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Old 30th May 2019, 01:28 PM   #41
dudalb
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
it's not hard to get to a basic proficiency in theology.

That is not the same as faith.
This. Trying to understand a lot of historical eras where religious conflict played a major role is an exercise in futility unless you understand the basic thelogy involved. England during the Tudor Period comes to mind. You have to understand the basic conflicts between the Roman Catholic Church and the new Protestent faith to get an inkling of what was going on.
Addendum" You need to understand the conflicts between various branches of Protestism also.
It's fine to think "It's all nonsense" but understanding the details of the nonsense is important.
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Old 30th May 2019, 02:17 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
In a recent post in another section he suggested that any Scot who is favor of staying in the UK is pretty much a traitor....
"Wallace!" "Wallace!"
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Old 31st May 2019, 06:59 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
By design. De facto leaders of the skeptical/critical thinking/atheist movements have specifically been trying to build community because loss of same has been brought up as a problem again and again from folks who have, for example, left their childhood churches.


Curious as to what you're experiencing that feels like a cult here. To me it's more like the Wild West and I don't get a strong community sense here. It's one of the things I like!


^this.


No, I'm not saying this place feels like a cult. Far from it. I may not have expressed myself clearly enough on that.

I'm saying, there's some folks here who tend to focus a great deal on the community aspect of skepticism. Which is as it should be, of course, we're people not Vulcans : but if "skepticism" as a whole ends up becoming primarily about the community, then things are probably getting a tad dysfunctional.

For example, right here in this thread, the OP's put off by certain actions and trends within the skeptical community. And that sort of thing, I'd say, while certainly it would and should attract attention, will not lead to actual disillusionment with skepticism itself, not unless you're someone who values the community aspect of skepticism excessively. It is that aspect I was referring to in my comment.

For instance, there are some who do tend to put the holy cows of skepticism on something of a pedestal. And when some of those icons do something that knocks them off that pedestal, well then disillusionment naturally follows. And that kind of a relationship with the "movement" appears cult-like to me.

What matters it if certain skeptical icons turn into raging monsters every time they step inside elevators? What matters it if the holiest of holy cows were to suddenly do something totally weird, like converting to Catholicism in their dotage? None of that has anything to do with skepticism per se, which to my mind is nothing more and nothing less than simply critical thinking. And this place, this forum of ours, is nothing more -- and nothing less! -- than a place where the importance of critical thinking is clearly understood and taken for granted, something that is unfortunately seldom the case in forums in general, whether online or IRL.
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Old 31st May 2019, 09:17 AM   #44
Bouncing Bettys
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This thread gets a grade of A+ for Atheism+.
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Old 1st June 2019, 04:39 PM   #45
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My attention was just recently drawn to this sequence of events, which reminded me of this thread for some reason.




...


(hours later)


...




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Old 1st June 2019, 06:56 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I often hear this argument. I find it odd.

How much education does one need to know that made up stuff is made up?
But knowing if, when, and how it was made up is important if you want to comment on the subject.

The nonreligious jerks who go the conspiracist route "Your book was created to control you!" "how do you know X didn't just make it all up for this or that" don't look any better.
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Old 4th June 2019, 12:15 AM   #47
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Actually, no, it's not. All you need to know is whether or not it has sufficient evidence to support its conclusion. You don't need to know who first came up with a medical conspiracy for example, or when -- indeed some may even be ancient -- to know that it never actually showed any evidence. Saying that someone can't comment before knowing that is just something one step dafter than trying to invert the burden of proof, because it's moved away from even being about the proof. And demanding to know WHY they came up with it is even dafter, because it moves into the domain of demanding a fallacy: the appeal to motive fallacy.
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Old 4th June 2019, 05:28 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Has it always been this way and I haven't seen it? Or has something changed?

'Skepticism' is a term that never sat easy with me and not one I self-described as but it was one that I used to think meant people were prepared to consider issues and take on board nuanced points of view.

Now it seems to have just become a haven for bigots, right-wing idiots and general ***** who want to be able to abuse and harass people under the banner of freedom of speech and selectively apply 'facts' to discriminate against people they don't like.

