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Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

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

Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Yes
28
62%
Yes but only limit them to the Debating Skeptics board
10
22%
No, it would only bring negative energy and ultimately do no good, as they will not listen
7
16%
 
Total votes : 45

Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby Scepcop » 24 May 2009, 18:01

On the one hand, it would be good for generating traffic here.

But on the other, it would invite negative energy here. Plus, they would rehash the same arguments and ridicule over and over and over again without end, so ultimately it would do no good nor be very constructive.

Or should we allow them but limit them to the Debating Skeptics board?

What do you think?

Cast your vote!
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Re: Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby leo100 » 25 May 2009, 01:48

Hi Winston,

They may but they may not, it really depends on which members we are talking about?. I know lots of jref members usually make fun of their opposition. I shall vote yes.
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Re: Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby antiskeptic » 27 May 2009, 10:08

I vote no. It's regrettable, but skeptics are, for the most part, willing to do whatever they can to win an argument. Until the skeptic movement starts making some major changes in how they act and starts showing an interest in real discussion instead of verbal sparring I think that we need to reject them all. It is important to not reward bad behavior.
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Re: Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby jakesteele » 31 May 2009, 03:05

I didn't like either answer so my vote is to leave it wide open to anyone. First of all, it deals with freedom of speech and equal rights. Secondly, to try to limit someone to a certain portion only is making them a second-class citizen (how would you monitor it, anyway?)

Also, in war, know thine enemy. They love to rat pack any dissenters from the party line because it is always you against the world, so to speak. Personally, I don't think too many of them have the guts, strength of character or self-honesty to come here and dissent. However, I think it a good way to get a good look and your opponent's tactics when he doesn't have the home field advantage.
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Re: Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby Scepcop » 31 May 2009, 05:54

Good points. I think it depends on whether the purpose of this forum is for debate, or for truth seeking. If it's for debate, then we should invite everyone of all sides in. But if it's for truth seeking, their presence isn't going to do any good of course. Arguments with them go nowhere. They never ever admit they're wrong, even when caught red handed in lying.

So I haven't decided yet. I guess I'll sleep on it.

It's easier to monitor because I can put in the rules or agreement "No Pseudo-Skeptics Allowed" and then ban them if they come. So it can be enforced. But so far, they haven't come, even though many of them know about this site already. I think they prefer their own forums where they laugh and ridicule anything they don't like.
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Re: Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby wraith » 06 Jun 2009, 10:51

I believe that Sceptics should be given a voice because it will give us a chance to counter their views. I support freedom of speech and equal rights, even for those who criticize you.
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Re: Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby Eteponge » 15 Jun 2009, 15:45

The problem with CSICOP, which could have been remedied in it's very beginnings, was that Marcello Truzzi (Co-Founder of CSICOP) originally wanted CSICOP to have articles and commentary from BOTH SIDES (Skeptics and Paranormal Researchers) and Peer Review from BOTH. But Paul Kurtz, the other Co-Founder, was having none of that, and refused, saying that Paranormal Types already have enough publications for their work. So, CSICOP became a One-Sided Organization essentially. Marcello Truzzi eventually left CSICOP and later stated, "They tend to block honest inquiry, in my opinion. Most of them are not agnostic toward claims of the paranormal; they are out to knock them. [...] When an experiment of the paranormal meets their requirements, then they move the goal posts. Then, if the experiment is reputable, they say it's a mere anomaly."

He of course, coined the term "Pseudo-Skepticism" and was a very honest Skeptic.

The point I'm trying to make, is we SHOULD allow BOTH SIDES to be heard, with Skeptics here to Debate and Discuss and give Counter-Arguments, but *ONLY* those who will be respectful and will actually read the research and deal with the data, those who are honest skeptics with honest arguments, instead of those other types of Skeptics sitting back all arm-chair like and cynically weaving endless conspiracies to explain away the data with the auto-dismissive mantra of, "When the Skeptic has sung, the thinking has been done."

