Hey skeptics...

If it's not covered by one of those other categories, you should probably talk about it here. Be nice.

Hey skeptics...

Postby Hardcoregirl » Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:37 pm

You know how its awesome to be around others that question what the majority so easily believe? Like religion, feng shui, alternative medicine, homeopathy etc?

I'm thinking about getting involved more in this group. I went to some of their meetings when I was about 16, and was a charter member of the UT campus rationalists....

http://www.rationalists.org/index.php

Yay skepticism!
"Oh no. Please don't antagonize hardcoregirl. We'll all regret it." -DarkVader
User avatar
Hardcoregirl
Moderator
 
Posts: 2761
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:04 pm
Location: land of rape and honey

Postby Bigun » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:38 am

It's a little too easy to be a skeptic IMHO. Fairly easy to find doubt in almost anything.
User avatar
Bigun
 
Posts: 404
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:41 am
Location: Cleveland, TN

Postby Hardcoregirl » Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:02 am

Bigun wrote:It's a little too easy to be a skeptic IMHO. Fairly easy to find doubt in almost anything.


Really, I think believing in everything is too easy, being that the vast majority of the population does, though they have no proof of the things they believe in.
"Oh no. Please don't antagonize hardcoregirl. We'll all regret it." -DarkVader
User avatar
Hardcoregirl
Moderator
 
Posts: 2761
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:04 pm
Location: land of rape and honey

Postby vertigo25 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:25 am

Dude! Fen Shui is totally real and stuff! I mean... the *Chinese* thought it up... or um... maybe it was the Japanese. Either way... they're both, like, totally cool cultures and shit. Way cooler than us. So it's totally for real. Maybe it's not because of anything spiritual. You know... maybe it's because of, like, magnetic fields or something... all I know is that I'm happier and smarter now that I've put my couch in the corener, and my TV in the bathroom!

But seriously...

That's awesome, Morgan. More power to you. I've tried participating in some skeptic groups online, and it always ends up with some religious or "spiritual" person coming in and shaking shit up. I've asked why they do it. I kind of think of it like if I were to go in to a church and start asking people why they believe in a God who obviously doesn't exist. For some reason, however, they seem to think that I'm just not prepared to "defend" my position. To which I answer: I don't need to.

At any rate...

I'm sure real-world meetings would be a much healthier way to go about it. You'd probably have a lot less people saying things like, "Doodz. I no. Xianz are teh stoopidz."

:)

Yeah... as for Bigun's statement. I really think that anyone who thinks it's easy to be a skeptic, doesn't really understand formal skepticism or rationalism.

And oh... BTW... did you see Dawkins on Colbert last week? Classic!
The firemen came and broke through the chimney top. And me and Mom were expecting them to pull out a dead cat or a bird. And instead they pulled out my father. He was dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He'd been climbing down the chimney... his arms loaded with presents. He was gonna surprise us. He slipped and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus.
User avatar
vertigo25
 
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:18 pm
Location: an open field west of a big white house with a boarded front door.

Postby Francesca » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:00 am

For the sake of clarity, you both are correct.

Believing and doubting are just opinions. It's easy to have an opinion.

Some people put more time in deciding their opinion and some just decide to believe or doubt and don't put much or any time into it.

And those that don't put much time into it may not feel they are being lazy. It may be that the resources and circumstances in their lives have contributed to them determining that their efforts and energies are better spent thinking about and doing other things.

Remember Maslow's hierarchy of needs:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s ... y_of_needs


Francesca
User avatar
Francesca
 
Posts: 301
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:32 am
Location: Knoxville/Chattanooga

Postby vertigo25 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:01 am

The firemen came and broke through the chimney top. And me and Mom were expecting them to pull out a dead cat or a bird. And instead they pulled out my father. He was dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He'd been climbing down the chimney... his arms loaded with presents. He was gonna surprise us. He slipped and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus.
User avatar
vertigo25
 
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:18 pm
Location: an open field west of a big white house with a boarded front door.

Postby vertigo25 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:04 am

Francesca wrote:Believing and doubting are just opinions.


Doubting... *maybe*, but Skepticism and Rationalism are not just "opinions." That's like saying that different sciences "are just theories."
The firemen came and broke through the chimney top. And me and Mom were expecting them to pull out a dead cat or a bird. And instead they pulled out my father. He was dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He'd been climbing down the chimney... his arms loaded with presents. He was gonna surprise us. He slipped and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus.
User avatar
vertigo25
 
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:18 pm
Location: an open field west of a big white house with a boarded front door.

Postby Francesca » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:42 am

vertigo25 wrote:
Francesca wrote:Believing and doubting are just opinions.


