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SCIENCE SALON # 136

Michael Shermer with Gad Saad — The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense

There’s a war against truth and if we don’t win it, intellectual freedom will be a casualty. The West’s commitment to freedom, reason, and true liberalism has never been more seriously threatened than it is today by the stifling forces of political correctness. Dr. Gad Saad exposes the bad ideas — what he calls “idea pathogens” — that are killing common sense and rational debate. Incubated in our universities and spread through the tyranny of political correctness, these ideas are endangering our most basic freedoms — including freedom of thought and speech.

The danger is grave, but as Dr. Saad shows, politically correct dogma is riddled with logical fallacies. We have powerful weapons to fight back with — if we have the courage to use them. A provocative guide to defending reason and intellectual freedom and a battle cry for the preservation of our fundamental rights, The Parasitic Mind will be the most controversial and talked-about book of the year. Shermer and Saad discuss:

  • which idea pathogens are the most dangerous,
  • the analogy between biological and ideological parasites,
  • the origin of political correctness and how it was corrupted,
  • identity politics and how it perpetrates bigotry, racism, and misogyny,
  • the psychology of victimhood status (why would anyone want to be a victim?),
  • virtue signaling and why it isn’t virtuous,
  • why social justice is injustice,
  • social justice warriors as sneaky fuckers,
  • the corruption of postmodernism, which began as a form of rational skepticism,
  • Islamophobia,
  • diversity, inclusion and equity,
  • safe spaces, microaggressions, trigger warnings,
  • What is liberalism, anyway?
  • the paradox of tolerance,
  • the dual search for freedom and truth,
  • free speech as the foundation of all other rights,
  • Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome,
  • Collective Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy,
  • nomological networks of cumulative evidence in the quest for truth, and
  • how big a problem are we really facing?

Gad Saad, Ph.D. (Montreal, Canada), host of the popular YouTube show The Saad Truth and blogger for Psychology Today, is a professor of marketing at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. He holds the Concordia University Research Chair in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences and Darwinian Consumption and is the author of The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption, plus numerous scientific papers.

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