CD Sub-Forum

#1
I remember when the Skeptiko forum used to promote critical discussions among proponents and skeptics! Those were really exciting times. Now with all the skeptics chased off, this forum is dead as a door nail!




 
#2
I am sure that the constant repetition of the same arguments from those same skeptics had nothing to do with it at all... And yeah, let's bring she who shall not be named back so we can go back to the same exasperating dynamic of wasting page after page in redundant arguments.

Come on, there was nothing "critical" going on in those discussions, just the same crap from her and Paul's incessant "what if..." rebuttals. By the end, things had gotten so desperate that she was claiming to be some sort of psychic/OBEr/MD and trying to claim the high ground as the ultimate source of authority, it was virtually impossible to tolerate her hand waving for long.
 
#3
I remember when the Skeptiko forum used to promote critical discussions among proponents and skeptics! Those were really exciting times. Now with all the skeptics chased off, this forum is dead as a door nail!
Feel free to start a critical discussion - you won't get thrown off here just for promoting a sceptical point of view. Where would you like to start - do you think it is possible to come up with a totally physical theory of consciousness, or maybe you would like to argue for Artificial Intelligence/Consciousness........

In reality, the vast majority of people banned from the forum are spammers, or simply trouble makers of one kind or another. Do you really want to debate with the likes of "Rotting Flesh" or "The Moderator", or someone selling skin care products? Nowadays newcomers to the forum have to write a few lines about their interest in SKEPTIKO before Alex admits them. The result is a huge pile of would-be spammers and people who just want a laugh who never get in, and a smaller number of new members with something interesting to say.

My feeling is that scepticism is easy to argue if you are speaking to an audience that knows nothing about ψ, and particularly if you are free to make arbitrary statements like "there is no scientific evidence for psi" or to indulge in Ad Hominems (which is one reason I try to stop people descending to that level here).

I think this is clear to see if you listen to some of Alex's interviews with sceptics. Patricia Churchland was an extreme case, but how many experts on consciousness had to admit to Alex that they had not read the scientific literature on NDE's?

David
 
Last edited:
#4
I think this is clear to see if you listen to some of Alex's interviews with sceptics. Patricia Churchland was an extreme case, but how many experts on consciousness had to admit to Alex that they had not read the scientific literature on NDE's?

David
This cuts both ways as the interviewee's ignorance of the papers often allowed Alex to make claims that weren't necessarily backed up by the data.

I have asked before... What three NDE papers should an interviewee read before Alex records a show? AWARE would have to be one as the most recent 'gold standard'. I'm guessing Merkawah too. What other paper?

You're also ignoring the subgroup of guests who know the research but are uneasy about extrapolating too much from it. Evan Thompson springs to mind off the top of my head.
 
#5
This cuts both ways as the interviewee's ignorance of the papers often allowed Alex to make claims that weren't necessarily backed up by the data.

I have asked before... What three NDE papers should an interviewee read before Alex records a show? AWARE would have to be one as the most recent 'gold standard'. I'm guessing Merkawah too. What other paper?

You're also ignoring the subgroup of guests who know the research but are uneasy about extrapolating too much from it. Evan Thompson springs to mind off the top of my head.
Hm. I'm not sure Alex claims to be an expert though does he? I don't know as I haven't listened to many of the interviews. Casting oneself as an expert and not knowing basic research is different from being a layman who is wrong isn't it?
 
#6
I haven't been around Skeptiko as long as some folks have, but I did spend about a year at the old mind-energy forums before moving over here with the rest of you. I've listened to all the episodes from the beginning.

Like anything else, the forums have changed over time, and so have the podcasts. I basically think of Skeptiko (and Alex) as a one trick pony these days. He seems much more intent on fostering his views than on doing any real listening, let alone creating any conversation with any real nuance. I'm not really saying that as a criticism, that seems to be where Alex is right now. He doesn't really say "Stuck on Stupid" any more, but you kind of get the sense that that is still his guiding mantra. There are several podcasts out there now that present topics in such depth to make the Skeptiko podcasts look like a kiddy pool compared to the Pacific. It seems a kind of codification has taken place. Stuck on stuck, I guess.

The forum still presents a number of interesting viewpoints for those interested in the basic esoteric subjects. To be honest I never really saw the forum as a place for debate. But I think the stricter rules for joining and the banning of users has restricted rather than enlivened the forum overall. I've never found another forum where these subjects were approached without hundreds of crystal-hugging Archangel Micheal channeling questions. So here I have stuck. If anyone has any suggestions for other forums, it would be appreciated.
 
