Skepticism Versus Pseudo-Skepticism

Discussion in 'TMT - Public' started by Ulixes Orobar, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. Ulixes Orobar

    Ulixes Orobar Active Member Typed

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    What does everyone think about real, pragmatic skepticism versus fedorist pseudo-skepticism? One involves questioning narratives, axioms, reasoning, inferences, inductions, and the like; the other often involves hating on religion. What, fundamentally, distinguishes real skepticism from fake skepticism? Does fake skepticism simply result from a distaste for certain conclusions, rather than the inability to accept those conclusions on intellectual grounds?

    (Back when I openly called myself a skeptic, people often assumed that I simply disliked religiously-based social norms. People do the same thing now in debates. They assume that I criticize their arguments because I dislike their conclusions. I often like and agree with their conclusions, though.)
     
  2. Brilliand

    Brilliand Active Member Typed

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    In my opinion, fake skepticism results from true skepticism combined with excessive trust in certain authorities [read: published scientific journals]. If you give those authorities a free pass, then try to be skeptical about something you don't quite understand, it's way too easy to wind up parroting your favorite authorities. Skepticism then turns into "test all claims by comparing them against the Truth of <whoever>" - and that's what fake skepticism is.

    But the people you're referring to get... rather more emotional than mere authority-followers do. Here are some other considerations:
    • Reaction against charlatans. What do you do if someone is dodging skeptical inquiry while pushing their message to those who don't know any better? One solution is to pull something similar to Godwin's Law: "Anyone making a claim that resembles that of this charlatan loses immediately".
    • Reaction against *their own past*. I was this sort of skeptic for a decent about of time (though I preferred to call myself an "atheist"). When you leave a religion, you have to push off - you can't just hang around and quietly stop believing the doctrines. There's also an element of "keep other people from being fooled like I was".
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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  3. Apercus

    Apercus Benefactor of Humanity Baron

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    I doubt any such thing as true skepticism exists.
     
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  4. Ulixes Orobar

    Ulixes Orobar Active Member Typed

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    I don't doubt that Apercus is winning right now. Brilliand, what convinced you that the gods exist?
     
  5. Brilliand

    Brilliand Active Member Typed

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    Wait what's going on?

    I posted in a meta-thread about skepticism, and now you're telling me someone else is winning, and presenting me with an actual skeptical challenge. I don't see how either of those make sense in the context of this thread?

    To answer your question, though, the fact that a lot of people in the past believed in gods is pretty good evidence for gods already. What changed my mind was finding an explanation about the gods that I felt reasonably okay with (coherent/consistent/author understands the topic/whatever other things I instinctively check for, I don't even know).
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  6. Ulixes Orobar

    Ulixes Orobar Active Member Typed

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    Curiosity, a long memory, and a short attention span. Sorry. His ironic skepticism counts as a win based upon a completely arbitrary set of rules that don't actually matter, which I made up on the spot.
     
  7. Ulixes Orobar

    Ulixes Orobar Active Member Typed

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    Now that my ADD has stopped flaring up...

    Skepticism of one's own paranormal experiences can lead one to skepticism of purely subjective experiences in general, interestingly enough. It's not much of leap. If non-shared atypical experiences probably aren't veridical, maybe all non-shared experiences probably aren't veridical. Committed skepticism can lead both to nihilism and solipsism, and fake skepticism can lead to obsessive consensus checking. Maybe true skepticism combined with pragmatism avoids these problems to some degree.
     
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  8. Son of Distant Trebizond

    Son of Distant Trebizond Member

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    "Skepticism is the most spiritual manifestation of a certain complex physiological condition that in common parlance is called bad nerves or sickliness; it invariably presents itself whenever races or classes that have long been kept apart intermix significantly and suddenly. Because the new generation has, as it were, inherited blood in new proportions and values, everything is restless, agitated, doubtful, experimental. The best energies have an inhibiting effect; even the virtues do not allow one another to grow or prosper; body and soul lack balance, gravity, perpendicular sureness. But what is most prone to illness and degeneracy in these mixed breeds is the will; they no longer understand how to make an independent decision or to feel the brave pleasure of willing- even in their dreams they doubt the 'freedom of the will'."

    So your inability to freely will thanks to the mongrelised blood-mixing of your ancestors explains your skepticism. Hope that clears things up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
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  9. Ulixes Orobar

    Ulixes Orobar Active Member Typed

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    So, I'm basically screwed then. I would ask for a second opinion, but I don't want to get my hopes up. :( Another translation, perhaps? Eh... Now, I'm just getting awfully close to rock-worthiness.
     
  10. Brilliand

    Brilliand Active Member Typed

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    True skepticism = honest curiosity, in my opinion. It's being willing to freely explore, while constantly sanity-checking your belief system.

    Denial of subjective experience is a pathology that often crops up in skeptical circles, but I take the paranoid view that it's a psy-op rather than a simple accident. Convincing someone to distrust themselves is a great way to cripple them.

    I have no idea what he's even quoting. This is not a topic where you can expect to find any preexisting consensus here.

    I rather doubt that race mixing has anything to do with it, tbh.
     
  11. Ulixes Orobar

    Ulixes Orobar Active Member Typed

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    He's quoting Nietzsche in order to troll.
     
  12. Albatross

    Albatross Member Typed

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    yeah, i definitely get this point. it's quite terrible in the sense that you can't really express your opinion once you decree yourself as a skeptic to any degree because they've already pinned you down to any particular movement and/or systemic beliefs that carry an entire burden of assumptions about you so then it's just...you, having to face all kinds of judgment while barely able to maintain your set of actual, sustained beliefs for their understanding. it's a kind of self-imposed cancerous force-field most people are trained to put up on a dime.
     

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