Ever called someone out on obvious bs?

Saturday night I was at a party at my friend’s house. Over there is this girl, aged about 23 (I’m 25). She said she wants to show me something, so I agree. She tells me to put my palm flat on the table. I do. She then tells me to think about lifting it, but not actually lift it…from here I’ll write it in dialogue form because i’m lazy.

her: do you feel that? do you feel that power?
me: no, you told me not to lift it.
her: no, do you feel that?
me: ohhh, you mean like those studies where you think about moving a muscle and it moves imperceptibly?
her: no, no, this is called the power of ‘intention’. It’s a force that has effects on the universe. I discovered it and I can control it. It is the GAP, the GAP between thinking about something and doing it!
me: ummmmmmm okkkkkkkk
her: if you intend to do something, that power plays out on the universe and acts upon it. One time my brother turned off the light, I asked him why, and he said ‘i dunno, figured you’d probably ask me to’. That was the power of intention, i had JUST been thinking about it [man this story is so much better if I can do the voices]

me: ohhhh right, you mean like when you drive by a street lamp and it happens to go off right when you’re thinking about it? Or when you think about a friend and they call you?

her: YES, yes! exactly! that is this force called intention.
me: no, thats a mixture of the fallacy of causation and confirmation bias [I then explain to her what those are]. You don’t have powers, this doesn’t exist.
[extended arguing]
her: PROVE to me this doesn’t exist!!!

me: everyone, well everyone but you, knows that you can’t PROVE a negative. However for starters I’ll take the entire sciences of physics and chemistry, what sort of particles is intention made of, are its properties wave like? I have a power called boobilee boo, that power is the gap between being too lazy to get out of bed and having to go to the bathroom, this gap repels tigers (by now I was using every cliche I could, knowing she wouldn’t get the references). Prove to me this doesn’t exist.

by that point the argument had long since descended into screaming, but the thing that got me MOST ANGRY was that the whole time, I had two intelligent friends next to me. One of whom was sleeping with her, the other wanted to, and they wouldn’t stick up for me! Everyone could plainly see that her ascribing magical powers to herself is outrageous bullsht! Needless to say, she’ll never talk to me again.
The ironic thing is that up until then many people had hated her with a passion and I had always defended her, saying I didn’t see what the big deal was; she seemed like a normal person.
Granted not everything I say is 100% correct, but if you put something out there be prepared to defend it, and be prepared to be wrong.
Am I the only one who would have called her out on it, whether she was attractive or not, whether she was an acquaintance or not? Surely people here would have too, right? Am I the only person in the world that gets angry when people do stuff like this? Does anyone have a similar story, how did you respond?

Ever called someone out on obvious bs?

I was in a coffee shop with a friend, and an acquaintance of hers walks over and starts to chat. The conversation comes around to the polyester threads in the new dollar bills. He says “that’s so they can track you”, and I replied that that was complete and utter BS, and that you’d have to be a moron to believe it. He was a bit flummoxed, and stammered “uh,uh, no, it’s true!” I replied that it was totally ridiculous, and that he’d better get some proof before making such an absurd statement. The look on his face was priceless.

Mostly I’m pretty tolerant, but once in a while if I’m in a bad mood I will call people on their BS. One guy was telling us that sometimes when a herd of cows pass gas, it will catch fire and be mistaken for a UFO. I was in a foul mood and called him on it. But mostly I ignore stuff.

Sure you can. There’s no giraffe in my kitchen. checks kitchen Nope, no giraffe.

edit: I should add, I understand what you’re trying to say, I’ve just never liked that particular phrasing.

Oh, he’s there alright. He just hid when he saw you coming. :smiley:

yeah, you’re right. I admit it.

If it’s with someone around whom I’m generally comfortable (e.g., friends, family), I will usually call BS on it. Otherwise, I usually let it go, to avoid confrontation.

