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Post your ideas and suggestions here

Post suggestions, ideas and feedback for SCEPCOP and this website. Propose and coordinate projects, plans, articles, site improvements, etc. Requests for new boards can be made here too.

Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby Scepcop » 28 Jul 2009, 02:34

Hi folks,
I created this board for you to share your ideas and suggestions for improving this site or for what we could do with SCEPCOP.

We can explore ideas here, brainstorm, or coordinate plans and projects. I'm all ears.

At this point, we don't have the resources to publish a hardcopy magazine. But we can always write online articles.

I was thinking that maybe me and a few others should write some articles debunking some of the professional skeptic articles. For now, we could take some episodes of Michael Shermer's Paranormal investigation programs on YouTube, of which there are obvious flaws to expose, and debunk them point by point including his flawed conclusions at the end of each episode.

What do you all think?

Also, if you have any requests for new board topics, this is the place to post them as well.

Thanks,
Vinstonas
“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: Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby ciscop » 30 Jul 2009, 04:08

what about a BULLSH!T forum
they have failed in some episodes
i can recall the SECOND HAND SMOKING EPISODE
they have their information wrong
and it was showed on national tv
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Re: Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby Scepcop » 30 Jul 2009, 04:31

Are you referring to the Pen and Teller show?

If so, yeah that show is very sloppy and unprofessional and just plain annoying sometimes.

But why are you saying this? I thought you were on their side?
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Re: Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby Frank Lee » 31 Jul 2009, 01:12

I suggest banning the delusional member known as "The Professor". He's really not doing the the Believer movement any favors. His nonsensical trolling of this board to feed his narcissism hurts more than it helps.

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Re: Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby Frank Lee » 31 Jul 2009, 01:31

I see "The Professor's" most recent attempt to start trouble has been locked. This is a wise first step. I've seen enough of his trolling on a couple of other boards (from which he was eventually banned) to suggest that he probably won't stop his behavior, but good luck. Maybe with his options dwindling he'll value his membership here enough to knock it off.

I know this board is small now, but if you ever hope to grow and be taken seriously, members like "The Professor" are going to have to be weeded out or the damage he causes will result in this forum withering on the vine.

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Re: Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby Scepcop » 31 Jul 2009, 02:26

Well it looks like a pissing contest between him and you skeptics. If he were to be banned, all of you who participated in the pissing contest and mud slinging would too. It goes both ways. All of you are guilty of mudslinging.

I don't see how he's damaged this forum though. He's generated lots of traffic from you guys the more you respond to him. You seem to be drawn to him and feel the need to respond to him here. So he seems to captivate you guys' attention. lol

This forum is no longer small. It's grown a lot the past week, with the infusion of you skeptics and a lot of new posters. I'm not comparing to the JREF forum of course, I'm comparing it to how it was last month, and it's grown much bigger and been much more busy since then.

You guys should take heed of these quotes:

"A danger sign of the lapse from true skepticism into dogmatism is an inability to respect those who disagree." - Dr. Leonard George

"You can get into a habit of thought in which you enjoy making fun of all those other people who don't see things as clearly as you do. We have to guard carefully against it." - Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP meeting

"People are not stupid. They believe things for reasons. The last way for skeptics to get the attention of bright, curious, intelligent people is to belittle or condescend or to show arrogance toward their beliefs." - Carl Sagan

"...The chief deficiency I see in the skeptical movement is its polarization: Us vs. Them -- the sense that we have a monopoly on the truth; that those other people who believe in all these stupid doctrines are morons; that if you're sensible, you'll listen to us; and if not, to hell with you. This is nonconstructive. It does not get our message across. It condemns us to permanent minority status." - Carl Sagan

"The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there's no place for it in the endeavor of science." - Carl Sagan
“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: Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby Frank Lee » 31 Jul 2009, 02:46

Scepcop wrote:Well it looks like a pissing contest between him and you skeptics. If he were to be banned, all of you who participated in the pissing contest and mud slinging would too. It goes both ways. All of you are guilty of mudslinging.



In order for it to be a pissing contest, or a mud slinging contest, SOMEONE has to piss or sling first, right? I believe if you take a look at who that always is, you'll see it's "The Professor". It only goes both ways if someone STARTS it one way.

But if you feel he is a good representative of the anti-skeptic movement, by all means, encourage him to continue as he has.

