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Rationalwiki vows to take on SCEPCOP

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Rationalwiki vows to take on SCEPCOP

Postby Purple Scissor » 23 Jul 2009, 11:19

"Hehe, "SCEPCOP is the world's first organized counter-skeptic group." What does that make them? Credulous idiots... ħuman sub 05:23, 22 July 2009 (UTC) "

http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/RationalWi ... other_lode

Several editors from Rationalwiki showed up at WikiSynergy (and made some good helpful suggestions by the way). If they want to just have fun debunking SCEPCOP on Rationalwiki they will I am sure have a wonderful time by themselves. However, if 1) they were willing to abide by our rules and 2) SCEPCOP were willing to put up some material at WikiSynergy for them to debunk, then we might really get something going which would actually improve arguments on both sides.

Our rules which might be most relevant are here:
http://wikisynergy.com/~wikisyne/w/inde ... atmosphere
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Re: Rationalwiki vows to take on SCEPCOP

Postby antiskeptic » 23 Jul 2009, 12:01

You want to debate these people who are calling us "credulous idiots?" Count me out.
No one knows how old the human race is exactly, but we can all agree that we should be old enough to know better.
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Re: Rationalwiki vows to take on SCEPCOP

Postby Eteponge » 23 Jul 2009, 13:18

Actually, Winston's well known article on pseudo-skepticism and some of the other articles on the site and in threads posted on here that they (and other skeptics on the web) have pointed out as having logical fallacies actually *do* contain *some* logical fallacies that I feel should be revised and reworded for the sake of credibility. That just gives fuel for the debunkers, if you don't correct logical fallacies others point out in your material.

I definitely get Winston's point in his articles, what he is trying to convey, but I too can see where this and that part can easily be interpreted by Skeptics as a logical fallacy, and if reworded and revised a bit by Winston, could be made less criticized and more accepted.

I don't like how that "rational wiki" groups everyone involved here together as agreeing with everything posted on this website. I certainly don't. I have serious issues with *some* of the topics discussed here (like the 9/11 stuff and NWO stuff). I mainly stick to my own research and areas of interest. NDE / OBE oriented research, Dorothy Allison research, ADCs / DBVs research, Apparitions research, Etc. All in the context of Veridical Information in those types of cases, that suggest there may be more going on than the conventional explanations suggest.
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Re: Rationalwiki vows to take on SCEPCOP

Postby Purple Scissor » 23 Jul 2009, 15:28

antiskeptic wrote:You want to debate these people who are calling us "credulous idiots?" Count me out.


No, no. Listen, they will have to behave in a collegial way, or they'll get blocked. That's all there is to it. Let them say what they want on Rationalwiki, if you come to WS you'll be treated well enough, or someone will get busted. If you are not willing to debate, you never refine your argument.
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Re: Rationalwiki vows to take on SCEPCOP

Postby Purple Scissor » 23 Jul 2009, 15:35

Eteponge wrote:Actually, Winston's well known article on pseudo-skepticism and some of the other articles on the site and in threads posted on here that they (and other skeptics on the web) have pointed out as having logical fallacies actually *do* contain *some* logical fallacies that I feel should be revised and reworded for the sake of credibility. That just gives fuel for the debunkers, if you don't correct logical fallacies others point out in your material.

I definitely get Winston's point in his articles, what he is trying to convey, but I too can see where this and that part can easily be interpreted by Skeptics as a logical fallacy, and if reworded and revised a bit by Winston, could be made less criticized and more accepted.

I don't like how that "rational wiki" groups everyone involved here together as agreeing with everything posted on this website. I certainly don't. I have serious issues with *some* of the topics discussed here (like the 9/11 stuff and NWO stuff). I mainly stick to my own research and areas of interest. NDE / OBE oriented research, Dorothy Allison research, ADCs / DBVs research, Apparitions research, Etc. All in the context of Veridical Information in those types of cases, that suggest there may be more going on than the conventional explanations suggest.


I agree with this (no offense Winston). I read through these pages and being a wiki fanatic, I want to edit them. I would love to make Winston's work into a dialogue, or rather, let him and others refine it based on criticism. There might be a problem if he sticks to it and everyone else disagrees, but I doubt he would do that if he were wrong. At the least, he would have his own views on the wiki. Well, that's my 2 cents, I would like to engage with these people, to let them correct anything I or we have wrong, and if they stick to unscientific debunking arguments I want to clearly show exactly how wrong they are, side by side with realism.
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Re: Rationalwiki vows to take on SCEPCOP

Postby Scepcop » 23 Jul 2009, 20:19

Eteponge wrote:Actually, Winston's well known article on pseudo-skepticism and some of the other articles on the site and in threads posted on here that they (and other skeptics on the web) have pointed out as having logical fallacies actually *do* contain *some* logical fallacies that I feel should be revised and reworded for the sake of credibility. That just gives fuel for the debunkers, if you don't correct logical fallacies others point out in your material.

