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Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison) 
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
youkrst wrote:
Guy P. Harrison wrote:
Regardless of how far removed from the concepts of logic, evidence, and scientific validation some products may be, they will succeed if their pushers manage to push the correct psychological buttons.

So far we have heard far too little about this. I have a strong feeling that Harrison's batch of "bad thinking" examples have to do with his sense that people are attracted to them for the wrong reasons.

Given that we only know there is no scientific evidence for astrology's claims, for example, we could just ignore it like any relatively harmless activity, such as gathering flash mobs or playing Scrabble, except that Harrison has an idea that people believe in it for a reason, and this reason is bad.

Yet somehow that part of the case has remained essentially unmentioned. I was looking for it, and this passage about psychological buttons was nearly the only mention I found. This sort of "hidden other shoe" raises my skepticism.



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Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:59 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
I don't know how much clearer you can get than "is the Bible a complex, simplex or both type of book?"

Since nobody seems to answer anything on this web site, I will do it for you.

The Bible is a SIMPLEX book because anyone can read it and understand that 1) man is a sinner - He violates the laws of God; 2) Man is sentenced to death - eternal separation from God, due to our present relationship; 3) So God made a plan to pay a price that man could not do on its own - payment for their sin; thus, Jesus died on the cross; 4) man must simply humble himself and acknowledge that he is a sinner and that Jesus is the only Savior available to restore his relationship with God - this is done by seeking forgiveness, choosing to live for Him in as much obedience and purpose as possible.

Yes, the Bible with all of its eschatology, prophecies, types and themes make it the most complex book ever written.

MY b--k proves that this is the case. It shows that almost 40 "pen man" over 1600 years, with almost no interaction with the previous texts (at great length) "penned" additional information that is so cohesive to the overall text. GOD'S DESIRE TO SPEND ETERNITY WITH MAN!
Hope that helps clear the issue



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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Quote:
Since nobody seems to answer anything on this web site, I will do it for you.


bob, try not to get frustrated by this.

if you start a thread specifically to discuss an issue you are interested in you may get more replies that directly address what you want to get to.

this thread is for mainly focussing around

Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)

of course it's fine to digress a little but we dont want this thread to suddenly become about something else

i'm going to go and start another thread now so you and i can discuss whatever we'd like without sidetracking from

Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)



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Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:25 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Harry Marks wrote:
So far we have heard far too little about this. I have a strong feeling that Harrison's batch of "bad thinking" examples have to do with his sense that people are attracted to them for the wrong reasons.

Given that we only know there is no scientific evidence for astrology's claims, for example, we could just ignore it like any relatively harmless activity, such as gathering flash mobs or playing Scrabble, except that Harrison has an idea that people believe in it for a reason, and this reason is bad.

Yet somehow that part of the case has remained essentially unmentioned. I was looking for it, and this passage about psychological buttons was nearly the only mention I found. This sort of "hidden other shoe" raises my skepticism.


I had this thought as well. Harris says that irrational thinking slows progress and harms everyone to varying degrees. But I can't see how someone who believes in ghosts or believes in UFOs is going to hurt society. If the individual takes the belief too far it can be bad for the individual, say in spending too much money on ghost-detecting contraptions or being ridiculed by friends and families. But I doubt a casual belief in ghosts is harmful and it may even be seen as a healthy outlet.

I wonder if Harrison is going to talk about Steve Jobs who turned to naturalistic remedies for his cancer. Arguably this was a harmful belief. Clearly many people turn away from standard medicine for unproven naturalistic remedies which fall under the "food supplements" domain because they cannot be shown to be effective. A lot of money is spent on acupuncture which is shown time and again by various studies to be not effective. And, yet, maybe people derive some psychological benefit from acupuncture that is probably very difficult to measure.

So we have varying degrees of belief and various ways that such beliefs can be harmful. Where do we draw the line? How do we draw the line?


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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
geo wrote:
But I can't see how someone who believes in ghosts or believes in UFOs is going to hurt society.


i guess an example might be

"if they are uncritical enough to believe in ghosts and ufo's then they may be uncritical enough to accept that the government only has their best interests at heart"

at which point they can be accepting a policy ...say "interference in the middle east"

next thing you know

Quote:
The CIA is quoted acknowledging the coup was carried out "under CIA direction" and "as an act of U.S. foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government."[13]


just trying to think of what Guy P. may be getting at as i think on it.

so being uncritical in one area was a symptom, it turns out that they are still in a child like state of uncritical acceptance or submission, this submission then opens the way for manipulators to steal the farm and cause untold bloodshed and skullduggery which were we to look on it would make us puke.



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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Youkrst, I just followed the line of thinking that you proposed by vague and meaningless conceptual thinking, and try to bring it to life by an example. You then answer the question, but with no real in depth answer. I then ask you to be specific about your faith and the Bible being complex, simplex or both and I get little to nothing. If you were teaching a college course I would have failed you. A thread is nothing more than a starting point. But you guys enjoy answering nothing.

