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"Socio Agnosticism": My Own Unique Worldview / (un)Religion [true anti-bias]

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posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 10:21 PM
This has been my thing for some 10 years. I reached its conclusion following a very special brain scan study of politically biased people. In my mid 20's, it confirmed many of my observations & assumptions to that point, also much of the sort of research I was doing in those days.

In its most simplistic terms it build upon these two too often truths:
1. When hearing 2 sides of a story, the truth is always in between.
2. When dealing with social groups (which are too often setup as polar binary opposites), each side always assumes total truth, always assumes if you aren't of their viewpoint you must be the "other" side, and have brutal odds of being rational about it.

I imagine by now I've lost most of you.

It's a lonely road for a true individual; not for everybody.

Yet the implications of #2, after seeing it too many times before ever even getting all into politics, philosophy, etc... once I saw the scientific confirmation of what I was so sure of how the psychological dynamics of social group adhesion works, it catalyzed into me forever: Socio Agnosticism. A new "faith" of 'true' individuality was born.

I've only ever made occasional references to it until now. But I've lived by it staunchly for all these years.

I've generally called it "Pure Agnosticism", to imply a total worldview of it. But that term (along with "Total Agnosticism") have already been used, and not in the way I use them. While the "Socio" part of it I finally got around to defining, really is the proper wording of it.

Without further delay, here is an excerpt from the brain scan study:

The neuroimaging results, however, revealed that the part of the brain most associated with reasoning--the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex--was quiescent. Most active were the orbital frontal cortex, which is involved in the processing of emotions; the anterior cingulate, which is associated with conflict resolution; the posterior cingulate, which is concerned with making judgments about moral accountability; and--once subjects had arrived at a conclusion that made them emotionally comfortable--the ventral striatum, which is related to reward and pleasure.

"We did not see any increased activation of the parts of the brain normally engaged during reasoning," Westen is quoted as saying in an Emory University press release. "What we saw instead was a network of emotion circuits lighting up, including circuits hypothesized to be involved in regulating emotion, and circuits known to be involved in resolving conflicts." Interestingly, neural circuits engaged in rewarding selective behaviors were activated. "Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want, and then they get massively reinforced for it, with the elimination of negative emotional states and activation of positive ones," Westen said.

Here's the full study:
Motivated political reasoning An fMRI study of partisan motivated reasoning
Till my dying day I will urge every human to ever live to read that REAL well if they want to have any hope of ever understanding how their brains work, if they ever want to take any semblance of control of it.

In short, if you have a socio-emotional bond regarding some 'grand scale' social group, you're effectively incapable of seeing faults within it (neuro-scientifically speaking).

Instead, conversely, where you should see something 'wrong' (i.e. a contradiction [LIE] by you favored political leader), instead of acknowledge it your subconscious mind denies it to your conscious mind (via irrational response), and then your dopamine centers light up thus rewarding you for lying to yourself... not unlike when a dope fiend gets a fix!

Now note that "Motivated Reasoning" is a well discussed concept (in some circles), explaining the basis of bias in general, and people refusing to change their viewpoint / accept information that contradicts it. But what I took from the brain scan study, what I argue is that the social group based motivated reasoning has by far the most powerful hold over the mind of an individual. This is where Group Think comes into play.

Years ago I did post up a piece that perfectly illustrated the social group dynamics of all of this:
Neoconservative (Nazi) Mind Control was used by Bush

The best past example would be the way the Nazi's converged different social mindset biases into one solid construct. What they did was they turned the Nazi political party, German Nationalism, Race and Religion into one single concept / mindset. That meant, to question something about one level of social group was to question everything. For example, if you questioned the Nazi party itself it meant, in the minds of those who had been indoctrinated / brainwashed, that you were also questioning / attacking the Race and the Religion and the Nation and so on. Of course Hitler, the leader (ruler actually) was the de facto overlord of each, so it's no surprised he basically had people of every social class ready to lick off his boots.

Irrational emotions are the mind killer. Social group adherence ensures irrational responses to big social group issues. Therefore, one cannot possibly be a true rational individual if self-adhering to big social groups.

