that is proper to our being. Conversely, when a misapprehension of being structures our thinking and actions, we experience unhappiness, brokenness, and poverty in its deepest sense—the absence of meaning. He believes that the modern liberal project from Descartes to Rawls is based on a radical misunderstanding of the nature of reality. Specifically, liberalism fails to apprehend that “love is the basic act and order of things.” Love brings all there is into existence, it is through love that all there is continues in existence, and it is for love that all things exist. Reality is in this sense triadic: all things are in, through, and for love. Being might therefore be said to be an order or “logic” of love."
philosophy  theology  love  belief  metaphysics  liberalism  critique  conservative 
february 2013 by tsuomela
"In this paper, we address the chicken-or-egg question posed by two alternative explanations for the relationship between perceived personal experience of global warming and belief certainty that global warming is happening: Do observable climate impacts create opportunities for people to become more certain of the reality of global warming, or does prior belief certainty shape people’s perceptions of impacts through a process of motivated reasoning1? We use data from a nationally representative sample of Americans surveyed first in 2008 and again in 2011; these longitudinal data allow us to evaluate the causal relationships between belief certainty and perceived experience, assessing the impact of each on the other over time2. Among the full survey sample, we found that both processes occurred: ‘experiential learning’, where perceived personal experience of global warming led to increased belief certainty, and ‘motivated reasoning’, where high belief certainty influenced perceptions of personal experience. We then tested and confirmed the hypothesis that motivated reasoning occurs primarily among people who are already highly engaged in the issue whereas experiential learning occurs primarily among people who are less engaged in the issue, which is particularly important given that approximately 75% of American adults currently have low levels of engagement3"
environment  global-warming  climate-change  climate  psychology  sociology  belief  experience 
december 2012 by tsuomela
Setting the world on fire for Jesus
"So why did everyone assume that this man was an evangelical Christian?
Because he’s anti-gay.
More specifically, because he’s disproportionately concerned with being anti-gay and he’s choosing to express that concern in a goofy, obnoxious and destructive way.
And in the present age, in 2012 in America, all of that marked this man as an evangelical Christian just as surely as if he were wearing a Jesus-fish necklace and a Newsboys T-shirt."
religion  evangelical  image  belief  homosexuality 
august 2012 by tsuomela
Wheaton College, C.S. Lewis
"When someone defensively prefers the nightmare to the evidence, then we know — we know — that he enjoys the nightmare. We know that it serves some emotional or political need for him — a need so great that reality itself cannot stop him from trying to meet it." Annotated link
evangelical  religion  critique  belief  evil  other  evidence  rationality  fear 
july 2012 by tsuomela
‘Suburban’ is not the same as ‘theologically conservative’
The suburbanization of American Christianity has had a huge impact on institutional and denominational structures. Automobile-shaped development has produced an automobile-shaped ecclesiology. The car has abolished the possibility of the parish. And that, in turn, has helped to redefine “neighbor” as a matter of preference more than of proximity — as optional rather than obligatory. That redefinition is rather significant, since “Who is my neighbor?” is kind of an important question for Christians. Annotated link
religion  geography  suburbia  automobile  transportation  design  architecture  belief  evangelical  conservative 
july 2012 by tsuomela - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology - Foxhole atheism, revisited: The effects of mortality salience on explicit and implicit religious belief
Although fear of death features prominently in many historical and contemporary theories as a major motivational factor in religious belief, the empirical evidence available is ambivalent, and limited, we argue, by imprecise measures of belief and insufficient attention to the distinction between implicit and explicit aspects of cognition. The present research used both explicit (questionnaire) and implicit (single-target implicit association test
psychology  death  awareness  religion  spirituality  god  belief  terror 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Exploring the Existential Function of Religion and Supernatural Agent Beliefs Among Christians, Muslims, Atheists, and Agnostics
Building on research suggesting one primary function of religion is the management of death awareness, the present research explored how supernatural beliefs are influenced by the awareness of death, for whom, and how individuals’ extant beliefs determine which god(s), if any, are eligible to fulfill that function. In Study 1, death reminders had no effect among Atheists, but enhanced Christians’ religiosity, belief in a higher power, and belief in God/Jesus and enhanced denial of Allah and Buddha. Similarly, death reminders increased Muslims’ religiosity and belief in a higher power, and led to greater belief in Allah and denial of God/Jesus and Buddha (Study 2). Finally, in Study 3, death reminders motivated Agnostics to increase their religiosity, belief in a higher power, and their faith in God/Jesus, Buddha, and Allah. The studies tested three potential theoretical explanations and were consistent with terror management theory’s worldview defense hypothesis. Theoretical implications are discussed.
psychology  death  awareness  religion  spirituality  god  belief 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Creationism requires a global conspiracy of lying scientists and/or a lying God
"To believe in creationism, either you must believe that there is a global conspiracy of scientists intent on lying to you, or you must believe that God is intent on lying to you.

