Discuss PseudoSkeptics and their Fallacies. Share strategies for debating them.
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The Neuropsychology of Pseudo-Skepticism
NOTE: Long ago, before I came across the term ‘pseudo-skeptic’, I decided to call them “skeptinazi’s” or “skeptifascists” for lack of a better term. I probably should have thought of the pseudo version early on, but I was compelled to the more derogatory forms after constantly dealing with these types who are all too often rash and nasty types during online debates. I later learned that the concept had been discussed since around 1987, by a man named Marcello Truzzi, and there’s even a good Wikipedia entry on it.
Skeptic: one who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.
By definition, a skeptic doubts even the norm, to get to the truth. This is how I got where I am, right now. In the case of the Skeptinazi, they seem to latch onto the norm, and doubt anything that goes against it. If they do view something they can’t argue, they seem to brush it off as if it never happened, and don’t appear to take that into consideration when analyzing other related topics. Its really case sensitive if this is specifically related to wishful thinking, or just lack of ability to really see the big picture.
This post is actually a rushed mashup and expansion of 2 older posts, so please excuse the format. Below I’ll list many other of these ‘psuedo-skeptic fallacies, but first I’ll primarily focus on the most prevalent fallacy that befools them: “Conspiracies Don’t Exist”.
Pseudo-skeptic fallacies are sort of get out of jail free cards that the typically fascist demeanored self-described “Skeptics” (note the capitol S) typically pull out when it’s time to actually think (about the unthinkable). Usually they’ll resort to pulling this card out after all else fails, but sometimes they even go the extra mile to actually pull this out from the onset of the debate or discussion to frame you as being a ‘nutjob’ pick-your-word to go for total victory by destroying you.
Fallacy : a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning
This article destroys that claim / mindset, and can effectively make them wish they never tried framing dissenters as being the “fantasy world” (this is Popular Mechanics terminology for anyone who doubts the official 9/11 narrative) tinfoil hat wearing nut-bag etc.
The “Conspiracies Don’t Exist” ‘fallacy’ is a particular favorite of those who actually want to debate things of this nature yet surely go for the ‘accepted’ belief of the case, and in the context of (them not) doubting the 9/11 event narrative [in particular] (despite vast flaws and contradictory evidence) violates the definition of skepticism. To ‘weigh’ evidence in the goal of making it suit preconceptions and ideal realities isn’t skepticism. 9/11 isn’t the only example, but it’s surely the choicest besides irrational binary political bias mud-flinging.
Skeptic: someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs.
For those who actually try to talk to people about an issue like 911 you’ll surely deal with the wishfully ignoramus mindset that avoids the discussion at all costs. In most cases, it seems that those who are new to the concepts in general won’t always go for this approach either. Now when you get to those who are already experienced with the prospect that “the government” could have “done it” the odds of encountering the “conspiracies don’t (or CANT) exist” arguments multiply. When you get to the Skeptinazi you’re almost certain to encounter this, in fact, if you don’t it may be safe to assume that the potential Skeptinazi isn’t actually “sophisticated” enough to qualify as a ‘member’ of the ‘sophisticated’ Skeptinazi social group.
Skeptic: one who is yet undecided as to what is true; one who is looking or inquiring for what is true; an inquirer after facts or reasons.
“Sophistication” in this regard actually means the scale of bias that affects the person. In abstract terms, this mostly applies to the strength of the mindset and the time under which the delusional and irrational individual has been self-enslaved to the mindset. In all fairness, this can also apply to true “conspiracy theorists” who irrationally believe in all conspiracy ‘theories’, even those without merit or even evidence to the contrary. True “conspiracy theorists” are the ideological polar opposite of the Skeptinazi. A good reference is the politically biased delusionalists from the left / right paradigm mentality.
For clarification: The ‘conspiracies don’t exist’ theory is actually more than a card to pull, it’s actually deep mindset that is used when analyzing anything (ideal contradicting) from daily news and actual direct research by those who follow the ideology.
Skeptic: of or pertaining to a sceptic or skepticism; characterized by skepticism; hesitating to admit the certainly of doctrines or principles; doubting of everything.
The “Skeptinazi” title is the term I used, years ago, in response to observing the social-impostors that present themselves as being the rational higher sort of cognitive class than the “kooky tinfoil hat wearing nut-bags” that dare to doubt the 911 official version or have gripes with the ever increasing totalitarian political / technological enslavement that we’re all witnessing. They present themselves as being the true “skeptics”, but in truth they’re only skeptical of basically any and all claims against their own ideal fantasies of reality. They’ll persistently present themselves as being fancy status members like “Logicians”, but bias social-psycho-neuroscience still dictates they’re entire mindset and methods of interpreting information to suit ones psychological needs / wants.
