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Old 26th May 2019, 01:42 PM   #1
Archie Gemmill Goal
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WTF has happened to 'skepticism'

Has it always been this way and I haven't seen it? Or has something changed?

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

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

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

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

So WTF is going on?

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

It's pathetic, really. When the woo-sters are more accepting of other people than those who value critical thinking. Where is the value in this community?
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Old 26th May 2019, 02:27 PM   #2
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Phobe suggests phobia, not accepting isn't always fear.

Not acting against or allowing new rules defined by few isn't always hatred.
Stop trying to push an agenda on those that don't want it.
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Old 26th May 2019, 02:50 PM   #3
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I always felt that scepticism was coming from the place of "Hmm, got any evidence for that?", which is a valid place to come from.

Scepticism is not "oh I'll ignore that bit of evidence cos it doesn't fit in with my narrative", which seems to be where some people (including that loathesome twat) are trying to take it.
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Old 26th May 2019, 03:51 PM   #4
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YouTube and gamergate have a lot to do with it, especially the most public version you're talking about that sees a lot of popular internet "skeptics" putting out a lot of anti-feminist/xenophobic/right-wing content. This video is a pretty decent summary of how it happened:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s2BLwkk7WI

Basically, the algorithm encouraged "skeptics" to make videos debating/debunking creationism and other fundamentalist Christian concepts, and when gamergate became a major issue, a lot of those people switched to debunking feminism and other political commentary because it brought an even bigger audience. Sargon is the perfect example of that. As for people that aren't strictly internet figures, with Sam Harris, it's always looked to me like his ego makes it very easy for him to identify with fringe ideas, as he tends to view himself as an outcast; because of that, he gives more credence to fringe ideas, like those of Charles Murray, than are warranted. Dawkins I'm less familiar with, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was something similar behind that. I've noticed a similar attitude of "I'm a skeptic, so I'll lean towards the side of the politically incorrect opinion, because that's the skeptical thing to do" among pretty much all of the big name "skeptical" thinkers. It's one of the reasons, like you, I don't really like associating myself with "skepticism" anyone. Most vocally (on the internet, at least), it's become a label people apply to themselves to support lots of ideas I find wrong under the guise of supporting "free speech" and "the marketplace of ideas."

And of course, anyone can hold irrational ideas. Hell, everyone does, to some extent. Even if someone knows how to apply critical thinking, everyone is going to have blind spots.

Last edited by ArchSas; 26th May 2019 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 26th May 2019, 04:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ArchSas View Post
YouTube and gamergate have a lot to do with it, especially the most public version you're talking about that sees a lot of popular internet "skeptics" putting out a lot of anti-feminist/xenophobic/right-wing content. This video is a pretty decent summary of how it happened:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s2BLwkk7WI

Basically, the algorithm encouraged "skeptics" to make videos debating/debunking creationism and other fundamentalist Christian concepts, and when gamergate became a major issue, a lot of those people switched to debunking feminism and other political commentary because it brought an even bigger audience. Sargon is the perfect example of that. As for people that aren't strictly internet figures, with Sam Harris, it's always looked to me like his ego makes it very easy for him to identify with fringe ideas, as he tends to view himself as an outcast; because of that, he gives more credence to fringe ideas, like those of Charles Murray, than are warranted. Dawkins I'm less familiar with, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was something similar behind that. I've noticed a similar attitude of "I'm a skeptic, so I'll lean towards the side of the politically incorrect opinion, because that's the skeptical thing to do" among pretty much all of the big name "skeptical" thinkers. It's one of the reasons, like you, I don't really like associating myself with "skepticism" anyone. Most vocally (on the internet, at least), it's become a label people apply to themselves to support lots of ideas I find wrong under the guise of supporting "free speech" and "the marketplace of ideas."

And of course, anyone can hold irrational ideas. Hell, everyone does, to some extent. Even if someone knows how to apply critical thinking, everyone is going to have blind spots.
I am skeptical of your claims. LOL

More seriously, When someone like Dawkins speaks within his particular expertise, then you best pay attention.

When he speaks outside that expertise, he is simply a Joe Sixpack like anyone else.

Not sure what part of that puzzles you.

If Dawkins said anything about evolutionary biology, I would defer to him. An argument from authority is only a fallacy when the proponent is not actually an authority. Dawkins can rightly claim to be a legitimate authority. Because he is. And there is a vast weight of evidence and other experts in the field who agree with him.

However, when he steps into the arena of theology, he has exactly the same standing as you, me or a snail, because in that arena he is a layman and his arguments stand or fall by their individual merits in exactly the same way as yours or mine might.

People forget that a PhD is not a ticket to be an expert on everything. A PhD necessarily requires that the candidate narrow their focus upon a single specific area, not all areas, not everything. Thus, a Phd is an authority in their own narrow are of specialisation.

This does not transfer into expertise or authority in any other discipline. Face it. Would you claim that nuclear physicists are interchangeable with Oncologists who are interchangeable with mathematicians?

Of course you wouldn't. (or if you did you would come down with a bad case of dead)
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Old 26th May 2019, 05:08 PM   #6
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Old 26th May 2019, 05:12 PM   #7
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Social and political issues can be informed by science but not answered by the method.
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Old 26th May 2019, 06:16 PM   #8
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Simply ask these two questions to figure out who is full of crap and who is actually thinking critically:

1) On what evidence do you base your claim, opinion, etc.?
2) What evidence would it take for you to change your opinion?

If the answer includes logical fallacies (nice simple examples here) then that's how you determine if someone is full of it.

In the case of guys like Dawkins and Harris, I see maybe some slippery slope and no true Scotsmen fallacies, but their stuff in general holds up – although as a good critical thinker I welcome new evidence that might change my mind about that. ; )

Dawkins is old and curmudgeonly, and he sometimes says things that anger feminists (myself included). But what is he actually wrong about? His whole m.o. has been to speak directly and not worry about how offensive some might find his ideas. Which of those ideas is actually wrong, though?

Harris? I guess people hate him because they think he's Islamophobic? That is a problem for the Left because they are rightfully very concerned about hate crimes and other injustices perpetuated against Muslims (Harris is concerned about those things, too) and, as a consequence, a lot of liberals get angry when someone says anything other than "Islam is a religion of peace." But it's not a religion of peace, according to the Quran – it's every bit as violence-sanctioning as the Bible (arguably more-so because of specific passages that invoke followers to do the killing instead of Yahweh/Allah doing it). Harris credits the millions of peaceful Muslims of the world who don't seek the bloodshed for which their holy book calls. He seems to want to make clear, though, that so long as there are Islamic fundamentalists there will be violence against innocents.

Again, if I've misrepresented or misunderstood either of these guys, I'm willing to be further educated and change my opinions about them.

Now clowns like Jordan Peterson, Milo Whathisface, and Ben Shapiro claiming to be skeptics? Yeah those guys are not skeptics. They are attention-whore contrarians whose arguments do not hold water. Their Gish-galloping alone should tip off any good critical thinker that they are not honest intellectuals.

Last edited by The Shrike; 26th May 2019 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 26th May 2019, 06:25 PM   #9
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Politically and socially people are just too polarized and intolerant of any opposing viewpoint. If someone says something I don't think is right, they are the bigots and extremists, not me.



In reality, I'll listen to both sides and see right on both sides.


Skeptics are just like everyone else, using our instant access to instantly confirm our biases.
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Old 26th May 2019, 10:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Has it always been this way and I haven't seen it? Or has something changed?
I think something has changed. Don't get me wrong, individual skeptics have always had their sacred cows, and there have always been skeptics who have had extreme political positions etc. What has changed, at least in my view, is people becoming less tolerant of views they disagree with. I think that is a product of the internet in general, as we, as a species, have a strong tendency to silo ourselves more and more when we are able to.

Gamergate and elevatorgate and their offshoots were essentially the end of the involvement of my wife and I with the "Skeptical" community. And skepticism was a massive part of our lives for many years prior to that time.

Our view was that we had two sides who took positions where strong emotions were involved and most people were only interested in shouting at each other side while the principle of charity went out the window. Unlike what you appear to be doing, however (and I say this as someone who is pretty far on the left), I blame both sides pretty equally for what has happened. And during, for instance, elevatorgate, both sides repeatedly made me wish I had never come in contact with skepticism (I didn’t participate in either, but I followed the fighting, and in doing so lost all hope that the skeptical community was any better or more rational than any other community).

Quote:
Has skepticism just become a haven for bigots, transphobes, racists, islamophobes, misogynists and general ne'erdowells under the freedom of 'just discussing facts'?
In some areas yes (youtube for instance, but not podcasts). I remember meeting a couple several years ago who were privately skeptics. They assumed (and feared) that because I openly admitted to being a skeptic that I was a racist, misogynist, islamophobe because every open skeptic they had met for years was exactly that. That sucks, but I don’t think that there is a solution to that. And while I blame bigots and racists (etc) for being bigots and racists (etc). At the same time I recognize that the other side has also pushed a lot of bad arguments and often refused to hold even the hint of a nuanced point of view.

Last edited by Wayward son; 26th May 2019 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 26th May 2019, 11:56 PM   #11
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Skepticism should always be about using neologisms to try to shame people you disagree with.
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Old 27th May 2019, 01:08 AM   #12
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Skepticism, like everything else nowadays, works just as well faked as real for purposes of fame ... better even, because it's faster.

Conservatives are judged by the actions of alt-right, progressives by those of AntiFa ...

and skeptics by the likes of lazy-brained YouTubers and wannabe intellectuals on TV, because they measure their success by the media attention they are getting...
because that can be monetized.
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Old 27th May 2019, 02:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
We have the loathesome Sargon of Akkad campaigning for the awful UKIP now. Nobody who actually values analysis, thought and freedom would ever support UKIP. But there we have it.
Travis?
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Old 27th May 2019, 05:00 AM   #14
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Other than the video that was linked here by Archsas, the forum we're in right now is the only place I see the word "skeptic" used as a label for anybody. So if somebody somewhere else doesn't seem very skeptical to you, you can avoid the dissonance by just not trying to apply that word to them yourself.
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Old 27th May 2019, 06:23 AM   #15
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Well having worked out there is no God and psychics are fake they must be rather clever and their gut instincts on social and political subjects, which are expert fields and not directly amenable to the scientific method, have got to be some kind of essential truths.

Gone are the days where most of the traffic on these forums dealt with issues directly amenable to scientific skepticism.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/tags.php
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Old 27th May 2019, 03:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Has it always been this way and I haven't seen it? Or has something changed?

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

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

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

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

So WTF is going on?

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

It's pathetic, really. When the woo-sters are more accepting of other people than those who value critical thinking. Where is the value in this community?

WTF is all this crap?

Sure we have a few bigots, transphobes, racists, islamophobes and so on, that soil these pages but they are challenged by true skeptics from my experience. For you to suggest that skepticism itself is being somehow tarnished is absurd.
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Old 27th May 2019, 04:06 PM   #17
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How do you define a 'true skeptic'?
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Old 27th May 2019, 04:10 PM   #18
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I mean, AGG's own body of work is hardly an example of dispassionate rational inquiry. Exhibit A: This thread. I don't know the answer to the question (other than that most skeptics are just irrational douchebags like the rest of us), but I kinda feel like this is mostly a "physician, heal thyself" problem.
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Old 27th May 2019, 06:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
I am skeptical of your claims. LOL

More seriously, When someone like Dawkins speaks within his particular expertise, then you best pay attention.

When he speaks outside that expertise, he is simply a Joe Sixpack like anyone else.

Not sure what part of that puzzles you.

If Dawkins said anything about evolutionary biology, I would defer to him. An argument from authority is only a fallacy when the proponent is not actually an authority. Dawkins can rightly claim to be a legitimate authority. Because he is. And there is a vast weight of evidence and other experts in the field who agree with him.

However, when he steps into the arena of theology, he has exactly the same standing as you, me or a snail, because in that arena he is a layman and his arguments stand or fall by their individual merits in exactly the same way as yours or mine might.

People forget that a PhD is not a ticket to be an expert on everything. A PhD necessarily requires that the candidate narrow their focus upon a single specific area, not all areas, not everything. Thus, a Phd is an authority in their own narrow are of specialisation.

This does not transfer into expertise or authority in any other discipline. Face it. Would you claim that nuclear physicists are interchangeable with Oncologists who are interchangeable with mathematicians?

Of course you wouldn't. (or if you did you would come down with a bad case of dead)
Just a minor correction. No scientist is an authority: they are experts in their chosen field of research.
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Old 27th May 2019, 06:57 PM   #20
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
How do you define a 'true skeptic'?
Any true Scotsman.
Duh.
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Old 27th May 2019, 08:30 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ArchSas View Post
YouTube and gamergate have a lot to do with it, especially the most public version you're talking about that sees a lot of popular internet "skeptics" putting out a lot of anti-feminist/xenophobic/right-wing content. This video is a pretty decent summary of how it happened:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s2BLwkk7WI
His presentation of the history mostly matches my experience, even though I never saw some of the channels he's referring to and got into YouTube too late for the earliest thing he describes (when there were lots of religious channels and no atheists challenging them). But there's a fairly important glitch in the middle where he makes a claim that he not only doesn't substantiate, but even tries to substantiate by showing a graph which actually refutes it.

Essentially, he's describing a repeating cycle in topical YouTube channels & videos:
  1. Two sides start posting videos back & forth at each other arguing over the topic
  2. One side starts to gain a clear upper hand in how many of them there are, how many videos they make, and how many viewers they have
  3. The other side dwindles away to practically nothing in the same three metrics
  4. The winning side with nobody left to respond to gets bored and shifts away to something else
  5. Others rise to oppose them on those new topics, which restarts us at #1 for the next round

The opponents in the rounds of this pattern that have happened so far:
  1. religion/atheism: won by the atheist side as the religious side mostly faded away
  2. the same atheists as before, turning against each other after splitting into the right & left sides of politics & social issues: but it was primarily the really lame silly part of the left, while the right made rational points against them at this stage, so it was the left that mostly faded away
  3. a new round of political/social left & right: but this time it's a new & improved left that's started making more sense, and the crazy version of the right (including some of those who were in the last round but then shifted their content)

From the pattern, he figures one would expect one side side in the current iteration to start gradually fading away (measurable in participation, production, and viewership). And he says he sees that beginning to happen now. The problem is that, at about 11˝ minutes, he shows graphs of the numbers of views of the channels on both sides, and claims that it's bad for the right, but the graphs for the right really don't show a downward trend. He follows those with graphs for the new left that really DO show an upward trend, but doesn't do anything to favor the interpretation that this is a real topic-&-content-based trend over the interpretation that it's just an example of the fact that it's easy for a new channel to rise fast early in its existence. And the lack of numbers on either set of graphs or direct comparisons overlapping them with each other is... conspicuous.

Also, he seems to mix three different ideas of how to measure how successful any given point of view is on YouTube: how many channels post from that point of view, how many videos they produce, and how many views those videos get. He switches from one metric to another without distinguishing among them as if he thinks they all indicate the same thing, but one could go up while the others go down.
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Old 27th May 2019, 11:43 PM   #22
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Scientific Skepticism is a way of thinking; specifically, it is a method of evaluating claims. It is not a community. The fact that there are certain communities that claim to be skeptical is a separate, but related, issue.

A skeptic simply holds the claims of a self-proclaimed skeptic up for scrutiny instead of bewailing the inherent bigotry of skepticism itself.

Seriously, the claim that skepticism itself has turned bad is similar to the anti-science claims that, well... lots of scientists have been racist, therefore science is bad. Let’s embrace inclusive mysticism...
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Old 28th May 2019, 12:30 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
However, when he steps into the arena of theology, he has exactly the same standing as you, me or a snail, because in that arena he is a layman and his arguments stand or fall by their individual merits in exactly the same way as yours or mine might.

I often hear this argument. I find it odd.

How much education does one need to know that made up stuff is made up?
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Old 28th May 2019, 12:33 AM   #24
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it's not hard to get to a basic proficiency in theology.

That is not the same as faith.
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Old 28th May 2019, 04:17 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I often hear this argument. I find it odd.

How much education does one need to know that made up stuff is made up?
Which is why having a layman’s knowledge of theology is sufficient if you’re interested in coming to the conclusion of whether or not there is evidence that God exists.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 28th May 2019, 07:03 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Steve001 View Post
Just a minor correction. No scientist is an authority: they are experts in their chosen field of research.
Some scientists are experts. Others not so much.
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Old 28th May 2019, 07:37 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Richard Dawkins went down the rabbit hole pretty quickly, Sam Harris has followed him.
In what way? Neither of them strike me as bigots.

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Nobody who actually values analysis, thought and freedom would ever support UKIP. But there we have it.
Ah, I see. Nobody who has a brain could possible reach a different conclusion from yours, eh?
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Old 29th May 2019, 03:00 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I mean, AGG's own body of work is hardly an example of dispassionate rational inquiry. Exhibit A: This thread. I don't know the answer to the question (other than that most skeptics are just irrational douchebags like the rest of us), but I kinda feel like this is mostly a "physician, heal thyself" problem.
Had I ever claimed to be a paragon of skepticism you might have a point.

My point was (and hell I have to point it out) that there are a hell of a lot of people who are now using 'skepticism' as a cover for just being obnoxious bellends who want to say controversial things.
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Old 29th May 2019, 03:01 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Ah, I see. Nobody who has a brain could possible reach a different conclusion from yours, eh?
You seem to be a great example of my point. Take something said and twist it to something not said to appear to be defending bigots while not actually doing so. Bravo.
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Old 29th May 2019, 03:05 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post

Harris? I guess people hate him because they think he's Islamophobic?
Well I am not going to guess but he appears to me to BE islamophobic. But putting that aside he also seems to be transphobic, has nonsense views on gun control and recently tweeted that throwing a milkshake at someone is a 'mock assassination'

This is someone who claims to be a public intellectual, critical thinker and skeptic. Not just your average joe.

Is it simply a money thing? Has he realised that being a right wing idiot is easier to monetise?
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Old 29th May 2019, 03:07 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Had I ever claimed to be a paragon of skepticism you might have a point.



My point was (and hell I have to point it out) that there are a hell of a lot of people who are now using 'skepticism' as a cover for just being obnoxious bellends who want to say controversial things.
The way I see it, we're both right. Mainly because we're both saying the same thing.

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Old 29th May 2019, 07:33 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
. . . he appears to me to BE islamophobic. . . . he also seems to be transphobic,
Perhaps in this thread you started decrying the death of skepticism you might provide some well-sourced evidence for these claims? I have several times heard him speak on violence in Islam and he is remarkably careful to credit the peaceful Muslims who ignore those parts of the Quran while he aims his ire at the pious who are trying to follow it more closely.

Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
...has nonsense views on gun control ...
Nonsense? No. And this is hardly right-wing propaganda he's spewing. I don't agree with him on all points, but on several I do, e.g., banning "assault weapons" is an empty gesture that might make some people feel better, but that's about it. But the point is not whether you or I agree with him. Your accusation is that his Harris' views on this issue are not informed by skepticism. They are. He is beyond methodical in the way he frames arguments and cites evidence to support his points. Again, we might not reach the same conclusions from the same evidence, but the suggestion that he's not thinking critically on this issue is not supported.

Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
. . . and recently tweeted that throwing a milkshake at someone is a 'mock assassination'
Meh. He's merely pointing out vulnerability of public figures, and he's more or less right about that, despite it being a silly take. Rest assured he's been thoroughly lambasted on Twitter, as is appropriate for his comment.

We have been so conditioned by right-wing propaganda that rejects science and critical thinking that it can be easy to fall into the trap that skepticism and critical thinking invariably leads to liberal opinions. It doesn't. There are entirely valid, well-evidenced opinions to hold that are politically conservative. I don't agree with Harris on multiple issues, but there is no doubt that he does his homework and is investing energy in critical thinking to develop his positions.
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Old 30th May 2019, 07:57 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
Has it always been this way and I haven't seen it? Or has something changed?

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

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

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

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

So WTF is going on?

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

It's pathetic, really. When the woo-sters are more accepting of other people than those who value critical thinking. Where is the value in this community?

People may agree with you, or not, but this much at least is clear, this whole "skeptical community" bit is really a thing. And it is a thing that puts me off. I mean, makes this place look like some kind of a cult -- with whether or not you agree with the details of the cult's positions only a relatively minor detail -- and that is certainly not something I, for instance, have signed up for.

For me -- and I expect to many others like me -- skepticism is nothing more or less than, simply, critical thinking. Just that. All of the community aspects that have built up around skepticism are in no way essential to it. All of these conferences and stuff, and for that matter all of the icons that this "movement" has thrown up -- I personally don't really relate all that much to that aspect of skepticism.

Which is why individual "gates", whether located inside elevators or wherever, really make no difference to "skepticism" as I see it. Something to talk about, sure, why not, but neither a point of identity, nor a source of any kind of disillusionment.
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Old 30th May 2019, 09:00 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Some scientists are experts. Others not so much.
The point to be made is it's a often stated as such but is a misconception
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Old 30th May 2019, 09:21 AM   #35
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It probably went wrong around the time it went from CSICOP-style skepticism to the more modern skepticism-of-everything, which most science-minded people aren't any better at than any moderately curious person. Possibly worse, because they're too impressed with their ability to shoot fish in a barrel.
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Old 30th May 2019, 10:59 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
People may agree with you, or not, but this much at least is clear, this whole "skeptical community" bit is really a thing.
By design. De facto leaders of the skeptical/critical thinking/atheist movements have specifically been trying to build community because loss of same has been brought up as a problem again and again from folks who have, for example, left their childhood churches.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
And it is a thing that puts me off. I mean, makes this place look like some kind of a cult ..."
Curious as to what you're experiencing that feels like a cult here. To me it's more like the Wild West and I don't get a strong community sense here. It's one of the things I like!


Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Which is why individual "gates", whether located inside elevators or wherever, really make no difference to "skepticism" as I see it. Something to talk about, sure, why not, but neither a point of identity, nor a source of any kind of disillusionment.
^this.
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Old 30th May 2019, 11:04 AM   #37
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I'm still working on my plan to start a kerfuffle about the machinery in a dam used to block water floor that has a door installed in it. I want to start Gate-gate-gate.
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Old 30th May 2019, 11:20 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
You seem to be a great example of my point.
No I'm pretty confident in my conclusion based on your previous behaviour. You have no basis for calling people transphobic except that they simply don't agree with your conclusions.

Quote:
Take something said and twist it to something not said to appear to be defending bigots while not actually doing so.
What in the everlasting **** are you babbling about?
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Old 30th May 2019, 01:20 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
“Just because you’re an expert in one thing, that doesn’t make you an expert in everything.”
- Frank Sonnenberg
There also that old joke about how experts are often incredibly ignorant of anything outside their area of expertise....
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Old 30th May 2019, 01:22 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
No I'm pretty confident in my conclusion based on your previous behaviour. You have no basis for calling people transphobic except that they simply don't agree with your conclusions.



What in the everlasting **** are you babbling about?
The poster in question does often seem a bit intolerant of anybody who does not agree with his politics.
In a recent post in another section he suggested that any Scot who is favor of staying in the UK is pretty much a traitor....
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