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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  11:39:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
Humbert wrote: Ok, now you've become condescending. "Bitch" is nowhere close to being "especially harsh." It's the equivalent of calling a guy a "dick." Bitch is said on Prime Time television, for Pete's sake. C--t is especially harsh. We should all avoid using offensive language on these forums when possible, but GeeMack's choice of words were about as mild an invective as they come. And in this case, earned.

Resorting to vulgar attacks does hurt a person's credibility, unless there is context that makes it appropriate. Penn and Teller, for instance, do a show where the audience is to expect vulgarity. In that case it is a form of entertainment – like a specialty restaurant with servers who are intentionally rude. Rap music is the same. But a public forum is different. No one has called me a “bitch” here. If someone does, and it's not just kidding around, I would seriously reconsider coming back to this forum at all. That's not civil discourse. The same goes if we start calling people “dick”. Vulgarities are not constructive. It's not like calling someone a “liar” – where you are accusing them of a specific act. Also, there is no masculine equivalent to the insult “bitch”. I just consulted my husband on this, and he quickly agreed – if he and I got in a bad fight, it would be worse for him to call me a “bitch” than for me to call him a “dick”. Some women are going to be more sensitive to that word than others. Some women probably wouldn't even care, but we can't deny that that word can have seriously bad connotations.

One thing that is almost universal when it comes to gathering of skeptics/atheists/agnostics/etc. is that they are sausage parties. And while women do tend to be more religious then men, the difference isn't all that huge. The reason those gatherings are sausage parties is because the men like to debate more than discuss, and they tend to be too aggressive in their debating strategies for most women's tastes. This isn't just my own opinion. My atheist girlfriends from various circles and I have had many discussions on this matter. Even if we could give “dick” and “bitch” the same weight, perhaps the difference is that the average man doesn't mind being called a vulgar word as much as the average woman.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  15:04:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
skepticpsychic wrote:

quote:
I assume Halfmoon is a woman because of describing herself as having “sweet skeptical reason” (I love that!)


Sorry, skepticpsychic, you'd better get a tune-up of your psychic powers. I'm a man, and even a fairly macho type old guy. I also used some military metaphors (the military employs plenty of semaphores and medleys, dontcha know?), which should possibly have tipped you off. (Can't Real Men get away with using the word, "sweet"?) But thanks for the reference to my thread.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 01/19/2006 15:16:48
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  15:30:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by marfknox
Penn and Teller, for instance, do a show where the audience is to expect vulgarity. In that case it is a form of entertainment – like a specialty restaurant with servers who are intentionally rude.
Actually Penn and Teller resort to vulgarity for legal reasons. It's freedom of speech to call John Edwards an asshole. Call him a fraud and you will get slapped with a lawsuit.

On the whole, I agree with you that we shouldn't resort to "dirty words" on these forums. I'm just suggesting that you seem to be hypersensitive on this issue, and would caution you away from generalizing from your own reaction what most adults find acceptable, or even most women. You found it offensive. Just leave it at that.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 01/19/2006 15:32:08
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9680 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  17:13:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by skepticpsychic

http://www.writingup.com/skepticpsychic/skeptic_psychic_debunks_self



This is a step in the right direction...
Suddenly I can think of a few people who might have sent the e-mail, and if it is one any of them, then you have over-reacted because I cannot imagine them intending it to be interpreted as you initially claimed.

quote:
What they really say is, “Skeptics are the first line of defence against pseudoscience, fraud, quackery and those who claim psychic ability.” Are you sleeping better at night knowing there is a whole line of self-professed defenders ready to protect you from psychics? Just like how much safer the streets were with Martha Stewart in jail.

By first line of defence the quoted paragraph means that we will speak up against pseudoscience, fraud, quackery and those who have psychic ability. Our mission is finding the truth. Up to this date no psychic has presented compelling evidence he/she is truly psychic, that's why psychics are included in the short list above. Until true psychic ability has been scientifically confirmed, it is my opinion they should be considered frauds.

That being said, I am openminded and prepared to change my mind should you present me with compelling evidence that I am wrong. In that regard I'm not at all dogmatic as you accuse us skeptics of being.

You are taking an overly aggressive/defensive stance against us that is unnecessary. We are interested in dialogue. Kil has stretched out his hand and, since he is one of the founders of SFN, he is also an official representative of this web-site.
But if you post blogs that is misrepresenting us, can you truly blame us for taking offence?

If someone is hurting your feelings, ignore them and focus of the posts that are constructive instead.

(edited grammar/translation error)

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 01/19/2006 17:31:45
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9680 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  17:20:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
http://www.writingup.com/skepticpsychic/skeptic_psychic_debunks_self

quote:
What they really say is, “Skeptics are the first line of defence against pseudoscience, fraud, quackery and those who claim psychic ability.” Are you sleeping better at night knowing there is a whole line of self-professed defenders ready to protect you from psychics? Just like how much safer the streets were with Martha Stewart in jail.


The reason Martha Stewart is in jail is because she deserves to be there. She was sentenced in a court of law.

Some people suggest Kevin Trudeau(sp?) should be in prison too. Since I live in Europe my knowledge of him is limited, but from what I do know of him, I agree he belongs there for public safty's sake.


Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  17:35:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
quote:
by skepticpsychic
I have to admit, I did not thoroughly read your website before I joined. I confess to laboring under the assumption that we were going to be skeptical about everything: the war, politics, religion, etc. I was surprised to find that psychics are your pet project!
This was the main statement that led me to my conclusion there could be delusional thinking going on. Nothing matching this account occurred. How were we to discuss the war, politics, etc. when skeppsy never joined in or started any thread other than this one. And there's no way one could conclude psychics are anyone's pet project here. Hardly! If anything is discussed here regularly it would be politics and religion.

But this quote..
quote:
by skepticpsychic
In truth, the Skeptic Friends Network does have all sorts of topics about the war, politics, book reviews, humor, media issues, health, religion and other areas where skeptics can hone the fine art of using scientific reasoning, critical thinking and logic to prove they are right.
..is more in line with reality.

So for now I have to withhold judgment and await further developments.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  18:22:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
quote:
How were we to discuss the war, politics, etc. when skeppsy never joined in or started any thread other than this one.

Actually, skepticpsychic did post a comment in my "When skeptics have their corn creamed" thread this morning. (Is there a "Worst Name for a Thread" award in the present Forum contest?):

http://www.skepticfriends.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5498

Thus far, there have been two replies to her message.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 01/19/2006 18:27:10
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skepticpsychic
New Member

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2006 :  06:58:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit skepticpsychic's Homepage Send skepticpsychic a Private Message
Everyone Needs a Skeptic in Their Life

Last night, while slogging down champagne and oysters waiting for my Psychic Sorority sister to arrive, I read “Free Will Astrology,” a hilarious take off that always seems surprisingly pertinent. Last night made me think fondly of my new friends at the Skeptic Friends Network:

“Aquarius: A guy I met in a bar in New York's Lower East Side discoursed at length on the psycho-spiritual meaning of The Wizard of Oz. "The Wicked Witch of the West was Dorothy's greatest teacher," he told me. "The witch's animosity compelled her to learn new tricks, master her circumstances, and ultimately find her way home." I hope that lately you have been benefiting from your own personal version of the Wicked Witch, Aquarius, and I trust that you will soon graduate from your need for the lessons he or she has provided.”

Yes! Despite being called names, receiving hate mail and hanging out with a group mind whose mission is to be right rather than find the truth, my membership in the SFN has helped me do a brutal self-examination of my own work as well as given me a bird's eye view of my own hypocrisy and inspiration to do something about it. Indeed I do feel ready to graduate from this grand SFN lesson. How can I thank you enough for that?

Hearing that Osama bin Laden promises more attacks on the US reminded me of y'all as well. My friends the SFN, out there making the world safer from psychics. Willing to hurt, maim, insult and pulverize in order to be right. Can you imagine Albert Einstein standing over a Christian and calling them a douche bag?

On the topic of retards, how retarded is it for you to think you can “win” arguments with crazy people? Not that I agree that everyone you've labeled crazy really are, but I've love reading your skeptical analysis of people you've never met as being paranoid schizophrenic. Hey, I know this brain dead woman, can you email me her diagnosis? What are you, psychic?

I also love seeing your precious scientific logic crumble into an abyss of reaction when it looks like you may not win your argument. It's a brilliant ploy to resort to emotional diversions that lead into a quagmire of subjective assumptions meant to divert attention away from your losing position. But don't feel bad, it happens to the best of us when we get sucked into believing we have the only truth and think we have to fight to be right.

This was perhaps the greatest gift I got here in this past week: looking at places in my own life I do this very thing and figuring out how to take corrective action on myself.

To that end, as much as I make myself laugh all morning long sitting here and making fun of you (I know what David Gluck meant when he said, “In fact, I can usually recognize a con a mile off and I take some pleasure in frustrating those who try me.” Watching you hang yourselves with your own hypocrisy is like shooting fish in a barrel), the honest-to-er-god truth is, I can't do it because it makes me as bad as you.

Even my Skepticpsychic website at writingup.com is coming down. As much as I preach that we all have to get along, I can clearly see how my editorializing humor is counter productive to my core beliefs.

As much fun as it is to watch you hang yourselves in your own hypocrisy, I have too much work to do making sure I don't hang myself in my own hypocrisy.

I hope you will remember me fondly as someone who came not to prove that I am psychic, or that you are wrong, but to challenge your group mind to consider that any system that does not have self-scrutiny built in stands to develop into a rigid, pointless power struggle. And in the case of bin Laden vs. Bush, it could be the end of life as we know it. If that were to happen, good thing I believe in life after death and reincarnation! Woo YOO!

You haven't proved anyone false yet. You have only proven that it's still a mystery. I propose one last “what if,” one last challenge (PennJilette be sure to

The Skeptic Psychic
www.writingup.com/blog/skepticpsychic
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Subjectmatter
Skeptic Friend

173 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2006 :  07:55:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Subjectmatter a Private Message
Hmm... I too was beginning to soften towards her a little bit after her somewhat conciliatory comments on her blog. But after this? I am no longer certain I want to. Still, it does have a definite ring fo farewell about it, so I guess further comment is fairly pointless.

However, I will this say of her little Pascal's Gambit; this is not an issue of skeptics being wrong and psychics being right. Skepticism isn't about being right, frankly it is almost irrelevant from a skeptists position whether a given assertion is true or not. Only the evidence for or against its veracity is important, and until this evidence is collated the actual veracity is, for all intents and purposes, completely uninteresting as we still cannot act upon the assumption of it being true until we are fairly certain.

Secondly, I hold the position that 'love, hope and inspiration' in themselves are not necessarily good.
quote:
It is impossible to think of anything at all in the world, or indeed even beyond it, that could be considered good without limitation except a good will. Understanding, wit, judgement and the like, whatever the talents of mind may be called ... are undoubtedly good and desireable for many purposes, but they can also be extremely evil and harmful if the will which is to make use of these gifts of nature ... is not good. It is the same with gifts of fortune... even health and that complete well-being and satisfaction with one's condition called happiness, produce boldness and thereby arrogance as well unless a good will is present which corrects the influence of these on the mind...

Immanuel Kant, (Bolding and italics his) The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: Section 1 Transition from common rational to philosophic moral cognition

A good will must strive to aquire as true an idea of reality as possible, as anything else would be deluding yourself. Consider the maxim of such an action 'Out of self-love I will delude myself as to the nature of reality'. This maxim both contains a contradiction - deluding yourself is tantamount to harming yourself and thus cannot spring from self-love - and cannot be universalised, as this would imply total absence of knowledge about reality, meaning that such a subject would not interact with reality and therefore - arguably - not formally exist as a subject.

Skepticism in its fundamental nature is no more than striving not to form false conjectures; that is to say, to be skeptical is to analyse evidence. In light of the above moral argument, I am going to go so far as to say that this is a duty. Therefore it would be unethical for me to merely accept your claim that energies connect me to John Edwards. Who is actually a good person. Really. However, if you have evidence to the contrary, then it is certainly correct for you to act in accordance with this belief. I will not do so, as the evidence that I am party to is contrary to this position.


And while I would never stoop to questioning the moral validity of another's actions, I would ask that you meditate on the issue of arrogance dearest Barbara.

[edit] And I might just take you up on your offer. I have never been 'read' by any kind of psychic before...

Sibling Atom Bomb of Couteous Debate
Edited by - Subjectmatter on 01/20/2006 07:56:44
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26016 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2006 :  10:34:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Subjectmatter

...this is not an issue of skeptics being wrong and psychics being right.
For Barbara and those like her, the issue must be precisely that. Psychic powers don't just exist for her, their existence is self-evident. And so, to even be able to entertain the question "do psychic powers exist," one must be in denial of reality, and thus just plain wrong.

So, she must frame this as an us-versus-them issue, since to do otherwise is to entertain a doubt about what she knows is true. And that's why she can't understand the difference between "you are wrong" and "show us that you are correct." She will forever believe that SFN members were more concerned about being right than learning the truth.

