A Skeptical Call To Arms

deirdre

Senior Member.
Viewing 'the enemy' with humble curiosity and as someone to learn from, is its only antidote. Getting rid of the notion of 'an adversary' is its first step.

I think Mick is setting a good example of this in our little niche.

you have read the OP to this "call to arms" thread, right?
 

LilWabbit

Active Member
you have read the OP to this "call to arms" thread, right?

Yup. And I find no contradiction to the gist of what I wrote. There's a critical difference between fighting an error and fighting people who believe in that error. Armed aggressors are the only exception of a 'group' which warrants being treated militarily as 'adversaries' and even with them a humble person does not indulge in self-elevation nor contempt. We just leave judgment to 'history'/'God'/'Universe', depending on one's ideological preference.

Any constructive discussion with someone whom we see subscribing to blatantly erroneous notions starts with humility, authentic listening and patiently learning from where they are coming from. It's easier said than done (coming from someone who's failed frequently).
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
[right-leaning people are accused of being] "irrational and not balanced, religious, and not committed to investigating an issue from all possible angles".

Just to note, there's nowhere in my post that I said I thought any right-leaning people here on Metabunk are any of those things.

Though I will also note that there's nowhere in your comment that you say I did say that either. ;)

Also, thanks for saying I'm much less offensive than others. :)

It didn't use to be that way. Well-educated people used to lean more Republican than Democrat (presumably because they're also wealthier), but that changed, and was strongly reversed when Obama got elected. So there's nothing innately Republican or Democrat that makes the well-educated (such as contribute to Metabunk, perhaps?) lean one way or the other.

Also to note that I didn't say anthing about anyone's level of education, or the education levels of the left or the right.

Though perhaps even though you wrote that in reply to my comment you had actually moved on from what I said and into something different.

Additionally, this is an international forum, and my impression is that internationally (e.g. in Europe) a center-right position (and everything left of that) would be considered "left" in the US. So, from a US perspective, international participation skews this forum further left, even though contributors may perceive themselves as conservative.

That's a very good point.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Also to note that I didn't say anthing about anyone's level of education, or the education levels of the left or the right.
You've characterized metabunk posters as "rational and be quite balanced, irreligious, and committed to investigating an issue from all possible angles". I don't really think you have the data to support a statement on how religious we are; however, I believe the other traits are correlated with being smart/educated.

So for me, in effect you've been saying that "stereotypically" smart/educated people lean left. I've also identified "lean left" with "lean Democrat". And from that, I've been trying to make the point that the statistical basis for that "stereotype" has been changing.

(Joe Biden appears to actually be more religious than Donald Trump, at least in terms of church attendance; and Kamala Harris is also religious.)
 
I don't think you can infer anything from Trump as hes such an outlier(*), Sure hes an atheist but on the political spectrum I wouldnt be shocked if he was in the middle

https://reason.com/2010/02/24/why-liberals-and-atheists-are/
Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) support Kanazawa's hypothesis. Young adults who subjectively identify themselves as "very liberal" have an average IQ of 106 during adolescence while those who identify themselves as "very conservative" have an average IQ of 95 during adolescence.

Nothing shocking here, what is the word conservative?
1. averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values.
Its like the antithesis of a questioning mind


edit: OT
(*) Not to knock trump but I was listening to this american life yesterday and they were playing an old episode where they go on about the PCL-R test (for Psychopathy ) and they were listing off the questions and all I could think of was Trump
Here are the 20 questions FWIW

1. Do you have "excess glibness" or superficial charm?
2. Do you have a grandiose sense of self-worth?
3. Do you have an excess need for stimulation or proneness to boredom?
4. Are you a pathological liar?
5. Are you conning or manipulative?
6. Do you display a lack of remorse or guilt?
7. Do you have "shallow affect"?
8. Are you callous, or do you lack empathy?
9. Do you have a "parasitic lifestyle"?
10. Do you have poor behavioral controls?
11. Do you have a history of promiscuous sexual behavior?
12. Do you have a history of early behavioral problems?
13. Do you lack realistic long-term goals?
14. Are you overly impulsive?
15. Do you have a high level of irresponsibility?
16. Do you fail to accept responsibility for your own actions?
17. Have you had many short-term "marital" relationships?
18. Do you have a history of juvenile delinquency?
19. Have you ever experienced a "revocation of conditional release"?
20. Do you display "criminal versatility"?


