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How Does One Define Gullible?

By April 17, 2011

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A recent article entitled "Converting Bigfoot: The Gullibility of the Religious" addresses all sorts of issues as to who tends to be gullible...as well as just how we define that word.

The first question asked is "Who is more gullible, a liberal Episcopalian or a conservative evangelical?"  The author suggests that the common answer is "conservative evangelical," even when "gullible" means believing in "Bigfoot, UFOs, Atlantis, astrology and psychics."  The suggestion is that evangelicals are already gullible when it comes to religion, and thus they should be gullible on all topics.

Have these people actually met a conservative evangelical?  Maybe they know different ones than I do.  I my experience, they generally have very little belief in such things, which are more commonly labeled as New Age, and New Agers are generally seen as liberals.

But there's also the question of just what does "gullible" mean?  In presuming that conservative evangelicals are gullible, one is pretty blatantly stating that their beliefs are not only wrong but foolish to believe in.  Likewise, why does believing in Atlantis or astrology or psychics indicate someone is more gullible?  It smacks of the idea that "people who disagree with me are not only wrong but foolish.  My way is the only intelligent way."

April 26, 2011 at 1:49 am
(1) larry says:

Gullible is, IMHO, Is buying the ocean front property I have for sale in Nevada. It is also the statement ” Yes I’ll respect you in the morning”, and the other big lies a man will tell a girl.

So, gullible is believing things other people tell you so they can get what they want.

April 27, 2011 at 6:00 am
(2) Borsia says:

Gullibility crosses pretty much every barrier. I’ve known atheists who believe in conspiracy theories that are easily disproved just as I know theists who refuse to see how silly things like the great flood are.
In my experience atheists are less gullible but that may be coincidence of who I know.

January 18, 2013 at 9:59 pm
(3) NealB says:

“My way is the only intelligent way.”

There are many intelligent ways, I suppose, when you put it like that. Even stupid ways would need to be counted as more-or-less intelligent, but intelligent none-the-less.

Catherine Beyer, more-or-less, could be described, none-the-less, as stupid.

She doesn’t tell us how we’d know.

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