Doubting... *maybe*, but Skepticism and Rationalism are not just "opinions." That's like saying that different sciences "are just theories."



For further clarity:

Doubt is to feel uncertainty about the truth or factuality of something.
Belief is to feel convinced about the truth or factuality of something.

If one believes or doubts it is an opinion as to veracity lack theof that they make. And opinion may or may not be backed by proof.

I think Bigun was saying it is easy to be a skeptic/to be skeptical. And you are saying that it is difficult to practice Philosiphicial skepticism. The formal practice of skepticism may mean one thing but being a skeptic is like calling all tissues kleenex or all copiers xerox.

Skeptic: someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs

Philosophical skepticism - a philosophical position in which people choose to critically examine whether the knowledge and perceptions that they have are actually true, and whether or not one can ever be said to have absolutely true knowledge.

Francesca
User avatar
Francesca
 
Posts: 301
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:32 am
Location: Knoxville/Chattanooga

Postby footprintzinthesand » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:47 am

vertigo25 wrote:
That's like saying that different sciences "are just theories."


I thought they were.....shows how much I know....
footprintzinthesand
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:08 pm

Postby vertigo25 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:14 am

humanponygirl213 wrote:
vertigo25 wrote:
That's like saying that different sciences "are just theories."


I thought they were.....shows how much I know....


Yes it does.
The firemen came and broke through the chimney top. And me and Mom were expecting them to pull out a dead cat or a bird. And instead they pulled out my father. He was dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He'd been climbing down the chimney... his arms loaded with presents. He was gonna surprise us. He slipped and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus.
User avatar
vertigo25
 
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:18 pm
Location: an open field west of a big white house with a boarded front door.

Postby Hardcoregirl » Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:25 am

vertigo25 wrote:And oh... BTW... did you see Dawkins on Colbert last week? Classic!


Yes, I saw the rerun last night actually! And then I watched a few episodes of Penn and Tellers Bullshit. And I was so happy.
"Oh no. Please don't antagonize hardcoregirl. We'll all regret it." -DarkVader
User avatar
Hardcoregirl
Moderator
 
Posts: 2761
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:04 pm
Location: land of rape and honey

Postby vertigo25 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:45 am

Francesca wrote:
vertigo25 wrote:
Francesca wrote:Believing and doubting are just opinions.


Doubting... *maybe*, but Skepticism and Rationalism are not just "opinions." That's like saying that different sciences "are just theories."



For further clarity:

Doubt is to feel uncertainty about the truth or factuality of something.
Belief is to feel convinced about the truth or factuality of something.

If one believes or doubts it is an opinion as to veracity lack theof that they make. And opinion may or may not be backed by proof.

I think Bigun was saying it is easy to be a skeptic/to be skeptical. And you are saying that it is difficult to practice Philosiphicial skepticism. The formal practice of skepticism may mean one thing but being a skeptic is like calling all tissues kleenex or all copiers xerox.

Skeptic: someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs

Philosophical skepticism - a philosophical position in which people choose to critically examine whether the knowledge and perceptions that they have are actually true, and whether or not one can ever be said to have absolutely true knowledge.

Francesca


This is really a matter of semantics.

You're assuming that Bigun meant skeptic as opposed to someone who practices philosophical skepticism. I think that's a bad assumption since the original post was obviously not talking about being a "skeptic" or "doubting Thomas," but rather about formal skepticism (and to a greater regard, rationalism).

Your definitions are dead on, to be sure. And it's exactly the critical mind of a Skeptic (big 'S' for clarity) that removes skepticism from the realm of "opinion."

Now... it *could* be said that the belief that practicing some form skepticism is superior to supernaturalism is an "opinion." Given that you would have to have a universal agreement as to what factors are considered (quality of life, happiness, financial gain, whatever...) in order to measure how "superior" any personal philosophy could be. But philosophical skepticism, empiricism, rationalism, etc., themselves, are not "opinion," and by there very nature the conclusions draw from them can not be either.

So, I guess in a certain way, your statement, "your both correct" is true. That is, whether it's "easier" or not is, at this stage, an opinion. Now... If we were to actually dissect those opinions, lay out the terms of what constitutes "easy" and "hard," then we could turn the opinions into facts. If they were facts, then only one of the "opinions" could be correct (or both could be incorrect).

