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What Is Skepticism????

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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby craig weiler » 22 Sep 2011, 22:22

Well, Arouet, you came to a forum with psychics and then proceeded to go about acting as though psychic ability doesn't exist. You're arguing with people who know far more about the subject than you do, but you act like you're on equal footing and doubt us. You. are. . . arrogant. You don't really deserve the respect that you think you do. Show some humility and perhaps that will change.
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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby Arouet » 23 Sep 2011, 00:00

Craig, I think we all deserve respect. But I'm funny that way. I agree that many people like yourself don't.

You've come in here read a couple posts and believe you've sized me up. You continuously put words and positions in mine and other people's mouths, misrepresenting what they are actually saying. You don't give the impression that you are really reading what is put forward, but you have an image in your mind of what you think they must mean- because of 'course they are skeptics and must therefore be closed-minded and wrong.

In any event, before accusing me of arrogance, you may want to engage in a bit of self-reflection.
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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby Craig Browning » 23 Sep 2011, 01:04

:shock: WOW, I don't know what triggered this particular back & forth but I will say that both parties support part of the blame as well as founded view.

Arouet, as I've mentioned in another thread, you do come off with a "high & mighty" position at times. It is a trait that is very common and pronounced even, in the majority of naysayers and one of those things that put "us' on edge. Think of how fun it would be to have to defend your life and your personal "novelty" 24/7. Consider how much joy exists in a person's life when they are being damned to hell by the holy rollers and promoted as con-artists and criminals by the so-called intellectuals of society.

Craig is correct in his comment about looking for a reason to believe, this is how the skeptics of the 19th and early 20th century (at least in the magic world) approached things even before Houdini's famed campaigns. The goal was to "find god" so to speak, which was also one of the things Einstein used to claim; in fact, most of the great physicist, mathematicians, etc. from the dark ages forward, were men (and a few women) of god -- people with exceptionally strong faith, that sought to better define the Divine and it's greatness by way of science.

As I've mentioned here a few times, many of the more ardent skeptics that actually took to the time to do as I've challenged you and others to do -- to study and actually practice things as outlined in the various books on psychic development, the tarot, etc. -- many of these people found themselves face to face with things they once viewed as bunk and suddenly found belief in and valid reasons for that investment of belief. As this type of transformation started proving common a big shift took place in the skeptic's community and as best I can tell, it was catalyzed by the magic fraternity -- the act of avoidance. . . if you do not invest yourself into the study of it, you will not shift your views. It's kind of like handing a copy of the Koran to a born again Christian and challenging them to learn more about Jesus through it. It's a waste of time because they already have their own opinion and their belief in that view is so WEAK they dare not step outside the boundaries given them by their ministers.

Seems to me a person of devout faith and belief in something would be strong enough to not worry about doubt and a possible change of perspective. We do not however, see this within the auspices of Religion or the world of the Pseudo-Intellectual that enjoys being a bully and puffing themselves up as the superior being when it comes to the whole PSI issue and other such things. Similarly, skeptics (and believers alike) have a knee-jerk reaction almost as soon as the issue surfaces; a attitude that's akin to fencing or taking on a chess opponent that you believe to be less prepared or skilled than you.

I'll not continue with this "observation" in that I believe I've made enough points here. Both sides have ASSUMED certain things in that both sides have certain buttons that are readily pushed and sometimes, in quite deliberate ways, so as to break-down the other until they quit the argument or the other attempts to "dismiss" the opposition under the facade of having lost face.

