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Technical Difficulties With Automated Blog Posts

[20100131] The blog is still refusing mail from gmail. I've stopped the forwarders. When the mail server stops trying to deliver mail (probably by the 5th). I'll try another strategy.
I'm trying to find the equilibrium between Google News Alerts, Gmail and Blogger to permit automated posting of Google News Alerts to the blog so I can have them for reference and work on other things. My goal is not to focus on one news topic, but to have the varied topics in the news feeds automatically posted in the blog daily or weekly because I can capture more unique data that way.

Suicide Bomb News Feed

The Jihad News Feed

Witch News Feed

Ritual Abuse and Killing News Feed

Faith Heal News Feed

Female Genital Mutilation News

Exorcism News Feed

Child Bride or Marriage News Feed

Church Abuse News Feed

Animal Sacrifice News Feed

Religious Exemption News Feed

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How We Support Our False Beliefs

ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2009)
The findings may illuminate reasons why some people form false beliefs about the pros and cons of health-care reform or regarding President Obama's citizenship, for example.

The study, "There Must Be a Reason: Osama, Saddam and Inferred Justification" calls such unsubstantiated beliefs "a serious challenge to democratic theory and practice" and considers how and why it was maintained by so many voters for so long in the absence of supporting evidence.

Co-author Steven Hoffman, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of sociology at the University at Buffalo, says, "Our data shows substantial support for a cognitive theory known as 'motivated reasoning,' which suggests that rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe.

"In fact," he says, "for the most part people completely ignore contrary information".

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Boz said...

I have fallen into this exact trap, though I thought it was called "confirmation bias".

Looking at the list of blogs in my reader, there are ~30 atheist blogs and ~10 christian blogs. I have to make a conscious effort to seek out views that conflict with atheism, so that I can test whether atheism is correct. This is difficult, and I too often find myself focusing on the atheist blogs while skimming over the theist blogs.

HQ, do you know of any blogs written by theists that discuss atheism/apologetics?


Similarly I have realised a related peculiar behaviour that I exhibit. I work office hours, and look at websites/information regarding my interests (cycling, various computer games, various tv-shows). When I get home, I will almost always be keen to do the activity that I have been reading about that day.

Harlan Quinn said...

Hi Boz,
i've studied (on my own, fairly rigorously) Cognitive Bias and Fallacious Reasoning Schemes and discovered that you can find some that have two names, and some that only subtly different. Thats why, when I'm debating, unless I'm absolutely sure about the name, I explain why its a fallacy and go on with the discussion omitting the name.

Informal logic covers most of that ground, though, the informal logic literature won't call it cognitive bias, I suppose because they are not psychologists.

Honestly I don't keep up with atheist blogs, except DC, because I can see how fallacious religion is from an informal logic standpoint.

The main reason is that All religions can't be true unless they are full of wrong information, and if they are full of wrong information then they aren't reliable.

If you apply common reasoning schemes and principle to religous thinking, religious thinking turns out to be incoherent.

If you follow the data from recent scientific research it is full of disconfirming evidence about the claims of religion, yet scientists don't set out to disconfirm religions claims.

Religous claims are based on an human ignorance of the world. They have an information quality problem, hence the name of the blog and my approach.

I use the persuasion strategy of the elaboration likelihood model, meaning that I just provide new information about old ideas and hope the belief becomes less strong.

I am convinced that there is no atheist argument in the world that will change a believers mind, but the believers mind will change subtly without their being aware of it using natural processes.

I'm convinced that religious thinking is a symptom of a larger problem, not necessarily of education but of a misapplication of logic. Meaning that the beleiver will use at least two sets of logic rules day to day. One set of logic rules to handle the day to day business, banking, investment, work, social relationships, and another with regard to religion.

a psychologist calls it dysrationalia. Others have called it "non-overlapping" magisteria, others have called it reasoning within a domain, and reasing within a field, others have called it "thinking inside the box", its an old concept that doesn't get discussed much, mainly (I think) because to recognize it would undo our favorite means of self-justification. To justify what ever it is we want to support, whether its true or not.

what you describe with the webbrowsing in reflected in research I recently read and will post now that you mention it. There is a correlation in entertainment media and marijuana use, and entertainment media and violence. Not sure which causes the other, but it may be a positive feedback effect where one supports the amplification of the other.


served since Nov. 13, 2009