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danydandan

Skepticism!

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XenoFish

Don't tell me ghost are real and expect me to blindly believe it. All because someone said so. I don't give a **** if anyone believes I've actually done what I say I've done. But I can say one thing, unless actual factual and repeatable results are show, ghost, angels, gods, demons, and psychic abilities do not exist. 

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XenoFish

Like I mention before. There is a point where "maybe" becomes "no". 

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Dejarma
4 minutes ago, ouija ouija said:

Humans like to think they are the ones who establish truths, which is laughable because all we really do is have a snapshot of partial knowledge at any given moment in time.

that has nothing to do with the question i asked!!!

 

5 minutes ago, ouija ouija said:

Just to give you the benefit of the doubt, I'm going to assume that you are very young and immature and that is the reason you are repeatedly rude to people. Doesn't excuse your rudeness though.

when one speaks one's mind using one's own reasoning & honesty, then folk like your good self will always class it as rudeness... what do you class as being rude? point out where i've been rude?

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Jodie.Lynne
2 hours ago, papageorge1 said:

The 'lack of good evidence' is a judgment term and one I disagree with. To me the cumulative weight of the quantity, quality, consistency of anecdotal, experimental and investigative evidence eventually overwhelms in favor of a belief in the paranormal. But that is just my judgment.

.

How many zeros do you have to add together to equal one?

My comment is specifically aimed at this: "cumulative weight of the quantity, quality, consistency of anecdotal, ", but also comprises the experimental & investigative portions as well. If these were all conclusive, then the paranormal would be accepted by mainstream science and would no longer be considered para- or super- natural, but a part of the natural order, wouldn't it? But the concepts of the para/supernormal aren't accepted by the mainstream. Why do you think that is?

Just imagine if, for instance, ghosts were proven to actually exist. It would be proof positive that there is some sort of afterlife for one thing, and, being proven, how many researchers would be at work trying to figure out how to use ghosts to access the past? From a historians perspective, it would be a potential goldmine!

Or do you prescribe to the notion of some vast 'scientific conspiracy' to squash knowledge?

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Dejarma
7 hours ago, ouija ouija said:

There's no need to be alarmed when phenomena appear 'magical' to us ..... science hasn't got all the answers yet! :D

science can only work with facts.. or do you not understand that!? or do you feel this question is being rude?

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XenoFish
12 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

How many zeros do you have to add together to equal one?

My comment is specifically aimed at this: "cumulative weight of the quantity, quality, consistency of anecdotal, ", but also comprises the experimental & investigative portions as well. If these were all conclusive, then the paranormal would be accepted by mainstream science and would no longer be considered para- or super- natural, but a part of the natural order, wouldn't it? But the concepts of the para/supernormal aren't accepted by the mainstream. Why do you think that is?

Just imagine if, for instance, ghosts were proven to actually exist. It would be proof positive that there is some sort of afterlife for one thing, and, being proven, how many researchers would be at work trying to figure out how to use ghosts to access the past? From a historians perspective, it would be a potential goldmine!

Or do you prescribe to the notion of some vast 'scientific conspiracy' to squash knowledge?

The same thing can be applied to psychic abilities. A whole new branch of physics, neuroscience, and biology would be developed. Yet all we're given are poor done studies. 

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Podo
43 minutes ago, Will Due said:

Skepticism has its place. But it stifles progress when it lacks enough imagination to go out looking for more evidence. 

Albert Einstein was skeptical of Isaac Newton. But that did not stop him from going in search of the facts that weren't known yet about light and gravity.

Skepticism leads to innovation, exactly how you present above. You're trying SO HARD to make skepticism into some negative force. It's kind of sad, really. You're grasping at so many straws, there will soon be an international straw shortage.

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Daughter of the Nine Moons

Moderator note to all participants in this thread.

This is a recurring subject that always without a doubt gets locked down because a fair number of members are seemingly unable to carry on a discussion without losing all sense of appropriate behaviour.

You all have been members long enough to know what is acceptable. If you find yourself unable to participate like an adult walk away from the thread. No further warning will be issued.

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Arbenol

I prefer this definition of sceptic:

Quote
Skeptic does not mean he who doubts, but he who investigates or researches as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found. [Miguel de Unamuno, "Essays and Soliloquies," 1924]

 

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Dejarma
33 minutes ago, Podo said:

Skepticism leads to innovation, exactly how you present above. You're trying SO HARD to make skepticism into some negative force. It's kind of sad, really. You're grasping at so many straws, there will soon be an international straw shortage.

yes i agree-- good words, Podo

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papageorge1
48 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

How many zeros do you have to add together to equal one?

