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Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

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Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby Maddogkull » 18 Mar 2010, 04:09

Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good? E.G Believing in a talking plant needs skeptics and people to debunk that of course a plant can’t talk, or else we would still be worshipping rocks in the stone age, or thinking every noise we hear is a ghost. Does everyone agree with me that healthy skepticism is needed to progress in this world? I am not talking about skeptics like Randi who of course try to do everything in their power to make their views seem right. I am just talking about healthy skepticism. Does everyone agree on here that we need this? I am just wondering because some people on here are 100% against any kind of skepticism, and that just seems weird in a way. I am not trying to be offensive, and if I am I apologize, but seriously don’t we all agree we need some skepticism in this world?
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Re: Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 18 Mar 2010, 04:17

You are most certainly NOT being offensive. It's a great topic.

I believe that the word skeptic is sometimes defined or lumped into the same category as cynic. Heck, some skeptics are just plain ballbusters, with present company on this forum excluded from that comment. I obviously must be more skeptical than some as I do tend to question or at least look for alternate reasons for some paranormal examples.
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Re: Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby Craig Browning » 18 Mar 2010, 06:13

Maddogkull, you need to understand that there is a huge difference between being a "Skeptic" vs. a "Debunker"... the latter of the two tends to be an ass hole with a born-again attitude that would made Pat Robertson look timid.

Yes, healthy skepticism is important BUT, an outrageous number of folks now days go well outside the parameters of anything remotely healthy let alone "skeptical"... they have become pure Cynics that want everything cut & dry, black & white and in the exact niche boxes they personally ascribe to bar none!

The element has a cult-mind mentality in which they parrot what St. Randi & Company have told them to say in every given case where the phenomenal may be presented. They do not (such as science would do) leave room for possible "unknown" influences or variables or even the possibility that they really don't know it all.

True, genuine, honest skeptics aren't dogmatic in their views even though they will take most of what they encounter that seem fantastic, with a small Ukrainian Salt Mine. ;)
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Re: Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby ProfWag » 19 Mar 2010, 17:34

No! I don't agree with your statement that healthy skepticism is good. I think we all should believe everything we see and read withoout question! Okay, just kidding. I think people who've seen me know my feelings to that question.
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Re: Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby really? » 19 Mar 2010, 22:18

Craig Browning wrote:


Yes, healthy skepticism is important BUT, an outrageous number of folks now days go well outside the parameters of anything remotely healthy let alone "skeptical"... they have become pure Cynics that want everything cut & dry, black & white and in the exact niche boxes they personally ascribe to bar none!

How many is outrageous ? One could arguably claim with full confidence the number of folks out there that beleive strange things is also outrageous. I can confidently say there are far more of the latter than the former, because thinking critically is not a normal way of thinking it requires effort; it's not a natural way our minds process information and draw conclusions.

The element has a cult-mind mentality in which they parrot what St. Randi & Company have told them to say in every given case where the phenomenal may be presented. They do not (such as science would do) leave room for possible "unknown" influences or variables or even the possibility that they really don't know it all.
True, genuine, honest skeptics aren't dogmatic in their views even though they will take most of what they encounter that seem fantastic, with a small Ukrainian Salt Mine.
Yes, healthy skepticism is important BUT, an outrageous number of folks now days go well outside the parameters of anything remotely healthy let alone "skeptical"... they have become pure Cynics that want everything cut & dry, black & white and in the exact niche boxes they personally ascribe to bar none!
[/quote]
Yes, we do leave room. The problem lays with persons such as yourself whom keep saying unknown forces are possible without providing anything more substantial than that. The door is always open however, the longer time goes on without compelling evidence the door opening narrows a bit more. And we don't have a cult like mentality I can assure you.
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Re: Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 19 Mar 2010, 22:53

I'd like clarification on the subject matter please. Are we talking about the JREF or the JREF Forums? The two are completely different as the Forums are open to every type of person on the face of the earth to post their personal opinions. Those opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Management.

Every open forum has it's collection of characters. Some are more outspoken than others but their words and attitudes are their own.
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Re: Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby really? » 20 Mar 2010, 02:53

NinjaPuppy wrote:I'd like clarification on the subject matter please. Are we talking about the JREF or the JREF Forums? The two are completely different as the Forums are open to every type of person on the face of the earth to post their personal opinions. Those opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Management.

Every open forum has it's collection of characters. Some are more outspoken than others but their words and attitudes are their own.


I was responding to Craig Browning's comments ala St. Randi & Company.

