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Why do skeptics tend to be so angry and defensive?

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posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 12:26 PM
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I started to write this as a response on another thread but realised that it might derail the thread and come across as personal. I'll aim it at a generic, non-existent skeptic.

Why do skeptics tend to be so angry and defensive? If you truly were secure in your knowledge why would you need to try to force other people to agree with you?

So often on this site I see people having a decent civil discussion about something completely harmless but which is scientifically unsubstantiated (whether I believe the same things as them or not is irrelevant) until someone who thinks mankind has reached the peak of obtainable knowledge comes crashing in and starts being rude to people, seemingly due to some false sense of intellectual superiority. With a few exceptions, they usually come across as being of average intelligence at best.

Left-brain dominant people so often seem to think they are extremely intelligent when in fact they tend to only be good at learning things by rote and then repeating what they learned unquestioningly. That's not intelligence, that's acquisition of information and the two are not the same thing at all. A good mind will pick up the information but will also remain open to the ideas which are not yet proven to be closed.

The scientists from history you admire so much, the Einsteins and Plancks and Sagans were not like you - yes they had extremely well developed left-brains but they also had a working imagination and if they were as closed-minded as you act they never would have made their discoveries because, lacking insight they would have remained trapped in the status quo.

I worked as a programmer for a decade so please don't assume I am unable to analyse, plan or assimilate information. In that profession I met plenty of people with computer science degrees and very few of them were impressively intelligent. They were good at maths and some kinds of analyses but as soon as you took them out of their comfort zone and asked them to do something unusual they fell apart. They also tended to be narcissistic.

Bullying people who don't share your beliefs never comes across as clever, in fact it often seems desperate and insecure, and sometimes even verges on being sadistic as you try to destroy the 'idiot'. After years of being a big fan of Richard Dawkins (who I admit I do think is very intelligent) and reading most of his books I now can't stand the man and find him just as ridiculous as the religious fundamentalists. What's that saying, "what you fight, you become"?

I'm not under any illusion about my own capabilities by the way, I'm probably above the mean in terms of intelligence but that's all I would say, there are many many people who know a lot more about me about a lot of things and I'm glad to learn from them (but not if they are dicks).

And no, I don't have any sources - but I could make you a YouTube video if you like




posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 12:30 PM
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"Why do skeptics tend to be so angry and defensive? If you truly were secure in your knowledge why would you need to try to force other people to agree with you?"


I believe it has to do with patience and tolerance. You see when skeptics have discussions with people online , they run into the same ones over and over and over again . They have to go through the same battle .

ridicule , violent opposition , acceptance . With many of the people they are trying to get the point across too.


Alot of them won't even listen and goes in one ear out the other , then they have to restart , break it down , and explain again and again .

They are secure , but it does get annoying i can imagine after the same thing gets rehashed over and over.

You should be thankful they don't just throw in the towel and say screw the world , these are a bunch of brain dead fools who don't know their right hand from left :p

give em a bone will ya ? they go through psychological issues dealing with some people. I tell ya puts holes in there brain lol , perhaps the parts of the brain that deal with anger and compassion


now this applies to the rational ones who sometimes cross the ugly line...




Bullying people who don't share your beliefs never comes across as clever, in fact it often seems desperate and insecure


the bully skeptics have just crossed over the rational line , and straight into HARDCORE Debunk lol. because they had enough of dealing with people . These are the ones who have the serious psychological effects

edit on 22-1-2012 by yourboycal2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 12:40 PM
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reply to post by yourboycal2
 


sure that's a reasonable point - and I do realise that I am generalising of course. I've just had several frustrating times this week when I've been reading interesting discussions (which I happened to find very esoteric and 99.9% certainly nonsensical but enjoyable nevertheless) until someone has barged in and started trying to shout people down, I just don't get the point. They hardly ever succeed in forcing anybody to change their mind and so often it looks like they are doing it as some kind of demonstration of superiority rather than as a genuine effort to help people expand their understanding - this subjective opinion comes from their use of language (not to mention capitalisation and punctuation haha). They seem to do it for the benefit of people who already agree with them because they aren't trying to engage the people they are ranting to.

