For People Who Think

April 24, 2012

The Belief Factor by Dan Lynch

Filed under: Uncategorized — 4peoplewhothink @ 4:46 pm

When the time comes, I want my obituary to begin with these words:

“Dan Lynch is dead. Some people liked him, and some didn’t. He felt the same way about them. He did not believe in astrology, ghosts, vampires, witches, werewolves, that the government faked the 1969 moon landing or that Elvis lived on after 1976.

“He tried to maintain an open mind concerning Bigfoot, flying saucers and the Loch Ness monster, although he was acutely aware that no reliable evidence supported the existence of any such phenomena.

“He had his reservations about Barack Obama, but he did not believe that Obama was born outside the United States, that he was the antichrist or that he was in league with Satan.”

Why do I want these items in my obituary? Because, unable to speak for myself at that point, I want total disassociation between my memory and all the gullible nutballs who constitute so much of the electorate in this country – all the hopeless people who, as kids, probably went to school on the short bus and stubbornly grew up to be hopeless dolts despite the system’s best efforts.

Okay, that’s a bit unkind, but there are a lot of these people. Two in five of them believe in astrology. One in three adults believes in ghosts. One in four believes in witches. One in 20 believes in vampires and/or that the moon landing was faked. Bigfoot and Nessie are real to nearly one in five of us.

When it comes to Obama, though, things get really weird. One in four of us believes that he was not born in America – including nearly half of Republicans. They believe that even though In June 2008, Obama put pictures of his certification of live birth from the Hawaiian government on a website, Fightthesmears.com. They believe it even though Factcheck.org, a non-partisan news organization, examined the document and found it had an embossed seal, a stamp on the back attesting to its authenticity and met State Department requirements to obtain a passport.

They believe it even though, in October 2008, Hawaii’s director of health stated in writing that he and the Registrar of Vital Statistics had looked at and verified that the state “has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record.” The officials worked for Hawaii’s Republican governor, who also pronounced that Obama was born there.

People believe that crazy stuff even though two Honolulu newspapers ran announcements of Obama’s birth on Aug. 4, 1961. They believe it even though, for somebody to doubt that Hawaii was Obama’s actual birthplace, then that person would have to believe that in 1961 state officials and Honolulu’s two newspapers conspired to fake the birth, knowing that someday the baby would run for President.

It’s also worth noting here that about 15 per cent of Americans believe that Obama is the antichrist and that one in seven believes him to be in league with Satan. Why do people believe this BS? Well, here’s one reason:

If you took the time to click on this link and to watch this stuff, you may or may not have noticed that this is a severely edited tape. You may or may not have noticed that Obama’s lip movements do not match the sound. You may or may not have noticed that whoever put this together did so for the precise purpose of lying to you. You may or may not have noticed any of these things because you’re a …

… well, I’ll now work to suppress my basic outrage instincts and try to be kind here. Let’s let it go at this, okay?

More than nine in 10 Americans, according to the polls, believe in God. If you’re one of them, then you must believe that God created you with certain pieces of equipment because He wanted you to use them. He gave you eyes so you could see and appreciate the glory of his creations. He gave you a voice so you could speak out against injustice. He gave you hands so you could use them to perform good works.

Just try to bear in mind at all times that God gave you a brain as well. Why did He do that? My guess is that He did that because He wanted you to THINK!!!!!! My guess is that God wants us to use our brains to absorb information, process it rationally, to observe fairly and to arrive at our conclusions in a logical fashion.

And I never cease to be amazed at how many people just refuse, refuse, refuse to do that.

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18 Comments »

  1. I agree with you 100%.

    But I wonder about your poll data. You said “one in four” believes that Obama was not born in the USA. But the latest Gallop Poll cited in Wikipedia had it at only 13%—-“while a May 2011 Gallup poll found that doubts persisted among 13% of Americans and 23% of Republicans.[10]” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama_citizenship_conspiracy_theories)

    And that is 13% “with doubts”–not 13% who actually believed that Obama was born outside of the USA. Well, if about 25% of Americans believe in ghosts, then only about half of them have doubts as to where Obama’s place of birth was. That’s not good, but it is not terribly bad either.

    But perhaps you have a later poll. One thing to watch out for are birther “polls.” They tend to be inflated, terribly inflated.

    Comment by ehancock — April 24, 2012 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

  2. Gallup surveyed the “Birther issue” back in April and May of 2011:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/147530/Obama-Birth-Certificate-Convinces-Not-Skeptics.aspx

    It went from 24% said Obama was probably not or definitely not born in the US in April to 13% in May. While all polls are pretty suspect – and small changes can happen that mean absolutely nothing as much as the news tries to concoct a story out of it – it looks like the birth certificate helped dispel this.

    It’s also important to remember that these beliefs do not necessarily correlate. For example, I know someone who does believe in ghosts that does not believe the birthers, and I know someone who does not believe in ghosts who sometimes sympathizes with the birthers – in other words, he thinks that Obama’s citizenship a legitimate question.

    But I don’t think belief is rational. People tend to believe, imho, what their identity group – friends, family, sometimes political party, colleagues – believe.

    It can be startlingly difficult to get someone to look at contrary evidence if the person is deeply emotionally invested in an issue. There’s been psychological studies done on this, but it’s the same phenomenon we’ve been dealing with for centuries: people have a hard time dealing with the idea that there might be flaws in their worldview.

    Comment by Chris Honeycutt — April 24, 2012 @ 7:37 pm | Reply

  3. When I hear or read a statement about what percentage of people believe anything, I not only want to see the poll, but also the sponsoring organization, the language of the questions, the qualifications of the pollsters and the method use to define the respondents. Just as one example, a telephone pole (oops, that’s poll) only reaches people who have a phone line, as contrasted with a mobile phone, and are available to and will answer the telephone and respond to the poll. Other methods of gathering information are also suspect.

    Comment by Nancy Curran — April 24, 2012 @ 9:15 pm | Reply

  4. Nancy, if you go to the Gallup website they publish that – what was asked, number of respondents, etc.: http://www.gallup.com/home.aspx?ref=logo . One of the huge advantages of the internet is that information is now available for most legitimate polls.

    Comment by Chris Honeycutt — April 25, 2012 @ 9:19 pm | Reply

  5. Dont post and dump on my website, thank you.
    I will be deleting your post, as it causes nothing to talk about and you not having the fucking guts to argue this point

    Comment by The Mad Jewess — April 26, 2012 @ 7:32 pm | Reply

  6. Actually Since Obama’s “birth certificate” has been proven by Arizona law enforcement officials to be a forgery it does add credibility to the fact that we have no clue where he was born.

    Comment by themunz — April 29, 2012 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

  7. The Munz — uh uh. No. Sorry, not so. This so-called report was simply regurgitated WND/Swiftboater Corsi BS. See http://www.thefogbow.com/arpaio-report/

    Comment by Plutodog — April 29, 2012 @ 8:58 pm | Reply

  8. Apparently you didn’t see the court proceedings in the George Appellate Court that was making charges against Obama for not only a forged certificate, but that he had two social security accounts, et cetera. I would like to see that newspaper clipping announcing his birth. Remember, he was president AFTER the “proof” came out. Experts at the trial, in which the lawyers representing Obama did not show up or did Obama pay attention to being served. There are more factors about Obama that show is unscrupulous background, and it is true that he could not help if something was fishy going on with the birth place; however, there are many more allegations that have come up that have been shown true.
    It seems that no one stood up for GW Bush when he was accused of the most vilest things the political left could come up with – including orchestrating the September 11th, 2001 attack.
    It is the same old thing – shame upon anyone who is not a Democrat because they can do no wrong; when in reality they have become the most corrupt entity in America next to organized crime and the trade unions.

    Comment by Keith Lehman — April 30, 2012 @ 6:41 am | Reply

  9. @Keith Lehman —

    Apparently you are the one who isn’t familiar with the facts here.

    Yes, Orly Taitz was given two hours in Georgia to present her witnesses and her evidence. You can see the entire proceeding on YouTube, and witness for yourself the complete failure of her presentation. You are right — the President’s attorney declined to attend and allowed Taitz to put on her case without his even being present to object. She has been working on this for nearly four years and got to make her best case uninterrupted.

