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Do we see what we believe?

Philosophy Beliefs Culture

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#1 Cait

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:57 PM

I usually don't watch the "spin" after a debate.  I don't need anyone to tell me "who won".  I don't think a debate is about winning or losing, nor do I believe any journalist or analyst knows how to determine a real win even if I cared. I mean, is there really some definite criteria for "who won".  It's all so subjective, and bias is built in.

In any event, last night I decided to tune into the two "spin" channels, Fox and MSNBC,  I watched, and I have to admit, the one thing I saw is that MSNBC has better opposition analysts than Fox does.  I have a mad crush on Steve Schmidt [Senior analyst for the McCain/Palin campaign].  He made one really good point about Romney and his political calculation.  It made sense to me.

In any event, [yes, I'm meandering a bit] it occurred to me somewhere between Fox and MSNBC that it might not be conscious spin at all.  It might not even be spinning something said into something more palatable to their respective bases.  It might be that they see in the debates exactly what they believe  and anything else is irrelevant.

I've always assumed that such spin was calculated.  That people knew they were in fact lying and making lemonade out of lemons.  But, what I saw was people who believed what they were saying.  

If you were a Democrat/Liberal you saw a Romney that was failing to engage, agreeing with Obama's Foreign Policy [much to everyone's surprise] and a candidate that was just trying to get through the night.  They saw an Obama that was in command, and full on Commander-in-Chief.

If you were a Republican, you saw a cool and calm Romney  showing how calm and reasonable he was.  What a good Commander-in-Chief he could be.  You saw an argumentative and petulant Obama.

Apparently both sides think the other side is full of liars.

It finally occurred to me that we see what we believe, not the other way around.   If you believe Democrats are bad.  You see badness.  If you believe Republicans are bad.  You see badness.  The degree of your belief will determine the degree of badness.  I know that sounds simplistic, and I also know no one is going to agree with me--at least not personally.  Many will probably agree about "other" Republicans and Democrats, but this thought made me question my own "reality".  Do I see what is really there?  Or only what I believe is there?

If you stop and think about it, you can apply the standard to any belief   If you are a Christian, you believe Islam is wrong and bad.  If you are a Muslim, you believe Christians are bad and wrong.

If you are a woman, you think.. see my point?  Do we actually only see what we already believe is true.  And if that is true, even marginally, how can any of us judge reality?

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#2 offworlder

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    pls don't kick offworlders, we can find a place too

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:46 AM

hasnt it always been? in sales they teach that perception is the reality; play to the perception; if you think someone's perception is a degree off reality and what you are doing is about people, like trade or sales, then the only reality for you is that perception, if it's good for you you go with it, if it's bad for you you try to improve it, go for the perception to get the sale. The sale comes from the person, so for that sale the perception is the only reality because other real things besides the people are not the key to the sale. Same thing with a debate or a show or audience or ratings or persuasion; it's all about the people so they and their perception however wrong is the reality; their bad perceptions will be bad for you, their good perceptions will be good for you. Why is it Washington city is so all about polls? because reality is not reality, the beliefs and perceptions of the people is the reality. Success is getting from people. So any reality apart from their perceptions is not going to help success; you get by those perceptions, so success comes under the umbrella of their perceptions and beliefs, not what is otherwise real. Or, maybe not because I'm wrong? but isn't my perception real notwithstanding inaccuracies? ;)
"(Do you read what they say online?) I check out all these scandalous rumours about me and Elijah Wood having beautiful sex with each other ... (are they true?) About Elijah and me being boyfriend and boyfriend? Absolutely true. We've been together for about nine years. I wooed him. No I just like a lot of stuff - I like that someone says one thing and it becomes fact. It's kind of fun." --Dominic Monaghan in a phone interview with Newsweek while buying DVDs at the store. :D

#3 EChatty

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 10:57 AM

I agree with you, Cait. People see what they believe and believe what they see.

No two people are going to watch the exact same thing at the exact same time and see exactly the same thing.

I hope I haven't just confused myself :crazy:

#4 DarthMarley

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 03:45 PM

For more on this, see Shermer's book "The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths."

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1250008808
or
http://books.google....id=i_ihCeNpcaQC

We seem to be wired to fill in the blanks. From seeing apparitions of religious icons in burnt toast, to the confirming bias of reading only things you are likely to already agree with, it is a human phenomena.
"It is not who is right, but what is right that is of importance."

#5 Cait

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    Democracy Dies in Darkness

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 04:49 PM

View PostDarthMarley, on 03 November 2012 - 03:45 PM, said:

For more on this, see Shermer's book "The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths."

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1250008808
or
http://books.google....id=i_ihCeNpcaQC

We seem to be wired to fill in the blanks. From seeing apparitions of religious icons in burnt toast, to the confirming bias of reading only things you are likely to already agree with, it is a human phenomena.

Hey, thanks a lot.  I believe we are wired to fill in the blanks.  A void seeks to be filled.  

You can actually do a small experiment at home.  Clear off a shelf in your home.  Empty it.  If you do not consciously avoid putting anything down, it will fill up in a very short time.  Even if you consciously avoid setting anything down because you know you are doing the experiment  you can't keep it up forever,  As soon as the conscious avoidance lapses, the space will will up.  A void seeks to be filled.  

Questions in the human mind seek answers,  Where there are none, the brain set to default [one's beliefs about truth] and fills in the answer--true or not. Once the brain has an answer, and a comfortable one, then the  mind realizes its search for an answer.  It's really interesting to watch in people, and to catch yourself doing upon occasion.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#6 DarthMarley

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 07:31 PM

You should with practice catch yourself doing it all the time, unless you have deep convictions that entertaining such a theory cannot shake.
Like for example believingthe earth is flat, or 6,000 years old.
"It is not who is right, but what is right that is of importance."

#7 Rhea

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:08 PM

Yes. And what we repeat linguistically shapes what we see (because it shapes the brain). For instance, the Navajos have substantially different and many more names for colors in their language than in other languages. There was a study in the 70's that proved that the Navajos (native language speakers) actually DO see colors, especially blues, that the rest of us don't - and it seems to be because they have names for them. It seems to me the reverse could be true for our personal "language" - that what we say and believe, irregardless of the truth, will become OUR truth - and it shapes the way we think.

Like, for example, believing the earth is flat, or 6,000 years old. :p :p

Oooh, thanks Darth. I'll have to read Shermer. Sounds like big fun.

Edited by Rhea, 04 November 2012 - 07:09 PM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH



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