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Thread: Self deception

  1. #1
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    Nov 2005
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    Self deception

    While scientific, and some consider spiritual activity as truth seeking by what guidelines can this endeavour be judged as truthful.
    Such activity requires the investigator to be scrupulously honest.
    However there is much evidence (and some at scam are classic examples)
    of those who are actually practicing self deception, even self delusion.
    This is a a human behaviourist take on this all to human ability.

    When Seeing Is Disbelieving
    By Shankar Vedantam

    Four years ago tomorrow, President Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln and dramatically strode onto the deck in a flight suit, a crash helmet tucked under one arm. Even without the giant banner that hung from the ship's tower, the president's message about the progress of the war in Iraq was unmistakable: mission accomplished.

    Bush is not the first president to have convinced himself that something he wanted to believe was, in fact, true. As Columbia University political scientist Robert Jervis once noted, Ronald Reagan convinced himself that he was not trading arms for hostages in Iran, Bill Clinton convinced himself that the donors he had invited to stay overnight at the White House were really his friends, and Richard M. Nixon sincerely believed that his version of Watergate events was accurate.


    Harry S. Truman apparently convinced himself that the use of the atomic bomb against Japan in the fading days of World War II could spare women and children: "I have told Sec. of War to use [the atomic bomb] so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children," Truman noted in his diary.

    Nor are U.S. presidents alone when it comes to deluding themselves: Successful politicians may just be more skilled at self-deception than the rest of us. Most people, perhaps all, seem hard-wired to be able to interpret reality to suit their ends.

    Self-deception has been uncovered in a wide range of situations, says Robert L. Trivers, an evolutionary biologist at Rutgers University who has studied the phenomenon. Before the Challenger explosion, for example, NASA engineers noticed that one of the O-rings on the space shuttle had been eaten a third of the way through. Since the shuttle had flown and returned to Earth, the engineers concluded that it was not a problem. Surveys show that four in five high school seniors believe they have exceptional leadership ability, and nearly every single professor in the country believes he or she is above average.

    During Colonial times, there were even people who managed to convince themselves that slavery was in the best interest of slaves; later on, some maintained that colonialism was in the best interest of poor countries.

    War provides especially fertile soil for self-deception. Societies at war do not look kindly at derogatory assessments of their own fighting ability and motives, and they do not encourage talking up an enemy's strengths. This explains why both sides in many conflicts believe they are morally and militarily superior. (Each believes the other is deluding itself.)

    Self-deception seems to be a universal trait, which presents an interesting problem for science, especially for scientists who study behavior from an evolutionary perspective. It makes sense for deception to abound in nature -- viruses find ways to sneak into our bodies, predators stealthily stalk prey, and countless species use camouflage to hide themselves from their attackers. But why would nature, after spending millennia evolving highly sophisticated senses to perceive the world, build in a psychological capacity that allows us to ignore what is right in front of our eyes?

    Trivers says the primary use of self-deception appears to be that it aids people in deceiving others.

    "Self-deception evolves in the service of deceit for two reasons," he said. "It improves your ability to fool others and, second, it reduces the cognitive costs of deception."

    The thing to keep in mind, Trivers says, is that even as evolution rewarded deceivers, it also punished deceivers who got caught. (The ability to spot deception evolves along with the ability to deceive.)

    Deliberate deception among humans, furthermore, requires effort. It requires you to hold both the truth and the untruth in your mind, and consciously suppress the truth. This is why the stereotype of liars depicts them with sweaty palms, croaking voices and shifty eyes -- lying can be hard work, and liars are often nervous about getting caught.

    Self-deception, said Trivers, who has studied the phenomenon in contexts ranging from the Challenger explosion to a plane crash in Florida, offers a way around this psychological hurdle. If you can make yourself believe the untruth, for example, by marshaling evidence that supports your view and ignoring evidence that contradicts your position, it becomes that much easier to persuade others.

    Like many other aspects of brain functioning, self-deception does not require people to sit down and decide they are going to lie to themselves. (That would actually defeat the point of self-deception.) No, it usually happens subtly, without the person even being aware of it.

    "The costs of deception are being detected and punished," Trivers said. "There is definitely a downside to self-deception, and that is you are putting yourself out of touch with reality, but it cuts down the risk of getting caught."

