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Pseudo-Skepticism?

Marcello Truzzi

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#1 mererdog

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:06 AM

http://www.anomalist...ies/pseudo.html

In science, the burden of proof falls upon the claimant; and the more extraordinary a claim, the heavier is the burden of proof demanded. The true skeptic takes an agnostic position, one that says the claim is not proved rather than disproved. He asserts that the claimant has not borne the burden of proof and that science must continue to build its cognitive map of reality without incorporating the extraordinary claim as a new "fact." Since the true skeptic does not assert a claim, he has no burden to prove anything. He just goes on using the established theories of "conventional science" as usual. But if a critic asserts that there is evidence for disproof, that he has a negative hypothesis --saying, for instance, that a seeming psi result was actually due to an artifact--he is making a claim and therefore also has to bear a burden of proof.

Both critics and proponents need to learn to think of adjudication in science as more like that found in the law courts, imperfect and with varying degrees of proof and evidence. Absolute truth, like absolute justice, is seldom obtainable. We can only do our best to approximate them.


We all know that global warming is both a proven fact and a complete hoax, right? And we all know that saccharine is clinically proven to both be perfectly safe for you to use, and to give you cancer, of course? So how have you gone about trying to find that healthy balance that lies somewhere between between believing everything and believing nothing?

Edited by mererdog, 13 January 2012 - 10:07 AM.


#2 To`na Wanagi

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:53 AM

Judge Judy always says, "If something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't." I apply the philosophy to "Trust no one, suspect everyone." That puts me in the position of the fulcrum rather than the lever. The amount of weight one can lift with a lever depends upon where one places the lever on the fulcrum. I weigh out and sift what I know to be untruths on both sides. That leaves only a small amount of information to investigate. As I investigate each claim I either put it in the "save" pile or "file 13". The process of elimination this way can bring one to a quicker conclusion. If later data appears to disprove what I have saved, I go through the processing again.

But there is rarely a time when I believe everything or nothing. Life is usually not that black and white....but sometimes you find one that does not require much thought and which resonates within yourself to be completely true or false. Human equality is one of those...at least for me.

Edited by To`na Wanagi, 13 January 2012 - 10:56 AM.


#3 Fawzo

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:20 PM

So how have you gone about trying to find that healthy balance that lies somewhere between between believing everything and believing nothing?



My Spidey sense tingles and warns me when danger lurks near. HAs never failed and why I am still here :)

#4 Raincloud

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 03:07 PM

So how have you gone about trying to find that healthy balance that lies somewhere between between believing everything and believing nothing?


Easy. I don't use "science" to learn about life.
I don't ask for focus studies of whether I should leave my front door today.

I don't replace philosophy, spirituality and religion with Science.

I don't replace Wisdom and common sense with Science.

I understand 'Science' is one area of knowledge seeking, that I do not elevate above all else.

In short I do not worship Science.

Edited by Raincloud, 13 January 2012 - 03:08 PM.


#5 revtimothybland

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 04:35 PM

The best way, in my humble opinion, of course, is to take the best of both worlds. I can't remember who said it, but this qoute fits it perfectly:

"Scientist understand the branches of Tao, but not the roots.
Mystics understand the roots, but not the branches.
Now, Science doesn't need Mysticism, and Mysticism doesn't need Science.
But Man needs both."

#6 panpareil

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 05:16 AM

Since I am in no way omniscient I do not trust that I have all the necessary information in order to make a scientific determination of any situation. Without knowing everything that is or has happened it is not possible to know if a significant cause of any event has been neglected when collecting data. Which is why I do not trust the conclusions in areas where strict controls are not possible, or where projected outcomes are never created as a test of theory. It is easy to say that this will happen if we do that, but not proven until we do this to cause that.
In any event, without sufficient knowledge I rely on the related skills of pattern filling and recognition to make decisions.
In rare cases where what should be does not feel right I will add that to my decision making process as well.

#7 revtimothybland

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 10:21 AM

Since I am in no way omniscient I do not trust that I have all the necessary information in order to make a scientific determination of any situation. Without knowing everything that is or has happened it is not possible to know if a significant cause of any event has been neglected when collecting data. Which is why I do not trust the conclusions in areas where strict controls are not possible, or where projected outcomes are never created as a test of theory. It is easy to say that this will happen if we do that, but not proven until we do this to cause that.
In any event, without sufficient knowledge I rely on the related skills of pattern filling and recognition to make decisions.
In rare cases where what should be does not feel right I will add that to my decision making process as well.


