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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
What Is A Skeptic?
    #2537423 - 04/08/04 12:32 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

What is a Skeptic?

What does it mean to be a skeptic? Some people believe that skepticism is rejection of new ideas, or worse, they confuse ?skeptic? with ?cynic? and think that skeptics are a bunch of grumpy curmudgeons unwilling to accept any claim that challenges the status quo. This is wrong. Skepticism is a provisional approach to claims. It is the application of reason to any and all ideas?no sacred cows allowed. In other words, skepticism is a method, not a position. Ideally, skeptics do not go into an investigation closed to the possibility that a phenomenon might be real or that a claim might be true. When we say we are ?skeptical,? we mean that we must see compelling evidence before we believe. Skeptics are from Missouri?the ?show me? state. When we hear a fantastic claim we say, ?that?s nice, prove it.?

Skepticism has a long historical tradition dating back to ancient Greece when Socrates observed: ?All I know is that I know nothing.? But this pure position is sterile and unproductive and held by virtually no one. If you are skeptical about everything, you would have to be skeptical of your own skepticism. Like the decaying subatomic particle, pure skepticism uncoils and spins off the viewing screen of our intellectual cloud chamber.

Modern skepticism is embodied in the scientific method, that involves gathering data to formulate and test naturalistic explanations for natural phenomena. A claim becomes factual when it is confirmed to such an extent it would be reasonable to offer temporary agreement. But all facts in science are provisional and subject to challenge, and therefore skepticism is a method leading to provisional conclusions. Some claims, such as water dowsing, ESP, and creationism, have been tested (and failed the tests) often enough that we can provisionally conclude that they are not valid. Other claims, such as hypnosis, the origins of language, and black holes, have been tested but results are inconclusive so we must continue formulating and testing hypotheses and theories until we can reach a provisional conclusion.

The key to skepticism is to continuously and vigorously apply the methods of science to navigate the treacherous straits between ?know nothing? skepticism and ?anything goes? credulity. Over three centuries ago the French philosopher and skeptic, Ren? Descartes, after one of the most thorough skeptical purges in intellectual history, concluded that he knew one thing for certain: Cogito ergo sum?I think therefore I am. But evolution may have designed us in the other direction. Humans evolved to be pattern-seeking, cause-inferring animals, shaped by nature to find meaningful relationships in the world. Those who were best at doing this left behind the most offspring. We are their descendents. In other words, to be human is to think. To paraphrase Descartes:

Sum Ergo Cogito?I Am Therefore I Think.




From www.skeptic.com


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OfflineFrog
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Registered: 10/22/03
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Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Sclorch]
    #2537541 - 04/08/04 12:53 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

A skeptic is a pain in the ass. 

However, a "believer" is also a pain in the ass. 

I think we're even. 

:grin:


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The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Frog]
    #2537592 - 04/08/04 01:05 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

When was the last time a skeptic bombed an abortion clinic, downed cyanide-laced Kool-Aid with all her crazy friends, dragged a 2-ton granite block of their rules into a courthouse, stoned their kids to death because it was "God's word", or killed ANYbody to "let the demons out"?

Yeah, it doesn't happen.  But you're right, a skeptical person is a real pain in the ass. :rolleyes:

And don't confuse a skeptic with a devout atheist or dogmatic ANYTHING.  They're not skeptical...


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OfflineFrog
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Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Sclorch]
    #2537620 - 04/08/04 01:33 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Well, I've certainly never felt compelled to bomb an abortion clinic, or down cyanide-laced Kool-Aid, or the like.

I think those are extremes of crazy believers. Give me some examples of good, down-to-earth believers, who were crazy like that. Find someone like me, who did something like that.

A skeptical person is limited in his/her understanding of the world. When Einstein came up with E=MCsquared, did that equation exist at that time? No. He came up with that theory based on what he believed, not what was real. Thank God for "believers". Einstein was a believer.


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The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Sclorch]
    #2537686 - 04/08/04 01:54 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

A skeptic is a kill-joy who will never sell really cool books or host a rad website like this one:

Come and spend an evening with Jhershierra, author of the book, "The Resurrected Dead, Now Immortal, Live Among Us: A Manual For Immortality. (April 27th at 8:00pm central/9:00pm eastern.) In our chat room.