Richard Dawkins went down the rabbit hole pretty quickly, Sam Harris has followed him. But it seems to now be a hiding place for bigots to pretend that they just want 'freedom of speech' or an 'honest discussion' to abuse people that they disagree with.

We have the loathesome Sargon of Akkad campaigning for the awful UKIP now. Nobody who actually values analysis, thought and freedom would ever support UKIP. But there we have it.

So WTF is going on?

Has skepticism just become a haven for bigots, transphobes, racists, islamophobes, misogynists and general ne'erdowells under the freedom of 'just discussing facts'?

It's pathetic, really. When the woo-sters are more accepting of other people than those who value critical thinking. Where is the value in this community?
Something people often tend to forget, and I don't know why, is that there are idiots in every genre of life.

It doesn't matter what you discuss, religion, sexual orientation, beliefs, interests, etc... People are people, and many people are idiots. It ain't exclusive to any one genre of human.

White idiots, black idiots, scientific idiots, atheist idiots, Islamic idiots, christian idiots, idiots who play football, idiots who drive racing cars, idiots who like U2, idiots who like R2D2...

People, that's all it is. WTF happened to people? Nothing, they've always been the same.
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Old 4th June 2019, 06:28 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Bouncing Bettys View Post
This thread gets a grade of A+ for Atheism+.
Same thing I thought of when I read the OP.

Having spent time here and at other "skeptical" forums, I'm quite sad that skeptic at the......tendency to forget to be skeptical of ones own political beliefs.

As a rule, humans come to there beliefs based on non rational processes then use our great brains to rationalize those beliefs. This is true of skeptics too, even myself. The smarter and better educated you are, the better you are at rationalizing your pre-existing beliefs. We tend to change our beliefs to match our in groups then we tend to forget that we ever believed anything different.

Sure, our beliefs may well be true, but by in large, that is not why we believe them. I would very much like to see a lot less certainty among skeptics, at least enough uncertainty to not demonize those that disagree with us.

Everybody should listen to "you are not so smart" and realize that you are part of the target audience.

https://youarenotsosmart.com/podcast/

https://youarenotsosmart.com/2019/04...nge-blindness/

https://youarenotsosmart.com/2019/03...y-rebroadcast/

https://youarenotsosmart.com/2018/08...-our-identity/

https://youarenotsosmart.com/2018/03...ion-avoidance/
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Old 5th June 2019, 06:39 AM   #50
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It depends on each person and their perception of talents in aspects of life.

Just looking around the site before I joined I knew I wouldn't be the sharpest bowling ball in the drawer. But I liked what I seen and learned more than a few things here. Definitely a lot more than I could teach.

Being a skeptic isn't all that clearly defined as I see it. It is just a title or group of sorts. But being able to read and understand what you read and then process the information into it's validity and then the uses it could serve, critical thinking?

That is important. Yet even the best of us here miss the meaning of what another wrote and react on the keyboard before stopping to think about it, or at least see how others react first.
We are all human, we make stupid human errors, all of us.

Maybe with a little more thoughts before gut reaction on the keyboard we all could improve the image of "skeptic" and skepticism to a higher level.

Some can't be fixed ever but why not each try to make an effort?
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Old 5th June 2019, 07:10 AM   #51
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Hey we need to totally have more lectures about why homeopathy is BS of course, that will make it better.
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Old 5th June 2019, 01:21 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, no, it's not. All you need to know is whether or not it has sufficient evidence to support its conclusion. You don't need to know who first came up with a medical conspiracy for example, or when -- indeed some may even be ancient -- to know that it never actually showed any evidence. Saying that someone can't comment before knowing that is just something one step dafter than trying to invert the burden of proof, because it's moved away from even being about the proof. And demanding to know WHY they came up with it is even dafter, because it moves into the domain of demanding a fallacy: the appeal to motive fallacy.
Conclusion of what? I was speaking broadly about theology. If there is a misunderstanding on the part of the skeptic of how some religious group understands their faith (which of course happens all the time) then yes, it's fairly important to step back a bit and know what you're talking about, else you just end up looking like an arrogant jerk who's talking right past them.
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Old 5th June 2019, 01:48 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
My attention was just recently drawn to this sequence of events, which reminded me of this thread for some reason.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7_JS1sXUAU3cQZ.jpg
...
(hours later)
...
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7_JTbWWwAASUK0.jpg

What a dork.
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Old 6th June 2019, 05:37 AM   #54
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My attitude to most things and people is "trust but verify". Of course, my own confirmation bias does exist, but I try to bear in mind that I do have such a bias. For example, whenever I come across a post in these forums, written by one of the more conspiratorially minded (the usual suspects), I do tend to assume it's wrong in some manner.

