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Testimony Vs Lie Detector


scooby

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I realize that lie detection is an imperfect science. The effectiveness of polygraphs has long been the subject of controversy, whereas brain scanning has shown some recent promise. If a reliable means of detecting lies could be developed, do you think that it could (or should) be used to probe the belief claims of religious adherents?

I got thinking about this while watching a FAIR conference address on cognitive dissonance by a lady psychologist, whose name I didn't catch, who said that she had wondered to herself whether she could pass a lie detector test while bearing her testimony. I found that interesting.

Do any of you know if any studies been done involving religious claims and lie detectors? Or that explore the comparison of religious conviction to other types of thoughts from a brain-scan/brain-study standpoint?

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I realize that lie detection is an imperfect science. The effectiveness of polygraphs has long been the subject of controversy, whereas brain scanning has shown some recent promise. If a reliable means of detecting lies could be developed, do you think that it could (or should) be used to probe the belief claims of religious adherents?

I got thinking about this while watching a FAIR conference address on cognitive dissonance by a lady psychologist, whose name I didn't catch, who said that she had wondered to herself whether she could pass a lie detector test while bearing her testimony. I found that interesting.

Do any of you know if any studies been done involving religious claims and lie detectors? Or that explore the comparison of religious conviction to other types of thoughts from a brain-scan/brain-study standpoint?

Some people aren't that great at expressing themselves through their voice and so they trmeble and stumble over words and I wonder if the lie detector or something else could pick up on that and say nope your religious expression is invalid when in reality it is but you don't get that message across that well

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I wonder why someone would want to

do that to a religious person.

Bernard

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I realize that lie detection is an imperfect science. The effectiveness of polygraphs has long been the subject of controversy, whereas brain scanning has shown some recent promise. If a reliable means of detecting lies could be developed, do you think that it could (or should) be used to probe the belief claims of religious adherents?

I got thinking about this while watching a FAIR conference address on cognitive dissonance by a lady psychologist, whose name I didn't catch, who said that she had wondered to herself whether she could pass a lie detector test while bearing her testimony. I found that interesting.

Do any of you know if any studies been done involving religious claims and lie detectors? Or that explore the comparison of religious conviction to other types of thoughts from a brain-scan/brain-study standpoint?

I'm really not sure what one would be trying to accomplish here. Aside from the possibilty for error with a lie detector, truth isn't established by the sincerity of one's beliefs.

I have no doubt that many (if not most) LDS who confirm their faith through testimony actually do believe what they are saying and a lie detector would only register that they were not being deceitful. A brain scan would only do the same.

The issue with cognitive dissonance (in my mind) has always been one of an individual who AVOIDS learning about things that are in conflict with their currently held positions because the awareness of those things creates mental or psychological discomfort that is thought to be too much to bear or deal with emotionally.

As in the spouse who creates a rationale for the lipstick she has found on her husbands shirt collar, it is (on some level) easier to dismiss as probably "some mishap with a child's crayon at work" than the reality which would be too painful to bear........

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truth isn't established by the sincerity of one's beliefs.

This has nothing to do with determining if the Church is true or not, if that's what you mean by establishing the truth.

When someone declares "I know the Church is true," a lie detector can shed light on whether that person truly believes that statement to be a true statement, or if they don't (and are perhaps only saying it as a leap of faith or maybe because they feel pressured to conform).

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Polygraphs have use only when talking about specific discrete tasks. They are not reliable for what you are describing. "Do you believe that JS is a prophet" isn't something you can get reliable results for. "Did you rape a woman on April 16, 2005" is (provided you have already established a specific definition of rape.

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Polygraphs have use only when talking about specific discrete tasks. They are not reliable for what you are describing. "Do you believe that JS is a prophet" isn't something you can get reliable results for. "Did you rape a woman on April 16, 2005" is (provided you have already established a specific definition of rape.

Supposing a very reliable means of detecting deception in the human mind is discovered (as has recently become more likely by progress made in the brain-scanning science), wouldn't such a lie detector have a profound effect on religion in the world?

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I realize that lie detection is an imperfect science. The effectiveness of polygraphs has long been the subject of controversy, whereas brain scanning has shown some recent promise. If a reliable means of detecting lies could be developed, do you think that it could (or should) be used to probe the belief claims of religious adherents?

I got thinking about this while watching a FAIR conference address on cognitive dissonance by a lady psychologist, whose name I didn't catch, who said that she had wondered to herself whether she could pass a lie detector test while bearing her testimony. I found that interesting.

Do any of you know if any studies been done involving religious claims and lie detectors? Or that explore the comparison of religious conviction to other types of thoughts from a brain-scan/brain-study standpoint?

I would hardly call lie detection a science at all. However, I do not think it would make much of a difference on lie-detecting a testimony, as far as validating a testimony. What matters is what people really believe they have expereinced.

I do think functional MRIs (fMRI) could be useful, as the parts of brains where people deal with imagination and literal experince differ. This could determine if what someone expresses orginates in parts of their brain which advance fantasy, or in parts of their brain which encode literal experience.

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I realize that lie detection is an imperfect science. The effectiveness of polygraphs has long been the subject of controversy, whereas brain scanning has shown some recent promise. If a reliable means of detecting lies could be developed, do you think that it could (or should) be used to probe the belief claims of religious adherents?

I got thinking about this while watching a FAIR conference address on cognitive dissonance by a lady psychologist, whose name I didn't catch, who said that she had wondered to herself whether she could pass a lie detector test while bearing her testimony. I found that interesting.

