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What are skeptics so worried about?

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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby ciscop » 15 Sep 2009, 06:43

ProfessorX wrote:
RarelyImpressed wrote:What are skeptics so worried about? With all the evidence for PSI and telepathy why should skeptics be worried? An interesting statement made by David Wilcock was that "it would bring god back in to the equation" Most Skeptics are atheists, not all.


Your post got me wondering, is there any link or relationship between skepticism and pessimism? Are self-professed skeptics more likely to self-identify as pessimists?

Seems to me that, at least on an abstract level, there is an overlap between skepticism and pessimism, since at the heart of both skepticism and pessimism is doubt. A pessimist doubts that good things will happen, while a skeptic doubts the validity of accounts of the paranormal, unusual, alternative, etc.


really dave?
you have already said this at the magiccafe
you really need a 2nd account here to keep up with your BS?

but whatever.. just copy paste what quantum said
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby ProfessorX » 22 Sep 2009, 04:06

They are not the same thing. Pessimism is an inclination to presume events' outcomes will result negatively, whereas skepticism is simply "Doubt about the truth of something."


Of course they are not identical, and I'm not arguing that they are. What I wonder about is whether skepticism and pessimism are a complementary set of beliefs and if so, the nature of the relationship between the two.

To put this question another way - are skeptics also likely to be pessimists? And, vice versa - are pessimists more likely to be skeptics?
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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby quantumparanormal » 22 Sep 2009, 04:12

ProfessorX wrote:To put this question another way - are skeptics also likely to be pessimists? And, vice versa - are pessimists more likely to be skeptics?


I see what you mean. Well, to answer that, we'd need a study that, over time, evaluates/surveys people to determine whether or not they start out one way and "evolve" into another.
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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby ProfessorX » 01 Oct 2009, 23:14

quantumparanormal wrote:
ProfessorX wrote:To put this question another way - are skeptics also likely to be pessimists? And, vice versa - are pessimists more likely to be skeptics?


I see what you mean. Well, to answer that, we'd need a study that, over time, evaluates/surveys people to determine whether or not they start out one way and "evolve" into another.


Another thought - how does cynicism relate to pessimism and skepticism? Perhaps a cynic, operationally speaking, is a person who is both pessimistic and skeptical in one's outlook on life.
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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby brett » 03 Oct 2009, 00:31

hi all - nah nah , a cynic - is someone who can and does look at all the BS and recognise it for what it is + he/she is allowed to be cynical by virtue of experience of being c****ed on by others through out his /her life ( guilty as charged y'r honor ) - that's different to being a skeptic - as you have real events and experiences to draw on and usually a profound knowledge of what REALLY makes people tick ( and you don't need no PhD to gain that in life ;) ) ( Brett's definition )

( another for you is my defination of experts :lol:) X= an unknown quantity & a "spurt" is a DRIP under pressure

thought i'd just throw that in :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby ProfessorX » 03 Oct 2009, 05:41

brett wrote:hi all - nah nah , a cynic - is someone who can and does look at all the BS and recognise it for what it is + he/she is allowed to be cynical by virtue of experience of being c****ed on by others through out his /her life ( guilty as charged y'r honor ) - that's different to being a skeptic - as you have real events and experiences to draw on and usually a profound knowledge of what REALLY makes people tick


A Dialogue between a cynic and a pessimist

Cynic: The world sucks. I know, because of my past "sucky" experiences with life.

Pessimist: You think the world sucks now? Wait until tomorrow, it's going to suck even more.
-
-
-
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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby Jackal » 07 Oct 2009, 02:41

RarelyImpressed wrote:What are skeptics so worried about?


Death.

If skeptics accepted the fact that there is more to the universe than the material world, then they would have to reconsider a whole host of ideas like karma, reincarnation, an afterlife, etc. which they really don't want to think about right now. When they realize that money is no longer god, then they will have to search for something new to worship. People don't like to change their comfortable habits, and people don't like to say things which make them unpopular.

I believe Freud said that the "death impulse" drove all the actions of the westerners he studied. Materialists constantly are driven by the fear of their mortality to try and reproduce themselves in some other medium (science, art, literature, etc.,) to try to gain some measure of immortality. This is the immature, neurotic impulse of modern people.

Everything is impermanent, and human life is fragile and short. No one escapes death.
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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby ciscop » 07 Oct 2009, 03:30

If skeptics accepted the fact that there is more to the universe than the material world

im sorry...
but skeptics are the ones accepting FACTS
we just dont accept religious dogmas and wishful thinking you take as ¨facts¨

so you practice tibethan buddhism?
why makes your religion better than any other? why dont you accept the fact Jesus is the savior? or Mahoma? or Abraham? Why not Tom Cruise and his dumbtology?
just like any other religion, you dont have facts sir, you have wishful thinking.
and thats ok, just dont try to disguise it as ¨facts¨.
Last edited by ciscop on 07 Oct 2009, 03:37, edited 1 time in total.
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby Don » 11 Oct 2009, 03:09

First of all, I think it's important to make sure that some of these people do not steal the honest meanings of English terms. They are notskeptics. A true skeptic has an open mind and does not have previously determined conclusions. The people you're talking about are debunkers. They are pseudo-skeptics.