Arouet, there are patterns -- constants -- common to the skeptic and their "arguments" when it comes to PSI or any number of other topics. It does not matter who it is in the conversation, they always follow this map and use the same "script". . . so much so that you could tape record it once and just let others share the original comment on play-back rather than stating it over and over again. Cynics simply do not want to believe in anything they can't dissect and learn how to exploit for themselves and please don't come back with the "how it can help others" in that we all know how man is only interested in helping himself stand above others and that's exactly how it would be used. For that reason it only makes sense that a very small handful of people gain even a glimmer of understanding of it let alone being able to work it -- the Universe just seems to know better.
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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby craig weiler » 23 Sep 2011, 05:10

Arouet,
Welcome to the world of psychic people, who have no trouble intuiting the personalities of other people. We are also well aware of people's blindness to their own shortcomings. You are a decent person, but you are also indecisive and controlling. You cannot be allowed to have things your way because it is to my detriment. You don't play fair and you don't even realize it. So I have to constantly push you outside of your comfort zone and be demanding just to get you out of your well worn tracks. You won't change your opinion unless it is demanded of you and a skeptic who won't change is a pseudo skeptic.
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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby Arouet » 23 Sep 2011, 05:23

Craig W, you don't need to psychoanalyse me. If you think I'm being unfair then point it out directly. But I participate in forums for enjoyment. I don't troll people, and try not to insult people (in general, not perfect!)

I'm a skeptic who actively seeks out proponent forums. Most of my time is spent on Skeptiko. I read most of the studies linked to there (though I don't pretend to understand it all, I don't have a science background). I post a bit on JREF but prefer to discourse with people with different viewpoints from mine.

You don't need psi to inutuit the pesonalities of other people. We all do it. In my buiness you need to be able to size people up. But it's also dangerous to be too certain in your first impression.


Craig B: I do recognize that for me, these are just interesting discussions about interesting things, but that for some proponents its much more personal. I get that that puts people's backs up. That is one reason why I try to stay away from talking about the personal experiences people have and stick to talking about parapsychology - which is a little more distant.

I don't mean to come off as high and mighty - though perhaps I do at times - point it out to me when you see and I'll try and curtail it. It's also hard to convey tone sometimes over the net.

what I've also observed is that both sides tend to make the identical critiques of the other. I've even blogged about that. We tend to view the other side as the enemy. As THEM. Rather than we're all just a bunch of people trying to figure out how the world works and procrastinate at work! :)
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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby craig weiler » 23 Sep 2011, 08:00

what I've also observed is that both sides tend to make the identical critiques of the other. I've even blogged about that. We tend to view the other side as the enemy. As THEM. Rather than we're all just a bunch of people trying to figure out how the world works and procrastinate at work! :)


I agree about the procrastination. ;) However, I don't think that the critiques are identical. Especially with psychics. We are vastly different personality types.
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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby Arouet » 23 Sep 2011, 08:30

Yes, you are very special. And yet you still make some of the same critiques of skeptics that skeptics make of proponents.

It's natural to do this. If we recognize it though we can perhaps get away from it.
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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby craig weiler » 23 Sep 2011, 09:47

Yes, you are very special. And yet you still make some of the same critiques of skeptics that skeptics make of proponents.


Is the patronizing "Yes, you are very special" crap because I said I was psychic? Do you think that this is some sort of ploy for attention? The need to feel special?

Actually, I'm quite curious. Is this really how you perceive people with psychic ability?
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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby Arouet » 23 Sep 2011, 10:23

No, it was a reference to my making a comment that skeptics and proponents level the same criticisms at each other and then you declaring yourself to be "vastly different" from those skeptics, even though you've been levelling the same kind of critiques yourself since you came here. I hate to break it to you, but you are not as different as you think.

But that's ok: 'cause few of us are!

