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RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

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Re: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby Purple Scissor » 18 Aug 2009, 10:58

James (The Amazing) Randi changed his name, and made his career claiming to defend science without having a science degree, so it is a bit funny to get after you for self-promotion. Also, it seems to me that any flaws in your material should not be so significant if the whole is generally good. After all, Randi's material is full of holes and bad thinking and rhetorical overkill, and it never did him any damage.

As to negative energy, all publicity is good publicity. The more evil eye the skeptics send our way, the faster we grow. Think of yourself as a vegetable, not an animal. Veggies need bullshit. Just laugh at it, and go about the business of debunking pseudoscientific thinking. Hopefully, without getting carpal tunnel.
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Re: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby Mistislav D'ralle » 18 Aug 2009, 15:23

tmtoulouse wrote:As far as the size of the site, I don't think it is particularly noteworthy, though that one line in the article seemed to be zeroed in by those commenting here. Which I found interesting, and a bit defensive.

And looking at the active topics, while you may not be banning skeptics you sure do talk a lot about various convoluted "tests" you want to use to vet them, and polls about whether to even allow any here at all. It is a hot topic as hot topics around here go.


Sorry I did not know there was challenge to members to be tested. Where is test. Can I be a skeptic and post on forum. Can I look at new ideas and do both Skeptic and new ideas at once and post on forum?. Is there instuctions on website I am looking at?.
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Re: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby Purple Scissor » 19 Aug 2009, 12:13

There is no need to worry, scepcop simply had the idea that irrational skeptics might disrupt the forum, and we might need a test to find out if the person was rational or not. So far, there is no test, and it has not been necessary.
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Re: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby brett » 19 Aug 2009, 14:17

scepcop - a saying i hold dear is " validity of ones ideas is in part measured by the resistance they meet " ( it could be argued that this appies to both sides of course ) - and this idea of "big is beautiful " ( and therefore right ?? ) - is a fallacy as small is cost effective and inevitably efficient in purpose

an analogy is the long held idea of inadequacy compensation of people who drive large cars ( or the -I have a small dick - so i drive a big car to compensate syndrome ) - now the sceptical will argue that there are many reasons WHY people drive large cars - comfort ( fair comment ) - safety ( all cars have to meet certain standards these days - and believe me ,as i have seen MANY times whilst cutting people out of wrecks in the fire service , a large car is NO guarantee of safety - depends what you hit ,or what hits you , and in fact have seen crashes where the fact that the driver WAS in a small car saved their life ) - or they have a requirement to carry many people ( again fair comment ) -

but what of the individual who drives a BIG car for status or sheer "look at my big car , its better than YOUR car because i am more important than everyone else on the road ( and of course can drive like a freaking idiot with no consideration for others ) types - that even the most hardened skeptic must admit they will have come across sometime in their lives ?? ( or have been extremely lucky if not ) :roll:

here in the UK we have what we call "white van syndrome " - inevitably the drivers of these usually 1 tonne delivery or trade vehicles - driving standards are fairly bad BECAUSE they are driving a larger vehicle and harass drivers of other smaller vehicles because they have a dead line or because they can owing to the size of the vehicle they drive ( we have a term for the drivers too "white van man " )

so does small size equate to inadequacy ? - no of course it does not - but along with many other fallacious ideas - the big/ beautiful/ more important one does persist - we see it every where - business - buildings - leisure things like boats etc - all it boils down to is an individuals misguided extension of THEIR image of how "important" THEY are in the grand scheme of things - and its the same with websites - "i have a big flashy web site - so i must (a ) be important -( b ) be right - because i have the big flashy web site and put lots of ( usually ) irrelevant and "puffed " content on it -( C) - i have more visitors /members of my web site - so this somehow gives MY ideas more credibility

size means nothing - as they say the BEST gifts ,come in small packages ;) and its NOT the size of the box - but whats IN it :lol:
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Re: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby Mistislav D'ralle » 19 Aug 2009, 15:20

Purple Scissor wrote:There is no need to worry, scepcop simply had the idea that irrational skeptics might disrupt the forum, and we might need a test to find out if the person was rational or not. So far, there is no test, and it has not been necessary.


OK we are good with each other. No test.
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Re: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby Ibison » 23 Aug 2009, 12:22

Well, of course "Rational"Wiki is going to be biased. I'm not surprised.
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Re: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby Scepcop » 14 Sep 2009, 14:00

RationalWiki misrepresents us once again in this other entry on their site:

http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Pseudoskepticism

Pseudoskepticism
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Pseudoskepticism is used in two different ways.
Contents
[hide]

* 1 Legitimate use
* 2 Usage by woo promoters
* 3 Skepticism and agnosticism
* 4 See also
* 5 External links
* 6 Footnotes

[edit] Legitimate use

The description is occasionally used - and in this case correctly - to refer to those who maintain that they are skeptical of things such as the facts about global warming.[1], evolution or AIDS. In this case the word is simply a synonym of denialism, as there is a vast amount of real evidence which is simply ignored by these pseudoskeptics.

