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What is a Cynic ? - What is a Skeptic ?

Discuss PseudoSkeptics and their Fallacies. Share strategies for debating them.

What is a Cynic ? - What is a Skeptic ?

Postby really? » 28 Aug 2010, 13:24

Please don't tell me what skepticism is.


What is a cynic ? It is:
a fault finding captious critic
Captious: marked by an often [but not always] ill-natured inclination to stress faults and raise objections

What is a skeptic ? It is:
an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object
2
a : the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain
b : the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics

As we can see there's no difference between the two words in there intent.
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Re: What is a Cynic ? - What is a Skeptic ?

Postby Fifer » 28 Aug 2010, 17:35

As mentioned on another topic here, if we look at the original meaning of Cynic we see a different meaning all together which is rather odd...

Cynicism (Greek: κυνισμός), in its original form, refers to the beliefs of an ancient school of Greek philosophers known as the Cynics (Greek: Κυνικοί, Latin: Cynici). Their philosophy was that the purpose of life was to live a life of Virtue in agreement with Nature. This meant rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, health, and fame, and by living a simple life free from all possessions. As reasoning creatures, people could gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way which was natural for humans. They believed that the world belonged equally to everyone, and that suffering was caused by false judgments of what was valuable and by the worthless customs and conventions which surrounded society.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynicism

Now someone used the argument that words have multiple meanings and maybe so but, if we look at the above description and historical reference of the word and then look at how the educational establishments (here in the UK anyway) portray the word we see basically a polar opposite.

I mean, for us all here its pretty easy to research and understand such wording as we are thinking people, what about the plethora of public members of society who go around with pre-conceived ideas that the word Cynic is a bad word and wishing no association. When we look at the above quote, who would not wish to be associated with such a great philosophy (hard nosed Pseudo-sceptics and materialists maybe?) I am surmising obliviously :lol:
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Re: What is a Cynic ? - What is a Skeptic ?

Postby really? » 28 Aug 2010, 20:12

In the original meaning it is a philosophy for how to live life. It has no bearing in it's relation to the current meaning and how this site defines the word cynic.
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Re: What is a Cynic ? - What is a Skeptic ?

Postby Arouet » 28 Aug 2010, 20:27

Well, because if you told someone you are a cynic, you're going to have to explain that you really mean the ancient Greek philosopher type of cynic, otherwise they'lll assume you mean something like:

Cynicism is to an attitude of jaded negativity, and a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of other people. The term originally derives from a group of philosophers in ancient Greece called the Cynics who rejected all conventions, whether of religion, manners, housing, dress, or decency, advocating the pursuit of virtue in a simple and unmaterialistic lifestyle. By the 19th century, emphasis on the negative aspects of Cynic philosophy led to the modern understanding of cynicism to mean a disposition to disbelieve in the sincerity or goodness of human motives and actions. Modern cynicism, as a product of mass society, is a distrust toward professed ethical and social values, especially when there are high expectations concerning society, institutions and authorities which are unfulfilled. It can manifest itself as a result of frustration, disillusionment, and distrust perceived as due to organizations, authorities and other aspects of society, and thus is roughly equivalent to a substantive form of the English word "jaded".


When you look at it the way its set out there you can easily see how the word morphed.

What it appears, however, that today. to be cynical means to not be objective. It's criticism from a jaded perspective, which good skeptics should try and avoid, IMO.
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Re: What is a Cynic ? - What is a Skeptic ?

Postby Fifer » 28 Aug 2010, 21:28

really? wrote:It has no bearing in it's relation to the current meaning and how this site defines the word cynic.


Really?

:D
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Re: What is a Cynic ? - What is a Skeptic ?

Postby Fifer » 28 Aug 2010, 21:30

Arouet wrote:which good skeptics should try and avoid, IMO.


Fully Agree!!
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Re: What is a Cynic ? - What is a Skeptic ?

Postby Craig Browning » 28 Aug 2010, 22:48

CYNIC = Ass Hole

Skeptic = A Hemorrhoid that hangs around Ass Holes


I wont say who gave me that set definitions but I will say that he's very much involved with the JREF :lol:

Sadly, it has become quite true in the past few years, as the pseudo-intellectuals have become the Campus Bullies (on line at least), acting out on the grounds of supposed logic rather than the testosterone that compels the others into acts of torment and ridicule. A therapist looking at these antics would most likely expose these same parallels, inferring that today's acting out on line by the pseudo-intellect is their way of feeling the same level of superiority their school year oppressors exerted over them. Unfortunately, denial runs deep when confronted with such views, then again, the human animal loathes the "truth" though it seems to be in a state of perpetual quest thereof... such a paradox :lol:
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