This i can agree with, and it goes along with the quote I mentioned. Somethings you just use your eyes and brains with, while others you can afford to rely on Faith about. But in the long run, it's that knowledge you learn that proves to you that your Faith isn't misplaced at all, rather, it is justified.

#8 Brother Kaman

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 10:25 AM

Easy. I don't use "science" to learn about life.
I don't ask for focus studies of whether I should leave my front door today.

I don't replace philosophy, spirituality and religion with Science.

I don't replace Wisdom and common sense with Science.

I understand 'Science' is one area of knowledge seeking, that I do not elevate above all else.

In short I do not worship Science.

I don't see why it should be an either/or situation. I would be hard put to do without the science that has made my life easier: automobiles, airplanes, electricity, clean water and sewage, the list is long. I don't understand how any of this would conflict with anyone's "worship" or why anyone would "worship" the science that brought these things about.

#9 Qryos

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 04:22 AM

~ In a forest... is a tree skeptical about the perceivable audio repercussions experienced by any homio sapiens when it succumbs to gravitational forces?
Perhaps. :dirol:

Y'know, humans are creative & there are always going to be multiple choices on every menu from every mind ;)
Choice... The 'Hunt & Peck" we've been gifted with that makes us all a weee bit off of center :rofl:

Edited by Qryos, 17 January 2012 - 04:24 AM.


#10 Songster

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 03:09 PM

..... I do not worship Science.

DITTO! Science in not infallible.

#11 Fawzo

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 04:37 PM

DITTO! Science in not infallible.

Science has never claimed to be so nor has any of its educated practitioners :) Unlike some other systems of thought and their followers!!

#12 Etherman

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 07:00 AM

DITTO! Science in not infallible.


That's its strength.

#13 Qryos

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 06:38 PM

~ Etherman :) Nice to see you again :drinks: How ya doin'?

~ I may just be being silly again, but how can someone 'worship' science?
Science is a questioning method isn't it? Have a question about why or how & try to prove how & why & either yeah or nay...
If nay ya ask a different question about it & see if that works, if yeah it's still up to challenge 'just because...'
Or am I completely more stupid than I thought? :dntknw:

#14 mark 45

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 12:30 PM

~ Etherman :) Nice to see you again :drinks: How ya doin'?

~ I may just be being silly again, but how can someone 'worship' science?
Science is a questioning method isn't it? Have a question about why or how & try to prove how & why & either yeah or nay...
If nay ya ask a different question about it & see if that works, if yeah it's still up to challenge 'just because...'
Or am I completely more stupid than I thought? :dntknw:


if you are then so am i.i don't worship anything,but at the same time,scince and philosophy have their respective places in life.

#15 mererdog

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:37 AM

~ I may just be being silly again, but how can someone 'worship' science?
Science is a questioning method isn't it?

To many people, science is not a method of questioning but a set of answers. Many of them use phrases like "science tells us" in exactly the same way that others will say "the Bible tells us" or will speak the names Darwin, Hayek, or Einstein with the same reverence others speak the names Moses, Krishna, or Christ.

#16 Qryos

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:54 AM

To many people, science is not a method of questioning but a set of answers. Many of them use phrases like "science tells us" in exactly the same way that others will say "the Bible tells us" or will speak the names Darwin, Hayek, or Einstein with the same reverence others speak the names Moses, Krishna, or Christ.

~ Isn't that just silly tho'? Yes, certain people are known for brilliance in theories & have been proven correct in some, but so many are still simply theories to diddle with.
They are just thoughts that may have validity!
The earth revolves around the sun & rotates on it's axis so we have sunrise every morning not because of science, science just explains how.
I know. I'm being a doofus once again & questioning the 'whys' that can never be answered because humans are fun that way, huh? ;)

#17 Raincloud

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:34 AM

To many people, science is not a method of questioning but a set of answers. Many of them use phrases like "science tells us" in exactly the same way that others will say "the Bible tells us" or will speak the names Darwin, Hayek, or Einstein with the same reverence others speak the names Moses, Krishna, or Christ.


