227. Continued... Here' the new direction

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#1
Thx for all the input re the new Skeptiko forum. Here's what I'd like to try. I've created two forums...

WHICH FORUM IS FOR ME?

We have two forums. The Skeptiko Podcast forum is for folks who listen (or read) the show and want to discuss the topics and related issues in greater depth. People who accept that scientific materialism isn't a workable idea generally fit in here. If you're not a good fit for this forum we may ask you to move over to...

The Believer Versus Skeptic Debates forum is for hashing out debates about science and spirituality from a prove-it-all-over-from-the-ground-up perspective. If you're generally skeptical of the material presented in the Skeptiko podcast you're probably a good fit for this forum.
I hope this will give us a chance to have two different kinds of discussions (both meaningful and important) without having one muck up the other. If we ask you to move over to the BvS forum we'll give you and "Associate" designation. This doesn't change your permissions (let me know if you find that you can't do stuff), but does mean that you should generally avoid posting in the Skeptiko Podcast forum unless you're just trying to liven up the conversation and rile folks up a bit (see... that was a test... you should NOT post in the Skeptiko Podcast forum for these reasons :)).

Whatever forum you're in, I'm glad you're here and willing to engage dialog on important stuff (beats talking sports and politics). Let's follow the data and try to figure stuff out.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#2
I don't get it. Let's say I want to post skeptically about a podcast. Do I have to start a parallel conversation in the BvS forum? Do you really want multiple threads about the same podcast?

It sounds like you want little or no skepticism about the podcasts. Yet it's called the "Skeptiko Podcast."

~~ Paul
 
#3
If we ask you to move over to the BvS forum we'll give you and "Associate" designation.
Ahhh - a gold star to mark the nicompoops eh Alex? Certainly this is a natural continuity of the direction you've been going but I can't but feel disappointed. Skeptiko really was a unique place on the web for this kind of discussion. It's sad to see it go.

I know many here will feel quite satisfied and there will be virtual high-fives all around. A few might join me in mourning the opportunity lost.
 
#4
I don't get it. Let's say I want to post skeptically about a podcast. Do I have to start a parallel conversation in the BvS forum? Do you really want multiple threads about the same podcast?

It sounds like you want little or no skepticism about the podcasts. Yet it's called the "Skeptiko Podcast."

~~ Paul
I can't speak for Alex, but my feeling is that there is an extreme form of skepticism which is just plain silly, and requires no thought whatsoever. If someone claims, in effect, that any evidence for ψ phenomena must be fake - even if it is done as a research project - then if they post often, it would seem fair to move them.

Also, I personally think it is important that skeptics don't just rely on quips or brief comments or try to focus exclusively on one narrow aspect of a phenomenon (e.g. NDE's) that they don't seem to acknowledge the remarkable total nature of these experiences. I mean, if someone just focuses on the possibility that a person was marginally conscious while their heart was stopped, they may completely ignore the fact that:

a) That person's account of the procedure being used to revive them would be practically invisible from the vantage point of the patient - and they typically report viewing from above.

b) Any consciousness in in those conditions is likely to be blurred and not remembered well - so the fact that people often say the experience was hyper-real, doesn't seem to fit.

c) In at least some situations the person wasn't anticipating death (particularly childhood NDE's)- so why are these 'hallucinations' so appropriate?

I'd like you to try to discuss the totality of phenomena, and your own view of reality.

I came to the old Skepiko expecting some challenging arguments from the skeptics - I was interested to see how they responded to people like Sheldrake and Radin. I have to say, that I am pretty underwhelmed by their performance!

David
 
#5
I'm with Paul and Arouet here - I'm a open-minded atheist materialist who listens to every podcast. If I would like to join the conversation about one of them, why do I have to go sit in the back of the Skeptiko forum bus? The clear message this conveys is that you're unwilling to tolerate other viewpoints, even when they're presented respectfully.

Especially with the upcoming podcasts about UFOs, I think I would have more to contribute than on other topics.
 
#6
I re-started two old Skeptiko threads - "Introduce yourself" and "Links, Sources and Resources".

I think we should make these 4 threads - "Introduce yourself", "Links, Sources and Resources", "The Skeptiko Random Stuff Thread" and "Forum rules: please read before posting" - permanently sticky. People should not search for them when they visit the forum, they should always remain visible.

Alex, what do you think?
 
