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Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Universit

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Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Universit

Postby really? » 17 Sep 2011, 19:45

Really nothing to say other than it's free.
To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to iTunes U collections


Are you confident you can reason clearly? Are you able to convince others of your point of view? Are you able to give plausible reasons for believing what you believe? Do you sometimes read arguments in the newspapers, hear them on the television, or in the pub and wish you knew how to confidently evaluate them? In this six-part course, you will learn all about arguments, how to identify them, how to evaluate them, and how not to mistake bad arguments for good. Such skills are invaluable if you are concerned about the truth of your beliefs, and the cogency of your arguments.

Critical Reasoning for Beginners - Download free content from Oxford University on iTunes
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Re: Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Unive

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 18 Sep 2011, 02:31

I want to ask who else here you think needs the lessons? But that would be impolite. So I'll just ask, do you think I need it?
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Re: Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Unive

Postby really? » 18 Sep 2011, 21:30

Twain Shakespeare wrote:I want to ask who else here you think needs the lessons? But that would be impolite. So I'll just ask, do you think I need it?


I had no one in mind and everyone in mind.
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Re: Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Unive

Postby craig weiler » 19 Sep 2011, 11:47

It's a nice idea, but my experience is that it doesn't save anyone from cognitive dissonance. A denier is a denier by any other name.
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Re: Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Unive

Postby Arouet » 19 Sep 2011, 12:27

You'd have to consult a psychologist, but I think understanding critical thinking does help one identify cognitive dissonance which is the first step in saving oneself from it. Most people don't even know the term. Learning about logical fallacies can help one avoid them.

That said: cognitive dissonance is a pretty inbred natural inclination, and is not easy to shed.
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Re: Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Unive

Postby craig weiler » 19 Sep 2011, 23:28

Actually, critical thinking doesn't do much good against it. The reason is that cognitive dissonance is a fear based response and it reaches the brain before anything else, short circuiting anything that gets in its way.

To evade those effects, you have to be emotionally aware of your reactions, otherwise your logic will be warped without you having the slightest idea that it happened.

For instance: If I ask you the question: "What will it take for you to agree that psi exists? And you can't find a way to answer it, you're experiencing cognitive dissonance. Try it; it's a good mental exercise. You don't have to share the answer with me, I don't care. I just want to show you what happens when you're forced to think differently and how hard it can be.
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Re: Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Unive

Postby Arouet » 19 Sep 2011, 23:56

I've stated on this forum and others some tests that I would think would be pretty convincing to me (most recentlly being a simple test for OBEs).

But i do think that simply knowing about cognitive dissonance and asking yourself if you think your reaction may be because of CD can help overcome it and when you do this you are thinking critically.
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Re: Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Unive

Postby craig weiler » 20 Sep 2011, 00:04

But i do think that simply knowing about cognitive dissonance and asking yourself if you think your reaction may be because of CD can help overcome it and when you do this you are thinking critically.


Up to a point, yes.
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Re: Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Unive

Postby Elhardt » 24 Sep 2011, 03:18

Arouet wrote:I've stated on this forum and others some tests that I would think would be pretty convincing to me (most recentlly being a simple test for OBEs).


I can't remember if it was you or somebody else who brought that up a few weeks ago, or whether I responded or not, but here's a video that puts OBE's to the test with successful outcomes. And of course there are hundreds of autoscopic NDE cases that have also be verified in similar ways. It's so simple to test and verify many types of phenomena that it's really sad that human kind isn't getting any smarter when it comes to this stuff because there are so many liars and deniers who put their personal disbelief above testing, verifying, and critical thinking. All that does is lead to false theories or no progress at all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jn1Ntu67SGs
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Re: Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Unive

Postby Arouet » 24 Sep 2011, 03:42

Yes, I'm familiar with the Tart experiment (and we're actually discussing it currently over on skeptiko). That's what's so bizarre: you have one potentially amazing experiment in the 60s and its never repeated by Tart. He apparently tried with robert munroe years later but failed. This is an topic that could blow the lid of OBEs and its not terribly well followed up on!

Now, I hadn't heard of the Krippner one. I've trying to find a link to the actual paper. Do you have it somewhere?

