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Zen...Art Of Debunkery

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Zen...Art Of Debunkery

Postby Maddogkull » 18 Mar 2010, 03:08

I do not know if this is posted here, but if it is, sorry lol. ... rasin.html

<> Before commencing to debunk, prepare your equipment. Equipment needed: one armchair.
<> Put on the right face. Cultivate a condescending air that suggests that your personal opinions are backed by the full faith and credit of God. Employ vague, subjective, dismissive terms such as "ridiculous" or "trivial" in a manner that suggests they have the full force of scientific authority.

<> Portray science not as an open-ended process of discovery but as a holy war against unruly hordes of quackery- worshipping infidels. Since in war the ends justify the means, you may fudge, stretch or violate the scientific method, or even omit it entirely, in the name of defending the scientific method.

<> Keep your arguments as abstract and theoretical as possible. This will "send the message" that accepted theory overrides any actual evidence that might challenge it--and that therefore no such evidence is worth examining.

<> Reinforce the popular misconception that certain subjects are inherently unscientific. In other words, deliberately confuse the *process* of science with the *content* of science. (Someone may, of course, object that since science is a universal approach to truth-seeking it must be neutral to subject matter; hence, only the investigative *process* can be scientifically responsible or irresponsible. If that happens, dismiss such objections using a method employed successfully by generations of politicians: simply reassure everyone that "there is no contradiction here!")

<> Arrange to have your message echoed by persons of authority. The degree to which you can stretch the truth is directly proportional to the prestige of your mouthpiece.

<> Always refer to unorthodox statements as "claims," which are "touted," and to your own assertions as "facts," which are "stated."

<> Avoid examining the actual evidence. This allows you to say with impunity, "I have seen absolutely no evidence to support such ridiculous claims!" (Note that this technique has withstood the test of time, and dates back at least to the age of Galileo. By simply refusing to look through his telescope, the ecclesiastical authorities bought the Church over three centuries' worth of denial free and clear!)

<> If examining the evidence becomes unavoidable, report back that "there is nothing new here!" If confronted by a watertight body of evidence that has survived the most rigorous tests, simply dismiss it as being "too pat."

<> Equate the necessary skeptical component of science with *all* of science. Emphasize the narrow, stringent, rigorous and critical elements of science to the exclusion of intuition, inspiration, exploration and integration. If anyone objects, accuse them of viewing science in exclusively fuzzy, subjective or metaphysical terms.

<> Insist that the progress of science depends on explaining the unknown in terms of the known. In other words, science equals reductionism. You can apply the reductionist approach in any situation by discarding more and more and more evidence until what little is left can finally be explained entirely in terms of established knowledge.

<> Downplay the fact that free inquiry and legitimate disagreement are a normal part of science.

<> Make yourself available to media producers who seek "balanced reporting" of unorthodox views. However, agree to participate in only those presentations whose time constraints and a-priori bias preclude such luxuries as discussion, debate and cross-examination.

<> At every opportunity reinforce the notion that what is familiar is necessarily rational. The unfamiliar is therefore irrational, and consequently inadmissible as evidence.

<> State categorically that the unconventional may be dismissed as, at best, an honest misinterpretation of the conventional.

<> Characterize your opponents as "uncritical believers." Summarily dismiss the notion that debunkery itself betrays uncritical belief, albeit in the status quo.

<> Maintain that in investigations of unconventional phenomena, a single flaw invalidates the whole. In conventional contexts, however, you may sagely remind the world that, "after all, situations are complex and human beings are imperfect."

<> "Occam's Razor," or the "principle of parsimony," says the correct explanation of a mystery will usually involve the simplest fundamental principles. Insist, therefore, that the most familiar explanation is by definition the simplest! Imply strongly that Occam's Razor is not merely a philosophical rule of thumb but an immutable law.

This is just some of the things on the site, that describe what debunkers/skeptics use in there arguments. I find they are pretty accurate. Have fun.
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Re: Zen...Art Of Debunkery

Postby NinjaPuppy » 18 Mar 2010, 04:08

Welcome and thank you.
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Re: Zen...Art Of Debunkery

Postby Craig Browning » 18 Mar 2010, 06:15

Goodie, Goodie! More material for my book! :mrgreen:
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Re: Zen...Art Of Debunkery

Postby jakesteele » 06 May 2010, 02:42

I just had to throw this in for shits and giggles. I use this mainly on JREF when there is a thread whose only intention is to mock what they call woo. Example: Rules of Woo( ... =rules+woo)

How to be a Pseuoskeptic!!
in your spare time
for fun and profit!!

