Comments about ‘Converting Bigfoot: The gullibility of the religious’

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Those who identify with Christian beliefs less likely to believe in the paranormal

Published: Friday, April 15 2011 10:43 p.m. MDT

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Where's Stockton ???
Bowling Green, OH

Well if their going to say that 15% of Mormons scored High enough in the range of gullibility then it should be noted that that's not going far enough. They should also qualify those 15% as to how long they have been members of the church and if they weren't born into the church the additional question needs to be asked from what other religion did they and their families come from. Otherwise it would be like having a skewed population that included children who believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy. In otherwords since the LDS church is growing at a significantly higher rate than most other christian religions that 15% hasn't been filtered sufficiently enough to identify the impacts of the other religions that newer members of LDS Church have retained. Among our Native American members as a prime example many of them still retain and even practice part of their ancient religions in order to keep from being totally wiped out as a culture and a people from the effects of this country's own Christian doctrine of Manifest Destiny. The research done is totally inadequate.

Gentile
brookings, SD

Interesting. No?

SL
Rexburg, ID

This survey is pretty meaningless when you define gullibility as believing in ghosts and UFOs but not angels, evil spirits, visions, and golden plates. The ONLY thing that you can safely conclude comes toward the end of the article--religion sets strict (and often arbitrary) limits on what kind of supernaturalism one should and should not believe in. Gullibility has nothing to do with it. At the end of the day, there is nothing less rational about UFOs and physic ability than there is about angelic visitations, miraculous healings, and Jesus walking on water.

TaipeiModerate
New Haven, CT

SL:

I think there is something different about religious dogma belief and belief in other ideas such as UFOs and the supernatural. I would say the former is more faith-based ie. no evidence and the latter can be formed by deductive reasoning or observation of the world around us and conjecture, these beliefs don't tend to be as concrete as religious dogmas, but many times are reasoned assertion based upon a view of the outside world (phenomenas of animals seemingly knowing the future, Nazi experiments, empirical studies, etc.)

cjb
Bountiful, UT

There is an evengelical in my van pool. He says he doesn't believe in UFO's because they aren't mentioned in the Bible. I have asked him if he believes the earth is only a few thousand years old and he says yes, because that is in the Bible. Given this, I think the methodology used to determine who is the most guliable is flawed.

Also how does one explain that LDS (Utahn's) are the most likely to be taken by a scam artist?

I am open to the possibly of UFO's, does that mean I am guliable?

Chickenchaser
Centralia, WA

Gullible? How about the tale of a boat that left the Middle East and ended up in the Americas about 2600 years ago?

Gregory Johnson
Rifle, CO

I would not say gullible as I would naive. Our intrepretation of the bible is off for various reasons, one, we think of the bible in our present day when the bible was written for people who lived several thousands of years ago and no.2 the language was different back then, so when we try to interpret it we put this into our language instead of trying to understand theirs.

Gregory Johnson
Rifle, CO

The other thing is we are always looking for a map on how to live our life and we usually go to the past to find that. Well, did you enjoy the way you were raised, if not, probably should go in a different direction. Plus if you look to the past and think we can live our life the way we did even 40 years ago it probably is not going to work. If you think those were the good old days, yeah, they were the good old!!!!! days. Probably not possibly. Doesn't mean we cannot learn anything from them.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

People who are not based in faith often have a deep need for something to believe in and to fill the absence of spirituality. So....they often believe in the occult, astrology, tarot cards, psychics, etc., etc. These things are empty with no basis in true spirituality. But, these people are trying to fill the void. Faith based on true eternal principles fills these needs and gives one true meaning in life. It also gives one the power of discernment to be able to recognize truth and seperate it from falsehood. In addition, having a prophet of God to counsel us makes all the difference.

The Sensible Middle
Bountiful, UT

Evengelicals believe God is all powerful, AND most loving. They also believe if someone gets through this live without accepting Jesus Christ, they will go to a hell that is very painful and lasts forever and ever. This includes people who are from non christian cultures.

If this doesn't qualify as willing to believe something which makes no sense, then what does? Once people swallow religious things which make no sense, their critical thinking is weakened.

nottyou
Riverton, UT

Unfortunately I was gullible enough to read this article, make a comment and confirm my stupidity.

silas brill
Heber, UT

All I can say about religion is, "Pshaw!"

TaipeiModerate
New Haven, CT

SL:

I think there is something different about religious dogma belief and belief in other ideas such as UFOs and the supernatural. I would say the former is more faith-based ie. no evidence and the latter can be formed by deductive reasoning or observation of the world around us and conjecture, these beliefs don't tend to be as concrete as religious dogmas, but many times are reasoned assertion based upon a view of the outside world (phenomenas of animals seemingly knowing the future, Nazi experiments, empirical studies, etc.)

Steve Jensen
Herriman, UT

If only the Little Green Men on the UFOs would come and take the Libs back to their own planet.....

Aggie84
Idaho Falls, ID

Guilty.

nick humphrey
kent, WA

this article is just so ironic coming from a mormon.

> "While religious people are often the targets of fraud, that vulnerability may have more to do with trust than general gullibility"

you could easily replace "trust" with "faith". how many mormons donated money to the prop8 cause--the lord's cause--(one family donated their whole life savings) when it is most likely that eventually homosexuals will be granted the right to marry in every state?

how many mormons spent crazy amounts of money on food storage right before the year 2000? how many will do it right before the year 2012?

> "The reason conservative religious people have lower belief in the occult and paranormal comes from their adherence to their religious beliefs."

can anyone say "seer stone", masonry, miracles (paranormal), healing, prophecy/revelation from the holy ghost (difference between psychics?), spirits, angels, gods, devils/demons, spirit world, offerings, prayer, worshipping?

> "Stark also had some advice for parents who don't want their children to believe in paranormal claims. 'Education won't do it,' he said. 'If you don't want your kid to believe in Bigfoot don't send him to school, send him to Sunday school.'"

harrylevan
Salt Lake City, UT

Stark must be the worst religious scholar working today. Trust De Groote to give him a forum.

Other commenters have pointed out how silly the study's framing of superstition is, so I'll just point out that belief in astrology, bigfoot and UFOs - stupid though it might be - is morally superior to religious superstition. The former don't require institutions that promote irrationality as a virtue, they don't saddle people with sexual guilt (and often despair) their entire lives. Wars aren't fought over them nor do they lead to the oppression of minorities. Importantly, many of the beliefs named as examples of superstition (with the major exception of astrology) still allow for a fairly accurate picture of the world. None of this can be said for religion as the overwhelming majority of the world's faithful practice it.

Brother Don
Chandler, AZ

I have long said this. There is a faith component that the religious and the scientific have to have. I think it is gullible to think you are either "the faithful" or "the faithless." I believe this article is interesting and it starts the dialogue, a familiar dialogue, but this time I learned something new.

What I learned that is new is that gullible is now used as a synonym for "faithful." Only, the surprising thing is we are ALL gullible in some way and it may be impossible to impress upon others what level of gullible(faith) is present.

Brother Don
Chandler, AZ

Just look at the SETI group without scientific evidence of intelligent life of life on other planets they have people downloading a screensaver to their computers so people can accept data from SETI and then send back processed data to SETI. And...the number of people doing this is in the millions!! Hello, scientific principle anyone???? So, though we already know that the "faith filled" are gullible we also know there is science type "faith" that clearly demonstrates a gullibility in science to go along with the gullibility in religion.
If you have a belief in science you have faith in science--was the premise of the experiment without prejudice? was the conclusion? Was real data considered as "outliers?" Was it titrated properly? Was the measure even made with a know accepted standard? Was the calibration even completed?

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