    Now, have you read the ruling? The judge rejected the claims that the so-called “experts” were even experts, as their credentials had not been established as the law requires. He also said that “[n]one of the testifying witnesses provided persuasive testimony. Moreover, the Court finds that none of the written submissions tendered by Plaintiffs have probative value. Given the unsatisfactory evidence presented by the Plaintiffs, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs’ claims are not persuasive.”

    Is that clear? The judge found Orly’s case to be totally worthless, even when the opposition was an empty chair.

    You can list all the made-up charges you want. But if you limit yourself to the charges for which there is legally competent evidence, according to the judge, you’re down to zero.

    And your inability to locate the TWO published newspaper birth announcements speaks volumes about the sincerity of your search for the truth.

    Comment by Doubtful — April 30, 2012 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

    • Apparantly you either are ignorant of or ignoring these facts.

      According to Georgia law, if a candidate’s eligiblity to be on the ballot is challenged the burden of proof falls on the candidate to prove they are eligible.

      The Georgia Adminstrative Law Judge issued a subpoena to Obama for him (and/or his legal representative) to appear at the Ballot Hearing with proof of his eligibility. Neither Obama or his legal representative showed up at the Ballot Hearing and, therefore, did not provide any proof whatsoever that Obama is eligible.

      By ruling in favor of Obama nonetheless the Administrative Law Judge was in violation of Georgia law.

      Period.

      Comment by RacerJim — May 22, 2012 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

  10. I do a lot of genealogy research, and I can tell you that birth announcements are not the usual thing. A marriage story is more common, although not obligatory. An obituary and death notice we expect to find, perhaps because of the legal aspect of probate matters.

    Comment by Nancy Johnsen Curran — April 30, 2012 @ 4:04 pm | Reply

  11. Wow. A whole lotta crazy accrued while I was gone.

    Okay, for the moment, let’s assume that the birther argument is genuine: for some very odd reason the Democrats didn’t check that their major candidate satisfied the natural-born citizen clause. I definitely do not believe this, but for the sake of argument let’s take it to be true and Obama is not a natural-born citizen.

    Great, goodie, fireworks go off.

    So… then what happens?

    Comment by Chris Honeycutt — May 1, 2012 @ 2:17 am | Reply

    • “let’s assume that the birther argument is genuine” — no fair, there is no single “birther argument,” and there’s a world of difference among the different ways that the various birther scenarios might play out.

      You tell us — on what grounds is he not a Natural Born Citizen in to your hypothetical?

      Comment by Doubtful — May 1, 2012 @ 2:33 am | Reply

      • Your pick. In this scenario, all that matters that he does not fulfill the requirements to be president.

        But what would happen? President Biden. That’s it. That’s the long and the short of it. Obama would be gone, Biden would be president, and the world would keep right on spinning.

        The world did not stop and the Republican party did not disappear just because of Watergate.

        Comment by Chris Honeycutt — May 1, 2012 @ 2:40 am

      • No, the Republican party didn’t disappear, but several high-ranking officials went to prison. That would likely happen in some of the birther ineligibility scenarios, but not necessarily in others. That’s why I asked.

        But of course the whole thing is preposterous anyway, so what difference does it make?

        Comment by Doubtful — May 1, 2012 @ 3:17 am

      • It’s pretty ludicrous. I wouldn’t say it’s utterly impossible, but I tend to reason through methods advocated by this guy:

        https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/psychology-of-intelligence-analysis/index.html

        Brilliant way of thinking of the world and determining truth.

        In the birther case, however, the very remote – very, very, moon-landing-was-a-hoax level remote – chance that it’s true is overwhelmed by the fact that it’s actually virtually impossible to collect evidence to show that it IS true.

        Comment by Chris Honeycutt — May 1, 2012 @ 3:31 am

      • Oh, and “What difference does it make?”

        I imagine it’s just for fun, a surrogate activity to make like-minded friends and work towards some abstract goal. Like the harmless version of a cult, or like the UFO people, just a little more widespread at the moment. I imagine it will go up and down; the alien one does, too, based on what movie is out or if there was something weird recently reported in the sky.

        Comment by Chris Honeycutt — May 1, 2012 @ 3:38 am


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