I definitely get Winston's point in his articles, what he is trying to convey, but I too can see where this and that part can easily be interpreted by Skeptics as a logical fallacy, and if reworded and revised a bit by Winston, could be made less criticized and more accepted.

I don't like how that "rational wiki" groups everyone involved here together as agreeing with everything posted on this website. I certainly don't. I have serious issues with *some* of the topics discussed here (like the 9/11 stuff and NWO stuff). I mainly stick to my own research and areas of interest. NDE / OBE oriented research, Dorothy Allison research, ADCs / DBVs research, Apparitions research, Etc. All in the context of Veridical Information in those types of cases, that suggest there may be more going on than the conventional explanations suggest.


Hi Eteponge,
Well can you be specific and point out what you think are logical fallacies or untrue statements in my treatise or in the mini essays from the home page? We can discuss them honestly and openly here. That's what this forum is for.

Honestly though, ANYONE, even a retard, can CLAIM that someone else makes "logical fallacies". All you have to do is take one of their statements that is not true 100 percent of the time (and no rule, statement or pattern is true 100 percent of the time anyway) and claim that to be a fallacy because it does not apply in every case. Anyone can do that.

The fact of the matter is, as long as my CONCLUSIONS do not agree with the pseudo-skeptics, they will ALWAYS claim that I'm committing logical fallacies. If I wrote an essay and concluded that the evidence for psi is weak or nonexistence and that there's no good evidence for it, they would NOT be claiming that I'm committing logical fallacies, now would they? :) Think about it... Be realistic and use your common sense.

But the bottom line and most important thing is this: In my treatise and in the new essays on the home page, I give FACTS and REAL LIFE EXAMPLES. Now, how one INTERPRETS the facts is another matter. But I did not make untrue statements or say anything that is "generally" (in most cases) untrue, to the best of my knowledge. If you disagree, then please point out where I made statements which were in error or "generally untrue in most cases".

Some specific examples:

- I said that if you went to a supermarket and asked the staff what aisle the bread was, you'd usually be pointed to the right aisle, between 90 and 100 percent of the time. Anyone can test this. No one disputes this. This is true. Do you have a problem with it? The point in this example was that most things you hear check out. A few weeks ago I heard that Michael Jackson passed away, and so did Farrah Fawcett. Upon googling their names, I confirmed that the news was true. Again, checked out. Do you disagree with this? Can you demonstrate that MOST things you hear are not true? What is your beef with this Eteponge?

- I said that most of what I remember checks out too. I have seen some movies back in the early 1980's, only once, yet when I saw them again last year on YouTube, some of the lines and scenes from my memory back in the early 80's CHECKED OUT. Right from memory, I can say that I remember that the movie "The Karate Kid" came out in 1984 during the summer. Care to check on this? I am pulling this straight from memory only. I have not verified this memory.

Now, am I saying that memory or anecdotal evidence is infallible and 100 percent true? Of course not. No one is. But most of what I hear and remember does check out. That's the point. Call that a fallacy if you want, but the facts are the facts. And as you told me, Eteponge, you are all about weighing the data and facts right? So how is this a "fallacy" or weak point to you? You'll have to explain it.

Therefore, I argued that since at least half the people in the world have experienced something paranormal (e.g. ghosts or ESP or telepathy), then there's a GOOD BET and high probability that there's something to it, rather than that all the claims are due to mistake or fraud. I'm sure you agree with that too.

Where is the fallacy in this?

A pseudoskeptic can claim that this argument is based on a fallacy they call "argument from popularity" and is also "unscientific". But so what? The facts are still the facts. Most things I hear do check out. So how is that a fallacy? Merely because it isn't true 100 percent of the time in all cases?! So that makes it a fallacy???????? Do you see how insane and ridiculous that is?

Using the same logic, I could also say that the skeptics' belief that "if you can't demonstrate it in the lab, and repeat it under control, then there's no evidence for it" is a fallacy too, because it is NOT 100 percent true in all cases. And therefore, it is a fallacy and subject to mistake or error. Do you see how that goes? It's all a semantic word game. ANYONE, ANY FOOL can point fingers and yell "Logical fallacy!"

