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Old 18th December 2015, 10:34 AM   #1
The Atheist
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On What Basis Does "Skeptics" Appear in the Forum Name?

I realise there's no trademarking involved, so the forum can call itself whatever it likes, but it seems to me that if you self-label as skeptics - especially internationally so - you should accept some personal responsibility for acting as you describe yourself.

In what way does ISF aid or support skepticism, or even act skeptically?

Yes, there are skeptical sections to the forum, but since they're the least popular non-member-only section, it's not an obvious connection.

On other boards with skeptic or skepticism in their name, at least lip-service is paid to skepticism, but I'm not seeing a lot of evidence in action here.

Given that this is named International Skeptics Forum, is there a responsibility that the forum is seen to act skeptically itself?

Is it harming or aiding skepticism in the process by not being visibly skeptical in style?

(Keep in mind I do not self-identify as a skeptic.)
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Old 18th December 2015, 10:55 AM   #2
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Prove it isn't!


Oh, wait.
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Old 18th December 2015, 11:03 AM   #3
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It's mainly to irritate you, OP. How we doin'?
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Old 18th December 2015, 11:35 AM   #4
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We were founded by The History Channel?
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Old 18th December 2015, 11:43 AM   #5
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I came here because I like to believe I am sceptical to find similar kind. Cant answer your questions beyond this.
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Old 18th December 2015, 11:43 AM   #6
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On what basis? IIRC, there was a vote and this was the one selected out of many. I don't believe all contained the word "skeptic".

So, I guess we'd have to ask everyone who voted?

ETA: it was only 52 folks who voted for it - we could ask them all!
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=281477
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Old 18th December 2015, 12:18 PM   #7
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On the basis that "International forum for people who are allowed to be doubtful about things that are the majority opinion of all the relevant experts but have to uncritically swallow any crazy idea that some random nutter dreams up as long as it isn't mainstream" would have been too long for a URL?

Dave
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Old 18th December 2015, 12:21 PM   #8
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'dubious' would have sounded funny?
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Old 18th December 2015, 12:50 PM   #9
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so, 52/145 people liked the name, or at least didn't dislike it enough to vote for an alternative.

Mystery solved.

I still like "Cat Herding" though....
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Old 18th December 2015, 02:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
On other boards with skeptic or skepticism in their name, at least lip-service is paid to skepticism, but I'm not seeing a lot of evidence in action here.

Given that this is named International Skeptics Forum, is there a responsibility that the forum is seen to act skeptically itself?
How should the forum act then, compared to how it is acting now? You obviously have at least some tangible suggestions in mind.
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Old 18th December 2015, 03:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla Sama View Post
It's mainly to irritate you, OP. How we doin'?
Badly. Why on earth would it irritate me?

If it irritated me, I wouldn't bother posting.

Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
On what basis? IIRC, there was a vote and this was the one selected out of many. I don't believe all contained the word "skeptic".
The vote was the guide, but the owner decided on the name.

Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
On the basis that "International forum for people who are allowed to be doubtful about things that are the majority opinion of all the relevant experts but have to uncritically swallow any crazy idea that some random nutter dreams up as long as it isn't mainstream" would have been too long for a URL?

Dave
Very good.

That wouldn't fit descriptively, either, because the premise would still be false.

Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
How should the forum act then, compared to how it is acting now? You obviously have at least some tangible suggestions in mind.
I did say I'm not a skeptic, so I'm not the best person to ask, but things like transparency & maybe preference given to skeptical subjects spring to mind.

On the flip side, politics shows no signs of skepticism whatsoever.
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Old 18th December 2015, 03:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
How should the forum act then, compared to how it is acting now? You obviously have at least some tangible suggestions in mind.
Hmmmm...

Why should I care that a forum member believes that the forum is not conforming to some unevidenced ideal for behavior of skeptical forums?

Does failure to self-identify as a skeptic mean that the person isn't a skeptic?

Does the above stance invalidate the setting of that person as an observer or arbiter of forum style?

Asking how the forum should act assumes that the OP is in a position to provide an answer. I'm yet to see evidence that he/she has standing.

ETA - I've just seen OP's response that crossed my questions above and answered them in part, but I leave them there for posterity.

BTW - you expect a rational discussion of *politics*? Agree wholeheartedly that there's not much skepticism in those threads - and there never will be for as long as humans post in any forum where that's a topic...
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Old 18th December 2015, 05:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
Why should I care that a forum member believes that the forum is not conforming to some unevidenced ideal for behavior of skeptical forums?
I don't see ideal or caring having anything to do with it - the concept is a bit wider than that. I'm just interested to see what it's supposed to mean. That applies equally to members and the owner. I don't know Icerat well enough to know if he even identifies as a skeptic, but I do know lots of the members do. Or used to when it was JREF. That may not be the case any longer, in which case it might be counter-productive.

