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Skeptics dont challenge Status Quo Fallacy

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Skeptics dont challenge Status Quo Fallacy

Postby derrida » 26 Oct 2010, 02:17

that the skeptics dont challenge the status quo is a fallacy
frankly i found this argument quite funny since is a total lie from believers.
so i think we could give examples

3/4 of the newspapers in United States carry an astrology column
48% percent of americans believe in astrology
http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/s ... _index.htm

skeptics challenge the status quo by not adhering to the astrology nonsense
do you got any more examples like that or better?
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Re: Skeptics dont challenge Status Quo Fallacy

Postby Arouet » 26 Oct 2010, 02:24

Not to mention that what the hell is the status quo anyway? I don't think there is any such thing. We live in an ever changing world. Skeptics tend to be pro-science and what leads to more change in our society than science? Skeptics change their minds all the time on various topics? Why? Because we tend to look into things more than non-skeptics, and thus our views become more refined as our knowledge increases.
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Re: Skeptics dont challenge Status Quo Fallacy

Postby derrida » 26 Oct 2010, 03:13

Arouet wrote:Not to mention that what the hell is the status quo anyway? I don't think there is any such thing. We live in an ever changing world. Skeptics tend to be pro-science and what leads to more change in our society than science? Skeptics change their minds all the time on various topics? Why? Because we tend to look into things more than non-skeptics, and thus our views become more refined as our knowledge increases.


of course!
you put it better than i could !
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Re: Skeptics dont challenge Status Quo Fallacy

Postby RarelyImpressed » 27 Oct 2010, 03:32

LOL.....you challenge the status quo, but you used an example of astrology in the newspaper? lololol.....ok there buddy you missed your own point.
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Re: Skeptics dont challenge Status Quo Fallacy

Postby OmegaChaos » 29 Oct 2010, 03:26

Astrology is not Status Quo LOL...Status Quo means establishment science.everything officially accepted etc.And I agree that modern astrology is not really accurate...and that rocks in space can influence your life or your personality,is ofc not true.
There is so much disinformation about it.

And still,those mainstream skeptics have never challenged establishment or mainstream science.
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Re: Skeptics dont challenge Status Quo Fallacy

Postby Arouet » 29 Oct 2010, 03:43

OmegaChaos wrote:Astrology is not Status Quo LOL...Status Quo means establishment science.everything officially accepted etc.


What does "establishment science" mean? There are thousands and thousands of scientists out there, from those working in private corporations to the government, are they all establishment? Studies are overturned all the time. A recent study showed that something like 50% of medical studies are overturned at some point. So where do we nail down the status quo there? Official positions change all the time, often in reaction to those studies, or public pressure, etc.

And still,those mainstream skeptics have never challenged establishment or mainstream science.


Nonsense. Stephen Novella on a recent SGU spent about 15 minutes attacking big Pharma (think it was last week's episode). Skeptics have been been involved in lobbying against many government policies, take for example, the current campaign for libel reform in the UK, which involve several prominent skeptics.

You guys like to throw out these big generalisations, but they don't really stand to scrutiny. But I guess its fun to throw them out there, eh?
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Re: Skeptics dont challenge Status Quo Fallacy

Postby derrida » 29 Oct 2010, 07:15

i think there´s a missunderstanding because i used astrology
but only because that was the first bunk of thing i see at least half of the population believes in

Status quo, a commonly used form of the original Latin "statu quo" – literally "the state in which" – is a Latin term meaning the current or existing state of affairs.[1] To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are. The related phrase status quo ante, literally "the state in which before", means "the state of affairs that existed previously".[2]

i could also have gone with GOD and religion.
im just saying
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Re: Skeptics dont challenge Status Quo Fallacy

Postby Scepcop » 31 Oct 2010, 05:26

Status quo means official. Sure it may be a generalization. But it is true that Randi and Shermer do not challenge anything official or established. For example, the official version of 9/11 or the JFK Assassination. Or the FDA or CDC. Or the official version of any history. Or Evolution despite its flaws.
“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: Skeptics dont challenge Status Quo Fallacy

Postby Arouet » 31 Oct 2010, 09:01

Scepcop wrote:Status quo means official. Sure it may be a generalization. But it is true that Randi and Shermer do not challenge anything official or established. For example, the official version of 9/11 or the JFK Assassination. Or the FDA or CDC. Or the official version of any history. Or Evolution despite its flaws.


Scepcop, I've posted several examples which go against your premise here. Did you not see them, or have you just erased them from your memory?

Also, what does it mean to challenge? If they have analyzed the official position critically and end up agreeing, at least in principle, can they really be said not to have challenged it.

