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what exactly drives the skeptical ??

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

Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby Pegasus » 26 Nov 2009, 16:44

This is my opinions, based on my experiences of reading all kinds of arguments here and there.

True Skeptics and True Believers are all the same, they are all closed (narrow) minded and dangerous to everyone.

I myself are probable a sort of Postmodern Agnostic in that I do not recognize either position until there are a certain proven hypothesis on something, even then I keep an open mind. In the same sentence I do not dismiss claims out of thin air because I know for a fact that one persons experiences can never be measured by another persons opinions or any facts in the world (or at least it has not so far ;) ).

I can see allot of dangerous minds on these forums as well as on skeptics forums and I like to read them both.

I'm a "true believer" in the scientific method because I think this is the best method that we have today to actually learn and be certain how things work and make sure that we can keep develop our society in a better direction.

The kinds of skeptics that are suggested in this thread are dangerous to all, as are believers who just are the opposite of the same coin. Believers are the one who automatically believe that anything that can't be explained are supernatural, when most likely there are a more mundane and easy explanation, we just failed to ask the right question. Sometimes we even lack the knowledge to ask the right question.

Another misconception of the believers (as well as the skeptics) is that anything that are proven with the scientific method will become natural and not be unnatural. Therefore real skeptics/believers will never do such a distinction. Things just are what they are, plain and simple.

I urge people to be less fundamentalist in their positions and listen a little more to the other side’s argument. Those that doesn't listen back can still have valuable information for you to listen to. If you can't do that, then you are no better than they are.

Most people also misunderstand what the scientific method is. Most of these investigations are hypothesis not truths. The closest to the truth that we can get are in mathematics. In the world of physics, biology, sociology, history and the like we always work with hypothesis and theories. That is why we call evolution a theory and not a fact. People always use the word fact and truth too much and don't understand what they are saying.
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Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby NinjaPuppy » 26 Nov 2009, 20:23

Welcome Pegasus.

Pegasus wrote:I myself are probable a sort of Postmodern Agnostic in that I do not recognize either position until there are a certain proven hypothesis on something, even then I keep an open mind. In the same sentence I do not dismiss claims out of thin air because I know for a fact that one persons experiences can never be measured by another persons opinions or any facts in the world (or at least it has not so far).

It's nice to have another open minded person around these parts.

I had heard that a theory becomes a hypothesis once it's challenged. Sometimes around here a theory is totally disregarded as bunk because it couldn't previously be proven scientifically.
Pegasus wrote:I urge people to be less fundamentalist in their positions and listen a little more to the other side’s argument. Those that doesn't listen back can still have valuable information for you to listen to. If you can't do that, then you are no better than they are.

So true! Soooo true!

I look forward to more of your insight.
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Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby Pegasus » 26 Nov 2009, 21:56

Thanks!

Here is a exempt or quote about the differences between Hypothesis and Theory... :)

http://psychology.about.com/od/researchmethods/ss/expdesintro_2.htm
Kendra Van Wagner wrote:A theory is a well-established principle that has been developed to explain some aspect of the natural word. A theory arises from repeated observation and testing and incorporates facts, laws, predictions, and tested hypotheses that are widely accepted.

A hypothesis is a specific, testable prediction about what you expect to happen in your study. For example, a study designed to look at the relationship between study habits and test anxiety might have a hypothesis that states, “This study is designed to assess the hypothesis that students with better study habits will suffer less test anxiety.” Unless your study is exploratory in nature, your hypothesis should always explain what you expect to happen during the course of your experiment or research.

While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably in general practice, the difference between a theory and a hypothesis is important when studying experimental design. Some important distinctions to note include:

* A theory predicts events in general terms, while a hypothesis makes a specific prediction about a specified set of circumstances.

* A theory is has been extensively tested and is generally accepted, while a hypothesis is a speculative guess that has yet to be tested.


But I bet you know that already...

I have not always been as open minded nor as skeptical (or rather inquisitive) as I have become in the last five or six years. I was more of a narrow minded skeptic and an atheist and had a hard time to keep an open mind on things. Though, I have realized that such a position usually makes you draw conclusions from very little facts (too fast) and usually they are very biased.
What changed for me was the fact that I started to care more about others and I think that is what separates a real skeptic from a Pseudo-skeptic or a True Believer.

In my opinion what drives a pseudo-skeptic are usually egoism and power. They need to enforce their thought pattern onto others and they hardly ever change their standpoint. They usually are very quick to make up their mind and then stand by that view even if they have to disregard or forge/twist some evidence.

Then there is always the area of grey in everything. The grey area tend to be where we fill in the blanks ourselves, we take a guess. There are many different shades of grey from white to black. What I mean by grey are the areas in a claim where there are no questionable evidence and how much weight they will have on a result so that you can make an opinion. This area is very important for the non scientist when they are supposed to make up their mind about something.

Let me take an example…

“Global Warming” is a “hot” topic and everyone picks one or the other side and claim that they are right. As a person (me) who does not have access to all the facts except from what media and internet tell me, there is a large grey area. The thing here is that the grey area can practically take any shade on this issue based on your personal feelings and ofcorse the information given to you. But there is a personal choice in whose argument that you believe. Since I don’t have access to all the fact and even if I did I probably could not analyze them properly I need to way the different argument and then decide what shade of grade I will make White or Black. Or, you can keep the grey and basically say that you can’t make a decision on the matter.