It should also be noted that real skeptics are always prepared to change their positions based on the production of real evidence, such as in the case of Einstein's Cosmological Constant[2] - thus making them immune to the accusation of pseudoskepticism.
[edit] Usage by woo promoters

It is perhaps more often used as a loaded term by promoters of woo to dismiss skeptical criticism of their beliefs as unfounded. Some woo-promoters maintain that demanding evidence before belief is an extreme position, and they feel that we should all be agnostic about, well, everything until it has been positively disproved. Given the difficulty of absolutely disproving even the most absurd hypothesis they then go on to maintain that all those who ask for evidence before belief are "pseudoskeptics".

Consequently, these woo-promoters will try to claim the high ground by describing themselves as being "open-mindeded" in comparison to the allegedly closed-minded members of the scientific establishment who demand actual evidence before accepting the woo peddlers' pet beliefs as anything more than bogus at best.

As an example, SCEPCOP maintains that: pseudoskeptics "will never accept a paranormal [explanation] that includes metaphysical dimensions because they believe it's impossible." [3] It would be interesting to see what they think of the scientific method and methodological naturalism.
[edit] Skepticism and agnosticism

In any case, skepticism and agnosticism are not necessarily exclusive positions. If somebody maintains that there are invisible, undetectable fairies at the bottom of their garden, there is no way to prove that this is not the case - though equally there is no supporting evidence. There is an infinitesimal possibility that these beings exist and accordingly it can be argued that "agnosticism" towards the claim is the appropriate position. However, being agnostic about a belief does not mean that there is a 50/50 possibility of its being correct - it merely means there is a possibility. In this case, the improbability of the assertion coupled with the lack of evidence justifies our being extremely agnostic about the assertion; in fact a position of such extreme agnosticism that it is, for all intents and purposes, indistinguishable from disbelief.

In this particular case we could equally easily call ourselves highly skeptical - there is no practical difference.
[edit] See also

* Burden of proof
* Skepticism
* Scientific Committee Exposing Pseudo-Skeptical Cynicism of the Paranormal

[edit] External links

* WikiSynergy, where they enjoy pretending to be the "real" skeptics, while actively engaging in promoting all forms of woo imaginable - which, somewhat ironically, would mean that the first definition of "pseudoskepticism" could be applied to them.
* An article by "believers" on pseudoskepticism

[edit] Footnotes

1. ↑ True pseudoskepticism
2. ↑ http://www.phys.vt.edu/~talks/wyp2005/n ... 30-ct.html
3. ↑ SCEPCOP on pseudoskeptics
“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: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby tmtoulouse » 15 Sep 2009, 14:14

Seeing as how it is a direct quote I would love to know how it is a misrepresentation.
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Re: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby formosan » 20 Sep 2009, 14:10

Purple Scissor wrote:Maybe we are just happy to make a splash. But Rationalwiki is unusually good-natured about its ()skepticism. Normally such a mention would have meant we pissed someone off.



I disagree. I think the RationalWiki is neither good-natured nor honest.

Example:
http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/SCEPCOP#cite_note-0
"SCEPCOP", is a website created by "Vinstonas Wu" (aka Winston Wu), an admitted diagnosed schizophrenic,[1]


This is not a correct representation of the incident in question. The page cites an early version of an essay which gives every indication that Wu never was in fact schizophrenic; every bit of fact suggests that Wu was misdiagnosed.

http://www.successfulschizophrenia.org/stories/wwu.html

My communication skills were bad and I was too shy too and I was ashamed to admit this weird disorder. From what he had to go on, the psychiatrist diagnosed me with schizophrenia...


This is obviously an incident of malpractice and misdiagnosis, not an incident of actual schizophrenia. Anyone trying to show that Wu is or was schizophrenic would have to present a case that would stand up to cross-examination.

Psychiatry is often used as a means to silence dissent. RationalWiki is attempting to further that social repression. Ergo RationalWiki is either too stupid to realize that it is a tool for repression, or too unprincipled to have any ethical objection. Either way, RationalWiki is not good-natured.

Obviously SCEPCOP doesn't get frequent forum postings from all its registered users. I barely manage to read the new threads and I usually don't take the time to log in...

Edit:
And looking over some of the various threads, I see that soldiergirl is either too stupid or too dishonest to do elementary fact-checking. She makes reference to the "successful schizophrenia" site to support an argument for a correct diagnosis. And yet she doesn't bother to note that her reference is an anti-psychiatric site that argues that many claims of schizophrenia are in fact mis-diagnoses.

