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Old 8th October 2017, 08:28 AM   #281
Scorpion
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I think we have established that atoms are not solid things, and can be converted back into energy. What I want to know is if energy is indeed composed of sub atomic particles, are those particles solid things ? I very much doubt it.

I am qualified in electronics and microprocessor technology and made a living at it. But I have forgotten the rules of algebra and mathematics since being retired. But I think the question of what makes up particles of energy can be explained in layman's terms.
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Old 8th October 2017, 08:45 AM   #282
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Your use of the word solid is inappropriate for every kind of particle

This article looks well written and might be a good place for you to start:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subatomic_particle

Note that the particles listed are not divided into those of which matter is composed and those of which energy is composed. That's because the distinction is not really meaningful. Having said that I tend to think of particles with zero rest mass (eg photons and gluons) as energy particles and with non-zero rest mass as matter particles.
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Old 8th October 2017, 03:06 PM   #283
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Everything started as pure energy, then atoms formed. Everything we see and touch including chairs and even ourselves is nothing but atoms with a different number of protons and neutrons and electrons. We are nothing but electrical particles and the greater part of an atom is empty space.

Therefore the entire universe and everything in it can be regarded as an illusion.

It may be a convincing illusion. If you bang your head on a wall it will appear to be painful. Even though what is really happening is electrical signals are travelling to your brain. But if the nuclear forces were weaker we could walk thorough walls.

Some Yogis can overcome pain signals with their minds, and I can overcome schizophrenia with mine.
Sorry but you are going to have to explain to me why a chair I sit in is an illusion and it isn't a chair.
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Old 8th October 2017, 03:15 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I have not been in touch with spiritualists for years, and I sometimes wonder if what I believe is wrong. But then I remember all my experiences and I am relatively sure I am not.

Unlike all of you on this forum who are mostly atheists sure you are right about everything. It seems to me the boot is on the other foot and its all you people whos minds are closed.

If you will kindly excuse my arrogance, I will continue to post on this forum.
From a young age I devoured everything I could find about magic and psi and spirits and so on. My earliest favourite fiction was the Campbellesque Psi of the 1950s. Sadly as I learnt more I realised that there was no real magic, and no real PSI. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I still read and enjoy the likes of urban fantasy and science fiction it's just sadly we now know it is and always will be fiction. Reality simply doesn't allow for our fictions to be anything but fiction. This isn't saying that we know everything but there are some things we do know and again incredibly sadly they mean that there will never be the likes of telepathy or spirits that we used to imagine.
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Old 9th October 2017, 10:12 AM   #285
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
From a young age I devoured everything I could find about magic and psi and spirits and so on. My earliest favourite fiction was the Campbellesque Psi of the 1950s. Sadly as I learnt more I realised that there was no real magic, and no real PSI. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I still read and enjoy the likes of urban fantasy and science fiction it's just sadly we now know it is and always will be fiction. Reality simply doesn't allow for our fictions to be anything but fiction. This isn't saying that we know everything but there are some things we do know and again incredibly sadly they mean that there will never be the likes of telepathy or spirits that we used to imagine.
For myself, from a young age I used to stare at the stars and ache with a desire to understand what they were. I have always followed the exploration of space with great interest.

As for science fiction being fiction, much of Victorian fiction became fact.
Jules Verne wrote about the nautilus, a submarine powered by energy that had not yet been invented, but we now have nuclear submarines.

H. G. Wells wrote about many things that came true, like tank warfare, and screens which we could talk to each other on.
Human imagination has conceived of many things that we now take for granted. A Greek philosopher conceived of the idea that everything was made up of tiny parts thousands of years before the atom was discovered.

I just think we have arrived at a different definition of reality. I do not regard the world we see as solid, and it is not.

I believe I have experienced telepathy, and I could feel the presence of spirits.
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Old 9th October 2017, 10:21 AM   #286
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Sorry but you are going to have to explain to me why a chair I sit in is an illusion and it isn't a chair.
A chair is almost entirely empty space. The electrical particles of the nucleus of an atom and its electrons are very tiny and most of an atom is empty.
If the nuclear forces were weaker, we would fall through a chair as if it were not there. It is only the electrical binding of atoms that make it seem solid.
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Old 9th October 2017, 02:04 PM   #287
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You say A
Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Everything started as pure energy, then atoms formed. Everything we see and touch including chairs and even ourselves is nothing but atoms with a different number of protons and neutrons and electrons. We are nothing but electrical particles and the greater part of an atom is empty space.
Then B
Quote:
Therefore the entire universe and everything in it can be regarded as an illusion.
B does not follow from A at all.
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Old 10th October 2017, 02:37 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
You say A