 
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LilWabbit

Active Member
I don't think you can infer anything from Trump as hes such an outlier(*), Sure hes an atheist but on the political spectrum I wouldnt be shocked if he was in the middle

https://reason.com/2010/02/24/why-liberals-and-atheists-are/


Nothing shocking here, what is the word conservative?

Its like the antithesis of a questioning mind

Intellectual condescension does very little in the way of healing divides and helping people out of rabbit holes.

Wisdom and intellectual maturity is to refuse to label groups 'smart' or 'stupid', 'advanced' or 'backward'. Not all the intolerance can be blamed on bigoted religious dogma, conservatism or even Trumpism. Even the most 'tolerant' Western humanist betrays a tendency to mock the 'bigot' or the 'medieval' as demonstrated on this thread. It produces a fleeting self-righteous thrill to assign dismissive labels to the other side, whether you’re a religionist or secularist, right-leaning or leftist.

None of us are blameless. Positive change starts from a good hard look in the mirror.
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
I believe the other traits [of rationality, balance, and commitment to investigating an issue from all possible angles] are correlated with being smart/educated.

I hear ya. But, again, I'd just like to point out that I didn't say anything about smartness/education, and that we don't share that belief, since I tend to feel pretty much everyone is "smart" in some ways and "not so smart" in others.

Also, I've spent far too much time around universities and colleges to put much value on "education". ;)

(Other kinds of education exist, of course - but your follow-up post included stats on college students, so I'm guessing you're meaning "education" in this way.)

So for me, in effect you've been saying that "stereotypically" smart/educated people lean left.

I think it's understandable that you've interpreted it that way. But that's not what I typed or meant.

I've also identified "lean left" with "lean Democrat".

I guess that's true if we're generalising about Americans and/or if we provide only two possible options. But I wouldn't say that either: "leaning left" may manifest as apolitical or anti-political; going for the minority candidate who doesn't actually have a chance to win; siding with the Democrats as the "least worst" option or because that's who someone like Bernie Sanders plays for; leaning Socialist; leaning Labour; leaning towards some other country-specific party (or parties); leaning towards some future political system much better than the ones we have now; or one of many other options, probably.

Joe Biden appears to actually be more religious than Donald Trump, at least in terms of church attendance; and Kamala Harris is also religious.

True. But none of them are members of Metabunk, as far as I can tell. ;)
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
i scored a 3 (giving a half point for 2 questions).

but this one i took for myself and another member, we both got:


1626970477448.png

i knew i shouldnt have answered that jungle question in a cheeky manner, but i couldn't resist)
 
None of us are blameless. Positive change starts from a good hard look in the mirror.
Very true.
My chief point is the very word 'conservative' means not open to new ideas/change etc thus its not surpriseing a forum that is about questioning things, looking for explantions etc doesnt have a large percent of people from the conservative persuasion.

Sorry about polluting it with bringing up Trump, it was just an OT aside.
 

LilWabbit

Active Member
Very true.
My chief point is the very word 'conservative' means not open to new ideas/change etc thus its not surpriseing a forum that is about questioning things, looking for explantions etc doesnt have a large percent of people from the conservative persuasion.

Sorry about polluting it with bringing up Trump, it was just an OT aside.

Being morally or socially conservative doesn't automatically translate into not being able to intelligently question various sorts of bunk. Just as being socially liberal doesn't automatically imply independent or critical thought, especially towards dearly held ideological positions.

It's best to avoid simplistic labels altogether at MB and welcome everyone as partners in the valuable work of investigating all claims and evidence in a scientific spirit.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Very true.
My chief point is the very word 'conservative' means not open to new ideas/change etc thus its not surpriseing a forum that is about questioning things, looking for explantions etc doesnt have a large percent of people from the conservative persuasion.
The problem with that argument is that you're ripping a factoid out of context because it suits your argument. Being *politically* conservative means you want the social structure (esp. the power structure) to remain a certain way, while being politically progressive means that you want society to evolve.

But being politically conservative doesn't mean you're opposed to change in other areas!

Worst of all, this category doesn't really transfer to debunking. Is "the WTC was demolished by the Jewish world conspiracy" a new ideo or an old idea? Is "extraterrestrials are among us" confirming the establishment, or challenging it? Can "the Earth is a globe" be called a "new idea", or does it represent rigid unthinking clinging to what school has taught you? Do conservatives oppose space travel, or support it?