Pretty much why this elevation of science into religion, annoys me.
Look at what Science has had to go though to get independence from religion, now New Ages wanna put it back into religion? Or mix science in with their worship?

I know I won't win this argument with many, because Science is not respected these days it's revered. It's the revering I don't like.

I wrote this on facebook just then:

One should respect Science, not revere or worship it. Science should not replace philosophy, art, politics or religion. Respect it instead. Respect that science needs to be separate from worship or reverence. If you want to revere something then have a religion. If you want a philosophy to live life, then read philosophy. Don't elevate science above what it is, because ultimately that disrespects it's needed independence.

#18 To`na Wanagi

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:25 AM

Respectfully? I will suspect science!

#19 panpareil

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:14 AM

Science is merely a way of collecting information to make decisions. It does not make decisions for us. The questions we ask, the selected information we collect, what we choose to ignore, and the decisions we make are still influenced by what we desire to happen. In the end we are desire driven not information driven.

#20 mererdog

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:24 AM

~ Isn't that just silly tho'?

No more than someone believing that they have a personal relationship with someone who died a couple millenia ago?

I know. I'm being a doofus once again & questioning the 'whys' that can never be answered because humans are fun that way, huh? ;)

Well, if you only ask the questions you think you can find answers to, you make it more likely you'll be disappointed and less likely you'll get a pleasant surprise... :smile3:

Edited by mererdog, 25 January 2012 - 07:07 AM.


#21 Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 02:25 PM

I think of Science as a process. Not a thing. The process is always a work in progress.

#22 Bro. Hex

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 05:08 PM

So how have you gone about trying to find that healthy balance that lies somewhere between between believing everything and believing nothing?


I am tempted to just give my "short answer"... "I believe nothing", and let it go at that.
But that would be misleading, because I do believe quite a few things...tentatively.
For example, I believe that milk is good for me, and cigarettes are bad.
I believe a good night's sleep will prepare me for a busy day.
I believe that the sun will rise tomorrow.

There are many things of this type that, based upon scientific evidence or personal experience, or folk wisdom,
I believe...sort of. These beliefs are not "cast in stone"... they are subject to revision, or outright rejection, if and when
new information comes along.

But that sort of thing really doesn't often apply to "religious belief". There isn't often "new information" brought to light that could have bearing upon a religious belief... because religious beliefs have little relation to "facts". And it is in the arena of religious belief that my original response (my short answer) of "I believe nothing" comes into play. I used to believe "lots of things" of a religious nature... things that many Christians today believe. I have come to a point in my life where I no longer feel the need... or desire... to believe. I have come to a point where Faith has supplanted Belief. It no longer matters to me whether Jesus was born of a virgin or whether he rose from the dead. It no longer matters to me whether Jesus actually ever lived. I still find the positive injunctions, attributed to Jesus, as to "how we should live" to be "helpful". My Faith is now rooted in Faith in Providence, and the beliefs most commonly associated with "typical Christianity"... beliefs that were part of my growing-up, I now understand "metaphorically".

#23 Hyper Real

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 06:36 PM

It no longer matters to me whether Jesus was born of a virgin or whether he rose from the dead. It no longer matters to me whether Jesus actually ever lived.

So basically you build your whole faith on your idea of Jesus who may even be fictional?

Paul wrote that if Jesus did not physically resurrect from the death there would not be a point to Christianity, it seems to me you take it one step further, it seems Jesus does not even have to exist in your mind.

So is the foundation of your faith any different than say someone building his faith on say Spiderman or a Jedi?

Edited by Hyper Real, 08 April 2012 - 06:37 PM.


#24 Bro. Hex

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 08:21 PM

Hermes Trismagistus was undoubtedly "fictional".
That doesn't in any way detract from the power and truths found in Hermetic teachings.

A truth is a truth, no matter who speaks it.

#25 Bro. Hex

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:05 AM

So is the foundation of your faith any different than say someone building his faith on say Spiderman or a Jedi?


You misunderstand me.

The foundation of my religious practice (which is different from my Faith)
rests upon the "teachings of Jesus" as I have come to understand them...
NOT upon the person of Jesus... not upon Jesus himself.

The foundation of my Faith is my relationship with God.....
something that I am unable to put into words.




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