It's one thing to have a home for discussions that are open to everyone, but if the standard of discussion is set so low as to allow soldiergirl to misrepresent matters, the responsible folks on this site will spend all their time cleaning up messes. Is that an efficient resource allocation?
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Re: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby formosan » 22 Sep 2009, 16:32

creepingdeath_120mm wrote: I'm sorry but are you a psychologist? I might not be a psychologist but at least my minor was in psychology and every bit of what I have seen of Winston Wu's postings suggests schizophrenia to me



All right, just as soon as you get licensed to practice psychiatry in *any* jurisdiction, then examine Winston Wu in that jurisdiction, you'll be able to back up your idiotic bloviations with an actual diagnosis.

If you had *any* grasp of the topic, you would know that psychologists and psychiatrists actually have to examine people in order to diagnose them.

Sheer speculations on the condition of persons you have not examined are not medicine.

You see, this is why I don't usually bother to log in to this forum - the "tolerate scoffers" policy attracts posters who are ignorant of even the most basic
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._D._Laing
criticisms
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Szasz
of psychology.
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Re: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby mr. mike » 24 Jan 2011, 12:23

I always thought RationalWiki was more like the CSICOP version of Encyclopedia Dramatica, just with better writing and no morgue photos. Also, am I wrong, or did James Randi come up with "woo" as a term for paranormal things? It sounds as dumb as when the New Atheists started calling themselves "brights". . . .when I think of woo, the phrase "pitching woo" comes to mind. Using demeaning terms for their debating partners just makes the skeptics look bad.
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Re: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby Arouet » 24 Jan 2011, 12:35

mr. mike wrote:I always thought RationalWiki was more like the CSICOP version of Encyclopedia Dramatica, just with better writing and no morgue photos. Also, am I wrong, or did James Randi come up with "woo" as a term for paranormal things? It sounds as dumb as when the New Atheists started calling themselves "brights". . . .when I think of woo, the phrase "pitching woo" comes to mind. Using demeaning terms for their debating partners just makes the skeptics look bad.


I agree that woo woo is rude, but no where near as dumb as the "brights". I try not to use the term woo too often, but sometimes it does fit. For example, while I wouldn't use it for parapsychology, I would use it for things like power bands, acupuncture, homeopathy, and the like. (I don't usually say it out loud but I do admit to using it in my head!)
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Re: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby Craig Browning » 25 Jan 2011, 01:21

mr. mike wrote:I always thought RationalWiki was more like the CSICOP version of Encyclopedia Dramatica, just with better writing and no morgue photos. Also, am I wrong, or did James Randi come up with "woo" as a term for paranormal things? It sounds as dumb as when the New Atheists started calling themselves "brights". . . .when I think of woo, the phrase "pitching woo" comes to mind. Using demeaning terms for their debating partners just makes the skeptics look bad.


While some of your posts here have been rather "weird" Mr. Mike, I can relate to what you're saying here if only by degree. Just recently I pointed out a flaw in all the puffing that's going on over the "13th Sign of the Zodiac" and all the hoopla over how the expanding universe makes astrology nothing but silliness. . . and understand, I'm not a huge advocate of astrology. . . yet, when I pointed out how ASTRONOMERS and NAVIGATIONAL SCIENCE still employ the very same markers and math-based factors that Astrologers have talked about since (at minimum) the days of Babylon's greatness (with proper adjustments made by the responsible "elders" when needed). . . well, I was made out as being an idiot not dealing with the "facts"

Placing the shoe on the other foot is a constant in their Universe. Like the Pious of Religion (or any CULT for that matter) everyone is wrong but them and their "perfect" and "only" TRUTH :roll: (another thing they tend to parrot from the Evangelists :twisted: )


UNDERSTAND I am very much a skeptic when it comes to the miraculous (especially) and the "sublime" (i.e. most conspiracy theories, ghosts stories and claims of psychic/spiritual ability). I am NOT however, a "Cynic"... one that is unyielding and insists that ALL OF IT is bunk. In the majority of cases I will side with the views offered by those calling themselves "skeptics" but out of necessity I apply the same rule of measure to them as I would a given situation allied to the "fantastic" -- skepticism must be used in ALL matter of claim but tempered! Same goes with "belief" and the zeal it can instill in the heart & mind of the believer/advocate; if we are not humble in our "faith" and apply caution in what we have accepted, then we are no wiser than the mad-man in an asylum or more enlightened than the first monad. BALANCE is the only real key, the only ultimate truth. :twisted:
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Re: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby mr. mike » 25 Jan 2011, 01:52

I'd just like to know "weird" in what way?
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Re: RationalWiki ridicules SCEPCOP in its entry on us

Postby Arouet » 25 Jan 2011, 05:23

And I didn't suggest hat you were an "idiot not dealing with the facts". I asserted that you portray yourself as being a proponent, but you're really not.
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