Author Topic: SKEPTIC magazine continues skepticism's descent into a dark, sad, bigoted hole  (Read 9744 times)

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Offline Shibboleth

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All holes are bigoted IMHO, especially black holes.
common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Offline materialist_girl

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As soon as I saw the subject line of this post, I knew with near 100% certainty who had posted it.

Thanks for noticing! Glad to know the brand is working.  :sun:

Offline SkeptiQueer

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I am not insulting you.  I am explaining something, and you repeatedly show you do not comprehend it.  I am informing you in simple language that you are not capable of comprehending this point (as evidenced by your responses).  There is no insult here.  This is fact.  Your posts are the evidence.
That bullshit doesn't fly.
HIISSSSSSSS

Offline Andrew Clunn

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I am not insulting you.  I am explaining something, and you repeatedly show you do not comprehend it.  I am informing you in simple language that you are not capable of comprehending this point (as evidenced by your responses).  There is no insult here.  This is fact.  Your posts are the evidence.
That bullshit doesn't fly.

Then by all means, choose one:

1) Demonstrate that you understand what I've been saying and I'll apologize.

2) Report my post and hope the moderators agree with you.

3) Stop trying to turn this discussion about the article into a misrepresentation on my statements.

Any will do.
I'm just the victim of my cognitive privilege

Offline SkeptiQueer

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I am not insulting you.  I am explaining something, and you repeatedly show you do not comprehend it.  I am informing you in simple language that you are not capable of comprehending this point (as evidenced by your responses).  There is no insult here.  This is fact.  Your posts are the evidence.
That bullshit doesn't fly.

Then by all means, choose one:

1) Demonstrate that you understand what I've been saying and I'll apologize.

2) Report my post and hope the moderators agree with you.

3) Stop trying to turn this discussion about the article into a misrepresentation on my statements.

Any will do.
I did make my case, and asked a question to clarify your position and mine. You responded with a personal attack and ignored my response. Because of the personal attack I do not believe that you're participating in good faith. Apologize, and continue the discussion, or don't.

The mods won't do any thing, they've already let you back once. Clearly the rules don't apply to you.
HIISSSSSSSS

Offline John Albert

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FUCK THIS REVIEWER RIGHT IN THE SPEW-HOLE.

What a load of garbage.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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start asking yourselves if "skeptic" is a label you want to have anything to do with anymore.

Literally the question that came to mind when I saw the title of this thread.

Really? Just because of what someone on a forum with a clear grudge against the skeptical movement wrote?

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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you really have to start asking yourselves if "skeptic" is a label you want to have anything to do with anymore.

I have noticed from your posts that you have a grudge against the skeptical movement. I don't know why that is, but it is incredibly unlikely that you will destroy it by writing posts on a forum.

Let me ask you this: The folks you don't like, like Richard Dawkins and Michael Shermer, are not only skeptics, they are also atheists and humanists. Do you reject those labels as well due to these individuals? If not, then why not?

The skeptical movement includes people like Steven Novella and Carl Sagan, as well as many other admirable people. Why woukdn't I want to be associated with that? The skeptical movement and what it stands for are among the few things I really can give my full support to.

Online arthwollipot

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I am not insulting you.  I am explaining something, and you repeatedly show you do not comprehend it.  I am informing you in simple language that you are not capable of comprehending this point (as evidenced by your responses).  There is no insult here.  This is fact.  Your posts are the evidence.
Oh, when I call you an idiot, I'm not insulting you. I'm just pointing out the fact that you are an idiot. It's not insulting merely to point out facts, obviously. And the fact is that you are an idiot. No insult there. So because I can twist logic to serve my purpose, I can freely call you an idiot without consequence and you have no right or capability to upbraid me for it because you are an idiot and that is a simple objective fact.

Did I do it right?  ::)
Self-described nerd

Offline fuzzyMarmot

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1) Thank you, materialist_girl, for bringing attention to this.
2) This is an embarrassment of a "book review". It's more like "let me offer a pathetic, fawning summary of the views of individual x". Maybe this is a new way forward for crap publications: if you can't afford to have a high-profile person write an op-ed for you, just have a fan paraphrase them.
3) Solid B- level writing for a 4th grade book report.
4) Yes, I am really starting to ask myself if "skeptic" is a label I want anything to do with.
5) Quetzalcoatl-- I can't speak for materialist_girl, but I have no grudge against the skeptical movement. I react strongly to this stuff because I care so much about the movement, and I hate to see it get derailed by gross ideologies.

Offline materialist_girl

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you really have to start asking yourselves if "skeptic" is a label you want to have anything to do with anymore.

I have noticed from your posts that you have a grudge against the skeptical movement. I don't know why that is, but it is incredibly unlikely that you will destroy it by writing posts on a forum.

You're making assumptions about my posting motivations, which doesn't seem very skeptical. Here's the thing: a thread title like this will annoy those people for whom skepticism is a sacred cow which cannot be questioned, and they reveal themselves to hold such unskeptical primacy for their group that they need to defend it with projections and hypotheticals, like you are doing here. My motivations mean nothing, but the reflections they provide surely do highlight the in-group, blind defensiveness of many people who claim the label of skeptic. Again, like you and others are doing here, and have done again and again in the past.