My view of conspiracy types is that they appear to think that being sceptical means automatically mistrusting and disbelieving everything.

FWIW, I have been lurking hereabouts for several years. It's the mindset of CTers that fascinates.
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Old 6th June 2019, 11:31 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by The Common Potato View Post
My attitude to most things and people is "trust but verify"...

Even after he wrote this shameful post?!

Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
I thought his first book was pretty good. A talented motivational speaker and researcher. Also a really slimy hustler.
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Old 7th June 2019, 11:09 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
Even after he wrote this shameful post?!
I've no idea who the Tony Robbins - the subject in question, I think - actually is. I was obviously not talking about the forum user.

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Old 10th June 2019, 03:30 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by The Common Potato View Post
I've no idea who the Tony Robbins - the subject in question, I think -
Consider yourself lucky.
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Old 10th June 2019, 04:10 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by The Common Potato View Post
I've no idea who the Tony Robbins - the subject in question, I think - actually is. I was obviously not talking about the forum user.
Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Consider yourself lucky.

I am really, really, skeptical about self motivational 'experts' like this Robbins wanker. Been to a number of presentations by some of these, (eyes open wide and ready to take it all in in my younger days), and experienced no positive outcomes in myself, or others under my observation. These guys seem adept at suckering in the managers of companies, with all their BS. How they can blend it all, with crap like fire walking and other irrelevant nonsense, is beyond me.
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Old 10th June 2019, 07:14 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
'Skepticism' is a term that never sat easy with me and not one I self-described as but it was one that I used to think meant people were prepared to consider issues and take on board nuanced points of view.

Now it seems to have just become a haven for bigots, right-wing idiots and general ***** who want to be able to abuse and harass people under the banner of freedom of speech and selectively apply 'facts' to discriminate against people they don't like.

So WTF is going on?

Has skepticism just become a haven for bigots, transphobes, racists, islamophobes, misogynists and general ne'erdowells under the freedom of 'just discussing facts'?

It's pathetic, really. When the woo-sters are more accepting of other people than those who value critical thinking. Where is the value in this community?
So how do you define skepticism? For my part I can't really distinguish people who call themselves "skeptics" from SJWs or NPCs. They all seem to just repeat the same platitudes over and over again with nary an original thought or insight in their heads. This forum is largely just like "rationalwiki"(i.e. intellectual garbage).

p.s. I believe these forums should be renamed International SJWs Forum.
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Old 10th June 2019, 07:41 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by tanabear View Post
So how do you define skepticism? For my part I can't really distinguish people who call themselves "skeptics" from SJWs or NPCs. They all seem to just repeat the same platitudes over and over again with nary an original thought or insight in their heads. This forum is largely just like "rationalwiki"(i.e. intellectual garbage).

p.s. I believe these forums should be renamed International SJWs Forum.
If that's the case, you aren't paying attention.


Yeah, there are some SJW sorts here, but there are plenty of anti-SJWs as well.

I wish "skepticism" would have stuck with non-belief in psychic powers and that sort of thing, and not had quite as much hostility to religion. I get why the hostility toward religion is shared, because there are so many "miracle workers" defrauding people, but I think it's possible to be a Methodist without being a lunatic.

I think the "SJW" stuff, to the extent that it exists here, is mostly a knee jerk hostility toward anything associated with religion.

But, to reiterate, I don't think this place is overrun with SJWs. On the other hand, I think you are particularly inclined to search for them, and see them even when they aren't truly there.
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Old 10th June 2019, 09:22 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I wish "skepticism" would have stuck with non-belief in psychic powers and that sort of thing, and not had quite as much hostility to religion. I get why the hostility toward religion is shared, because there are so many "miracle workers" defrauding people, but I think it's possible to be a Methodist without being a lunatic..
Is that what David Hume primarily concerned himself with, non-belief in psychic powers? I'm sure that there are a lot of politicians and government bureaucrats who defraud more people than miracle workers but aren't treated with the same level of hostility. In fact, they are quite loved.

Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I think the "SJW" stuff, to the extent that it exists here, is mostly a knee jerk hostility toward anything associated with religion.
It seems that the SJWs are primarily hostile to Christianity, not religion in general. Also they seem quite supportive of Islam. Anything critical of Islam instantly becomes "Islamophobia". Note that the term Christianophobia is not part of our linguistic currency. Ever wonder why that is?
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Old 11th June 2019, 02:40 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by tanabear View Post
Is that what David Hume primarily concerned himself with, non-belief in psychic powers? I'm sure that there are a lot of politicians and government bureaucrats who defraud more people than miracle workers but aren't treated with the same level of hostility. In fact, they are quite loved.



It seems that the SJWs are primarily hostile to Christianity, not religion in general. Also they seem quite supportive of Islam. Anything critical of Islam instantly becomes "Islamophobia". Note that the term Christianophobia is not part of our linguistic currency. Ever wonder why that is?
If it's true, it's maybe because the SJW movement can be seen youthful revolt among white, western kids. It's only natural that they revolt against their parents and their religion, why should they oppose the religion of a completely different culture?
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Old 11th June 2019, 07:16 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by tanabear View Post
So how do you define skepticism? For my part I can't really distinguish people who call themselves "skeptics" from SJWs or NPCs. They all seem to just repeat the same platitudes over and over again with nary an original thought or insight in their heads. This forum is largely just like "rationalwiki"(i.e. intellectual garbage).

p.s. I believe these forums should be renamed International SJWs Forum.
I don't know what forum you've been reading, but this is one of the most bearable places on the internet currently. Have you been to Reddit lately? On r/all or r/popular? Those people are ******* insane. And so, so irritating. Bunch of edgy children. The mean age of members here, on the other hand, is much higher. That alone makes for better information and more nuanced views.

Rationalwiki is almost unendurable for me to read due to the snark and know-it-all style. But many people here make long, thoughtful, and detailed posts explaining their viewpoints.

Although now I see that you used the phrase "intellectual garbage." Are you calling intellectualism garbage, or are you accusing the posters here of pseudo-intellectualism? If it's the former, we're at an impasse, I guess.

As for your gripe with "SJWs," that term changes too much for me to even know what you mean (though I suspect it isn't nice). I stopped using it years ago because I noticed it just pissed people off whenever I did. I'm going to assume you mean people arguing about racism and gay rights and trans issues and stuff. If those subjects irritate you, why not just ignore them? I myself have strong views on all 3 of those subjects, but I tend not to get deeply involved in most threads about them. It's not required.

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Old 11th June 2019, 07:25 AM   #64
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NPCs? I read a couple of online definitions, and they make no sense. You could use that term derisively against almost anyone as some kind of straw man.
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Old 11th June 2019, 07:32 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
NPCs? I read a couple of online definitions, and they make no sense. You could use that term derisively against almost anyone as some kind of straw man.
"NPC" stands for "non-player character." It originated as a video game term for the dudes that follow the main dude around but aren't directly controlled by the gamer. Also, I believe, random one-line characters that the player's character talks with. (Think "I was going to be a warrior, but then I took an arrow to the knee.")

Later, people online (many of them affiliated with alt-right stuff) started using the term as a pejorative against cucks and people who disagree with them.

"Oh yeah, well who cares about your opinion? You don't even have a real mind. You're running a program that society tells you to run. You're a non-player character, while I am the sentient one in the game!"

Tune in tomorrow, while I attempt to explain nuclear fission in a similar style to the above!

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Old 11th June 2019, 07:50 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
"NPC" stands for "non-player character." It originated as a video game term for the dudes that follow the main dude around but aren't directly controlled by the gamer.
Aside:. It originated in Dungeons and Dragons.

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Old 11th June 2019, 07:51 AM   #67
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Thank you. Now I understand it better, but it still seems like a content-free pejorative.

