Category Archives: Psych/Brain stuffs
Mike Shermer explains some factors of human psychology that lead to belief in gods and religion. A researcher with over 30 years of work in the science of human belief under his belt, you may agree or not on the God question, but the factors he discusses here can be applied to many other areas of human belief as well, including politics, economic doctrines and other ideologies, and belief in the paranormal.
Even our clearest memories can be complete fiction, even the best, sanest and smartest of us are subject to memory fallacies. Elizabeth Loftus talks on how the model of memory as a faithful recording of events is severely misguided.
I’m a naturally argumentative sort, not a thing to be proud of as I tend to get very emotional in face-to-face encounters — most unseemly for a skeptic — but I’m working on that, and I’ve learned to use the silent approach in some discussions, to verbally shun my opponent by saying nothing.
No response at all, this approach, not acknowledging their argument, and not even acknowledging their presence.
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t do this as consistently as I’d like — For me, it’s a better way to handle potentially acrimonious debates with people I’d rather remain friends with — and it gets easier with practice.
And it works.
There’s even a study that shows it to be more effective for keeping one’s cool in a disagreeable situation with otherwise disagreeable people.
It’s good to have the science confirm what seemed already to be a good idea.
Responding to an argument with silence is not weakness, but good for resource conservation, and in many cases, much more effective.
So, yes, in many situations, silence must fall…
…and it shall.
As long as it doesn’t break up into a million and six pieces when it hits the floor, of course…