(Back to index)
There's one type of person that I find both amusing and sad at the same time. (Sad because, as the adage goes, "a brain is a terrible thing to waste".) I have met several of these people during my life, both in real life and online.
This is the type of person who is basically a believer-in-everything. They are typically characterized by these traits:
That last point can sometimes be quite egregious. I once read someone's (who is a skeptic) story about how he was at a school (I think it was some kind of college or similar institution) and he enrolled in a course about critical thinking, as he thought it could be an interesting course, as well as easy credits.
It turned out that he was the only skeptic in the course, counting the teacher. The teacher turned out to be some kind of new-age hippie who went on and on about how science is closed-minded and knows only little about the real world, and examples of all kinds of supernatural phenomena that "proved" science to be "wrong". Seemingly this teacher had completely misunderstood what "critical thinking" means, and thought that it means "be critical of established science". As this student objected to the teacher's claims, he quickly became the "antagonist" of the entire course. The teacher would during the entire course repeatedly challenge him without provocation with examples of "evidence" against established science, basically attacking him in front of the entire class.
As said, I have met several such people during my life. Most of them seem to lack even the most basic healthy skepticism and will accept almost anything, no matter how easy and simple it is to debunk.
As an individual example, I once had a conversation with someone who brought up as an example the "Three Men and a Ghost" as evidence of the supernatural. Even after easily debunking that particular claim (the "ghost" is quite clearly a cardboard cutout of one of the protagonists, which can be seen in several other scenes as well; in this particular case it's just partially covered by curtains; not to talk that the scene was filmed in a sound studio, not in a "haunted house" as the popular claim goes) he wouldn't acknowledge being wrong.
Yes, this person did indeed bring this example completely seriously and honestly. He really believed it to be true.
This example is quite ridiculous, but that's exactly my point: To these people anything goes, no matter how ridiculous. It's enough for someone to simply claim that something supernatural happened, give the flimsiest of evidence, and that's more than enough for them to accept it. They will completely bypass any kind of critical thinking, they will not do any research at all, and they will just accept it at face value. If someone confronts them and shatters the claim to smithereens with easy-to-understand facts, they just quietly avoid the subject. (Whether they personally accept that they were wrong in this particular case is left unclear.)
Ironically, being "open-minded" (in the way as these people understand it) is actually being closed-minded. That's because these people will accept only one explanation for a phenomenon (a supernatural explanation, of course), quickly dismissing any alternative natural explanations. That's not being open-minded. That's being as closed-minded as it can get.
This video explains this a lot better than I can.
(Back to index)