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Today's mis-definition of a Skeptic

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

Today's mis-definition of a Skeptic

Postby Scepcop » 02 Jun 2009, 20:40

As someone told me which nailed it on the head:

The original definition of skeptic was a person who questions ALL beliefs, facts, and points-of-view. A healthy perspective in my opinion.

Today's common definition of skeptic is someone who questions any belief that strays outside of the status quo, yet leaving the status quo itself completely unquestioned. Kind of a juvenile and intellectually lazy practice in my opinion.
“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: Today's mis-definition of a Skeptic

Postby jakesteele » 03 Jun 2009, 03:49

I like that definition. The one I use for what I call CSIOPtics is:

Someone who goes into a situation with the intent to debunk or prove false rather than suspend judgment, belief system and biases aside and objectively evaluate, weigh and asses all available data, including anecdotal evidence.
Debunkers think all UFO photos are fake,
especially the real ones.
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Re: Today's mis-definition of a Skeptic

Postby Scepcop » 03 Jun 2009, 18:17

That's another accurate definition too.

Check out the three new entries I made to the home page on the behaviors of pseudo-skeptics.

Characteristics and Behaviors

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/characteristics.php

Overgeneralizations and Distortions

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/distortion.php

Explanations that don't fit all the data

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/explanations.php

Victor Zammit was spot on when he described how they overgeneralize and distort, a common tactic:

http://www.victorzammit.com/skeptics/fundingskeptics.html

"Skeptics can be seen to overgeneralize saying for instance that because some mediums are fraudulent therefore all mediums are fraudulent.

Further, skeptics distort information saying that because it may be possible to reproduce certain phenomena by fraud - even at odds of one billion to one - that they have proven that fraud took place. In this sense, the skeptics find it impossible to transcend their 'metaprogram' (their overriding world view of reality) of materialistic beliefs."
“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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