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The fundamental principle of skepticism : PseudoSkeptic Fallacies • SCEPCOP Forum








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The fundamental principle of skepticism

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

The fundamental principle of skepticism

Postby Franc28 » 23 Jul 2009, 06:19

I used to label myself a skeptic (in the JREF sense: now I don't label myself a skeptic in any sense). As I have understood it for years, the fundamental principle of skepticism is this:

An extraordinary claims (i.e. claims divergent from the scientific consensus) must be justified (with proportional evidence of its predictive power) in order to be accepted.

If any skeptic wishes to defend this principle, I have three questions for you, to start the debate:

1. The principle assumes a specific epistemic view, the view that a claim must be judged on the basis of predictive power (i.e. if you claim that acupuncture is valid, you must show that putting needles in people in a certain way does what acupuncture says it does). If you find that there is a man that lives at the North Pole, in a big house, who makes toys, is that evidence for the existence of Santa Claus?

2. Why is the extraordinary nature of a claim measured by divergence from the scientific consensus? What about claims that have no relation to the scientific domain (such as moral, ethical or political claims) or claims made in domains where science is vastly impotent (such as economics, psychology or meteorology)?

3. Why do you believe in the scientific consensus as a standard of ordinariness? Why do you believe the scientific consensus, which is dictated by the capital-democratic system (of which the modern scientific institution is but a mouthpiece), has any relevance to epistemic concerns at all?
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Re: The fundamental principle of skepticism

Postby Scepcop » 23 Jul 2009, 21:33

I have a suspicion that the new skeptics here didn't come here for intellectual philosophical truth seeking debates/discussion. They probably came here just to discredit and invalidate "The Professor" or set the record straight on him. But time will tell.
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Re: The fundamental principle of skepticism

Postby tmtoulouse » 24 Jul 2009, 02:10

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Re: The fundamental principle of skepticism

Postby Franc28 » 24 Jul 2009, 04:18

Banned by the JREF Board for calling them on their "bullshit"...
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Re: The fundamental principle of skepticism

Postby tmtoulouse » 24 Jul 2009, 04:46

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Re: The fundamental principle of skepticism

Postby Franc28 » 24 Jul 2009, 15:54

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Re: The fundamental principle of skepticism

Postby tmtoulouse » 25 Jul 2009, 00:17

Er, you are trying to label skepticism as a form of scientism. That is classic equivocation. I am not here to argue that scientism is a valid world view. I don't think it is. Let me know when you want to discuss skepticism instead of your straw man.
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Re: The fundamental principle of skepticism

Postby Franc28 » 25 Jul 2009, 03:58

How is it a straw man? Can you show us the difference? Because I don't see any.
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Re: The fundamental principle of skepticism

Postby tmtoulouse » 25 Jul 2009, 14:39

You really think skepticism=scientism? Okay then. Guess that ends this conversation.
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Re: The fundamental principle of skepticism

Postby Franc28 » 25 Jul 2009, 15:24

I would go farther than that, actually... I would say that skeptics, by virtue of their position, are foot soldiers for the capital-democratic Establishment. Reading Skeptic Magazine provides ample proof of this fact... Even when I was a skeptic, I had nothing but disdain for skeptic rhetoric about anything that wasn't the paranormal.

That being said, I am interested in your justification of the "skeptical" method, but you apparently do not want to provide it. All you can do is reiterate that it's the evidence that's important, yet you still can't explain to us how you can link the evidence to the proposition.
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Re: The fundamental principle of skepticism

Postby jakesteele » 26 Jul 2009, 15:04

Your thread and some of the responses are pretty deep for me to wrestle with right now because it's bedtime for Bonzo. However, I will say this: To me it all gets down to what really is the definition of 'extraordinary' in any context? Who gets to define the word. I have found not to walk in blindly to a situation like that and ask them, "why do you consider that extraordinary?" I like giving the example of Ernest Chladni (discovered meteorites in 1800). At them time a pseudo would have cried, "extraordinary claim!!" But nowadays it is accepted fact verified many, many times over in many different ways.

To someone who has dealt with the paranormal most of his life and had experiences and seen other have experiences, the concept of telekinesis does not seem so extraordinary. So, again, what is the definition of 'extraordinary' and who gets to define it?
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