If you want to make the point that being politically conservative also means you're not open to new ideas in other fields, I'd like to see some evidence that's about reality, rather than a linguistic point based on a misapplied dictionary entry.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
but your link is just as bad. Random unsourced claims to grab our eye when entering, then a list of "sources" that include youtube videos, twitters, foxnews, freebeacon? (come on),
Many of the Fox News portions aren't even Fox News News, they're pundit and op ed sections, and many of those by guest writers because the regular staff wouldn't put their names on it.

I also clicked on several labeled, "court ruling," and they are referring to evidence, NOT the ruling, and the evidence had failed on examination. The election lawsuits rather famously all failed on their merits (with the "win" column for the plaintiffs amounting to a moot case when they were suing to get something they already had and a procedural error where their case was dismissed under the wrong rule because bad evidence is not lack of evidence, and a SOCTUS opinion that the court had to hear the Texas lawsuit but that there was no way it could prevail), which comes to the one about Obama judges colluding on the rulings: A great many of the Federal cases were heard by Trump appointed judges and still failed in fact and law, and along their appeal chains every one landed at least once in front of a Trump or Bush appointed judge or a panel dominated by the same, and several made it to the Supreme Court which is currently extremely conservative, and even the dissenting opinions said the plaintiffs lost, but on different grounds than the majority opined.

If judges were colluding for their team, the election would have been reversed rather easily. But it turns out that while you might get the occasional 4th or 5th amendment violation out of bad judges, you're not going to get them to ring the bell that ends the world.
 
If you want to make the point that being politically conservative also means you're not open to new ideas in other fields, I'd like to see some evidence that's about reality, rather than a linguistic point based on a misapplied dictionary entry.
Its not balck and white, i.e. I'm not claiming being conservative means you are 'not open to ideas' but statistically less open than someone more liberal.
I can't believe this is seriously open to debate, Look at the most conservative societies / countries in the world , less change there relative to other less conservative societies.
Look at the news today in the US with covid rising because ppl are not wanting to take the vaccine because of 'gates microchipping them etc', where is this higher? In the more conservative places of the country, does this mean, if you're conservative you wont of had the shot and you're liberal you would of? No of course not, its just that you are statistically more likely to.
oh Sure vaccines is just a single conspiracy theory, but I think studies have shown in general the more conservative you are the more likely you are to believe conspiracies
 

LilWabbit

Active Member
Its not balck and white, i.e. I'm not claiming being conservative means you are 'not open to ideas' but statistically less open than someone more liberal.
I can't believe this is seriously open to debate, Look at the most conservative societies / countries in the world , less change there relative to other less conservative societies.
Look at the news today in the US with covid rising because ppl are not wanting to take the vaccine because of 'gates microchipping them etc', where is this higher? In the more conservative places of the country, does this mean, if you're conservative you wont of had the shot and you're liberal you would of? No of course not, its just that you are statistically more likely to.
oh Sure vaccines is just a single conspiracy theory, but I think studies have shown in general the more conservative you are the more likely you are to believe conspiracies

"The evil capitalists, with the US at the helm and Great Britain as its fawning lieutenant, seek to enslave the world and suck the working class dry only to feed their own greed." Sound like a conspiracy theory? Well, it was actually the official foreign policy and military doctrine of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union lasted almost a century and started out with the express purpose of liberating Czarist Russia from elitist conservatism which only benefits the rich and the royals. Maybe you're too young to remember the Soviets.

@CaptainCourgette, you are right only insofar as there definitely exists a very recent trend of hardline 'conservatives' being more prone to spread certain conspiracy theories. MB can be helpful there, but not because there's any left-leaning bias. We should not read too much into our little slice of history.

Almost every political ideology, in their radical manifestations, thrives on conspiracy theories. The same applies to religious extremism. Radical ideology behoves a radical evil incarnate to justify its extreme ideological program. Neither the right nor the left have been historically immune to radical and militant fringe expressions, claiming in fact millions of innocent lives in the process. Both of their most devastating expressions occurred in 20th century Europe, the then self-styled "apex" of modernity and human civilization.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
there definitely exists a very recent trend of hardline 'conservatives' being more prone to spread certain conspiracy theories. MB can be helpful there,

can they? that's the question. that's the meta.