 

They will never get to one. However, I don't think each experience suggesting the paranormal is a zero though.

49 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

 

My comment is specifically aimed at this: "cumulative weight of the quantity, quality, consistency of anecdotal, ", but also comprises the experimental & investigative portions as well. If these were all conclusive, then the paranormal would be accepted by mainstream science and would no longer be considered para- or super- natural, but a part of the natural order, wouldn't it? But the concepts of the para/supernormal aren't accepted by the mainstream. Why do you think that is?

 

There are people in the mainstream with the full range of positions on these subjects.

52 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

 

Just imagine if, for instance, ghosts were proven to actually exist. It would be proof positive that there is some sort of afterlife for one thing, and, being proven, how many researchers would be at work trying to figure out how to use ghosts to access the past? From a historians perspective, it would be a potential goldmine!

Well, if the historians could figure out a way to get the detailed information from these ghosts, then great, right?

 

54 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

Or do you prescribe to the notion of some vast 'scientific conspiracy' to squash knowledge?

No, I think there are many different opinions out there. Nobody speaks for everybody.

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Dejarma
21 minutes ago, Arbenol said:

I prefer this definition of sceptic:

 

i wouldn't call it a definition- i'd call it a job done fact;)

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Mr Walker
13 hours ago, danydandan said:

I did a thread search and was hoping to find a thread dedicated to defining who Skeptics are and what they do or why they think a certain way. But there was none, so in this thread I'll try and define what it means to me to be skeptical, and so we as a community can discuss what it means to be Skeptics. In doing so hopefully we can shed some light on our mental processes, hopefully individuals who don't consider themselves skeptical can gain insight too. 

So let's begin shall we:

What am I even talking about when I say the word skeptical or skepticism or skeptic? Unfortunately the term has been hijacked, in a way to mean a negative world view. This is far from the truth however, the skeptical view I'm going to describe in a bit isn't negative. Skeptics are often seen as being in a state of permanent doubt or bring cynical about everything or being contrarians. 

If I can define my understanding of being a skeptic more specifically. I'd say I'm a scientific skeptic, this term was coined by Carl Sagan. It means us scientific skeptics rigorously apply the scientific method and logic to reach our conclusions or beliefs. Often this means our conclusions are preferably more valid and not convenient nor comfortable. We only accept claims proportionately, in accordance to the claims support both from valid logic and a fair assessment of all evidence available. So our method for reaching our conclusions is often far more important than the actual conclusions themselves. 

Kinda branching out from the above I think us scientific skeptics value reality and truth far more than 'belivers'. We endeavor to be as reality based as possible, this means we subject claims to a rigorous well-founded method of evaluation. We promote science because it's the only valid method of evaluating reality, we promote freedom from ideological perspectives because these perspectives encourage biased opinions and we promte logic and above all else critical thinking.

The word skeptical is not scary nor depressing nor cynical nor contrary. It's just a logical and scientific based approach to evaluating certain claims made. 

Edit: Perhaps I should have asked. What does skepticism mean to you? Would you define yourself as a skeptical minded individual?

 A balanced view

However skepticism can't really be applied to science or knowledge.

it is more the domain of belief IE one cannot be sceptical or non sceptical  when faced with scientific facts or realities.

In science one observes, forms an hypothesis and tests it .

One can have an opinion on the likelihood of the hypothesis being  proven true or false,but rather  than scepticism that is more a matter of personal optimism or pessimism

Truth can only be determined objectively around objective matters.

It cannot be determined where not enough evidence exists to establish It.

That then becomes the domain of beliefs.

I value truth very highly. Perhaps too much so, to be tactful or diplomatic.

  But some things cannot be known, nor can their truths be known, except as personal knowledge and truths.

I suspend both active belief and active disbelief, outside of that which I know.

  I am not sceptical but i am not naive either.

eg if someone asked me for money and said it was for a certain good purpose I would not lend/give the money based on whether i believed that was the truth. I would lend it depending on other factors such as whether i could afford, it needed it for myself,  or knew the person needed it even if not for the stated purpose

That form of scepticism requires a  subjective  judgement,  which i am not qualified to make, and thus should withhold.    

      

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Jodie.Lynne
4 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

it is more the domain of belief IE one cannot be sceptical or non sceptical  when faced with scientific facts or realities.

Oh, really? Tell that to the young or flat earthers.

Explain that, please, to all those who accept fantastical claims in defiance of scientific fact. You would be doing the species a huge favor if you could convince those folk to accept rational and logical though processes. :)

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Mr Walker
6 hours ago, danydandan said:

Maybe I should have been more specific. Apologises that's my fault I was looking for the actual method.