#7
I remember when the Skeptiko forum used to promote critical discussions among proponents and skeptics! Those were really exciting times. Now with all the skeptics chased off, this forum is dead as a door nail!
Yep, it's quiet at the moment... especially on CD... Global Warming seems active though... Lol... for those who like that sort of thing.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#8
Seems to me Christians have more grounds for claiming to be chased off than skeptics?

I think the last big debate was about QM interpretations - that doesn't seem too long ago? Didn't have much on actual math but really that's about the level I think a layperson can discuss, and the people really involved in that one had to read through papers on science & philosophy of science and flip through books.

There's only so much time and money anyone can put into something like that.

Personally I'm not sure how useful the data debates were...maybe just awareness of what papers are out there? Seems like examining data is something you do on your own or via some actual course work?
 
#9
I think it is easy to confuse noise with activity. Sure, in the past there would be pages of 'debate' generated by such luminaries as "Formal Dining Room Set" and his offspring, but does anyone want a return to that.

I haven't banned anyone for weeks. The main change has come from filtering who is permitted to join the forum. Maybe Alex would like to write a little about how that process works, but my impression is that it mostly filters out those who can't be bothered to reply to him to gain entry.

Real discussion has to take place at a slower pace.

David
 
#10
Yep, it's quiet at the moment... especially on CD... Global Warming seems active though... Lol... for those who like that sort of thing.
The problem with CAGW is that it has acquired a following from people who believe in it like a religion - indeed I think it may have taken hold as a replacement for religious belief. Debating the subject goes nowhere.

David
 
#11
I think it is easy to confuse noise with activity. Sure, in the past there would be pages of 'debate' generated by such luminaries as "Formal Dining Room Set" and his offspring, but does anyone want a return to that.
You are an idiot if you think the function of FDRS was to generate debate. Your understanding has the subtlety of a blunt noodle.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#14
I'm sorry if it seems harsh, but it is true. FDRS served a very particular function here. One that is no longer served and the forum is poorer for it.
I agree with this, but I don't think David is an idiot.

I do think it's odd FDRS was (presumably?) banned for his behavior when it seems similarly toned language has been seen between forum members in the global warming debate?
 
#17
I do think it's odd FDRS was (presumably?) banned for his behavior when it seems similarly toned language has been seen between forum members in the global warming debate?
I have completely given up on the global warming debate, because it seems like a debate with an ardent religious believer who just quotes religious texts at you and doesn't even engage in debate at all. To be honest, I find the whole subject upsetting, because it has been obvious for years that this subject is some sort of a con - not least when the name of the scare was shifted from 'Global Warming' to 'Climate Change'. So many people (not me) have put enormous effort into exposing the absurdity of CAGW, and yet somehow the media avert their gaze and the whole gravy train keeps rolling.

Getting back to the matter in hand, one person reported a post from that debate, and I took action, so please - anyone who finds abusive contributions over there or anywhere else - press the 'Report' button.

David
 
#20
I remember when the Skeptiko forum used to promote critical discussions among proponents and skeptics! Those were really exciting times. Now with all the skeptics chased off, this forum is dead as a door nail!


Hey brooke, speaking for myself, I'm still around, been lurking, but I've been pretty busy with other things so haven't been posting.



I think the last big debate was about QM interpretations - that doesn't seem too long ago? Didn't have much on actual math but really that's about the level I think a layperson can discuss, and the people really involved in that one had to read through papers on science & philosophy of science and flip through books.

There's only so much time and money anyone can put into something like that.
I hope to get back to that discussion - it was extremely time consuming though! I hope to come back to that topic - when I have more time.

Personally I'm not sure how useful the data debates were...maybe just awareness of what papers are out there? Seems like examining data is something you do on your own or via some actual course work?
I completely disagree here. Well, not that doing a course isn't great, but its not practical for many of us (work, kids, etc.). Reading on one's own is better than not reading, but especially for lay people there is a great chance of not fully understanding a lot of it, or having suitable background knowledge to really evaluate it.

Maybe some people can do it, but personally, to really understand these concepts and papers I find it very helpful to talk about it with others. Preferably with at least one person in the group who knows their stuff, but even in absence of that I think you can make more progress in really getting into it with an in depth discussion.

I'm talking about serious, detailed discussion here though, getting into the finer details of the papers, working through the various sections with arguments and analysis, asking questions, challenging each other, putting their interpretations to the test and being willing to stick with it. Benefiting from each other's ideas.

That's not everyone's cup of tea - and as you've pointed out, those kind of discussions take a lot of work, and most members either aren't interested or don't have the time for it. That said, you only need a handful who do want to put in that time and effort to have regular, stimulating discussions!
 
Top