Truzzi’s Pseudoskeptic Attributions:
-The tendency to deny, rather than doubt.
-Double standards in the application of criticism.
-Tendency to discredit, rather than investigate.
-Use of ridicule or ad hominem attacks in lieu of arguments.
-Pejorative labeling of proponents as ‘promoters’, ‘pseudoscientists’ or practitioners of ‘pathological science.
-Presenting insufficient evidence or proof.
-Assuming criticism requires no burden of proof.
-Making unsubstantiated counter-claims.
-Counter-claims based on plausibility rather than empirical evidence.
-Suggesting that unconvincing evidence is grounds for dismissing it.
They naively think that by memorizing the most-common-logical-fallacy lists they can overcome irrational human behavior / thinking patterns. This mindset is a fallacy in of itself: Argumentum ad Ignorantiam. Don’t get me wrong, knowing at least some of fallacies on the list can not only help you in better interpreting the information you’re pouring over but can also help you maintain a higher degree of being “right”. However, knowing these fallacies alone cannot save you from being biased, which is important, because fMRI brain scans have proved that politically biased people self-deceive themselves to maintain their ideal constructs of reality.
Logical fallacies are like philosophical extensions of “cognitive biases“, yet cognitive biases are the neurological underpinnings of logical fallacies and more. Don’t forget that philosophy was the precursor to neuroscience / psychology / sociology / etc. In fact, worthy philosophy goes back to times when most cultures still believed we think with our hearts.
It’s quite likely that some of the most common fallacies might even deserve their own cognitive bias classifications, but its safe to say that virtually all of them are connected to said cognitive biases in some way. In many cases they’re the result of complexes of cognitive biases. These mindset complexes actually stem from the overall belief system of the brain in question, or rather the mindset.
So far in my studies, I’ve studied roughly 100 known cognitive biases, and researching them in the contexts of the critical mindset complexes -that I consider to be Political Bias, Nationalism Bias and the omnipotent Skeptinazi Bias- I’ve identified an average of 23 cognitive biases involved in the normal mindset behavior / thinking patterns of those social groups. Said cognitive biases, in the mindset of any involved, or even in deeper in cases of the unwitting (masses) proves to be a cognitive determinant that super-cedes the mere logical fallacy in the chain of cognitive hierarchy.
Also worth noting, yet out of context, is that this same large set of cognitive biases have the potential to affect literally every “normal” or “healthy” human being alive. These are a critical set of cognitive flaws of the brain that can be exploited (but this issue deserves it’s own story…).
There have been cognitive bias studies where an extra control group was given full explanations of the cognitive bias that was under the spotlight of the study. In virtually all cases (that I’ve read at least) it’s been found that the educated control groups still fall for the same cognitive bias snare. This may seem daunting, but that doesn’t mean that virtually all people can’t overcome them because a great deal of the physical structuring of the brain that occurs during long term memory storage happens during naps and sleep. It seems very plausible, based on my full spectrum brain / mind research, that the same control group wouldn’t fall for the bias test so easily after learning about it, being stumped by it (trial and error; learn the hard way) and then have one or more nights for the brain to do its reconfiguring work during sleep.
The mind is resistant to change (practice makes perfect), and then there’s Motivated Reasoning. Motivated Reasoning is ultimately the overall model for these biased decision making mindsets that I further into sociological categorizations (Skeptinazi, Deep Nationalist, Political Party, etc Complexes). My current framework for this is currently vast yet still expanding.
What’s important to note here are these various cognitive dynamics and the fact that Skeptinazi’s and the like are virtual slaves to maintaining their mindset. One fundamental reason is because memories and thought patterns are physical structures inside the brain. The longer they’ve “hardwired” themselves to the mindset(s) the more resistant and therefore more irrational they become in maintaining the ideal reality that they’ve chosen or more than likely have been indoctrinated with. Luckily for avoiding pessimism, said physical thought pattern structures in the brain can change thanks to “neural plasticity“, however, one must understand these combined dynamics to have good hopes of truly overcoming them to achieve powers resembling actual free thought.
In any case, the Skeptinazi social group does typically have the upper hand in debates because the true Skeptinazi practically worships the logical fallacy list, and it is an important framework in understanding human thought and decision making like the other examples above.
