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Old 7th January 2016, 10:17 AM   #81
Leumas
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Originally Posted by tuco View Post
I am not saying those are not good questions, I am asking how is it in my interest even reading them, let alone answering.

Ultimately the forum is what we make it to be whatever its called. I do not find it particular sceptical to debate definitions. There are tons of real world issues to investigate and be skeptical about. To each her own still, show me the importance of definition. Or rather not

Well... there are a few questions in the previous post that illustrate why we do need a definition which can justify the S in ISF.

Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
...
...
Can someone be called a skeptic who labels people as demented abused as children frothing at the mouth fundamentalist anti-theists because they use the Buybull as evidence against itself and the religions it espouses?

...
Can someone who derides people for not conforming to his tribe's standards be called a skeptic?

Can someone who lies and makes false claims to further an agenda be called a skeptic?

Can one be called a skeptic who punishes someone for exposing the lies and false claims?

Can one be called a skeptic who abuses and bullies someone who points out the fallacies and false claims and assertions?

...
Can someone be called a skeptic if he strives by any means in his power to silence any opposition to his opinions?

Can someone be called a skeptic when he applies subjectively and arbitrarily different and contradictory standards of judgement to the exact same words used in exactly the same situation with the only difference being the person who made the words?

Can someone be called a skeptic if he thinks he can read minds and accordingly decide what one really meant to say and then insist upon it as the truth despite the fact that the person whose mind was purportedly divined rejecting the mind reading claims?

...

Is someone a skeptic who maligns and bullies and abuses people who say truths in a way that shocks and prefer that these people be silent than say the truths in a shocking manner?

...

Is one a skeptic who hates the person who tells the truth and uses all means in his power to extirpate them out of his tribal club?
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Old 7th January 2016, 10:19 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
One is also expected to read the point that is made not refuse to read it because it is a few words longer than he'd like and then call it not an argument and bare assert that the point was not made well without having actually read the point.

Is it skeptical to judge a text without having read it?

Is it skeptical to consider a few questions not a point well made without having actually read the questions?
I wish I felt poorly for failing to meet your expectations.

Would bolding some of this post make me seem more sympathetic to your concerns?

ETA: Damn, I left out highlighting!
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Old 7th January 2016, 10:27 AM   #83
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Is one a skeptic who insists on using school cafeteria bully tactics against people every time they cause one to question one's cherished prejudices and biases and irrational beliefs?

Is it skepticism to bully and goad and topple the food trays of people who write things one won't read let alone want to think about?
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Old 7th January 2016, 10:38 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
Arab men disgust him and he would be very happy see them wiped from the face of the earth.

I responded that, quite frankly, I considered the poster to be an absolute raving maniac and was quickly yellow carded for being uncivil and attacking the arguer not the argument.
I have witnessed the same a few times, that posts similar to the one that you mention above remain untouched by moderators, even though incitement to violence against an ethnic group is a crime where I live (and moderators of Internet forums are here legally responsible for allowing such discussion). But mods are quick to clean up lesser chit-chat which is not a crime in any country on the planet.
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Old 7th January 2016, 10:51 AM   #85
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Is it skepticism to cry out "foul foul" every time one reads a text that challenges his beliefs and demand the text be removed and the writer castigated for daring to write it?

Is it skepticism to keep on obliging time and again the above hobbling and curtailment of skepticism while doing absolutely nothing about the school cafeteria style bullying tactics deployed against anyone who challenges the tribe?
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Old 7th January 2016, 10:57 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
Is one a skeptic who insists on using school cafeteria bully tactics against people every time they cause one to question one's cherished prejudices and biases and irrational beliefs?

Is it skepticism to bully and goad and topple the food trays of people who write things one won't read let alone want to think about?
Irony meter explodes!

Can one be a skeptic who regularly uses the word "Buybull"?
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Old 7th January 2016, 01:19 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
What is ironic is that on a forum purportedly for skeptics debating the justification for claiming that the forum is for skeptics, not a single so called skeptic so far has bothered to actually hazard a definition for the term that can be agreed upon by the supposed skeptics before they can start even justifying its usage. <snip>
I'm not sure I qualify as a so-called skeptic, but I did hazard a definition for the word. Or at least where to start looking for one. But not the general meaning of the word skeptic, mind you, but how and why it applies here as part of the sponsoring organization's name.

Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
I think the original context for "skeptic" was James Randi's vetting of the paranormal, occult and supernatural. To follow in his footsteps so to speak. The forum was begun by the Randi organization, was it not?
The paranormal, occult and supernatural. That is apparently what Randi (or his staff) had in mind when they began this forum and chose the name. I don't want to put words in his mouth, but I think Darat said pretty much the same thing a while back.

Where I think this message board gets skewed (and misled) is when people try to use "skepticism" to win a political or social debate. That was apparently never the intention of Randi or the founders of the board. From Randi's website:
Quote:
James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world’s most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims.
I don't find anything about abortion, tax policy, immigration, gun rights, etc. I thereby infer that the skeptic label is about the physical world.
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Old 7th January 2016, 02:32 PM   #88
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"Skeptics" is part of "International Skeptics Forum" because that is what won the poll the membership voted on, and Icerat graciously bowed to the pleasure of the membership.

Now, as to why the membership chose "International" and "Skeptics" and "Forum" as constituent parts of "International Skeptics Forum", the reasons are varied and myriad, as the threads on the very topic illustrate.

Who knew an additional perk of the forum name would be the sweet tears shed by those members that feel abused by other members and choose to lash out at the word "skeptic" as the source of their pain.
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Old 8th January 2016, 01:43 PM   #89
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yetanotherwebforum.com wasn't taken, but it didn't sound as grandiose.
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Old 8th January 2016, 09:12 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
But surely that's a "lay" definition of the word "sceptic" (allow me the UK spelling ), as a synonym for "one who has doubts about a certain belief".
No

Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
But aren't we talking here about a more fundamental modern* definition of "sceptic": a person who only reaches conclusions after a rational, reasonable, logical and disinterested examination of all the available evidence, and who remains open to modifying or even abandoning a conclusion if new evidence materialises?
Excepting disinterested, Yes

Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
By that definition, it's easy to conclude that such groups as (say) 9/11 Truthers, Bigfoot believers, believers in the pharmacological efficacy of homeopathy, and indeed dedicated followers of pretty much every religion in the World, are NOT sceptics.
Excepting your plug for atheism, yes.


Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
* "Modern", since the original Sceptics of Ancient Greece took a metaphysical position that it is impossible to have real (let alone absolute) knowledge of anything.......
Not much has changed there.
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Old 9th January 2016, 08:34 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Every now and then a noob will get something like the following in response to a post they made:

"This is a skeptics forum. We expect you to be able to back up what you say and not just expect us to take your word for it."

Regardless of what JR might have originally intended, this is the basis for which "skeptic" appears in the forum name. There is an expectation that any POV will be backed up with sound non-fallacious arguments and evidence where it exists. Anybody who does not meet this standard can expect their arguments to be torn to shreds.

That would be a good sentence to put at the top of the page alongside the name (between the name and the knocker balls up there).

It sums up what I want from this forum. It's also a sort of anti-definition of trolls, in that they persist in making posts that do not recognise the principle.
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Old 9th January 2016, 06:00 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by asydhouse View Post
That would be a good sentence to put at the top of the page alongside the name (between the name and the knocker balls up there).

It sums up what I want from this forum. It's also a sort of anti-definition of trolls, in that they persist in making posts that do not recognise the principle.
+1. However I can point to sites that would give me almost POV. I make the claim the world is flat? Here is a link that provides evidence for my POV http://wiki.tfes.org/The_Flat_Earth_Wiki. If I can do that for that POV I can do it for almost any POV.

No, I do not actually believe the world is flat.
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Old 9th January 2016, 09:19 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I make the claim the world is flat? Here is a link that provides evidence for my POV http://wiki.tfes.org/The_Flat_Earth_Wiki.
This is a skeptics forum.

