Unfortunately many people abdicate personal responsibility in order to "feel good" for the moment, to satisfy mere cravings. These are the types of people who utilize logical fallacy to drown out the alarms sounded by others who can see things for what they really are. It is within this state of mind that we find the Pseudoskeptic, who wield fallacy as a means of fighting those who oppose their sanctioned paradigm.
ANGER - when the pain of cognitive dissonance is too great, the body responds with the fight or flight mode, complete with adrenaline rush. The one who indirectly "caused" the pain will be targeted with varying degrees of IRE. Often the Pseudoskeptic will exhibit behaviors like pacing, a raised vocal volume, ad-hominem attacks, and an inability to complete coherent replies. This is similar to trauma or fear based cognitive shutdown.
PSEUDO-INTELLECTUALISM - when the individual is CONVINCED they know better. In the case where "A" is the Pseudoskeptic and "B" is the other individual, "A" will engage in:
- WANTON CORRECTION - of "B", often interjecting to explain to "B" how they are wrong, as opposed to engaging in discourse with "B" in order to understand their position. This will often occur even for "B's" speculations.
- VULTICUPHILIA SCIENTIA - "Love of the appearance of knowledge", "A" enjoys the aesthetic of appearing intelligent to others, but performs no true pursuit of knowledge to support such an attitude. Often "A" will utilize popular, nominally conformist, academic perspectives. They will also purport an air of Pseudo-Omniscience, speaking as if all they state is true, regardless of whether they have a grasp on the subject, regardless of the degree of research performed, regardless of counterpoints presented to them and often in spite of those counterpoints.
- WIKI-WIELDING - prominent on popular comment boards and social media, especially where anonymity is enabled, the Pseudoskeptic uses non-primary nor secondary materials and posits them as truth. It is not as much the materials themselves that is the issue, but rather the way they are presented. Noticeably, these are used to "prove someone wrong" quickly, with as little effort and knowledge required as possible.
DISMISSAL - when the individual uses specific language and attitude to brush off information they don't want to hear, or they'd rather not be true. Some examples:
- TOPIC CUTOFF - "Oh I heard that already... "
- DEFENSIVE IGNORANCE - "Theres no way ____" or "That's not true"
- AUDIAL IGNORANCE - Talking over "B", continuing to speak over them or ignoring their side of the conversation to continue their own
- DISTRACTIVE FIDGETING - the Pseudoskeptic's attention constantly wanders around, their hands fidgeting with any unimportant minor activity they can manage in order to avert the eyes and avert part or all of the attention away from "B" while "B" is speaking. Common fidgets include moving small objects slightly, picking at fingernails, rubbing eyes, darting eyes to any noticeable movements like birds, darting eyes to Television, and the new king of conversational disintegration: PULLING OUT THE CELL PHONE.
- GLAZED EYES - An excellent physiological indication, when the eyes of the individual get glassy and seem to be staring at some far away place, one can be certain that their attention for the conversation is feigned.
DOGMA-SOURCED IGNORANCE - where the Pseudoskeptical individual is EMOTIONALLY RELIGIOUS in their degree of belief of X. These beliefs are mightily embedded so that challenging them can have a traumatic effect on the conscious mind, completely shutting down COGNITIVE FACULTIES. Once they cannot think, the Pseudoskeptic will run on pure ego emotion, logic and compassion having been thrown to the wind. The reactions of the Dogmatic Pseudoskeptic are essentially high-level combinations of the previously discussed reactions, embedded into the Pseudoskeptical mind not merely as facts, but as REALITY itself. Often the dogmatic will feel compelled to:
- TEACH/SAVE "B" while ignoring anything "B" says to the contrary, particularly in how "B" might feel
- ANGER that "B" holds different beliefs, chastising "B" while wielding the "correct" information like a club.
- ELIMINATE views that do not support the Dogmatic version of reality. This is particularly dangerous in consideration of a Pseudoskeptic Group-Think situation.
How to Prevent Pseudoskepticism
- PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY - taking control of your life means you need to think for yourself and stop basing your perceptions directly on the beliefs of limited sources. Spend the currency of your time to seek the answers to questions you have, to look at all sides of any story and find the patterns, to come to an understanding of what is objectively true in this reality. Only through EFFORT can you find real peace of mind.
- THE TRIVIUM - learn this ancient method for KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING & WISDOM. It is a method for parsing the world that has purposely not been taught in the Western-Prussian education model that we all grew up with. Learn the Trivium here. Also take a look at the brilliant work of Jan Irvin, Mark Passio and Richard Grove for much more on the Trivium and real world knowledge.
- LOGICAL FALLACY COMPREHENSION - if you don't have a basic understanding of common logical fallacies, then you'll never be able to detect when bullshit is slung at you, whether purposely or unconsciously. Here's a great pictograph to start and an online encyclopedia. Jan Irvin also details the subject within his works.
- SELF-KNOWLEDGE - if you don't understand how your body functions, how are you to understand your own reactions? If you don't know what neurotransmitters are related to emtional states, how do you know when your emotional reactions are genuine? If you know nothing about health and nutrition, how can you believe that you're operating properly? It's not difficult to see that having a grasp on how your body functions will give you greater perspective. Just as"KNOW THYSELF" was inscribed at the entrance of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi of ancient Greece, the oracle of philosophers, statesmen and sages alike, this should be inscribed on the metaphorical entrance to our own renewed lives as the backbone for all of our experience in this world.
With these tools to begin with, one can fashion in themselves an open mind that is guided but not ruled by emotion, and tempered but not rationalized by logic. Such a mind will allow for incredible clarity and compassion for ourselves and for all others, which is precisely what we need in this world of ego tempered by television and salesmen.