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Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be required?

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

Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby Arouet » 25 Nov 2011, 04:18

So is there a study that you find particularly solid or not?
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Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby craig weiler » 25 Nov 2011, 09:05

I'm saying that this particular type of evidence lends itself to skeptical nitpicking and requires a certain amount of trust in the original investigators for you to change your mind. I cannot conceive of you ever trusting the abilities of anyone associated with psi research.
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Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby Arouet » 25 Nov 2011, 09:23

I'm having trouble understand what your are getting at: are you suggesting that the research isn't well controlled and we should just take the researcher's word for it? Is there any other area of science where you'd advocate just trusting the researcher?
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Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby Epimetheus » 25 Nov 2011, 11:49

craig weiler wrote:Parapsychology skepticism is a joke to start with, so asking parapsychology skeptics to be objective is not going to change anything.


Maybe there is a place for some kind of objectivity test after all?

craig weiler wrote:... the whole skeptical canon is based on creating doubt.


That is indeed, exactly what skepticism is all about. Creating doubt, questioning credulity, and encouraging critical thinking.

No-one is arguing that there are a large number of phonomenon reported as paranormal. What is being debated is the actual cause, or mechanism, of the experiences.

I wonder just how many billions of drivers have had incorrect beliefs about how their car engine functions? I wouldn't question that they drove, only that their knowledge of how that driving occurred was flawed.

That many billions of people could be mistaken as to the cause of their experiences isn't surprising at all. I'd even say it's likely, based on humanity's social history. Religion and the paranormal seem like just the sort of conclusion we'd be hardwired to jump to.

As you're a professional psychic/empath I wonder if you are 'intuiting' your way through the argument rather than reasoning it?
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Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby craig weiler » 25 Nov 2011, 12:33

That is indeed, exactly what skepticism is all about. Creating doubt, questioning credulity, and encouraging critical thinking.


I thought that it was about examining the facts objectively. Creating doubt is a pointless activity and it has nothing to do with critical thinking or skepticism.
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Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby craig weiler » 25 Nov 2011, 12:42

Arouet,
The case studies, by definition are not completely controlled and involve reports by investigators. They cannot address absolutely every objection that a skeptic might think of, so you would have to trust that their overall thoroughness was sufficient and that they were reasonably objective and did not miss obvious things that a skeptic might question later.
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Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby Epimetheus » 25 Nov 2011, 13:17

craig weiler wrote: Creating doubt is a pointless activity and it has nothing to do with critical thinking or skepticism.


I doubt things all the time. Doubt is inseperable from curiosity, and is at the heart of skepticism. Doubt is the trigger mechanism for critical thinking, and may also be its result. Creating doubt is incredibly important:

- Many alternative health practitioners encourage doubt over the efficacy of evidence based medicine.
- You encourage doubt about the altruistic motives of skeptics.
- I encourage you to doubt your conviction that everything you suspect to be paranormal really is.
- You doubt the adequacy of a materialist reductionist perspective. Indeed, we might call you a skeptic of materialism.
- I doubt governments, I doubt the viability of our current economic structures, I doubt the sustainability of commercial farming practices.

Doubt drives change and revolution, without it we never would have crawled out from under the yoke of the Church.
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Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby Jayhawker30 » 25 Nov 2011, 14:11

I have an objectivity test for skeptics.

What is the weather like outside of my building?
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Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby ProfWag » 25 Nov 2011, 22:57

craig weiler wrote:I'm saying that this particular type of evidence lends itself to skeptical nitpicking and requires a certain amount of trust in the original investigators for you to change your mind. I cannot conceive of you ever trusting the abilities of anyone associated with psi research.

"Nitpicking?" I'm sure glad that NASA didn't allow nitpicking when figuring out how to send a man to the moon or I'm glad that the brain surgeon didn't nitpick when working to remove a tumor from someone's brain.
Sorry, but even you should be nitpicking when objectively reviewing studies on the subject of your interest. Failure to do so makes the conclusion you draw potentially erroneous.
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Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby Arouet » 25 Nov 2011, 23:35

craig weiler wrote:
That is indeed, exactly what skepticism is all about. Creating doubt, questioning credulity, and encouraging critical thinking.


I thought that it was about examining the facts objectively. Creating doubt is a pointless activity and it has nothing to do with critical thinking or skepticism.


I think we're playing semantics here. The act of evaluating a proposition and determing whether the evidence in favour of it is reliable is inherently a doubtful practice. We start off from the position of not being convinced, criticaly examine the issue,then reflet on whether we are convinced.

Otherwise we'd be saying take every proposition at face value until we find reason not to believe it. But I don't think you're saying that Craig!
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Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby Arouet » 25 Nov 2011, 23:42

craig weiler wrote:Arouet,
The case studies, by definition are not completely controlled and involve reports by investigators. They cannot address absolutely every objection that a skeptic might think of, so you would have to trust that their overall thoroughness was sufficient and that they were reasonably objective and did not miss obvious things that a skeptic might question later.


