Witnessing

digitalbeachbum's picture

 I just spent the last few minutes speaking to a middled aged vendor who tried to witness me over the phone. I recenltly had an accident and broke my wrist and he knew about it. After asking me about my recovery he said, "Do you attend church"?

I found the use of "attend" very interesting because it signifies a specific mindset, or to me it does, of the type of religious person I'm speaking to about religion.

He was nice about it. Telling me stories about being saved and so forth, but i had heard it all before. I had so much I wanted to say but avoided speaking and let him tell me his stuff, then try to get me to visit his church.

I found the conversation comforting and that caught my attention. It wasn't in your face with the religion. He was this coaxing talk which you might find with a used care salesman or a real estate agent, trying to get you to buy in to their story about how reliable the car was or how perfect the house would be for you and the family.

It almost was a mental attack but through a diversion. A slight of hand. I was left thinking, is this how the church of scientology works? ISIS? other cults?

As I continued saying "cool" "thanks" "ok talk to you later" I couldn't help feeling that "here was another person who thinks that just because nothing terrible is happening to him now he thinks that god is giving him blessings". What will happen when things go wrong? Will it be god testing him? Will it be a sign that his faith had failed along the way and he was being punished? If his god knew all, then why was he being tested? If his god was all forgiving then why punish?

 

Vastet's picture

The psychology of cult

The psychology of cult building has been refined over thousands of years. People have become quite good at taking advantage of people. All you really need is a nice person who's willing to listen for a few minutes, who doesn't have a solid argument against the speaker, and 9 times out of 10 you have your first convert.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Brian37's picture

 It is our species gap

 It is our species gap filling mistaking our attributes such as good looks and ability to speek and smile. Convince someone you have ice cream to sell them, you can get them to drink the Cool Aid.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

digitalbeachbum's picture

Vastet wrote:The psychology

Vastet wrote:
The psychology of cult building has been refined over thousands of years. People have become quite good at taking advantage of people. All you really need is a nice person who's willing to listen for a few minutes, who doesn't have a solid argument against the speaker, and 9 times out of 10 you have your first convert.

I was thinking similarly. I hear the high pressured sales pitches and I'm instantly turned off. All my shields go up. However this guy, for a few seconds, caught me off guard and I was actuallt starting to talk to him about my injury and how the recovery was going. As soon as he started to talk about jesus I changed my attention to "get off the phone, I don't want to talk to you" but in a nice way.

I think you are right about that refinement. I believe there are religious people, like Scientologists, who actually work on that mental attack to gain followers. Like they actually have classes to teach their sales people who and how to approach.

digitalbeachbum's picture

Brian37 wrote: It is our

Brian37 wrote:

 It is our species gap filling mistaking our attributes such as good looks and ability to speek and smile. Convince someone you have ice cream to sell them, you can get them to drink the Cool Aid.

I think the good looks don't play as much of a part of it. Maybe at a distance it might pull some one in, maybe as a lead speaker. I've seen 'ugly' car salesmen who could sell ice to an eskimo. They are so good that you aren't concerned about any thing other than the deal his is promising you.

There was a report on NPR last year about sales people and how there is this whole psychology on how to approach people. What are the first things to say to a person. What is there body language telling you.

Brian37's picture

Um I think there have been

Um I think there have been studies where they show babies attractive faces vs less attractive faces. I think our ability to question can override bad claims sure, but Ted Bundy murdered lots of women because he was good looking and spoke well. 

Oh yea certianly body language and word choice can sell. The worst part of our species is that you can market absolute garbage if you know how to do it, be it a product, a political platform or a religion.IrI can tell you the girls I hit on vs the girls I dated, even initial attraction was looks for the most part. The staying power however for me was their actual substance. So evolution does not say either/or but mostly a combo of both. 

Evolution does rely on either force or marketing(courting) one is brute force(rape) the cruel side of our evolution. The other is the courting which is really marketing, like the peacock.

So yea looks don't always have to be the selling point. But if you have a chisseled man vs a frumpy beer gut guy, and both of them speak well, I bet if you poll an average, the better looking guy is going to be favored on average.

 

 

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

Vastet's picture

digitalbeachbum wrote:Vastet

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Vastet wrote:
The psychology of cult building has been refined over thousands of years. People have become quite good at taking advantage of people. All you really need is a nice person who's willing to listen for a few minutes, who doesn't have a solid argument against the speaker, and 9 times out of 10 you have your first convert.

I was thinking similarly. I hear the high pressured sales pitches and I'm instantly turned off. All my shields go up. However this guy, for a few seconds, caught me off guard and I was actuallt starting to talk to him about my injury and how the recovery was going. As soon as he started to talk about jesus I changed my attention to "get off the phone, I don't want to talk to you" but in a nice way.