Now for the sake of the truth warriors I must lay out some choice historical examples that in their own right destroy the conspiracies don’t exist ideal:
-The DARPA / NASA / Google joint artificial intelligence system that is nothing of any sort of theory, but rather an absolute fact that involves ‘public’ websites. (NOTE: Dig around this site for details, and stay tuned.) Despite those websites being public, the mainstream press completely avoid the issue. I’ve yet to find even a PC magazine article that merely mentions the “Manhattan Project” (or greater, yet more public and obvious) scale operation. Oddly enough, not even the usual conspiracy alarmist sites report on this undeniable issue. Wouldn’t think that ‘conspiracy theorist’ alarmists, Bible prophecizers, transhumanists and PC future tech magazine writers would be prematurely ejaculating over covering this unprecedented and ongoing story?
-The North American Union; that without Lou Dobbs there would be hardly any mainstream coverage of. Destruction of American sovereignty and nobody notices? Could this be a sort of statistic to represent this ‘conspiracies don’t exist’ mentality? Probably mostly a representation of where the “interests” of our ‘media’ masters are focused, and how virtually the masses really know are shaped and prescribed by the elite.
-Echelon: the worldwide spy system that has been in operation for roughly 3 decades and wasn’t accepted as real until the White House itself finally leaked to the public roughly a year ago. This is a system that has involved tens of thousands of people including not just moles or other loyalists but people from every level from construction worker to US Presidents.
-American Imperialism: I can list dozen of examples of this and not even just where we were bamboozled into false beliefs of the event but events we never even knew about, many of which of become “true” thanks to mostly recent declassifications yet still few actually know about them (typically unless you directly search for info). We’re not just talking the false reasons given for virtually every war or skirmish since the end of WW2, but actual overthrows of democratic governments to install military dictatorships. Countless tens of thousands, both military and corporate, involved with millions of innocent people dead. Perhaps hundreds of millions denied “freedom” or democracy.
-The Manhattan Project: not exactly a “conspiracy”, yet a good example. Many cite this example as for demonstrating that BIG secrets can be kept, but I especially maintain it now that we have a modern day equivalent as stated just above. This involved more than 130,000 people, yet according to Skeptinazi’s “if more than 2 or 3 people know then everyone knows”. There is nearly 300 million people in this country, all divided into over-competitive irrational fractions. I wonder if the 130,000 people from the Manhattan Project all had a gun to not only their own heads but also the heads of the families and loved ones that the invincible reach of the maybe only 130 loyalists that could be wittingly involved in an overthrow of our already imperialist and highly corrupted nation?
-Nuremburg: The Nazi trials were unprecedented. The challenge was how to even approach building the case. The primary strategy and directive was to treat the entire thing as a conspiracy, and tying the defendants to said conspiracy was ultimately the primary means of convicting anyone.
Is it really necessary for me to go on? 100’000′s of thousands of people involved (past and present) in those mere five examples, and millions of innocent people dead, yet “conspiracies don’t exist”.
MORE PSEUDO-SKEPTIC FALLACIES:
There are many tactics and side-steps, the Skeptinazi will use to ‘win’ any argument. Here are some that I’ve personally experienced:
Argumentum ad Loose Changium (NEW): This is the flawed mentality driven position that our “Skeptics” have been employing for a good couple years now. Its a mainstream sort of perception, also. You see the old “Loose Change 2nd Edition” had quite a few flaws, some rather drastic. Back in the day LC2E was a sort of phenomenon. In those days Google Video still showed how many views a video had and they had a Top 100 listing. I think at one point I had noticed something around 10,000,000 views. So that film naturally got much of the attention. So it didn’t take too long before there were tons of pages and threads refuting it every way they could. Thats fine, if something has flaws of course, but it should be noted that these types paint everything as a one sided argument. That is, the opposition is 99% wrong without a leg to stand on, and they’re 99.5% right.
Back on point, the entire world of 9/11 discussion has devolved into a LC2E is the entire 9/11 conspiracy universe. That is, mentioning something 9/11 related that isn’t even in that film results in red herring discussions related to LC2E.
The entire mindset boils down to this: “LC2E had been debunked, therefore there can be no 9/11 Conspiracy”.
Domino Effect: They find one flaw, that either is weak, or isn’t written in Skeptinazi language. They then attempt to present the entire article as invalid.