For the past couple years now, one of my favorite personal sayings is: "When you're me, everybody is YOU PEOPLE". Although I do still have "my people" in the world (family, and close friends who are like family).

So with all of this, combined with my jist of 'normal' Agnosticism (not the part of appealing to ignorance, but being the only true rational middle ground (the only place one can find the truth, following my "dogma" lol), is how the foundation of how I approach basically everything.

With this view, along with the "news issues" perspectives I've observed along the way, one can watch any news cast, immediately figure out the bias point of the broadcaster, and then see right thru the spin and the lies and get a good feel of whatever truth the broadcast might include. Or at least my 'unbias' likes to think so.

So now the capstone of this mindset, for me I take on the libertarian viewpoint (anarchism could work for this as well).

Note that I almost always spell libertarian with the lower case "l", because the way I use linguistics to capitalize it would denote a proper Social Group, instead of a mere philosophy. A choice example of this, for me, is how the word skeptic merely means you're skeptical of something, whereas Skeptic would apply to whom always are skeptical what is contrary to their rational "scientific" er popular culture viewpoint, their Appeal to Consensus (such as the folks over at the James Randi forums).
edit on 13-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 10:34 PM
Anyways, with liberal and conservative philosophies, in both cases they're all about social group dominance (as evidenced by the practices of the Republican & Democrat parties, for starters), so while I can appreciate why a person might subscribe to either viewpoint, both philosophies are entirely incompatible to me: the original "socio agnostic".

I could be wrong, but it seems to me that to even set it as a"Socio Agnostic" social group wouldn't actually change much, as the entire viewpoint should effectively render it being a group irrelevant. Well, being the only one so far, who knows...

Another illustration for how it works goes back to proper "Agnosticism", its typical religious form in practice (here in the US):
Christians are the dominant religion. Atheists are its polar opposite (here in the US amongst the residents).

Note I was raised Christian, but the totality of the viewpoint herein (which is heavily influenced by certain important tenets in Agnosticism) rendered me entirely a hypocrite to bind with any religion. Of course, Hypocrisy Isn't Bliss (either).

I can appreciate how the mysteries of everything incite a fervor in the grandiosity of where everything comes from, and all that, which I imagine all religious folks assume.

Likewise, I can (now) see the major contradictions etc in say "The Bible". But here's where the Atheist's go wrong: Proving something as false in the Bible doesn't disprove the potential for there being a "God" or the like. Yet from there all manner of biased Absolutist polar opposite assumptions are declared, which effectively are dogma for an Atheist.

More Importantly to my point here though is this: With the Atheists now their own social group (whether a polar binary opposite to something else or not), as soon as you criticize something about Atheism or one of its 'leaders', in their minds the gears turn, you're automatically their version of a "heretic", group think irrationality enters the debate, you're probably assumed to be a FundaMENTAList Christian, and so long sucker.

It is fun to note with this specific example , the Atheists will try to convince me I'm one of them, where the Christians (the same should work for most any other religion) wont have any of that and lump in the Agnostic in with the Athiests.

But in any event, to the true socio agnostic, none of this is even possible.

edit on 13-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 10:49 PM
Outside of religious contexts, it plays out about the same as the above illustration. Some years ago, here in ATS (I love this place), one day I'd be getting praised by the typical liberal viewpoint individual member (such as in one of my many anti-American Imperialism threads0, only to have them want to chop my body up into pieces the following day (say with my outsider scientific viewpoint in one of those extreme doomsday BP Oil Spill threads).

Of course to the new opposing polar opposite observers in each topic I'd get the typical insults hurled as surely being one of those 'other guys' (from the other binary extreme).

Especially fun for me is when this happens in environmental debates, as I live more green that just about any self-proclaimed environmentalist you could ever find (I've literally merged to as one both professionally and as lifestyle), yet I dont do it based on the emotional appeal the "Left" insists we do it on, I do it for purely logical reasons (which a conservative might appreciate). Of course if I did a big thread going all out about such, "Right Wingers" would mostly "surmise" I was surly some tree hugging hippy.