But facts are facts.

And if you want me to change something on this site or in the treatise, you will have to show me where and what statement I've made is "generally untrue" or "untrue in most cases". Understand? Agreed?

To Purple Scissors: You are to take my mini essays and expand upon them in your new Wikisynergy site, adding citations and references if you want, which is how a Wiki site is supposed to be. Just try to reword my sentences so they don't match exactly, ok?

Now, back to the issue. On this site, I've cited numerous specific instances where pseudoskeptics use double standards in their reasoning. For example, they accept anecdotal evidence when it supports their position or that of orthodoxy. Yet when it is used against their beliefs, they say it is invalid as evidence. Lots of truth seekers here have concurred and given specific instances and specific people where this double standard was used. What is wrong with that? We are just calling it as we see it, based on the skeptics' words and actions. So how is that a fallacy?

Take a look at us and take a look at the JREF forum members. They behave like a religious cult. They believe that Randi is never wrong and they never criticize anything he says or does. Look at us. We do not defend or endorse every psychic or paranormalist out there, do we? No of course not. That's because we are truth seekers, while they are dogmatists. We will not side with those on our side if the data says they are wrong. I'm sure you, Eteponge, would agree. Right?

So, if anyone feels that I've made statements that are untrue or generally untrue or made factual errors in my points, you'll have to point them out. Otherwise, uttering a blanket statements like "I don't agree with Winston on everything. He has made some logical fallacies." doesn't go anywhere and doesn't say anything.

Agreed? Do we have a mutual understanding on this?

PS - Now I just thought of an objectivity test for the skeptics who come here and want to stay here. I'm thinking that it's a good test of how honest and objective they are, or whether they have a cult dogmatist mentality. See my post about it in the "debating skeptics" board, coming soon. I'd like to hear what you think.

Thanks,
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Re: Rationalwiki vows to take on SCEPCOP

Postby Scepcop » 23 Jul 2009, 21:38

BTW Eteponge, since you are on the SCEPCOP committee and do not agree with everything in the treatise or home page, I think then that I should put a disclaimer next to the committee profiles, something like this:

"The committee members do not necessarily agree or endorse with every statement on this site or with Vinstonas on every issue. They are here because they unanimously protest against the organized skeptics movements and feel that pseudo-skeptics are wrong about many things and commit fallacious reasoning on many issues."

Good idea?
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Re: Rationalwiki vows to take on SCEPCOP

Postby Eteponge » 24 Jul 2009, 00:06

Scepcop wrote:BTW Eteponge, since you are on the SCEPCOP committee and do not agree with everything in the treatise or home page, I think then that I should put a disclaimer next to the committee profiles, something like this:

"The committee members do not necessarily agree or endorse with every statement on this site or with Vinstonas on every issue. They are here because they unanimously protest against the organized skeptics movements and feel that pseudo-skeptics are wrong about many things and commit fallacious reasoning on many issues."

Good idea?

That would be great. It's just human nature not to agree with everything another person or persons believes, says, or endorses, even if they are in the same field of research. I'm sure you don't fully agree, for example, which every single thing that Victor Zammit endorses or believes or says. Different people in these fields have different opinions. For example, Stanton Friedman, UFO Researcher, doesn't have much interest in Paranormal Stuff, and Fortean Loren Coleman doesn't have much interest in UFO Stuff, and NDE Researchers stick to that stuff and ADC / DBV stuff, but generally have no opinion or interests in other fields.

As for the logical fallacy thing, I'll need to re-read the article sections I remember. But, overall, it's more of a thing where, when I see the Skeptics criticizing this and that part as a logical fallacy, I could see where this and that portion could easily be read by a Skeptic as being a logical fallacy, that if reworded and revised, would clearly no longer be suggested to be that. Not that they all are actually logical fallacies, but that they could easily be interpreted as such if they are not clarified further.

For example of a easy Skeptic twisting one might say, if you were to point out, for example, that many Scientists of the past had the exact same auto-dismissive attitude that skeptics have now towards the paranormal and dismissed real stuff, they will *easily* twist that into "So that must mean everything dismissed by scientists must be true! Hahaha! Logical fallacy!", when that's not actually what you meant. Unless, you clarify what you are saying further, and add additional clarification, such as, "so they should be more open-minded and actually examine the data more carefully. I'm not saying this means that everything dismissed by Skeptics must be true, I'm saying that attitude has been wrong in the past, and that more careful examination of the data and a better attitude is more reliable than just dismissing everything out of hand." Then they couldn't cry logical fallacy on you.