And it's because, just as with the creationists, the real facts are simply inconvenient for her portrayal of herself as a victim of the cold, hard, unbelieving skeptics. She knows what's "true," so anything which disputes her own private reality must be wrong.

- 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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GeeMack
SFN Regular

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2006 :  11:11:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send GeeMack a Private Message
Barbara With's obvious refusal (or inability?) to understand what it means to be skeptical, and my sympathy for that problem notwithstanding, I'm still looking for that better phrase, one that exactly means "condescending bitch", but doesn't offend people. Valiant Dancer suggested "condescending liar", and although the word "liar" seems an accurate assessment in some regards, it really only describes the singular characteristic of saying things that aren't true.

Here are several synonyms I found in the thesaurus. See anything you like? Anyone?
angry, barbed, bitchy, catty, cruel, hateful, ill-disposed, ill-natured, malevolent, malicious, malignant, mean, nasty, ornery, rancorous, snide, spiteful, venomous, vicious
Of course a few simple terms, no matter how apt, couldn't possibly describe her closed minded or vindictive attitude any better than the picture she paints of herself in her posting above. Maybe it's just as well to leave it at that.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26016 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2006 :  11:26:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by GeeMack

Of course a few simple terms, no matter how apt, couldn't possibly describe her closed minded or vindictive attitude any better than the picture she paints of herself in her posting above.
How about 'ogre'? Or, more aptly, 'ogress'? Ogres, as portrayed in fiction, tend to be vindictive and single-minded.

- 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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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2006 :  11:27:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
While not participating a whole lot in this one, I've followed it along. For some reason, the lady reminds me of Harry Potter's Madam Trelawney. Mostly my diseased imagination, of course, but she seemed to come across much the same way.

Someday, we'll get a real, down-to-brass-tacks discussion upon channeling the dead and other psyhicocisis. I hope. Maybe.

Madam Trelawney was exactly correct exactly twice.......




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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furshur
SFN Regular

USA
1536 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2006 :  11:59:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send furshur a Private Message
quote:
I'm still looking for that better phrase, one that exactly means "condescending bitch", but doesn't offend people.

I think part of the problem is that bitch is gender specific. Another problem is that the term is suppose to offend the subject, but not the innocent bystanders.
I propose "condescending BigBrain". Being called "BigBrain" is much worse than being accused of giving birth to a litter of pups and should not cause collateral damage to others reading the post.




If I knew then what I know now then I would know more now than I know.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2006 :  12:21:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
skepticpsychic wrote:
quote:
We all lie. But it's ok, I won't hold it against you.

Thank you. Indeed, we all do lie to some extent. We tell comforting little lies to assure our seriously ill friends and loved ones. Some of us lie in a formal, socially accepted context, as when we write fiction. I have even lied to a dog, making an outrageous threat that I had no real intention of carrying out, after he chewed up my best shoes.

And some people do their lying on a professional level. For instance, third-string fiction writers have been known to write bad fantasy, but call it fact and make the work the foundation of a religion. Some do their professional lying in the simplest possible form: They get people to pay them to tell emotionally comforting or wondrous lies. (Others do the same thing, but, being honestly deluded about their "powers," cannot technically be said to be lying. Yet for all practical purposes, this is also professional lying.)

On the other hand, other people, "skeptics," try as hard as humanly possible to puncture lies, and to avoid being hoodwinked by them. (Sometimes we fail in this, or briefly resort to name-calling, which is most regrettable.)

quote:
Indeed I do feel ready to graduate from this grand SFN lesson. How can I thank you enough for that?


You're most welcome. I'm glad you are feeling comfortable about graduating from the company of the rational. If you play your Tarot cards right, if you keep to the company of the gullible, while refraining from cheating them so outrageously that you draw the attention of skeptics, perhaps you'll never have a rational person darken your door again.

I think you got one thing right. On your site you wrote of the self-image of skeptics: "Skeptics are the first line of defense against pseudoscience, fraud, quackery and those who claim psychic ability." I think you "read" us correctly on that score, and indeed, skeptics would be correct to think of their societal function this way.

That's exactly what skeptics do. Please remember that. You came into a den of skeptics making supernatural claims, so of course you had those claims questioned. This episode was not a bad thing: From now on, you are very aware of skeptics, and skeptics are very aware of you.

Congratulations for graduating from the mundane rational world. What are you planning for your post-grad work?

Edited by - HalfMooner on 01/20/2006 13:01:19
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