Jhershierra has been an astral traveler and lucid dreamer all of her life. This ability has given her access to many of the astral kingdoms, and one on one meetings with great Beings of Light. She has also been visited, in the physical by Immortals, Extraterrestrials, Dark Forces and Ascended Masters. In her book she describes what happened to us long ago and how we can regain our spiritual powers and eventually physical immortality.

Jhershierra will be spending the evening with us here at Astral Society, online, in the chat room to answer your questions. Some topics include: astral travel, what is it like in heaven and hell, her personal encounters with aliens, Immortals, Dark Forces, What we need to do to achieve immortality and any other questions you might have.


No, a skeptic will have to make his fortune the old-fashioned way - without scamming people.

Editor's note: if you are going to write a book targeting gullible New Age types, be sure to adopt a one-word, made-up name that no one has ever heard of before. It gives added credibility. Bonus points for talking in disjointed English. Also, remember the more outrageous the better.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflineFrog
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Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Swami]
    #2537728 - 04/08/04 02:09 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Just because some believers scam people (and of course skeptics never do) doesn't mean all believers scam people.

Um, as an example of a skeptic who is on the opposite side of a believer, how about, oh, say, GBushJr?


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The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Frog]
    #2537746 - 04/08/04 02:14 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

GWB claims to be Born-again and said that God told him to invade Iraq.

*bzzzzt* Try again.  :razz:


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The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflineFrog
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Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Swami]
    #2537763 - 04/08/04 02:21 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

lol!!! Fuck me, and I even went to an outside resource to find a skeptic that was as much a lunatic as a believer!!!

Okay, I will try again. Hold on a f'ing second.


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The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
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Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Frog]
    #2537773 - 04/08/04 02:23 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I would never "do" a fellow shroomery member. Its' too much like family.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflineFrog
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Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Swami]
    #2537852 - 04/08/04 02:46 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Oh, excuse me while I go sock myself.

Anyways....

I don't think I could find a skeptic who would act in the same manner as a believer. Except, keep in mind that the "believers" that acted in the manner in which Sclorch evidenced are just samples. They are not the common denominator in which the general population of believers behave. Extremists. And they make a bad name for the rest of us.


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The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineMikeOLogical
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Registered: 01/31/04
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Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Sclorch]
    #2537875 - 04/08/04 02:53 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

socrates himself drank the poison, when it was demanded of him by the mob... proving that even a skeptic must act like a madman when compelled to do so by the true believers


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We got Nothing!
we're no longer selling jars.  :laugh:


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Anonymous

Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Sclorch]
    #2537896 - 04/08/04 03:00 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Skeptic = Someone who comes to the Shroomery for the sole reason of trying to disprove someone's 'spiritual' beliefs because of their lack of one. They only believe in things that have been proven within our small realm of science. They themselves believe in the concept of magick or spirituality but they are too blind to see this. For one to believe another's beliefs are just magical or mystical forces you have to believe in such a thing.

They label beliefs that cannot be proven today as just silly magick or mysticism. If they had been told we had evolved from apes long ago they would have laughed and said something like "that's impossible, I see no half human monkeys walking around it would take some kind of silly magical force to change a species".

Most skeptics keep themselves ignorant of other ideas not proven by science and forget that there was once a time when current ideas were viewed as impossible.

:stoned:


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OfflineCleverName
the cloudsshould know meby now...

Registered: 08/26/02
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Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: ]
    #2537996 - 04/08/04 03:44 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

skeptic- looks at a situation from another point of view. im grateful for skeptics, sometimes its easy to get carried away with B.S. skeptics usually want reproducible proof. if something cant be tested, a skeptic will probably claim its non-existence, or at least will claim it cant be proven with solid evidence. skeptics are good, just like believers are good.

personally, i totally appreciate the skeptics on this board. they challenge my beliefs and make me think from different angles, therefore i mature and grow intellectually, and spiritually.

diversity should be embraced...especially in a place like this.


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if you can't find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?

this is the purpose


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: ]
    #2537998 - 04/08/04 03:46 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

dustin said:
Skeptic = Someone who comes to the Shroomery for the sole reason of trying to disprove someone's 'spiritual' beliefs because of their lack of one.