Like talking about bigfoot, aliens and area 51 are so important on the minds of everyone is politely hogwash.

I will leave you to this important thread.



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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
thanks bob, i hope we can get a discussion going one day.

i'll leave a note for you in the freestyle thread.



Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:33 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
and now back to our threads topic

Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)



Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:37 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
BTW just been reading through from top of thread

you peeps are Awesome! :appl:



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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
geo said
Quote:
But I can't see how someone who believes in ghosts or believes in UFOs is going to hurt society. If the individual takes the belief too far it can be bad for the individual, say in spending too much money on ghost-detecting contraptions or being ridiculed by friends and families. But I doubt a casual belief in ghosts is harmful and it may even be seen as a healthy outlet.


If only one individual believes in UFO's or ghosts or ancient aliens or the Great Pumpkin then the harm is minuscule, or less, the harm comes from many people believing in the wrong things (I make no claims that any or all of my examples are incorrect here). Then resources are used up pursuing these beliefs, perhaps arguments become wars, education of our children becomes compromised, money, time and energy are spent on things that do not exist that could have been spend curing a disease, or building a dam or bridge or a better school for our children to learn in.


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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
froglipz wrote:
If only one individual believes in UFO's or ghosts or ancient aliens or the Great Pumpkin then the harm is minuscule, or less, the harm comes from many people believing in the wrong things (I make no claims that any or all of my examples are incorrect here). Then resources are used up pursuing these beliefs, perhaps arguments become wars, education of our children becomes compromised, money, time and energy are spent on things that do not exist that could have been spend curing a disease, or building a dam or bridge or a better school for our children to learn in.


Two examples come to mind. Fundamentalist Christians who believe the earth is 10,000 years old, evolution is false, etc. They seek to institutionalize these beliefs by changing education standards and creating their own literature and propaganda machine. In other words, they have become politicized. On another thread, Rabbi John Sacks talks about the problems in the Middle East, where a set of religious counterrevolutions are "combining religion with politics in the most destructive way."

And then there's a growing movement of anti-vaxxers, those who believe in a connection between autism and vaccine shots, though studies consistently show no connection. This can be tragic in that diseases that were once more or less eradicated are making a comeback: measles, mumps, chicken pox. We're starting to lose herd immunity and so not only the children of anti-vaxxers are at risk.

Susan Jacoby, in her book, The Age of American Unreason, also discusses the proliferation of "junk thought" in society that gets a boost up from fundamentalist religion and pseudoscience. Not to mention that we spend an inordinate amount of time in front of the boob tube. Harrison mentions this in the intro, that nonsense and superficiality has become normal in our society, and there's a steep price to pay.


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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
From Chapter 1 . . .

Quote:
THE DIRTY DOZEN

Know these twelve common mental mistakes and resist them when they threaten to hijack rational decision making. Be on guard when others use them in attempts to convince you to accept unusual claims.

1. The Emotion Potion. We are emotional creatures, and this often leads us to make irrational decisions, embrace bad ideas, and act in ways that work against our best interests. Emotions can intoxicate us, make us dumb. Be aware of this vulnerability. If someone tells you the world is going to end in fiery chaos soon, for example, don't let your fear of such an event distract you from rationally analyzing and challenging the claim.

2. Popularity. We are social animals. The safety of the herd feels good, and it can be cold and harsh out there all alone in the wilderness. Recognize how we all can be swayed by popular support of an idea no matter how destructive or ridiculous it may be. Never forget that truth and reality are not decided by vote. The majority of people have been wrong about many things many times throughout history. There were times when a flat Earth, phrenology, and popular ideas— but they were still wrong.

3. Straw Person. A common tactic people use to promote weak or worthless claims is to attack an easy-to-beat, diluted, or counterfeit version of the counterargument. Those who say, for example, that Earth is around 4.5 billion years old should not be swayed one bit on this point if a science denier were to tell them that there was a time when geologists didn't understand continental drift and still can't explain everything today about the structure and function of the Earth's core. Of course geologists don't know everything. But this does not refute the strong evidence for a 4.5-billion-year-old Earth.

4. Loaded Questions. Sometimes people try to make their point seem more sensible by slipping in an unproven claim or bit of nonsense as filler or padding. Example: “Another reason we know the Lost City of Atlantis is real is because psychics and mediums have communicated with dead Atlanteans.” Listen well and catch weak arguments or bad ideas within the larger claim. Challenge them all.

5. Wishful Thinking. Simple but deadly to good thinking. We desire something, so we believe it to be true. This is a powerful human compulsion. Be aware of it and be tough with yourself. Always ask, “Am I accepting this claim because it makes sense and it is supported by sufficient evidence? Or do I just want to believe it so much that I am willing to pretend to know it's valid?”

