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Old 4th December 2012, 01:53 AM   #201
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Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
Who is "we"?

Perhaps it's the "organized skeptical movement" mentioned in these threads.
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Old 4th December 2012, 01:57 AM   #202
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I'd add that I think actually most people intuitively grasp scepticism when it doesn't conflict with delusional BS they want to believe even if they have to declare reality itself false. Only then does the "oh, well, maybe scepticism isn't all that" BS come out. But otherwise, everyone is surprisingly sceptical.

E.g., if I told a complete stranger, "I'm the Emperor, you must pay your taxes to my account", do you think they'd just do it? Or even something that costs nothing, like "you must put my picture on your wall" or "you must bow down to me". Would they do it? Nope. Nobody would go by, basically, 'it wasn't disproven, therefore it must be true.' They'd want evidence that I'm actually the emperor.

E.g., if I said I was at Bill Gates's party, almost everyone would say 'pics or it didn't happen'.

And while you could pick on the examples, it's more general.

E.g., even die-hard wooists, typically believe only a small number of woo things, and are very sceptical of those which aren't on their list. My favourite quote (and evidence) about it is from the second edition to Martin Gardner's "In The Name Of Science", one of the first who did a systematic job of collecting and debunking pseudoscience woo. It starts with the words:
"THE FIRST EDITION of this book prompted many curious letters from irate readers. The most violent letters came from Reichians, furious because the book considered orgonomy alongside such (to them) outlandish cults as dianetics. Dianeticians, of course, felt the same about orgonomy. I heard from homeopaths who were insulted to find themselves in company with such frauds as osteopathy and chiropractic, and one chiropractor in Kentucky "pitied" me because I had turned my spine on God's greatest gift to suffering humanity. Several admirers of Dr. Bates favoured me with letters so badly typed that I suspect the writers were in urgent need of strong spectacles. Oddly enough, most of these correspondents objected to one chapter only, thinking all the others excellent."
E.g., even the most brain-dead apologists of religion, usually are uncritical of only one religion. If I'm to pick one flavour as the most brain-dead it would be presuppositionalism, but even those are only presuppositionalist about the Bible, and will cheerfully pick at holes in Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, etc.

So really, anyone who is trying to argue that skepticism is wrong, is telling me they're doing something wrong in 99% of their waking hours. Unless that is, they'd just believe me that I'm the Emperor and they need to pay their taxes to me.
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Old 4th December 2012, 02:30 AM   #203
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
And he also wrote Contact which was all about UFOs, alien spacecraft and alien encounters. Here he is pandering to the so called irrational and trying to profit from it after he claimed to be a Skeptic of UFOs. It is hard to be a scientist and not indulge in some wild speculations or vicariously live in fiction, what the real world cannot provide, except in fantasy land.
I remember when Contact was published, and I always viewed the novel as a response to negative criticism of funds being allocated to SETI. A PR exercise, so to speak.

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm mistaken.
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Old 4th December 2012, 02:37 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by Foster Zygote View Post
So what? As a child I believed in Jesus and UFOs.
Indeed, so what? As a child I believed Von Daniken's tripe and that motivated me to study Ancient History and the Classics. In High School I quickly learned that old Erich was full of waste matter, however, I never lost my love of Ancient History and later majored in the subject.

Am I obssessed with a connection between Aliens and ancient monuments?

In a word, no.
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Old 4th December 2012, 03:33 AM   #205
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
E.g., even die-hard wooists, typically believe only a small number of woo things, and are very sceptical of those which aren't on their list. My favourite quote (and evidence) about it is from the second edition to Martin Gardner's "In The Name Of Science", one of the first who did a systematic job of collecting and debunking pseudoscience woo. It starts with the words:
"THE FIRST EDITION of this book prompted many curious letters from irate readers. The most violent letters came from Reichians, furious because the book considered orgonomy alongside such (to them) outlandish cults as dianetics. Dianeticians, of course, felt the same about orgonomy. I heard from homeopaths who were insulted to find themselves in company with such frauds as osteopathy and chiropractic, and one chiropractor in Kentucky "pitied" me because I had turned my spine on God's greatest gift to suffering humanity. Several admirers of Dr. Bates favoured me with letters so badly typed that I suspect the writers were in urgent need of strong spectacles. Oddly enough, most of these correspondents objected to one chapter only, thinking all the others excellent."