I suppose socio agnosticism creates in the minds of most others, witnessing it in practice, a sort of polar opposite to the concept of Cognitive Dissonance, ironically enough.

So as such, it's not recommend for persons whom aren't good at self-entertainment / self-education. You need to be able to fit in anywhere, more or less, despite not belonging anywhere. It's not for the faint of mind.

I also suppose a lot of my subconscious motivation into this mindset was also fueled by my disdain for the Divide & Conquer paradigm that besieges our world. Ironically enough, socio agnosticism (the anti binary mindset) is like the polar opposite of all Divide & Conquer social engineering techniques.

Socio agnosticism is the true gray area in human cognition, taken to philosophical and religious extremes applied to essentially all of living.

I imagine I might have lost about 99.4% of you by now... but that's okay it being something special outside of my individual self has ever been expected. That would require motivationally reasoned bias, towards something that cant be expected to be popular (which it isn't about being).

So that's about it for now...
edit on 13-6-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 08:14 AM

originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
1. When hearing 2 sides of a story, the truth is always in between..

i got another one for yuh,
when dealing with polarized mindsets who see things in extremes, the truth is often a grey area in the middle.

i had a teacher in elementary school who believed that bull# that the truth is always somewhere in between, to them it didnt matter if i made a strong effort to be as honest as i could be and told the most accurate truth of an event to them, they would still assume i did something wrong that i hadn't spoken, because of that belief of theirs.

like if one kid bullies another, the victim reports it to this teacher, this teacher would assume the victim did something to instigate it, no matter what the victim says, because of their belief that no one would ever tell them the exact truth, and it must be somewhere in the middle.

this teaches kids that it is better to lie, honesty gets you disservice, the teacher would be more apt to react more appropriately if you lie to them about the severity of what occurred, because the victim has learned the teacher will not believe it to be the whole truth.

clearly the error in that thinking is you would never ever trust someone to be honest, not even children, but something you need accept is that some people actually are honest and actually do tell the truth.

i agree with most of the other things you said, though i must comment that there is a fair amount of patting yourself on the back in those posts, and i wonder if you recognize that in those moments your own reward centers are giving you your own dope fix...

edit on 6/14/16 by pryingopen3rdeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 04:35 PM
a reply to: pryingopen3rdeye

Interesting example.

Where I got that is, in my younger years back home where I knew everybody, I was a person a lot of people would confide on for not being a drama snitch. (mind you I dont "do" "drama")

And there were countless times I'd end up coming about hearing each person involved in some ordeal, each independently tell the tale. And I swear every single time, even in incidents that on paper should lack much room for controversy, the stories were dramatically different. Over the top even.

I know it's possible for people to tell the truth, as I'm a screaming example of such, it's just from my observations this never seemed to be the case. This is directly from the horses mouths mind you. SO now extrapolate that to the grand scale media driven social group theater, and um ya.

i agree with most of the other things you said, though i must comment that there is a fair amount of patting yourself on the back in those posts, and i wonder if you recognize that in those moments your own reward centers are giving you your own dope fix...

Good. As a non-Pseudo-Individual, I should get to be stoked when finally putting this to pen. My most used daily saying is: "Have Fun, Or Else", and I live by it.

posted on Jul, 1 2016 @ 08:24 PM
So here goes another example of how this plays out, with the big 9/11 Conspiracy issue, I was reminded of after bumping one of my old 9/11 threads recently:

originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
Ah yes, good old Skeptics (the social group).

Thanks for the lesson in cherry picking, all of you.

Just keep glossing over pages of relevant arguments, as if they never happened, and keep pushing the thread forward by focusing in on cherry picked arguments (classic No Planer tactics) while acting as if I never had a leg to stand on, and keep pulling everything back into the sorts of arguments specific to the deeply flawed and entirely outdated Loose Change 2nd Edition.

I mean damn sticking to 10 year old material with 10 year old arguments... LOL!

I've been away from the big 9/11 issue since around 2008. What's your excuses?