Many conservatives are rejective of semi-well known Snopes; and Snopes displays minimal bias (in conclusions and topics chosen to debunk) compared to MB. and Snopes doesn't spend it's days mocking and insulting it's target audiences.

and Snopes uses language the average reader can understand. which is a separate issue MB often has. MB might have debunked some of the election claims. I dont know, because many of the threads are written in a too complicated manner. I guess it's true that leftys can use MB as a resource when they are debating conservatives on FB etc... but can most lefty's understand the debunks in order to clearly explain the debunk to conservatives?

I could be wrong of course, but i dont think MBs political threads are particularly helpful to anyone.
 

LilWabbit

Active Member
I could be wrong of course, but i dont think MBs political threads are particularly helpful to anyone.

You may very well be right. But perhaps the OP serves as an Expression of Interest of sorts to develop/expand the MB further to better tackle political conspiracy theories as well.

As a Republican you are in an excellent position to help MB lefties or others like yours truly to understand how to even broach any of these themes constructively with 'conservatives'. And what types, aside from your sensible and positively engaging self (a small minority?), are even open to dialogue. The very suggestion 'Biden was elected fairly' is an instant conversation killer with some. Is there hope with such types?

You and I obviously agree the first step for any constructive dialogue is to dispense with mockery and insult at the very outset. But it does take conscious effort and a humble posture of learning from us all, irrespective of leanings.

Btw, another leftist (to be precise, radical feminist) conspiracy theory which happens to be alive and well, is the notion of an evil patriarchy in the Western society where 'all or most men in power seek to keep men in power'.

This came to mind right after posting about Soviet Union and momentarily forgetting that post-Soviet radical left is also not immune to CTs.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
As a Republican you are in an excellent position to help MB lefties or others like yours truly to understand how to even broach any of these themes constructively with 'conservatives'.
lol ive been trying to do that for 2 years now. I'm banging my head against a wall. There's a good book though on the subject, its called "Escaping the Rabbit Hole".

The very suggestion 'Biden was elected fairly'
that's subjective. it depends on how people are hearing "fairly". i think Biden won (like Bush won over the dimple controversy), but i wouldn't say Biden was elected "fairly". Covid was a very very unique and abnormal election year. All sorts of election rules were thrown out the window.

I would say "conservative judges, including the U.S. Supreme Court, haven't been presented with any evidence that Biden did not win the election. The sneaky tactics some states used during Covid were deemed 'irrelevant at this time' by conservative judges. Elections are far from perfect, but it is what it is. Biden is President"
(of course i would go on to explain to them why Biden winning is an excellent thing for our party long term.. and they will be happier, but they will still claim ..forever.. Biden did not win fairly. It's an opinion.)

I can't really speak for southern conservatives, or mid west unfortunately. They would probably view me as borderline left. But if i am now generally suspicious of anything i read on MB, i would imagine the more right folks aren't even going to bother to look up the claims made here.

Logic is lovely. But most people (on all sides of the aisle) do not make decisions based on logic.. if they did 75% of Dems would convert to conservatism! :) People make decisions based on trust. For example, before the new summer delta surge, most of those who didnt want to get vaccinated were citing their friends and families as convincing them to get the vaccine.. not random propaganda from the media. (although case surges in their area still trumps all motivations ie. real life fear).

They trusted people who cared about them and loved them.

Personally i wouldnt waste my time on one-on-one politic debunking unless that person lives in a swing state. but if you do engage (from either side of the aisle) i would suggest reading "Escaping the Rabbit Hole". There are threads on MB that cover the same discussions and conclusions but I'm not sure how easy they are to find.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
'all or most men in power seek to keep men in power'.
that might be subconsciously true. women can be super annoying. i personally wouldnt define the desire to be more free of woman as "evil" though. Most women dont even want to work with women. :)
 

Rory

Senior Member.
For the record I once worked in an office with 50 women and 3 men. And whenever I went to one of the other more 'manly' offices in the building I came back very glad of it too. :)
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
Article:
Yet Krugman is mostly wrong that nuttiness is found mainly among conservatives, and his misperception actually reveals a great deal about U.S. politics. People of all political persuasions believe their views are objectively right and others hold positions that are arbitrary and asinine. Daniel Kahan finds that partisan commitments make people look for evidence to justify their conclusions. Even when, say, liberals come up with a correct answer, it may not have been because of their high esteem for evidence. They just got lucky. The implication is that people use data like drunks use lampposts: more for support than illumination.

.....

We have to wonder what would happen to liberals’ belief in climate science if the solution to climate change were freer markets and smaller government.

