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Trouble in the Skeptic Kingdom

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

Re: Trouble in the Skeptic Kingdom

Postby Arouet » 22 Feb 2013, 03:25

justintime wrote:Can you give an example where the scientific method is inherently skeptical?


yes, but only after we agree on the definition of skepticism.

I stated earlier scientists will look under every rock from here to mars if the funding allowed them to do so. Scientist have an insatiable curiosity and will uncover knowledge that are both productive and destructive to the human race such as the nuclear bomb because scientist don`t discriminate.


Accepting this for the sake of the argument - what does this have to do with skepticm?

Skeptics discriminate and they do it on an individual basis.


Discrimination is not skeptical or non-skeptical.

Richard Muller a climate change scientist was skeptical about the research forwarded on climate change. He was a climate change skeptic. He went against his own discipline because he was a skeptic and skeptical about peer reviewed research supported by the scientific community. He skepticism got in the way of his decision. But he later retracted and accepted humans were the primary cause for climate change.


I don't know whether any of that is true or not, I've never heard of the guy, but I'm not sure how this is relevant? If his research lead him in one direction first, then another, and then a 1000 other directions that's just the way it is.

In the absence of a skeptic movement there is no consensus or position one can hold a skeptic too.


Even if there is a skeptic movement there is no consensus or position one can hold a skeptic to. You seem to treat skepticism as a position statement. I'd explain why I don't think that's the case, but that would require once again going into definitions...

That is why the Center for Inquiry often shun fellow atheist and skeptics. Here is a list of those prominent skeptics being shunned.


I'm not going to bother looking up whether that is true or not. But again, I'm not sure what your point is. Being a skeptic is no guarantee that one will agree with another skeptic.

To give you another example. Carl Sagan promoted the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life (aliens). He was a skeptic. But another skeptic Stephen Hawking cautioned against contacting aliens because they might not be altruistic towards humans and probably enslave them.


Again, accepting your portrayal as accurate for the sake of the argument, why do you find this to be problematic?

Skeptics are prone to selection biases.


Yes, as are we all. What skeptics should strive to do is overcome those biases or put methods in place to counter against them. It is not an easy task though, and most of us do so imperfectly.

Unless their process is streamlined they are farthest from a scientific method of approach. That is why skepticism is defined as a psychological state of mind.


Scientists doing science are also prone to those same biases. Scientists must also try and take measures to counter those biases. Scientists do so imperfectly as well.

You can define skepticism as whatever you want, but if that's not the definition others use you will be talking past each other. You might have a more productive discussion just talking about the biases and how successful people are - including yourself - of overcoming them. YMMV.
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Re: Trouble in the Skeptic Kingdom

Postby Arouet » 22 Feb 2013, 08:18

justintime wrote:I have looked at the definition of Skepticism in the Skeptics Dictionary. I assume as a skeptic you do refer to the Skeptic Dictionary


I've never looked up the definition of skeptic in the skeptic's dictionary.
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Re: Trouble in the Skeptic Kingdom

Postby really? » 22 Feb 2013, 11:26

Arouet wrote:
justintime wrote:I have looked at the definition of Skepticism in the Skeptics Dictionary. I assume as a skeptic you do refer to the Skeptic Dictionary


I've never looked up the definition of skeptic in the skeptic's dictionary.


This joker posted pretty much the same shenanigans over at the JREF. It was a waste of time after a few posted replies there as it is here. You've said enough. So save your mental energy Arouet for someone worth the effort to do so.
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Re: Trouble in the Skeptic Kingdom

Postby Arouet » 22 Feb 2013, 12:51

Yeah, he's entertaining for a bit - problem with this kind of troll is that they have a limited playlist. I'd admire it if they could keep it going, but this guy is clearly out of material.
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Re: Trouble in the Skeptic Kingdom

Postby Arouet » 23 Feb 2013, 02:57

justintime wrote:What you are really saying is you want more. Like any addiction you build tolerance after a while and the dosage has to increase. Unfortunately what I am sharing is my research material and that is not grown on trees.


I won't deny I'm a forum junkie and yes, what I want is stimulating conversation. Your troll routine provides stimulation at first because it is indeed funny at first. But then you just go into repeat mode so naturally the entertainment value declines with repetition. So you have two options: come up with new entertaining troll material (which I actually admire- so many trolls have little imagination, i give credit where its due when a troll can make me chuckle) or - what a thought! - drop the troll routine and actually engage with the people you are talking to.

I'd be pleasantly surprised if you chose either of those options, but my guess is that you'll just continue the way you've been going until no-one bothers with you anymore or you get banned.
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Re: Trouble in the Skeptic Kingdom

Postby ProfWag » 23 Feb 2013, 22:13

I've only glanced through these posts, but am I understanding that I am being stereotyped as belonging to a certain organized group simply because I tend not to believe in mind reading or ghosts?
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Re: Trouble in the Skeptic Kingdom

Postby really? » 24 Feb 2013, 00:03

ProfWag wrote:I've only glanced through these posts, but am I understanding that I am being stereotyped as belonging to a certain organized group simply because I tend not to believe in mind reading or ghosts?


It's more than that. They are saying skepticism and skeptics isn't and aren't worthy of the slightest consideration to begin with.
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Re: Trouble in the Skeptic Kingdom

Postby TheParanormalAnalyst » 08 Jan 2014, 08:42

Justintime,

You are grouping all skeptics with the likes of Michael Shermer and his friends. Scientific skepticism is divergent from classical skeptical thought and will last forever in one form or another. Shermer and the like would like us to believe scientific skepticism is the new and improved version of classical skepticism but there are some serious flaws in the way scientific skepticism uses a basis in the scientific method instead of a basis in a logical method as previous skeptics did.
Critical Thinking and Logic offer the only sure path to truth.
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