View Active Topics          Latest 100 Topics          View Your Posts          Switch to Mobile

Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Discussions about the James Randi Educational Foundation and its Million Dollar Challenge.

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 02 Jul 2013, 09:27

ProfWag wrote:Could you provide an example of a skeptic who dismissed scientific evidence?


Well, scientific evidence gets dismissed all the time. There's nothing sacrosanct over any particular finding.
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07






Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby really? » 02 Jul 2013, 11:35

ProfWag wrote:Could you provide an example of a skeptic who dismissed scientific evidence?


Arouet wrote:Well, scientific evidence gets dismissed all the time. There's nothing sacrosanct over any particular finding.


I know what he means. His statement implies the science behind the finding has been vetted and passed muster. Likely you have mistakenly included the general population who don't follow scientific findings much, I think. Specifically there are a few areas that do get dismissed, such as climate change and evolutionary theory by the general population.
really?
 
Posts: 1009
Joined: 06 Mar 2010, 20:58

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby ProfWag » 03 Jul 2013, 19:17

Thank you JT. Muller may be a good example, though I'm not familiar. I don't believe Dawkins changed his views on religion, he was simply stating that believers think differently than atheists.
User avatar
ProfWag
 
Posts: 3843
Joined: 05 Aug 2009, 03:54

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 04 Jul 2013, 01:14

justintime wrote:Where the contradiction comes in is Dawkins acknowledging on one hand there could be an evolutionary advantage to having a brain with the capacity to believe in god(natural selection as the scientific evidence) and on the other hand dismissing the scientific evidence by attacking peoples belief in god the very thing that science proves/he acknowledges gives the believers their evolutionary advantage.


I've raised this before and you have ignored it. How is there a contradiction between not believing in go and believing that there is a selection advantage to having a brain capable of belief in god?

That is like Dawkins acknowledging AGW (climate change) is caused by human activity and then bashing environmentalist for preaching against fossil fuels.


How?

He's basically saying that there is a seclection advantage to having a brain with the capacity to hold beliefs. Surely you don't think that the capacity to hold beliefs means we should believe every belief out there? Surely the capacity to hold beliefs says nothing of the reality behind the belief.
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 04 Jul 2013, 09:33

justintime wrote:The question Dawkins was asked was do believers (people who believe in god, religious people) have an evolutionary advantage over skeptics/atheist (people who do not believe in god) because believers disproportionately outnumber the skeptics. The answer is a straight yes because believers outnumber skeptics and that is a fact and the scientific explanation is natural selection which is giving the believes an evolutionary advantage over skeptics.


As I said above, our particular beliefs do not play a role in our evolutionary advantage. Having a brain that is capable of belief does.

The question was a category error - Dawkins corrected it with his answer (well, at least the answer you quote, I haven't seen the original).

Dawkins nuanced answer was yes there was an evolutionary advantage to having a brain with the capacity to believe in a god. He inserted the word capacity so as not to appear to endorse belief in god, but the capacity to believe in god. You cannot expect any less from an atheist.


No - his reply pertains to the actual evolutionary advantage coded for in our genes (a brain capable of believing in God) - he could have said the same about a brain capable of believing there is no god - the statements are equivalent. Our genes code for a brain that is capable of having beliefs - the belief in god being just one amongst all our beliefs. Our genes do not code for any particular belief.

The subject was believers (people who believe in god, religious people). It is the religious people that out number skeptics and not their beliefs. It is not a comparison between the number of beliefs (capacity) the believers have that gives them the evolutionary advantage. It is their belief in god.


Pretending for the moment that there is no category error and that atheists and theists are different species- You seem to think that a species with a high birthrate is more evolutionary fit than a species with a low birth rate. The reality is that if they are living today they are equally fit. Species that have high birthrates also tend to have shorter life spans. Species with low birthrates have lower life spans. They have the same fitness though - they have simple adapted differently to their environment.

If we analyze Dawkins original reply. It is having a brain with the capacity to believe in god and not the actual belief in a god that is giving the believers an evolutionary advantage.


No - he's saying that having a brain capable of believing in a god gave HUMANITY an evolutionary advantage. The atheist and the theist today have the exact same evolutionary advantage in that respect.