I am a member at a literature forum. Almost all of the activity is about literature.

I am a member at a car forum. Almost all of the activity is about cars.

That trend continues across all forums I have looked into, except in the skeptical world. I think there is only one of the smaller ones that actually looks like a skeptics' forum from its content.

Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
Asking how the forum should act assumes that the OP is in a position to provide an answer.
How odd.

I always ask questions when I don't have the answer. If I had the answer already, I wouldn't bother asking.

Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
BTW - you expect a rational discussion of *politics*? Agree wholeheartedly that there's not much skepticism in those threads - and there never will be for as long as humans post in any forum where that's a topic...
Ok, then. Maybe the question is whether politics is compatible with skepticism, but that would no doubt require a thread elsewhere.
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Old 19th December 2015, 09:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
things like transparency & maybe preference given to skeptical subjects spring to mind.
To clarify this, does the forum now have too much or too little transparency (in what: management / moderation / other)? And is preference now given too much or too little to skeptical subjects?

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
On the flip side, politics shows no signs of skepticism whatsoever.
Every thread is as skeptical as its participants.
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Old 19th December 2015, 09:35 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
To clarify this, does the forum now have too much or too little transparency (in what: management / moderation / other)? And is preference now given too much or too little to skeptical subjects?


Every thread is as skeptical as its participants.
I tend to agree. Every community is collection of participants, participants are responsible for the state of community.

From my experience, what sets "skeptical" communities apart from chess or literature that there is good chance of "cranks" and "ideology" hanging around. The reasons are obvious I think.
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Old 19th December 2015, 12:23 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
The vote was the guide, but the owner decided on the name.
Not as I understood it. That decision was delegated to the folks running the poll. Sure, he could have overridden that decision, but he didn't (and it would have been a huge mistake to do so). So, its inappropriate to suggest he had any meaningful input into why the word "skeptic" was included. He simply went with the name chosen by forumites vote. There were options without "skeptic" in them, and there were folks against any name with "skeptic" in it - you can read all about it in the poll threads.
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Old 19th December 2015, 01:13 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
I realise there's no trademarking involved, so the forum can call itself whatever it likes, but it seems to me that if you self-label as skeptics - especially internationally so - you should accept some personal responsibility for acting as you describe yourself.

In what way does ISF aid or support skepticism, or even act skeptically?

Yes, there are skeptical sections to the forum, but since they're the least popular non-member-only section, it's not an obvious connection.

On other boards with skeptic or skepticism in their name, at least lip-service is paid to skepticism, but I'm not seeing a lot of evidence in action here.

Given that this is named International Skeptics Forum, is there a responsibility that the forum is seen to act skeptically itself?

Is it harming or aiding skepticism in the process by not being visibly skeptical in style?

(Keep in mind I do not self-identify as a skeptic.)
Agreed.

Sadly, I failed to submit my favorite idea for a name Ineffectual Milquetoasts Forum.

What can I say? I like a little self-deprecation in a forum name.

On the plus side, the acronym would be ImilF. It works on so many levels. And I dare say would be getting a greater number of hits than we are now!
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Old 19th December 2015, 01:23 PM   #18
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Some double-hits too.
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Old 19th December 2015, 01:26 PM   #19
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I thought this was the International Septic Forum!
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Old 19th December 2015, 01:28 PM   #20
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Cause some of us is!!!!! And we try to play with those who isn't. As nicely as we can live with!!!!
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Old 20th December 2015, 04:45 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
On the plus side, the acronym would be ImilF. It works on so many levels. And I dare say would be getting a greater number of hits than we are now!
That would've been a smart move. I believe the acronym you describe is close to one often Googled.
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Old 20th December 2015, 05:01 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Badly. Why on earth would it irritate me?

If it irritated me, I wouldn't bother posting.
You come across as one who is irritated.
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Old 20th December 2015, 05:16 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post

(Keep in mind I do not self-identify as a skeptic.)
I self-identify as skeptical,... the adjective. When we were discussing the new forum name, my only real push was to have "International" or "Global" in there; thinking ahead that it might be of worth to link together some of the disparate Skeptical (with an upper case S) and Critical Thinking sites. (You know, ... growing the forums rather than watching them shrink.)

I went with ISF figuring skeptical has, to many, become synonymous with "critical thinking" and Int'l Critical Thinking Forums has problems to me, in that it sounds a tad arrogant.

Besides, International Hidebound Opinionated Jerks Forum wouldn't have fit on the masthead.
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Old 20th December 2015, 07:47 PM   #24
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"Skeptics" is a placeholder between the the words "International" and "Forum". Eventually, as dictated by the owners or this forum, the Illuminati, the Roman Catholic Church and the Lemurian Deros, and confirmed by a universal vote of active members of the forum (all six of us) it will be replaced by an actual, permanent word that is fully descriptive of the intent of the forum. This is expected to happen sometime in 2054.