Side Track: I’ve seen where there was irrefutable evidence, yet they resort to some desperate Skeptinazi technicality to pretend the evidence doesn’t matter. In these cases they violate the skeptic definition, and just argue the overall topic, rather than try to provide a real answer to the irrefutable evidence within it.
Avoid the Hard Argument: I’ve entered discussions where the skeptinazis were ganging up on the author, and using extreme Skeptinazi tactics, where they find a flaw in the claim, and then attempt to domino effect the entire argument altogether. I’d enter with great arguments, yet they’d just reply to the author, and try to keep arguing whatever minute thing left to get off of the main topic, and get around my and others counter-arguements. As long as they defeat the author, they ‘still win’, and the ‘conspiracy’ remains a ‘theory’.
Conspiratorial Psychology: They present anyone who presents conspiracy content as being a kook. In their minds, anyone who questions the norm, must be a kook. They attempt to classify the author as simply being of the same irrational conspiratal thinker type. They then will further point out any flaws in the overall claim, and use this tactic to further ‘prove’ the ‘kook’ is all wrong.
Selective Testimony: They will often disregard witness testimony that supports the opposing theory, but later try to prove their point by saying there was testimony favor of their theory. They seem to be so stuck on what testimony that the media provided, that they automatically reject any counter-testimony.
Selective Big Picture: They claim that things don’t hold up in the big picture, but then they fail to work in necessary dynamics. A prime example applies to the prior Skeptinazi tactic. They fail to take into account that if there was a real conspiracy, that the Controlled Media ‘news’ would have filtered all of the conspiracy evidence. They seem to deduce it all, as if it couldn’t be true because it wasnt on the news.
Pseudo Maneuvers: They pull the pseudo card. They present this word as if it alone shuts down the entire credibility of the author, which as a result ‘debunks’ any solid evidence the pseudo-kooks case. If you challenge them to demonstrate what they feel is pseudo, you typically get no response. One tactic I’ve learned about, is they will point out use of news headlines as a major component of your argument, as being pseudo. This must be a last resort strategy of desperation. If they do use it, then it is clear that you can not even prove your point using credible sources.
Ignore the Proven Deception: With this move, you can prove a clear and obvious deception, in say a government claim or document. They will sort of skip past this portion, but then will still pretend that the deception wasn’t proven, and continue to pretend that theres no way we could have been deceived, and there is no possible way that theres a conspiracy. Obviously, they continue on in their pursuit to bash the rest of the article.
Conspiracies Don’t Exist: See Above.
No Motive, Switch the Argument: If the author doesnt properly define the motive, they will point out there is no motive. When you provide a solid motive, they will pretend you never did, and continue blasting whatever remains.
Don’t Speak My Language, its Not Possible: This is one of the main symptoms of the Skeptinazi: unless the entire article is purely written in their language, they will not accept it. If it is in their language, and undeniable, they won’t comment, and will pretend like it never happened. Later they will go argue the same topic elsewhere, using their same approaches; they will argue things that they’ve already seen proven elsewhere, in attempts to at least debunk the current author.
Occam’s Flip Flops: This is a tell tale sign of a Skeptinazi. Skeptinazis always point out every time a claimant uses the infamous Occams Razor (path of least resistance). For some reason they seem to think they can actually win the argument by pointing out any occurrences of it. Oddly enough, they always seem to follow this themselves.
For example, in the 911 case, the governments 911 Report is clearly the Occams Razor report. Not only do skeptinazis follow this as the definitive bible on the matter, they even fail to recognize the governments report as being the Occams Razor version of what happened. They fail to realize that if a faction of elitists were plottinga conspiracy, and knew that some scale of debate would eventually result, that you ensure that your cover story would be the ‘path of least resistence’. That is, you merely ensure your cover story appears far simpler than the reality. Then the masses would later say the truth was too difficult and you’d be in the clear.
“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
why did I just know that this post would have nothing to do with neuropsychology?
While there are some niche points that kindof fit my own critique of the fanatical skeptic I also (as is the norm) see a TON of not only personalized defensive posturing on the behalf of the poster (a.k.a. denial and excuse building) but of course, gaping holes in the over-all theory being presented.
I really think you'd being doing yourself a huge favor, scepcop if you just got completely away from the internet, National Enquirer and other such sources for the next 365 and maybe seek out counseling when it comes to this addiction you have for the sublime and contradictory. You simply need to get grounded and 'rebooted" so to speak, so you will stop driving yourself nuts with all the paranoia and half-truths you keep buying into.
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