One exception, though, was when I went to lunch with some co-workers at my previous job, and one of them started talking about all the “unanswered” questions regarding the 9/11 attacks. I asked “what kind of answered questions”, and when they started talking about the “pools of melted metal” I nearly choked on my soda. After laughing a little bit and shaking my head, the topic was changed.

Looking back, it was probably a dick move on my part. But c’mon.

Congratulations on being so much smarter than her. And congratulations on having two friends who are so much smarter than you (and probably having more sex than you). You really showed her. And your intelligent friend who is having sex with her too.

If you get into screaming fights with everyone who has a belief or an opinion that is different than yours, less thought out, less scientific or whatever, your life is going to be miserable. Civility will take you a lot farther than screaming. You aren’t the defender of the universe.

So everything is a confrontation. All black and white, no grey. No opinions allowed, huh?

She wasn’t hurting you. She wasn’t hurting anyone. You could have laughed it off, walked away, or handled it any one of a hundred more socially acceptable ways. She can sit around and watch her “The Secret” DVD all she wants and it’s not going to affect you in any way. Her beliefs are what they are, and you acting like a jerk at a party isn’t going to change her mind.

this isn’t like saying vanilla is better than chocolate. She was saying that she had magical powers.
Also, what is this attitude like “oh well I guess the last laugh’s on you because you didnt get laid”? just because someone has sex with a loser doesn’t make them a better person than I am. I have a girlfriend anyways.
For all of my life I have just accepted people’s obvious fallacies and just ONCE I wanted to tell them that they are a crackpot.
Obviously if I were that socially awkward I wouldn’t be at a party

I belong to a horse-related message board, which generally contains a great many sensible and intelligent people. But every now and then someone has to post as to whether they have “overdosed” their horse on homeopathic remedies by giving two droppers instead of one. (Somehow Bach’s Flower Remedies has got its claws into the neurotic horse owner set).

For whatever reason, of all the stupid but harmless quackery out there, this one chaps my hide. Then I have to methodically explain how homeopathic remedies contain almost NO “active ingredients” other than the alcohol base. And anyone who thinks two droppers full of nothing, (intended as a calmative) made their horse “crazy,” is the crazy one.

One time I even explained (after extensive fact checking & links) how you could dose a horse with two droppers of uranium at the same concentration and cause them no harm whatsoever.

The believers are, of course, quite impervious to facts but it does make me feel like I did my part.

Well, there you go. They didn’t want to rain on the possible sex parade.

I used to, many years ago, but these days I can seldom be bothered. I know it’s not going to achieve anything. ‘You cannot rationally argue out what wasn’t rationally argued in’.

Of course, it depends on the circumstances. If I think that serious consequences are involved, say for someone I know and care about, then yes, I’ll do my best to point out the part that doesn’t make sense or that isn’t factually accurate. But I’ll try to do it tactfully and sensitively.

see, this is my problem. I can’t be here right now. I need to be out, interacting and laughing with people my own age. Being cooped up on the internet turns me into a weird person. I’m going to trivia night at the bar.

Once in awhile I do, and I almost always regret it. I think of a good friend who used to hold regular Sunday brunches that were open to anyone who wanted to drop by. This other friend of his, an artist who makes a living painting fairies, was trying to drum up support for some cause or another.

I don’t remember the details, but it involved the government’s total irresponsibility at placing some substance (petroleum? nuclear waste? I forget what) in an area with a fault line, and the danger that it would spew into the air in the case of an earthquake. He was trying to get people to help him set up a website, contact the government, get this whole movement going.

Only it sounded stupid to me, so I started asking him questions about the underlying science: how close was it to the fault line? How did that type of bedrock respond to seismic activity? What were seismologists saying about the issue?

It turned out he’d done zero research on the matter beyond reading a newspaper article (if that)–he was just rampantly speculating on what would happen, without any supporting knowledge. And I kept getting testier and testier, and people around us kept getting more and more uncomfortable, until I finally noticed and backed off.