Do any of you know if any studies been done involving religious claims and lie detectors? Or that explore the comparison of religious conviction to other types of thoughts from a brain-scan/brain-study standpoint?

What would be the point? The best part of our high councilman's talk today was at the beginning when he said the value of a testimony is in its ability to change us. The testimony is not inherently important. If you believe something, whether or not it is true, and it produces good, then it is difficult to be critical of the belief even if it is in something not factual.

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The believer fails, the denier says "See? Told you so."

The believer passes, the denier says "He just believes the lie."

I think I could easily pass a lie detector test baring my testimony. Of course, I don't typically say, "I know there is a God." I tend to say, "I believe..." There have been times, when the spirit has been there with me, which is when I say, "I know." But if I'm being purely analytical and on my own, I won't say I know. I haven't see nor touched the wounds on Christ's hands, so I don't know that I can say I know. I think what I have is faith, and I'm okay with that. I'd volunteer, personally, just for fun.
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I think I could easily pass a lie detector test baring my testimony. ...

Be careful where you "bare" it, though; you don't want to be charged with gross lewdness or indecent exposure. :D:rofl:

Sorry. :huh: Couldn't resist. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled programming.

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That is an odd thing to say. Are you suggesting that a lie detector would victimize a religious person in some way?

Please elaborate.

Well, that would depend on your intentions.

Bernard

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Be careful where you "bare" it, though; you don't want to be charged with gross lewdness or indecent exposure. :D:rofl:

Verb form, friend. "To divulge," or, "..open to view." This is a PG-13 site. Nothing gets bare here.

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I would hardly call lie detection a science at all. However, I do not think it would make much of a difference on lie-detecting a testimony, as far as validating a testimony. What matters is what people really believe they have expereinced.

I do think functional MRIs (fMRI) could be useful, as the parts of brains where people deal with imagination and literal experince differ. This could determine if what someone expresses orginates in parts of their brain which advance fantasy, or in parts of their brain which encode literal experience.

You are quite correct. Mark Hofmann went on a mission, got married in the temple, and successfully passed himself off as a believing Mormon, all the while not believing in God or the LDS Church. Indeed, after committing many forgeries since he was a teenager, and finally committing a double-murder, he was able to pass a polygraph examination -- absolutely convincing Charles Honts and his mentor David Raskin (Univ. of Utah) that he was innocent. When he finally confessed they were at a loss to explain it. I cover the problem with extended court testimony on polygraphy by Honts in my 2003 paper here.

As you point out, and as I discuss in my paper, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) of the brain is the most promising technique -- especially since it does not expose one to radiation.

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I fail to see what that would accomplish. If someone is saying they believe something but can't pass the the test (assuming the lie detector was a reliable way to tell if someone was telling the truth or not) it would give no indication of a motive for not being entirely truthful. Perhaps someone is trying to make someone else think they're someone they're not, in order to look better to other people. On the other hand, perhaps someone really wants to believe, but maybe doesn't quite yet, but still says they do.

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Perhaps someone is trying to make someone else think they're someone they're not, in order to look better to other people. On the other hand, perhaps someone really wants to believe, but maybe doesn't quite yet, but still says they do.

Either way it would be informative. If, for example, 95% of test subjects from a particular organization that claim "I know [this or that]" pass a lie detector test, then it could lend credence to their organization. If, on the other hand, you had, say, 95% of those same subjects fail that test, then it could be a sign that perhaps there is some sort of manipulative group-think or peer-pressure going on which, in my opinion, would reduce that organization's credibility.

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Either way it would be informative. If, for example, 95% of test subjects from a particular organization that claim "I know [this or that]" pass a lie detector test, then it could lend credence to their organization. If, on the other hand, you had, say, 95% of those same subjects fail that test, then it could be a sign that perhaps there is some sort of manipulative group-think or peer-pressure going on which, in my opinion, would reduce that organization's credibility.

So, where do you imagine we Saints would find ourselves on this spectrum?

Lehi

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...then it could be a sign that perhaps there is some sort of manipulative group-think or peer-pressure going on which, in my opinion, would reduce that organization's credibility.

I'm tellin' ya, man, if that happened, that organization would be looked at as a brainwashing cult.

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I realize that lie detection is an imperfect science. The effectiveness of polygraphs has long been the subject of controversy, whereas brain scanning has shown some recent promise. If a reliable means of detecting lies could be developed, do you think that it could (or should) be used to probe the belief claims of religious adherents?

Who would be using it and to what end? This is a really weird idea. George Orwell would be amused.

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So, where do you imagine we Saints would find ourselves on this spectrum?

Lehi

I don't know.

Who would be using it and to what end? This is a really weird idea. George Orwell would be amused.

The data, collected from volunteers, would serve my curiosity.

Also, our hypothetical reliable lie detector would give many eager testifiers of knowledge a means to establish the honesty of their convictions. It could make a great missionary tool for Latter-day Saints: prospective members could know for sure that those who declare to know that the Church is true are not just saying it hopefully or because of training or pressure.

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I would hardly call lie detection a science at all. However, I do not think it would make much of a difference on lie-detecting a testimony, as far as validating a testimony. What matters is what people really believe they have expereinced.

x2

The premise of this thread, that "lie detectors" are anything other than silly devices used to help a human observer make a guess about whether or not a person is "lying", shouldn't be assumed.

But as a theoretical idea, the value of a "lie detector" in a Church would only be to show who really believes in their testimony. It couldn't indicate whether or not the "testimony" itself were valid. So such a device might be useful for exposing insincere Church members who don't really believe, or it might have a place at a Temple Recommend interview or baptismal interview.

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