This seems to have changed over the last 50 years or so. These days a lot of "wooists" appeal to "different ways of knowing", so if they claim that their "different way of knowing" is as valid as science, they also have to accept that the "different way of knowing" of other wooists is just as acceptable. You very rarely see proponents of one type of CAM criticising other forms of CAM, even if their ideas are diametrically opposed. For example Ayurveda, with its idea of balancing "Doshas", has a very similar basis to the humour-based Hippocratic/Galenic medicine that Hahnemann (the founder of homoeopathy) derided as "allopathy", but you can find clinics where the two systems are used side by side.

Quote:
E.g., even the most brain-dead apologists of religion, usually are uncritical of only one religion. If I'm to pick one flavour as the most brain-dead it would be presuppositionalism, but even those are only presuppositionalist about the Bible, and will cheerfully pick at holes in Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, etc.

Religion is slightly different, in that it claims to have "The One Truth".
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Old 4th December 2012, 04:38 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Land, distant lands separated by wide expanses of water (ocean) are tangible just as rocks and dirt are on other planets. But aliens? Superior advanced intelligent aliens.
Originally Posted by justintime View Post
I am not erecting a strawman. I am relating what Carl Sagan actually did.
Will you be proving some evidence for the beliefs that you claim Sagan held were actually held by him?
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Old 4th December 2012, 04:56 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by booNyzarC View Post
What an odd claim to make. Were there skeptics before the days of forums, message boards, newsgroups, and even the internet?

I'd say yes, but what about you?

That said, I know many skeptical people who don't participate in forums.





There are far fewer credulous claims made outside of forums these days as well. Do you wander around various places and start proclaiming your faith to all who are within earshot? If yes, have you noticed any people who look at you weird and then politely walk away? These people are also skeptics, but they are less likely to engage you in discussion face to face because let's be honest... there are some real crazy nuts out there and who knows what they might do if you try to take away their candy.





So this bout of Skeptiphobia* that you've come to is out of concern for a friend of yours? Your concern is commendable, but perhaps his issues have nothing to do with skepticism in general.





My you're quick to generalize aren't you? Have you considered the possibility that your friend who is sadly failing at life (in your opinion) may not necessarily be representative of skepticism and skeptics in general?





If someone makes a claim, is it not their burden to prove the claim? If not, what would you propose as a general rule of thumb?





It can also become tedious to deal with skeptiphobics who are seemingly obsessed with undermining critical thinking while professing otherwise.





May I suggest that you focus more on your friend than on skeptics in general if your actual concern is your friend?



*read this as 'credulity'
To the claim I haven't encountered any Skeptics outside of Skeptic forums. There are more important things that affect you directly in the real world. Your job, customers, patients, transactions, interactions, trust and social encounters. You don't have Skeptics out there demanding citations or criticizing your beliefs. It is a live and let live attitude out there. All the nit pickers are cesspooling on Skeptic forums.

I think this unfortunate individuals condition has a lot to do with Skepticism and Skeptic forums. He has developed this addiction for arguing on Skeptic forums because his anonymity gives him some false sense of security and he can live out his delusions of grandeur on a bus ticket and a welfare check.
On other forums like the science, religion and philosophical sites. He would have been immediately exposed for his illiteracy and lack of substantive contribution. In short he would be politely asked to get an education.

