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Introducing rational thinking

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posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 08:35 AM
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I am a long time lurker on ATS.

Lately there seems to be an upsurge in those thinking that skeptical thinking is wrong. And a lot of poor logic being used, so I thought I might stop in and confront some of these arguments.

1. Great thinkers open their minds. I can open my mind to harry potter, but that doesn't make it any less real. Wishing, praying won't make it any more real as well. How do we differentiate between real and unreal? Science & skepticism. Claims require proof. Proof must be repeatable under controlled conditions. What's so hard about this concept?

2. You can't trust your brain. Our brain is easily fooled - as an amateur mentalist I know this for a fact. Many people believe I am psychic after completing my act. Does it make me psychic? I can make people honestly believe that they had seen god through hypnosis. Does it mean they have? If I can do this, could you do this to yourself? Could drugs or other physiological states? The answer to all this is yes. My point is that you can't trust your primitive senses & perception of reality to actually be reliable. This means that anecdote, personal sightings and magical experiences cannot be differentiated from storytelling. This is unfortunate. Perhaps when we use technology to augment our senses we will be able to use it to fix this issue.

3. An unidentified flying object is not proof of e.t's visiting. It's like saying an unidentified food MUST be a plant from another planet. The key word people seem to miss is UNIDENTIFIED!

4. We base our understanding of the universe on our current level of knowledge. We don't base it on what we WANT our knowledge to be. For example, many people rubbish those that say the speed of light is a physical limit of the universe. They quote things like wormholes (hypothetical objects resulting from ONE possible version of quantum mechanics) to make themselves sound informed. But really, they just WANT this to not be true. The fact is, we must limit ourselves to what we KNOW to be fact at the current stage. Otherwise we may as well just make up stuff. So, until we can prove otherwise, any faster than light travel is no better than the flying spaghetti monster. It doesn't matter how much you want to believe, we have NO proof.

5. If we assume that our current knowledge is correct, and for all we know it is, then ET's aren't likely to be visiting us. The trip is too long.

Thanks, rant over!




posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 08:37 AM
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Oops. I meant to say that harry potter wasn't real



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 08:40 AM
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on your #1 point...true, true

on your #2 point...if we are cognizant of our limitations, we can adjust using other means to verify.

on your #3 point... this should be embedded in stone

on your #4 point... when something (anything) is out of the norm or is unexplainable, there is a reason for it. at first, the reasons are speculative, then researched, dots are connected, then blind-tested if possible, and conclusions are peer-reviewed...this is how we acknowledge that something is "known"

[edit on 27-9-2009 by jimmyx]

[edit on 27-9-2009 by jimmyx]



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 08:42 AM
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reply to post by jimmyx
 

Please enlighten me.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 08:53 AM
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Originally posted by xelamental
reply to post by jimmyx
 

Please enlighten me.


sorry, above my pay-grade, i can only give you what i know based on the experience that i have.

[edit on 27-9-2009 by jimmyx]



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 08:58 AM
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Originally posted by jimmyx

Originally posted by xelamental
reply to post by jimmyx
 

Please enlighten me.


sorry, above my pay-grade, i can only give you what i know based on the experience that i have.

[edit on 27-9-2009 by jimmyx]


I was meaning about #2. How can we adjust to make it any more reliable, apart from making sure that the brain isn't left up to itself to interpret. Every input from our senses is processed, filtered, and in sometimes overwritten (especially in visual processing).



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 08:59 AM
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Rational thinking!!!
Here on ATS???
Say it ain't so.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 09:01 AM
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Originally posted by grover
Rational thinking!!!
Here on ATS???
Say it ain't so.


I say we start the galactic federation of logic.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 09:12 AM
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Originally posted by xelamental

Originally posted by jimmyx

Originally posted by xelamental
reply to post by jimmyx
 

Please enlighten me.


sorry, above my pay-grade, i can only give you what i know based on the experience that i have.

[edit on 27-9-2009 by jimmyx]


I was meaning about #2. How can we adjust to make it any more reliable, apart from making sure that the brain isn't left up to itself to interpret. Every input from our senses is processed, filtered, and in sometimes overwritten (especially in visual processing).


i agree...the brain makes constant changes in interpretation, as data is added and processed. the idea of thinking "outside the box" is well-worn, and by its very nature highly speculative. humans are in constant evolution as more data is collected, and more importantly understood. but, i think your question contains the answer, we have to let our brain interpret what data comes into it, but be flexible, and humble enough to evaluate any changes. this ( the brain) is simply all we have to work with at the moment.

