Undercover Sceptic

Hi and a very warm welcome to The Undercover Sceptic Forum, I created this forum for like minded people to come and share their thoughts on sceptical subjects so please donate your wisdom freely for the furtherance of rational thought, Thankyou.
 
HomeCalendarFAQSearchUsergroupsRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Pseudoscepticism

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Jamie Clubb
Snr Member
avatar

Male Number of posts : 296
Age : 41
Job/hobbies : Coach/Writer
Humor : Groucho Marx, Tony Hancock, Bill Cosby, Billy Connolly, Paul Merton, Ricky Gervais
Registration date : 2008-06-20

PostSubject: Pseudoscepticism   Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:32 pm

Okay, this is a subject that often lurks at the back of my mind. I think pseudoscepticism is very close to being just plain cynical or, alternatively, it could be cynicism masquerading as scepticism. As sceptics, we often get frustrated with those who have the heaviest burden of proof on their subject arguing for a balanced view against something that has already done an overwhelming job of providing proof. We get annoyed when we are told that Darwinism is a religion or that science is a religion. However, as a sceptic, we must accept that even facts are to be defined as no than temporary conclusions that have more proof supporting them than all other alternatives. This idea is at the basis of my think and this why I believe that scepticism is a very progressive attitude. Nevertheless, it can be pretty easy to fall into the pseudosceptic trap and I think we should always keep this in mind:


Quote :
"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." Marcello Truzzi
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.clubbchimera.com
undercover sceptic
Admin
avatar

Male Number of posts : 520
Age : 44
Location : N.E. England
Job/hobbies : reading popular science, research.
Humor : Dry
Registration date : 2008-06-18

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:28 pm

That quote abolutely must silence every true believer in un proven theories.

At one time Darwin was laughed at by scientists, he had to show the proof and he did.

As a sceptic if someone claims something I shall use the above quote, if after hard graft, they, like Darwin, bring the proof, I woill go with the evidence.

Thanks Jamie,

Den.

_________________
Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism - and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency.
Stephen J Gould

MY BLOG PAGE
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Jamie Clubb
Snr Member
avatar

Male Number of posts : 296
Age : 41
Job/hobbies : Coach/Writer
Humor : Groucho Marx, Tony Hancock, Bill Cosby, Billy Connolly, Paul Merton, Ricky Gervais
Registration date : 2008-06-20

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:11 pm

I see conspiracy theorists as good examples of pseudosceptics. They see themselves as intelligent doubters, but often miss the whole point of being sceptic.

I also believe it is also important for a true sceptic to acknowledge that we don't just doubt everything. There are many areas in life where the burden of proof is on the verge of shifting, after all that is what good science history are all about. We must be aware of that.

In martial arts I am still in a minority over many of the issues I promote. I love being on "the bleeding edge" so to speak. Having said that my methods are not in a minority if we look at methods being employed by the current educational establishment, sports science, the military etc.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.clubbchimera.com
undercover sceptic
Admin
avatar

Male Number of posts : 520
Age : 44
Location : N.E. England
Job/hobbies : reading popular science, research.
Humor : Dry
Registration date : 2008-06-18

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:04 pm

Jamie,

do you have a clicky link to these methods for us non MA tech heads plz Smile

Regards,

Den.

_________________
Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism - and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency.
Stephen J Gould

MY BLOG PAGE
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Jamie Clubb
Snr Member
avatar

Male Number of posts : 296
Age : 41
Job/hobbies : Coach/Writer
Humor : Groucho Marx, Tony Hancock, Bill Cosby, Billy Connolly, Paul Merton, Ricky Gervais
Registration date : 2008-06-20

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:41 pm

Hi Den,

Could you specify what links you want? I was generalizing regarding self-teaching methods, sports specific exercise etc. I can source you links though. Having said that, aren't we going off topic a little?
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.clubbchimera.com
undercover sceptic
Admin
avatar

Male Number of posts : 520
Age : 44
Location : N.E. England
Job/hobbies : reading popular science, research.
Humor : Dry
Registration date : 2008-06-18

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:44 pm

No worries Jamie, generalization is fine, I shall just read your website in more detail, I just get inquisitive when people mention things I know little about Smile

Regards,

Den.