I guess I'm still not clear about what you're talking about since you have refused to provide an example of a good study that you believe has been unjustly ignored.

If may be true that it is difficult to address every possible mundane cause for whatever is being investigated. That's part of the trickiness of studying these apparant phenemena, but its always what leads me to withold beleif at this time. And I don't just trust that the researchers covered every base - why would I? 50% of research ends up being wrong. And even the 50% we are "right" about still is incomplete.

But unless you can advance a testable theory of what psi is (rather than what its not) we're always going to have this problem.
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Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby craig weiler » 25 Nov 2011, 23:52

Arouet,
I'm sorry. You are just not grasping this. I give up.
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Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby Arouet » 26 Nov 2011, 00:23

craig weiler wrote:Arouet,
I'm sorry. You are just not grasping this. I give up.


That's fine, Craig, its not like you tried very hard in the first place. I don't get you. You call the skeptics closed minded yet you seem to refuse to want to talk about anything except in the most general manner. And your "we should just trust them" argument falls very flat to me. How would you expect anyone who doesn't already believe to accept that?
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Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby jetmech » 03 Mar 2012, 21:56

Something i do not understand. How could any of you say
you are NOT a skeptic? You all must be. You have not spent all your money on every device or product that touts itself as “zero point energy” or “lenr canr cf”
or you would not be on this forum you would be homeless! what about magnet bracelets? I know each and every one of your “BELIEFS” STOPS somewhere. It has to or you would be broke! I think the major problem is you are confusing skepticism with criticism. Most of the skeptic arguments i have found to be valid skepticism and i must say have added to my knowledge (looking things up to verify what they say) than any of the believers! Sometimes you just have to be honest. Not hiding behind some kind of conspiracy theory. just be honest. If you believe the world is run by some conspiracy how will you ever know who’s conspiracy it is!
You ARE a skeptic if you have ever looked at the tires of a used car!
You are a skeptic if you have ever looked down to see if your stepping in doo doo!
You are a skeptic if you do not click on an internet pop up that says "you have viruses click here to clean them up"!
You are a skeptic if you look to see if there is water in the swimming pool before you jump in!
And of course on ands on!
So what is your point about being skeptical?
Do you mean just being skeptical about certain issues?
Which of course is going to vary among individuals.
Is there ANYTHING we can agree on that you would be skeptical about?
To me if you put something out there about being anti-skeptical it is going to strike a chord with someone.
My point is ALL of you are anti-skeptical about something

For some its GOD
Others Mind Reading
Ghosts
remote viewing
Dowsing
Homeopathy
Horoscopes
Free Energy Devices
Magnets
20 cent bracelets that help your balance
Talking to the dead

To me you all pick whatever you are anti-skeptical about
and then rant at skeptical people who pretty much reject your particular belief!

Meanwhile when you are at the used car lot you are pretty much "full patho skeptic mode"?
You never shop for an item based on its specifications?

I can see why the JREF would excite most of you because yes they are skeptical of most of that!
I can not see why asking for proof is wrong!
or looking at the tires of a used car (or maybe see if it actually runs)

EVERYBODY is a skeptic! (maybe not so much the neanderthals?)
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Re: Objectivity test for Skeptics here - Should it be requir

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 04 May 2012, 03:46

jetmech wrote:
EVERYBODY is a skeptic! (maybe not so much the neanderthals?)

I am skeptical of your last statement, Jetmech, but I'd trust a plane you checked out to be properly checked.

When the first Rhetor came to Rome, centuries before the Common Era, he defined virtue for the Senate so well he was rewarded with a talent of gold.
The next day, he refuted his arguiments. The Senate, allegedly shocked and disgusted, fined hime two talents and banished him from Rome for demonstrating an inconceivable degree of perfidy.
One part of my mind believes the Romans WERE shocked. A more cynical part suspects an element of propaganda, but they must have thought someone would be impressed at their ploy.

The main evolutionary force towards skepticism seems to have been human deceit, but deceit works only when their are gullible people about.

In the ecology of ideas, deceit is a predator, but skepticism is a watch dog. A new truth is also predatory, and pseudo-skeptics are watch guards there.

Another anology is with the spectrum of malaria, sickle-cell anemia, and immunity. The gene which gives immunity to malaria is recessive. If a person only has one, they have sickle cell anemia. The genes are distributed in such a way that about as many people survive maleria as die from anemia.
Perhaps there is a recessive gene for sociopathy, and if one only has one, one is merely skeptical, with none, one is part of the majority of the easily conned ?
"What's so Funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding?"
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