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Skepticism /= debunking

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

Skepticism /= debunking

Postby Arouet » 11 Nov 2010, 12:13

Ok, something has been nagging at me every time Scepcop makes a thread like this:

Scepcop wrote:Skeptics, why are there black holes over the poles in these pictures?


Where Scepcop asks: Skeptics, tell me what is really going on here if you're such smarty-pants? I finally figured it out. It is mixing up skepticism with debunking. While some may think that all skeptics do is debunk, that's really not part of skepticism - although a skeptical approach may in fact lead to debunking. The question a skeptic asks himself first when, for example, looking at the video with the black hole at the north pole is: what is the evidence in favour of that hypothesis? How reliable is that evidence? Do the facts support the conclusions? Etc. That is skepticism.

What is really going on is actually a slightly different question. In trying to answer that question one should use a skeptical approach: ie, rely only on reliable evidence, but its not skepticism per se, imo.

What Scepcop really should do is set out why he agrees with the video, and provide his evidence, then challenge the skeptics to evaluate that evidence. A skeptic doesn't need to figure out what's really going on in order to skeptically analyze the argument. That is: I can look at those black holes in those images and note that they look computer generated rather than an actual scanned image. But I don't have to have a fully fleshed out hypothesis of what they actually are to consider myself to be justified in NOT accepting that those circles represent black holes into the core of the earth. All I have to do is note that computer generated images are not sufficient evidence to justify such a belief. There's nothing wrong, of course, of going further, I'm just making the perhaps subtle point that that figuring out is not necessary to be fully skeptical here. I can say I don't know what's going on at the same time as saying that you still haven't made out your case as to what you think is going on.
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Re: Skepticism /= debunking

Postby derrida » 11 Nov 2010, 13:55

DING DING DING DING!!
You are right on the money !!!

skepticism =/ debunking
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Re: Skepticism /= debunking

Postby Craig Browning » 12 Nov 2010, 03:45

People find it odd that I call myself a "skeptic" and the fact that I encourage my students within the whole Psychic/New Age mix of granola to live life with a healthy sense of skepticism; my "obligation" being to teach them to see things outside the rose tinted lens effect.

On one level my views do host a "De-bunker" sense about it, in that I want those that "believe" to not be gullible and thus, susceptible to the antics of con-artists and charismatic speakers. In other words, I need my "students" to recognize that the world of the Psychic/Mystic is full of BULL SHIT and if one is truly walking a path in which wisdom is paramount, you will go out of your way to not get sucked into the hype and fertilizer. A "Wise One" has learned to see beyond the illusions as well as the delusions; something few in the New Age sector really qualify at due to their eagerness to be "more" vs. being "real".

I can't find much in the teachings of the great spiritual masters that do not encourage this very same way of looking at life and most particularly, miracles and the claims thereof, as they are tied to this or that individual; be it Simon Magus or David Korech. What I have found in common, when it comes to these wisdom traditions, is encouragement to question the miraculous; Lord Buddha point blank asking his students to ponder "who the miracle benefits?" His teachings being rather direct in the fact that most miracle mongers present such things for the same of self-aggrandizement, not for the sake or benefit of others.

Obviously, I think many of today's "De-bunkers" take things a bit too far and for the wrong reasons. On the other hand, I believe every person that is guided by honest wisdom and integrity, knows where and how to balance the message; allowing the faith-filled their due while likewise opening the door for those still confounded by the idea of things miraculous that they might discover for themselves the fact that an alternative understanding exists and more importantly, these are views (wisdom) that have been known and taught by the mystic masters for thousands of years... provided one is willing to see and hear what they taught... let he with ears with which to hear, hear; those with eyes with which to see, see and know these things...
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Re: Skepticism /= debunking

Postby jakesteele » 20 Dec 2010, 09:36

Arouet wrote:Ok, something has been nagging at me every time Scepcop makes a thread like this:

Scepcop wrote:Skeptics, why are there black holes over the poles in these pictures?


Where Scepcop asks: Skeptics, tell me what is really going on here if you're such smarty-pants? I finally figured it out. It is mixing up skepticism with debunking. While some may think that all skeptics do is debunk, that's really not part of skepticism - although a skeptical approach may in fact lead to debunking. The question a skeptic asks himself first when, for example, looking at the video with the black hole at the north pole is: what is the evidence in favour of that hypothesis? How reliable is that evidence? Do the facts support the conclusions? Etc. That is skepticism.

What is really going on is actually a slightly different question. In trying to answer that question one should use a skeptical approach: ie, rely only on reliable evidence, but its not skepticism per se, imo.

What Scepcop really should do is set out why he agrees with the video, and provide his evidence, then challenge the skeptics to evaluate that evidence. A skeptic doesn't need to figure out what's really going on in order to skeptically analyze the argument. That is: I can look at those black holes in those images and note that they look computer generated rather than an actual scanned image. But I don't have to have a fully fleshed out hypothesis of what they actually are to consider myself to be justified in NOT accepting that those circles represent black holes into the core of the earth. All I have to do is note that computer generated images are not sufficient evidence to justify such a belief. There's nothing wrong, of course, of going further, I'm just making the perhaps subtle point that that figuring out is not necessary to be fully skeptical here. I can say I don't know what's going on at the same time as saying that you still haven't made out your case as to what you think is going on.


I'm normally on the other side of the fence with debunkers, but that was very well said. Props to you.
Debunkers think all UFO photos are fake,
especially the real ones.
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Re: Skepticism /= debunking

Postby Arouet » 20 Dec 2010, 09:48

:)
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