Credulity Is Not a Virtue
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19-10-2014, 09:43 PM
Credulity Is Not a Virtue
I will reward precisely zero internetz to whomever catches that reference.


Anyway....Credulous people. We all know them. And you know what? I can't fucking stand them.

I guess it's not their fault; some people are just dumb. And really, aren't we all a little credulous from time to time? Hell, I've believed things based on nothing more than the fact that they were told to me. A good example would be a conversation I had with a former coworker. He worked with glass for a long time, and he told me that glass was actually a liquid. He even added "That's why the glass in a window is thicker at the bottom when it's an old building." I am a harsh and unforgiving skeptic when it comes to new information, but I'm also human, so I believed him. Being in a box-truck rumbling down the highway at 7am on a bitter Winter morning, it wasn't exactly my first thought to google the information to confirm. We all have those moments.

He was wrong, by the way.*

What disturbed me about this was not just the fact that I believed him (something we're programed to do in a social environment), but the fact that I later told two other people about this new "revelation." When I finally looked it up and learned that he (and I) had been wrong, I was absolutely mortified. It seems trivial, but I consider intellectual honesty to be my utmost virtue. To credulously accept a piece of misinformation and then go on to spread it to others flies directly in the face of that virtue. In being gullible and then spreading bullshit, I failed myself. (To say nothing of the fact that such misinformation could have been of greater significance, and spreading it could have had serious consequences)

The thing is, there are people who aren't shocked or horrified by the spreading of misinformation. These people both puzzle and infuriate me. I look at them existing and wonder how the fuck their neurons manage to fire in order to create complex thought within their minds. An example - and the reason I'm even ranting about this - is a girlfriend of mine. Since we were teenagers, she's believed that "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is a true story. Why? Because it's "inspired by a true story." That's all the information her simplistic mind needs to go around talking about how there was actually a guy who killed people with a chainsaw and ate their meaty parts. It doesn't matter that the word "inspired" is meant to suggest that it's a made-up story inspired by real life, unrelated serial killer Ed Gein. It doesn't matter that police records of a chainsaw-wielding maniac eating people in Texas don't exist. It doesn't matter that the director himself is on film stating that he made up the story for the movie. She simply believes it's true because she was told it's true, and there's never been anything I could do to change her mind.

Tonight, what got me going was the story of a serial killer who inspired a haunted house attraction in his supposed former house. It's called The Devil's Den and it's open one town over every Halloween. The conversation started as two friends wanting to spend a Saturday night having some spooky fun, and ended with her getting pissed off because I demonstrated that the supposed killer never existed. No police records. Nothing (outside of a few inter-connected blogs on horror-themed sites) to suggest that any macabre events ever took place in accordance with the story. We googled furiously for more than an hour, and yet found nothing. Nothing but the story of a real-life killer with a similar (but different) name who seems to have inspired the story. In the end, it's a marketing gimmick. A crazy (and internally inconsistent) story meant to make the place more of an attraction. "Inspired by a true story" works, and the reason it works is because people are so fucking gullible.

Some friends and I went to see "Annabelle" the other night, and immediately after the film, a girl behind us asked her group of friends "Was this a true story?" Without missing a beat, her friends responded with a resounding "Yes." It was very late, I was very tired, and I was not interested in getting into a verbal spat with a group of college kids on a Friday night. But I wanted more than anything to turn around and say "No, it's fucking not. It's a made-up story and it disgusts me that people like you are so fucking gullible that they'd think a doll can come alive and kill people. You're 20. Act like it." Admittedly, it bothers me that they went home without being corrected. Ignorance lives to ignore another day.