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Re: Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby Scepcop » 31 Jul 2009, 11:48

Well the Professor came and started posting about Randi and the link to the sex tapes. He didn't come here attacking individual skeptic posters directly. Then the skeptics followed him in here and started debating him, in defense of Randi. That's what it seems like. Am I wrong?

After that, lots of ad homineum and character attacks ensued.

I've already told the Professor to be careful with slanderous or libelous remarks here, which might incite threats of legal action from JREF.

It's probable that Randi already knows about SCEPCOP and the discussions in this forum about him. He's not stupid, though very closed minded no doubt.

You know, I've been on forums before where SOMEONE ELSE started the mudslinging at me first, and yet I was the one who eventually got banned for it, not the perpetrators. Is that unfair or what? Of course it is. But humans are subjective and emotional, not logic, so hence, regardless of who started it, I was the one seen as the one disrupting the crowd, because the moderators disliked me. It was highly subjective. I broke no rules, I only riled up people. So I was banned cause they disliked me. It was subjective. And that's what I try to keep out of here, subjectivity. You will find that me and Eteponge, the one I made moderator, are very fair and objective in our judgments. At least give us credit for that.
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Re: Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby Frank Lee » 01 Aug 2009, 00:34

Scepcop wrote:Well the Professor came and started posting about Randi and the link to the sex tapes. He didn't come here attacking individual skeptic posters directly. Then the skeptics followed him in here and started debating him, in defense of Randi. That's what it seems like. Am I wrong?

After that, lots of ad homineum and character attacks ensued.


The Professor's posts about the so-called sex tapes are a character attack on James Randi who is not here to defend himself, but who addressed the issue years ago. To me, this makes The Professor the initial mudslinger. People who see this as unfair have, rightly or wrongly, responded in kind.

I've already told the Professor to be careful with slanderous or libelous remarks here, which might incite threats of legal action from JREF.


And not just because of the threat of legal action, but because slanderous and libelous remarks are just plan wrong. Right?

It's probable that Randi already knows about SCEPCOP and the discussions in this forum about him. He's not stupid, though very closed minded no doubt.


Knows, maybe. Cares, doubtful.

You know, I've been on forums before where SOMEONE ELSE started the mudslinging at me first, and yet I was the one who eventually got banned for it, not the perpetrators. Is that unfair or what? Yep it is.


Been there, done that, feel your pain, ect.

But humans are subjective and emotional, not logic, so hence, regardless of who started it, I was the one seen as the one disrupting the crowd. It was highly subjective. And that's what I try to keep out of here, subjectivity. You will find that me and Eteponge, the one I made moderator, are very fair and objective in our judgments. At least give us credit for that.


Credit where credit is due; shutting down The Professor's NAMBLA thread was a good first step. He was testing your waters, trying to see how far you would let him go. I predict he'll continue to push your boundaries to keep spewing his hatred for James Randi. How you respond to him and those like him (as well as those on the other side) will be the criteria by which your fairness and objectiveness will be measured.

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Re: Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby Scepcop » 01 Aug 2009, 02:47

Hi Frank,
Can you show me how the Professor's posts about the Randi sex tapes were a "character attack"? From what I remember, he simply posted the link to them and asked honest questions about them that no one would answer. There is nothing wrong with that, since the existence of the tapes is an objective fact and constitutes "hard evidence".

As to character attacks, well as long as he doesn't lie or make false statements of facts, opinions about another person's character are protected under Free Speech. Didn't you know that? Opinions on the internet are protected under Free Speech, as long as they are not overt lies and do not contain false facts.

Besides, it cuts both ways. The skeptics made many character attacks on The Professor too.

Yes I agree that libel and slander are wrong. But can you show me where he committed such?

You claim to be fair right? Let me ask you this then. In that NAMBLA thread that was locked, the skeptics started insinuating that The Professor was the head of it and even called for others to email Universal Studios to try to get him in trouble about it. Do they have any objective evidence that he is the head of NAMBLA? If not, then they could be committing libel, as well as jeopardizing The Professor's employment (he has a family to raise too). Thus they had the potential to cause damage to his personal life. Was that right in your view? Were the skeptics wrong to do that?

Another question for you. Randi admitted that he lied when he said that he did the same tests as Rupert Sheldrake and debunked them. Do you think it was right for Randi to lie? Is it ok for him to lie, since he is on your side? Are you able to call him out when he does wrong too?

