Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Skeptics Whose Critical Thinking Skills are Stunted by Church Logic

A common reason some skeptics seem unwilling and unable to consider the evidence for the afterlife and psychic phenomena is because their critical thinking skills are stunted because of their overly religious upbringing. These skeptics are skeptical mainly because they were brought up in an oppressive religious environment and later in life they came to reject that religion and everything related to the supernatural. Most of these types of skeptics are what I call victims of Christianity, and have had their logical faculties stunted by what I call "Church Logic".

Many religions are not receptive to questions about dogma. When someone asks an inconvenient question they are fed a canned response that is not very logical and they are discouraged from pursuing the matter. This type of logic pervades their cultural environment while they are growing up and it has the effect of preventing them from distinguishing rhetoric from substance. They learn that the answer to a question is something you memorize rather than understand.

They may eventually become skeptics and reject their religion and its dogma, but they still don't have the reasoning ability to see that thinking clearly involves more than just trotting out a pat answer. They have gone from one form of extreme dogmatism to another because that is the only way they are capable of thinking. Instead of addressing the evidence for the afterlife and psychic phenomena in detail and with specificity they dismiss it with dogmatic phrases like "it's pseudoscience", "he is a woo merchant", or "the plural of anecdote is not data". They have a huge blind spot when it comes to logical reasoning because they never developed the ability when their brains were still young, developing, and flexible. They have a glaring ignorance of the evidence for the afterlife and psychic phenomena but they can't see that they are hide bound because they have no other way of thinking about controversy except through memorized dogmatic answers.

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