If we can find honest respectful Skeptics, I'd say go for it. If not, we'd be no different overall than pretty much every single Skeptic Website and Skeptic Podcast in existence, that is, being purely One-Sided, where they really only allow Skeptic material and only interview like-minded Skeptics. I mean, on many of their Forums, if you post anything contrary to their viewpoint, you get swamped like with a pack of wild sharks and shouted down, ridiculed, and if you get a biased admin, banned, even if you were being respectful and sticking with the data. We shouldn't do that here with Skeptics like they do to us. Maybe it will rub off something good.
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Re: Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby Franc28 » 16 Jun 2009, 05:59

I vote for yes, although I admit I'm biased: the only reason I joined this forum was to argue with skeptics.
(they banned me from the JREF board, so...)
Banned by the JREF Board for calling them on their "bullshit"...
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Re: Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby Scepcop » 16 Jun 2009, 08:37

Hi Eteponge,

Those are all great points to consider. I agree that if we allow skeptics here, they should be respectful ones, not the insulting ridiculing types like the JREF folks are. It is possible to find skeptics who can debate in a civilized manner. I know some myself. But to ask them to be open minded skeptics (like Marcello Truzzi) is a whole different matter. Very few are like that. I can invite one intelligent knowledgeable skeptic and atheist I know, but he will still have the same kind of biases and closed minded denial that the others do, even if he is well behaved.

I do not agree that this forum is one sided though. In a sense it is because there are no anti-paranormal folks here. But I do not think that this forum is strongly biased. Remember we are dedicated to objectivity, not blind endorsement of anything paranormal or alternative. For example, the evidence for psi is far far greater than the evidence for the Loch Ness Monster. That is an objective evaluation of the weight of the evidence.

Of course everyone has some biases, but open minded truth seeking folks tend to have less biases than the average person I think, who is conditioned to accept the status quo.

Of course, some paranormal authors are a bit kooky. They make huge leaps without much evidence. For example, those who believe in Atlantis do not have that strong of evidence to stand on.

But I don't think I'm one of those types. Anything is possible and worthy of consideration at least. Some things, such as Atlantis or historical mysteries, can never be proven or disproven because they are way in the past. I see them as merely "possible, but unproven."

Anyhow, I'll try to invite the civil skeptic that I know.
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Re: Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby antiskeptic » 20 Jun 2009, 12:10

Wel, I can't say that I agree with this decision, but I hope that you will be willing to kick the skeptics out if (and probably when) they start acting disrespectfully.
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Re: Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby Eteponge » 20 Jun 2009, 23:51

antiskeptic wrote:I vote no. It's regrettable, but skeptics are, for the most part, willing to do whatever they can to win an argument. Until the skeptic movement starts making some major changes in how they act and starts showing an interest in real discussion instead of verbal sparring I think that we need to reject them all. It is important to not reward bad behavior.

[...]

Wel, I can't say that I agree with this decision, but I hope that you will be willing to kick the skeptics out if (and probably when) they start acting disrespectfully.

When I was around the age of 20, I thought my arguments for the Paranormal were impeccable. I only read New Age websites, only hung out at New Age forums where "meanie skeptics" were kept out and kept at bay. Then I got onto some Mainstream Forums and started debating Skeptics, and got my ass handed to me several times over. If I had never engaged in debating Skeptics on a Forum that allowed them, I would still be thinking that Sylvia Brown was the greatest example of a Psychic ever, and that typical New Age websites' fluff bunny information was infallible fact. I've had my sources and beliefs crushed a number of times early on by Skeptics, but it turned me into a more critical-minded Paranormal Researcher. Some good changes I went through in debating Skeptics in an all-sided setting...

(1): I originally, through reading Fluff Bunny New Age websites and listening to New Age Posters, believed that just because people "saw a bright light" and "saw deceased relatives" when they died, that this 100% end-all objectively proved life after death.

What Skeptics Did: Skeptics threw the "Dying Brain Theory" at me and linked me to Susan Blackmore's material, I was crushed. For several years I thought there was nothing to NDEs.

What Happened Then: I eventually started researching NDEs more seriously, and this time, critically-minded after my encounter with Skeptics, looking for *serious* NDE Research, not just Fluff Bunny New Age stuff on NDEs, but stuff from more serious researchers. I eventually came across very good cases of Veridical OBE Perception during NDEs, People meeting deceased relatives they never met before or were never told about (and finding out these people they met existed after their encounter), People coming back with Veridical Knowledge imparted they had no normal way of knowing, people who were blind having visually Veridical NDEs, Etc. And the medical data that within 11 seconds of the heart stopping, the brainwaves go flat, destroying the "Dying Brain Theory", because the brain cannot create images and memories in this state. All of this *highly suggests* survival of consciousness.