Suppose it were 100 percent proven that Randi lied simply to try to refute someone he couldn't refute. Would that be wrong in your eyes?

Look I do not claim to be 100 percent fair and objective, but at least I am much MORE fair and objective than the average person. Agreed?

Look I understand your disgust at the sex tapes issue. But as long as he simply asks honest questions about them, I don't see why that is wrong or illegal. They exist, and bringing them up in and of itself is not libel or a false statement of fact. I'm just being technical about this.

Besides, I can see why he is pressing this issue. It is very understandable. He is using a very effective strategy that is even mentioned in Sun Tzu's "Ancient Art of War", which is to press your strength onto your opponent's weakness. These tapes are obviously an Achilles Heel on Randi, which he dreads and avoids like the plague, for obvious reasons. They have the ability to destroy his reputation, if the mainstream public found out about them and heard them. And that's what enemies and opponents do in battle or debate, they find the other side's weakness and exploit it, or press on it. If your objective is to win, then it's a very logical and effective strategy.

For instance, if we were playing tennis, and I discovered that you had a weak and unsteady backhand, I would exploit that and start hitting my best shot (my forehand) to your backhand to draw out more errors, and thus greatly increasing my chances of winning. It's a simple logical strategy - focusing your strength on your opponent's weakness.

In Randi and the Professor's case, Randi's weakness/achilles heel are those sex tapes, and the Professor's strength is that he is a showman and showmen are good at getting attention, so thus he is trying to draw attention to Randi's weakness. Thus, it is a logical strategic move, even if you don't like it. And a legal one too.

Comprendo?

Incidentally, I also use the same strategy in my treatises against pseudoskepticism and Christian fundamentalism. I find the points that they can't refute or explain away, and emphasize them, to score big points.

Now, if you are arguing that the sex tapes are a cut and dried case, then simply answer his questions about it, and then the case will be closed. But the skeptics are NOT answering his questions about it, so they act like they have something to hide.

As far as I know, these questions have not been answered fully:

1. Who taped these conversations and why? If Randi taped them, then who ordered him to do it? And why? If it was the police, where is the proof for this?
2. How did those tapes get into public hands?
3. Why was Randi expressing interest in getting blow jobs from those boys and giving blow jobs to them in the taped conversations, and also making arrangements to meet up with them?
4. Where is the evidence to back up Randi's claim that the police ordered him to have these conversations to trace boys who were blackmailing him?
5. Where is the evidence that these boys were blackmailing him? I didn't hear any indication in the conversations that Randi was being blackmailed.

Until those questions are adequately answered, people have a right to suspect that something is being hidden or covered up. Do they not?

Are you able to answer those questions?

There is nothing wrong with simply asking questions, right?

Have you even listened to the 7 audio files? If so, I'd like to get your objective analysis and opinion of them.

You also have to take into account that what Randi does naturally will make him a lot of enemies. He is not a uniter, he does not preach love, kindness and connectedness. He does not uplift other people either. Instead, he is an attacker and divider, who loves to see his opponents go down and thrives on it. So of course he is going to make a lot of enemies. Duh. What did you expect?
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Re: Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby Frank Lee » 01 Aug 2009, 06:21

Scepcop wrote:Hi Frank,
Can you show me how the Professor's posts about the Randi sex tapes were a "character attack"? From what I remember, he simply posted the link to them and asked honest questions about them that no one would answer. There is nothing wrong with that, since the existence of the tapes is an objective fact and constitutes "hard evidence".


I believe just bringing up the embarrassing issue from so many years ago about James Randi is a character attack. There is no new evidence about the issue. The Professor has asked and got answers to all his questions already on the JREF forum itself. Note, in his OP he asks no questions, he just wants everybody to know about the incident. He isn't looking for any new information, as there is none. Besides, what makes him think the handful of people here would have information that the hundreds of members who read the topic at the JREF wouldn't have? He just wants to post something unpleasant about the man whose organization outsmarted him in his transparent ploy to get some publicity out of their Million Dollar Challenge, here on a board where he sees sympathetic listeners. He's all about getting attention. He needs for others to validate him, as do we all to some extent, but with him it's pathological. If you don't realize that yet, if he continues here, you will realize it soon enough.