These days I try really hard to bite my tongue. When two different people told me the same day that I ought to get homeopathic teething tablets for my daughter, I didn’t tell either of them, “Oh, great, and should I use those before the teething voodoo doll or after the teething-fairy rowan sprig?” I just nodded and thanked them for the tip.

I think you’re a bit overboard here.

But all in all, just another day on the Dope. If you (generic you, not YOU) rightfully pointed out that someone was completely batshit crazy and endangering themselves, there’d be someone to come along and lecture you on getting along or being nice, or being less judgemental or some such shit.

Because some people are judgemental pussies, and they like waiting for other people to come along saying they’ve done something, just so they can jump in and say how bad it is that the first person actually did something.
Both friends are getting, or are looking to get, a piece of the crazy. As it is well known (here at least) that sticking your dick in the crazy has negative consequences, it really isn’t the worst thing in the world to call it what it is and therefore give up any hope (however reality or non-reality based it may be) of getting some yourself.

Compromising yourself to get some is not the best way to go through life. Compromising yourself in the faint hope that maybe, just maybe, SOMEDAY you might get some of that is even less worthwhile.

She’s into metaphysical stuff, you aren’t. She can believe she is half elf if she wants. Do you think this excuses your behavior? It doesn’t.

They handled the situation a hell of a lot better than you did.

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For all of my life I have just accepted people’s obvious fallacies and just ONCE I wanted to tell them that they are a crackpot.

How big of you.

People who are angry, screaming and getting into arguments at parties over the “power of intent” are lacking social skills.

You behaved badly. Do you seriously not see this? Or that there were many better ways to handle the situation?

I hate that phrase, too. It flat-out wrong. Mathematicians prove negatives all the time.

Anyhow, as to the OP, with my father (who likes to believe everything he hears and mishears on the radio) I will occasionally spar verbally. Also with close friends with whom such arguing would not be out of line. However, with strangers or acquaintances, it’s a matter of reading the situation and whether it’s worth the effort. Sometimes, in a spirited bar setting, it can be fun as long as you don’t act like a dismissive know-it-all. It’s usually more fun for me, when people are really being kooky (I’ve met vocal Holocaust deniers, 9/11 conspiracy theorists, people who think they’ve been to literal hell, etc.), to just go along with it, just to see where the crazy is coming from. Or, as your friends recognize, when trying to get with some hot girl. Cost-benefit analysis, my friend.

There was a guy at my old church home group who I learned later was not really all there. Before I got that, though, one night everyone was standing around talking, and he said, “Half my high school was witches.” He got that “Oh, wow, interesting, doncha know” nod from some of the people who heard him. I said, “No they weren’t.” pretty curtly.

At that time the American Christian church was still coming out of this irrational fear of witches and Satanists on virtually every block, which had been fomented by some outrageous liars who had written books about their fake pasts, knowing they could sell titillation in “sanitized” form to church people. I was still pretty upset about those people, and I wasn’t having any of it. Not only was it ridiculous on the face of it, but this was supposed to have happened in Orange County, CA, one of the most famously conservative and Christian-friendly areas in the whole state. That kind of thing would never have escaped notice.

He didn’t make any defense, and I sort of felt bad about my tone, but it was so outrageously false that I kind of didn’t know what else to do, even thinking back. I wonder if he actually believed that, or if he was just trying to get attention.

Fortunately, as the science teacher, I’m in a position to tell kids their wrong about their appalling rumors. “There’s bull semen in Mountain Dew.” “No one ever went to the moon.” “Bigfoot is real.” Oh my gosh, the lack of brainpower applied to these statements makes me have to turn away and breathe deeply sometimes.

See, you just didn’t hear him right.

He said half his school were bitches. Because he wasn’t getting any.

It amazes me, than on a board dedicated to fighting ignorance, we constantly have this small group of people saying that it’s not polite to speak up against ignorance.

Probably not polite of me to point and laugh at them outside the pit, though.