To the OP question skepticism is a vital necessity in every aspect of life. If not you'll end up believing anythings possible.
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Re: Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 20 Mar 2010, 08:41

Mia Culpa. I came off of the topic started by Highflyertoo in the JREF topic and posted this here by mistake.
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Re: Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby Craig Browning » 20 Mar 2010, 22:38

[quote=Craig Browning]The element has a cult-mind mentality in which they parrot what St. Randi & Company have told them to say in every given case where the phenomenal may be presented. They do not (such as science would do) leave room for possible "unknown" influences or variables or even the possibility that they really don't know it all.[/quote]

NinjaPuppy wrote:I'd like clarification on the subject matter please. Are we talking about the JREF or the JREF Forums? The two are completely different as the Forums are open to every type of person on the face of the earth to post their personal opinions. Those opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Management.

Every open forum has it's collection of characters. Some are more outspoken than others but their words and attitudes are their own.


I agree that forums are oft times filled with a very wide collection of characters but in this instance I've referred to Randi & Co. only as one example of a bigger picture and how the "inner sanctum" of such groups promote a cult-mind mentality and agenda. There are some very specific goals these groups have, the least of which is "debunking" psychics.

Yes, Randi can be "different" from his supporters in the forum; I've actually had some friendly exchanges with the man when doing research on a handful of questionable characters from time to time. In general though, I don't trust him as far as I could throw him and that goes for many of his higher profiled protegees like Penn Jillett and Jamie Swiss. I think they're bullies and little more.
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Re: Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby wjbeaty » 21 Mar 2010, 15:03

Is skepticism good? Well, from the way skepticism is discussed on this forum, it sounds like skepticism=evil, and healthy skepticism can never exist. The website after all isn't "debunkingskeptopaths.com," or "debunkingscoffers.com." Skepticism is our oft-stated target: skeptics double standards, skeptics ignoring evidence, why I'm not a skeptic, Skeptic magazine. Over and over we say we hold Randi and JREF in low esteem because they're "skeptics," not because they're pseudoskeptics.

But perhaps that's not what SCEPCOP members intend? Well, it's certainly difficult to tell, from the words we actually use. Look at the titles of articles here. And any newcomers will see us constantly using the term "skeptic" to mean "scoffer;" we object to "skepticism" or "skeptical" behavior, and only part of the time does anyone go back to clarify that we actually meant to say "pseudoskeptic" rather than skeptic.

Here's one solution: make a personal decision to stop using the word "skeptic." It's corrupted. It's always misleading and nearly always misused. So simply remove it from your personal vocabulary. This forces us to replace it with clear terms which say what we really intended to say all along.

.
-----------------------------------------------
'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) ) )))))))))))))
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Re: Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby Craig Browning » 21 Mar 2010, 23:25

really? Says;
because thinking critically is not a normal way of thinking it requires effort; it's not a natural way our minds process information and draw conclusions.


I think you said it all… being anal retentive in how you view the world is NOT “NORMAL” and requires effort… like all form of constipation and thus, if we look at the condition from a down-to-earth and logical manner, it’s quite unhealthy, resulting in all manner of bile build-up which can (and typically does) lead to numerous physical manifestations on the health front… especially the arena where delusions of superiority can lead one towards extreme paranoia and bouts with manic-depression.

The problem lays with persons such as yourself whom keep saying unknown forces are possible without providing anything more substantial than that. The door is always open however, the longer time goes on without compelling evidence the door opening narrows a bit more. And we don't have a cult like mentality I can assure you.


For there to be no “cult-mind” factor one would have to express thoughts and actions that are outside the parameters and more importantly, not based upon the approved resources associated with a given group. The Church is a prime example as to how followers found studying materials not sanctioned and/or supported by the sect can and has resulted in disfellowshipping, ostracizing, even the extremes of torture and murder (back in the good ole days).