I think you are right about that refinement. I believe there are religious people, like Scientologists, who actually work on that mental attack to gain followers. Like they actually have classes to teach their sales people who and how to approach.

 

I'm not actually convinced that it was a conscious process. There has been such a great amount of time involved that it just as likely evolved naturally. Those who were more capable of convincing the people most likely to be convinced were more likely to succeed, and intentionally or otherwise pass on their skills to their offspring. It has been a fundamental desire for people to make others believe the same as themselves since before recorded history. It stands to reason that the skill of doing so would be advantageous and thus promote the success of families who have it, without any conscious realisation of the power their skills could have.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

digitalbeachbum's picture

Vastet wrote:digitalbeachbum

Vastet wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Vastet wrote:
The psychology of cult building has been refined over thousands of years. People have become quite good at taking advantage of people. All you really need is a nice person who's willing to listen for a few minutes, who doesn't have a solid argument against the speaker, and 9 times out of 10 you have your first convert.

I was thinking similarly. I hear the high pressured sales pitches and I'm instantly turned off. All my shields go up. However this guy, for a few seconds, caught me off guard and I was actuallt starting to talk to him about my injury and how the recovery was going. As soon as he started to talk about jesus I changed my attention to "get off the phone, I don't want to talk to you" but in a nice way.

I think you are right about that refinement. I believe there are religious people, like Scientologists, who actually work on that mental attack to gain followers. Like they actually have classes to teach their sales people who and how to approach.

 I'm not actually convinced that it was a conscious process. There has been such a great amount of time involved that it just as likely evolved naturally. Those who were more capable of convincing the people most likely to be convinced were more likely to succeed, and intentionally or otherwise pass on their skills to their offspring. It has been a fundamental desire for people to make others believe the same as themselves since before recorded history. It stands to reason that the skill of doing so would be advantageous and thus promote the success of families who have it, without any conscious realisation of the power their skills could have.

I can agree that in many cases people do it subconciously but there are techniques such as speed seduction to get women to sleep with you. There are classes for sales people who do time-shares on condos, which is really fuck-with-you-mind-crazy because I have expereinced one before.

The guy I was on the phone with, I'm not sure if he was doing it conciously or not. He was Hispanic and I had already gotten the impression from him that he was a smooth-talker. He was always trying to get business from our office to do work. He was pretty good at the sales stuff.

digitalbeachbum's picture

Brian37 wrote:Um I think

Brian37 wrote:

Um I think there have been studies where they show babies attractive faces vs less attractive faces. I think our ability to question can override bad claims sure, but Ted Bundy murdered lots of women because he was good looking and spoke well. 

Oh yea certianly body language and word choice can sell. The worst part of our species is that you can market absolute garbage if you know how to do it, be it a product, a political platform or a religion.IrI can tell you the girls I hit on vs the girls I dated, even initial attraction was looks for the most part. The staying power however for me was their actual substance. So evolution does not say either/or but mostly a combo of both. 

Evolution does rely on either force or marketing(courting) one is brute force(rape) the cruel side of our evolution. The other is the courting which is really marketing, like the peacock.

So yea looks don't always have to be the selling point. But if you have a chisseled man vs a frumpy beer gut guy, and both of them speak well, I bet if you poll an average, the better looking guy is going to be favored on average. 

Good looks only get you so far. Ted Bundy was confident and knew how to abuse the confidence of others.

Evolution doesn't rely on anything. It's evolution.

When it comes to sex all bets are off. I've known ugly guys who got laid all the time and had hot chicks for girlfriends.

 

Brian37's picture

digitalbeachbum

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Um I think there have been studies where they show babies attractive faces vs less attractive faces. I think our ability to question can override bad claims sure, but Ted Bundy murdered lots of women because he was good looking and spoke well. 

Oh yea certianly body language and word choice can sell. The worst part of our species is that you can market absolute garbage if you know how to do it, be it a product, a political platform or a religion.IrI can tell you the girls I hit on vs the girls I dated, even initial attraction was looks for the most part. The staying power however for me was their actual substance. So evolution does not say either/or but mostly a combo of both. 

Evolution does rely on either force or marketing(courting) one is brute force(rape) the cruel side of our evolution. The other is the courting which is really marketing, like the peacock.

So yea looks don't always have to be the selling point. But if you have a chisseled man vs a frumpy beer gut guy, and both of them speak well, I bet if you poll an average, the better looking guy is going to be favored on average. 

Good looks only get you so far. Ted Bundy was confident and knew how to abuse the confidence of others.

Evolution doesn't rely on anything. It's evolution.

