Truth Police: The "truth police" is how I refer to my own scepticism, scientism and other strategies for trying to believe only true things. I am always surprised to find people that believe in astrology, afterlives, the Force, meaning in coincidence, etc. Where's people's Truth Police? With God at least I can see how people get sucked in - parents, long history, tradition, etc. But most of the modern superstitions seem to come from nowhere and promise little. Why believe in that stuff?

Science rolls on, even in the matters of human belief. In the Telegraph, discoveries about people who think they have been abducted by aliens. Seems they have a common feature: "a personality profile of 'abducted' people showed that almost all suffered from sleep paralysis, a condition in which terrifying sensations and sinister figures from the world of dreams intrude upon the waking brain."

In a related vein, this research into false memories.
With a little ingenuity and the power of suggestion, it really is possible to make people believe the improbable -- that they kissed a frog or shook hands with Bugs Bunny at Disneyland.

The findings are among the latest work on false memories by UC Irvine cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Loftus and her researchers. ...

"Give me enough time with somebody, and I'll make them believe in just about everything," Loftus said.
Even easier when people have, seemingly, near-zero scepticism and other mental defenses.

No comments: