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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2005 :  23:27:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
And my apologies to Dude for being overly buggerly, it may be a weakness.



No need to apologize to me.

Just make an effort to learn what critical thinking, logic, and science are. I mean beyond the obvious basic understanding (or misunderstanding) that most people have. Get a couple of introductory textbooks and sit down one weekend with them.

Go to Amazon.com and search for "critical thinking" or "introductory logic".


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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dv82matt
SFN Regular

760 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2005 :  23:52:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dv82matt a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by markie

As I'm sure most of you guys realize, I was playing things up abit. Hey, are skeptics the only ones permitted to have some fun at other people's expense?
Hah, don't worry about it. Doncha know we skeptic's enjoy acting pissed off.
quote:
One of my points is that even skeptics have what I may term 'authoritative sources' which are sought out. *Some* skeptics may be assuming that such resources are more reliable than is warranted, that's all. Heck, *I've* consulted CSICOP on occasion in the distant past, *assuming* all was upfront and aboveboard. But as is apparent now, this is not always the case. It was a *whopper* to *me*, even if it happened a while ago.
Your point here is well taken. Everyone is fallible. No source is one hundred percent reliable. Some skeptics probably do forget this on occasion. This is why the peer review process is vital for cutting down on these kinds of errors.
quote:
I've made it clear to myself and my (religious) fellows that that I'm a truth seeker first and a believer second. Believe it or not I am critical of what I believe. Hence I have changed religious and other perspectives more than I care to count.
Good for you. I consider it healthy for a person to critically examine what they believe.
quote:
But I wonder, do skeptics regard themselves as truth seekers first and skeptics secondly, or visa versa, or do skeptics believe truth seeking and skepticism to be about one and the same? The article by Dennis Rawlings reveals (to me) that skepticism can sometimes aquire a life of its own which can push the spirit of truth seeking out of the driver's seat.
To be honest, I hardly regard myself as a skeptic at all, but truth is very important to me and I consider skepticism to be a useful tool in discerning the truth.
quote:
I well understand that skeptics are more like a herd of cats than a congregation of church goers sitting in pews awaiting the next agreeable sermon. You have your own mind, by and large. Frankly I'm rather glad for that in what appears to be an increasingly fundamentalist world.
Make that a posse of cats, 'posse' sounds cooler. And no offence but a congregation of chuchgoers always brings a herd of sheep to my mind.
quote:
But then again, speaking of cats, maybe I've stayed here as long as I have because I sense too much complacent purring going on, like,

"Purrrr, the universe is just like we should expect with what we know from first principles, purrrr."
Um... this is where I think you kinda have a skewed veiw of what skepticism is. Skepticism is used to debunk wild claims of course, but it is also a vital part of any investigation, including those that don't directly relate to science.
quote:
Then I guess that would make me one of Deity's dogs. Woofff! Sometimes however I've felt more like a mouse
Don't worry, you'll soon be feeling like a dog again. Exposure to skepticism wears off with time.
quote:
Anyways I wanted to say a big thank you for the opportunity of getting to 'know' some of you, especially Dave, Filthy and Matt, also Dude, H. Humbert, GeeMack and the PapaSmurf. I have gained insights into skepticism which I didn't have before. (It was a first for me to be in the company of skeptics.)
It was great getting to know you also.
quote:
I may pop in on occassion as time permits and if I have some juicy morsel to contribute. Right now however I'm starting to bore even myself.
Please do. I found your posts in What if antimatter generates antigravity? to be especially enlightening.
quote:
All the best!
To you as well.
Edited by - dv82matt on 07/18/2005 00:30:40
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  12:42:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by dv82matt

I don't see skeptisism as an entity or organization that needs to be defended however. I see skeptisism as a tool. If it is useful to people then they will use it. If it's not then they won't.
Indeed, I see things the same way.

But, to continue with the tools analogy, say markie was talking about Stanley Tools instead of CSICOP, and he had uncovered some old document which showed that Stanley management had been involved in an ancient crime and covered it up. Then he comes here and implies that because of that misdeed, there's something wrong with people who think that Stanley makes the best hammer.

Of course, that's not the bad part. The bad part is the implication that amongst all us construction workers who've carefully evaluated the entire hammer marketplace, and come to our decisions about the quality of various hammers independently, that we instead have just stupidly fallen for Stanley's own advertising, not even considering the fact that many of us don't even own a Stanley hammer.

And then, after getting some of us irate at the notion that we haven't done our homework and simply worship the toolmaker, he compounds the insult:
quote:
Originally posted by markie

Hey, are skeptics the only ones permitted to have some fun at other people's expense?
Of course not. It's just that our jokes are funny.
quote:
*Some* skeptics may be assuming that such resources are more reliable than is warranted, that's all. Heck, *I've* consulted CSICOP on occasion in the distant past, *assuming* all was upfront and aboveboard.
Right, you've made a bunch of questionable assumptions: that CSICOP has had a perfect record; that a poor record affects the quality of individual articles; and that "some" skeptics might believe the same as you (comparatively, a non-skeptic).
quote:
But I wonder, do skeptics regard themselves as truth seekers first and skeptics secondly, or visa versa, or do skeptics believe truth seeking and skepticism to be about one and the same?
We can't, of course, speak for all people who call themselves skeptics. But, you can see my own emphasis in our mission statement.
quote:
The article by Dennis Rawlings reveals (to me) that skepticism can sometimes aquire a life of its own which can push the spirit of truth seeking out of the driver's seat.
That's not what happened, though. What happened was that a handful of people disregarded proper skepticism in favor of attempting to save face and ensure that their "enemy" had no new "ammunition" to use against them, after a few acts of stupidity which were entirely their own fault and had little to do with said "enemy." That they did all this under the banner of "skepticism" did, indeed, give the "movement" and CSICOP a black eye, but you'll note that there are plenty of other skeptics around - including Rawlins - who're willing to call a stupid act a stupid act.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dry_vby
Skeptic Friend

Australia
249 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2005 :  16:27:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dry_vby a Private Message
People who attack "skepticism" seem to do so under the assumption that skeptics are an orginization like Catholics or The New York Giants.

I don't pretend to know what a skeptic is, but one thing I think a skeptic is not, is some one who takes things at face value, as is implied by markie in this thread, just because it comes from a "skeptical" source.

A skeptic is first and foremost an individual with an independant thought process, not dependant on the dictates and doctorines of a single authority.

I don't think anyone can say that there is a single authority that speaks on behalf of all skeptics ( a-la the Vatican), and because someone makes a claim on behalf of skeptics that does not mean that anyone or everyone who is a skeptic agrees.


"I'll go along with the charade
Until I can think my way out.
I know it was all a big joke
Whatever it was about."

Bob Dylan
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