Whilst providing links to back up your arguments is desirable, we expect you to make your own arguments and not have everybody make your arguments and research your material for you.
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Old 10th January 2016, 03:46 AM   #94
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At the International Skeptics Forum nobody would agree what a sceptic is (not even how it is written). It must be the "international" aspect and its babel of languages ... no, wait, it's English!
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These fora are full of scientists and specialists. Most of them turn back to pumpkins the second they log out.
I got tired of the actual schizophrenics that are taking hold part of the forum and decided to do something about it.
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Old 10th January 2016, 06:03 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
I have witnessed the same a few times, that posts similar to the one that you mention above remain untouched by moderators, even though incitement to violence against an ethnic group is a crime where I live (and moderators of Internet forums are here legally responsible for allowing such discussion). But mods are quick to clean up lesser chit-chat which is not a crime in any country on the planet.
The post referred to did not incite violence. Stop inciting moderation.
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Old 11th January 2016, 08:30 PM   #96
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Is one a skeptic who posts post after post after post to malign and abuse and deride atheists for calling the theists' imaginary father in heaven "sky daddy"?

Is one a skeptic who claims to be an atheist yet thinks that it is insulting to imaginary friends in outer space to be called "sky daddy"?

Is one a skeptic who thinks it is ok to insult a live flesh and blood poster on this forum with all sorts of personal abuses but yet gets offended because someone calls Kings in outer space "sky daddies"?

Is one a skeptic who reads post after post of utter illogic and lies and errors and attacks and abuse on other skeptics.... yet doesn't bother even once to speak against it... but then pops into the thread all of a sudden to call another skeptic a child for saying sky daddy and to command him to stop his vitriolic spittle and laughable arrogance?
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Old 11th January 2016, 08:33 PM   #97
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Is one a skeptic who considers presenting EVIDENCE is the same as an interpretation?

Is one a skeptic who thinks that presenting EVIDENCE is the same as giving an opinion?

Is one a skeptic who thinks that FACTS are not acceptable unless they are given by an authority?
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Old 11th January 2016, 08:35 PM   #98
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Consider this case
A theist comes along to this forum and makes all sorts of assertions and claims about his or other people's scriptures.
Is one a skeptic who thinks that there is no point in using verses from those scriptures to show the theist how wrong he is?

Is one a skeptic who thinks that using such hyperlinked and referenced verses is pointless because the theist himself did not read them or does not care to read them?

Is one a skeptic who thinks that it is pointless to use those REFERENCES and HYPERLINKS because some people may not know how to read them in context and thus may form the wrong idea?

Is one a skeptic who thinks that giving quotes from those scriptures that are referenced and hyperlinked for all to read for themselves is the same thing as making an opinion and an interpretation of those verses?

Is one a skeptic who thinks that only people who are an authority on the scriptures are allowed to give quotes and links to verses from those scriptures?
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Old 11th January 2016, 08:37 PM   #99
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Is one a skeptic who thinks he knows all about Islam or Judaism or Christianity just because he listened to the opinion of some cleric without having ever read the Buybull or Quran?

Is one a skeptic who thinks there is no point in reading the Buybull because theists do not bother to do so and do not get their opinions about their scriptures from reading them?

Is one a skeptic who thinks that skeptics should not bother to quote the scriptures to show the falsities of the assertions of theists who claim that their assertions are right out of the word of their sky daddy which is their scriptures?

Is one a skeptic who thinks that it is laughable vitriolic spittle and arrogance to quote verses from the scriptures to prove the errors of theists’ assertions about their or other people’s scriptures ?
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Last edited by Leumas; 11th January 2016 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 11th January 2016, 09:33 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
Is one a skeptic who posts post after post after post to malign and abuse and deride atheists for calling the theists' imaginary father in heaven "sky daddy"?
?
Put aside the whining about nonexistent abuse, the answer is: of course.

Just baffled why someone would whine about getting called out for terrible childish arguments when all one does is post insults.
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Old 11th January 2016, 10:38 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by 16.5 View Post
Put aside the whining about nonexistent abuse, the answer is: of course.

Just baffled why someone would whine about getting called out for terrible childish arguments when all one does is post insults.

Insults to whom?

Remember... we are all atheists and skeptics here... no?

This is a site for skeptics... no?

The S in ISF is supposed to be Skeptics... no?

Sky daddies are imaginary characters... IMAGINARY.... NOT REAL.... no?

One cannot insult fictive characters from fairy tales.... you know... FICTION!!

If I were to say Frodo Baggins is a stupid idiot would you be so concerned so as to keep hounding me from thread to thread calling me names and abusing me?

