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Being a freethinker...

How do you respond when confronted with information that goes against things that you believe are true?

By gregoryL5
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Beliefs are just that, beliefs. Without evidence they remain so until evidence is shown to either prove or refute them. If your beliefs are proved to be false, then you should accept that gracefully and concede that you were mistaken....to do anything else would be wrong-headed and obstinate.


First I cuss to the tune of, "Well, fuck." Next I begrudgingly accept the new information because it didn't confirm my confirmation bias. Then I spend an indeterminate amount of time fighting my confirmation bias until the acceptance phase is complete. After that, I just complain about how much it sucks that it isn't the way I thought it was. smile007.gif

Kafirah Level 7 Nov 7, 2018

Right on!

Lol I like this especially the part "well, fuck"?


I examine my belief further in a effort to find out how I reached what appears to be a faulty conclusion...and then I research some more...and then I bring my thinking in alignment with the facts.


I do not cling to personal beliefs if faced with verifiable facts that counter them.


In grad school it was shoved down our throats that all arguments needed to be evidence based. However, the problem with data is that it is sometimes taken from a sample that is only representative of a small population. I would say do your research. Ask for the sources and see if you can come up with the same perspective as the one giving you the new information. People have a way of being biased towards their own beliefs and not looking at things objectively. So I would be open to new information , but willing to actively investigate.


First I get angry. I have either been lied to in the past or I am being lied to in regards to the new information.
I ask for sources, check the sources, ask people I trust on the subject until I am reasonably certain I have gotten as close to the truth as I can with the available information; because the truth is the only thing that matters.

MLinoge Level 6 Nov 6, 2018



I apply critical thinking. Research validity of the argument presented and person presenting it. Accept it if it is true or a better description. It's quite a buzz when that happens.
I don't think I believe anything is true. I just accept it probably is until proven otherwise.


Maybe factual things can be handled that way but what about moral things? While there is less murder now than ever before many people think things are worse. They blame guns. More people die in auto accidents than by guns but I don't hear to call to ban autos and trucks. From a factual stand point is murder bad?

I just heard on the news (fake or not) that professionals think spanking of any kind is bad. It leads to more trouble in adults. I remember what doctors were saying about smoking in the late 1940s and in the 50s. It is good for you they said, it relaxs you... etc . I don't believe doctors today any more than doctors in the 40s about smoking.

dave1459 Level 6 Nov 6, 2018

Spanking is an act of violence on your children. That is how they perceive and receive it. The facts point to it being harmful to them in almost all cases. Smoking is proven to be a cause of cancer. Science advances. It corrects itself (unlike beliefs). Not sure where you are going with this line @dave1459, but it sounds like you want to believe what you believe and to hell with the facts


The fact is, do not believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see. Figures never lie but lairs use figures. If you realize that doctors and studies are put on for those paying for the study. The out come can be made to prove what you want. Mistakes are made, no one is to blame and no one is held to account. In the case of smoking I saw the ads with doctor's names attached.

@Seeker3CO So, all the kids that grew in the 40's and 50's became monsters because they were spanked. Clearly that is not true. Look at the people who came out of the 40s and 50s and before. It should be clear as the nose on your face that the sweeping statement is incorrect.

@dave1459 Who said ALL the kids anything? There are very few absolutes in life. But it you want to go ahead and beat the hell out of you kids to teach them, that unfortunately in this culture is legal. It is wrong. But have at it. I'm sure they'll thank you for it later. Violence is violence. And I will trust science over your anecdotal bullshit every day of the week.


I don't mind admitting gaps in my knowledge, so am always looking for new information and evidence to either reinforce current ideas or to challenge and modify them.

RPardoe Level 7 Nov 6, 2018

Verify the evidence, accept it and consider yourself educated.

Byrdsfan Level 8 Nov 6, 2018

Ask questions.

lee_man Level 6 Nov 10, 2018

There’s a possibility that everything I think is true is actually false. Being confronted with information is different than being confronted with solid evidence, if they have solid evidence, then consider the possibility you are in the wrong. Look for information on the subject from different sources.

ce54r Level 3 Nov 9, 2018

And where do you get the solid evidence? From those that did the study? Dig it up on your own, guess if you have the time and money.


Research is definitely key. There's nothing wrong with admitting you were wrong, nor do we discontinue to keep learning.Too many people behave poorly and continue to live in ignorance


I verify the info and make sure that it's coming from credible sources, has been peer reviewed, etc.

I'm unfortunately finding lately many people want to be considered a "freethinker" , but really they're just trying to legitimize truly untenable beliefs.

Umbral Level 8 Nov 6, 2018

I rarely come across information that goes against what I believe is true. I try not to attach belief to things that I am uninformed of and rarely will get into a discussion on a topic of which I am ignorant. If I'm presented information and data that does oppose what I think is accurate, then I verify the data that does go against what I thought I knew, and then have no choice other than to assimilate it into my understanding.


I've become more careful with this over the years.

First things first, I try and keep things I believe away from the things I know are true. It's just better that way, particularly when dealing with this type of inquisitor. Be that the theist or the conspiracy theorist.

Speaking of which . . .

While I don't know the wholesale trick to deal with such things (does anyone?), a couple of tricks I've learned are:

1.) Know your boundaries

2.) Don't start by explaining your side, to which they will almost certainly have a built-in system of rebuttles for

Mb_Man Level 6 Nov 11, 2018

The only appropriate response is that we integrate the new knowledge, and make changes to our working theory as appropriate. This is assuming it's irrefutable info. However... the level of proof which nears on irrefutable sets a mighty high bar. One could call that high bar a "bias"...or one could call it scientific. You can't prove or disprove something that is actually mumbo-jumbo. Unless it shows up and allows multiple sources to do some solid experimental work. I don't expect that to happen...But if the opportunity did present itself, and the experiments were all done, we'd have to change our outlook.


When facts invalidate what you believe to be true, it is very difficult to acknowledge those facts. We have a predisposition, an emotional attachment, to our beliefs. But it is completely illogical, even detrimental, to our well being to hold on to beliefs in the face of facts. I tend to go with the facts and I have only loosely held "beliefs".

Seeker3CO Level 7 Nov 10, 2018

For years and years, I alwats believed that you only buttered on side of the bread when making a butty (sandwich), then my Mum told me that no, in fact both slices of bread are buttered, then you shove whatever you fancy in the middle. I listened to a more knowledgable person, I reviewed and critically analysed what I had formally 'known', I tried a new approach and by golly she was correct! Thats how we learn..

Amisja Level 8 Nov 6, 2018

I always consider ways for things that I think are true to be false.
I always consider ways for things that I think are false to be true.

Thus, when confronted with such information, I'm already well prepared for a response.


I research the validity of such claims. The world comes up with discoveries every day.

Morphyon Level 5 Nov 6, 2018

that doesn't happen often because i am always examining and learning.


genessa Level 8 Nov 6, 2018
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