SKEPTICs : Modern Day "Flat Earthers"?

Please correct me if I'm wrong but I understand "Skeptics" as being all those who believe that ONLY That which has thus far been "proven", to be acceptable, to have relevance.
.
My understanding and view of "skeptics" organisations is that

1) they wish to hold on to the tried and true.

More than this, (this is my critisism of organisations such as this).
2).They wish to IMPOSE their beliefs on the public
. They wish to insist that we cling on to the Tried and True

3) They even go so far as to interfere in democratic processes by looking for shortcuts in influencing and imposing their collective views.

To my mind this equates with holding back mankinds progress.

.Yes I believe that "skeptics" are like those way back who were threatened by the idea of the earth as not being Flat

. 4)..And did all they could to prevent conflicting ideas from taking root!

Constructive arguments. Please address your arguments as per numbered points above.

Trackback URL for this post:

http://skepticsinthepub.net.nz/trackback/11606

Smartgirl, rather than try

Smartgirl, rather than try and reply in detail to your points perhaps it would be easier if you read the following quote from Steven Novella.

"A skeptic is one who prefers beliefs and conclusions that are reliable and valid to ones that are comforting or convenient, and therefore rigorously and openly applies the methods of science and reason to all empirical claims, especially their own. A skeptic provisionally proportions acceptance of any claim to valid logic and a fair and thorough assessment of available evidence, and studies the pitfalls of human reason and the mechanisms of deception so as to avoid being deceived by others or themselves. Skepticism values method over any particular conclusion."

That is a succinct description of the Skeptical position.

I really would prefer your

I really would prefer your own view.Just to show that you can think for your self.

Well to be honest with you I

Well to be honest with you I think you already know the answers and just wish to troll. I have better things to do.

You could perhaps tell us all what your stance is. We know nothing about you.

I only wish to challenge outmoded beliefs.

Please refer to my open debate. I wish to challenge outmoded BELIEFS , in particular those held by organisations such as this.
My only objection to your organisation is that you seek to IMPOSE your beliefs on the public.

Can you give me an example of

Can you give me an example of a current (as an antonym of outmoded) belief that you have that a Skeptic will claim to be mistaken?

My REAL point is

My REAL point is that new information is continually emerging.
Unfortunately, for SKEPTICS, they take so much longer to adjust.
This is because Skeptics can only trust "Mainstream" information
Given that it takes (just -HOW long for new information to be assimilated into Mainstream Knowledge) this means that "Skeptics" are always behind.
Lets take the old "Thalidomide" disaster as an example. Todays "Skeptics" would be among those claiming "No, thats just anecdotal evidence, WE trust in science as at this point!"

The Thalidomide tragedy was

The Thalidomide tragedy was as a result of lax drug testing protocols. These were tightened up considerably following the exposure of the problem. It was Science that confirmed there was a problem and where the problem was coming from. If the attitude had been to just accept "any old theory" of what was causing the deformed babies then we probably still wouldn't know and would have a range of wild beliefs of causality from their parents being sinners to it being caused by a blockage of some "life force"...

The willingness to believe anything and anyone due to excessive credulity poses a greater risk of harm. For example, the anti vaxxer movement, with their potent mix of ignorance, deceit and celebrity, is a good example of the harm caused. http://jennymccarthybodycount.com/Jenny_McCarthy_Body_Count/Home.html

Are you saying that a claim should be accepted on no more grounds than assertion of it being so.

for Example..

Yes...The belief that "mainstream science" is where eveything stops

Well I would say that

Well I would say that contrary to thinking that mainstream Science is where everything stops a Skeptic would be of the opinion that mainstream Science is where it all begins.

I was meaning a specific belief that you might hold that has been debunked or claimed to be nonsense by Skeptics.

OK HERE GOES

I feel very passionately that Vaccinations cause more harm than good. I believe that vaccinations are exactly like Russion Roulette. I believe like Vaccinations, that the road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions. I very strongly believe that vaccinations of babies is causing all sorts of neuro -disorders..such as autism. The MMR vaccine for example,can and DOES cause brain swelling in some babies that goes undetected. All because Dr.s do not believe that so they do not enter that as a reaction...(And there's so much more I could say...)

You can believe what ever you

You can believe what ever you like. The evidence doesn't back up you position though.

Outting yourself as an anti-vaxer is the final straw for me though. You've jumped the shark with that one.

Your first Answer Supports my 1st Point.

Oh. Its YOU "Gold". MR Intellect-ese. Meaning purely intellectual argument with absence of true reasoning. Well.. You just confirmed my first point. Namely that you rely on "mainstream knowledge" for your answers. IE. "concensus opinions. And please note the word "OPINIONS".

Gold is my full legal name.

Gold is my full legal name. Unlike some, I don't hide behind the anonymity of a non de plume.

How is it that you can say things like "purely intellectual argument with absence of true reasoning" and not see just how arse backwards that is?

"intellectual argument", "true reasoning"...

To paraphrase Inigo Montoya; You keep using these words. I do not think it means what you think it means.

You ask that I note the word "opinions". Done. I see that it's plurilised. This means "more than one". I ask that you note the word "consensus". This means "the majority". Taking these together you need to ask yourself, if there is anyone outside of this opinion, why are they outside of it and does their position not only make sense, but does it explain the current position of the established research well enough to replace it as the new consensus.

Regarding the reference to consensus opinions, I suspect you have a fundamental gap in your understanding of what it takes for these opinions to be reached. These aren't personal opinions. They're the outcome of years of hypotheses, tests, studies, publishing, challenges, review, refining of hypotheses, more tests, more studies, more publishing. This process continues until people can look at the claims, experiments and data and can no longer fault it.

What would you prefer this process be replaced with?

Anti Vax vs Annecdotal Evidence ..like anti asbestos was once..

THe "EVIDENCE"= WHAT NOWDAYS?
POPULAR OPINION? EVIDENCE BASED on WHAT?- "POPULAR" Science? Or TRUE SCIENCE? Bearing in mind that "popular" Science is ONLY Science backed by MONEY

Mainstream science = OPINIONS backed with Money. Is ALL!

Sadly most members of the public are inclined to place all their faith in "Science."
The Public, sadly, believe that all scientists are men in white coats committed to the "betterment of mankind".

Sadly they have chosen to ignore "human nature", in that their assumption of scientists precludes the idea that people will forego ethics in favour of monetary reward.

This happens to be where people , such as "Skeptics" are caught out.
They are among those whose beliefs are more like fantasies,..BLIND FAITH based. Ignoring the human nature componant.

We exist in a capitalist ruled society.
Means Profit before PEOPLE
. Always.
There are those who work for big pharmaceutical companies. Scientists, but..under their employers and relying on their pay, do you really believe many would be willing to stick their necks out?
A survey was done , a couple of years ago, that showed many scientists were prepared to cheat on data to achieve desired results,( THAT IS, the ones who were prepared to admit it! Doesn't this TELL you Something?

We've already explained to

We've already explained to you what a Skeptic is and how they differ from your preconception. You, however, have not adjusted your opinion to take this into account.

Until you've explained why, I don't see any reason to address any further points.

Ignoring the conspiracy

Ignoring the conspiracy theorist angle for a moment...

Please explain what you mean by "TRUE SCIENCE".

What do you base this belief

What do you base this belief on? Obviously not evidence.

Oh and I'm off to bed so any responses to anything else you post will not be tonight.

Further to this, I know for a fact that MMR Vaccine does and can

..and does cause brainswelling. The common scenario is when a parent is in court up for charges of assault on their infant... "shaken Baby Syndrome"... What if it was the vaccine? We are currently in a time when the proof is obscured. Remember THALIDOMIDE?
Was a time when people were being ridiculed because they believed it was that drug that caused the damage...

All incorrect ideas

Please correct me if I'm wrong but I understand "Skeptics" as being all those who believe that ONLY That which has thus far been "proven", to be acceptable, to have relevance.

You're wrong.

1) they wish to hold on to the tried and true.

Incorrect. We'll fight for the tried and true, well... that's not even the right thing to say. We'll fight for the position that has the most/best evidence to back it up. If we're not qualified in a field we'll fight for the scientific consensus. If someone else comes along to challenge a position their claims will need to stand up to examination by the scientific community and win the consensus position. Just like everything that currently holds that position.

2) They wish to IMPOSE their beliefs on the public. They wish to insist that we cling on to the Tried and True

Skeptics don't tend to have "beliefs". Belief is what causes people to ignore the evidence in order to hold on to their opinion. I don't "believe" the sun will come up tomorrow. I trust it will given the vast amount of evidence that it has always done so in the past.

As for imposing anything on the public; We are members of the public. We have as much right to be heard as anyone else. I always wonder at the cognitive dissonance that must be happening in the head of an alt-med peddler when they claim their rights to free speech are "being suppressed" in one breath and then do exactly that in the next.

3) They even go so far as to interfere in democratic processes by looking for shortcuts in influencing and imposing their collective views.

Please provide examples of this "interference".

4) And did all they could to prevent conflicting ideas from taking root!

Only when those ideas;

  • go against the scientific consensus
  • lack in any credible reason to consider them as good ideas
  • could cause harm to others should the idea be taken up

If you think any of these reasons are invalid I'd be curious to know why.

MY POINT NO. 2 . Also supported by yourself

WRONG: "Skeptics don't have beliefs"
IF you dont have beliefs, then for what purpose do you call for a "Plan of attack" on the Natural Health Bill Submissions ?
Is not a "plan of attack" a means by which you desire to impose your own beliefs , i.e. that the general public should be limited in their choices.. according to what YOU see fit?
While I emphatically agree on the idea of free speech, I DO deny those who congregate on a common level of ignorance and attempt to use advantage and other devious means to effect the outcome!
I ask you : HOW DARE YOU ASSUME WHAT IS FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD?

WRONG: "Skeptics don't have

WRONG: "Skeptics don't have beliefs"

If you want to be taken seriously you'll need to back up your claims. This is a blind assertion. Without an explanation or evidence it's worthless.

IF you dont have beliefs, then for what purpose do you call for a "Plan of attack" on the Natural Health Bill Submissions ?
Is not a "plan of attack" a means by which you desire to impose your own beliefs , i.e. that the general public should be limited in their choices.. according to what YOU see fit?

If you'd bothered to read that you'd have known that the plan of attack was referring to how we could best use the systems in place to participate in the democratic process with the best effect. We call this "planning". Anyone can participate in this process. Would you deny us that right?

While I emphatically agree on the idea of free speech, I DO deny those who congregate on a common level of ignorance and attempt to use advantage and other devious means to effect the outcome!
I ask you : HOW DARE YOU ASSUME WHAT IS FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD?

For you to take that position would it be fair to assume that you have an opinion of what is for the public good?

To answer your question though, we live in a democratic society where the populace can participate in the decision making process. That is how I dare to do what I do.