    Lyn Nofziger, a longtime adviser to Ronald Reagan, once said the same thing about his boss -- and about the utility of self-deception in politics: He could "convince himself that the truth is what he wants it to be. Most politicians are unable to do this, but they would give their eyeteeth if they could."

  2. #2
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    Re: Self deception

    This is the best explanation I've heard as to why an athiest would never be elected to higher office. Self delusion seems to be the all important trait that voters are looking for in a candidate.
    The terminally stupid and certifiably insane.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2007
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    10

    Re: Self deception

    All politicians lie and deceive to get what they want, and I emphasize its what they want not for our well being, we all know the promises and gestures are to mearly to manipulate us in to keeping them in office (and the lap of luxury) until they have built up their personal wealth and power postions in the country.

  4. #4
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    Re: Self deception

    Quote Originally Posted by diglet
    All politicians lie and deceive to get what they want, and I emphasize its what they want not for our well being, we all know the promises and gestures are to mearly to manipulate us in to keeping them in office (and the lap of luxury) until they have built up their personal wealth and power postions in the country.

    did you ever hear the PHRASE!?you get what you ask for!?some people just got a FUNNY way of askn!?and some askn's just got a funny way of bein takin advantage of!?but suddenly!?it's not funny anymore!?WHO knew and why is that!?hehe!!....just teasin....

  5. #5
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    Re: Self deception

    Bush Admin is controlled by the Global Elites and well Lexx told you how it is plain and simple.

  6. #6
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    Re: Self deception

    Panche, as l was 'eating' your post on the subject, l noticed how you made a point (or did not know it) regarding how Bush 'dressed' the part in the thinking processes of his thoughts as being the 'winner'.....

    As om interested in the 'energies' of our Body-Mind and the power of our thought actually creating our existance as being aware of the knowledge of our awareness or the intelligence that we are aware and do have the 'drive/effort which is the perserverance-will-faith of beleiving in this, (thort creates our scenes/sciences-scious) what l can only name or call as MAGICAL....

    Now l have personally noticed that there seems many 'readables' on this 'nack' of a secret that really is not a secret as its been forcaste by the anceints since we got to make words outta our mouth soundss...

    Just these past few months l have been reading of these 'mindpower' processes in so many books by so many well known and not so well known Authors....

    Its even in the 'scripts' (religious-myths-etc) this same song I've even found it in old nursery rhymes et al....

    l know we have a wealth within us, stored and waiting for the 'host' to realize by experience and experiment just how magical a human being can be....
    There are millions of storys as there are paths and ways....and so many 'use' this 'garden' to access the information they desire truthfully and passionately and many do succeed as you know....There are many such storys of self wealthiness obtained by and from this beleif.....

    l am experimenting with all our dreams and shadows and entities and whatever l can conjure up from the memory banks of my 'experiences'....yet at times there are moments when l can actually hear a whisper, a very soft whisper, that is calling to me....Now l care not wot those here may think or not think, but I've got a clue that theres something inside of me that does not dwell only in the mind/body/spirit/soul of all the names but is in absolute not only you and me, but darn near everything and every no thing it is....

    l figure that part of being sensitive is in true fact the answer to why l find myself weeping or sad usually when l reach out and touch with what ever senses l have in 'feelings', yet l hear no thing yet also the feelings become thoughts without words or sounds....

    If One beleives so much in Life with all its storys as being what we truely are, and that is living love (l dont just mean the sloppy sort) until one moment you discover a Mate beside you that no one else sees and beleiving in the magic of our adventures can actually take on a passion that is so strong in all ways and become that 'MagiK' absolutely...

    Hmmm l wonder so much, that saliva fairly dribbles from the corners of my lips....

  7. #7
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    Re: Self deception

    i think the point is clear, self delusion can be so powerful that it can physically affect people(which can make them very convincing)

  8. #8
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    Re: Self deception

    "Like many other aspects of brain functioning, self-deception does not require people to sit down and decide they are going to lie to themselves. (That would actually defeat the point of self-deception.) No, it usually happens subtly, without the person even being aware of it".


    the question might be,how does it originate and how does 1 find their way clear of it!?you SEE............religion already has the answer!?hehe!!...just askn....
    Last edited by lexx; 08-30-2007 at 03:23 PM.
    i do not endorse/recommend any advertising on scam.com associated with my name /posts or otherwise. thank you

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