My own approach to critical thinking is to look beyond the Skeptic and Skepticism and see the treatable person. Here are some examples.
1. I noticed a very poor contributor on another Skeptic Forum. He had his one line quarterbacking comments and the usual smiley faces. He also had 11,600 post in 3 years. I asked him how did he get away posting that many post and not being challenged on a Skeptic Forum full of critical thinkers for basically not saying anything substantive. I also asked him why would someone spend so much time on a Skeptic Forum and post that many inconsequential post. Below his avatar the caption read "Has No Life". So I suggested make it a new year resolution to get a life. You have to see beyond the Skeptic and Skepticism and get to the treatable person.

2. And close behind him was someone claiming he was from an English village. I noticed he kept bobbing in and out of my OP quitting and returning like he could not stick with his decisions. Typical habitual doubter with a condition. I figured the austerity program in the UK was not working for this bugger. Cutting back on medication is never a good idea.

Looking beyond the Skeptic and Skepticism and finding that treatable person is what drives me to these Skeptic Forums. I have seen what happens when people get addicted to anonymity and forget they are real people with real problems they have to face like education, job, responsibility and social consciousness. There is no cure for their stupidity. But it is our civic duty to sometimes protect the inept even on Skeptic forums.
Just because Skepticism is not a position, it is a process. We have to take a position against such human carnage.

Last edited by justintime; 4th December 2012 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 4th December 2012, 05:08 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
To the claim I haven't encountered any Skeptics outside of Skeptic forums. There are more important things that affect you directly in the real world. Your job, customers, patients, transactions, interactions, trust and social encounters. You don't have Skeptics out there demanding citations or criticizing your beliefs. It is a live and let live attitude out there. All the nit pickers are cesspooling on Skeptic forums.
There is more to skepticism than just demanding citations. Prior knowledge is also important.

If I know that zero point energy is pretty much impossible, and somebody suddenly tells me that they have discovered zero point energy, I will be a skeptic about it.

If someone tells me they have won the lottery, I will be more likely to believe them, because although it's not very likely, it is still possible.

Probability is a big part of it.
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Old 4th December 2012, 05:19 AM   #209
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How many posts have you made in the last 3 years, Justitime?
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Old 4th December 2012, 05:21 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
My own approach to critical thinking is to look beyond the Skeptic and Skepticism and see the treatable person. Here are some examples.
1. I noticed a very poor contributor on another Skeptic Forum. He had his one line quarterbacking comments and the usual smiley faces. He also had 11,600 post in 3 years. I asked him how did he get away posting that many post and not being challenged on a Skeptic Forum full of critical thinkers for basically not saying anything substantive. I also asked him why would someone spend so much time on a Skeptic Forum and post that many inconsequential post. Below his avatar the caption read "Has No Life". So I suggested make it a new year resolution to get a life. You have to see beyond the Skeptic and Skepticism and get to the treatable person.

2. And close behind him was someone claiming he was from an English village. I noticed he kept bobbing in and out of my OP quitting and returning like he could not stick with his decisions. Typical habitual doubter with a condition. I figured the austerity program in the UK was not working for this bugger. Cutting back on medication is never a good idea.
You're awesome.

Quote:
But it is our civic duty to sometimes protect the inept even on Skeptic forums.
I love the fact that you can present being rude to people as an act of altruism. Will you marry me?
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Old 4th December 2012, 05:21 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
On the evidence of this thread, he doesn't even understand the difference between fiction and non-fiction.
Skeptics argue UFOs are unidentified flying objects. Most literature on UFOs associate them with alien spacecraft. Even moves dipict them as alien spacecraft.

UFO definition:
1. A mysterious object seen in the sky for which it is claimed no orthodox scientific explanation can be found, often supposed to be a vehicle carrying extraterrestrials.

Even Carl Sagan knew people associated UFOs with alien spacecraft and wished they were real. He saw aliens and his search for extraterrestrial intelligence and the same "those guys".
Quote:
Or take UFOS, the contention that beings in spaceships from other worlds are visiting us all the time. I find that a thrilling idea. It's at least a break from the ordinary. I've spent a fair amount of time in my scientific life working on the issue of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Think how much effort I could save if those guys are coming here.
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Old 4th December 2012, 05:38 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by Bram Kaandorp View Post
There is more to skepticism than just demanding citations. Prior knowledge is also important.