Debunkers have a world view, much as fundamentalist Christians have a world view. In both cases, they are not merely "worried," they are absolutely terrified that someone or something might upset that world view.

You see, they don't come up with their paradigm over night. They develop it as the result of a long period of personal experiences. Their paradigm is embedded in everything they think, believe, and know. This includes their thoughts about who they are and the very nature of their being.

If you challenge one aspect of their paradigm, you are actually challenging everything they know. This intertwined relationship of what they consider to be "real" can't be challenged because they are too cowardly to examine themselves. Some ancient temples had the words "Know Thyself" over the entry. Debunkers think they know themselves, but are terrified of actually working to examine this more fully.

So for debunkers, it's not really about paranormal phenomena and psychic abilities any more than for a fundamentalist Christian it's about teaching evolution or comparative religion. It's about their personal psychology. It's about not being willing to challenge their sense of self. It's about being terrified that if someone else is right, then they must be wrong (instead of acknowledging the possibility of multiple realities) and they simply cannot ever be wrong.

Take a look at the writings of debunkers. To them, what they do is a veritable religious crusade for what is "right." Do they ever say they were wrong? Nope. They come up with a new explanation. There was a case of two magicians who lied and defrauded some scientists. Did they ever apologize for deceiving them? No. Did they ever apologize for their fraud and lack of ethics? No.

In Flim-Flam, Randi admitted that he worked as a fake astrologer. Did he ever apologize for his lack of ethics in this? Not that I've ever seen. Did he ever apologize to the people he defrauded with false information? Not that I've ever seen.

The actions of debunkers have never been about the paranormal. It has always been about their own insecurities and unwillingness to examine their own lives, an action that would be necessitated if they ever admitted that they were wrong. They are terrified over who they are.

Recently, in a thread on these forums, some debunkers have tried to disprove astrology. Now, I don't know if astrology is valid. But their arguments have been so amateurish and fake that I've easily been able to show the falseness of their arguments. I've never once stated I believe in astrology, but they have asked me about that. One finally gave up and returned to an "I don't believe it and that settles it" argument, an argument that, to me, is about the same as the bumper sticker some fundamentalists Christians used to have: "God said it. I believe it. That settles it."

Debunkers are nothing more than people with the same psychological make-up as extremist fundamentalist Christians. They're unwilling to examine their beliefs about themselves and terrified that someone else might be right. They will do anything--including lie, commit fraud, misrepresent, etc.--in an attempt to prevent others from challenging their closed-minded, ultra-conformist views.

Debunkers come from a position of terror--the universe might be bigger than they think--and fear--over looking at who they really are. As is often the case, such fearful people are often bullies. Sometimes, it is necessary to stand up to bullies. Always, it is necessary to feel sad for them.
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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby ciscop » 11 Oct 2009, 03:29

nah what you think about skeptics
is a projection of your own inner fears
the world might not be what you wish it to be
:-) skeptics live to be proven wrong, all we ask is proof and not just tales and stories..

and the case about the 2 magicians, (they were 3 if you count randi), is called the Project Alpha
and it helped to show, scientists and parapsychologist can be easily deceived by a couple of really young sleight of hand artists
it was beautiful :-)
and it was ethical, They came out saying that it was a Hoax
not like Uri Geller who never admitted to that, and still there´s people here on this forum that believes he has psychic abilities since he was ¨tested¨by scientists. hahaha not quite :lol: :lol: :lol:

so whats your fix Don?
Ghosts? Psychic Abilities? UFOs? Bigfoot? The Secret?
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby Jackal » 14 Oct 2009, 00:24

ciscop wrote:im sorry...
but skeptics are the ones accepting FACTS

No, skeptics go one step further and impose a standard western interpretation on those facts. If a skeptic was open-minded, he wouldn't say that the absence of scientific proof for a phenomenon was proof of the phenomenon's nonexistence. That is also jumping to a conclusion without proof.

There are still no really good scientific theories about the nature of consciousness. Western science is only beginning to study the effects of meditation and prayer.

ciscop wrote:we just dont accept religious dogmas and wishful thinking you take as ¨facts¨

Ah, there are so many types of "facts." Yes, the most rock-solid, easily demonstrated relationships can often be the most satisfying. Stand on the Earth, throw a ball in the air, and it will come down. Yes, simple, lovely.