Your extreme absolutist approach to all this, as if you or anyone ACTUALLY knows (with certainty) the real scoop... It reminds me of watching Atheists & Christians argue, where both sides thinks they are 1. right (as if either could be) and 2. they aren't biased at all its just the other guy that is.

Me? I'm the Socio-Agnostic. As as I tend to piss Republicans off in one topic, the democrat's that were all excited by what I was doing, the next day they see me in another topic and want to hang me.

It wasn't much better in my 9/11 days as the CT they all insisted on focusing on the physics stuff in pushing the movement, me in the middle ground pushing the "Actionable Consensus" viewpoint, where that made me unacceptable to the Skeptics as I didn't strictly adhere to the NO CONSPIRACY IN ANY FORM IN ANY WAY NO MATTER WHAT viewpoint.

For either side hardly a one of you would ever change you position on all that physics crap, not budge for a second, when in reality nobody from either side can be entirely sure in true rationality. Hence the whole reason I came to insist we had to get off all that because nobody will ever agree and its just too big and complex for anybody to TRULY understand it all entirely (like as if anyone could actually know whether or not a "god" exists).

Here you can see how popular my thrust there wasn't:
Concrete Goals for all who actually cares about the truth behind 9/11

posted on Jul, 4 2016 @ 02:58 PM
a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

Interesting post.

I've always said a person is clever, reasonable and compassionate but people are stupid, ignorant and aggressive.

When I realized this it was an eye opener.

People like being plural, an individual can throw caution and care into the wind once in a group because any actions commited are done by the group not the individual.

We are individuals and socially we are a disaster. It all harkens back to our tribal days. When necessity demanded your tribe was always in the right.

posted on Jul, 4 2016 @ 03:08 PM
a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

interesting. Thank you for sharing.

I find myself in a similar system of thought when it comes to groups.

For me it became more emotional /instinctual rather than a thought out reflection from an intelectual POV.

In short I belong to nothing. I exist only to me. To all others I am a component of their mind. A character of their own ego.

To me I must only be a totality of all I ever was and am. True self, The loss of the self and its sense of loss/ separation.

We are the film that divides minds from minds....or connects.


posted on Jul, 4 2016 @ 03:31 PM

originally posted by: tadaman

In short I belong to nothing. I exist only to me. To all others I am a component of their mind. A character of their own ego.

LOL, I was kinda born that way. Not from any effort, just innate. I walk my own path.

Even in a group I choose, that I want to be a part of - - - I can not fully commit. My "self" won't allow it.

I can fake it to those involved, but not myself. Always the loner, even in a crowd.

I do not agree "Truth is in the Middle". Nice saying, but not realistic.

posted on Jul, 4 2016 @ 03:54 PM
I think that one of the issues is that most people see themselves as "agnostic" in the sense that you describe it.

Most will see themselves as completely unbiased, fair, and balanced.

This very concept allows for very subtle, but deep manipulation. Alongside chemical rewards, the more connections are made in a certain slant, the stronger the neurological connections become.

Its really quite interesting, at least in my opinion. Lets take your suggestion that you are the "original" socio-agnostic. The reality is that such thought processes have existed generation after generation, but it is easier to recognize inherent biases in others than it is in ourselves.

I think a key to evolving socially is in accepting that we are all as neurologically biased as anyone else. Though, some will self identify more strongly with certain social groups, that is only one facet of a larger topic.

I think the majority of issues arise from those who feel they are free from bias. Because in that, any who see things differently are automatically deemed biased. Quite the cycle, really, and one that enables mass amounts of cognitive dissonance. In my opinion, this is the very basis behind successful propaganda, and when one solely points out how the "other" social group is the brainwashing victim, it can indicate how deeply embedded the programming has become in that individual.

I think the OP points to an important first step; that even in a self identified social group, there is more diversity than our social structure allows and inversely, in opposing groups, there can be deep running, unrecognized similarities.

posted on Sep, 9 2016 @ 01:50 PM
a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
I had thought about pulling out sentences and phrases here and there to elaborate upon but gave up the longer I read having lost count. So how about I spin the big wheel.. clack clack clack..clack....clack.......clack............clack, plonk. " bias in general, and people refusing to change their viewpoint / accept information that contradicts it."

