E104: Critical Thinking: Inoculating Yourself Against False Beliefs w/ Rob Palmer

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Our brains evolved on the African savannah well enough to allow Homo Sapiens to survive in that harsh, unforgiving environment, and go on to populate the planet. But the thinking organ which developed to prevent our death at the hands of predators and the elements is far from perfect. We are primed to trust the opinions and anecdotes of those in our close circle, and the pronouncements of those in authority. We conclude that something is true based on inadequate personal experience, less-than-perfect memory, faulty logic, and a host of cognitive biases. These tendencies can lead us to believe in things which do not comport with reality, and often lead to bad decisions, and even harm. In this talk, Rob Palmer will discuss these topics from a skeptical perspective, because understanding our innate cognitive failings can help us all think more rationally, better avoid errors, and hopefully live better lives.

Rob Palmer is a skeptical activist who works to educate the public about critical thinking by contributing to Wikipedia as part of The Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia project (GSoW), and by writing for Skeptical Inquirer as The Well-Known Skeptic. His column covers contemporary skeptical issues, and he has interviewed conference speakers, podcasters, YouTubers, scientists, activists, and TV personalities as diverse as Cosmos producer/writer Ann Druyan, Thomas Westbrook (Holy Koolaid), Seth Andrews (The Thinking Atheist), and actor/activist John de Lance (Q of Star Trek). Hosted by Eric Wells, the RfR Support Group Director and Helen Greene, RfR SGL & Helpline Agent Recorded on September 13, 2021

For RfRx comments, inquiries & topical questions, email us at RfRx@recoveringfromreligion.org.

Any time you are struggling with religious doubts or fears you can connect with a trained RfR Helpline agent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To chat online go to http://www.recoveringfromreligion.org.

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Peer support is also available through local support groups. These groups offer monthly in-person meetings as a place to express doubts, fears, emotions & concerns about religion you wouldn't normally feel comfortable expressing in a religious community. Find your nearest support group at https://www.meetup.com/pro/recovering-from-religion

If you are in need of professional help, we can offer the Secular Therapy Project to provide options to connect with a professional therapist. All therapists have been thoroughly vetted by our organization and offer only evidence-based and non-religious treatment. Connect with them at http://www.seculartherapy.org.

RfR has an immense collection of well-curated resources available as you go through your journey, including resources for mental and physical crises, working with relationships, issues stemming from specific religions, coming out stories, and much more. Head to https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/resources for these helpful resources.

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