_________________
Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism - and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency.
Stephen J Gould

MY BLOG PAGE
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Jamie Clubb
Snr Member
avatar

Male Number of posts : 296
Age : 41
Job/hobbies : Coach/Writer
Humor : Groucho Marx, Tony Hancock, Bill Cosby, Billy Connolly, Paul Merton, Ricky Gervais
Registration date : 2008-06-20

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:37 pm

Okay, you will find a good deal of my ideas on this in my "Hierarchy of Training" article and my "Reality Training for Children" series. Here's a few non-mainstream martial arts things I endorse:

1/ Proactive (sorry, I know it is a buzzword) training. This is as opposed to reactive training. The student is put in charge, so to speak.
2/ Encouraging students to take on the role of coach when they are either with someone less experienced or feeding a type of drill.
3/ Specific exercise as opposed to non-specific. In other words we warm-up using exactly the movements that relate to our training rather than have everyone do countless numbers of push-ups and pointless stretching exercises.
4/ A very controversial one this one: Sparring from the off. Some form of resistance-based activity at the very beginning of training to bring out natural fighting instincts which can be cultivated afterwards. This is opposed to teaching techniques first and making people conform to a set style as such.
5/ Find the flaw. Every drill is subject to constant review and critical analysis.

There's loads more, but that's pretty much the basis of what we do.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.clubbchimera.com
Jamie Clubb
Snr Member
avatar

Male Number of posts : 296
Age : 41
Job/hobbies : Coach/Writer
Humor : Groucho Marx, Tony Hancock, Bill Cosby, Billy Connolly, Paul Merton, Ricky Gervais
Registration date : 2008-06-20

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:17 pm

Just bringing this to the front again. I do sometimes fear that sceptics can all too easily become pseudosceptics and cynics, and think it is a worthwhile topic for discussion.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.clubbchimera.com
undercover sceptic
Admin
avatar

Male Number of posts : 520
Age : 44
Location : N.E. England
Job/hobbies : reading popular science, research.
Humor : Dry
Registration date : 2008-06-18

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:24 am

Jamie,

feel free to open a thread on the subject and describe your point you wih to discuss Wink

Den.

_________________
Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism - and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency.
Stephen J Gould

MY BLOG PAGE
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Jamie Clubb
Snr Member
avatar

Male Number of posts : 296
Age : 41
Job/hobbies : Coach/Writer
Humor : Groucho Marx, Tony Hancock, Bill Cosby, Billy Connolly, Paul Merton, Ricky Gervais
Registration date : 2008-06-20

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:03 pm

Hi Den,

Sorry I wasn't talking about the off-topic area. That stuff is covered in my articles and there is little point in covering them unless there is genuine interest or questions. What I meant was to bring the topic of pseudoscepticism to the front again.

I think the sceptic should be aware that they don't fall into logical fallacy traps or surrender to another type of absolute. For example, La Veye Satanists, Randian Objectivists and Maoist communists (if they still exist) all would describe themselves as rationalist atheists. Likewise conspiracy theorists would describe themselves as a type of sceptic. Check that 9/11 thread I was debating on Martial Edge. You will see conspiracy theorists accusing me of being "a believer" or not having doubt. Talk about missing the point entirely! However, they are not really sceptics, at least not in the sense I think we define the term.

Sceptics should debate. We begin with doubt, but that doesn't mean we don't have open minds, just not empty heads. For example, Shermer and Randi may agree on a lot of topics, but they debate on smaller details e.g. whether or not hypnosis play acting or a type of mass hysteria. This is the true nature of scepticism.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.clubbchimera.com
undercover sceptic
Admin
avatar

Male Number of posts : 520
Age : 44
Location : N.E. England
Job/hobbies : reading popular science, research.
Humor : Dry
Registration date : 2008-06-18

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:11 pm

As sceptics its very easy to stray,

are you truly a sceptic if you believe holocaust denial based on the evidence you have seen and through rational conclusion?

I try to be a scientific sceptic wherever possible but sometimes passions run high with me and I slip.

Den.

_________________
Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism - and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency.
Stephen J Gould

MY BLOG PAGE
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Jamie Clubb
Snr Member
avatar

Male Number of posts : 296
Age : 41
Job/hobbies : Coach/Writer
Humor : Groucho Marx, Tony Hancock, Bill Cosby, Billy Connolly, Paul Merton, Ricky Gervais
Registration date : 2008-06-20

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:34 am

Quote :
are you truly a sceptic if you believe holocaust denial based on the evidence you have seen and through rational conclusion?

No because the evidence supporting the holocaust happening outweighs holocaust denial considerably. This is the problem with conspiracy theorists on the whole. They accuse us of being "believers" or not having doubt. However, they fail to see the whole picture. Good historians do not dismiss the larger body of evidence in favour of smaller pieces of evidence. Details are crucial, there is no denying this, but to the extent that they immediately destroy the accepted facts. This is what burden of proof is all about.