You, too, can earn up to $200,000 per yr.!!
Just like James Randi!

For just 3 easy payments of $99.99 Randi will share with you his Amazing Secrets™ and equip you with all the necessary tools you will need to become almost as successful as he is.

Your starter-kit includes:

• 5 cans of Woo Repelent
• 3 cans of Myth Buster spray
• 1 woo doo doll to stick pins in (just put picture of your favorite woo, CTer or True Believer on it)
• Quick reference guide of Wiki logical fallacies and cognitive biases
• 1 set of Sasquatch pelt lined horse blinders
• 3 cans of hubris
• 2 Cans of insufferability
• 10 Cans of condescension
• Free Autographed books by
James Randi
1. Secrets of getting rich in debunking”
2. How I made my first $1,000,000 in debunking…and so can you!”
3. How to start your own Cult of Personality”

• Quick reference guide to plausible UFO explanations
• Instructions on how to come across as scientific even if you’re not.
• FREE membership in CSIOPS which includes all the personal cell phones of present and past members for those emergency, late night woo busting sessions.
• 1 bale of Unicorn wool to pull over everybody’s eyes
• Complete lessons in how to put the Bunk-Fu mind grip on naïve, superstitious sheeple

Plus, if you act now!! Amazing Enterprises will include, absolutely free, James Randi’s most Amazing trick of all…
(drum roll goes here)

Sleight of Mind™
Giving the surface appearance of disproving something with nothing more than a parlor trick

But wait a minute, that’s not all. The first 50 callers will also receive the complete blueprint on how to set up your own Church of the Atheist Abyss
and not have to pay any taxes. But hurry, supplies are limited.

Just call 1-800-Amazing
This offer void and prohibited to any woo/CTers/True Believers
Debunkers think all UFO photos are fake,
especially the real ones.
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Re: Zen...Art Of Debunkery

Postby NinjaPuppy » 06 May 2010, 03:17

Love it!
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Re: Zen...Art Of Debunkery

Postby Scepcop » 17 Sep 2010, 03:10

The author sent me the new version of his article "Zen and the Art of Debunkery". Here it is:
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Zen...Art Of Debunkery

Postby wjbeaty » 23 Sep 2010, 13:33

Scepcop wrote:The author sent me the new version of his article "Zen and the Art of Debunkery". Here it is:

Excellent, I'll update my links too. I first met Dan online after I'd written my own version (below,) and was searching for similar articles for providing links. Dan's own list originated from the UFO controversy. Mine came about from my observing the bizarre and irrational behavior of "skeptics" on the old Compuserve science section during the Cold Fusion controversy. I also tried to spread a meme by coining the term "Pathological Skeptic," only to find that Marcello Truzzi was way ahead of me with his own term "Pseudo-skeptic."

Symptoms of Pathological Skepticism

Ah, memories... . as a young science-nerd I'd read about the nay-sayers who made it their business to try standing in the way of germ theory, space flight, the automobile, etc. The 1989 CF controversy on Compuserve was my first direct experience encountering this type of person. I've since met their opposite number: lots of proper skeptics who are actually working to improve the world. But for some reason my original Compuserve encounter has never changed: while online, I find that the vast majority of "Skeptics" are nothing of the sort. Perhaps the problem lies with the fact that the fanatics are extreme activists by definition, and they dominate the online world. Also perhaps all of the more thoughtful and self-critical skeptics are too busy elsewhere, which filters them out of the typical forums.

'Skeptic' does not mean scoffer
'Skeptic' does not mean debunker
'Skeptic' does not mean csicop member
'Skeptic' does not mean Atheist
'Skeptic' does not mean cynic
'Skeptic' does not mean woo-woo-hater
'Skeptic' does not mean anti-paranormalist
'Skeptic' does not even mean self-declared Skeptic
((((((((((((( ( (O) ) )))))))))))))
Bill Beaty Science Hobbyist
billb|eskimo com
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Re: Zen...Art Of Debunkery

Postby Scepcop » 21 Dec 2017, 10:30

The full text of Zen and the Art of Debunkery has been moved to here:
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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