Home » Atheism, Books of interest, Mind » Why does anyone pay attention to one-way skeptic Michael Shermer’s war on the mind’s reality?

Why does anyone pay attention to one-way skeptic Michael Shermer’s war on the mind’s reality?

The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as TruthsHere, Ronald Bailey, science correspondent for Reason Magazine offers a “devoted fan” review of  Shermer’s The Believing Brain: “A Trick of the Mind: Looking for patterns in life and then infusing them with meaning, from alien intervention to federal conspiracy” (August 2, 2011).

A traditional Canadian who has actually watched the government conspire against citizens (including friends) is astonished by the assumption in the title that a federal conspiracy doesn’t really happen. It all depends on who the government is, many would say. Worldwide.

That point is quite lost on Shermer and his acolytes. One example that acolyte Bailey offers is telling:

Superstitions arise as the result of the spurious identification of patterns. Even pigeons are superstitious. In an experiment where food is delivered randomly, pigeons will note what they were doing when the pellet arrived, such as twirling to the left and then pecking a button, and perform the maneuver over and over until the next pellet arrives. A pigeon rain dance. The behavior is not much different than in the case of a baseball player who forgets to shave one morning, hits a home run a few hours later and then makes it a policy never to shave on game days.

In reality, the behaviour is much different. The pigeon, lacking reason, defaults to behaviour associated with past success. Much animal behaviour can be explained that way. The ball player chooses to ignore reason when he adopts an irrational theory to explain his track record.

Modern materialism is a war on the reality of the mind. Failure to grasp this fact is dangerous. It leads directly to aberrations like neurolaw and efforts at mind control.

By the way, why does anyone pay attention to Michael Shermer? Isn’t the direction clear enough?

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5 Responses to Why does anyone pay attention to one-way skeptic Michael Shermer’s war on the mind’s reality?

  1. Do I remember correctly that Bill Dembski once offered to be Shermer’s Skeptic magazine resident Darwin skeptic, but was turned down by Shermer?

    It is interesting that Shermer, champion of skepticism, is not the least bit skeptical about at least some aspects of Darwinian theory, despite lots of obvious problems with its claims.

  2. I’m skeptical of skepticism.

  3. In reality, the behaviour is much different. The pigeon, lacking reason, defaults to behaviour associated with past success. Much animal behaviour can be explained that way. The ball player chooses to ignore reason when he adopts an irrational theory to explain his track record.

    I think though the resultant behavior is the same – both pigeons and ball players continue to repeat unrelated behavior that they think (erroneously) is linked to some success. Sure, you could say the ball player “ignores” the rational part of him that tells him this is nonsense, but sadly too many people really sincerely believe there is absolutely a causal link – even if they are quite rational in other parts of their lives. That’s the point Schemer is making and quite a valid one that Ms O’Leary really has failed to counter with her example.

  4. Who’s more superstitious and who’s more rational, Atheists are Theists?

    Look Who’s Irrational Now
    Excerpt: “What Americans Really Believe,” a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....54585.html

  5. correction: Who’s more superstitious and who’s more rational, Atheists or Theists?

    =======

    OT:

    New Cardboard Testimonies – How He Loves – Inspirational Videos
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=K7LK67NX

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