Skeptic's immovable standpoint

#1
Hi,

some of you may know this paper but I think it summarizes ever so clearly how far a hardcore skeptic is willing
to go in terms of neglecting evidence in order to retain the materialistic paradigm:
http://departments.bloomu.edu/philosophy/pages/content/hales/articlepdf/afterlife.pdf

The author is a philosopher Steven Hales who had a debate with another philosopher, Robert Almeder. Almeder bravely defended Stevenson's reincarnation research which has serious implications to the naturalistic paradigm. (Just to make sure: my sympathy is solely with Almeder.)

Hales' approach reminds me of Paul Edwards' book on reincarnation (a critical review of his book is available here http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/reviews/reviews_11_4_matlock.pdf)
 
#2
The approach he uses here gives me 100 percent confidence that a) he’s using the typical pseudo-skeptical approach, rather than trying to objectively analyze the topic and b) you’ll definitely find essays or articles written by that author in organized skeptic publications:

1. Begin the article by mentioning every phenomena thought to be fringe (I at least least give him credit for not including UFOs or bigfoot).
2. Pick a single one to “challenge” and declare that it represents “the best set of arguments.” That way, when you pretent to defeat it, you can wash your hands of the need to look at other evidence (and hopefully convince readers that they should do the same!).
3. Avoid analysis of real cases, and choose hypothetical ones specifically designed to make the phenomena sound ridiculous (e.g. memories of being Caesar). Also use scientific analogies that are ridiculous (e.g. the “dark suckers.”).
4. Continually assert that the evidence provides “no reason” to believe in the phenomena.
5. Say something like “while the case for belief in this phenomena is logically correct, a closer look with a keen skeptical eye reveals [insert any phrase here that makes you look like an idiot for not recognizing the correctness of the keen skeptical eye].
6. Preface all statements against the evidence with “unfortunately…” giving the impression that you only wish it were true, rather than you’re doing your best to argue against it because it goes against your personal beliefs.
7. Assert that the main reason to dismiss the evidence is lack of a “sound scientific theory” and state that the current materialistic theory should prevail.

Cheers,
Bill
 
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#3
Hi,

some of you may know this paper but I think it summarizes ever so clearly how far a hardcore skeptic is willing
to go in terms of neglecting evidence in order to retain the materialistic paradigm:
http://departments.bloomu.edu/philosophy/pages/content/hales/articlepdf/afterlife.pdf
This article is refuted by Chris Carter in his book Science and the Afterlife Experience.

http://books.google.es/books?id=7Fl...dNtfvapzwgKgP&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

The Carter position -with which I agree- is that although the hypothesis of alien abduction to explain the Stevenson type cases is a logical possibility, this hypothesis is just that, because we have no reason to believe that this hypothesis is true. But if Stevenson type cases are not a good reason to believe in reincarnation, I do not know what could lead to shuffle the hypothesis of reincarnation.
 
#4
Haruhi, thanks for the reference. Incidentally, I will get Carter's book within a week or so. I already have his two other books and they are excellent.
 
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