The parallel to this, when it comes to the “Skeptic’s” good ole boys movement, is to view any actual science that supports the issue of Psi or Paranormal as being “quack science” and anyone that buys into such things as being gullible, uneducated idiots… “lost causes”. Sorry, but those actions and attitudes equate to a Cult-Mind course of presence. Then again, certain skeptic’s groups have been listed as groups of concern when it comes to certain Cult-Watch groups, which I find to be quite interesting. This however is due to the ties such groups have with the various Atheist societies around the globe and their agenda to encroach upon and manipulate society as the scholastic and pseudo-intellectual levels, so as to remove any route of spiritual identity and/or association, from society as a whole a.k.a. the creation of a godless society. But then that could be one reason why I didn’t particular care for some of John Lennon’s points of view…

Oh! and as to that line "such as myself"... you are assuming things. While I do host a level of belief or, to be more concise, I leave the door open to possibility based on personal experiences, I am not one in the same when it comes to the majority of those expressing "blind" states of belief; those that accept an idea based on what they've been taught to believe and expect as well as the group-mind influence. My level of belief and acceptance comes only AFTER I've given an issue time for investigation and general observation by my self and others who seek understanding of such things. This is what being a skeptic used to be about. 8-)

wjbeaty
Here's one solution: make a personal decision to stop using the word "skeptic." It's corrupted. It's always misleading and nearly always misused. So simply remove it from your personal vocabulary. This forces us to replace it with clear terms which say what we really intended to say all along.


AMEN!

This is precisely why I strive to distinguish the difference between the anal-retentive CYNIC vs. those of us that are honest SKEPTICS… individuals that are curious about and willing to learn of those things we do not understand or see as being surreal, uncanny, miraculous, etc.

Your point in regards to the word “Skeptic” is very much akin to how many in the world view the word “Christian” – in either example we are looking at a form of expressed fanaticism that has the nasty habit of infringing upon the rights and held by others that stand outside the parameters of their “cult” configurations and theology. But I could equate this parallel to numerous other as well, where extremism has robbed a term or label of its original implication/meaning.

As we can see with “Realy?” and his constant berating over “little things” cynics take things too far and justify their bullying tactics (in this case) as being proof of their superiority – the ability to apply critical thinking to an issue while failing to accept that the average human being could give a damn less about such things. Not because they are inferior or ignorant but because it serves little to no practical purpose in life as they know it or, to put it more accurately… there are more for most of us to deal with when it comes to survival and the last thing we need is another source for superfluous drama.
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Re: Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby jakesteele » 30 Mar 2010, 02:12

Skeptic: one who is yet undecided as to what is true; one who is looking or inquiring for what is true; an inquirer after facts or reasons. the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism that is characteristic of skeptics

Debunker – one who holds an a priori belief that it does not exist, therefore, it is just a matter of finding a way to explain it away.
Debunkers cloak denialism in the language of skepticism and critical thinking. They start with a conclusion and look for evidence to support what they already believe.

Healthy skepticism is a very important tool to have. It allows you to cut through the bullshit and get down to a base line reading. Every one's heard of the saying, "If it's too good to be true, it probably is." You should be skeptical of things like that; get rich and instant enlightenment schemes in particular.

I employ much skepticism when it comes to all of the areas that fall into the category that a debunker would call woo. I have found that most of it is crapola and sometimes you just have to wade through all of that bullshit and get down to the few that defy explanation. I believe Occam's Razor is an extremely valuable tool but one has to keep in mind Occam's Beard (the simplest solution isn't always the best).
Debunkers think all UFO photos are fake,
especially the real ones.
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Re: Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby NucleicAcid » 06 Apr 2010, 11:56

Depending on the setting, I sometimes use the title psychic and skeptic. That one really makes people give you funny looks. Then I explain to them that I practice psi, and I enjoy exposing people who are deliberate frauds, because they give the industry a bad name.

:ugeek:
Hey, you there. Yes, you. Read more journal articles.

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Re: Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby Craig Browning » 06 Apr 2010, 21:58

NucleicAcid wrote:Depending on the setting, I sometimes use the title psychic and skeptic. That one really makes people give you funny looks. Then I explain to them that I practice psi, and I enjoy exposing people who are deliberate frauds, because they give the industry a bad name.

:ugeek:


Wow! I I think resemble that remark :lol:
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Re: Does everyone on here agree that healthy skepticism is good?

Postby NucleicAcid » 06 Apr 2010, 23:18

Hahaha see I have less of a problem with anyone in the entertainment industry, it's their job to entertain, and if they can throw some solid intuition into the mix, all the better. What pisses me off is people who deliberately do fake things and pass it off as real, like youtube videos of telekinesis. At least I'll claim that while there is a chance it could be naturalistic causes, I'm not deliberately faking it.

It's funny/sad. You get these people who have relatively obvious fakes, and you get 13 year olds commenting "OMG UR A MASTER TEACH ME HOW YOU DO IT" and it's just like uggghhhhh idiots...both of them.
Hey, you there. Yes, you. Read more journal articles.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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