Also, you can't cherry-pick your pet issues and take other individuals to task for not dealing with that particular issue. If Randi and Shermer have not dealt directly with JFK assassination (I have no idea if they have or not) perhaps it is because it is outside of their interests. There are a plethora of topics out there and no one person can be knowledgeable about them all. Different skeptics have different areas of concern.

And how critically do you evaluate these things anyway? I've never seen you post a source that wasn't a youtube video, which is about as bottom of the barrel as you can get with regard to sources. I mean, would you ever site any of these videos in a scholarly paper? I wouldn't think so. Maybe you should look to your own practices before turning on others'.
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Re: Skeptics dont challenge Status Quo Fallacy

Postby Jackal » 26 Nov 2010, 22:55

OmegaChaos wrote:Astrology is not Status Quo LOL...Status Quo means establishment science.everything officially accepted etc.

Yes, Astrology columns in newspapers are just pure entertainment for the masses. Perhaps western astrology might be based on a few legitimate principles, but even if so, I doubt that the "astrologers" who write for the daily papers follow them.

Arouet wrote:What does "establishment science" mean? There are thousands and thousands of scientists out there, from those working in private corporations to the government, are they all establishment? Studies are overturned all the time. A recent study showed that something like 50% of medical studies are overturned at some point. So where do we nail down the status quo there? Official positions change all the time, often in reaction to those studies, or public pressure, etc.


"Status quo" usually is taken to mean "those in power." And here I think we mean "the fundamental wordview of those who are in power." Part of that worldview is often that paranormal phenomena are all just B.S. Few people want to risk their reputations by saying otherwise, despite any amount of evidence to the contrary ("Do we believe in ghosts? Heheharar. Of course not, we're respectable scientists."). It's more a result of the social dynamics of groups and conformity: it's never easy to be different.

Perhaps scientists may occasionally argue about the details of science, but they will almost never even investigate things which are outside their basic assumptions (such as whether mental events can precede neurological events).

It's similar to the fact that Republicans may bicker with Democrats about certain issues, but both will never publicly question the assumptions of capitalism which they both share.

Arouet wrote:Nonsense. Stephen Novella on a recent SGU spent about 15 minutes attacking big Pharma (think it was last week's episode). Skeptics have been been involved in lobbying against many government policies, take for example, the current campaign for libel reform in the UK, which involve several prominent skeptics.

Challenging a law is much less radical then challenging someone's whole worldview. Some politicians may want state-run healthcare. Some politicians may prefer to promote private health insurance, but both probably don't believe in ghosts and don't believe that the mind can exist after death (or at least would not admit so publicly).

A better example of a skeptic changing things is Einstein. During his time, scientists believed that light traveled in a medium called "aether," but Einstein showed that this was totally wrong and showed that light could travel in a vacuum and that's it's speed was always constant.

So, yes, sometimes skeptics do challenge the status quo in a profound way, but very, very rarely...
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Re: Skeptics dont challenge Status Quo Fallacy

Postby Arouet » 27 Nov 2010, 00:50

Jakal: you are talking about a huge number of people, with all sorts of ideas. You are also not taking into account that many scientists may have seriously contemplated and even investigated or researched areas such as psi or the paranormal and rejected them as likely explanations.

You're also missing my point that science continues, we learn more and more about the universe all the time, our ideas about the universe expand all the time. There is no such thing as status quo when it comes to science. It is changing all the time.

And there are scientists who are studying psi. They are doing experiments, and there is discussion about those experiments. To date, we have little more than possible statistical anomalies. Perhaps one day there will be a breakthrough that mainstream science can't ignore. But that hasn't happened yet.

And it is hardly like people discuss paranormal issues hidden secretly in the closet. There is all sorts of discussion out there. All sorts of hypotheses. All sorts of "unknowns". All sorts of gaps. The history of science has been the filling in of those gaps. The future of science may even be to fill some of those gaps in with psi, or aliens, or whatever. But it must be done on sufficient reliable evidence. Most of what we see out there is speculation, anomaly hunting, and argument from ignorance. I know its makes people feel better to just believe that the only reason mainstream science doesn't accept these things is because they are closed-minded. But that's not very satisfying, is it? It's an easy scapegoat and draws attention away from the evidentiary problems involving the supernatural. It also draws attention away from the fact that we humans are flawed observers. That's what science aims to control for.
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Re: Skeptics dont challenge Status Quo Fallacy

Postby Jackal » 19 Feb 2011, 07:37

Arouet wrote:You're also missing my point that science continues, we learn more and more about the universe all the time, our ideas about the universe expand all the time.