Then he is implying believers have larger brains than skeptics and therefore a larger capacity for beliefs.


It would be quite surprising if believers had larger brains than non-believers.

Just because you believe something does not mean that belief is based in reality.


I think this may be the first thing you've written that I agree with!

But research by Dr Newberg and Dr Persinger discovered religious experiences are based in reality. There is a spot in the brain when stimulated brings about the same religious experiences as those reported by people who had them. Compare that to the pleasure centers found in the brain. When you are sexually aroused or sexually gratified there is an area in your brain that is responding to external stimuli which in this case is sexual. So too are found corresponding areas in the brain that respond to spiritual forces but they are spiritual experiences.


If you're saying that spiritual feelings are the result of brian chemistry, I don't have a problem with that. But nothing in the research you mention concludes that there is an external spiritual reality - in fact they specifically decline to go there. You probably know that though

But it is possible that skeptics do not experience such religious experiences and, there is even evidence for that.


Plenty of skeptics have had religious experiences - some have, some haven't. Just like plenty of believers have had spiritual experiences, and plenty have not. Certainly it stands to reason if because of a certain brain chemistry those who are more prone to triggering the chemical reactions which cause such experiences will be more likely to be non-believers and those whose brain chemistry is less directed to them will be more inclined to non-belief, but there is plenty of cross-over.
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 05 Jul 2013, 04:23

justintime wrote:What you are missing in Dawkins reply is the context in which he was asked about believers and how his answer tried to deal with the question of god.


I was not missing the context.

He failed the test and did not report any particular religious sensations when his god spot was stimulated. The god spot is an area in the brain that Dr Persinger identified as the seat to religious experiences which when stimulated brings about religious experiences in the person.


Well, first of all, its a bit misleading to say that he failed the test. Rather, one would say that the god helmet did not produce the hypothesized effect in him. Note, that while I like Persinger's experiment and am hopeful it will hold up replication efforts so far have not succeeded - though I understand that Persinger doesn't believe the replication was a proper one, but if I'm not wrong this experiment still needs to be confirmed. Personally I think Persinger is probably onto something.

The first distinction to consider is the inability to experience god when the god spot is stimulated. Dawkins met that distinction and acknowledge there was an evolutionary advantage to having a brain with the capacity to believe in god. The context was god and people who believed in god had the evolutionary advantage which is borne out by the fact they outnumber skeptics disproportionately.


You should be careful (assuming you're not just doing it on purpose) - while its been dubbed the God Helmet what its trying to trigger is spiritual feelings - the experiment, even if it holds up, is not actually about god.

What Dawkins did is turn the nonsense question into a question that made sense.


Religious people believe in god and not just have the capacity to believe in god.


Er, yes. Presumably the capacity to believe in god must be present prior to having an actual belief in god.

It doesn't make sense when Dawkins implies religious people have the capacity to believe in god and skeptics don't


Dawkins in no way suggests that religious people have the capacity to believe in god but skeptics don't.

suggesting brain capacities differ between believers and skeptics.


Hard to see that - people go back and forther between believing in god and not believing in god all the time - you think their brain changes each time?

It makes a lot of sense to say religious people believe in god whereas skeptic/atheist do not even though their brain capacities are similar.


Yes, it does make a lot of sense to say that, since that's what Dawkins was saying.

Here you are admitting you did not read Dawkins original quote.


Right, I read your description of it, and the articles description of it.

So you have no idea of the context in which the question was raised to Dawkins by BBC.


Well since both you and the article described the context I'm pretty sure I know it.

You probably never heard of the test Dawking agreed to which was setup by Dr Persinger nor are you aware of the results and the explanation that followed.


I've been aware of both for quite awhile now. I dont' recall exactly when it first came to my attention, but I don't think it was that long after Persinger did it.

That is why you are unable to make the distinction between having a brain that is capable of beliefs (everyone is capable of beliefs) and a brain that has the capacity to believe in god that gives believers an evolutionary advantage.

You are correct that I don't make a distinction between a brain that has the capacity of any belief and a brain that has the capacity to believe in god - they are one and the same after all.