Then B

B does not follow from A at all.
Where 'B' is not exactly an illusion, what terms describe it better ?
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Old 11th October 2017, 10:19 AM   #289
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
A chair is almost entirely empty space. The electrical particles of the nucleus of an atom and its electrons are very tiny and most of an atom is empty.
If the nuclear forces were weaker, we would fall through a chair as if it were not there. It is only the electrical binding of atoms that make it seem solid.
And again you are going to have to explain to me how a chair I sit in is an illusion.
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Old 11th October 2017, 10:21 AM   #290
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Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
Where 'B' is not exactly an illusion, what terms describe it better ?
You'd need to ask the person making the claim not the person pointing out the errors in the logic.
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Old 11th October 2017, 10:33 AM   #291
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And again you are going to have to explain to me how a chair I sit in is an illusion.
I don't see how I can put my point of view any more clearly. A chair is not what it appears to be to our senses.

Everything is made of atoms, which are just electrical particles, and if the atoms of the substance a chair is made of had a few less protons and neutrons and electrons it would be something else, like a liquid.
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Old 11th October 2017, 10:41 PM   #292
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I don't see how I can put my point of view any more clearly. A chair is not what it appears to be to our senses.



Everything is made of atoms, which are just electrical particles, and if the atoms of the substance a chair is made of had a few less protons and neutrons and electrons it would be something else, like a liquid.
Yes, that is reality for you. The fact that we cannot sense the individual atoms held together by the electromagnetic force does not make it an illusion.
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Old 12th October 2017, 12:45 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I don't see how I can put my point of view any more clearly. A chair is not what it appears to be to our senses.

Everything is made of atoms, which are just electrical particles, and if the atoms of the substance a chair is made of had a few less protons and neutrons and electrons it would be something else, like a liquid.
How on earth is a chair not what our senses tell us it is I. E. something I can sit on?
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Old 12th October 2017, 12:56 AM   #294
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I don't see how I can put my point of view any more clearly. A chair is not what it appears to be to our senses.

Everything is made of atoms, which are just electrical particles, and if the atoms of the substance a chair is made of had a few less protons and neutrons and electrons it would be something else, like a liquid.
When we first used the word solid to describe something we had no idea what it meant in terms of subatomic particles and the forces that bind them. Now we do. That is the only thing that has changed. Solid objects are no less real because we now have a good understanding of particle physics.
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Old 12th October 2017, 05:23 AM   #295
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Does It Bother You???

We should perhaps add that the fact that energy can convert to matter and vice versa, does not mean that it converts all the time, or that anything goes.
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Old 12th October 2017, 05:36 AM   #296
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
We should perhaps add that the fact that energy can convert to matter and vice versa, does not mean that it converts all the time, or that anything goes.
Yep. This.

Water is just liquid ice; same thing...different form.

Doesn't mean I'll be cooling my beer with steam anytime soon.
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Old 12th October 2017, 06:08 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I don't see how I can put my point of view any more clearly. A chair is not what it appears to be to our senses.
So what exactly do you sit on?

Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Everything is made of atoms,
Sure.

Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
which are just electrical particles,
Wrong.

Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
and if the atoms of the substance a chair is made of had a few less protons and neutrons and electrons it would be something else, like a liquid.
Wrong. They would then be unstable and decay into other atoms.

I don't know where you collected up this symphony of misapprehensions, but wherever it was, you deserve a refund.
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Old 12th October 2017, 09:10 AM   #298
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
How on earth is a chair not what our senses tell us it is I. E. something I can sit on?
I am surprised you take so much account of what senses tell you, especially as you doubt my conclusion that I could feel psychic energy.

The senses are very limited and can only detect a limited range of frequency's.
We cannot see infra red waves, or hear radio waves but we are surrounded by them. There are atomic particles passing through our bodies the whole time and we are oblivious of them. We cannot feel atomic radiation, but if we are exposed to it we soon die.
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 12th October 2017, 10:12 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I am surprised you take so much account of what senses tell you, especially as you doubt my conclusion that I could feel psychic energy.

