Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why Do People Believe Stupid Things? - BFP Roundtable #04

From the official story of 9/11 to the drug war narrative to Omidyar's hope and change, people allow themselves to believe the most transparent lies and propaganda. But why? On this edition of the BFP roundtable, James Corbett, Guillermo Jimenez and Sibel Edmonds ask (and attempt to answer) the question of why people believe stupid things.


A really great discussion dealing with the issue of independently using logic and referring to hard evidence in the face of official (or mainstream) rhetoric.

The problem is that the majority of people assume most of the things they know via a 'consensus', or authority-derived, view rather than really understanding (ie working out for themselves) where their information comes from. Even highly intelligent people are as much trapped in the psychological world of mainstream opinion as everyone else. The clip also mentions the fact that there are professional faux-independent authority-figure liars out there that help hoodwink the public.**

In this situation obvious evidence can be overlooked or blithely dismissed by people to favour an existing world view, even washing over basic common sense principles. More often than not many  do not have enough spare time, or drive, to really discover the truth behind contested matters - which is compounded by a lack of imagination in realising the importance of finding the real facts when it comes to critical issues.

And although there can be varying levels of 'accepted wisdom', depending upon your level of education, intellectual aptitude or life-based experience, there is still the problem of people falling into a ridged world view that only reluctantly accepts new ideas - more often rejecting new information, even if backed by strong evidence, in favour of what they already 'know'.

Furthermore, critical thinking is unpopular. There are many examples in history where the few who have pointed to the problems faced by society were rejected only to be lauded years later as being 'ahead of their time'.

It is because people do not think too deeply, being only concerned with their immediate surroundings and not wanting to rock the social boat, that criminals in positions of power can get away with all manner of poorly executed deceptions. In the end most people cannot fathom what is happening in the wider world and are at a loss when the consequences come home to impact them - like banker caused financial crises and unnecessary wars for geopolitical advantage.

Watching videos such as the one above will help provide you with vital information, allowing you to be more self aware and more discerning, so that you will not become an unaware victim of heinous trickery. It helps to have an open minded curiosity with enough imagination to recognise independent thoughts or ideas. Share this clip with your friends!

**This is one of many good points raised in the clip - the fact that some, or perhaps many, allegedly independent defenders of the consensus, or authority-derived view, notably those who are part of 'Skeptics' organisations, like Michael Shermer (mentioned in the clip), are seemingly professional liars. Some people have a hard time contemplating this fact - that the level of deliberate lying to the public is more sophisticated than they have imagined.

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