The point I was trying to really make is, needing to reword and revise stuff to basically hold their hand and walk them through what you are saying, so they can't stab you in the back later and cry logical fallacy simply because you did not clarify what you meant enough.

Like, if you make a post, that says "so and so amount of highly educated americans believe in Ghosts" you are posting that to suggest that people who are generally of high intellect, critical thinking, and integrity believe in Ghosts, and that because of their education, they might be more convinced by data and critical examination of personal experience, than by "just silly superstition" or "hearing a good ghost story" like undereducated people might.

However, the Skeptic will read the post of "so and so amount of highly educated americans believe in Ghosts" and twist it into "So that means it must be true! Logical Fallacy of appealing to population!" Etc.

Basically, if you don't carefully word stuff, and baby step walk them every step of the way of what you are suggesting, they will find an opening to stab you in the back, with logical fallacies (if you don't clarify enough, it's easy to see where they can jab that in).

If that makes sense? That's what I was getting at.
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Re: Rationalwiki vows to take on SCEPCOP

Postby tmtoulouse » 24 Jul 2009, 01:00

Scepcop wrote:Some specific examples:

- I said that if you went to a supermarket and asked the staff what aisle the bread was, you'd usually be pointed to the right aisle, between 90 and 100 percent of the time. Anyone can test this. No one disputes this. This is true. Do you have a problem with it? The point in this example was that most things you hear check out. A few weeks ago I heard that Michael Jackson passed away, and so did Farrah Fawcett. Upon googling their names, I confirmed that the news was true. Again, checked out. Do you disagree with this? Can you demonstrate that MOST things you hear are not true? What is your beef with this Eteponge?

- I said that most of what I remember checks out too. I have seen some movies back in the early 1980's, only once, yet when I saw them again last year on YouTube, some of the lines and scenes from my memory back in the early 80's CHECKED OUT. Right from memory, I can say that I remember that the movie "The Karate Kid" came out in 1984 during the summer. Care to check on this? I am pulling this straight from memory only. I have not verified this memory.

...

Therefore, I argued that since at least half the people in the world have experienced something paranormal (e.g. ghosts or ESP or telepathy), then there's a GOOD BET and high probability that there's something to it, rather than that all the claims are due to mistake or fraud. I'm sure you agree with that too.

Where is the fallacy in this?


It is certainly not a formal logical fallacy, but there are many informal logically fallacies with in these statements. Psychological research over the last 100 years has discovered several nearly universal qualities of human cognition that render anecdotal evidence questionable at best. First, memories are easily modifiable. Any fuzziness or ambiguities in a memory get "filled in" with each analysis and retelling, eventually locking the memory in place with something that can have little to do with the actual event. Memory alterations can also be strongly influenced by the beliefs and motivations of the individual.

Second, even if a given memory is a 100 percent accurate human cognition forces patterns, purpose and intelligence onto phenomenon which actually lack all of those qualities. This has to do with signal detection theory, and pattern detection. The cost of a missing intent or pattern in a behavior is much greater than the cost of a false positive. It is better to assume that the rustling in the leafs is a panther than the wind, if you are right you escape being eaten, if you are wrong well all you do is waste a little energy getting away. This innate cognitive proccess means that purely natural phenomenon with light, dust, electromagnetism, and many other perfectly normal things, can easily get labeled as having intelligence and intent.

Finally, humans seek out information that confirms their hypothesis. There has been a lot of interesting cognitive research into this one. Classic example is the Wason Card Problem. Four cards are shown, one with a vowel, one with a consonant, one with an even number, one with an odd number. The hypothesis people are asked to test if "if a card has a vowel on one side, it has an even number on the other side." Which two cards should you flip over to test this idea? The answer is the vowel and odd numbered card. Most people select the vowel and the even numbered card. This is because they are trying to confirm their hypothesis and focus only on potential confirmation evidence. This has been shown in psychology again, and again. It is extremely robust. People remember the times when their assumptions are proven valid and forget/dismiss when they are proven false. Your example of why anecdotal evidence is valid is a classic for this. How many times has it been wrong, but you just didn't count it?

Really what you need to do is very carefully check off each time you hear anecdotal evidence and place it into a category of "verified and true", "verified and false," and "unverifiable." Do this for every example you hear, and then see which comes out on top. If you notice we are starting to get very close to the principles of the scientific method, there is a reason why it such an amazing system for developing knowledge.

