Is Pyrrhonism the ultimate truth?

You’re the one who said this. It’s not important, maybe I shouldn’t have responded to it.

My question is, if it’s culture + genetics, nature + nurture, mind + body, that creates millions of people that follow an authoritarian, shouldn’t that inform how we speak to that movement and the individuals who are drawn to it?

Well sure. Of course.

However when people take it as a personal offense, when someone tries to educate them (think wearing a surgical mask as barrier to aerosols and germs) - because of a fascist political fad, all bets are off.

What’s disappointing, is how everyone (including Sapolsky) seems to deliberately ignore that massive investment in brainwashing that’s unfolded since FOX was first created, which then got mutated into, Rush L., Breitbart, etc. and with the religious freaks running parallel campaigns of brainwashing for their naive flocks. *

So you’ll have to excuse me for being a bit blahzay about it.

*Of course the brainwashing started earlier, Hollywood thinking and all that, the dissection of the psychology of consumerism and how to feed the fire, tent revivals that doubled as great pick up spots for guys and gals driven to emotional frenzy and looking for a little relief - and was even around before that, imagine that. But given the cancer of modern communication technology, it’s been supercharged like never before.

Boy, we see that differently. First, I see a ton of focus on that brainwashing and how to deal with it. Second, “brainwashing” is a result of our evolution, part of our nature. Studying how it works helps us know what to do about it.

You know “brainwashing” isn’t a scientific term, right? I know what lying media is, and bad education. Do you see “brainwashing” as something that is created by a group as a program, and then disseminated systematically?

The parameters of this is the crux of the biscuit.


Short answer, yes.
Though it’s a big world, and it’s folds within folds of complexity all the way down, so I know there’s much more to this than some simple Yes or No response.
Cite as: Cook, J. (2020). Deconstructing Climate Science Denial.

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I have that on DVD. I saw it happen to my dad, but he died before this century. I know what the word “brainwashing” means colloquially. But when you start talking about how we talk to all of the “dads” that have bought into the lies on certain media, you need actual science.

Just like you can’t use reason to talk someone out of a position that they arrived at unreasonably, you can’t use facts and repeated truth to undo the distorted truth and outright lies of politicians and their media lackeys.

This is the hardest thing I’ve encountered in my life as a skeptic (which began about halfway through my lifespan), that science says that all the facts of science don’t change minds. Science is a set of methods, and presenting scientific facts requires a methodology.

People who think they know all the scientific facts and think they are right about them are the hardest to convince. They think it was the facts that shaped their values and opinions. It was not the facts alone, it was how they were presented. If it was facts alone, then the same piece of paper with facts on it would be perceived the same by everyone. That doesn’t happen, and it would be a boring world if it did.

If what I’m saying weren’t true, there would be no such thing as propaganda. There would be no need for charts and graphs, just print out the data, the facts. Logic fallacies wouldn’t have names and need websites so you can look them up, it would be obvious to everyone that illogical statements weren’t logical.

Have you ever had someone say, “oh, I know that’s propaganda, but I believe it”? No, they say, “you were suckered by the propaganda.” If you think it’s only other people who are susceptible to propaganda, then you’ve bought into some propaganda.


True! (Same with prejudice.) And with deep fakes, the problem may worsen exponentially.

Vaccine stupidity exists on both the right and the left. One sides says, “Ooh, it’s the deep state trying to put chips in us!” while the other says, “I’m not putting anything artificial in my child’s body!” Vaccines are likely the most successful medical offering in history (along with anesthesia and penicillin).

I’m a lover, not a hater so I am generally against unfair persecution of any group. Then I read the following in The Atheist Muslim:

In their well-intentioned attempts to try and protect Muslims in the West- whom they see as a persecuted and unfairly stereotyped community - many Western liberals inadvertently also end up empowering undemocratic Islamist governments in Muslim-majority countries who use this status of victimhood as a tool to oppress and persecute liberal dissidents within their own populations.

Doing “nice” can go astray.

If I may get back to “all bets are off”. Is that what I’m hearing here? This thread is an attempt to draw some lines between the actions of those crazies over there, you know who, and our reactions, you know, the good people over here.

What I see, speaking generally, is hate as a response to hate, anger as a response to anger, yelling at instead of listening to.

Actually, I’m trying to point out that even when you try to be kind to one group (devout Muslims in this case) you may hurt another group (liberal/atheist Muslims).