The senses are very limited and can only detect a limited range of frequency's.
We cannot see infra red waves, or hear radio waves but we are surrounded by them. There are atomic particles passing through our bodies the whole time and we are oblivious of them. We cannot feel atomic radiation, but if we are exposed to it we soon die.
This old chestnut never fails to get trotted out by the woosters- "radio waves and radiation are invisible, so how do you know my invisible woo isn't just as real?" The problem being that those real things can be objectively detected and empirically demonstrated by means other than human senses, while the woo is limited to them.

You do realize that you've put yourself in the position of claiming that human senses are fallible when it comes to ascertaining what's real- like a chair- while simultaneously claiming they're a completely reliable means of determining your spirits? If a chair is illusion, what makes the spirits less so?
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Old 12th October 2017, 10:30 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by turingtest View Post
This old chestnut never fails to get trotted out by the woosters- "radio waves and radiation are invisible, so how do you know my invisible woo isn't just as real?" The problem being that those real things can be objectively detected and empirically demonstrated by means other than human senses, while the woo is limited to them.

You do realize that you've put yourself in the position of claiming that human senses are fallible when it comes to ascertaining what's real- like a chair- while simultaneously claiming they're a completely reliable means of determining your spirits? If a chair is illusion, what makes the spirits less so?
I don't say the senses are completely reliable in detecting the psychic, I say they are the only instrument sensitive enough to detect them.

As for the spirits, I expect that when I die I will meet my dead relatives who will tell me I was right about the spirit world being real in spite of them never believing me. But I will say, no I think the spirit world is an illusion too, as it is probably composed of energy that creates another dimension that seems real to the spirits. But if you take it apart it is probably not real either.

My relatives are probably dumb enough to think they are in heaven, but I will tell them its just another dimension.
I can imagine them groaning, Oh no, he's off again.
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 12th October 2017, 10:55 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I am surprised you take so much account of what senses tell you, especially as you doubt my conclusion that I could feel psychic energy.

The senses are very limited and can only detect a limited range of frequency's.
We cannot see infra red waves, or hear radio waves but we are surrounded by them. There are atomic particles passing through our bodies the whole time and we are oblivious of them. We cannot feel atomic radiation, but if we are exposed to it we soon die.
Scientific practice converts infrared, UV, radio waves, etc into portions of the electromagnetic spectrum that we can sense.

I'll thank you to not lecture scientists on subjects they understand better than you think.

And please avoid solipsism, in case you were about to go down that road.
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Old 12th October 2017, 11:02 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I don't say the senses are completely reliable in detecting the psychic, I say they are the only instrument sensitive enough to detect them.

As for the spirits, I expect that when I die I will meet my dead relatives who will tell me I was right about the spirit world being real in spite of them never believing me. But I will say, no I think the spirit world is an illusion too, as it is probably composed of energy that creates another dimension that seems real to the spirits. But if you take it apart it is probably not real either.

My relatives are probably dumb enough to think they are in heaven, but I will tell them its just another dimension.
I can imagine them groaning, Oh no, he's off again.
Uh huh. Well, I guess that when your "only instrument sensitive enough to detect" spirits is the same one that can't tell if a chair is a chair, then you need to make the whole thing an unfalsifiable "it's illusion all the way down"; everyone gets an equal seat at an unreliable table. Completely understandable, carry on as you were.
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Old 12th October 2017, 11:08 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
And please avoid solipsism
Well at least you are improving my education, I had to look up solipsism.
I learned another word thanks to you.
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Old 12th October 2017, 11:31 AM   #304
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Everything's an illusion except my spiritual experience. Lend me your atomically void ears; hear my special pleas.
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Old 13th October 2017, 11:51 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
As for the spirits, I expect that when I die I will meet my dead relatives who will tell me I was right about the spirit world being real in spite of them never believing me.

And there's another trump card played by all 'believers'. We "will find out the truth only after we die". Being impossible to verify, I'd be embarrassed to make such a pathetically lame assertion...
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Old 13th October 2017, 12:39 PM   #306
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
And there's another trump card played by all 'believers'. We "will find out the truth only after we die". Being impossible to verify, I'd be embarrassed to make such a pathetically lame assertion...
It's the same logic I assign to someone who say....feels there is a statute of limitations on how long you can blame a religion for the evil they have done and only recent evil counts.
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Old 18th October 2017, 01:46 PM   #307
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Does it bother you?

I mentioned earlier that I have a new job working around a few possible woos. They may be more in it for fun than seriousness, but earlier in the thread I mentioned it driving me crazy because I don't want to get into a pointless discussion.