As for example, if I told you all our memories are effectively useless and are malleable. We really should not trust our own memory. What would you do to conclude the feasibility of my statement?

Personally i would say that is a subjective and debatable  opinion.

The human mind and brain is CAPABLE of almost  perfect recall, even down to remembering every event of every day in your life, or every name and number in a city phone book.

  We Know this because a few humans achieve it, and other feats of memory.

So the real question becomes;  why do so many humans have unreliable or poor memory, when their minds are capable of much more?

It is not a matter of function, but of practice IE one can be taught to have a far better memory and accurate  observation  almost to the point of perfect recall.

In judging your comment, a person would have to, in large part, rely on their own abilities and memory capability to check it's validity.

  Then one can research more general facts about human mind cognition, and memory function. 

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Mr Walker
4 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

Oh, really? Tell that to the young or flat earthers.

Explain that, please, to all those who accept fantastical claims in defiance of scientific fact. You would be doing the species a huge favor if you could convince those folk to accept rational and logical though processes. :)

That is only because, for such people, that  is a matter of belief, not scientific fact 

My wife is a young earth creationist. She bases this on belief and simply believes the science is either wrong or based on deliberately constructed false evidences  .

Her scepticism is thus a part of her belief

What are, to you, or I scientific facts are, to her, scientific errors caused by the scientist's innate prejudices against the existence of a creator god. Ie to her if a scientist believed, then  his/her conclusions would be different. 

She loves David Attenborough and his  various series, but feels so sorry for the poor man, because he sees through the eyes of an evolutionist and not a creationist :)  

SO, such sceptics are NOT faced with scientific facts, because they do not accept the validity of the science or the facts.

BUT, when faced with science and facts, scepticism is not really viable. It can only exist where there is some room for doubt.  

Eg you can be sceptical that there is life on mars, but not that there is life on earth 

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Jon the frog

Skepticism = Common sense

Believing without questions and proofs = fanaticism...

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Mr Walker
3 hours ago, Dejarma said:

no, you said there are things that are true= like what? give me an example of something that is true that can't be established to be true via testing and evidence?

I like Pizza with olives and anchovies 

It is true. It is a fact, but you will just have to believe me because there is no way to test it 

Since i met my wife I have never  loved another woman 

True.  A fact, but totally unverifiable. 

I have tried to watch "The Sound of Music" 3 times, and each time walked out, because i hate musicals so much. 

A fact. Absolutely true, but you have no hope at all of establishing  it,  via evidences and testing  

i have watched "The Princess Bride",  42 times

Actually i haven't got a clue of the precise number  but its more than 30 times.

The point is, you cant prove that statement true or false, yet it is one or the other. 

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Jodie.Lynne
2 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

That is only because, for such people, that  is a matter of belief, not scientific fact 

My wife is a young earth creationist. She bases this on belief and simply believes the science is either wrong or based on deliberately constructed false evidences  .

Her scepticism is thus a part of her belief

What are, to you, or I scientific facts are, to her, scientific errors caused by the scientist's innate prejudices against the existence of a creator god. Ie to her if a scientist believed, then  his/her conclusions would be different. 

She loves David Attenborough and his  various series, but feels so sorry for the poor man, because he sees through the eyes of an evolutionist and not a creationist :)  

SO, such sceptics are NOT faced with scientific facts, because they do not accept the validity of the science or the facts.

BUT, when faced with science and facts, scepticism is not really viable. It can only exist where there is some room for doubt.  

Eg you can be sceptical that there is life on mars, but not that there is life on earth 

Then your wife is neither rational, nor logical. And your relating this is in direct conflict with this: 

 

26 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

it is more the domain of belief IE one cannot be sceptical or non sceptical  when faced with scientific facts or realities.

Your wife has been presented with facts, and disregards said facts in favor of fantastical and magical beliefs. She is, in my opinion, not skeptical of science, she outright rejects it because it conflicts with her "beliefs".

I am not trying to belittle you or your wife, this is NOT an attack, but you have demonstrated the fundamental difference between rational skepticism and willful ignorance.

I could believe that I can fly, in opposition to gravity, but the Sudden Impact Trauma (otherwise known as SPLAT!) would showcase the reality.

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Jodie.Lynne
6 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

I like Pizza with olives and anchovies 

It is true. It is a fact, but you will just have to believe me because there is no way to test it 

Since i met my wife I have never  loved another woman 

True.  A fact, but totally unverifiable. 

Testable: place an olive & anchovy pizza in front of you; if you eat it, you therefore like it.

Testable: Do you (or did you if she has passed) love your Mother? Sisters? Nieces and or cousins?