But then you get into personal accounts of experiences, and it's more like interviewing eyewitnesses in a court trial. Who do you believe? Who do you think is credible? Who is delusional? Who is an expert witness? We except witness testimony all the time in court which often can't be proven in a satisfying scientific way.

I guess we each decide which witnesses we find credible.

It should also be remembered that periodically old "common-sense facts" are thrown out and replaced with new more accurate ones. People used to think that light propagated through a substance called "aether" which was later shown to be false. People used to think bleeding a patient would help cure him. These were "cutting edge" ideas during their time, but each was wrong and had to be replaced. Science is more of a work in progress than a collection of absolute truths which are carved in stone (although many of the approximations it gives in most ordinary situations are damn good).

I love empirical research, but modern science still has many limits and I refuse to restrict my thinking to these.

We will both die at some point and then be able to conduct our own empirical research.
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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 14 Oct 2009, 00:32

Very well put!
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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby Jackal » 14 Oct 2009, 00:36

ciscop wrote:nah what you think about skeptics
is a projection of your own inner fears
the world might not be what you wish it to be

Yes, everyone projects some of their own fears. Honestly, I'm skeptical of most western self-proclaimed psychics, much of the UFO stuff, etc.

I'm all for truth and clarity. I see modern science as the tool of choice for examining the material realm and meditation as the tool of choice for examining the mental realm.

I think it's healthy not to believe everything one hears. But also blocking out everything out of the ordinary that one hears can be another form of fanaticism.
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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby ProfWag » 14 Oct 2009, 02:17

Don wrote:First of all, I think it's important to make sure that some of these people do not steal the honest meanings of English terms. They are notskeptics. A true skeptic has an open mind and does not have previously determined conclusions. The people you're talking about are debunkers. They are pseudo-skeptics.

Debunkers have a world view, much as fundamentalist Christians have a world view. In both cases, they are not merely "worried," they are absolutely terrified that someone or something might upset that world view.

You see, they don't come up with their paradigm over night. They develop it as the result of a long period of personal experiences. Their paradigm is embedded in everything they think, believe, and know. This includes their thoughts about who they are and the very nature of their being.

If you challenge one aspect of their paradigm, you are actually challenging everything they know. This intertwined relationship of what they consider to be "real" can't be challenged because they are too cowardly to examine themselves. Some ancient temples had the words "Know Thyself" over the entry. Debunkers think they know themselves, but are terrified of actually working to examine this more fully.

So for debunkers, it's not really about paranormal phenomena and psychic abilities any more than for a fundamentalist Christian it's about teaching evolution or comparative religion. It's about their personal psychology. It's about not being willing to challenge their sense of self. It's about being terrified that if someone else is right, then they must be wrong (instead of acknowledging the possibility of multiple realities) and they simply cannot ever be wrong.

Take a look at the writings of debunkers. To them, what they do is a veritable religious crusade for what is "right." Do they ever say they were wrong? Nope. They come up with a new explanation. There was a case of two magicians who lied and defrauded some scientists. Did they ever apologize for deceiving them? No. Did they ever apologize for their fraud and lack of ethics? No.

In Flim-Flam, Randi admitted that he worked as a fake astrologer. Did he ever apologize for his lack of ethics in this? Not that I've ever seen. Did he ever apologize to the people he defrauded with false information? Not that I've ever seen.

The actions of debunkers have never been about the paranormal. It has always been about their own insecurities and unwillingness to examine their own lives, an action that would be necessitated if they ever admitted that they were wrong. They are terrified over who they are.

Recently, in a thread on these forums, some debunkers have tried to disprove astrology. Now, I don't know if astrology is valid. But their arguments have been so amateurish and fake that I've easily been able to show the falseness of their arguments. I've never once stated I believe in astrology, but they have asked me about that. One finally gave up and returned to an "I don't believe it and that settles it" argument, an argument that, to me, is about the same as the bumper sticker some fundamentalists Christians used to have: "God said it. I believe it. That settles it."

Debunkers are nothing more than people with the same psychological make-up as extremist fundamentalist Christians. They're unwilling to examine their beliefs about themselves and terrified that someone else might be right. They will do anything--including lie, commit fraud, misrepresent, etc.--in an attempt to prevent others from challenging their closed-minded, ultra-conformist views.

Debunkers come from a position of terror--the universe might be bigger than they think--and fear--over looking at who they really are. As is often the case, such fearful people are often bullies. Sometimes, it is necessary to stand up to bullies. Always, it is necessary to feel sad for them.

Don, most of your comments in this post are as wrong as two boys in bed.
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Re: What are skeptics so worried about?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 14 Oct 2009, 03:19

ProfWag wrote:Don, most of your comments in this post are as wrong as two boys in bed.


Now see, that's the kind of comment that is left wide open to interpretation. From my perspective, two boys in bed is a GOOD thing!
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