[edit on 27-9-2009 by jimmyx]



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 09:19 AM
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Originally posted by jimmyx

Originally posted by xelamental

Originally posted by jimmyx

Originally posted by xelamental
reply to post by jimmyx
 

Please enlighten me.


sorry, above my pay-grade, i can only give you what i know based on the experience that i have.

[edit on 27-9-2009 by jimmyx]


I was meaning about #2. How can we adjust to make it any more reliable, apart from making sure that the brain isn't left up to itself to interpret. Every input from our senses is processed, filtered, and in sometimes overwritten (especially in visual processing).


i agree...the brain makes constant changes in interpretation, as data is added and processed. the idea of thinking "outside the box" is well-worn, and by its very nature highly speculative. humans are in constant evolution as more data is collected, and more importantly understood. but, i think your question contains the answer, we have to let our brain interpret what data comes into it, but be flexible, and humble enough to evaluate any changes. this ( the brain) is simply all we have to work with at the moment.

[edit on 27-9-2009 by jimmyx]


My whole point is that the brain can't be trusted, because we aren't in control. You may not be familiar with the research, but there is plenty of evidence that the subconscious is in control, autonomously processing and predicting, fixing gaps, and basically messing with our input. Only once we have the ability to verify the input (e.g. by using tech to intercept messages) we can then be sure of what we see and experience.

I am fairly certain that a lot of what people see is purely constructed in the subconscious brain, as otherwise some of the techniques I use would not work (confusion, suggestion, foreshadowing).



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 09:28 AM
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Originally posted by xelamental

Originally posted by grover
Rational thinking!!!
Here on ATS???
Say it ain't so.


I say we start the galactic federation of logic.


the field of potential members seems to be narrowing, but by their very nature, would be the least vocal and thus harder to recognize.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 09:28 AM
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Actually the reason why the brain cannot be trusted to be objective or rational is not the subconscious per se but how we process information...

We filter all that we experience through the lens of our expectations...for example take religious faith:

• You are a non believer
• You become interested in a religion or faith
• The more you become convinced that the faith is true the more you see evidences of its truth and the process continues until you become convinced and a true believer.

NOW: in Reverse

• You are a believer
• Something happens to cause you to question your faith
• The more your faith is called into question the more you see evidence that your faith was misplaced and the process continues until you become a non believer.

Of course this is a simplification but I am sure you get the idea.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 09:37 AM
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My whole point is that the brain can't be trusted, because we aren't in control. You may not be familiar with the research, but there is plenty of evidence that the subconscious is in control, autonomously processing and predicting, fixing gaps, and basically messing with our input. Only once we have the ability to verify the input (e.g. by using tech to intercept messages) we can then be sure of what we see and experience.

I am fairly certain that a lot of what people see is purely constructed in the subconscious brain, as otherwise some of the techniques I use would not work (confusion, suggestion, foreshadowing).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
my response:

the brain can be trusted, for example: to "see" stairs, and then decide to lift our legs one at a time to climb them, rather than tripping and falling down. the brain, through research and testing in our early years as a child, came to that conclusion, and for that particular brain, it is now a "known"

[edit on 27-9-2009 by jimmyx]



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 09:58 AM
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Your entire thread is based on commonly held belief, and uses only a logical model - i.e rationality.

There is a problem with the way mankind thinks - and we have been slowly directed into this mold, and also it is a natural mode of thinking. It is however quite useless when working in a world that is full of lies.

The brain is divided into a serial processor (left side) which uses logic, and demands binary code, true and false data. The right side of the brain uses parallel processing, intuitive thought and requires fuzzy or undefined data that is neither true or false.

The problem with current thought is that logic and rationality are seen as the only true methods of thought - that is obviously at odds with the construction of our minds - and at odds with dealing with the unknown, which logic and reason cannot infer.

Holistic thinking is the ability to never develop beliefs, to use logical processes as required, but then to pass the data back into the mental archives in the same way it was accessed - that is neither being true nor false. When we need to resolve a logical function - then we arbitrarily decide what is true and false for the purposes of doing logical processing - it must have 1,0 or it cannot function.

Th problem is that nothing can ever be tested in an infinite numbers of ways to ensure that it is a universal truth - our senses, experience and faculties are so limited that we can never reliably determine what is truth and what is not - therefore we need to understand the importance of intuitive and creative mental processes - because it is those processes that will allow us to readily work with fuzzy data, of which we are surrounded.

The main problem is that people will believe one thing or another, or not believe something - those decisions to believe are based on truth, but truth is subjective and appropriate only to the individual - therefore one persons truth is not the same as for another person.

Until people can realize that nothing is universally true, and therefore all belief is unfounded then true understanding can never be achieved by them - they will be perpetually ignorant. Whether your belief is religious, or that 911 was a conspiracy, or that it wasnt - or ET's are real and visiting or they are not - it doesnt matter which side of an argument you are on - if you believe it - then you are always wrong.

The complexity of data cannot be resolved logically - when we need to resolve logical processes, by all means convert some things into true and false - so we can use logic - but never forget the underlying data is always in a state of being neither true nor false - and when we have done our logical process we must realize it is purely an approximation based on our own capability - it is not worthy of being believed either by ourselves or anyone else - it is a possibility and nothing more.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 10:00 AM
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Originally posted by grover
Actually the reason why the brain cannot be trusted to be objective or rational is not the subconscious per se but how we process information...

We filter all that we experience through the lens of our expectations...for example take religious faith:

• You are a non believer
• You become interested in a religion or faith
• The more you become convinced that the faith is true the more you see evidences of its truth and the process continues until you become convinced and a true believer.

NOW: in Reverse

• You are a believer
• Something happens to cause you to question your faith
• The more your faith is called into question the more you see evidence that your faith was misplaced and the process continues until you become a non believer.

Of course this is a simplification but I am sure you get the idea.


believing in a faith, cannot be done in any logical or rational way. therefore it is a purely personal, and emotional thought process. because of this, it cannot be a "known", because it is not able to get past the speculative part of any theory, on through to the research, dot-connecting, testing, and peer review stages.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 10:19 AM
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Originally posted by jimmyx

the brain can be trusted, for example: to "see" stairs, and then decide to lift our legs one at a time to climb them, rather than tripping and falling down. the brain, through research and testing in our early years as a child, came to that conclusion, and for that particular brain, it is now a "known"

[edit on 27-9-2009 by jimmyx]


If you have seen the movie "A beautiful Mind" you will understand the mind can create any sort of reality with which we interact - including in the case of the movie entire scenario's including people who no-one else can see.

You will of course point out that wasn't a properly functioning mind - but for the person involved, his reality was quite different from that experinced by those around him - an extreme example to make a point.


You talk about our ability to walk up stairs - but if the stairs are purely an optical illusion projected onto a flat surface we will stumble and bang our faces into the wall.

We get our information from our senses, but they are extremely limited.
For example - 1+1=2 could be held to be a universal truth, and most would concur that it is. However as a simple example, I go and buy an apple, and feeling hungry I buy one more.

Now I have the classic 1+1=2 - but on returning to my home IO find one of the apples is rotten inside and cannot be eaten, so the true result is 1+1=1.

Is this a flaw in the original idea of 1+1=2, or is it purely our own incapacity to resolve what 1 is? If we cannot tell the difference between 1 and 0, then we can hardly assert that 1+1=2 is a universal truth.

We are limited to seeing into part of the electromagnetic spectrum, we cannot see atoms or particles, we cannot see through solid surfaces except a few specific materials, if the earth has existed 4 billion years then our experience as a fraction of that value is easily approximated by zero. Our other senses - touch for example, we cannot touch something on the other side of the world, let alone another star - hearing is limited to a small range of frequencies - simply put we are limited creatures - wer cannot know anything with any certainty - until we can realize our own limitations and therefiore the impossibility of knowing anything - then we are doomed to live in a world of our own creation where truth is something that we decide on personally.

No amount of evidence will prove 911 was or wasnt a conspiracy for those who believe one way or another - the holistic mind will take on all evidence and have two possible pictures of it. When you have an open mind - then you can compare the two data sets and think about which is more compelling from a purely evidence based view - rather than which fits into your belief systems.

Ets may exist, and may be visiting - there is certainly evidence indicating they are - the UFO's in question might belong to some government or priovate agency - whatever the question - removing beliefs, and studying purely the evidence is always going to advance your understanding.

Rejecting evidence or discounting or discrediting it purely based on your own system of belief simply compounds your own ignorance.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 10:24 AM
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I wonder why this thread has no stars to star?

You are correct but by necessity we must filter our experiences through the lens of our expectations...we have to do it because that is how we learn....it is not limited solely to religion and faith.

Science itself as a separate entity (which of course it isn't) can be objective but the observer cannot be by the nature of the way we process information.

That is why in science studies have to be repeated in a peer review...to eliminate bias.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 10:27 AM
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"""Until people can realize that nothing is universally true, and therefore all belief is unfounded then true understanding can never be achieved by them - they will be perpetually ignorant. Whether your belief is religious, or that 911 was a conspiracy, or that it wasnt - or ET's are real and visiting or they are not - it doesnt matter which side of an argument you are on - if you believe it - then you are always wrong. """"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

my response:

your first sentence is a direct contridiction of itself.

1..."nothing is universally true"---you offer no proof.
2..."true understanding can never be achieved---"never" is a long time

it appears as if you do understand something, but everyone else is ignorant, because they fail to understand that nothing is true. but somehow you believe what you say to be true.

therefore, if anyone believes anything on any side of an arguement, they are always wrong...hhhmmm



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by xelamental
I am a long time lurker on ATS.

Lately there seems to be an upsurge in those thinking that skeptical thinking is wrong. And a lot of poor logic being used, so I thought I might stop in and confront some of these arguments.

1. Great thinkers open their minds. I can open my mind to harry potter, but that doesn't make it any less real. Wishing, praying won't make it any more real as well. How do we differentiate between real and unreal? Science & skepticism. Claims require proof. Proof must be repeatable under controlled conditions. What's so hard about this concept?

2. You can't trust your brain. Our brain is easily fooled - as an amateur mentalist I know this for a fact. Many people believe I am psychic after completing my act. Does it make me psychic? I can make people honestly believe that they had seen god through hypnosis. Does it mean they have? If I can do this, could you do this to yourself? Could drugs or other physiological states? The answer to all this is yes. My point is that you can't trust your primitive senses & perception of reality to actually be reliable. This means that anecdote, personal sightings and magical experiences cannot be differentiated from storytelling. This is unfortunate. Perhaps when we use technology to augment our senses we will be able to use it to fix this issue.

3. An unidentified flying object is not proof of e.t's visiting. It's like saying an unidentified food MUST be a plant from another planet. The key word people seem to miss is UNIDENTIFIED!

4. We base our understanding of the universe on our current level of knowledge. We don't base it on what we WANT our knowledge to be. For example, many people rubbish those that say the speed of light is a physical limit of the universe. They quote things like wormholes (hypothetical objects resulting from ONE possible version of quantum mechanics) to make themselves sound informed. But really, they just WANT this to not be true. The fact is, we must limit ourselves to what we KNOW to be fact at the current stage. Otherwise we may as well just make up stuff. So, until we can prove otherwise, any faster than light travel is no better than the flying spaghetti monster. It doesn't matter how much you want to believe, we have NO proof.

5. If we assume that our current knowledge is correct, and for all we know it is, then ET's aren't likely to be visiting us. The trip is too long.

Thanks, rant over!


No you are correct we live in a age of Anti-Intellectualism, the pillars of our community are being destroyed (church, government, neighbors, manners), the culture of greed is still alive and well despite the economy being in the tank. Our kids are being brainwashed into rebelling against the parents that the parents are there to be mocked and suckered.

The list goes on...



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 03:16 AM
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Originally posted by jimmyx
"""Until people can realize that nothing is universally true, and therefore all belief is unfounded then true understanding can never be achieved by them - they will be perpetually ignorant. Whether your belief is religious, or that 911 was a conspiracy, or that it wasnt - or ET's are real and visiting or they are not - it doesnt matter which side of an argument you are on - if you believe it - then you are always wrong. """"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

my response:

your first sentence is a direct contridiction of itself.

1..."nothing is universally true"---you offer no proof.
2..."true understanding can never be achieved---"never" is a long time

it appears as if you do understand something, but everyone else is ignorant, because they fail to understand that nothing is true. but somehow you believe what you say to be true.

therefore, if anyone believes anything on any side of an arguement, they are always wrong...hhhmmm


You say I believe what I say is true - not so, I am presenting an idea that has practical application - if you apply it, some understanding may result - that does not imply it is true, nor does it imply that it will be applicable and give the same results in different applications - I don't believe it, I understand it - understanding stems from practical application of an idea, from seeing how it works - it is not necessary for me to believe.

There is no contradiction. I offer no proof, because proof implies some kind of universal truth. I can't prove anything, neither can anyone else - proof is simply a way of saying 'present a bunch of evidence that causes people to believe something, so they create some new truth'. I am not trying to supply you with any truth, but an idea that true and false are very limiting ways of viewing things.

Beliefs inhibit understanding - for simplicity, you could say they are opposite - though it is more complex than that, understanding encompasses belief but is not constrained by it. Understanding is the boundary of belief, truth, reason and logic - but it is external to them - it also encompasses possibility, falsehood, fantasy, intuition and imagination.

If you say there is only night, or only day - then you are limiting yourself to a small part of the picture - how can a person who only exists in the night, relate to someone who only exists in the day? If you acknowledge both you have understanding, rather than having to chose one.

With respect to the question of being wrong or right - lets address the question of their being a god or not. If I say there is, or is not - then I have a chance of being wrong in either case. If I say that either case is possible - then I can never be wrong.

I am suggesting not that people are wrong - but that the entire concept of choosing one thing or another as an absolute is very prone to failure (in terms of practical application) considering how little we actually know, experience and can sense.

[edit on 28-9-2009 by Amagnon]






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