This is why the "they're just opinions" argument (in anything... politics, religion, so on) never works for me. If the opinion is stated without evidence, then it's an assertion (and as a skeptic (and mostly an empiricist) I feel that means it should then be tested, verified, or thrown out). If it's stated after testing, then it's a conclusion.
Last edited by vertigo25 on Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
The firemen came and broke through the chimney top. And me and Mom were expecting them to pull out a dead cat or a bird. And instead they pulled out my father. He was dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He'd been climbing down the chimney... his arms loaded with presents. He was gonna surprise us. He slipped and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus.
User avatar
vertigo25
 
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:18 pm
Location: an open field west of a big white house with a boarded front door.

Postby footprintzinthesand » Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:46 am

vertigo25 wrote:
humanponygirl213 wrote:
vertigo25 wrote:
That's like saying that different sciences "are just theories."


I thought they were.....shows how much I know....


Yes it does.



theory

noun: a belief that can guide behavior (Example: "The architect has a theory that more is less")

noun: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena (Example: "True in fact and theory")

noun: a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena (Example: "A scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory")

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In science, a theory is a proposed description, explanation, or model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise falsified through empirical observation. It follows from this that for scientists "theory" and "fact" do not necessarily stand in opposition. For example, it is a fact that an apple dropped on earth has been observed to fall towards the center of the planet, and the theory which explains why the apple behaves so is the current theory of gravitation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Scientists use models to refer to a description of something, specifically one which can be used to make predictions that can be tested by experiment or observation. A hypothesis is a contention that has been neither well supported nor yet ruled out by experiment. A theory, in the context of science, is a logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a certain natural phenomenon. A theory typically describes the behavior of much broader sets of phenomena than a hypothesis — commonly, a large number of hypotheses may be logically bound together by a single theory. A physical law or law of nature is a scientific generalization based on a sufficiently large number of empirical observations that it is taken as fully verified.

Scientific method seeks to explain the complexities of nature in a common, known, and replicatable way, and to use these explanations to make useful predictions. The scientific method provides an objective process to find solutions to problems in a number of scientific and technological fields. Often scientists have a preference for one outcome over another, and it is important that this preference does not bias their interpretation. The scientific method attempts to minimize the influence of a scientist's bias on the outcome of an experiment. This can be achieved by correct experimental design, and thorough peer review of experimental design as well as conclusions of a study.

Scientists never claim absolute knowledge. Unlike a mathematical proof, a proven scientific theory is always open to falsification, if new evidence is presented. Even the most basic and fundamental theories may turn out to be imperfect if new observations are inconsistent with them. Critical to this process is making every relevant aspect of research publicly available, which permits peer review of published results, and also allows ongoing review and repeating of experiments and observations by multiple researchers operating independently of one another. Only by fulfilling these expectations can it be determined how reliable the experimental results are for potential use by others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hmm, maybe I am wrong... maybe different sciences are just different types of hypotheses and theories......
footprintzinthesand
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:08 pm

Postby vertigo25 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:50 am

HPG: Note my clever use of quotation marks. It was intended to be a reference to the Creationist stance on evolutionary science.

It's very well know that when scientists use the word "theory" t far different than how it typically used.
The firemen came and broke through the chimney top. And me and Mom were expecting them to pull out a dead cat or a bird. And instead they pulled out my father. He was dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He'd been climbing down the chimney... his arms loaded with presents. He was gonna surprise us. He slipped and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus.
User avatar
vertigo25
 
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:18 pm
Location: an open field west of a big white house with a boarded front door.

Postby footprintzinthesand » Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:11 pm

vertigo25 wrote:HPG: Note my clever use of quotation marks. It was intended to be a reference to the Creationist stance on evolutionary science.

It's very well know that when scientists use the word "theory" t far different than how it typically used.


I knew nothing of that. Wow, learn something new everyday...

Could you please explain how the word "theory" is used amongst scientists, if it's not the typical version defined in reference material that is supposedly used in science? I seriously doubt that the "special 'formal' scientist definition" is THAT widely known. The times that i've heard people speak of theories, I haven't heard anyone say, "This is a different kind of theory, this is the special scientist kind, it's different than the regular kind of scientific theories..."
footprintzinthesand
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:08 pm

Postby Hardcoregirl » Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:54 pm

1. a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity.
2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.
3. Mathematics. a body of principles, theorems, or the like, belonging to one subject: number theory.
4. the branch of a science or art that deals with its principles or methods, as distinguished from its practice: music theory.
5. a particular conception or view of something to be done or of the method of doing it; a system of rules or principles.
6. contemplation or speculation.
7. guess or conjecture.

the·o·ry (th-r, thîr) Pronunciation Key
n. pl. the·o·ries
A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.
The branch of a science or art consisting of its explanatory statements, accepted principles, and methods of analysis, as opposed to practice: a fine musician who had never studied theory.
A set of theorems that constitute a systematic view of a branch of mathematics.
Abstract reasoning; speculation: a decision based on experience rather than theory.
A belief or principle that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment: staked out the house on the theory that criminals usually return to the scene of the crime.
An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture



And you can read the rest at dictionary dot com.

