Author Topic: Explaining Skepticism Simply to close friends/family  (Read 3033 times)

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Offline AQB24712

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Re: Explaining Skepticism Simply to close friends/family
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2018, 04:54:59 PM »
Sometimes I know BS when I hear it, but I have a hard time breaking it down and explaining why it's BS.

That's exactly where I often find myself, to my great frustration.
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Offline mountainsophist

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Re: Explaining Skepticism Simply to close friends/family
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2018, 09:22:29 PM »
Figuring out how to explain skepticism to non-skeptics is what spurred me to start writing about critical thinking.  I find that the act of writing has helped me to learn more about eh concepts as well.  Unfortunately, I haven't written about the null hypothesis yet, but I'm always on the lookout for ideas for the next blog post! 

Is there a specific null hypothesis (or fact) that is in question here?  Or are you looking for something a bit more general.  I liked that you mention exceptional arguments require exceptional evidence and that also makes me wonder if there isn't a bit of "proving a negative" here as well.  For instance, you yourself can't prove the alternate hypothesis is wrong therefore it is correct (and the null hypothesis is wrong).  One of the classic cases is "The earth is flat" was the null hypothesis (the accepted fact, well, somewhat) and the "the earth is round" was the alternate.  Since the alternate theory was exceptional I think we can say at this point that exceptional evidence was created to prove it.

I write on a variety of critical thinking subjects in a fun and humorous form.  My goal is approach ability without preachiness (not actually a word, I know) or the need for a statistics course.  Here it is so you can see if there is anything helpful http://www.crypticwoodworks.com/critical-thinking/

I also like the PBS Crash Course classes on youtube, they have a few on critical thinking and statistics topics and they are bite sized.  Youtube has some good stuff, it just takes some wading through.

Hope some part of this helped.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Explaining Skepticism Simply to close friends/family
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2018, 01:34:01 PM »
I would say that at the core of it, skepticism, or scientific skepticism for the complete name, is a method for finding out what's likely true from what's likely false, or partly true, or partly false. It is not a position or a set of beliefs. That makes it distinct from religions, political ideologies, etc.

That's why you can find skeptics of varying political persuasions, and even some religious skeptics (though admittedly they are in minority).