I gave up video games before there were these kind of characters, I think. Pac-man never operated with a phalanx of hangers-on, or had forced one-line bits of dialogue with other would-be pac-men.
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Old 11th June 2019, 07:57 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Aside:. It originaty in Dungeons and Dragons.
D'oh!

And unlike vidya games, I have actually played D&D, so shame on me for getting that wrong.
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Old 11th June 2019, 08:22 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
D'oh!

And unlike vidya games, I have actually played D&D, so shame on me for getting that wrong.
You obviously failed your will save to avoid forgetfulness.
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Old 11th June 2019, 09:59 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Thank you. Now I understand it better, but it still seems like a content-free pejorative.
I don't necessarily agree with the content, but it's definitely not content-free.
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Old 11th June 2019, 10:22 AM   #71
carlitos
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't necessarily agree with the content, but it's definitely not content-free.
Nyah, you're an NPC playing a role, so I'll ignore that.
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Old 11th June 2019, 12:05 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Hevneren View Post
If it's true, it's maybe because the SJW movement can be seen youthful revolt among white, western kids. It's only natural that they revolt against their parents and their religion, why should they oppose the religion of a completely different culture?
Yea crazy talk that there is racism and gay people exist. This kind of rabbit partisanship is what destroyed skepticism.
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Old 11th June 2019, 12:45 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by tanabear View Post
Is that what David Hume primarily concerned himself with, non-belief in psychic powers?
Hume is going way back. When we say "skepticism" around here, we usually aren't really using the philosophical term. That causes a bit of confusion, but so be it. What we usually mean is anything associated with James Randi, CSICOP, and the magazine "The Skeptical Inquirer".
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Old 12th June 2019, 12:56 AM   #74
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Don't know what to make of Sam Harris. He seems to genunely want to understand people and portray both sides, as it were, and he has some valid points on a lot of topics, and he is good at challenging you and making you think, but I do think he's gone off the deep end when it comes to his views on migration and Islam.
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Old 12th June 2019, 03:32 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
Don't know what to make of Sam Harris. He seems to genunely want to understand people and portray both sides, as it were, and he has some valid points on a lot of topics, and he is good at challenging you and making you think, but I do think he's gone off the deep end when it comes to his views on migration and Islam.
And who doesn't like torture? What better way is there to truly know someone?
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Old 12th June 2019, 04:20 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Social and political issues can be informed by science but not answered by the method.
Thank you for properly lowering Hume's Guillotine. Together with Occam's Razor, it makes for good cutlery.
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Old 12th June 2019, 05:56 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
And who doesn't like torture? What better way is there to truly know someone?
Also badminton. Badminton is awesome.
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Old 12th June 2019, 06:15 AM   #78
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WTF has happened to 'skepticism'

1. The same thing that happened to "Social Justice," the internet turned it into a fandom.

2. The same thing that happened to almost every quality, it only gets used in context now as a backhanded "Oh I thought you were a so&so" or "Oh I thought this was a place for such & such" style passive aggressive jab.

3. All the things skepticism came about to deal with turned hard into pure anti-intellectualism, leading to the post-truth world we now live in.

4. *Shrugs* I don't know... sunspots? Y2K?
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Old 14th June 2019, 12:18 PM   #79
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In a recent video by TJ Kirk, aka The Amazing Atheist, he gives a look at the history of the Atheism community and what it has become. He points out Elevatorgate as the catalyst. Then Free Thoughts Blog not being very free in thought as it booted Thunderfoot for unpopular opinions, then Atheism+ formed and made its way into conventions before dying out as a brand.
https://youtu.be/NzhBydi4M3M

I'd have to say I agree with him on where things changed.

As to this forum specifically, has disassociating from JREF and James Randi (I first went there as a fan of his and also for 9/11 truther debunking) lessened the importance of actual skepticism? I never found out the reasoning behind parting ways with JREF.
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Old 14th June 2019, 02:57 PM   #80
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JREF never really understood the forum and didn't consider it an asset. With Randi himself going into retirement, and the JREF winding down, the forum became just another administrative hassle they figured they'd just turn off. Only vehement pleading in the eleventh hour made them considere ownership rather than shutting it down.
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