Remember I am a REAL PERSON... when you call me names and goad me from thread to thread with endless posts calling me names .... that is an insult... to a real person... who can be insulted on account of being real with real feelings.

Me calling imaginary fairy tale characters Sky Daddy because they are called Father In Heaven in the fairy tales is
  1. Factual
  2. Not an insult since it is factual
  3. Not an insult since there is no one to be insulted besides it being factual.

One cannot insult an imaginary character in a fairy tale by calling it exactly what the fairy tale says it is.

On a site for skeptics atheists are so indignant and insulted because another atheist calls fairy tale characters exactly what they are said to be in the fables?????


And those atheists are so insulted as to go around using school cafeteria style bullying and harassment and hounding and goading while ganging up in teams from thread to thread toppling the food trays of atheists for daring to say the TRUTH about imaginary friends in outer space and deadbeat daddies in the sky and despotic monarchs in heavenly kingdoms.

This must be the strangest interpretation of atheism and skepticism ever.

REMEMBER.... they are FICTIVE CHARACTERS in fairy tales and fables and MYTHS... they cannot be insulted... less so if the terms used to describe them are in fact not insults on account of them being FACTUAL descriptions according to what the fairy tales describe them.

Remember you BULLYING and INSULTING me in defense of fairy tale characters while worried about them being insulted is .... hurtful to my feelings... and I am a real person whose feelings can be hurt... so remember that while you are INSULTING and BULLYING me and others because we dare call fairy tale characters what they are depicted to be in the myths and fables about them.
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Old 11th January 2016, 10:50 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
If I were to say Frodo Baggins is a stupid idiot would you be so concerned and keep hounding me from thread to thread calling me names and abusing me?
Probably, yeah.
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Old 12th January 2016, 01:16 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Probably, yeah.
....really? Your reply has a worrying undercurrent. It reads like a threat.
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Old 12th January 2016, 01:32 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
we are all atheists and skeptics here... no?
No, it's an open forum for anyone to join. In fact it would be boring not to have any differently opinionated discussers along. Then we could change the name from "discussion forum" into "mutual agreement forum".

Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
This is a site for skeptics... no?
For skeptics, and anyone else who wishes to join.

Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
Sky daddies are imaginary characters... IMAGINARY.... NOT REAL.... no?
Probably, but this has not been proven scientifically. The question remains theoretically open.

Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
One cannot insult fictive characters from fairy tales.... you know... FICTION!!
No, but religious people might get insulted. Insulting a religion becomes indirectly an insult at religious people. Of course they can get insulted by mere formal discussion too, but _that_ they will have to tolerate.

Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
Remember I am a REAL PERSON... (...) with real feelings.
In a spirit of mutuality, it would be good for you to remember that also religious people are real persons with real feelings. And that some more or less religious people read and also participate in these discussions. (Their participation would be the 'E' in JREF... wait, what? Ah, never mind.)
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Old 12th January 2016, 01:53 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
Insults to whom?

Remember... we are all atheists and skeptics here... no?.......
Jeez, Leumas, do you have to use such stupid formatting? Why can't you just type your posts in the same way as everyone else? I'd love to engage with you, but your bizarre formatting repulses me to the point where I find your text unreadable. I don't think I have ever managed to read an entire post of yours, despite often being interested in what you might have to say.

Oh, and the answer to your question. No, we're not, otherwise who would we have to argue with?
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Old 12th January 2016, 02:50 AM   #106
aleCcowaN
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Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
Insults to whom?

Remember... we are all atheists and skeptics here... no?
Don't count me in such unevolved category nor in the even more unevolved one of theists.

Congratulations in making a fit in a thread which is probably to be read by visitors trying to figure out what this forum is about. You have made the answer patently clear by example.
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I got tired of the actual schizophrenics that are taking hold part of the forum and decided to do something about it.
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Old 12th January 2016, 03:42 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
Insults to whom?

Remember... we are all atheists and skeptics here... no?
No. Neither is a requirement to join the forum, and atheism is not the focus of the forum. It's not necessary to be an atheist to be a skeptic.
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Old 12th January 2016, 05:50 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Jeez, Leumas, do you have to use such stupid formatting? Why can't you just type your posts in the same way as everyone else? I'd love to engage with you, but your bizarre formatting repulses me to the point where I find your text unreadable. I don't think I have ever managed to read an entire post of yours, despite often being interested in what you might have to say.