6. False Dilemma. Watch out for people who frame their case as an “either, or” proposition. Sometimes there is a third option, or perhaps many more options. For example, a politician might say that more prisons must be built or there will be more violent criminals on the streets. But what if nonviolent offenders were released early or given lighter sentences, freeing up space for more dangerous criminals to serve longer sentences?

7. Explaining by Naming. Giving a name to something is not the same as explaining it. For example, calling an event a “miracle” is not an explanation for what happened. Calling a session with a psychic a “reading” does not explain how information was supposed to have been retrieved by the psychic. Watch for this deceitful form of verbal carpet bombing and simply ask people to explain names and concepts they try to pass off as explanations.

8. Circular Reasoning. Always popular in religious circles, this one also gets plenty of mileage in other arenas as well. It happens when people attempt to prove A by pointing to B, which they claim was proved by A. Example: “My special book is true because it was inspired by the gods and I know the gods are real because my special book says so.”

9. Authority Worship. Try to remember that in many ways we are essentially chimps who wear shoes. Just like them, we are obsessed with social rank and power. This is a huge weak point in our brains, because our natural reaction is to snap to and obey when we view someone as our superior. I'm not suggesting you rebel against everything every authority figure says to you, of course. But do try to think clearly about the validity of words from on high. Don't let a uniform or someone's dominant posture hoodwink you into believing nonsense or buying a junk product.

10. Special Pleading. People who promote or believe in things that are unlikely to be true often scramble to change the game when they feel the walls of reality closing in on them. For example, a person who says acupuncture works because “one billion Chinese people can't be wrong” might not like hearing that only about 18 percent of China's population relies on acupuncture and react by arguing that numbers suddenly don't matter.

11. Burden of Proof. The person making the extraordinary claim is the one who has the responsibility of backing it up. You and I don't have to prove that mediums can't talk to dead people or that aliens have never visited Earth. It's not even fair to suggest that we should, because in most cases it would be impossible to definitively disprove such things. Instead, it is the believer who must validate her beliefs.

12. Ad Hominem Attacks. When one can't get anywhere attacking facts, the next best thing seems to be attacking the person aligned with those facts. This is a weak, immature, despicable tactic— and we all do it. But that doesn't make it right. If you are discussing astrology with a jerk, remind yourself that being a jerk is irrelevant to whether or not astrology's claims are true. Focus on logic and evidence. It's better for everyone in the long run to kill the message rather than the messenger.


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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
This comic was posted on someone's blog wherein they were commenting on the prevalence of junk thought in society, obviously poking fun at climate "deniers." I see some unintended irony here.

Image


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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
i cant believe the whole time i was at school nobody taught me the dirty dozen once!

that chart should be up on every classroom wall :yes:

it's amazing how the baser tendencies of our nature can render these things null and you have to learn 'em again and again until they become second nature, then they become first nature.



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Post Re: Ch. 1: The Case for Good Thinking ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
I just got the book today. In reading most of the first chapter I want to focus on the pages 44-47. I do give him credit that he does not claim that all spiritual systems are wrong, and one can be right.

He does seem to give an abundance of evidence that makes you think that they are all wrong as he points out charlatans who just seek money. He belly aches about Churches being tax exempt, but does not mention the countless dollars that are given to the feed the poor and aid people in many ways.

At the top of 44 he states "the miracle cure that saved her life, or the presence of god or gods during prayer,"
and seems to make the case that these people are wrong. He does articulate accurate and meaningful ways to discuss matters in an amiable way.

But let us consider his statements that God must not work in the ways other explain. How about the countless doctors who have seen miracles appear before their eyes. Doctors who sees patients and takes x-rays and physical exams that prove a cancerous tumor must be operated on immediately, but the next following day when put under the knife, they open them up and find nothing. The prayers of saints the last 24 hours produced such results with the hand of God's intervention. Maybe the doubting Harrison should investigate these examples instead of castigating them as false.

Certainly I have RARELY experienced the presence of God and know that there is only one God, but I have encountered rare experiences of peace and understanding immediately come over me when my emotions were quite contrary. Or was given knowledge that was not of my own doing. I had no previous understanding of it before. God must have intervened on my behalf because of my prayer. I have literally prayed a person to death. The feeling and experience was something very eerie. I don't believe I will ever forget it.

Certainly I am appalled at the charlatan's that surface the earth and seek the fortune of others. Just because there are bad apples does not mean there are not GOOD APPLES. He does not make any effort to substantiate why any spiritual system could be right.

One an give evidence why something is not good, but you must look at why it is beneficial or right.
He would likely conclude that buying his wife flowers were wasteful due to the senses and emotions that were not needed or beneficial, but his wife would find them priceless.



Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:20 pm
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