#7
Here's my 2 cents worth.
As is obvious from my posts, I lean heavily towards the belief that materialism is a completely failed proposition, and am convinced as to the reality and validity of many phenomena such as NDE's, Precognition, Anomalous Information Transfer (Telepathy), Mediumship and many others.

I tend to shy away from seriously new agey stuff - however even some of that has surprised me of late, so I am reminded how important it is to be aware of ones own prejudice's and assumptions, and how stifling they can be to ones intellectual and spiritual growth. Some of the topics of Alex's shows have had me literally cringing, however, upon listening and engaging with the information, I am always surprised at how arrogant and inaccurate my assumptions have been, and at how much I have learned.

I say all this, just because a change in forum style is obviously a concern to many people. No one like change, however, often it can turn out for the best.
I am however very comfortable with the current format on the old forum. I thought the Skeptiko Haven was a great place where people who would rather not discuss topics with die hard pseudo skeptics can really explore topics with like minded individuals, who are past the limitations of a materialist paradigm, and I also noticed how infrequently it was used, so it says to me that most people rather enjoy the debate, and counter weight provided by the heavily sceptical community, despite the frustrations it often throws up.

I have to say, I was very fond of the previous set up, and am certainly anxious about the proposed new format - although very willing to go along with it. I would hate to see our skeptical brothers and sisters leave the forum altogether, as I feel it would lose a lot (despite the frustration which may be saved).

My instinct is to ask you Alex, to please consider bringing over the Skeptiko Haven as a place where discussion can take place between like minded individuals who are past the silliness of failed materialism, and to keep the podcast forum as it is. Perhaps it would be a good idea to make more of a deal about the Haven forum, and give it more publicity, as I have to say, I didn't know it existed for the longest time, and when I did finally stumble upon it, it was like a breath of fresh air. I got the feeling that many skeptiko forum members either didn't know it was there, or just forgot it was there, hence the far fewer threads.

Anyway, I am certain whatever you decide will be the right decision.

Soulatman
 
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#8
I don't get it. Let's say I want to post skeptically about a podcast. Do I have to start a parallel conversation in the BvS forum? Do you really want multiple threads about the same podcast?

It sounds like you want little or no skepticism about the podcasts. Yet it's called the "Skeptiko Podcast."

~~ Paul
I don't think multiple threads will be a problem. I'm up for it... and others that have a interest in both kinds of discussions shouldn't have a problem with it either.

what do you mean re "called Skeptiko Podcast"?
 
#9
I'm with Paul and Arouet here - I'm a open-minded atheist materialist who listens to every podcast. If I would like to join the conversation about one of them, why do I have to go sit in the back of the Skeptiko forum bus? The clear message this conveys is that you're unwilling to tolerate other viewpoints, even when they're presented respectfully.

Especially with the upcoming podcasts about UFOs, I think I would have more to contribute than on other topics.
There is nothing wrong with being an open minded atheist materialist. What Alex is trying to avoid are things like the 100 page ganzfeld thread and the 300 some odd pages about the JREF challenge. If the discussions are more interesting there, people will gravitate to that forum. If all the discussions are of the "I wouldn't believe it even if it were true" variety, there will be very little interest.
 
#10
Ahhh - a gold star to mark the nicompoops eh Alex? Certainly this is a natural continuity of the direction you've been going but I can't but feel disappointed. Skeptiko really was a unique place on the web for this kind of discussion. It's sad to see it go.

I know many here will feel quite satisfied and there will be virtual high-fives all around. A few might join me in mourning the opportunity lost.
quit whining.

this is an opportunity gained. I've had you (and others) on ignore for three years. I think I'll find it easier to interact with you over in BvS... I think others will as well.
 
#11
Alex, are we allowed to discuss the controversial issues of science, scholarship and society that do NOT relate directly to the consciousness research, spirituality and anomalous phenomena? Such as (for example):

- catastrophic anthropogenic global warming;
- HIV-AIDS causation;
- alternative physical cosmologies (Electric Universe etc.)
- criticisms of biological psychiatry;
- youth rights;
- censorship and free thought/speech/expression;
- conspirasy theories;
- different forms of alternative medicine (homeopathy, naturopathy etc.)
- general problems of modern science and medicine;
- other controversies (GM products etc.).

If we allowed to do so, on what one of the two forums? Only on "Believers vs. Skeptics", or on both ones?
 