The biggest problem with the above example is basically where your faith lies. Do you trust in the word of the establishment and the majority of the world or du you trust the small group of knowledge disbelievers (they usually are).
The problem is that both groups use a fundamentalist style of proclamation where facts are hard to come by and some may also be forged.

The problem with us common people is that we really don’t know where to turn to be certain that we are fed the right information. Internet has certainly helped in providing information and a better way to get hold or understand the correct data, but you find quite allot of bad data as well.

This is why I have become a Postmodern and skeptical Agnostic and I loathe all type of circular argument and biases to turn to one or the other based on faith.

I base all my decisions at the end on the following grounds.

* Logical and reasonable factual evidence (usually very hard to come by in many cases)
* Ethical and moral values (Human basic rights)
* Least harmful according to ethical standards (sometimes you need to choose between two evils)
* Unless none of the above can be applied I take no position at all.

Even with these rules it is sometimes difficult. With global warming above I need to consider the larger issue. If it is a real problem then we stand in front of great misery, but some claim that poor people with suffer from the climate mafia… so what do you do?!?

There are clearly those that gladly jump on the bandwagon either way and enter the barricades. I would gladly do the same, but I really don’t know enough to actually understand what the lesser evil is.

Anyway, this is a long winding post that deviate some from the point… but I define a pseudo-skeptic to be a fundamentalist of some sort who are rash to jump to conclusion based on very little or third grade data (such as hearsay). They are usually very good at circular argument and avoiding direct questions.
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Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby ciscop » 27 Nov 2009, 05:41

Pegasus wrote:This is my opinions, based on my experiences of reading all kinds of arguments here and there.

True Skeptics and True Believers are all the same, they are all closed (narrow) minded and dangerous to everyone.

I myself are probable a sort of Postmodern Agnostic in that I do not recognize either position until there are a certain proven hypothesis on something, even then I keep an open mind. In the same sentence I do not dismiss claims out of thin air because I know for a fact that one persons experiences can never be measured by another persons opinions or any facts in the world (or at least it has not so far ;) ).

I can see allot of dangerous minds on these forums as well as on skeptics forums and I like to read them both.

I'm a "true believer" in the scientific method because I think this is the best method that we have today to actually learn and be certain how things work and make sure that we can keep develop our society in a better direction.

The kinds of skeptics that are suggested in this thread are dangerous to all, as are believers who just are the opposite of the same coin. Believers are the one who automatically believe that anything that can't be explained are supernatural, when most likely there are a more mundane and easy explanation, we just failed to ask the right question. Sometimes we even lack the knowledge to ask the right question.

Another misconception of the believers (as well as the skeptics) is that anything that are proven with the scientific method will become natural and not be unnatural. Therefore real skeptics/believers will never do such a distinction. Things just are what they are, plain and simple.

I urge people to be less fundamentalist in their positions and listen a little more to the other side’s argument. Those that doesn't listen back can still have valuable information for you to listen to. If you can't do that, then you are no better than they are.

Most people also misunderstand what the scientific method is. Most of these investigations are hypothesis not truths. The closest to the truth that we can get are in mathematics. In the world of physics, biology, sociology, history and the like we always work with hypothesis and theories. That is why we call evolution a theory and not a fact. People always use the word fact and truth too much and don't understand what they are saying.


hi pegasus.. your sitting on the fence
is not a new position a lot of people here think is applying the same principle
but at the end of the day you will fall to one side or the other

is not that hard in some cases
like bigfoot or homeopathy or baking soda curing cancer
is harder when talking about
god or psi or quantum physics

at least i hope you have an opinion
this is a forum after all :-D

soo welcome!
have fun :-D
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby NinjaPuppy » 27 Nov 2009, 05:53

ciscop wrote:hi pegasus.. your sitting on the fence
is not a new position a lot of people here think is applying the same principle
but at the end of the day you will fall to one side or the other

is not that hard in some cases
like bigfoot or homeopathy or baking soda curing cancer
is harder when talking about
god or psi or quantum physics

at least i hope you have an opinion
this is a forum after all :-D

soo welcome!
have fun :-D

Why does everyone need to pick a side? I'm very happy listening and learning from both sides.
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Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby Nostradamus » 27 Nov 2009, 12:08

Two comments Pegasus:
True Skeptics and True Believers are all the same, they are all closed (narrow) minded and dangerous to everyone.

Why do you use the word dangerous? Why is being close minded dangerous?

That is why we call evolution a theory and not a fact. People always use the word fact and truth too much and don't understand what they are saying.

I would point out that evolution is a fact. The theory is the mechanism to explain the fact. Once there were no fishes in the ocean. Now there are many types. Once no land animals. Not true today. This is the fact and a number of different theories have been suggested with Darwinism as the currently favored theory to explain the fact of evolution.
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Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby Pegasus » 27 Nov 2009, 16:16

Nostradamus wrote:Why do you use the word dangerous? Why is being close minded dangerous?

To me it is shown through history that most “evil” in the world have been conducted by closed minded people, such as religious fundamentalists, Nazis, some communist states and other dictatorships. All these organizations leaders are filled by narrow-minded people and are always dangerous. Democracy for example is found on the "principle" of an open mind and critical thinking where all faiths and philosophies are welcomed. Not that all democracies are perfect, but they are an evolutionary step at least.
In my experience open minded people tend to have more compassion and empathy. This will in turn lead to less wars and violence in general. But this is just my observations of the “facts”.

Nostradamus wrote:I would point out that evolution is a fact. The theory is the mechanism to explain the fact. Once there were no fishes in the ocean. Now there are many types. Once no land animals. Not true today. This is the fact and a number of different theories have been suggested with Darwinism as the currently favored theory to explain the fact of evolution.


Read about what a Theory and Hypothesis are above... this explain a little how the Scientific method works. Evolution is a theory because most of it are not based on hard proven facts. We can say that the human race are 300.000 years but this is just a theory because there can be an error in our method to calculate this and there might be evidence further on that shows we are even older or less older. This is why evolution is a Theory in practice. Not even the method is a fact because the method can allays be refined and improved. Nothing says that somewhere along the line the theory will be revised radically.

You need to be careful what you say is a fact, most of our science is theories not facts, you need to learn between the distinction of these words. They change all the time. Evolution is not an exception to this.

A theory is the most likely "proven" idea/claim that we have. In order to do this we must first be able to ask the right questions and be able to use the proper method to prove (or falsify) it (usually based on other theories). Evolution is obviously a very strong theory which has been proven to be correct in so many aspects that no reasonable human being will disregard it. Even many religious people has come crawling to the cross and confessed. Now they call it intelligent design instead and this conforms better to the evolutionary theory. ;)

Now… I’m just being picky here… but I think that we need to be careful and use the correct terms. If I’m wrong then please point out my false logic and I will repent. :)
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Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby Pegasus » 27 Nov 2009, 16:25

ciscop wrote:at least i hope you have an opinion
this is a forum after all :-D

soo welcome!
have fun :-D


Thanks!

I do have opinions. It’s just that I'm undecided in this particular issue because it is a fussy one. I try to cut back on my own C02 usage to be on the safe side. But I'm really afraid that this whole endeavor will hurt many of the poor countries in the world and hinder them to raise their standard of living to an accepted level...

Also, everything is not always black and white in my world. I might agree with something on one side and on something on the other. In this particular issue I do just that.
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Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby Nostradamus » 27 Nov 2009, 21:37

Pegasus. I did read your definitions. By those definitions evolution is a fact. Darwinism is the theory to explain the fact.
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Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby ProfWag » 27 Nov 2009, 23:26

NinjaPuppy wrote:Why does everyone need to pick a side? I'm very happy listening and learning from both sides.

I don't really see anything wrong with being on one side or the other as long as one is open-minded enough to change sides if something is presented that changes your point of view.
You know that feeling you getwhen you are leaning back in a chair, but just before you fall backwards you reach out and grap the desk so you don't fall? I think that would be my feeling if I wasn't able to have an opinion one way or the other.
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Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby NinjaPuppy » 28 Nov 2009, 04:23

ProfWag wrote:I don't really see anything wrong with being on one side or the other as long as one is open-minded enough to change sides if something is presented that changes your point of view.

Nothing at all wrong with that POV but that's just being open minded. Being an open minded skeptic might be ridiculed in the skeptic circle and it might have another description for all I know. I've seen a few skeptic forums where anyone saying that they are a skeptic is ridiculed for having the slightest different idea. Of course I've seen a few believer sites that do the same to anyone who so much as questions one small area of anything paranormal, it's a catch-22 for sure.

ProfWag wrote:You know that feeling you getwhen you are leaning back in a chair, but just before you fall backwards you reach out and grap the desk so you don't fall? I think that would be my feeling if I wasn't able to have an opinion one way or the other.

Yes, but when dealing with skeptics, it's more like this....
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Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby ciscop » 28 Nov 2009, 04:28

hahaha nice image!
quite funny
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby Nostradamus » 08 Dec 2009, 11:37

Image
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Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby Kevin Kane » 25 Jan 2010, 08:46

Skeptic is just another word for grumpy, old, narrow-minded whiney babies who hate change.

Did you ever hear of "Adult Diapers"? When we were young, we'd just pee in our pants! Waterproof magic pants? What superstitious fooey!

That's my impersonation of skeptics.
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Re: what exactly drives the skeptical ??

Postby ciscop » 25 Jan 2010, 12:34

Kevin Kane wrote:Skeptic is just another word for grumpy, old, narrow-minded whiney babies who hate change.

Did you ever hear of "Adult Diapers"? When we were young, we'd just pee in our pants! Waterproof magic pants? What superstitious fooey!

That's my impersonation of skeptics.


thats an impersonation?
lame... pretty lame...
you are as bad in comedy as you are in being rational or logical

i guess homeopaths dont have a pill for being funny.. do they?
* and if they do... it surely doesnt work
:lol: :lol: :lol:
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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