Basically, my theory that creationists are inbred, isn't the same as evolutionary theory, cell theory, germ theory, the theory of gravity, the theory of relativity, etc.

Creationists like to think that evolution is under dispute amongst scientists, but its not...its very well accepted by just about anyone that has half a brain cell or has studied any basics of biology or primate evolution. Sure, just like you can find black people who side with the confederate army, you'll find a religious pHD here and there that is a creationist (and they prolly wrote a book), but they are few and far between.

No one seems to care that gravity is a theory...but if you say the theory of evolution it sounds like a bunch of guys were sitting around at dinner and where like "oh gee, I got it! Evolution by means of natural selection! Sure thats it! Screw the bible!" but its not the case.
"Oh no. Please don't antagonize hardcoregirl. We'll all regret it." -DarkVader
User avatar
Hardcoregirl
Moderator
 
Posts: 2761
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:04 pm
Location: land of rape and honey

Postby Bigun » Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:59 pm

My head hurts...
User avatar
Bigun
 
Posts: 404
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:41 am
Location: Cleveland, TN

Postby footprintzinthesand » Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:08 pm

...
Last edited by footprintzinthesand on Sun Feb 18, 2007 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
footprintzinthesand
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:08 pm

Postby Hardcoregirl » Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:26 pm

humanponygirl213 wrote:
Hardcoregirl wrote:
1. a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity.
2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.
3. Mathematics. a body of principles, theorems, or the like, belonging to one subject: number theory.
4. the branch of a science or art that deals with its principles or methods, as distinguished from its practice: music theory.
5. a particular conception or view of something to be done or of the method of doing it; a system of rules or principles.
6. contemplation or speculation.
7. guess or conjecture.

the·o·ry (th-r, thîr) Pronunciation Key
n. pl. the·o·ries
A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.
The branch of a science or art consisting of its explanatory statements, accepted principles, and methods of analysis, as opposed to practice: a fine musician who had never studied theory.
A set of theorems that constitute a systematic view of a branch of mathematics.
Abstract reasoning; speculation: a decision based on experience rather than theory.
A belief or principle that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment: staked out the house on the theory that criminals usually return to the scene of the crime.
An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture



And you can read the rest at dictionary dot com.

Basically, my theory that creationists are inbred, isn't the same as evolutionary theory, cell theory, germ theory, the theory of gravity, the theory of relativity, etc.

Creationists like to think that evolution is under dispute amongst scientists, but its not...its very well accepted by just about anyone that has half a brain cell or has studied any basics of biology or primate evolution. Sure, just like you can find black people who side with the confederate army, you'll find a religious pHD here and there that is a creationist (and they prolly wrote a book), but they are few and far between.

No one seems to care that gravity is a theory...but if you say the theory of evolution it sounds like a bunch of guys were sitting around at dinner and where like "oh gee, I got it! Evolution by means of natural selection! Sure thats it! Screw the bible!" but its not the case.


I think that the concept of evolution seems totally logical... (wasn't what I was getting at at first, but now that you mention it...) I've just always wondered that if we've evolved from apes/what have you, why are there still apes around? Nobody has ever answered that question for me either. I wish somebody would. I've never really studied TOO much into it, and evolution seems completely valid to me (i.e.: some animals have obviously evolved into something different), but there's that one detail that somewhat confuses me. If anyone knows of a site of something that explains that factor, that'd be cool...


We didn't evolve from modern apes, both us and them evolved from a common ancestor.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/faq/cat02.html#Q01


Personally I have never understood why christians had to be at odds with evolution. Really I think its just fundamentalists....and I'm sorry but a literal translation of the bible is just ridiculous. When I was a kid and still believed in god, I still thought that a creator could have been in control as we went from unicellular organism to complex animals and on to everything we see today.
"Oh no. Please don't antagonize hardcoregirl. We'll all regret it." -DarkVader
User avatar
Hardcoregirl
Moderator
 
Posts: 2761
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:04 pm
Location: land of rape and honey

Postby Hardcoregirl » Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:27 pm

Bigun wrote:My head hurts...


Aw we huwt him wittle bwain. ;)

I suggest you stay far from this thread if this causes physical pain lol.
"Oh no. Please don't antagonize hardcoregirl. We'll all regret it." -DarkVader
User avatar
Hardcoregirl
Moderator
 
Posts: 2761
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 4:04 pm
Location: land of rape and honey

Next

Return to General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 4 guests

cron