On balance, partisanship may influence which conspiracy theories we see, but not how often we are likely to see them. Neither liberals nor conservatives are more credulous or crazy. If both sides understood this, it might make it a little easier for them to work together.
 
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qed

Senior Member
An average "lefty" voter is just as prone to believing in (patently false) conspiracy theories and related bunk as an average "righty" voter, in my experience.

To justify this, many who bring bunk here (my self included) are "lefty". Especially amongst the 9-11/Sandy Hook/Boston type crowd, and (I am guessing) many of the contrail folk.

As the the active debunkers here, that might be a different story, which I think is way more complex than just left and right.

Now that I think about it, rare is the person who has never believed in some conspiracy theory at some time (of those I know).
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
i would think Sandy Hook and even Boston would be more right leaners.. because the base claim is they are trying to take our guns away (SH) and im guessing Bosotn ..the muslim immigration might have come into play which i believe is more a right leaning fear.
 

qed

Senior Member
I had my doubts about Sandy Hook, but I definitely encountered Boston on a "left" site that found instances of these "faked" bombings and "crisis actors" across the globe, even in Africa, with an anti-Semitic twist (left and right and Semites can all be racist). The bombers had been setup, by the FBI, like the bombers of 9-11 had been setup. I think Boston can appeal to a lefty the way 9-11 might. Boston would also appeal to a righty.

Another lefty example is Fema camps. Also AIDS denialism definitely infected the left. And pre Corona, anti-vax also infected liberal left middle class.
 
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LilWabbit

Active Member
An average "lefty" voter is just as prone to believing in (patently false) conspiracy theories and related bunk as an average "righty" voter, in my experience.

A valid point. No 'side' is immune to CTs.

In addition to the ones you mentioned, (1) male patriarchy in the West holding onto power and barring women from top positions behind the veneer of equal opportunity, and (2) the American military-industrial complex feeding its greed by creating wars around the world, logically qualify as some of the broader CTs espoused on the left.

Anti-vacc, anti-climate change and election fraud CTs are aggressively advanced on the right. In their more evident kookiness and the more obvious dangers they currently pose, they're more talked about.
 

LilWabbit

Active Member
they're only more talked about because that's what the bubbles you live in talk about. as my above link's author said
Article:
On balance, partisanship may influence which conspiracy theories we see, but not how often we are likely to see them.

I agree that's one of the reasons -- i.e. the feedback loops created by left-leaning mainstream media. The other is the pandemic, climate change effects, as well as the election drama being more visible and ostensibly alarming phenomena.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
The other is the pandemic, climate change effects, as well as the election drama being more visible and ostensibly alarming phenomena.
that's the same thing you said the first time. The biggest, super obvious pretty recent conspiracy the left was ALL in on, didn't even cross your mind when you tried to think of examples. The war machine and toxic white males were the best you could come up with? :)

anyway....
 

LilWabbit

Active Member
that's the same thing you said the first time. The biggest, super obvious pretty recent conspiracy the left was ALL in on, didn't even cross your mind when you tried to think of examples. The war machine and toxic white males were the best you could come up with? :)

anyway....

Enlighten me and lose the snark?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
You didn't really answer the question.
I'm curious if any of the 'non-biased' members will answer you.


edit add: @LilWabbit that comment was not meant to suggest your biased, i was referring to how others in this thread have presented themselves. hope you caught that meaning.
 
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qed

Senior Member
The biggest, super obvious pretty recent conspiracy the left was ALL in on, didn't even cross your mind when you tried to think of examples.
I'm curious if any of the 'non-biased' members will answer you.
You are looking for a recent conspiracy theory that all the left fell fall?

Even if you just mean US left, I don't get it.

Please tell us. I would be interested to see whether the left still believe in this false conspiracy theory.
 

econ41

Senior Member
Even if you just mean US left, I don't get it.
That is the key issue of "calibration". Begging the question that "left v right" is too simplistic but the US definition of "left" is very different to what most of us non-US people understand by "left". Then, most of us can also use words incorporating "social" without it necessarily being a swear word.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Even if you just mean US left, I don't get it.

of course i mean the U.S. left. That is what this thread is about. The U.S.

all-in-on is an American expression. Sorry i didnt realize until just now, that most of the commenters on this thread are not American.

I know you don't get it. That's the whole point the article i quoted (post #69 and 64) was making.
 

qed

Senior Member
Will you please tell us what the conspiracy theory is that all the US left fell for.

I am assuming even Mick fell for it?
 

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