Yes, it continues, but mainly this just consists of filling in the details within the current paradigm. Most scientists don't question the assumptions of the current paradigm. It's what they were taught and what they are comfortable with, so they would rather not question those ideas, even though major scientific discoveries in the past have forced big paradigm shifts (the discovery that the Earth orbits around the Sun, relativity, evolution , etc.)

Arouet wrote:There is no such thing as status quo when it comes to science. It is changing all the time.

If "status quo" refers to ideas, then my answer is the same as the one I already above. There is certainly a "status quo" (in the political sense) in the scientific community. Try to publish some research about paranormal phenomena in a major scientific journal and you will come up against the resistance of the status quo very quickly.

Arouet wrote:And it is hardly like people discuss paranormal issues hidden secretly in the closet. There is all sorts of discussion out there. All sorts of hypotheses. All sorts of "unknowns". All sorts of gaps. The history of science has been the filling in of those gaps. The future of science may even be to fill some of those gaps in with psi, or aliens, or whatever. But it must be done on sufficient reliable evidence.

I rather like your idealistic view of scientists. I wish I would encounter more scientists who actually lived up to it...

Arouet wrote: Most of what we see out there is speculation, anomaly hunting, and argument from ignorance. I know its makes people feel better to just believe that the only reason mainstream science doesn't accept these things is because they are closed-minded. But that's not very satisfying, is it? It's an easy scapegoat and draws attention away from the evidentiary problems involving the supernatural. It also draws attention away from the fact that we humans are flawed observers. That's what science aims to control for.

I can understand that scientists don't get excited about the paranormal because it hasn't been proven scientifically yet. That's fine. Science is a game with its own rules and scientists prefer their own game.

But I think the mistake is assuming that science is the only game in town and that other systems of thought are foolish. Pure mathematics extends beyond the bounds of anything that is useful for anything practical or physical and it's not foolish. Philosophy and basic logic are other systems of thought by which one can produce reasonable conclusions about things that can't/haven't yet been scientifically proven.

And science can't say too much about subjective mental experiences. If there's an apple, do I see the same red that you see? How does the person doing the measuring influence the outcome of a quantum physics experiment? It's in the area of consciousness and its interaction with matter that most scientific ideas break down.
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Re: Skeptics dont challenge Status Quo Fallacy

Postby Arouet » 19 Feb 2011, 10:43

Jackal wrote:Yes, it continues, but mainly this just consists of filling in the details within the current paradigm. Most scientists don't question the assumptions of the current paradigm. It's what they were taught and what they are comfortable with, so they would rather not question those ideas, even though major scientific discoveries in the past have forced big paradigm shifts (the discovery that the Earth orbits around the Sun, relativity, evolution , etc.)


I don't know how you can say what scientists question. But paradigms shouldn't change all the time, and when they change it should be based on overwhelming evidence. And of course most areas that scientists focus on aren't going to be particularly likely to generate paradigm shifts.

Arouet wrote:If "status quo" refers to ideas, then my answer is the same as the one I already above. There is certainly a "status quo" (in the political sense) in the scientific community. Try to publish some research about paranormal phenomena in a major scientific journal and you will come up against the resistance of the status quo very quickly.


But a lot of science encounters resistance. Most papers get rejected. And parapsychological papers do get accepted on occasion: look at bem's recent paper. I'm not saying there isn't resistance against parapsychology, but we don't just measure status quo based on acceptance of psi do we? We are learning more and more all the time. And like I said: something like psi must have a very high standard, given the paradigm-shifting nature of it.

I rather like your idealistic view of scientists. I wish I would encounter more scientists who actually lived up to it...


Amazing discoveries continue to happen all the time!

But I think the mistake is assuming that science is the only game in town and that other systems of thought are foolish. Pure mathematics extends beyond the bounds of anything that is useful for anything practical or physical and it's not foolish. Philosophy and basic logic are other systems of thought by which one can produce reasonable conclusions about things that can't/haven't yet been scientifically proven.


Science is not necessarily the only game in town, and some things aren't conducive to scientific methodology. But science is to date the most reliable method we have for learning how the universe works. I'm open to other methods- but they must be shown to be reliable. Philosophy has its place - with morals and ethics mostly, but its not necessarily the best manner of dicovering what is real. Now that experimental philosophy is picking up steam, that may change.

And science can't say too much about subjective mental experiences. If there's an apple, do I see the same red that you see? How does the person doing the measuring influence the outcome of a quantum physics experiment? It's in the area of consciousness and its interaction with matter that most scientific ideas break down.


"can't" may be going too far. Hasn't yet is more accurate. As Dr. Novella has said they are making steady progress in figuring out how the brain works and narrowing in on consciousness. This is highly complex. Neuroscience is progressing. Give it time.
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