So I've decided that rather than speak to any specific claim they make, I will instead tell them about my history with critical thinking and this site, and just general ways I like to approach such topics. Maybe during times when they are not discussing woo so it's less confrontational, so to speak.

In fact one day, instead of talking crap about chemtrails, I just said without taking a side, "Look at the news though. I just can't believe a government as inept as ours could keep such a secret, much less pull it off correctly. You do hate the government too, right?"

He laughed. Maybe I can plant a few seeds of skepticism and just leave it at that.

I don't think these guys are totally sold on any of this. One may be.

Maybe I can find something that they already think is fake. Say Sylvia Browne. THEN I can point out the actual ways she has been proven to be a fraud. This and some of the SWIFT articles is the kind of stuff that got me interested in skepticism.

I work with them in the same area often, and the work is the kind where you can talk the whole time if you want to. They're really cool so I don't wanna start problems but I'd like to see if I can steer them a bit toward critical thought, for my own sanity

Otherwise I will hear more of:
"Hey, John sent me an article about the chemtrails. Says they're using electromagnetism...[inaudible]....weather patterns...[inaudible]......it makes sense really."

Oh gawd. Ya BTW chemtrails appear to have moved from simply spraying people to charging the atmosphere with electromagnetism so we can control earthquakes and weather.
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Old 22nd October 2017, 07:43 PM   #308
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Everything is made of atoms, which are just electrical particles, and if the atoms of the substance a chair is made of had a few less protons and neutrons and electrons it would be something else, like a liquid.
If horses had a few different genes, they'd be bunnies, and it would take a whole lot more of them to pull a wagon up a hill.

The fact that, with a few alterations, anything could be converted to something different, does not contradict the truth of what IS.



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Old 22nd October 2017, 10:21 PM   #309
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I've been an Atheist and a skeptic for most of my adult life. From time to time, I get this kinda surreal 'Twilight Zone' creepy feeling knowing that we are surrounded by so many people who just refuse or who are unable to acknowledge reality.

Does anyone else here ever feel like that?

It bothers me somewhat when I get that feeling although I know that there isn't anything that I can do about it. Knowing that there is nothing I can do to change that is just how I deal with it although I find that it's still unsettling...
How James Randi you are. Most of you all seem to think you have some sort of special dispensation that the rest of 'them' don't have. The word "skeptic" is, in fact, increasingly conjoined with "dogmatic," "zealous," and "militant." Some people accuse skeptics of being nothing but cynics in disguise. Truth be told, skeptics have brought such attacks on themselves by repeatedly characterizing their opponents as credulous, gullible, simple minded, ignorant, irrational, and foolish. They wish, above all, to be certain – and when reality doesn't oblige them by offering clear-cut answers, they turn away from reality and seek refuge in pre-existing theory. They are creatures of comfort and routine, not explorers. They cannot think outside the box. They will, in fact, deny that there is or ever could be anything outside the box - and they'll heap scorn on anyone who suggests otherwise. They'll call names, cry fraud, and holler that civilization is in danger and the barbarians are at the gates. They'll do anything, really - except examine their own assumptions with a remotely critical eye.

In other words, get down off your high horse and stop drinking James Randi's purple kool aide.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 12:40 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by jakesteele View Post
They wish, above all, to be certain – and when reality doesn't oblige them by offering clear-cut answers, they turn away from reality and seek refuge in pre-existing theory.
Change 'theory' to 'made up nonsense' and you have a good description of the believers whose made up nonsense is regularly and comprehensively debunked by sceptics.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 02:37 AM   #311
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Originally Posted by jakesteele View Post
How James Randi you are. Most of you all seem to think you have some sort of special dispensation that the rest of 'them' don't have. The word "skeptic" is, in fact, increasingly conjoined with "dogmatic," "zealous," and "militant." Some people accuse skeptics of being nothing but cynics in disguise. Truth be told, skeptics have brought such attacks on themselves by repeatedly characterizing their opponents as credulous, gullible, simple minded, ignorant, irrational, and foolish. They wish, above all, to be certain – and when reality doesn't oblige them by offering clear-cut answers, they turn away from reality and seek refuge in pre-existing theory. They are creatures of comfort and routine, not explorers. They cannot think outside the box. They will, in fact, deny that there is or ever could be anything outside the box - and they'll heap scorn on anyone who suggests otherwise. They'll call names, cry fraud, and holler that civilization is in danger and the barbarians are at the gates. They'll do anything, really - except examine their own assumptions with a remotely critical eye.

