Michael Shermer

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What utility do your beliefs have in your everyday life? From the way you decide on political issues to the way you tune out dissenting views, and decide against conversations with certain people every choice is backed by some belief in what you consider to be right. Michael Shermer, who I dubbed, the King Skeptic, joins me and discusses why free speech matters most when people don’t want to hear it, and the power behind social signaling that helps shed light on some of the breakdowns being seen on a global scale. Michael’s ability to think through strong opposing arguments searching for truth and charitable interpretation and tolerance for others is foundational.


Order Michael Shermer’s book, Giving The Devil His Due: https://amzn.to/2TWVvfq



0:00 | Introduction to Michael Shermer

1:45 | Using Skepticism for Truth

3:49 | Allow Facts to Change Your Mind

7:18 | Skeptical Free Thinker of Science

11:56 | Deciding Truth in Uncertainty

17:17| Science of Disproving Theories

23:12 | Hypothesis in Everyday LIfe

27:50 | Losing Truth to Social Signaling

35:20 | Protecting Free-Speech, Opposing Voices

42:21 | When Words Are Too Powerful

48:31 | Negativity of Gossip

51:16 | Principle of Charitable Interpretation

57:06 | Motives in Context of Environment

1:01:37 | Separating Truths, Your Want Vs. What Is

1:05:31 | Mining Data and Contrary Beliefs

1:08:16 | Fact Checking Sources

1:14:02 | Michael on Why Now Matters

1:18:27 | Michael on Atheism, Values, & Morals

1:26:01 | Theory of Ethics and Animal Cruelty

1:29:26 | Value of Incremental Change

1:33:07 | Hearing the People You Disagree With



“much of decision making about truth is made under uncertainty.” [14:31]


“if you want to speak out, because you don’t believe this ideology, and you see your neighbor, you know, hauled off and you never see him again, it’s like, ‘I’m keeping my mouth shut.’” [33:02]


“if the only answer could be I’m 100% behind it. Or else, I’m not gonna say anything. Well, that’s not good for society.”


“so social media is basically taking this natural human propensity to talk about other people. And marrying it to the negativity bias where we notice negative things more than positive things.” [50:26]


“losses hurt twice as much as gains feel good.” [50:46]


“try to separate what I want to be true from what is actually true.” [1:04:01]


“ it’s good to remember on commercial television, there’s commercials. And so the content is basically whatever it takes to get people to get from one commercial to the next with that clicking away.” [1:07:25]


“if you’re going to write a law, you should write it in a way that you don’t know which group you’re going to be in,” [1:20:03]


“put yourself in the position of you’re the lone voice. And do you or do you not want to be heard? Of course, people want to be heard. So free speech is for those with whom we disagree.” [1:34:29]


Follow Michael Shermer:

Website: https://michaelshermer.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/michaelshermer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Michael.Brant.Shermer

Podcast: https://www.skeptic.com/michael-shermer-show/


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