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T. Stokes

Deunking the skeptics ?

August 27, 2006 | Comment icon 4 comments


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Most people are a little sceptical about things they have not studied. Even believers in paranormal subjects can be sceptical, of those extremists who are trapped in closed minded scepticism.I see myself as a sceptical believer, maybe even an extreme moderate!A friend who is also an expert on these things and a Rabbi, said:“when a man believes in nothing, he can believe in anything.” It is only by direct contact we develop the confidence to obtain the knowledge which lifts us out from this ignorance.But remember there is a fundamental difference between genuine healthy scepticism, and the entrenched denialism of cranks like James Randi who refuse to listen or be open minded on any aspect, and twist data to prove their point. Some years ago a man would heckle me at all my paranormal talks, after one meeting I asked him if he himself had ever seen a ghost,he smirkingly replied that he had not,I then said; ”how can you not believe in ghosts, If you have never even seen one “ ? Surely you should suspend judgement.
Herbert Mankusa described these material people as;“one dimensional beings, people expressing their identities and feelings only through the acquisition of mass produced objects”It is this shallowness of view that underpins scepticism, For scepticism is allied to atheism, materialism and communism.The sceptical apostle of pessimism Schopenhauer said;“to sleep is good, to die is better, but to never be born at all that is the answer “ in other words, life had no deep purpose or meaning.The biggest cause of depression is this belief that our lives have no meaning.One major problem is that of psychology, where experts tell us that an obsessive interest with anything is a sign of psychosis, and scepticism is an obsessive belief system and a religion to many people, alcoholics and foodies, clothes fanatics, football obsessives and religious followers, we are all told are mentally ill.The big question is where do we draw the line between belief and non-belief, ?Some believe too easily and some not at all, there seems to be a sliding rule here,Where many people who claim to be sceptical on paranormal subjects, alternative medicine and U.F.O’s find they CAN believe that Jesus was born in a stable to a virgin, there are 3 people in one God, but that he was also a man, who could do miracles, yet he ended up on the cross, and it was all for us, and a priest can change a piece of bread and wine into the body and blood of this God which we then disgustingly, must eat.

The old testament is even more extreme.Another belief is that this God wants children to be sexually mutilated, in the circumcision rites, if God did not want the end on little boys willies he would not have put it there, female circumcision is just barbarism.Yet God is a kind just God to some, and a vengeful jealous God to others.So we need to be continually aware and respect the beliefs of others.Let me end on the words of Epictetus.“remember that you are an actor in a drama of such a part that it may please the master to assign you for you a long time or as little as he may choose, and if he wills you to take the part of a poor man or a cripple or a ruler or private citizen, then may you act that part with grace, for to act well the part that is allotted to us, that indeed is ours to do, but to choose is another’s”So even if the part to be played is that of believer or sceptic, we must respect our neighbour, even if we do not agree with their views.

Comments (4)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Ykaedhi Aewee 16 years ago
- For scepticism is allied to atheism, materialism and communism. -One major problem is that of psychology, where experts tell us that an obsessive interest with anything is a sign of psychosis, and scepticism is an obsessive belief system and a religion to many people. -”So even if the part to be played is that of believer or sceptic, we must respect our neighbour, even if we do not agree with their views. Irony behold. If you're a healthy sceptic, you're also a materialist, a communist and atheist. Im glad that someone told me cuz i sure wasnt aware. Oh i'm also a psychotic. How respectful o... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by Startraveler 16 years ago
Since I'm fond of quoting Feynman: Some years ago I had a conversation with a layman about flying saucers — because I am scientific I know all about flying saucers! I said "I don't think there are flying saucers'. So my antagonist said, "Is it impossible that there are flying saucers? Can you prove that it's impossible?" "No", I said, "I can't prove it's impossible. It's just very unlikely". At that he said, "You are very unscientific. If you can't prove it impossible then how can you say that it's unlikely?" But that is the way that is scientific. It is scientific only to say what is more lik... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by HowdyDoo 16 years ago
What the heck is "deunking?". Groan. You lose credibility if you can't spell "scepticism" correctly. (Skepticism) Putting grammar and spelling errors aside; although I agree to a certain extent that fanatical skepticism is as much a danger as fanatical belief, this article makes a poor argument for skeptical believers. Broad generalizations are the sign of illogical thinking. (i.e. "Herbert Mankusa described these material people as;“one dimensional beings, people expressing their identities and feelings only through the acquisition of mass produced objects”It is this shallowness of view that ... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 16 years ago
You lose credibility if you can't spell "scepticism" correctly. (Skepticism) You lose even more credibility for not knowing that skepticism is the American spelling but the correct British spelling is scepticism. If you are going to try and score petty points you need to make sure of your facts.


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