Neither do I believe that beleivers have an evolutionary advantage - I don't believe its accurate to describe any belief as being relevant to evolution. I stand to be corrected of course.

Believers outnumber skeptics.


Right - not sure what you think that has to do with an evolutionary advantage though.

Dawkins used the word capacity (having the capacity to believe in a god) and not capable of beliefs which is what you add.


Can one be capable of a belief in god without being capable of belief generally?

There is a difference between capacity (which means maximum amount or some measure) and capable (which means ability).


We can put the semantic debate aside: whether I used the word capacity or capable I meant them to mean the same thing. You should feel free to consider them interchangeble in what I've written above.

However, in case you insist on carrying on with the semantic debate:

ca·pac·i·ty
/kəˈpasitē/
Noun
Synonyms

ability - capability - power - aptitude - competence


You confuse believers outnumber skeptics/atheist with fitness of the species. But the question was based on the simple observation that believers outnumber skeptics/atheist disproportionately and not fitness of the species.


If you didn't mean fitness by evolutuionary advantage then what did you mean by it?


The atheist and the theist today have the exact same evolutionary advantage in that respect.


Then why are they so disproportionately outnumber by believers?



Because for millenia governments have indoctrinated religious beliefs in their populations and they've proved to be resilient beliefs.

External reality shapes our inner reality. We perceive spiritual agencies because that is how we respond to the external world to form our subjective perspective, feelings, beliefs, desires or discovery along with our understanding of the materialistic world.


The external reality would be the brain producing the inner experience.
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 05 Jul 2013, 10:36

justintime wrote:The external reality would be the stimulus and the inner reality the perception and response to the stimulus.


Right - so the external reality would be the helmet stimulating the brain and the inner reality the perception and response to the stimulus. You seem to be saying that despite the fact that the only stimulus referred to in the experiment is the helmet, that we should add in some other external "spirit". Persinger doesn't make that assumption - why do you?

By putting evolutionary advantage in context of belief in god, followed by the observation that believers outnumber skeptics disproportionately . It should become quite obvious believers had a evolutionary reproductive advantage. Traits that benefit the organism are passed on giving the organism a reproductive advantage and that accounts for why believers outnumber skeptics disproportionately.


I've explained why I think that beliefs do not factor into evolution. I've explained what I think is the cause of the large number of theists vs. non-theists.

It is the traits that benefit the organism are passed on giving the organism a reproductive advantage and that accounts for why both believers and heterosexuals out number skeptics and homosexuals. Basic laws of Natural Selection.


While it is certainly possible that homosexuality is coded in the genes (jury's still out on that one) - it is still the case that every homosexual is born from a heterosexual process. Many homosexuals do not have children - though many do. Certainly homosexuality is far from extinct in the human species and I'm not aware of any evidence that it is in decline, so again, not sure how you're coming to your conclusions.

If you were to learn that non-belief has been steadily rising would that go against your hypothesis?

http://www.christianpost.com/news/most- ... ses-50791/

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/04/ ... 334722560/
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 06 Jul 2013, 01:39

justintime wrote:The external reality would be the stimulus and the inner reality the perception and response to the stimulus. This was referring to spiritual powers from the outside bringing about the religious/spiritual experience on the inside.


Seems to me that the stimulus is the electromagnetic fields being pumped into the brain.

The god spot is like an antenna in the brain responding to spiritual signals from the outside.


The experiment doesn't descrtibe spiritual signals from the outside - it describes eletromagnetic fields being directed into certain parts of the brain.

You're adding in elements not coverred by the experiment.

Because the test fails on skeptics/atheists.


Don't you mean Richard Dawkins? Other skeptic/atheists have done it and gotten different results.

It simply means either a broken or missing antenna.


I don't have a problem accepting that there are spiritual signals out there being received by an antenna in the brain - now all you have to do is find those signals and find the antenna. You can't find them in this experiment since its clear what the signals are (the electromagetic fields produced by the helmet).

The helmet was to demonstrate a god spot did exist in the brain and when stimulated brought about religious experiences similar to those reported by people who had them. When people have religious experiences some external power is causing the god spot to respond, it is being stimulated.