None of the rest of your post has anything to do with the fact skepticism has increasingly made space for racists, misogynists, Islamophobes, homophobes, and the gamut of reactionary politics currently popular with many of the people who aren't affected by those oppressions (straight, cisgender, white, etc). Although the misunderstanding and misapplication of logical fallacies is a favorite of you and others, you can't tu quoque your way out of this. My opinion on people like Carl Sagan has nothing to do with the reality of skepticism's current deep ideological rot. If you are unable to acknowledge or respond to it, and rather only can point out issues with those who bring these issues up, then I'd suggest the issue is with you and others similarly in denial.

TL;DR if you're defensive and raising your hackles because of this thread title, and not the content it points to, then there's no real resolution to this other than you imagining me into some kind of scary irrational anti-skeptic. And, well, that's good for you, but it certainly appears rather silly to people outside of your in-group, and does nothing to address the ongoing and increasing degree of hateful opinions and actions finding a home under the umbrella of skeptic.

Offline Redamare

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Quetz: That's a dumb argument. Why does any of us discuss any of the shit we care about on a forum?

TL;DR if you're defensive and raising your hackles because of this thread title, and not the content it points to, then there's no real resolution to this other than you imagining me into some kind of scary irrational anti-skeptic. And, well, that's good for you, but it certainly appears rather silly to people outside of your in-group, and does nothing to address the ongoing and increasing degree of hateful opinions and actions finding a home under the umbrella of skeptic.

materialist_girl:

 You do have a history of raging against skepticsm as if it were obliged to conform to your own ethics. I don't think your ethics are bad or anything, but I don't think you appreciate the ethical diversity of humans.
"redamare has kicked this thread's ass" -champagnej

Certainty is the enemy of wisdom.

--RED-uh-MAR-ay--

Offline Andrew Clunn

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I am not insulting you.  I am explaining something, and you repeatedly show you do not comprehend it.  I am informing you in simple language that you are not capable of comprehending this point (as evidenced by your responses).  There is no insult here.  This is fact.  Your posts are the evidence.
Oh, when I call you an idiot, I'm not insulting you. I'm just pointing out the fact that you are an idiot. It's not insulting merely to point out facts, obviously. And the fact is that you are an idiot. No insult there. So because I can twist logic to serve my purpose, I can freely call you an idiot without consequence and you have no right or capability to upbraid me for it because you are an idiot and that is a simple objective fact.

Did I do it right?  ::)

Nope, didn't state it was about his intelligence.  Try again.
I'm just the victim of my cognitive privilege

Offline Enkidu

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The problem with cultural skepticism (in the US at least) comes down to what individual skeptics feel we should be willing to exclude and marginalize. Falsifiable claims like that of homeopathy are excluded, but there isn't much controversy there. The problem is with the non-falsifiable claims, which by definition can neither be proven or disproven.

The question of religion is a big one: should all skeptics be atheists? Personally I don't think so, so long as religious beliefs are of the non-falisifiable kind. If you think the Earth is 6000 years old that is a problem; if you think the universe as understood by science was created by God(s) in a way that does not contradict known facts it is not a problem IMO, even if it is an unnecessary hypothesis.

The truly thorny issues are ethical and cultural. Skepticism, like science, cannot tell us what is right. More than that, when deciding how to manage society and pass and enforce laws and social norms we don't have perfect laboratory conditions and have to make choices based on probabilities not certainties. As an example imagine if Bill Cosby were a prominent skeptic rather than a comedian. All of the accusations against him come down to eye-witness testimony, which as we know isn't reliable. Should Cosby continue to be invited to speak at conferences? The reality is that some would say yes, in spite of the low probability that all of these women are just making shit up; Cosby would, absolutely, be invited to speak at some cons, because a significant portion of the skeptical community is going to treat a rape accusation the same as a ghost sighting.

This is a problem, and it is killing skepticism for the simple reason that too many skeptics are trying to use skepticism to make decisions that skepticism isn't built to make. On the one hand we have skeptics refusing to make value judgements about things outside skepticism's scope, while on the other we have skeptics claiming to be able to make value judgements about things outside skepticism's scope and accusing anyone who disagrees with them of being bad skeptics.

Any sub-culture is going to have adherents that turn their central purpose into a cure-all ideology. Skepticism can't tell us that homophobia or racism or sexism is wrong, yet remaining "neutral" on issues such as this is a cowardly cop out, driving out decent people while allowing the most toxic ideas free to flourish because "it's outside skepticism's scope." Every sub-culture must make value judgements about where it stands; refusal to do so will result in the worst of the worst taking over.

TLDR; organized skepticism is crippled by the same moral relativism skeptics like to wag their fingers at post-modernists about. TBH, the very notion of organized skepticism as a monolithic culture is itself profoundly problematic. If skepticism is going to survive we need about a thousand schisms. It's the ideas that matter, not a cultish devotion to the label "skeptic."

Offline Andrew Clunn

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The issue wasn't caused by "letting these elements in."  Several people (see atheism plus) decided to try to use skepticism to push a political ideology.  The community rejected that.  And these "bigots" don't care about pushing their views on others through skepticism, so they won.  They are the "decent people."
I'm just the victim of my cognitive privilege