I just don't understand how these people can think the way they do. When I find myself googling and debunking information, I get a rush. Coming out of my shell as a believer and learning to be harshly skeptical of the world was more of a liberating and refreshing transformation than words will currently allow me to express. It feels so fucking good to hear something, and immediately want to check to see that it's accurate. I fall down on occasion, yes, but overall, I do my utmost to fact-check as often as I can. I truly can't comprehend why someone would be able to exist within a gullible mindset. To hear something and believe it immediately; regardless of what it is or who said it. I feel like I'm surrounded by these people. Like I'm the only human in a room full of automatons. They're all walking around with glazed eyes, taking in whatever bullshit happens to float along and accepting it into their lives as fact, and I'm the only one screaming "PROVE IT!!!" at the top of my lungs. What's worse is when I'm looked down upon because of it. The term "don't be a skeptic" is a term I hear all too often in this world, and it's said in a dismissive manner. When I dare to question things, I'm a buzzkill. When I point out the bullshit, people get pissy because I'm a "know-it-all" and apparently have no idea what I'm talking about. (No, they don't realize that's a contradiction) And then, when I demonstrate that they were wrong, they get angry. (We've been looking forward to visiting the haunted house for a few months. Her response to my demonstrating that she was wrong? "Well then fuck it; let's just go to the pub.")

Gullibility just makes me want to scream. Even if I'm not 100% perfect in all of my intellectual endeavors, at least I fucking try. Other people are content to float through life like a feather lost in the wind and pick up any particle of shit that happens to be floating by. I'm tired of it.

*Doubt even this.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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19-10-2014, 10:06 PM
RE: Credulity Is Not a Virtue
I don't believe you.











Big Grin

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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19-10-2014, 10:12 PM
RE: Credulity Is Not a Virtue
(19-10-2014 10:06 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  I don't believe you.











Big Grin




Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-10-2014, 10:14 PM
RE: Credulity Is Not a Virtue
(19-10-2014 10:12 PM)Chas Wrote:  


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19-10-2014, 11:12 PM
RE: Credulity Is Not a Virtue
(19-10-2014 10:06 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  I don't believe you.











Big Grin

FINALLY!!!

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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20-10-2014, 01:31 AM
RE: Credulity Is Not a Virtue
1. People seem to want to believe in "scary stories".

2. Ironic that I just clicked on the newest Texas Chainsaw Massacre flick to, um...kill some time at work, then began 10 minutes later happened to pop open this thread.
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20-10-2014, 05:09 AM
RE: Credulity Is Not a Virtue
Wait... glass isn't a liquid?
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20-10-2014, 05:50 AM
RE: Credulity Is Not a Virtue
(19-10-2014 11:12 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  
(19-10-2014 10:06 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  I don't believe you.











Big Grin

FINALLY!!!

I know how you feel. I have to wade through forwarded emails from my parents of pithy stories or warnings about some disease . A quick look at snopes.com and they are all known to be bullshit. Facepalm

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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20-10-2014, 07:26 AM
RE: Credulity Is Not a Virtue
(20-10-2014 05:09 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  Wait... glass isn't a liquid?

Nope, it's an amorphous solid.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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20-10-2014, 07:30 AM
RE: Credulity Is Not a Virtue
(19-10-2014 09:43 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  I will reward precisely zero internetz to whomever catches that reference.


Anyway....Credulous people. We all know them. And you know what? I can't fucking stand them.

I guess it's not their fault; some people are just dumb. And really, aren't we all a little credulous from time to time? Hell, I've believed things based on nothing more than the fact that they were told to me. A good example would be a conversation I had with a former coworker. He worked with glass for a long time, and he told me that glass was actually a liquid. He even added "That's why the glass in a window is thicker at the bottom when it's an old building." I am a harsh and unforgiving skeptic when it comes to new information, but I'm also human, so I believed him. Being in a box-truck rumbling down the highway at 7am on a bitter Winter morning, it wasn't exactly my first thought to google the information to confirm. We all have those moments.