Oh, and the answer to your question. No, we're not, otherwise who would we have to argue with?
Me likee. That formatting style is soooo off-putting.
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Old 12th January 2016, 05:59 AM   #109
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Is one a skeptic if one derails every thread in 'religion and philosophy' (and now the 'welcome' forum) with the same claptrap?

Is one a skeptic if one is a fundamentalist atheist?

Is one a skeptic if one is only rails against everyone else for not toeing the fundamentalist atheist line?
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Old 12th January 2016, 07:16 AM   #110
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Oh dear, it would seem that those who use vituperative language and intentionally derisive name calling would prefer that people refrain from questioning those statements.
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Old 12th January 2016, 07:39 AM   #111
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I would think a true skeptic would be agnostic. As Bertrand Russell once said (and I realize this quote is used as a signature):
Quote:
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.

My sense of James Randi is that he thinks it is clearly impossible to bend a spoon using only the power of the mind. I agree, I don't think it's physically possible either. On the bigger questions -- religion, politics, social trends -- I think what is true and what is not is a lot harder to know. On those questions it seems to me that someone who has opinions of which they are absolutely certain, who will barely tolerate anyone with doubts (much less a different opinion) and uses mockery and ridicule to defend their belief is the opposite of a skeptic.
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Old 12th January 2016, 11:03 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by Leumas View Post
Insults to whom?

Remember... we are all atheists and skeptics here... no?

This is a site for skeptics... no?
I don't recall the College of Skeptical Cardinals convening and electing a Skeptical Pope or creating a dogma for skeptics, a skeptic is someone who is skeptical, I don't remember a specific requirement that they be skeptical on certain topics
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Old 12th January 2016, 02:37 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
....really? Your reply has a worrying undercurrent. It reads like a threat.
I take ignorance of LOTR characters very seriously.
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Old 12th January 2016, 05:53 PM   #114
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Mod WarningThere has been a slowly growing derail in the works that needs to stop. I've pulled a few of the most recent off-topic posts off to AAH; there are many earlier posts that could have been hauled off, too, but they seemed to have at least a glimmer of substance related to the actual thread topic despite their high whinge content.

Keep in mind the thread topic is the word skeptic/sceptic and how it relates to the forum name and such. Expositions about one member's belief he or she has been repeatedly wronged by other members or the moderators should be taken elsewhere.
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Old 13th January 2016, 12:42 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
No, it's an open forum for anyone to join. In fact it would be boring not to have any differently opinionated discussers along.
Precisely! There is a mistaken belief held by some that this is only a forum for "true" skeptics to post to.

The whole idea is that anybody may put an idea on this forum regardless of whether it is a skeptic POV or not but only in the realization that their arguments could come under severe skeptical scrutiny.
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Old 13th January 2016, 01:02 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The whole idea is that anybody may put an idea on this forum regardless of whether it is a skeptic POV or not but only in the realization that their arguments could come under severe skeptical scrutiny.
Do you think that would be understood by people looking in from the outside?

It might be that some see the skeptics tag and figure "I'm not a skeptic, so it isn't for me."
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Old 13th January 2016, 02:06 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
It might be that some see the skeptics tag and figure "I'm not a skeptic, so it isn't for me."
If they are not going to look at any posts then you might get the same reaction even if you called this the "International Diverse Opinions Forum".
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Old 13th January 2016, 02:18 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Do you think that would be understood by people looking in from the outside?

It might be that some see the skeptics tag and figure "I'm not a skeptic, so it isn't for me."
They'd kind of be right, wouldn't they?
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Old 13th January 2016, 02:53 AM   #119
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And yet we do seem to get a steady stream of people dropping by to explain to us how wrong we are to doubt astrology, Bigfoot, telepathy, homeopathy etc. Though most don't linger long, a few become regulars and a very few become sceptics.
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Old 21st January 2016, 06:07 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
They'd kind of be right, wouldn't they?
Depends. I was always of the opinion that a skeptic really needs to be a critical thinker first. Skepticism without critical thinking skills and logic is nothing more than cynicism and not very productive in my POV.

Maybe that's just me though. Not sure.
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