Carry on.

Smoke if you've got 'em.

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Old 20th December 2015, 10:37 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
You come across as one who is irritated.
Mate, if things on the internet irritate me, I find it extraordinarily easy to avoid them.

You can put that one away now.

Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Besides, International Hidebound Opinionated Jerks Forum wouldn't have fit on the masthead.
But much more honest!

As you say, forums are a dying breed, so it's not going to matter much.
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Old 20th December 2015, 10:48 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
On the basis that "International forum for people who are allowed to be doubtful about things that are the majority opinion of all the relevant experts but have to uncritically swallow any crazy idea that some random nutter dreams up as long as it isn't mainstream" would have been too long for a URL?

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Old 21st December 2015, 06:12 AM   #27
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On what basis do we call this a forum? I don't see any of you wearing togas and speaking Latin!
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Old 21st December 2015, 06:18 AM   #28
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Like Atheism, everyone is skeptical about some things.

"Skeptics" just refers to the inclusion of 'special interest' sub forums:- General Skepticism and the paranormal, conspiracy theories etc to go along with the more general community ones such as sport and politics.
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Old 21st December 2015, 09:08 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Doubt View Post
On what basis do we call this a forum? I don't see any of you wearing togas and speaking Latin!
Because you don't see us, at all.
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Old 21st December 2015, 10:44 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Because you don't see us, at all.
Okay. What are you w.........Never mind.
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Old 21st December 2015, 06:25 PM   #31
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Most people are skeptical about one thing or another (so you could call this the International Peoples Forum if you like ). Some of the more common things that members here are skeptical about include:
  • All forms of religion
  • Hidden conspiracies
  • The GOP
  • Libertarianism (the no government kind)
  • The unfettered right to free speech

Originally Posted by JihadJane View Post
There is a strong, irrational trust in mainstream authority evident in these pages.
Nope, that is definitely a minority view point here (GOP excepted).
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Old 22nd December 2015, 12:47 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Mate, if things on the internet irritate me, I find it extraordinarily easy to avoid them.
You need to let your short fuse know this.
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Old 22nd December 2015, 02:02 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Most people are skeptical about one thing or another (so you could call this the International Peoples Forum if you like ).
Probably a bit more inclusive, too.
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Old 22nd December 2015, 03:12 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Probably a bit more inclusive, too.
Why limit it to people or nations? The Galactic Interspecies Forum? Added bonus is that GIF is easier to pronounce than ISF.
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Old 23rd December 2015, 10:08 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Most people are skeptical about one thing or another (so you could call this the International Peoples Forum if you like ). Some of the more common things that members here are skeptical about include:
  • All forms of religion
  • Hidden conspiracies
  • The GOP
  • Libertarianism (the no government kind)
  • The unfettered right to free speech


Nope, that is definitely a minority view point here (GOP excepted).
Ok comrade! (sounds vaguely communist )
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Old 23rd December 2015, 10:29 AM   #36
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We could call it Sceptical Thinkers Forum United, or STFU for short. I hear that is quite a popular acronym so it should catch on. I believe there I even a thread discussing it.

Theist annoying you? Just direct him here by yelling STFU!

Conspiracy theorist getting under your skin? Tell him STFU!

Big Footer? STFU!

Anybody you disagree with. STFU!

I'm convinced it'll work so you should all support me and STFU!

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Old 23rd December 2015, 11:00 AM   #37
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Nah not STFU as motto. Much less traffic here. Exercises in scepticism tend to be as good as subjects of such exercises are. How many variations of Big Foot can one play? In theory infinite but ..
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Old 23rd December 2015, 11:42 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
We could call it Sceptical Thinkers Forum United, or STFU for short. I hear that is quite a popular acronym so it should catch on. I believe there I even a thread discussing it.

Theist annoying you? Just direct him here by yelling STFU!

Conspiracy theorist getting under your skin? Tell him STFU!

Big Footer? STFU!

Anybody you disagree with. STFU!

I'm convinced it'll work so you should all support me and STFU!
And sceptical is even spelt correctly.
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Old 23rd December 2015, 01:16 PM   #39
JJM 777
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
> International Peoples Forum

Ok comrade! (sounds vaguely communist )
Doesn't sound Communist enough.

Democratic People's Forum would be more convincing. Then keep the current top-down hierarchy. The trick is that you don't really need to _have_ democracy, you just put that word in the name of your organization or country.
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Old 26th December 2015, 04:31 PM   #40
caveman1917
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
And sceptical is even spelt correctly.
You mean you're not skeptical of your dictionary?
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