If I know that zero point energy is pretty much impossible, and somebody suddenly tells me that they have discovered zero point energy, I will be a skeptic about it.

If someone tells me they have won the lottery, I will be more likely to believe them, because although it's not very likely, it is still possible.

Probability is a big part of it.
Isn't that the point I am making. Where would you in the real world have a person ask you about zero point energy. It is even rare to debate Big Bang and Dark matter unless you know you are conversing with another credible person in that field of study.
Skeptics pretend to be members of some kind of academia. The truth is there are legitimate groups already fulfilling that role. Science, religion, philosophy, climate change, politics, commerce, etc. etc.

Quote:
A skeptic forum is not the proper place to go to for facts. It is the place you go to when you have doubts about something and you are looking for other doubters. For example if you want to learn something about climate change or religion/god You go to a climate research/study site or a church to be with religious people.

Now having met more doubters that agree with you on a skeptic forum, you can either end your search and stop learning anything more about the subject or search for other doubts that doubters have to add to the list of doubts you have accumulated. You might then reach a saturation point full of only doubts and that is where the panic and fear creeps in.
Tragically, Skeptic brains 'emit fear signals that can disrupt attempts at rational thought'

The Role of the Amygdala in Fear and Panic.
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1749
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Old 4th December 2012, 05:40 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Skeptics argue UFOs are unidentified flying objects. Most literature on UFOs associate them with alien spacecraft. Even moves dipict them as alien spacecraft.
Yes, because that's a much more interesting story to tell. I'm not sure I would go see a movie called "Invasion of the barely recognizeable balloons from New Mexico"

On second thought, I totally would.

Originally Posted by justintime View Post
UFO definition:
1. A mysterious object seen in the sky for which it is claimed no orthodox scientific explanation can be found, often supposed to be a vehicle carrying extraterrestrials.
That is a silly definition. It already disregards certain kinds of explanations for an unexplained observation, and includes the (by this very definition unfounded) opinion of some unnamed persons.
What's wrong with "Unidentified Flying Object?"
It perfectly sums up the whole thing.

Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Even Carl Sagan knew people associated UFOs with alien spacecraft and wished they were real.
If so, what of it? In what way would it not be awesome if alien spacecraft were actually visiting us?
It hasn't affected his belief if they were alien spacecraft or not.

"I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable thing to say.
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Old 4th December 2012, 05:41 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Skeptics argue UFOs are unidentified flying objects. Most literature on UFOs associate them with alien spacecraft. Even moves dipict them as alien spacecraft.

UFO definition:
1. A mysterious object seen in the sky for which it is claimed no orthodox scientific explanation can be found, often supposed to be a vehicle carrying extraterrestrials.

Even Carl Sagan knew people associated UFOs with alien spacecraft and wished they were real. He saw aliens and his search for extraterrestrial intelligence and the same "those guys".
Rredefinition redux!!
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Old 4th December 2012, 05:56 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Skeptics argue UFOs are unidentified flying objects.
It would be useful if, when you make such an...odd...claim as this one, you would provide sources. The definition of UFO, according to the Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary , 2nd. ed. (hereafter RHWUB2) is "any unexplained moving object observed in the sky, esp. one assumed by some observers to be of extraterrestrial origin." (p 2048, so you can find it). Therefore, any "skeptic", or any credulous, for that matter, who "argues" that Unidentified Flying Objects are "unidentified flying objects", and refers to them by the acronym "UFOs", is using the accepted, standardized definition. Unlike certain credulous who apply their own, unique, egregious, incorrect, and unsupported definitions to claim (for instance) that all skeptics are insecure, or driven by fear.

Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Most literature on UFOs associate them with alien spacecraft. Even moves dipict them as alien spacecraft.
Be so kind as to provide evidence that "most literature on UFOs associate them with alien spacecraft", if you would. So far, the only literature you have referenced clearly states that "UFOs" have not been demonstrated to be anything other than cases of mistaken identity, hallucinations, or fraud.

And you do understand, that most movies about "UFOs" are ficiton, right?

Further, if a UFO were ever demonstrated to be an actual alien craft, it would no longer be "unidentified", no?

Originally Posted by justintime View Post
UFO definition:
1. A mysterious object seen in the sky for which it is claimed no orthodox scientific explanation can be found, often supposed to be a vehicle carrying extraterrestrials.
Be so kind as to provide a source for this definition (as, for instance I did above). What do you think "supposed" means in the definition you state?

Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Even Carl Sagan knew people associated UFOs with alien spacecraft and wished they were real. He saw aliens and his search for extraterrestrial intelligence and the same "those guys".
Given your posting history, and your demonstrated tendency to distort what Dr. Sagan actually said, be so kind as to provide your source for the idea that Dr. Sagan equated SETI with UFO sightings.
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Old 4th December 2012, 05:56 AM   #216
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Skepticism is simply the process by which someone can determine whether a given claim is true or not.

For example, if I walk up to someone in the street and tell them that I have a green cat in my pocket, they will be skeptical. If I suggest to you that I can flap my arms and fly, you will be skeptical. If I tell Mr Joe Random that my brain is made of blue vein cheese, he will be skeptical.
I met a girl in a hostel in New Zealand who said she had seen a green cow.

I was sceptical.

She showed me a photograph of the green cow and told me where she had seen it.

I was sceptical.

I took a detour on my travels and went to see the green cow for myself. There it was, definitely green.

I was amazed.

The cow was dead and after the critters had cleaned out the carcass some kind of mold had taken over that was a weird bright green.

I was convinced.
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Old 4th December 2012, 06:02 AM   #217
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
2. And close behind him was someone claiming he was from an English village. I noticed he kept bobbing in and out of my OP quitting and returning like he could not stick with his decisions. Typical habitual doubter with a condition. I figured the austerity program in the UK was not working for this bugger. Cutting back on medication is never a good idea.
I think you're thinking of Greece.

Happy to treat your ignorance from the comfort of my English village.
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Old 4th December 2012, 06:11 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Isn't that the point I am making. Where would you in the real world have a person ask you about zero point energy. It is even rare to debate Big Bang and Dark matter unless you know you are conversing with another credible person in that field of study.
Skeptics pretend to be members of some kind of academia. The truth is there are legitimate groups already fulfilling that role. Science, religion, philosophy, climate change, politics, commerce, etc. etc.
Quote:
A skeptic forum is not the proper place to go to for facts. It is the place you go to when you have doubts about something and you are looking for other doubters. For example if you want to learn something about climate change or religion/god You go to a climate research/study site or a church to be with religious people.

Now having met more doubters that agree with you on a skeptic forum, you can either end your search and stop learning anything more about the subject or search for other doubts that doubters have to add to the list of doubts you have accumulated. You might then reach a saturation point full of only doubts and that is where the panic and fear creeps in.
Tragically, Skeptic brains 'emit fear signals that can disrupt attempts at rational thought'

The Role of the Amygdala in Fear and Panic.
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1749
It may be no more than a careless mistake on your part (formatting can be tricky) but the source you appear to be providing for the quote above
(The Role of the Amygdala in Fear and Panic.
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1749)
does not, in fact, contain the text you appear to be claiming that it does.

Be so kind as to amend your error, or explain your claim.
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Old 4th December 2012, 06:11 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Isn't that the point I am making. Where would you in the real world have a person ask you about zero point energy. It is even rare to debate Big Bang and Dark matter unless you know you are conversing with another credible person in that field of study.
Skeptics pretend to be members of some kind of academia. The truth is there are legitimate groups already fulfilling that role. Science, religion, philosophy, climate change, politics, commerce, etc. etc.
Even if it's not about the big bang, I can still be skeptical.

"Leo Pisces cancer-cures detox reflex foot massage

death and towers tarot cards

psychic healing crystals balls

bigfoot yeti aliens"*


It's more than the high sciences. It's also about not being gullible.


*excerpt from the Skeptic's Creed by Cognitive Dissonance.
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Old 4th December 2012, 06:29 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Looking beyond the Skeptic and Skepticism and finding that treatable person is what drives me to these Skeptic Forums. I have seen what happens when people get addicted to anonymity and forget they are real people with real problems they have to face like education, job, responsibility and social consciousness. There is no cure for their stupidity. But it is our civic duty to sometimes protect the inept even on Skeptic forums.
Just because Skepticism is not a position, it is a process. We have to take a position against such human carnage.
So what's the diagnosis here Doc? We gonna make it? What's your prescription?

Based on your in-depth, wide-ranging scientific study of skeptic forums of course.
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Old 4th December 2012, 06:31 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by Slowvehicle View Post
It may be no more than a careless mistake on your part (formatting can be tricky) but the source you appear to be providing for the quote above
(The Role of the Amygdala in Fear and Panic.
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1749)
does not, in fact, contain the text you appear to be claiming that it does.

Be so kind as to amend your error, or explain your claim.
X2

Though I like the disclaimer in your link J'Time: " . . . not intended to be authoritative . . ."

No ****.
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Old 4th December 2012, 06:52 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by Carl Sagan, I guess?
Or take UFOS, the contention that beings in spaceships from other worlds are visiting us all the time. I find that a thrilling idea. It's at least a break from the ordinary. I've spent a fair amount of time in my scientific life working on the issue of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Think how much effort I could save if those guys are coming here.

Where in this quote does Carl Sagan say that he believes even one report that ETs have visited earth?
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:00 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Perhaps it's the "organized skeptical movement" mentioned in these threads.
Now there's a blast from the past. I think poor T'ai Chi finally put himself on ignore and just vanished into thin air.
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:08 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by Slowvehicle View Post
Given your posting history, and your demonstrated tendency to distort what Dr. Sagan actually said, be so kind as to provide your source for the idea that Dr. Sagan equated SETI with UFO sightings.
It's a quote mine.

Quote:
"Or take UFOs, the contention that beings in spaceships from other worlds are visiting us all the time. I find that a thrilling idea. Itís at least a break from the ordinary. Iíve spent a fair amount of time in my scientific life working on the issue of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Think how much effort I could save if those guys are coming here. But when we recognize some emotional vulnerability regarding a claim, that is exactly where we have to make the firmest efforts at skeptical scrutiny. That is where we can be had."
Source.
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:16 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
If you understand the scientific method you pretty well grasp scientific skepticism.
From the responses it is obvious none of the participants are philosophy majors and unfortunately Skeptics lack an understanding of Epistemology. Discussion on solipsism, empiricism and rationalism require an understanding of their philosophical roots.

Kurtz has popularized scientific skepticism and critical thinking about claims of the paranormal.

Hurtz was not a scientist. He implored Skeptics to apply scientific method. In short scientific skepticism is for non scientific people.
Now how practical is it for a non scientific person to apply scientific method.
1. In America less than 5% of the working population make a living as engineers and scientist. So if you separate the scientist from engineers the percentage of the population actually making a living applying the scientific method is even smaller. How practical is that?

2. Scientific method requires a proficiency in the field of study. One cannot claim to know the scientific method and based on just this knowledge apply for a job as a research scientist.

Definition of scientific method Oxford dictionary.
1. a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses:

In short, only the professionals can apply scientific method. Only the professionals can tackle complex phenomena for verifiability. The scientific method is beyond the scope of the average Skeptic.

Why then do Skeptic Forums promote the criticism of things not well understood; how they appear awkward, are marginalized and often found rather unhelpful.

Last edited by justintime; 4th December 2012 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:21 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Even Carl Sagan knew people associated UFOs with alien spacecraft and wished they were real.
What is your point?

Who wouldn't want to be a professional dragon racing jockey, or have a cool superpower and be one of the X-Men? Saying "It would be cool to have psychic powers" doesn't mean I think Sylvia Browne is any less full of crap. Sagan admitting that it would be exciting should aliens actually be visiting the Earth is hardly remarkable. Not long ago, one of the bigfoot believers on this forum asked skeptics what their reaction would be if such a creature were ever proved to be real. The overwhelming response was that they would be delighted if a new species were discovered.
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:29 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Skepticism appears to match the definition of insecurity.
Compare.

Skepticism: 1. A doubting or questioning attitude or state of mind; dubiety synonyms with uncertainty.

Insecurity definition: 1. Not sure or certain; doubtful:

That is what I said in the OP. What is a Skeptic?

Why they might not be Skeptics but just very insecure individuals.


You start with one definition of insecurity - lack of certainty - which might be applied to skepticism if you mean it in the context of reserving judgement on objective facts for want of evidence.

But then you conflate this with quite another definition - emotional insecurity - to imply skeptical = weak and fearful.

Even compared to the rest of this thread this is staggeringly feeble wordplay. It's not big and it's not clever.
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:32 AM   #228
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
From the responses it is obvious none of the participants are philosophy majors and unfortunately Skeptics lack an understanding of Epistemology. Discussion on solipsism, empiricism and rationalism require an understanding of their philosophical roots.

Kurtz has popularized scientific skepticism and critical thinking about claims of the paranormal.

Hurtz was not a scientist. He implored Skeptics to apply scientific method. In short scientific skepticism is for non scientific people.
Now how practical is it for a non scientific person to apply scientific method.
1. In America less than 5% of the working population make a living as engineers and scientist. So if you separate the scientist from engineers the percentage of the population actually making a living applying the scientific method is even smaller. How practical is that?

2. Scientific method requires a proficiency in the field of study. One cannot claim to know the scientific method and based on just this knowledge apply for a job as a research scientist.

Definition of scientific method Oxford dictionary.
1. a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses:

In short, only the professionals can apply scientific method. Only the professionals can tackle complex phenomena for verifiability. The scientific method is beyond the scope of the average Skeptic.

Why then do Skeptic Forums promote the criticism of things not well understood; how they appear awkward, are marginalized and often found rather unhelpful.
1. At no point does the highlighted text imply , or make, any claim about limiting a scientific method to "professionals"...be so kind as to explain why you think it does.

2. As to your claim that "the scientific method is betond the scope of the average Skeptic" I taught high school science for 13 years. Most of my 9th graders understood scientific methodology, and the role of skeptical thought (particularly in its reliance upon evidence) in scientific inquiry, far better than you have demonstrated you do, by the third week of class...

3. Perhaps the reason you find skeptics "unhelpful" is your adversarial (and demonstrably dishonest) approach, demonstrated through several nyms and sockpuppets on several fora. Consider applying a scientific method, and testing your hypothesis that, for instance, "skeptic brains emit fear signals". A good starting point might be evidence of what a "fear signal" is, and corroborating evidence that any brain can, in fact, be demonstrated to emit such a thing. I would be interested in what evidence you could present to support this repeated calumny.
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:33 AM   #229
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There was something that Dr. Adequate used to say in situations like this...
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:34 AM   #230
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Originally Posted by CriticalSock View Post
I think you're thinking of Greece.

Happy to treat your ignorance from the comfort of my English village.
I would have pointed to Greece if the Skeptic was from there. Sorry if you are offended. I was a Joe Cocker fan Mad Dogs and Englishmen album. He was ahead of his time. I wonder if he would have retitled the album to Mad Cows and Englishmen. I digress.

British Budget Adheres to Austerity While It Cuts the Top Tax Rate
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/bu...plan.html?_r=0
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:41 AM   #231
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*Spins arrow*

Okay, justintime...right hand, red!
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:46 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
From the responses it is obvious none of the participants are philosophy majors and unfortunately Skeptics lack an understanding of Epistemology.
I can see that you are conflating the idea of reserving judgement on matters of fact for want of good evidence with the idea of abandoning any attempt to reach any conclusion on anything.

Right now I am reserving judgement on whether you are a philosophy student, annoyed by recent threads here criticizing philosophy and determined to show us all how much cleverer a fellow you are than those meanie critics.
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:54 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
I would have pointed to Greece if the Skeptic was from there. Sorry if you are offended. I was a Joe Cocker fan Mad Dogs and Englishmen album. He was ahead of his time. I wonder if he would have retitled the album to Mad Cows and Englishmen. I digress.
Be so kind as to explain:

"It may be no more than a careless mistake on your part (formatting can be tricky) but the source you appear to be providing for the quote above
(The Role of the Amygdala in Fear and Panic.
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1749)
does not, in fact, contain the text you appear to be claiming that it does."
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:56 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by H'ethetheth View Post
Yes, because that's a much more interesting story to tell. I'm not sure I would go see a movie called "Invasion of the barely recognizeable balloons from New Mexico"

On second thought, I totally would.

That is a silly definition. It already disregards certain kinds of explanations for an unexplained observation, and includes the (by this very definition unfounded) opinion of some unnamed persons.
What's wrong with "Unidentified Flying Object?"
It perfectly sums up the whole thing.

If so, what of it? In what way would it not be awesome if alien spacecraft were actually visiting us?
It hasn't affected his belief if they were alien spacecraft or not.

"I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable thing to say.
That definition of UFOs was taken from the Oxford dictionary.

No, it did not change his beliefs. He was just as determined to find them.

I think UFO was used in the early sighting because their were unidentifiable. But the public figured there had to be more to that because of the closed secrecy behind the Roswell UFO incident. Some of the eyewitness broke their silence and identified it as a alien spacecraft. The conspiracy is more about the coverup and not doubts about it being an alien spacecraft.
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:56 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by Slowvehicle View Post
That way, it does not look as if you are simply pursuing an "obsession" with insulting and denigrating skeptics and skeptical thinkers into a new forum from which you have not yet been banned.

YMMV
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Old 4th December 2012, 08:00 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by Foster Zygote View Post
There was something that Dr. Adequate used to say in situations like this...

Was his banning anything to do with it?
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Old 4th December 2012, 08:00 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
~~~
I think UFO was used in the early sighting because their were unidentifiable. But the public figured there had to be more to that because of the closed secrecy behind the Roswell UFO incident. Some of the eyewitness broke their silence and identified it as a alien spacecraft. The conspiracy is more about the coverup and not doubts about it being an alien spacecraft.
And how does that make you feel?
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Old 4th December 2012, 08:02 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
The conspiracy is more about the coverup and not doubts about it being an alien spacecraft.

It is beginning to look as if it is you, not Sagan, who believes we have been visited by alien spacecraft.
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Old 4th December 2012, 08:08 AM   #239
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
That definition of UFOs was taken from the Oxford dictionary.

No, it did not change his beliefs. He was just as determined to find them.

I think UFO was used in the early sighting because their were unidentifiable. But the public figured there had to be more to that because of the closed secrecy behind the Roswell UFO incident. Some of the eyewitness broke their silence and identified it as a alien spacecraft. The conspiracy is more about the coverup and not doubts about it being an alien spacecraft.
Oh for crissake, just drop the other shoe already?

"I believe in X because Y. And you self-described skeptics aren't lettered enough to evaluate Y."
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Old 4th December 2012, 08:12 AM   #240
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
It is beginning to look as if it is you, not Sagan, who believes we have been visited by alien spacecraft.
Not true. I do not have a life long obsession with UFOs, aliens or even ETI. I am not even a Ghost buster. I just try to see the treatable person behind the Skeptic and his or her Skepticism.
I try not to confuse entertainment with serious discourses.
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