Quote :
I try to be a scientific sceptic wherever possible but sometimes passions run high with me and I slip.

We're only human, Den ;-) I see it is our ideal to remain composed, rational and logical at all times lest we descend to the level of the irrational. However, the closer to home an issue comes the more emotional we all get. There are a small number of topics I would be adverse to argue online because despite my opposition's lack of logic and reason, the matters are extemely personal.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.clubbchimera.com
undercover sceptic
Admin
avatar

Male Number of posts : 520
Age : 44
Location : N.E. England
Job/hobbies : reading popular science, research.
Humor : Dry
Registration date : 2008-06-18

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:20 pm

Thanks for the words of support Jamie,

as I mentioned elsewhere im getting very involved in the sceptics movement and the more active I become the more heat I get, not on here yet thankfully I can still push science here but I feel im being ground down.

In 'missing pieces' Nickell discusses such things happening and gives advice to combat it,

I need to re-read that section as matter of urgency.

Keep up the good work guys Smile

Regards,

Den.

_________________
Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism - and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency.
Stephen J Gould

MY BLOG PAGE
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Rob
Snr Member
avatar

Male Number of posts : 346
Age : 46
Location : Ireland.
Job/hobbies : Combatives, Skepticism, Design.
Registration date : 2008-06-20

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:48 pm

Skepticism like all groups has a spectrum of followers.

We should all be in the middle of the road, if we were to be truly skeptical, and would have to review all evidence either way before we'd make an objective oinion.

However, it's very hard to remain emotionally unattached in my opinion, in the face of some very silly people and subjects. So I'd be lumped in at the Penn and Teller end. Smile Basically, I'm preaching to the choir, and quite happy to slate something if I feel it warrants it.

There's some evidence I just don't need to see... Because I know that it can't be real (you know the type of subjects I'm talking about).

Paul Nikel is a very neutral skeptic, and does lots of research, even into some of the most bizarre claims. However, he has admitted in a recent interview, that while he tries to remain neutral as best he can, he knows that despite all the research he's going to do, the anomalies will turn out to be bogus. Remember the Statues of Mary that had a heart beat, and he was up listening to them with a stethoscope?

So I could be classed as cynical... that said, if I ever see the "good" evidence on a subject - I'm open to change. Like anything in science...
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.ucireland.com
undercover sceptic
Admin
avatar

Male Number of posts : 520
Age : 44
Location : N.E. England
Job/hobbies : reading popular science, research.
Humor : Dry
Registration date : 2008-06-18

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:58 pm

There is a theory of debate, which I usually strongly adhere to, that all evidence is biased to a degree and no matter wha evidence I provide, even 2 + 2 = 4 can be countermanded by some other obscure evidence.

Therefore unless we are trying to get work in to a peer reviewed journal there is no point supplying evidence to a troofer, rather we should just debate with opinion based on our perception of the evidence we have accumulated, negatig the need of pointless wasted hours accumulating empirical evidence which will simply be swept aside.

It may not be as powerful but if the weight of our wors is put across with evidence that we have accumulated and we put our point across in such a way thst it is emotionally moving, rather than dry and academic; then this can causea change in the hearts of some.

The dyed in the wool troofers will never change opinion, no matter how much evidence is amassed, so we as scientific sceptics would be better off simply doing our homework, figure out the fine details of these woo subjects and pick them apart.

Regards,

Den.

PS Where I fall down at the moment is photographs, I am unable currently to approve/falsify a photograph/video evidence, unless it is very poor.

Any suggestions for learning resources on this subject? Or should I source these out to non interested photo technicians?

_________________
Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism - and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency.
Stephen J Gould

MY BLOG PAGE
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Jamie Clubb
Snr Member
avatar

Male Number of posts : 296
Age : 41
Job/hobbies : Coach/Writer
Humor : Groucho Marx, Tony Hancock, Bill Cosby, Billy Connolly, Paul Merton, Ricky Gervais
Registration date : 2008-06-20

PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:12 pm

Rob and Den,

I agree with your comments. I would like to read some of Paul Nikel's stuff. He has my respect as someone who is willing to go to such lengths.

One very important point that put a lot things in perspective for me: burden of proof. By arguing burden of proof it stops you from getting on the back foot and it cuts through manipulation. Basketball
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.clubbchimera.com
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Pseudoscepticism   

Back to top Go down
 
Pseudoscepticism
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Undercover Sceptic :: Scepticism :: Scepticality-
Jump to: