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Robert Anton Wilson spot on about pseudo-skeptics

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Robert Anton Wilson spot on about pseudo-skeptics

Postby Scepcop » 10 Aug 2009, 02:51

The great author Robert Anton Wilson called the pseudo-skeptics “fundamentalist materialists” and “irrational rationalists” in this interview. His points are spot on.

http://www.nii.net/~obie/1988_interview.htm

“DAB: One of your recent books is The New Inquisition: Irrational Rationalism and the Citadel of Science. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about this book.

RAW: I coined the term irrational rationalism because those people claim to be rationalists, but they're governed by such a heavy body of taboos. They're so fearful, and so hostile, and so narrow, and frightened, and uptight and dogmatic. I thought it was a fascinating paradox: irrational rationalists. Later on I found out I didn't invent that. Somebody else who wrote an article on CSICOP, that's the group they all belong to: Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. Somebody else who wrote about them also used the term irrational rationalism. It's a hard term to resist when you think about those people.

I wrote this book because I got tired satirizing fundamentalist Christianity, I had done enough of that in my other books. I decided to satirize fundamentalist materialism for a change, because the two are equally comical. All fundamentalism is comical, unless you believe in it, in which case you'd become a fanatic yourself, and want everybody else to share your fundamentalism. But if you're not a fundamentalist yourself, fundamentalists are the funniest people on the planet. The materialist fundamentalists are funnier than the Christian fundamentalists, because they think they're rational!

DAB: They call themselves skeptical.

RAW: Yes, but they're not skeptical! They're never skeptical about anything except the things they have a prejudice against. None of them ever says anything skeptical about the AMA, or about anything in establishment science or any entrenched dogma. They're only skeptical about new ideas that frighten them. They're actually dogmatically committed to what they were taught when they were in college, which was about 1948-53, somewhere in that period. If you go back and study what was being taught in college in those days as the latest scientific theories, you find out that's what these people still believe. They haven't had a new idea in 30 years, that's all that happened to them. They just rigidified, they crystallized around 1960.”
“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: Robert Anton Wilson spot on about pseudo-skeptics

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 01 Aug 2010, 13:45

If anyone is interested in Robert Anton Wilson, I find I have mentioned him about 9 times already. Jacksteele has tried to start on thread were those who were influenced by him can share there accounts and discuss his philosopies. I've added my bead. If you consider yourself RAW meat, come join. Seekers and skeptics welcome.

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Re: Robert Anton Wilson spot on about pseudo-skeptics

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 01 Aug 2010, 13:47

Sheesh, I really need to run these through spell-check before I send them. I haven't known what time it is since I got a watch either
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Re: Robert Anton Wilson spot on about pseudo-skeptics

Postby jakesteele » 08 Aug 2010, 05:17

Thanks for starting a similar thread about RAW. This forum's whole premise is based on the things that RAW and others wrote about a long time ago (New Inquisition was published in 1986). If Shermer, Plait, and, of course, Randi, are the embodiment of pseudo skepticism, then RAW, along with people like Mario Truzzi, are the embodiment of agnostic skepticism. I'm really surprised RAW and Truzzi aren't spoken of much more on this site, especially by the guys that started it.

I don't know if it ever happened, but I would have loved to have seen a debate between Randi and RAW. Both are very smart guys, but after seeing RAW I think he would have clubbed Randi to death like he was a baby fur seal.
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Re: Robert Anton Wilson spot on about pseudo-skeptics

Postby The_Grand_Illusion » 16 Oct 2010, 17:45

Brendan D. Murphy is the author of the forthcoming book series on the nature of reality and consciousness, The Grand Illusion: A Synthesis of Science, Mysticism and the Occult. Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Grand-Illusion-TGI/151764238172173?ref=ts

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Re: Robert Anton Wilson spot on about pseudo-skeptics

Postby Arouet » 16 Oct 2010, 17:49

Isn't "agnostic skepticism" a bit of an oxy-moron?
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Re: Robert Anton Wilson spot on about pseudo-skeptics

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 17 Oct 2010, 01:28

More of a tautology. Now, dogmatic skepticism is an oxymoron.
I know I am not picking up more than a couple of pabbles compared to the boulder he rolled up the mountain, but his absense helped me get started talking on the net.
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Re: Robert Anton Wilson spot on about pseudo-skeptics

Postby Arouet » 17 Oct 2010, 01:36

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Re: Robert Anton Wilson spot on about pseudo-skeptics

Postby The_Grand_Illusion » 17 Oct 2010, 06:20

Brendan D. Murphy is the author of the forthcoming book series on the nature of reality and consciousness, The Grand Illusion: A Synthesis of Science, Mysticism and the Occult. Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Grand-Illusion-TGI/151764238172173?ref=ts

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Re: Robert Anton Wilson spot on about pseudo-skeptics

Postby Arouet » 17 Oct 2010, 08:07

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