That 46 percent of Americans believe one or the other of those is, as I said, dismaying."
evolution  belief  religion  creationism  conspiracy  deception 
june 2012 by tsuomela
Overcoming Bias : Far Truth Is For Extremes
"So assuming you actually have a viable choice, the situations where it makes sense to reject religion in favor of far truth are extreme – either there are big personally-useful far contrarian claims to learn, or you have a good shot at being a rare far expert, respected by a community with truth-correlated standards. So if such extremes seem unlikely to you, far truth probably isn’t worth its costs to you."
religion  belief  construal-level-theory  near-far  truth  benefits  psychology  atheism 
may 2012 by tsuomela
Distrust for Atheists
"The take home point has to do with shifting social alliances. Now that most Americans have abandoned a strong dislike for members of other religions, it’s possible for The Religious to emerge as a socially-meaningful identity group. In other words, once members of different religions begin to see each other as the same instead of different, they can begin to align together. Suddenly atheists become an obvious foe. Instead of one of many types of people who had lost their way (along with people of different faiths), atheists could emerge as uniquely problematic. It is the building of cross-religious alliances, then, that undergirds the strong dislike for atheists specifically."
atheism  sociology  religion  belief  social-status  groups  prejudice  politics  history  american-studies 
march 2012 by tsuomela
PsycNET - Display Record
"Recent polls indicate that atheists are among the least liked people in areas with religious majorities (i.e., in most of the world). The sociofunctional approach to prejudice, combined with a cultural evolutionary theory of religion's effects on cooperation, suggest that anti-atheist prejudice is particularly motivated by distrust. Consistent with this theoretical framework, a broad sample of American adults revealed that distrust characterized anti-atheist prejudice but not anti-gay prejudice (Study 1). In subsequent studies, distrust of atheists generalized even to participants from more liberal, secular populations. A description of a criminally untrustworthy individual was seen as comparably representative of atheists and rapists but not representative of Christians, Muslims, Jewish people, feminists, or homosexuals (Studies 2–4). In addition, results were consistent with the hypothesis that the relationship between belief in God and atheist distrust was fully mediated by the belief that people behave better if they feel that God is watching them (Study 4). In implicit measures, participants strongly associated atheists with distrust, and belief in God was more strongly associated with implicit distrust of atheists than with implicit dislike of atheists (Study 5). Finally, atheists were systematically socially excluded only in high-trust domains
atheism  religion  trust  belief  psychology 
february 2012 by tsuomela
Atheism in America: Why won’t the U.S. accept its atheists? - Slate Magazine
We challenge the whole concept that you can’t be good without God. We challenge the idea that religion is important in the first place, and that really makes them uncomfortable.
atheism  religion  fundamentalism  belief  country(UnitedStates)  via:deusx 
february 2012 by tsuomela
MIT Press Journals - Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience - Abstract - The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience Explanations
Explanations of psychological phenomena seem to generate more public interest when they contain neuroscientific information. Even irrelevant neuroscience information in an explanation of a psychological phenomenon may interfere with people's abilities to critically consider the underlying logic of this explanation.
neuroscience  neurology  explanation  belief  perception  credibility  trust 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Must We Act As If They Mean What They Say? — Crooked Timber
"The deeper question, I think, is why it appeals so much to so many Americans that conservatives constantly say things that they don’t really mean."
politics  extremism  right-wing  conservative  rhetoric  belief  theology  american 
september 2011 by tsuomela
Omniorthogonal: How to avoid the singularity
The cure for singulatarianism lies is in the direction of sociology and network thinking in general. Monotheism wants to collapse the universe's locus of control into a single transcendent point
singularity  commentary  religion  belief  networks  sociology  ethics 
august 2011 by tsuomela
PLoS ONE: Death and Science: The Existential Underpinnings of Belief in Intelligent Design and Discomfort with Evolution
"The present research examined the psychological motives underlying widespread support for intelligent design theory (IDT), a purportedly scientific theory that lacks any scientific evidence
intelligent-design  death  psychology  belief 
august 2011 by tsuomela
David Bromwich: Why Has Obama Never Recognized the Tea Party?
"We mistook Obama for a man of strong convictions. Why? Because he has an aesthetic admiration for people with strong convictions, people with names like Gandhi and King. Yet the emotion of conviction -- a feeling that will not let you go -- is foreign to him now and probably always was."
obama  politics  tea-party  rhetoric  language  failure  conviction  belief 
august 2011 by tsuomela
The Argumentative Theory | Conversation | Edge
""The article,” Haidt said, "is a review of a puzzle that has bedeviled researchers in cognitive psychology and social cognition for a long time. The puzzle is, why are humans so amazingly bad at reasoning in some contexts, and so amazingly good in others?"

"Reasoning was not designed to pursue the truth. Reasoning was designed by evolution to help us win arguments. That's why they call it The Argumentative Theory of Reasoning. So, as they put it, "The evidence reviewed here shows not only that reasoning falls quite short of reliably delivering rational beliefs and rational decisions. It may even be, in a variety of cases, detrimental to rationality. Reasoning can lead to poor outcomes, not because humans are bad at it, but because they systematically strive for arguments that justify their beliefs or their actions. This explains the confirmation bias, motivated reasoning, and reason-based choice, among other things.""
cognition  psychology  bias  decision-making  argument  evolution  rationality  reasoning  theory  confirmation-bias  belief  justification 
may 2011 by tsuomela
Belief In Conspiracies Linked to Machiavellian Mindset | Miller-McCune
"“At least among some samples and for some conspiracy theories, the perception that ‘they did it’ is fueled by the perception that ‘I would do it,’” University of Kent psychologists Karen Douglas and Robbie Sutton write in the British Journal of Social Psychology."
conspiracy  psychology  belief  ethics  moral 
may 2011 by tsuomela
U.S. Intellectual History: After Ideology
"Political beliefs, like religious beliefs, are usually based on very weak, and selective, evidence. People tend to have the same political orientation as their parents, which may result from environment, i.e. growing up in their parents’ household, or a genetic predisposition to a particular political orientation, as recent studies have indicated."
politics  belief  rationality  bias  psychology 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Mike Warnke and Marriage Equality | slacktivist
"And that leads us to the third motivation, the least innocent of the bunch and also, I think, the dominant factor. Warnke’s stories allowed his audience to pretend that they were righteous and heroic — better than others. The worse they pretended those others were, the better they could pretend to feel about themselves. Call it self-righteous indignation or Melon Morality, it’s an intoxicating and addictive drug."
evangelical  christian  belief  superior  psychology  ideology  satanism 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Josef Oehmen and Fukushima – Would I have believed myself? « BraveNewClimate
"Would I have believed myself if I came across that blog and had no prior knowledge of nuclear physics and engineering? Or asked another way: How do you judge the quality of TV, radio, print and internet news reporting on topics that you are only superficially familiar with?

media  internet  information  belief  trust  online  information-use  nuclear  crisis  country(Japan) 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Abandoned Footnotes: A Simple Model of Cults of Personality
"Here is where cults of personality come in handy. The dictator wants a credible signal of your support
sociology  belief  propaganda  political-science  cult-of-personality  dictatorship  totalitarian  personality 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Theory of mind and the belief in God. - By Jesse Bering - Slate Magazine
Either way, this cognitive capacity, this theory of mind, has baked itself into our heads when it comes to our pondering of life's big questions. Unlike any science-literate generation that has come before, we now possess the intellectual tools to observe our own minds at work and to understand how God came to be there. And we alone are poised to ask, "Has our species' unique cognitive evolution duped us into believing in this, the grandest mind of all?"
psychology  mind  mental  theory  belief  religion  evolution  atheism 
february 2011 by tsuomela
The Philosopher's Stone: CREDO
The foundation of my politics is the recognition of our collective interdependence. In the complex world that we have inherited from our forebears, it is often difficult to see just how to translate that fundamental interdependence into laws or public policies, but we must always begin from the acknowledgement that we are a community of men and women who must care for one another, work with one another, and treat the needs of each as the concern of all.

If all of this must be rendered in a single expression, let it be: From each of us according to his or her ability; to each of us according to his or her need.
politics  belief  marxism 
december 2010 by tsuomela
slacktivist: Do all paths lead to God?
The question is this: "Do you believe that all paths lead to God?"

I have a hard time figuring out what this could possibly mean given what I know about paths and what I think I know about God.
religion  belief  god 
december 2010 by tsuomela
When in Doubt, Shout! — Psychological Science
A seminal case study by Festinger found, paradoxically, that evidence that disconfirmed religious beliefs increased individuals’ tendency to proselytize to others. Although this finding is renowned, surprisingly, it has never been subjected to experimental scrutiny and is open to multiple interpretations. We examined a general form of the question first posed by Festinger, namely, how does shaken confidence influence advocacy? Across three experiments, people whose confidence in closely held beliefs was undermined engaged in more advocacy of their beliefs (as measured by both advocacy effort and intention to advocate) than did people whose confidence was not undermined. The effect was attenuated when individuals affirmed their beliefs, and was moderated by both importance of the belief and open-mindedness of a message recipient.
doubt  belief  fundamentalism  psychology  experiment 
october 2010 by tsuomela
slacktivist: Christine O'Donnell, Mike Warnke and the imaginary Satanists
The oddest thing to me about Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's "I Was A Teenage Witch" claims is that so much of the reaction has accepted her claim that such a thing might be possible.

It is not. Her claims of "dabbling" in what she called "witchcraft" are not true. The supposed witchcraft she describes is not something that exists. Such stories of bloody altars and Satanic covens are common and they are false. All of them. That is a matter of established fact.

The supposed witchery O'Donnell describes is simply the stuff of Satanic panic urban legends. Her descriptions come straight out of the fabrications of proven liar and con-man Mike Warnke. He made this stuff up. Her claims are about as credible as if she had said that she once conjured Bloody Mary by repeating her name three times in the bathroom mirror
politics  satanism  moral-panic  panic  propaganda  evangelical  psychology  belief 
october 2010 by tsuomela
Subjective Validation « You Are Not So Smart
The tendency to believe vague statements designed to appeal to just about anyone is called the Forer Effect, and psychologists point to this phenomenon to explain why people fall for pseudoscience like biorhythms, iridology and phrenology or mysticism like astrology, numerology and tarot cards.

The Forer Effect is part of larger phenomenon psychologists refer to as subjective validation, which is a fancy way of saying you are far more vulnerable to suggestion when the subject of the conversation is you.
psychology  belief  bias  cognition  personality  horoscope  cold-reading  deceit  deception  validation  subjectivity  personal  persuasion 
july 2010 by tsuomela
PressThink: Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right: On the Actual Ideology of the American Press
Jay Rosen complicates the debate over political bias in journalism. His tendencies 1. church of the savvy; 2. quest for innocence; 3. regression to a phony mean; 4. the view from nowhere; 5 he said/she said journalism; 6. the sphere of deviance
bias  ideology  journalism  media  news  objectivity  theory  politics  belief 
june 2010 by tsuomela
Overcoming Bias : This is the Dream Time
When our distant descendants think about our era, however, differences will loom larger. Yes they will see that we were more like them in knowing more things, and in having less contact with a wild nature. But our brief period of very rapid growth and discovery and our globally integrated economy and culture will be quite foreign to them. Yet even these differences will pale relative to one huge difference: our lives are far more dominated by consequential delusions: wildly false beliefs and non-adaptive values that matter.
future  present  evolution  behavior  society  culture  singularity  belief  psychology 
october 2009 by tsuomela
Ancient Greek Skepticism [The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
Although all skeptics in some way cast doubt on our ability to gain knowledge of the world, the term “skeptic” actually covers a wide range of attitudes and positions. There are skeptical elements in the views of many Greek philosophers, but the term “ancient skeptic” is generally applied either to a member of Plato’s Academy during its skeptical period (c. 273 B.C.E to 1st century B.C.E.) or to a follower of Pyrrho (c. 365 to 270 B.C.E.). Pyrrhonian skepticism flourished from Aenesidemus’ revival (1st century B.C.E.) to Sextus Empiricus, who lived sometime in the 2nd or 3rd centuries C.E. Thus the two main varieties of ancient skepticism: Academic and Pyrrhonian.
philosophy  skepticism  ancient  epistemology  knowledge  certainty  belief  history 
september 2009 by tsuomela
Skepticism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Much of epistemology has arisen either in defense of or in opposition to various forms of skepticism. Indeed, one could classify various theories of knowledge by their responses to skepticism. For example, rationalists could be viewed as skeptical about the possibility of empirical knowledge while not being skeptical with regard to a priori knowledge and empiricists could be seen as skeptical about the possibility of a priori knowledge but not so with regard to empirical knowledge. In addition, many traditional problems, for example the problem of other minds or the problem of our knowledge of God's existence, can be seen as restricted forms of skepticism which hold that we cannot have knowledge of any propositions in some particular domain thought to be within our ken.
philosophy  skepticism  contemporary  epistemology  knowledge  certainty  belief 
september 2009 by tsuomela
US Economic Myths Bite the Dust |
Myths debunked: US nation of small businesses, economic mobility, greater innovation, lack of vacation.
economics  mythology  american  free-markets  ideology  belief 
august 2009 by tsuomela
slacktivist: Still not rock bottom
To be confident of the claim that they are better than some other group, they have chosen to compare themselves to a eugenic Nazi regime that euthanizes senior citizens. That such a regime is wholly a figment of their warped imaginations is less revealing than the fact that they have been forced to imagine such a horrifying scenario in order to find something with which they can believe they compare favorably.
anger  outrage  extremism  fundamentalism  psychology  belief  addiction 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Study: choir prefers being preached to by 2:1 margin - Ars Technica
There are two competing ideas on the process that governs the formation and maintenance of beliefs: 1) people maintain a belief because they have limited access to opposing beliefs, or 2) because they actively filter information in a way that avoids conflicting views. A new meta-analysis of past studies confirms the existence of active avoidance
psychology  belief  meta-analysis  self-perception  philosophy  change  social 
july 2009 by tsuomela
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