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May 27, 2018, 02:51:23 PM
597686 Posts in 46088 Topics by 6121 Members
Latest Member: SalpetL Forum  |  Movies  |  Press Releases and Film News  |  How facts backfire « previous next »
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Author Topic: How facts backfire  (Read 1851 times)
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« on: July 12, 2010, 11:21:59 AM »

Researchers discover a surprising threat to democracy: our brains

It’s one of the great assumptions underlying modern democracy that an informed citizenry is preferable to an uninformed one. “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government,” Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1789. This notion, carried down through the years, underlies everything from humble political pamphlets to presidential debates to the very notion of a free press. Mankind may be crooked timber, as Kant put it, uniquely susceptible to ignorance and misinformation, but it’s an article of faith that knowledge is the best remedy. If people are furnished with the facts, they will be clearer thinkers and better citizens. If they are ignorant, facts will enlighten them. If they are mistaken, facts will set them straight
In the end, truth will out. Won’t it?

Absolutely fascinating article. It is long but worth reading. Anyone who has ever spent any time in a political forum wasting their time posting facts to back up their position will be nodding their head while reading this.   TeddyR

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B-Movie Kraken

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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2010, 11:34:10 AM »

From the article:

"...we often base our opinions on our beliefs, which can have an uneasy relationship with facts. And rather than facts driving beliefs, our beliefs can dictate the facts we chose to accept. They can cause us to twist facts so they fit better with our preconceived notions. Worst of all, they can lead us to uncritically accept bad information just because it reinforces our beliefs. This reinforcement makes us more confident we’re right, and even less likely to listen to any new information. And then we vote."

I uncritically accept the results of this study as fact, because it confirms what I already knew!

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Dedicated Viewer

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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2010, 08:53:23 PM »

it probably depends on the source of the information

i'm glad to see ppl cynical of "facts"

there are just too many falsehoods perpetuated by the media and even people close in your life via gossip and rumors--that is why there are urban legends because ppl are only too willing to believe things. recently i had a friend on fb spread the rumor that edward scissorhands would be remade. after 20 secs of checking i found it to be just a rumor. but she had posted to an article that had she read thoroughly, she would have realized that too. it didn't stop 10 comments below where no one had checked the source.

and yes i buttress my beliefs with news stories i refuse to believe. because the news is mainly entertainment, giving a glimpse of one aspect of the "truth"
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