In other words, get down off your high horse and stop drinking James Randi's purple kool aide.
The idea that skeptics seek comforting answers rather than truth, which could be paraphrased as seeking closure, was conclusively disproven on this forum a year or two agp. Members were asked to do a psychological test and post the results. None fitted your description.
This entire post is a massive strawman. If you deny this, how about posting some evidence that this is true? From my perspective, it is the woo-believers who throw out the charges of gullibility (e.g. the flat earthers), scorn (remember Daniel?), claims of the barbarians being at the gates (PartSkeptic and Paul Bethke), and in general show a total inability and unwillingness to even look at possibilities other than their own entrenched beliefs (Scorpion's insistence on his psychic abilities, PartSkeptic on his mundane anecdotes).

Moreover, pretty much every skeptic here (myself included) has expressed their readiness to accept any proposition that is supported by evidence. There are very few cases of woo-mongers being dismissed out of hand (Kyoon, but I think that's excusable). What usually happens is that someone arrives claiming absolute proof of some fanciful idea, but when we get down to it, the excuses begin (KotA on telepathy, Scorpion in this thread, PartSkeptic on Tarot and prophecy).
JakeSteele: please note as a last point how I have supported my points with concrete examples. If you wish to escape the charge of strawmanning, I suggest you do the same. It would be a distinct improvement on this scattergun mudslinging.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 09:27 AM   #312
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But purple Kool Aid. C'mon; that's win!
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Old 26th October 2017, 06:03 AM   #313
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
The idea that skeptics seek comforting answers rather than truth, which could be paraphrased as seeking closure, was conclusively disproven on this forum a year or two agp. Members were asked to do a psychological test and post the results. None fitted your description.
Link to the thread?!
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Old 26th October 2017, 06:39 AM   #314
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I've been an Atheist and a skeptic for most of my adult life. From time to time, I get this kinda surreal 'Twilight Zone' creepy feeling knowing that we are surrounded by so many people who just refuse or who are unable to acknowledge reality.

Does anyone else here ever feel like that?

It bothers me somewhat when I get that feeling although I know that there isn't anything that I can do about it. Knowing that there is nothing I can do to change that is just how I deal with it although I find that it's still unsettling...
Yes, I get that feeling. Increasingly, I associate it with the global rebellion by rural folks against modernity, with its most notable event starkly depicted in the Iranian revolution, and exhibiting itself across the world in the recent votes in Egypt, Turkey, Russia, the Philippines, the Brexiting UK, eastern Germany, and now, the US.

Ignorance is aggressive, and it defends its turf tooth and nail, not having any other viable tools in its kit. "Things should be as they ought to be, end of story [or so my terminal naivete tells me]." Nothing like a selfish, provincial man or woman feeling jealous and left behind. Explains the charming US fundie love for imagining liberals left behind in flames during an apocalyptic nightmare only an evil jerk could wish for. Payback! A lot easier than admitting that, gosh, most of us are downright mediocre creatures, and all we should look forward to with certainty are death and taxes.

Originally Posted by jakesteele View Post
... Most of you all seem to think you have some sort of special dispensation...
There are three major global religious mythologies and two major regional ones, along with myriad other niceties in the form of ideologies, that all require debunking. Them there's a lot of digging through crap. Hard to call that a special dispensation. Practice does help, though, such as identifying when someone feels they or their believer peer group has been referenced implicitly by a general critique.
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Old 27th October 2017, 01:50 PM   #315
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Originally Posted by Gilbert Syndrome View Post
I don't really care what people choose to believe, who am I to tell them what to think? As long as they're not causing anyone any real harm then why bother? Some people like listening to Morrissey, who I think is a deplorable twat. Live and let live, innit.
Well said. A breath of fresh air in an otherwise stifling atmosphere.
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Old 28th October 2017, 02:21 AM   #316
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Link to the thread?!
That'll take some digging. I'll get back to you.
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Old 4th November 2017, 02:12 AM   #317
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Link to the thread?!
Here's the link. Sorry for the delay.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...1#post11108421

Ironically, it was in one of my own threads!
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Old 4th November 2017, 07:11 AM   #318
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Great! Thank you!
I look forward to reading it, it looks interesting, but it's a l-o-n-g thread!
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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