Author Topic: SGU 5x5 #55  (Read 1686 times)

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Offline Evan

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SGU 5x5 #55
« on: January 29, 2009, 11:00:08 PM »
Skepticism 101- Poisoning The Well
"The masses are asses." - Perry DeAngelis

Offline Chris Noble

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Re: SGU 5x5 #55
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 04:25:28 AM »
There are also some subtleties here.


HIV Denialist: Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis says that HIV doesn't cause AIDS [Appeal to Authority]

Me: Mullis also doesn't believe that CFCs cause the depletion of the ozone layer but does believe  in astrology. n his autobiography he tells about his encounter with a talking, glow-iin-the-dark raccoon. This doesn't necessarily mean that he is wrong about HIV and AIDS but you should be highly skeptical of his views [not Poisoning the Well]

Offline repete66211

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Re: SGU 5x5 #55
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2009, 12:57:37 PM »
Re attributing "poisoning the well" to Jews and the bubonic plague.

I don't deny such accusations were made, but surely wells were poisoned before then.  So I don't see the significance of this attribution since any instance of well poisoning would do just fine.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2009, 01:02:30 PM by repete66211 »

Offline dhawk

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Re: SGU 5x5 #55
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2009, 12:21:55 AM »
There are also some subtleties here.


HIV Denialist: Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis says that HIV doesn't cause AIDS [Appeal to Authority]

Me: Mullis also doesn't believe that CFCs cause the depletion of the ozone layer but does believe  in astrology. n his autobiography he tells about his encounter with a talking, glow-iin-the-dark raccoon. This doesn't necessarily mean that he is wrong about HIV and AIDS but you should be highly skeptical of his views [not Poisoning the Well]

Well... I think what you said is fair, but it does not constitute an argument against the denialist's claims.  If you present it as an argument, then it is poisoning the well.  Presenting it as an example of why arguments from authority don't work in general is valid, but I think it'd be much safer rhetorically speaking to go with the classic example of Linus Pauling and his vitamin C megadosing nonsense.  That way you can avoid any suspicion of poisoning the well.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2009, 12:24:17 AM by dhawk »
Attaching a probability to the existence of God is not only stepping out of the boundaries of empiricism, but also pretending that you have even a piece of Ultimate Truth.

 

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