By THAT definition, there aren't any skeptics who frequent The Shroomery that I'm aware of.

Quote:

They only believe in things that have been proven within our small realm of science. They themselves believe in the concept of magick or spirituality but they are too blind to see this. For one to believe another's beliefs are just magical or mystical forces you have to believe in such a thing.



What a confusing jumble of B.S. Take off you shoes before you track that into the house.

Quote:

Most skeptics keep themselves ignorant of other ideas not proven by science and forget that there was once a time when current ideas were viewed as impossible.



What broad generalizations... Care to back that up with evidence and statistics?


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To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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InvisibleZero7a1
Leaving YourWasteland

Registered: 10/23/02
Posts: 3,594
Loc: Passing Cloud
Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Sclorch]
    #2538031 - 04/08/04 04:01 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I am skeptical of your skepticism. The only problems ive had with being skeptical... was that it got too skeptical for me, where i couldnt tell what the hell was what anymore! So i said fuck it. I was thinking about this last night before i went to sleep. But I forgot what conclusion i came to.

There are a lot of things we dont understand... but i wonder if internal consistency is very much dependant on ones level of integrity. If someone were to claim that they were not dogmatic, walked like they talked, but led their life completely out of bounds with their true self. I would say they were full of shit :wink:. But that goes for anyone. Skepticism has led me to anxiety. There are just some things i have to accept :laugh:


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What?


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Anonymous

Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Evolving]
    #2538104 - 04/08/04 04:47 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Evolving said:
By THAT definition, there aren't any skeptics who frequent The Shroomery that I'm aware of.




Hmm.. yes you're right, Swami frequents the S&P because he believes he needs to expand his spiritual beliefs.

Quote:

What a confusing jumble of B.S. Take off you shoes before you track that into the house.




If you need help understanding something just ask. Don't get your panties in a twist. I'll break it down for you.

For you to believe that your friend believes in voodoo, you have to acknowledge the fact that it exists in the realm of magical, mystical, or unprovable things. You don't have to believe 'mystical' or 'magical' ideas, but for you to even use those words you have to acknowledge them. I do not believe there is such a thing as mystical or magical. I understand, as we all do, what these words mean. They describe that certain realm of ideas that seem so preposterous that they are categorized uniquely.

You will never see me call something magical, mystical, or spiritual when describing my own beliefs. All beliefs are theories unproven by science. Magic, mysticism, and spirituality do not really exist. They are just a category of unprovable science. I believe just because something seems so crazy and out there doesn't mean it should have it's own category. Sometimes our language breaks things down so much that we begin to view things as different, but they're really not.

Now if you can understand..you know that both Swami and Sclorch are more spiritual than me because they believe in the idea of spirituality and I do not.

Quote:

What broad generalizations... Care to back that up with evidence and statistics?




The word most is often used in generalizations, learn to understand it's meanings. Calling someone a skeptic is in itself a generalization of a person. You do believe there is such a thing as skeptics, don't you?

Wheres your proof?


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: ]
    #2538166 - 04/08/04 05:53 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

You know, dustin, you really should have read the first post in this thread a little more clearly. You're bashing "skeptics" without even understanding what the word means.

Hey... it really is your loss...


--------------------
Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Frog]
    #2538172 - 04/08/04 05:59 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

And Frog... the whole "those are just the extremists" argument just doesn't cut it for me. The pure fact of not being able to point to ONE extremist skeptic should be proof enough that there is something peculiar about keeping a skeptical mindset. Paths A through Y all have many, easily-identifiable examples of extremists, and path Z has NONE (that anyone here can think of right now, at least) - and you're saying that this isn't significant?


--------------------
Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Sclorch]
    #2538203 - 04/08/04 06:27 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I nominate Sclorch as leader of the new Z-Movement. First we need a motto and some uniform flowing robes and then...


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The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: What Is A Skeptic? [Re: Swami]
    #2538208 - 04/08/04 06:37 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Okay, but the robes can't be orange... and I won't be growing a beard.

Motto?:
"We have Z-truth!"


--------------------
Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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