As to character attacks, well as long as he doesn't lie or make false statements of facts, opinions about another person's character are protected under Free Speech. Didn't you know that? Opinions on the internet are protected under Free Speech, as long as they are not overt lies and do not contain false facts.


And those of us who find his behavior vile have the right to respond on a board where the administrators believe in free speech. That's a point for you. Although a poll asking whether 'skeptics' should be allowed here gives me pause.

Besides, it cuts both ways. The skeptics made many character attacks on The Professor too.


That's true. There is a lot of built up animosity between some people and The Professor that predates this board. I think some feel that The Professor sets the stage with his own insults, lies and hate speech and believe that the only kind of response The Professor will notice or deserves is a response in kind. Frankly, it doesn't matter what you respond with as he's only really interested in what he has to say. You'll notice there's almost never any exchange with him beyond; I say this, you say that, on to the next mean spirited thing.

Yes I agree that libel and slander are wrong. But can you show me where he committed such?


Legally libelous or slanderous? I'm not a lawyer. But if ugly and mean spirited will do, well, I'm too lazy to start poring over his old posts, but there's usually not a very long wait. The NAMBLA claim wasn't exactly sweetness and light was it?

You claim to be fair right? Let me ask you this then. In that NAMBLA thread that was locked, the skeptics started insinuating that The Professor was the head of it and even called for others to email Universal Studios to try to get him in trouble about it. Do they have any objective evidence that he is the head of NAMBLA? If not, then they could be committing libel, as well as jeopardizing The Professor's employment (he has a family to raise too). Thus they had the potential to cause damage to his personal life. Was that right in your view? Were the skeptics wrong to do that?


I'll cop to that being excessive, but come on, his post was so blatantly evil and inappropriate it provoked that kind of response. He needs to learn that actions have consequences, which I hope includes some scrutiny of him by his employer. That might get his attention and make him think twice before he posts such hateful nonsense again. Little else seems to affect him. The moderator did the right thing in shutting that down.

Another question for you. Randi admitted that he lied when he said that he did the same tests as Rupert Sheldrake and debunked them. Do you think it was right for Randi to lie? Is it ok for him to lie, since he is on your side? Are you able to call him out when he does wrong too?


No one should lie to promote their position including Randi. If he lied in this case, that was wrong and I mentioned this in the Sheldrake thread where I also pointed out two lies Sheldrake spouts in the video. What surprises me is that so many people don't have a little bell that goes off in their heads when they see that they must lie to support their position. Maybe they do, they're just too use to ignoring it.

Suppose it were 100 percent proven that Randi lied simply to try to refute someone he couldn't refute. Would that be wrong in your eyes?


Yes. Lying is wrong. But I don't believe a particular lie in a particular circumstance can speak to the entire person and the body of that person's work. Do you?

Look I do not claim to be 100 percent fair and objective, but at least I am much MORE fair and objective than the average person. Agreed?


Can't say yet. If I stick around long enough I'll be better able to form an opinion. But, hey, I'm a skeptic!

Look I understand your disgust at the sex tapes issue. But as long as he simply asks honest questions about them, I don't see why that is wrong or illegal. They exist, and bringing them up in and of itself is not libel or a false statement of fact. I'm just being technical about this.

Besides, I can see why he is pressing this issue. It is very understandable. He is using a very effective strategy that is even mentioned in Sun Tzu's "Ancient Art of War", which is to press your strength onto your opponent's weakness. These tapes are obviously an Achilles Heel on Randi, which he dreads and avoids like the plague, for obvious reasons. They have the ability to destroy his reputation, if the mainstream public found out about them and heard them. And that's what enemies and opponents do in battle or debate, they find the other side's weakness and exploit it, or press on it. If your objective is to win, then it's a very logical and effective strategy.

For instance, if we were playing tennis, and I discovered that you had a weak and unsteady backhand, I would exploit that and start hitting my best shot (my forehand) to your backhand to draw out more errors, and thus greatly increasing my chances of winning. It's a simple logical strategy - focusing your strength on your opponent's weakness.

In Randi and the Professor's case, Randi's weakness/achilles heel are those sex tapes, and the Professor's strength is that he is a showman and showmen are good at getting attention, so thus he is trying to draw attention to Randi's weakness. Thus, it is a logical strategic move, even if you don't like it. And a legal one too.

