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Why are people willing to believe one person


Hades
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why are people so willing to believe one person and their poorly based facts than an established view based on empirical evidence that has withstood scrutiny for decades?

what is it about that one person? does he have a bit of esoteric information the entire medical community was unable to discover? why? im asking genuinely.

why do people not believe hiv causes aids? if facts blur the edges of reasoning for some people, what hope is there?

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Rational/critical vs irrational/uncritical thought. We are all guilty of the latter, but it's a matter of how much and how often. Some people are not trained in critical thinking, and evaluate the possible truth on how much they trust the person making the argument and how persuasive-sounding they are (which is, at least in part, charisma, as bascule said), rather than whether the argument itself is sound. And if the erroneous argument feeds someone's preconceived (mis)conception, the bar is even lower.

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swanson i agree with your last comment on the validation of someones preconceived beliefs. medical charlatans tend to a unique audience. the people that think 'they' are against the world. these people can not be convinced otherwise.

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I believe it to be the result of a number of factors.

 

1. Joe Bloggs accepts as a fact of life that big business exists to make money. Pharmaceutical companies to not exist to cure diseases, better the quality of life of patients or improve the human condition. They exist to make money, as much money as possible. Joe Bloggs has no fantasy that a big company won't deny him a cure if that means they can sell him a treatment for the next 30 years. In short, Joe Bloggs is a cynic.

 

2. But Joe also believes in the researchers. He believes that given the training, the equipment and the money, the researchers will find a cure. He has faith in their abilities.

 

3. Joe also watches the news and current affairs. He notices that every 2-3 years there is a press release concerning a new "breakthrough" that will give a cure "in 5-10 years".

 

So given that he thinks the researchers have the training, the equipment and billions of dollars spent over decades of research and given the constant flow of press releases, he concludes that the only reason a cure for cancer has not been forthcoming is that it has not been released because of point 1 above.

 

Quite logical really, from a certain POV.:)

 

Hence, of course they believe someone who says they have a "suppressed" cure. The idea fits in with what they already believe.

 

Couched in such simple terms it is also hard to argue against.

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Hello

 

I think the answer is simply. They're saying what you want to hear.

 

Mr D.

 

I agree.

 

I can't recall the source, but a lot of evidence recently pointed to an evolutionary advantage for belief in the supernatural. With human beings as intelligent as they are compared to other creatures, it often seems like we need to believe in something 'beyond' just to make a pretty grim world more palatable.

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I also believe that many people are poorly equipped to identify pseudo-science. With the amount of information people are generally exposed to, it is understandable that they do not research every claim, especially claims that seem plausible. If we assume people have the tools to research claims (I.E. education), we still have to factor in the time it takes to do such research.

 

And then there is provincialism, which every person alive is at least partially guilty of, but I am not going to ramble on about it here.

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why do people not believe hiv causes aids?

It's hard to believe there are people out there that don't accept this, but I think pride might be an issue. When you've championed the idea that HIV is harmless for so long, it becomes hard to swallow your pride and admit you were wrong, especially when your being wrong caused someone to die.

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