See, when you hear about this experiment you invent explanations that are not based on the experiment itself. From what I can see, what this experiment, if properly replicated, shows is that so-called "spiritual" experiences are really just brain reactions misinterpreted as being from external entities.

When BBC asked Dawkings if believers had an evolutionary advantage over skeptics/atheist. Dawkins who is a self proclaimed atheist and speaks at skeptic functions never challenged that question but acknowledged it gave them an evolutionary advantage.


Well, not sure if he challenged the question or not (do we have an unedited recording or transcript?). I've tried to explain his answer to you, can't do it any better than I have. I disagree with you on your interpretation of what Dawkins said. Not sure what else can be said on it.

Why did he not take the opportunity to rebut the question by claiming it was skeptics with their critical thinking, scientific method and evidence based approach that had the evolutionary advantage over believers?



Why would he claim that skeptics have an evolutionary advantage over believers - it is highly unlikely he believes that.



If the determining factor was having a brain with the capacity to believe in god then the believers obviously had the advantage.


Not if non-believers have the same brains with the capacity to believe in god - which is the case.

If the determining factor was having a brain with a larger capacity.


The thing is, the determining factor is not having a brain with a larger capacity.

Not sure there is anything more to say on this.

Now, the problem may be that we have a different understanding of what an evolutionary advantage is. You like definitions: what is your definition of "evolutionary advantage"?


According to Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man:

A belief in all-pervading spiritual agencies seems to be universal; and apparently follows from a considerable advance in the reasoning powers of man, and from a still greater advance in his faculties of imagination, curiosity and wonder.... There can be no doubt that a tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage and sympathy, were always ready to aid one another, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection [of the group].


I think - hyperbole aside - that this is probably pretty accurate - and 100% consistent with Dawkins' statement.

In the same way that human brains have the capacity to analyse (ie: skepticism is an analytical process) - which also would help the survival of the group.

The evoluationary advantage is a brain capable of these kinds of things - because it helps the members of the community survive long enough to procreate. Both having a brain with the ability to have spiritual experiences (but further to create a narative around them to help unify a tribe) and a brain with the ability to reason were evolutionary advantages, allowing the populations to adapt to their environments and survive.

I agree this is pretty interesting stuff. Evolution is quite amazing.
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 06 Jul 2013, 07:30

justintime wrote:Dr Persinger discovered through experimentation the god spot in the 1980's. People have been reporting spiritual experiences since recorded history. Dr Persinger's experiment affirms the spiritual/religious experiences reported by people are real and can be reproduced by stimulating a certain area of the brain which he called the god spot. He devised a helmet which used weak magnetic waves on the temporal lobes to bring about this spiritual experiences. So the question is. What external stimulus caused the spiritual experiences of millions of people before Dr Persinger's helmet? Does god communicate through magnetic waves or some other unknown, undiscovered medium that religious people are able to pickup because people are still reporting spiritual/religious experiences without Dr Persingers helmet.?


Gosh! You were so close Justin to writing something that I could really get behind! Ok: yes, we can say the experiment affirms that the spiritual experiences reported by people are real - but I don't think anyone has ever suggested that people don't have such experiences. People clearly are having such experiences. But having an experience does not mean, of course, that one is correctly interpreting it.

You are right that the interesting question is - what causes the spiritual experiences outside of the helmet. But you then jump a step and ask whether god communicates through magnetic waves? Remember: the fact that someone has an experience they attribute to a god does not mean that that experience was in fact caused by such a god. It's one possibility, but as Dr. Persinger demonstrates, it could simply be that the brain got stimulated in a particular way and - not understanding the underlying cause people attributed it to god.

So - you raise a very good question: what triggers these the brain - is it some spirit? Or something else. The god helmet experiment doens't answer that - so more research will have to be done.

You appear to think spiritual experience only came into existence after Dr Persinger discovery.


Not sure what I could have written that brings you to this conclusion - but let me clarify: I don't believe that. I believe humans probably started having those experiences once their brains evolved to the point that it could produce such feelings.

It is like they have an antenna in their brains tuning in to the presence of spiritual forces/presence.


Or on the other hand, it's like they have brains that when stimulated in paritcular ways produce feelings that they then interpret as being of spirtual forces/presences.

BBC asked Dawkins if believers have and evolutionary advantage over skeptics/atheist because they outnumber them disproportionately. Dawkins as an evolutionary biologist acknowledge it gave believers an evolutionary advantage.


He didn't, but we're just going around in circles on that one- let's drop it - we're not going to get further with this. I accept that you believe that he meant that. I disagree with you.

The prevailing theory in biology is that natural selection is the mechanism by which allele frequency within a population changes over time due to genetic variation and selection pressures.

If members of a population exhibit a specific phenotype which gives them a reproductive advantage over other members of the population not exhibiting that phenotype natural selection will tend to increase the proportion of the population with the favorable phenotype. This is based on the current selection pressures in the environment. Due to this reproductive advantage, the group with the phenotype should produce more viable offspring that over time will increase their percentage in the overall population[


Right: and while I stand to be corrected (it's complicated reading) from what I understand beliefs do not form part of our phenotype. You seem to be suggesting that different beliefs represent polymorphs within a species - I didn't think varying beliefs would be considered polymorphs.

That being said, I can see how having incorrect beliefs can lead sometimes to having more babies. For example, telling people that their god wants them to "be fruitful and multiply" can lead to a stronger focus on procreation. If the human species was close to extinction I might even suggest that such a "noble lie" as Plato would put it would actually be good social policy. But humans have an overpopulation problem if anything and so having more babies might not actually be a good thing (and I'm speaking as someone who has three of them and who is not therefore helping the overpopulation problem). If we strain our resources too much we will have no choice but to put in policies designed to reduce the birth rate - such as what currently occurs in China. Don't make the mistake of thinking that having more babies is an intrinsically good thing for a population - it all depends on the current environment.
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby really? » 06 Jul 2013, 10:14

justintime wrote:Dr Persinger discovered through experimentation the god spot in the 1980's. People have been reporting spiritual experiences since recorded history. Dr Persinger's experiment affirms the spiritual/religious experiences reported by people are real and can be reproduced by stimulating a certain area of the brain which he called the god spot. He devised a helmet which used weak magnetic waves on the temporal lobes to bring about this spiritual experiences. So the question is. What external stimulus caused the spiritual experiences of millions of people before Dr Persinger's helmet? Does god communicate through magnetic waves or some other unknown, undiscovered medium that religious people are able to pickup because people are still reporting spiritual/religious experiences without Dr Persingers helmet.?


Here's a possible explanation to the embolden text. Naturally occurring em fields might be the cause for spiritual experiences. http://www.vlf.it/
really?
 
Posts: 1009
Joined: 06 Mar 2010, 20:58

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby NinjaPuppy » 06 Jul 2013, 20:24

really? wrote:Here's a possible explanation to the embolden text. Naturally occurring em fields might be the cause for spiritual experiences. http://www.vlf.it/

Yes, that is one possible explanation that has been thrown around as a theory on all the ghost hunting shows. However, it seems that not everyone is affected by these EMFs. If there is a possible connection, then my question would be why can some people be very sensitive and others not at all?
User avatar
NinjaPuppy
 
Posts: 4002
Joined: 28 Jul 2009, 20:44

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby really? » 06 Jul 2013, 22:23

justintime wrote:Dr Persinger discovered through experimentation the god spot in the 1980's. People have been reporting spiritual experiences since recorded history. Dr Persinger's experiment affirms the spiritual/religious experiences reported by people are real and can be reproduced by stimulating a certain area of the brain which he called the god spot. He devised a helmet which used weak magnetic waves on the temporal lobes to bring about this spiritual experiences. So the question is. What external stimulus caused the spiritual experiences of millions of people before Dr Persinger's helmet? Does god communicate through magnetic waves or some other unknown, undiscovered medium that religious people are able to pickup because people are still reporting spiritual/religious experiences without Dr Persingers helmet.?


really? wrote:Here's a possible explanation to the embolden text. Naturally occurring em fields might be the cause for spiritual experiences. http://www.vlf.it/

justintime wrote:Then why is it that atheist and skeptics are unable to experience spiritual experiences.