Comprendo?

Incidentally, I also use the same strategy in my treatises against pseudoskepticism and Christian fundamentalism. I find the points that they can't refute or explain away, and emphasize them, to score big points.

Now, if you are arguing that the sex tapes are a cut and dried case, then simply answer his questions about it, and then the case will be closed. But the skeptics are NOT answering his questions about it, so they act like they have something to hide.

As far as I know, these questions have not been answered fully:

1. Who taped these conversations and why? If Randi taped them, then who ordered him to do it? And why? If it was the police, where is the proof for this?
2. How did those tapes get into public hands?
3. Why was Randi expressing interest in getting blow jobs from those boys and giving blow jobs to them in the taped conversations, and also making arrangements to meet up with them?
4. Where is the evidence to back up Randi's claim that the police ordered him to have these conversations to trace boys who were blackmailing him?
5. Where is the evidence that these boys were blackmailing him? I didn't hear any indication in the conversations that Randi was being blackmailed.

Until those questions are adequately answered, people have a right to suspect that something is being hidden or covered up. Do they not?

Are you able to answer those questions?

There is nothing wrong with simply asking questions, right?

Have you even listened to the 7 audio files? If so, I'd like to get your objective analysis and opinion of them.

You also have to take into account that what Randi does naturally will make him a lot of enemies. He is not a uniter, he does not preach love, kindness and connectedness. He does not uplift other people either. Instead, he is an attacker and divider, who loves to see his opponents go down and thrives on it. So of course he is going to make a lot of enemies. Duh. What did you expect?


If Randi were preaching against sin then exposing his sinful ways would be meaningful. We've seen the results of self-righteous, conservative politicians caught in compromising situations. But Randi is advocating for critical thinking, so the hypocrisy issue isn't there. I understand that finding an opponents weakness and exploiting it is good debating strategy. But if you and I were on a stage debating the second amendment and you suddenly said, "Ah, but isn't it true that you had a gay experience when you were in college?" that would be out of line and the audience would probably let you know it whether they were in favor of your position on the second amendment or mine.

As far as your characterization of James Randi, I only know him through his work in exposing frauds and educating people about the wisdom of placing faith or money into beliefs that are suspect. Since there are a great many people who thrive on the ignorance of the masses it's no surprise that these charlatans see him as the enemy.

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Re: Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby ciscop » 05 Aug 2009, 00:11

for me dave koenig has every right of posting the tapes
is freedom of speech right?
i just dont see the point if he doesnt pursuit
like he really believe in
he is just using them as an attack on randi
chances are he already know where does tape came from
but he is pledging ignorance to play us all
just like he has done in other forums
that guy is delusional


and about penn and teller
i think they are great,
but they have been wrong in many episodes
like the one i told you of second hand smoking
i also think they were off topic on hypnosis
and i think they did a poor job on recycling too i might be wrong
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: Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby brett » 19 Aug 2009, 21:48

tell you what why don't we just ban ALL discussion of jref /randi - it seems this subject has taken over this site to the exclusion of a lot of other interesting posts that remain unanswered or totally ignored - if as "appears" to be the case the jref/randi " issue is a spill over from other sites where various people have been evicted from - why don't they go set up a site SPECIFICLY to discuss this issue

frankly people the whole saga is getting very boring :roll: - and no doubt putting off some who would have posted here but for this continuing saga - i though this board was about debunking skeptics and PsKeptics - and their arguments - not as it is turning into , a flipping war zone for the pro/anti Randi people

jref / randi are of no interest to a lot of us outside the states - or is it that those of us from else where are not wanted here ??

i am beginning to wonder :? :? .
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Re: Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby NinjaPuppy » 19 Aug 2009, 23:00

I agree with you Brett. I made a similar comment on viewtopic.php?f=7&t=282 yesterday.

IMO, it seems that most of this animosity is nothing more than a spam attempt of a personal agenda/vendetta spawning from one member.
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Re: Post your ideas and suggestions here

Postby ciscop » 26 Aug 2009, 00:34

2 members now..
highflyertoo has a antirandi agenda too

that guy is actually nuts, he was in a mental institution for week according to his own words. (look for the link on JREF blacktapes)

so.. yeah..
jref forum is just a bunch of attacks from both sides.. so.. i dont see the point
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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