But I do concede that lots of open-minded people can be annoying and rude too, myself included (although I never mean to be and always regret it afterwards).



posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 12:45 PM
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You ask a good question with your thread title and it appears to be mostly true. I would also add a pinch of humourless to those ingredients, too.

But to answer your question, I believe there are 2 main reasons why. One is that they have rather dry and limited minds that simply can not comprehend anything other than a materialist answer to things in life [the universe]. And such pedants are naturally, by character, dour people.

Also, they live as much on assumptions as believers do, and because the materialist viewpoint is not only depressing, but also crumbling [e.g. faster than light particles almost proven] they feel the weight and this makes them sour.

edit on 22-1-2012 by mandroids because: spelling

edit on 22-1-2012 by mandroids because: (no reason given)

edit on 22-1-2012 by mandroids because: spelling



posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 12:45 PM
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You should be thankful they don't just throw in the towel and say screw the world , these are a bunch of brain dead fools who don't know their right hand from left :p


on this point - I wish they would! You can present information to people, if and when they are ready they will take that information in. If they aren't ready or willing then save it for people who are and move on.



posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by mandroids
 


I starred your post but I wouldn't dare agree with you



posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 12:56 PM
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Thank you.
You should try reading Rupert Sheldrake's new book The Science Delusion and Charles Tart's book The End of Materialism. similar books that give some answers to your thread thesis.



posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 12:58 PM
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reply to post by mandroids
 


I'll make a note of those, thanks - it was actually Dawkins' The God Delusion that pushed me over the edge...



posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 01:02 PM
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And those 2 books will not only bring you back to the edge,but will point out how you may have been manipulated. i should also point out that both writers are proper PHD's and very well qualified to write about such things.



posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 01:06 PM
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cool they're on my list...



posted on Jan, 22 2012 @ 10:26 PM
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they're either disinfo agents, or they can't comprehend what they're being told, which is the most likey one...i argue with people alot online about this stuff, and they ALWAYS say the SAME things, even though there's ALOT of research they could be doing instead...Trust me, there are literally TONS of websites dedicated to the "truth"...i put truth in quotation marks because we never know what happens until it happens...



posted on Jan, 23 2012 @ 03:11 AM
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reply to post by morkington
 

I question your statement that sceptics are angry and defensive. Certainly believers are far more prone to anger and defensiveness. It is always believers – not necessarily religious believers, but believers in some Big Idea – who start all the pogroms, wars and genocides.

However, in response to your question, I offer you the following, which I posted in another thread just this morning.


The century just passed was the most horrific in human history, one in which the quantum of human violence and cruelty reached almost unbelievable proportions. What drove it? Belief in pseudoscientific theories of racial supremacy and religious privilege, belief in fantasy economic systems and the widespread use of lies as propaganda. In other words, the hatred and killing were driven by people believing things that were not true – in some cases, things that a few moments' rational thought would show were not true.

You'd think that such an experience would have taught mankind better, and indeed it has taught a good many of us. Sadly, we are still a minority – the world remains plagued with religious fundamentalism, racism and ethnic intolerance, medical quackery and pseudoscience. Belief systems based on magical thinking and false reasoning continue to dupe millions into doing themselves all kinds of harm – emotional, economic and sometimes physical. Worse still, they encourage people to do others harm.

Your thread is part of this negative, miserable, potentially lethal weft of credulity and ignorance. My positive contribution to it is to pour the cold water of common sense and the salt of ridicule upon it. With any luck, my contribution will make a few impressionable readers think twice, and decline to believe such nonsense.

I trust that satisfactorily answers your question.


edit on 23/1/12 by Astyanax because: of details.



posted on Jan, 23 2012 @ 03:46 AM
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Just what we need, another skeptic bashing thread, albeit thinly veiled but not enough to keep the "disinfo" dimwits out...

Look, when you start labelling people, you've got no chance of getting anyone to listen, so you need to face facts that there are angry skeptics, there are happy skeptics, there are angry believers, there are happy believers and there are all types in between.

Also, I see you're complaining about skeptics posting to appeal to other like minded people, yet this thread is appealing to like minded people.

I think you need to have a closer look at yourself and why you're upset at skeptics, perhaps it is you isn't comfortable with your beliefs and are merely projecting?
edit on 23/1/12 by Chadwickus because: (no reason given)



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