So, every atheist and skeptic has been examined. I don't recall being tested.

justintime wrote:The biggest argument against Dr Persingers experiment was the artificially induced spiritual experiences were triggered by stimulating the temporal lobes. Artificially induced experiences brought about by stimulating certain areas of the brain are not the same as real spiritual experiences through interaction with the real world because in Dr Persingers case he is tricking the brain into mimicking those spiritual experiences artificially. Experiments have been done to stimulate the pleasure spots and other areas of human emotion/memory. In short, the experiments help map the human brain, but it is not a substitute for real experience.

To the bold. How do you know this with certainty? How do you know anything you've written above with certainty?

justintime wrote:I have provided other research material that compliments and supplements Dr Persinger's findings. Skeptics do not appear to be affected when their temporal lobes are stimulated and showed little or no spiritual experiences during the experiments. Research by Dr Peter Brugger showed there was a correlation between low levels of dopamine and extreme skepticism. This suggests, even though skeptic brains are the same as those who responded to the test, the low levels of dopamine a neurotransmitter may be inhibiting the spiritual experiences in skeptics thus explaining the extreme skepticism.

Only a few skeptics have been tested. Maybe the brains of those tested skeptics do have low levels of dopamine and if that's true that doesn't mean your position is inherently a better one

justintime wrote:We have found the medical cause for skepticism in skeptics. Is there a rational basis for skepticism?
I have used several skeptics as examples to prove there is no rational basis for skepticism, only medical ones.

Having low levels of dopamine doesn't limit ones ability to think. Which is the more reasonable approach to evidence? Someone that tries to weight the evidence to a reasonable conclusion or someone that weighs the evidence in favor of what they already believe?

justintime wrote:Richard Muller a climate research scientist/skeptic was skeptical about the research on climate change and its conclusions. His set a team to repeat the test and when his team arrived at the same conclusions as the climate change research Muller changed his position. It was not his scientific credentials that clouded his judgement, it was his skepticism that made his reject peer reviewed research. Not a rational basis for skepticism.

How do you know with certainty? Could not ideology have played a role.
justintime wrote:Carl Sagan another skeptic/scientist did not believe in alien encounters but had no problem believing in extraterrestrial aliens. His controversial positions should be attributed to a chemical imbalance. He was a pot addict and THC in pot increases dopamine levels. So his fluctuation between believe and skepticism of aliens matched the mood swings between low and high dopamine levels or corresponding pot highs and lows. Not a rational basis for skepticism

Deja vue all over again. As I recall you got your arse kicked on the JREF forum for not understanding Sagan's position. I don't think you'd want that again. And clearly you still don't understand. So it's no use beating the same dead horse again. All the rest is pure speculation on your part. For those that might want to take a look you can see the exchange here starting with post #20 http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php? ... justintime

justintime wrote:Michael Shermer was a born again Christiana fundamentalist who evangelized for 7 years before he turned to skepticism. But his road to skepticism was not critical thinking, it was cycling. "Shermer's embrace of scientific skepticism crystallized during his time as a cyclist, explaining, "I became a skeptic on Saturday, August 6, 1983, on the long climbing road to Loveland Pass, Colorado." Not a rational basis for skepticism.

I read how he described his change of thinking. Shermer did something few people actually do with their beliefs. He thought about what he thought about. In other words he did some self examination for why he believed what he believed. I wonder, but not too much; if you can do the same?

justintime wrote:James Randi came out at 81 and said he was gay. All along he has been telling his audience he was a skeptic. Was there a rational basis for his skepticism or a medical one?

Wow! Being gay means you can't be a skeptical person. We didn't know that. Thank you so much for educating us all. I really hope the subtext of what I've just written does not escape your Holmsian reasoning abilities. One more thing. Go visit a proctologist and have him remove that skeptical bug.
really?
 
Posts: 1009
Joined: 06 Mar 2010, 20:58

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby really? » 07 Jul 2013, 04:21

justintime wrote:There is no supporting evidence to show skeptics know why they are skeptical or even know the cause for their skepticism. Most skeptics when asked will say. "Skepticism is the rigorous application of science and reason to test the validity of any and all claims." or "Skeptics apply critical thinking and are evidence based people." Now that is quite different from the definition of skepticism or skeptics.

Skepticism definition: A doubting or questioning attitude or state of mind; dubiety. See Synonyms at uncertainty.
Skeptic definition: One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.

Here is an argument that finds Skepticism is a state of mind and was always recognized as so from in its early philosophical roots.

The Pyrrhonians, in contrast, did not claim that knowledge is impossible; rather, they suspended judgment on all such theoretical questions, thereby avoiding the mental discomfort that comes from taxing one's brain with insoluble problems. For them, skepticism was a mental attitude and a way of life, not an abstract philosophical position. The Pyrrhonist refused to judge or criticize the laws and customs of his society, resolving instead to accept things as they appear to be, without committing himself to any judgment about them. In this way he attained the psychological tranquillity of ataraxia.



ataraxia definition:
a state of tranquility free from anxiety and emotional disturbance.
Why a Skeptic seeks ataraxia or a stress free state to pacify his insecurity, uncertainty or doubting attitude.


So why are skeptics in denial of their condition, they doubting nature, uncertainty and insecurity? Can it be possible skeptics are even skeptical of their own condition? It is one thing to be skeptical about climate change, aliens, spiritual experiences but to ignore scientific research and a medical explanation for their skepticism requires a new category to define their extreme condition. Pseudoskeptics have been suggested. But there is no medical equivalence for this term or condition. Until skeptics are willing to accept their skepticism as a mental condition they will continue to delude themselves believing they are just a disparate group of insecure individuals when they are really mentally inept.


I'd bet it would be very interesting probing your brain to find out what makes it tick. Have you made an appointment to see the proctologist yet to have that bug removed?
really?
 
Posts: 1009
Joined: 06 Mar 2010, 20:58

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby NinjaPuppy » 07 Jul 2013, 07:51

really? wrote:Deja vue all over again. As I recall you got your arse kicked on the JREF forum for not understanding Sagan's position. I don't think you'd want that again.

You mean to tell me that JREF will kick someone off for something that is posted on another forum? :o Man, that sucks. It's a good thing that we don't do that here.
really? wrote:And clearly you still don't understand. So it's no use beating the same dead horse again. All the rest is pure speculation on your part.

Guess what? I don't understand either. :lol: And for the record, speculation is welcomed here. Especially if someone is trying to figure something out or make a point. I do believe that Justintime doesn't need you to remind him of the basic rules of this forum. May I also suggest that it's not nice to tell another member that they might get banned. If you believe that Justintime or any member has committed a forum faux pas, it is better to use the "Report A Post" button and privately point out what you consider to be an infraction.
User avatar
NinjaPuppy
 
Posts: 4002
Joined: 28 Jul 2009, 20:44

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby really? » 07 Jul 2013, 11:56

really? wrote: Deja vue all over again. And clearly you still don't understand. So it's no use beating the same dead horse again. All the rest is pure speculation on your part. As I recall you got your arse kicked on the JREF forum for not understanding Sagan's position. I don't think you'd want that again.

NinjaPuppy wrote:a.You mean to tell me that JREF will kick someone off for something that is posted on another forum? :o Man, that sucks. It's a good thing that we don't do that here.

NinjaPuppy wrote:Guess what? I don't understand either. :lol: And for the record, speculation is welcomed here. Especially if someone is trying to figure something out or make a point. b I do believe that Justintime doesn't need you to remind him of the basic rules of this forum. c. May I also suggest that it's not nice to tell another member that they might get banned. If you believe that Justintime or any member has committed a forum faux pas, it is better to use the "Report A Post" button and privately point out what you consider to be an infraction.

a. No. b, c .Never implied justintime might get banned either. You read it incorrectly.

To get the full story on justintime click the link provided previously. Then it will make sense to you.

I like speculation also as along as the speculation has substance. In this case it's just a temper tantrum against skeptics, the same as it was on the jref forum.
really?
 
Posts: 1009
Joined: 06 Mar 2010, 20:58

PreviousNext

Return to JREF / Randi Challenge

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest