Skeptics: Really just Scared Control Freaks at Heart?

My biggest criticism of so-called Skeptics clubs is that their opinions tend to be based on ignorance and fear. Fear of that which they can't understand because it threatens their beliefs.
The worst thing about them is that they then try to exert their control over others.. all based on mere opinions. Opinions which are missing important facts...Such as those members whose duty they felt it was to support legislation that limits peoples freedom of choice in accessing the healthcare and products of their choice.

Interfering and limiting other peoples rights. That is counter democratic principles.

To me that is typical control freak behavior. Control freaks not only try to control the lives of those around them but would like to control eveybody elses too - if they could.
But...
..If backed in a corner and challenged with facts and genuine debate, they can usually be defeated.

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Thanks for an excellent

Thanks for an excellent example of cognitive dissonance and denial at work. Try and look at your own fears, what are you scared of? That someone will say something you don't want to hear?

If it's all based on "mere opinions", that also includes your opinions on this matter. In fact, you'll find none of it is about limiting choice but about ensuring that people have accurate, truthful information so they can make a good choice. Democratic principles mean all people can participate in a discussion and engage in the political process, I think that you need to refresh yourself about what that is all about. It's got nothing to do whether you like what they say or not, they've still got the right to say what they want.

missed the point

Cognitive dissonance is like a stirring of conscience, an uncomfortable feeling you get when something doesn't add up, so wrong choice of phrase.
I was sharing my observations. You can't deny that skeptics are always poo-pooing alternative health treatments that they don't understand and even condemning them. I've noticed too that they
get disparaging when it is about someone else choosing to try something that's not coventional.
It's like "come on we've got to intervene and bring these people to their senses and tell them thats quackery" .. "we need to stop them".
My fear would only ever be of having my right to choose taken away.

No, the Cognitive dissonance

No, the Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. Don't redefine it as you've redefined democracy, it makes for a poor argument. Look at this way, who is being disparaging here? Is is you, with the assertion that others, of whom you can't possibly know the motivations of, are ignorant and fearful or sceptics, who are at least looking at the evidence for something and trying to get to some facts.

Some ideas are excellent, some are good, some are poor, and some don't deserve consideration. As an adult, you are free to make whatever choices you like, but if you make them based on bad information it can cause you harm. Good example I saw today is computer scammers that ring people up and then convince them they've got a computer virus to get them to hand over credit card details, which they then use to take money out of the bank accounts of the people they target (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10725562). Is it the right thing to do to just say "Oh, well, they just used an unconventional way of trying to protect themselves" or is the right thing to do to say "That is wrong, this needs to be stopped, many victims can't afford to lose all that money."? Rinse, wash, repeat for a whole range of other things - like homeopathic "immunisation" or prophylaxis against malaria....not the least since even if you accept the claims about homeopathy there is nothing there in it's principles that even allows that you can treat a condition that hasn't developed yet.

Hello, Welcome to the skeptic

Hello,
Welcome to the skeptic forum. :) It seems you are quite new here like me. I think (hope) I understand your point. Understanding our reasons behind our actions is something people should be extremely aware of (which is a good point you and Michelle both make). People should not be jumping up and down and criticising the opinions and claims of other people without knowing why they're doing or understanding exactly what it is they're concerned about. I would certainly hope that no one is trying to simply push their own beliefs onto someone else here. I haven't seen that sort of behaviour in the group I go to in Wellington. Definitely the freedom of choice is always going to be something people should keep in mind. Especially when it comes to health.
Personally, my involvement in the skeptic community is about asking what the evidence is and whether it is actually reaching the NZ population. I hate the thought that people (including me!) could make serious decisions based on false assumptions. People have a right to accurate information, both conventional and otherwise.

PS: Cognitive dissonance is quite a complicated theory with many criticisms regarding what it is and what creates it. Many of the old studies (Festinger is the main one I'm thinking about) that supported this theory, while fantastic studies, do have their flaws and have been challenged quite a bit by more recent work. So I mainly replied to this because it's usage kind of bugged me :P

We're not a club

My biggest criticism of so-called Skeptics clubs

We're not really a club. We're more a disorganisation.

is that their opinions tend to be based on ignorance and fear. Fear of that which they can't understand because it threatens their beliefs.

Hmm... I don't think you quite understand what it is to be a Skeptic. We don't fear what we don't understand. We embrace it and that gets our juices flowing. As far as "their opinions tend to be based on ignorance" is concerned this is also incorrect. Our opinions tend to be based on the best available evidence that is out there. When opinions are guided by others, they tend to be experts in their field who have the time and knowledge base to actually read, understand and condense down the studies and research into a form more readily digested by laymen. Even then we tend to take an aggregate of the information from these people. This is commonly referred to as the scientific consensus.

The worst thing about them is that they then try to exert their control over others..

We prefer to look on it as disseminating factual information typically backed up by evidence, not opinion.

all based on mere opinions. Opinions which are missing important facts...

As described above, not really opinion.

I'm wondering, in light of this more accurate description, will you change your opinion of skeptics here or blindly maintain your view with dogmatic fervor?

Such as those members whose duty they felt it was to support legislation that limits peoples freedom of choice in accessing the healthcare and products of their choice.

We're not limiting peoples freedom to choose. We'd just like then to have as much accurate information as is currently available so they can better exercise that freedom.

Interfering and limiting other peoples rights. That is counter democratic principles.

You're right, but you're mistaken in that we're not interfering or limiting other peoples rights.

To me that is typical control freak behavior. Control freaks not only try to control the lives of those around them but would like to control eveybody elses too - if they could.

To you, yes. Unfortunately you're not very well informed. Hopefully this reply has gone some way towards helping with that.

But...
..If backed in a corner and challenged with facts and genuine debate, they can usually be defeated.

Give it a go.

Free passes are at the door

smartgirl.

I'm assuming that you are talking about complimentary and alternate "medicine". Generally the skeptical position is, if you can show, that it works, using reputable means then we will become a supporter of it.

The skeptical position is not to deny that something, works when it proven to work, we don't deny that things exist when they are proven to exist.

The thing, we ask is onus of proof that something works, is on the person, company group making the claim. if you can not prove something to work, then don't claim that it does.

That didn't last long

Hmm... :/ smartgirl seems to have bailed on us already. So much for her superior debating skills.

I'll be back

Thanks for the very lively session everybody...to Amanda- you were right of course, I came on too aggressive and passionate and put everybody on the defensive...to Gold -thanks for your lengthy responses I appreciated your rationality..To Michelle thanks for letting me off the hook by changing the subject... To Stupttigrew - for your neutral comment which brought me back to earth ..and Rob Edward for your input..(although "psychopath is a bit over the top)
It's been a valuable exercise- I've learnt a lot...Don't worry, I'll be back for more
You've made me get behind in all my household chores..hahaha

Mea culpa, I should have said

Mea culpa, I should have said Bipolar....

;0P

She was all noise and no

She was all noise and no signal...