When it comes to sex all bets are off. I've known ugly guys who got laid all the time and had hot chicks for girlfriends.

 

I agree.  Evolution can have a fat beer gut guy or fat women have a kid while someone of the same age who is attractive, get hit by a car or die of a disease they didn't know they got and die without ever having a kid. 

If people could see the girls/women I dated in my life only two of them I would call model material. But those I certainly did not stay in because of looks. My x was average but why I stayed with her had everything to do with personality and being like minded. 

I was only talking about someone like Hitler or Bundy or Jim Jones as far as ability to sell an absurdity to the point of horror. Bundy had enough looks and talked well enough to manipulate girls/women into being his victim. Monsters don't always look like the elephant man. 

 Evolution ultimately isn't about cruelty or compassion being the default, evolution is merely getting to the point of reproduction. The good side of our species is that we can think about which way we want to lean. The down side is that we still have yet to tame our tribal nature to a managable degree globaly. We have gotten better although it seems sometimes with the news that doesn't always seem to be the case.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

digitalbeachbum's picture

Brian37 wrote:I was only

Brian37 wrote:

I was only talking about someone like Hitler or Bundy or Jim Jones as far as ability to sell an absurdity to the point of horror. Bundy had enough looks and talked well enough to manipulate girls/women into being his victim. Monsters don't always look like the elephant man. 

I believe being charismatic and good looking are different. Jim Jones was an ugly fuck. Ted Bundy was handsome. Both were charismatic.

Hitler, well, I'm guessing charismatic. I'm not sure he was even handsome.

Free will is an illusion.

Scott, you said that "Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure." I think folks like Gandhi and M. L. King would dissagree.

 

I say, however, that free will is an illusion, but created by an incalculable number of intertwining causes and effects that date back to the Big Bang and beyond. Causal Determinism. The complexity of such an infinite number of intertwining causations would certainly cause an illusion of free will. Is there really any such thing as a "random" event? Isn't it a valid and true argument to say that just because we do not know the cause of an event, such as the actions of quantum partcles, doesn't mean there isn't one?

digitalbeachbum's picture

Max T. Furr wrote:Scott, you

Max T. Furr wrote:

Scott, you said that "Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure." I think folks like Gandhi and M. L. King would dissagree.

 

I say, however, that free will is an illusion, but created by an incalculable number of intertwining causes and effects that date back to the Big Bang and beyond. Causal Determinism. The complexity of such an infinite number of intertwining causations would certainly cause an illusion of free will. Is there really any such thing as a "random" event? Isn't it a valid and true argument to say that just because we do not know the cause of an event, such as the actions of quantum partcles, doesn't mean there isn't one?

Scott Adams... no me.

I agree.

Vastet's picture

digitalbeachbum wrote:Vastet

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Vastet wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Vastet wrote:
The psychology of cult building has been refined over thousands of years. People have become quite good at taking advantage of people. All you really need is a nice person who's willing to listen for a few minutes, who doesn't have a solid argument against the speaker, and 9 times out of 10 you have your first convert.

I was thinking similarly. I hear the high pressured sales pitches and I'm instantly turned off. All my shields go up. However this guy, for a few seconds, caught me off guard and I was actuallt starting to talk to him about my injury and how the recovery was going. As soon as he started to talk about jesus I changed my attention to "get off the phone, I don't want to talk to you" but in a nice way.

I think you are right about that refinement. I believe there are religious people, like Scientologists, who actually work on that mental attack to gain followers. Like they actually have classes to teach their sales people who and how to approach.

 I'm not actually convinced that it was a conscious process. There has been such a great amount of time involved that it just as likely evolved naturally. Those who were more capable of convincing the people most likely to be convinced were more likely to succeed, and intentionally or otherwise pass on their skills to their offspring. It has been a fundamental desire for people to make others believe the same as themselves since before recorded history. It stands to reason that the skill of doing so would be advantageous and thus promote the success of families who have it, without any conscious realisation of the power their skills could have.

I can agree that in many cases people do it subconciously but there are techniques such as speed seduction to get women to sleep with you. There are classes for sales people who do time-shares on condos, which is really fuck-with-you-mind-crazy because I have expereinced one before.

The guy I was on the phone with, I'm not sure if he was doing it conciously or not. He was Hispanic and I had already gotten the impression from him that he was a smooth-talker. He was always trying to get business from our office to do work. He was pretty good at the sales stuff.

I think in the last 200 years or so there has been a growing awareness of the whole thing, and that people have turned it into a literal science, via testing hypothesises and teaching the results so future generations can expand upon it. I fully believe there are tens of thousands of people who embrace it as such. But I also think that the majority still wing it based on the same processes used over the last hundred thousand years.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.