#12
I'm with Paul and Arouet here - I'm a open-minded atheist materialist who listens to every podcast. If I would like to join the conversation about one of them, why do I have to go sit in the back of the Skeptiko forum bus? The clear message this conveys is that you're unwilling to tolerate other viewpoints, even when they're presented respectfully.

Especially with the upcoming podcasts about UFOs, I think I would have more to contribute than on other topics.
Why do you think the quality of the discussion in the BvS forum is going to suffer? I don't think it will.
 
#13
quit whining.

this is an opportunity gained. I've had you (and others) on ignore for three years. I think I'll find it easier to interact with you over in BvS... I think others will as well.
It won't be because I won't be there. I'm not going to wear a gold star Alex. I guess it makes sense why your replies to my posts seem so unrelated to what I've actually written - that's the natural offshoot of ignoring what someone has to say.
 
#14
I re-started two old Skeptiko threads - "Introduce yourself" and "Links, Sources and Resources".

I think we should make these 4 threads - "Introduce yourself", "Links, Sources and Resources", "The Skeptiko Random Stuff Thread" and "Forum rules: please read before posting" - permanently sticky. People should not search for them when they visit the forum, they should always remain visible.

Alex, what do you think?
thx
 
#15
Alex, are we allowed to discuss the controversial issues of science, scholarship and society that do NOT relate directly to the consciousness research, spirituality and anomalous phenomena? Such as (for example):

- catastrophic anthropogenic global warming;
- HIV-AIDS causation;
- alternative physical cosmologies (Electric Universe etc.)
- criticisms of biological psychiatry;
- youth rights;
- censorship and free thought/speech/expression;
- conspirasy theories;
- different forms of alternative medicine (homeopathy, naturopathy etc.)
- general problems of modern science and medicine;
- other controversies (GM products etc.).

If we allowed to do so, on what one of the two forums? Only on "Believers vs. Skeptics", or on both ones?
If you're an status quo materialistic science fan you should go the BvS route. I hope we have some good discussions over there.
 
#16
It won't be because I won't be there. I'm not going to wear a gold star Alex. I guess it makes sense why your replies to my posts seem so unrelated to what I've actually written - that's the natural offshoot of ignoring what someone has to say.
naaa. It's because you're posts never get out of the rut they start in. For example, you "spent hours" (your words) reviewing the Pim van Lommel research, but whiffed on the guys conclusions. You made a similar (but different less egregious) mistake to Shermer's in not recognizing that solid research (which you admit this is) gives credence to the researcher's conclusions. In this case, Pim van Lommel has concluded that his research is suggestive of consciousness surviving death. If you can't find fault in the research then you should be inclined to accept the conclusions.

(see this this the kind of discussion we can have in the BvS forum... give it a try :))
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#17
I can't speak for Alex, but my feeling is that there is an extreme form of skepticism which is just plain silly, and requires no thought whatsoever. If someone claims, in effect, that any evidence for ? phenomena must be fake - even if it is done as a research project - then if they post often, it would seem fair to move them.
Why not just ignore them? Will we also move the proponents who have extreme forms of belief?

Also, I personally think it is important that skeptics don't just rely on quips or brief comments or try to focus exclusively on one narrow aspect of a phenomenon (e.g. NDE's) that they don't seem to acknowledge the remarkable total nature of these experiences. I mean, if someone just focuses on the possibility that a person was marginally conscious while their heart was stopped, they may completely ignore the fact that:
a) That person's account of the procedure being used to revive them would be practically invisible from the vantage point of the patient - and they typically report viewing from above.
b) Any consciousness in in those conditions is likely to be blurred and not remembered well - so the fact that people often say the experience was hyper-real, doesn't seem to fit.
c) In at least some situations the person wasn't anticipating death (particularly childhood NDE's)- so why are these 'hallucinations' so appropriate?
I'd like you to try to discuss the totality of phenomena, and your own view of reality.
There's a bunch of things I'd like to see proponents do, too. Do my desires make any difference? I doubt it.

I came to the old Skepiko expecting some challenging arguments from the skeptics - I was interested to see how they responded to people like Sheldrake and Radin. I have to say, that I am pretty underwhelmed by their performance!
And so the forum rules should be organized around your feelings on this?

~~ Paul
 
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#20
And so the forum rules should be organized around your feelings on this?
It's Alex's podcast. He can do whatever the heck he likes. It's not as if he's booting you out, is it? If you don't like it, you're perfectly free to set up your own podcast and your own forum with your own rules. Give things a try and see how they work out: you never know, you might end up being okay with it.
 
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