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Mr Walker
4 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

Then your wife is neither rational, nor logical. And your relating this is in direct conflict with this: 

 

Your wife has been presented with facts, and disregards said facts in favor of fantastical and magical beliefs. She is, in my opinion, not skeptical of science, she outright rejects it because it conflicts with her "beliefs".

I am not trying to belittle you or your wife, this is NOT an attack, but you have demonstrated the fundamental difference between rational skepticism and willful ignorance.

I could believe that I can fly, in opposition to gravity, but the Sudden Impact Trauma (otherwise known as SPLAT!) would showcase the reality.

I didn't think you would get this.

You accept those facts, based on faith and belief in their validity and sources She does not.

She has a higher order belief which overrides the possibility of those facts being true  Thus it is not a mater of  accepting facts but abut what you accept as  true facts.

I would love to see you try to prove to her that evolution is scientific fact  Many have tried.

To me its not important because it doesn't impact on who she is or her character, which are the important things And i respect all beliefs which do no harm. 

There are many highly educated scientists and other professionals who are creationists. They  simply displace belief in evolution with belief in creation because the y need to do so to have a safe comfortable world view which contextualises everything else they hold dear. 

There is no practical test of faith/ belief, because it all exists within a mind

In a sense, if one believes one is flying, then one is.One does not splat, because that  is not part of the belief.

    

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Dejarma
18 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

I like Pizza with olives and anchovies 

It is true. It is a fact, but you will just have to believe me because there is no way to test it 

Since i met my wife I have never  loved another woman 

True.  A fact, but totally unverifiable. 

I have tried to watch "The Sound of Music" 3 times, and each time walked out, because i hate musicals so much. 

A fact. Absolutely true, but you have no hope at all of establishing  it,  via evidences and testing  

i have watched "The Princess Bride",  42 times

Actually i haven't got a clue of the precise number  but its more than 30 times.

The point is, you cant prove that statement true or false, yet it is one or the other. 

you've just proved to me that you've no idea of the true meaning of the word: 'FACT'

nothing new to me- i'm used to it in places like this! but no worries, who cares

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Mr Walker
9 minutes ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

Testable: place an olive & anchovy pizza in front of you; if you eat it, you therefore like it.

Testable: Do you (or did you if she has passed) love your Mother? Sisters? Nieces and or cousins?

Nup The question was,  " Do i like them"  Not, "Would i eat them."

I eat all sorts of things i don't like, for all sorts of reasons.

Even a biochemical test would not determine if i liked them, because like is an intellectual construct of the mind, not a biological response.

One day with enough science we may be able to test this question but a t present it is  one answer to the question posed about truths which can be known, but not tested.

  

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Tatetopa
13 hours ago, danydandan said:

We endeavor to be as reality based as possible, this means we subject claims to a rigorous well-founded method of evaluation. We promote science because it's the only valid method of evaluating reality, we promote freedom from ideological perspectives because these perspectives encourage biased opinions and we promte logic and above all else critical thinking.

This is a great statement in my opinion.  I endeavor to be reality based even when the alternatives are more attractive.   It would be an exciting, maybe terrifying world if we shared it with Lord of the Rings characters, Bigfoot, Harry Potter, telekinesis , ghosts, and the Loch Ness monster. But I am stuck with science when I evaluate these possibilities.  I would love to find that one grain of truth in any of those claims, but I have no interest in promoting false assertions and no reason to give up looking at the world with a skeptical eye..

Personally, I think I am a very positive skeptic. 

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Mr Walker
11 minutes ago, Dejarma said:

you've just proved to me that you've no idea of the true meaning of the word: 'FACT'

nothing new to me- i'm used to it in places like this! but no worries, who cares

A fact is a  statement which can be/is capable of being  proven true or false.

Or if you prefer, it is something capable of being proven true.  

The problem lies in what you consider proof, and the difference between personal truth and transferable truth.

It IS the truth (and a fact) that i like pizzas with anchovies and olives.  I've been known to eat a 24 inch one by myself  The proof of this  "like"  exists in my mind and is based on the intellectual and gastronomic pleasures i gain from the scent taste texture etc of the food 

If you are arguing that no facts exist and no truths exist unless there is transferable evidence, then it is YOU who does  not understand the nature of truth or fact Look at the other examples i gave.

Are you saying that no facts or truths exist,  that only exist in a human mind? ie it is not a fact or a truth to know you like or dislike a person, if  you can prove it to yourself but not to anyone else? 

 

If  you  wouldn't mind could you run through the examples i gave and explain which ones you do not consider to be facts and why? 

Edited by Mr Walker

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