I would venture that traditionally, people never much had to change their viewpoints. That one generation to the next found little need for change because what they were already doing was a successful survival plan as proven by their continued existence. I also hold, at least for now, that those ancient peoples were not so much individuals as we like to think of ourselves today but rather, even to themselves, aspects of the tribe. I don't think that they even thought about it, they just were. The water barer took personal pride as if it were he who was the foremost warrior in victory when the enemy was vanquished. Reminds me of chants of USA USA USA at the Olymipics. But I digress.

I also suspect that what little change was dictated by slowly changing environmental conditions both physical and social were met by 'doubling up' as it were of already existing memes. More, stronger, better, faster, harder, 110%, rather than dropping aspects of the older and no longer viable survival beliefs.

Taking these supposed conditions and laying them out over our more modern concepts of self, of individualism I find it easy to consider that the same conditions hold for an individual. That the individual must, must defend a held point of view because the individual is if nothing else defined by his or her beliefs. With out these beliefs the warm and cuddly sense of self dissipates in uncertainty. And who wants to lose themselves.

This of course puts the kibosh on that old liberal hack ' educate them, give them more information and they will make a better choice'. Bolox The more we really know, the more we understand that for the most part, it is not just a matter of changing ones mind on a specific subject, but rather undergoing a major reevaluation of ourselves and how we ourselves exist that is mandatory for any 'true' individual'. And as you point out a couple of times, this is not a road easily trod.

posted on Sep, 9 2016 @ 02:20 PM
a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

How does the neuroscience of politics compare to the neuroscience of racism? I've had the impression since I was a teenager arguing politics with my father that the mechanisms which used to be applied to racism have since been transferred to politics.

posted on Sep, 10 2016 @ 04:07 AM
To the many comments of my grandeur herein, yeah, I had never really talked candidly about all this before, and it took many beers to make the whole thing (having fun int he process was part of how I wanted to go about it). And I do have a huge ass ego I perpetually work HARD to deserve. I'm not arguing that there haven't been endless other 'true independent' thinkers long before me with 'something' like all this, I'm just saying my version based something like entirely on that science study was all on my own independent thrust (I just took right to it like long awaited 'prophecy'), which I've lived by devout ever since, where I've never observed anybody else presenting a concept really anything quite like it.

a reply to: VP740

I argue they're all the same, effectively. It'll be different in people raised different ways, but still unavoidable many of them at least on some level.

Like the mechanisms of all memories, the way this tribalism thing plays out is all abut "weighting". I expect RACE will almost always be #1, assuming you have vision. When that's what your family looks like, and what's in the mirror, its inherent. Comedian Dave Chappelle did a brilliant sketch with this sort of concept, "Clayton Bixby: The Black White Supremacist", a blind black man raised by white ultra-racists, who 'became' an author & spokesperson for the movement. So for essentially every human on earth (with vision), especially as children, race is always going to be the #1 irrational 'group mindjob' in NATURE terms. Of course, actual values and such instilled by parenting etc (the NURTURE) will also have a major role in how this weighting plays out in the long run.

Of all the other group auto & self affiliations I weight RACE as the top one, because this one inherently contains BOTH nature & nurture signalings. The others end up as consequential, as even in a dystopian single political party society, the love for 'the' party is merely a consequence of being stuck there.

Here in "America" er the United States er the United Provinces, we're born the race we are and that has its core social group adherence effects (more universally than anything else possible, as mentioned), and then...

Either you have an atheistic sort of family, or a Christian one (traditionally anyways). And as things played out since the Christians got into politics (during Reagan's Era) things got on this polarized track where...

Now back to the "Weighting Game":

Political Party

In about that order.

Race being the most EXCLUSIVE of them all, the most prone to inherent outpouring of irrational biases (whether from auto-group affiliation OR from learned self-loathing), is why is disgusts me beyond comprehension when political demagogues throw the race card when merely losing a debate.
edit on 10-9-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)

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