By Stephen Law
Wacky and ridiculous trust platforms abound. individuals of the Heaven's Gate suicide cult believed they have been taking a journey to heaven on board a alien craft. Muslim suicide bombers anticipate to be greeted after demise by way of seventy two heavenly virgins. and lots of fundamentalist Christians insist the whole universe is simply 6,000 years old.
Of path it's not just cults and religions that advertise extraordinary ideals. major numbers of individuals think that extraterrestrial beings outfitted the pyramids, that the Holocaust by no means occurred, and that the area exchange middle used to be introduced down by means of the U.S. government.
How do such ridiculous perspectives reach entrenching themselves within the minds of sane, clever, college-educated humans and switch them into the prepared slaves of claptrap? How, particularly, do the genuine believers be capable of persuade themselves that they're the rational, average ones and that everybody else is deluded?
Believing Bullshit identifies 8 key mechanisms which could rework a suite of rules right into a mental flytrap. thinker Stephen legislation means that, just like the black holes of outer house, from which not anything, no longer even gentle, can break out, our modern cultural panorama includes a variety of highbrow black-holes—belief platforms built in one of these means that unwary passers-by can equally locate themselves drawn in. whereas such self-sealing bubbles of trust will most simply seize the gullible or poorly expert, even the main clever and proficient people are in all likelihood susceptible. the various world's maximum thinkers have fallen in, by no means to escape.
Law's witty, insightful critique can assist immunize readers opposed to the wiles of cultists, spiritual and political zealots, conspiracy theorists, promoters of flaky replacement medications, and diverse different nutcases by way of basically starting up the methods of the exchange during which such insidious trust platforms are created and maintained.
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Additional resources for Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole
Leap and roar, thou sea of ﬁre! My soul glows to meet you. Ere it ﬂag, ere the mists Of despondency and gloom Rush over it again, Receive me, save me. (2. 331–8, 344–54, 358–72, 403–16) Arnold’s dramatic poem did not have an altogether happy reception when it was published. One of his closest friends was Arthur Hugh Clough, who had been his contemporary, and brieﬂy his tutor, at Balliol College, Oxford, in the early 1840s. Empedocles’ happy memories of companionship with Parmenides resemble the later evocation of youthful comradeship in Arnold’s elegy Thyrsis, written in mourning for Clough’s early death in 1862.
We are constantly reminded of Fragment 115, the decree of necessity and the thrice ten thousand years of wandering to which Empedocles condemned the fallen. To the elements it came from Everything will return— Our bodies to earth Our blood to water Heat to ﬁre Breath to air They were well born, they will be well entomb’d But mind? But mind, but thought— If these have been the master part of us— Where will they ﬁnd their parent element? Who will receive them, who will call them home? But we shall still be in them, and they in us, And we shall be the strangers of the world, And they will be our lords, as they are now; And keep us prisoners of our consciousness, And never let us clasp and feel the All But through their forms and modes and stiﬂing veils....
To be unqualiﬁedly τελειον in the sense of ‘ﬁnal’ is to be ultimately choiceworthy (cf. 1097a33–4), never chosen as a means ¹ Final: NE 1097a28–34; 1098a18 (1) EE 1249a16. Complete: NE 1097b7; 1098a18(2); 1100a4; 1177b24–5; EE 1219a35–9. aristotle’s criteria for happiness 41 to an end or as a constituent of a larger whole. But if something is ﬁnal it is also self-sufﬁcient (αυταρκες, 1097a8), that is to say it is something that, ‘isolated on its own, makes life choiceworthy and lacking in nothing (1097b14–15)’, that is to say, lacking in nothing that is needed for choiceworthiness.
Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole by Stephen Law