(as for people with psychic ability I am not yet convinced that those abilities exist)
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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby Arouet » 23 Sep 2011, 10:51

so yes my "you are special" comment was a little snarky and for that I apologise. Butt frankly you've come into this forum all guns ablazin' and it was pissing me off a bit. You are of the type who believe that skeptics and proponents need to be opponents. I prefer to try and bring the various sides together. I don't think that's helpful to anyone. I criticize skeptics who do the same thing. There's no need for the hostility. Again: we're all just people. And we're not that different. Good discussions happen when people forget that they need to be on opposite sides.
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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby Craig Browning » 23 Sep 2011, 21:37

Arouet is correct to some degree, both sides accuse one another of blanket statements and being closed off. I have pointed out a few times as to one cause for this "contrast" and how it really is a Left v. Right Brain issue more than anything; to my mind much of what either side states is the same thing just different terms and points of view. Where the believer tends to think with their gut and emotions the rationalist is almost entirely mental and 'critical" -- we're looking at Air & Water vs. Fire & Earth; while each element needs the others it is only by degree that they "agree" and create a productive sense of harmony, but it almost always requires the influence of the other two elements, which tend to get nixed when it comes to this kind of issue.

Craig W has pointed out how "Psychics" can tune in on others which I have to admit, does affect me a good deal at times due to personal circumstance (medical) more than psychic contact -- the easy explanation is that health & related treatments actually make me more susceptible to particular energies and as such, I take affront quicker and go on the defense faster. . . and I can get nasty in doing so because I've had to endure such things for the past 30+ years. . . no one enjoys the position of paddle boy for that long a time and we'd be fools to think such a "victim" won't lash out after taking so much of it. Out only option is to keep our mouths shut and avoid the frey which is the same as conceding defeat, which is not acceptable to me and obviously, a growing number of others who are affected by said rhetoric. Especially those of us that are becoming more and more haunted by the global energy now afoot and the direction things are rapidly heading (and no, we're not talking Aztec or Christian doom & gloom. . . specifically; just a serious age of shaking things up).

As has been shared, being a Skeptic means that I'm willing to look into things from every side of the issue be it politics, family problems or questions of belief. As most of you know I have a deep loathing for any and all forms of organized religion, and for reasons many here have discovered on their own -- deception and a lust for power by duplicitous men leading the way. Yet, I will stand up for any person to believe in a higher power or the power of the omnipotent spaghetti monster. As the saying goes, "that it harm none, do as thou will".

Way too much of today's skepticism brings harm to way too many people and yet, those that perpetuate that harm refuse to accept responsibility for the conflict and anxiety they've created as the result of their own zeal and venom. How is this right?

Anywho. . . I'm off to enjoy my Birthday inside an MRI Tube. . . happy, happy, joy, joy :roll:
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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby craig weiler » 24 Sep 2011, 01:41

Ok, for the record I did not say that I was vastly different. That would be ridiculous. I said that our personalities are vastly different, which doesn't imply anything nearly so extraordinary. And we're about as opposite as they come.
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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby Arouet » 24 Sep 2011, 02:21

Happy Birthday Craig B.

Craig W: perhaps we do have different personalities. But my point was that skeptics and proponents - personality differences aside - often level the same types of critques at each other. While I don't feel like going back through thousands of posts for examples, I'd be happy to point some out on a prospective basis if you aren't convinced!
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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby craig weiler » 24 Sep 2011, 03:44

Happy B-Day Craig!

Arouet,
No, I am not going ask you to do something so tedious. Let me explain what I see. You have demonstrated yourself to be cautious and analytical. You want to examine all sides of an issue and carefully weigh the evidence to the best of your ability and rely on rational thinking and logic to come to a conclusion. It is one way of doing things and it has its positives and negatives.

I will look at both sides of an issue, but only up to a point. I would rather believe something and be wrong than spend a lot of time being cautious. If you commit to an idea, it usually turns out to be wrong or right pretty quickly. Another method I use is to size up the nature of the argument. People get points for being honest and lose points for stretching the truth or lying. I'm very good at sniffing this stuff out so this also shakes out pretty quickly.
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Re: What Is Skepticism????

Postby Craig Browning » 25 Sep 2011, 05:14

People get points for being honest and lose points for stretching the truth or lying. I'm very good at sniffing this stuff out so this also shakes out pretty quickly.


Take a look at that nose in your Avatar... of course you can sniff out such things, gesh! :lol:
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