Last, the examples you included are not really anecdotal. If you go to someone who has trained to gain specific knowledge and ask them about that knowledge you are not seeking anecdotal evidence but rather expert opinion. Asking a store clerk where the bread is in his shop is not getting anecdotal evidence. An example of anecdotal evidence would be, "Bread is kept in aisle 2 of all Smith grocery stores because I have been in 3 different stores and all of them have bread in that aisle." Another example of anecdotal evidence is what you just provided to prove anecdotal evidence. I hope the irony is not lost.
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Re: Rationalwiki vows to take on SCEPCOP

Postby Purple Scissor » 24 Jul 2009, 04:38

Vinstonas, I think you may be defending yourself against fallacies we did not say you made. Anecdotal evidence is quite sound if checked properly; relative to what was observed, if not what actually happened in all cases. Who said there was a fallacy there?? You seem to have been criticized on this so often you assume that is what we mean.

"But, overall, it's more of a thing where, when I see the Skeptics criticizing this and that part as a logical fallacy, I could see where this and that portion could easily be read by a Skeptic as being a logical fallacy, that if reworded and revised, would clearly no longer be suggested to be that."

Yes, that is generally the case, it could be less easy to assail, and there are a few cases I think you get it wrong. I can look up at least one if you wish. That's all I was saying. But it is pretty much impossible to help with the treatise through these forums except if there are major flaws. If you want to have complete control of it, you'll be more or less on your own for correcting or combing out the things easily misunderstood.
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Re: Rationalwiki vows to take on SCEPCOP

Postby Scepcop » 26 Jul 2009, 10:10

Eteponge,
Yeah I get your point, but I think you are giving those skeptics more credit than they deserve. Even if I reworded things so that it would be more difficult to twist them into fallacies, they will STILL twist them into fallacies or make that charge. They will do that as long as you draw conclusions that they don't like.

As you know, words can easily be twisted or changed. They are too malleable. Anyone can twist another person's words if they want to. There is no irrefutable solid prevention of that. People will always see what they want to see, and find flaws if they want to find them, even if the flaws are in their own mind.

Thus I consider it unavoidable. Do you see my point?

Like I said, anyone can twist words, but providing facts, evidence and real life examples is the real bread and butter. And I challenge the pseudoskeptics to provide that instead of just accusing others of bogus fallacies.
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Re: Rationalwiki vows to take on SCEPCOP

Postby Scepcop » 26 Jul 2009, 12:01

tmtoulouse,
Yeah I've heard about those studies before. Of course memory is malleable and some of what we remember is false. I've even remembered certain scenes from TV shows, that when I watch again turned out to be different than the images in my memory. Again, no one denies that memory is not 100 percent accurate.

But that doesn't mean that all memory is invalid, nor does it prove that over 50 percent of our memories are false memories. Not at all. In fact, most of what I remember DOES check out.

You have to look at the situation and factors.

Most memories of insignificant details are soon forgotten.

But memories that have to do with traumatic events for example, will stand out and be remembered the same years from the time that they occur, as the day after. They are far more likely to be accurate. For example, do you remember where you were and what you were doing on 9/11 when you heard about the news? Do you remember who was with you at that time? If so, can you contact them to verify that you were where you remembered you were? If you do, you will probably find out that your memories concur, because they were vivid enough to make an imprint on your memory, even years after.

Same with the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster of 1985.

Likewise, paranormal events tend to be shocking, significant and unusual, therefore the brain will remember them more clearly than ordinary routine details. Agreed?

Therefore, they are more likely to be very accurate.

And besides, when I have a paranormal experience, I usually write it down the day after to make sure that my memory of it doesn't change over time. And when I do, sure enough what I wrote down MATCHES what I remember long after.

Does that make sense tmtoulouse?
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Re: Rationalwiki vows to take on SCEPCOP

Postby jakesteele » 27 Jul 2009, 11:44

antiskeptic wrote:You want to debate these people who are calling us "credulous idiots?" Count me out.


Absolutely, yes!! I do so on a regular basis at JREF and the other skeptic sites. There's an old saying, "Know thine enemy". You find out what makes them tick, you begin to see patterns emerge which gives you an overview of the mindset and methods. Not only that, there are some very intelligent folks on these sites and I have learned a lot in general by reading threads that I'm not involved in due to the complex nature of it. And, also, it will help you keep your blade sharp and on your toes. It makes you think and really have to practice critical thinking skills.

True, they've got some real dicks over there that are suffer from their own form of delusional thinking like they are accusing woo's of doing. It makes for great entertainment.

I do, however, want to see a strict "civility/anti-adhominem" policy strictly enforced. On JREF they go way over the top on that crap. I don't want to see it here.
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