On episode 91, we welcome author Michael Shermer to discuss:
- Why and how humans come to believe in anything
- Our difficulty with understanding randomness and how it contributes to the belief in improbable conspiracy theories
- The harms of cancel culture
- Combating misinformation and bad arguments with better ones
- Why we should become better public speakers instead of silencing opposing views
- Using Socratic questioning rather than argumentation to increase the chance of altering a belief
- The Jordan Peterson controversy regarding pronoun use
- Leon’s clinical practice.
Shermer is the founder of The Skeptics Society and Editor in Chief of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating pseudoscientific and supernatural claims. He has written many books, the latest of which is called Giving the Devil his Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist and he’s the host of the largely popular podcast, The Michael Shermer Show.
Michael Shermer is a prominent skeptic who has spent years exploring and debunking pseudoscientific claims. He spoke with us about the importance of critical thinking and how to frame our arguments in ways that make them more likely to be heard. Empathy and respect for the other, according to him, are the keys to effective dialogues.
We often want to silence our critics and opposing views, but Michael argues that it’s a slippery slope to tyranny, instead, imploring, us to up our game and become more informed and better at presenting our beliefs.