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Video: Skeptics vs Believers Panel Debate at DragonCon

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

Video: Skeptics vs Believers Panel Debate at DragonCon

Postby Scepcop » 27 Jul 2009, 01:16

Recorded at Dragon*Con 2007. Skeptics Dr. Michael Shermer and Alison Smith debate believers Patrick Burns and Graham Watkins. Watch all 6 parts below.











“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: Video: Skeptics vs Believers Panel Debate at DragonCon

Postby Scepcop » 27 Jul 2009, 01:28

I haven't watched this debate yet, but I can already tell by the Paranormal Panel that the people they selected are weak and not sharp intellectual debaters, like the folks on this forum are :)

Why is it that when skeptic groups host public debates with paranormal supporters, they never bring on people who are efficient and skilled at debate strategy? It's annoying watching people on your side who don't know how to debate and don't know basic attack and defense strategy. I keep watching and saying that I could have done better if I had brought up this and that, etc.

All they have to do is follow one of Sun Tzu's Ancient Art of War strategies, which is to find your enemies' weakness and press on it with your area of strength. It's that simple and works in any contest. First you identify the flaws and weaknesses of the skeptics, then you expose them, knowing that they can't answer them. Ask them hard questions they can't answer, phrase them in a way that they can't win. Or provide facts, evidence and examples that they can't refute. At that point, all they can do is dodge the issue, change the subject or use ad hominem attacks on you. Then you have them. It's that simple. That's the key to winning a lot of these debates. It's very basic, and works with many games as well.

So why don't paranormal supporters do it?! Sheesh. And why is it that when Randi debates people, they always shake in their boots and have trouble responding to him as though they were afraid of him. Does he have hypnotic power over people or something? Why don't they bring ME to debate him? I can take him out easily for sure, logically and efficiently.

I just emailed DragonCon through their website and offered to debate the skeptics publicly at their event next time.

Years ago, a New York skeptics group invited me for a public debate, but eventually it got cancelled cause they couldn't find a partner on the East Coast for me to be on my team. I thought that was odd, how hard can it be? Perhaps they couldn't afford to fly me to the East Coast and were just using that as an excuse.

Maybe after SCEPCOP becomes a bigger force and receives more attention, I'll get another invitation.
“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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