Now, if I had never encountered "meanie skeptics" on other forums, I'd still be a gullible doe-eyed believer who thinks that merely "seeing a bright light" and "seeing deceased relatives" is 100% absolute "proof" of an afterlife. I came out better because of it.

(2): I originally thought that people "seeing a shadow out of the corner of their eye", "hearing a door creak", "seeing an apparition", etc, was absolute proof of Ghosts. All from reading Fluff Bunny Ghost Websites.

What Skeptics Did: Skeptics threw the Hallucination theory at me, pointed out that stimulating areas of the brain can make people think they are seeing Ghosts, and that many common occurrences are misidentification of natural noises and events.

What Happened Then: I started researching cases from more serious websites and sources. I found cases of multiple-level-headed witness sightings of persons of high integrity witnessing the *exact same apparitions* (describe them exactly in detail, hard for multiple people to hallucinate the exact same apparition together), veridical apparition encounters where the apparition either in appearance or what is relayed is later independently verified as factual information the experiencer had no normal way of knowing, cases where the footsteps, object movement, etc, cannot be adequately be explained by skeptic's arguments when all the facts and data of the individual cases are examined indepth, etc.

(Plus, I had experienced a haunting as a kid, and experienced several apparition events, and footsteps events, so I was a bit more personally learned on this than most people.)

The point is, if you cut off the oppostion, you just fall into Confirmation Bias, and there's no learning in that.
Last edited by Eteponge on 21 Jun 2009, 00:07, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby Eteponge » 20 Jun 2009, 23:57

Scepcop wrote:I do not agree that this forum is one sided though. In a sense it is because there are no anti-paranormal folks here. But I do not think that this forum is strongly biased. Remember we are dedicated to objectivity, not blind endorsement of anything paranormal or alternative. For example, the evidence for psi is far far greater than the evidence for the Loch Ness Monster. That is an objective evaluation of the weight of the evidence.

Of course everyone has some biases, but open minded truth seeking folks tend to have less biases than the average person I think, who is conditioned to accept the status quo.

Of course, some paranormal authors are a bit kooky. They make huge leaps without much evidence. For example, those who believe in Atlantis do not have that strong of evidence to stand on.

But I don't think I'm one of those types. Anything is possible and worthy of consideration at least. Some things, such as Atlantis or historical mysteries, can never be proven or disproven because they are way in the past. I see them as merely "possible, but unproven."

Just a point of clarification (in response to this quote and to clarify my post above), I'm not *at all* suggesting this website is "New Age" or "Fluff Bunny" or "One-Sided Biased" (I was merely referring to *others* I went to years ago that were, this is actually a great place for serious discussion, and is not that at all), I'm merely saying, yes, this is a Pro-Paranormal Research Website, but we should allow Skeptics, for the sake of balance and growth (if they have any good counter-arguments to offer). Not to do that would be falling into Confirmation Bias, and there's no learning in that.

I actually chose the "Yes, we should allow Skeptics but in the Skeptic Debate forum" option.
Last edited by Eteponge on 21 Jun 2009, 02:48, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby Eteponge » 21 Jun 2009, 02:41

Actually, after reading a thread at the Skeptiko Forum that antiskeptic linked to in another thread on here, I'd agree that THAT sort of Skeptic need not post here, but only those with valid counter-arguments who are not going to be rude and arrogant should be allowed, civilized debate and discussion.
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Re: Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby Scepcop » 25 Jun 2009, 11:10

I see your point Eteponge. Civilized respectable skeptics are better than arrogant ridiculing ones. But just don't expect to change their minds. They will behave as predicted. They will deny any and all evidence that you present, and obfuscate things. You could even say that they may use deception sometimes too, even without knowing it. And it's a long stretch to say that deception is good for any forum. It's intellectually dangerous in fact.
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Re: Poll: Should Skeptics be allowed in this forum?

Postby The Professor » 22 Jul 2009, 10:13

Skeptics have threatened my family. No kidding! Some are twisted trolls. Some are not.
However, I am all for free speech!!!!

There are many people who have changed their minds after listening to the truth. I was one of them.

Just boot the ones who violate the rules and turn their information over to the Authorities if they threaten members.
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