What I don't understand is why if both Tart and Krippner had some basic success why they didn't make this the primary focus of their research, finding people to replicate it again and again? A skeptiko member (fls- also on JREF) is an OBEr and we've been trying to come up with a basic protocol that she might test on her own, that could lead to further research (and $1M for her if she's successful!)
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Re: Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Unive

Postby Arouet » 24 Sep 2011, 03:58

Found not the original, but him describing it in another report: http://www.urigeller.com/content/research/dreams.htm

Again, interesting stuff. Not as clear in this case, but still intriguing.

We need more! We need repetition!

Look at the recent possible discovery at the LHC of nutrinos that might go faster than the speed of light. They had 15,000 trials, and still so suspicious of their results that they've invited the greater scientific community to try and find mistakes they might have made! http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44629271/ns ... ?gt1=43001
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Re: Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Unive

Postby craig weiler » 24 Sep 2011, 06:13

This is an exceedingly small effect. So we can't be sure of it. We can never really rule out researcher bias no matter how many different people do the test. We need to know how the test was done and question the legitimacy of every step of the experiments. This needs to be doubted until we have absolute proof.
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Re: Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Unive

Postby Arouet » 24 Sep 2011, 07:36

Exactly!

Well, not exactly- I don't think we can ever have absolute proof. But we want high degree of confidence.

Your problem with this study is the same as my problem with many psi studies - the effect sizes are so small! But look at the attitude of the CERN guys: hey! we have something potentially extroadinary! We've wracked our brains to eliminate any possible type of bias or error. But we still fear that we've made errors - so science community- scrutinize our work and try to identify even more possible errors!

I don't see that attitude from parapsychologists even though the implications are just as extraordinary.
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Re: Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Unive

Postby craig weiler » 24 Sep 2011, 09:21

Arouet,
This is a perfect example of the skeptic double standard. The effect sizes when dealing with neutrinos are much smaller than anything the psi people come up with, and their evidence will not be nearly as convincing. It can't be; it's neutrinos. If you know anything about them, you know how hard it is to get even a sliver of evidence out of them. They have no negative charge, so they pass right through atoms and only stop when they hit actual matter. But you welcome it with open arms despite the fact that there is no theory. You will not doubt the physicists.

I don't see that attitude from parapsychologists even though the implications are just as extraordinary.


Psi is not something brand new that came out of nowhere. Every culture on earth has a large portion of their population that experiences it. You're comparing apples and oranges.
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Re: Podcast Critical Reasoning for Beginners by Oxford Unive

Postby Arouet » 24 Sep 2011, 10:40

craig weiler wrote:Arouet,
This is a perfect example of the skeptic double standard. The effect sizes when dealing with neutrinos are much smaller than anything the psi people come up with, and their evidence will not be nearly as convincing. It can't be; it's neutrinos. If you know anything about them, you know how hard it is to get even a sliver of evidence out of them. They have no negative charge, so they pass right through atoms and only stop when they hit actual matter. But you welcome it with open arms despite the fact that there is no theory. You will not doubt the physicists.



Woah? Where do you get that I don't doubt the physics here? The whole point is that we should doubt the physics here! That the CERN scientists, despite having taken every precaution they can come up with, despite having achieved high statistical significance over 15,000 trials STILL doubt that they have discovered a true effect, given the extroadinary nature of it and the small effect size. The scientists themselves doubt it! They haven't gone: we've thought of everything we could, so you guys should just accept it. They;ve said: we've thought of everything we could, we can't think of any other mistakes we could have made, but given how significant this would be if true we're turning it over to the scientific community to try and find more flaws that may account for this highly significant effect? A small effect, but of high statistical significance - sound familiar?

I'm not applying a double standard, I'm applying the identical standard! The implications of the nutrino experiment is similar in impact to the implications of psi experiments. So we should approach them similarly.

The problem, Craig, when you think you've sized someone up like you have, is that you don't carefully read what they write and you make assumptions. You seem to me to be highly prejudiced against skeptics. This colours how you read what they right. And it leads you to miss what they are actually saying. You've done this several times already.
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