Psychology is not fair game for guessing by the layman.
An interview with astrophysicists was ended with the question, “What is creativity?” Would you end an interview with a psychologist with a question about what happens in the centre of a black hole? Questions of psychology, politics, sociology, and economics are routinely asked of completely unqualified people on the assumption that basically, anyone’s guess is worthwhile. This is horrifyingly nihilistic regarding our ability to understand humans.
Are humans terrible? Is civilisation a bad idea? People don’t realise it but these ideas, along with fate, karma, and anarchy, appeal because people think that reality is a video game. But is life really a game?
In the past I have argued that humans have had a net negative influence on life and that Earth might be better off without them. I have also been tempted on occasion to say, “to hell with this silliness,” and leave the complexity of modern civilisation behind in favour of a simpler existence. But I have not been able to sustain either of these positions. They both crumble for the same reason.
How concerned should we be about governments and corporations collecting data about us?
E.g. Wikileaks vs NSA – Both believe in gathering private information. One is a noble truthseeker. One is a filthy eavesdropper. Why the difference? When is gathering other people’s information good and when is it bad? What is the point of privacy, exactly?
Most people, especially in academic and scientific institutions, regard belief in conspiracy theories as unjustified (or to put it another way: crazy and paranoid). But they accept that conspiracies can occur, as evidenced by Watergate and other exposed scandals. But they regard most popular conspiracy theories as unlikely. Why is that? This can be called ‘default scepticism’, and it has several components.