He was wrong, by the way.*

What disturbed me about this was not just the fact that I believed him (something we're programed to do in a social environment), but the fact that I later told two other people about this new "revelation." When I finally looked it up and learned that he (and I) had been wrong, I was absolutely mortified. It seems trivial, but I consider intellectual honesty to be my utmost virtue. To credulously accept a piece of misinformation and then go on to spread it to others flies directly in the face of that virtue. In being gullible and then spreading bullshit, I failed myself. (To say nothing of the fact that such misinformation could have been of greater significance, and spreading it could have had serious consequences)

The thing is, there are people who aren't shocked or horrified by the spreading of misinformation. These people both puzzle and infuriate me. I look at them existing and wonder how the fuck their neurons manage to fire in order to create complex thought within their minds. An example - and the reason I'm even ranting about this - is a girlfriend of mine. Since we were teenagers, she's believed that "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is a true story. Why? Because it's "inspired by a true story." That's all the information her simplistic mind needs to go around talking about how there was actually a guy who killed people with a chainsaw and ate their meaty parts. It doesn't matter that the word "inspired" is meant to suggest that it's a made-up story inspired by real life, unrelated serial killer Ed Gein. It doesn't matter that police records of a chainsaw-wielding maniac eating people in Texas don't exist. It doesn't matter that the director himself is on film stating that he made up the story for the movie. She simply believes it's true because she was told it's true, and there's never been anything I could do to change her mind.

Tonight, what got me going was the story of a serial killer who inspired a haunted house attraction in his supposed former house. It's called The Devil's Den and it's open one town over every Halloween. The conversation started as two friends wanting to spend a Saturday night having some spooky fun, and ended with her getting pissed off because I demonstrated that the supposed killer never existed. No police records. Nothing (outside of a few inter-connected blogs on horror-themed sites) to suggest that any macabre events ever took place in accordance with the story. We googled furiously for more than an hour, and yet found nothing. Nothing but the story of a real-life killer with a similar (but different) name who seems to have inspired the story. In the end, it's a marketing gimmick. A crazy (and internally inconsistent) story meant to make the place more of an attraction. "Inspired by a true story" works, and the reason it works is because people are so fucking gullible.

Some friends and I went to see "Annabelle" the other night, and immediately after the film, a girl behind us asked her group of friends "Was this a true story?" Without missing a beat, her friends responded with a resounding "Yes." It was very late, I was very tired, and I was not interested in getting into a verbal spat with a group of college kids on a Friday night. But I wanted more than anything to turn around and say "No, it's fucking not. It's a made-up story and it disgusts me that people like you are so fucking gullible that they'd think a doll can come alive and kill people. You're 20. Act like it." Admittedly, it bothers me that they went home without being corrected. Ignorance lives to ignore another day.

I just don't understand how these people can think the way they do. When I find myself googling and debunking information, I get a rush. Coming out of my shell as a believer and learning to be harshly skeptical of the world was more of a liberating and refreshing transformation than words will currently allow me to express. It feels so fucking good to hear something, and immediately want to check to see that it's accurate. I fall down on occasion, yes, but overall, I do my utmost to fact-check as often as I can. I truly can't comprehend why someone would be able to exist within a gullible mindset. To hear something and believe it immediately; regardless of what it is or who said it. I feel like I'm surrounded by these people. Like I'm the only human in a room full of automatons. They're all walking around with glazed eyes, taking in whatever bullshit happens to float along and accepting it into their lives as fact, and I'm the only one screaming "PROVE IT!!!" at the top of my lungs. What's worse is when I'm looked down upon because of it. The term "don't be a skeptic" is a term I hear all too often in this world, and it's said in a dismissive manner. When I dare to question things, I'm a buzzkill. When I point out the bullshit, people get pissy because I'm a "know-it-all" and apparently have no idea what I'm talking about. (No, they don't realize that's a contradiction) And then, when I demonstrate that they were wrong, they get angry. (We've been looking forward to visiting the haunted house for a few months. Her response to my demonstrating that she was wrong? "Well then fuck it; let's just go to the pub.")

Gullibility just makes me want to scream. Even if I'm not 100% perfect in all of my intellectual endeavors, at least I fucking try. Other people are content to float through life like a feather lost in the wind and pick up any particle of shit that happens to be floating by. I'm tired of it.

*Doubt even this.

... Doubt even this.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
"Anti-environmentalism is like standing in front of a forest and going 'quick kill them they're coming right for us!'" - Jake Farr-Wharton, The Imaginary Friend Show.
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