***The Skeptiko Random Stuff Thread***

#1
A new forum needs a new random stuff thread!

This thread is for the miscellaneous tidbits that don't necessarily need their own thread but that you wanted to bring to the Skeptiko community's attention.

Enjoy!
 
#2
1. Can I add a link to this forum/site on my website?

2. Why does it appear to be such a negative thing to proclaim yourself to have a healthy yet skeptical viewpoint?

If I'm asking these in the wrong place, tell me to shut up lol :D
 
#4
That's a thoroughly interesting read, thanks riesgo. Would be certainly interested to find out whether this would apply to other historical peoples - such as the Celts or the Norse and Danes - and how.
 
#5
This was far more interesting than I first thought it would be.
Im still taking a lot of the information in and trying to think about how it relates to what we know about conciousness and even as far as the cultural reference we see in NDE's. I guess my biggest surprise is how the scientific community accepted it. I was expecting the worse.
Going by what they say about westerners being WEIRD, I guess I can kind of understand why materialism here is so much more profound. Really gives me something to think about.
I think if you expanded out the information a bit rather than just posting a link to the original, you could probably get a lot of dialouge going on this subject alone. It could definitely be its own thread.
 
#6
2. Why does it appear to be such a negative thing to proclaim yourself to have a healthy yet skeptical viewpoint?
Very few would consider this negative at all. The only problem arises when someone resolutely refuses to believe any experiment or evidence that doesn't agree with their prejudices. For example, just insisting that anyone producing positive evidence for ψ must be cheating or be half witted!

David
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#7
Very few would consider this negative at all. The only problem arises when someone resolutely refuses to believe any experiment or evidence that doesn't agree with their prejudices. For example, just insisting that anyone producing positive evidence for ψ must be cheating or be half witted.
Or insisting that anyone who is a "materialist" must be immoral or an idiot.

~~ Paul
 
#9
1. Can I add a link to this forum/site on my website?

2. Why does it appear to be such a negative thing to proclaim yourself to have a healthy yet skeptical viewpoint?

If I'm asking these in the wrong place, tell me to shut up lol :D
I suspect it's because some who call themselves skeptics are really cynics :)
 
#10
Or insisting that anyone who is a "materialist" must be immoral or an idiot.
Well, I don't think there's many people around here that thinks that any "materialist" is one of those things. The attention is typically focused on a number of well selected, very vocal and definitely over-the-top materialists that fit very comfortably in the second category. :)
 
#11
2. Why does it appear to be such a negative thing to proclaim yourself to have a healthy yet skeptical viewpoint?

If I'm asking these in the wrong place, tell me to shut up lol :D
I don't think it is a negative thing, in fact I think it is an incredibly positive thing. I am a natural skeptic myself, and need to see data and evidence before proclaiming anything. What I think is happening is a bit of a reshuffle, in terms of trying to prevent 'pseudo skeptics' from seriously influencing and controlling otherwise genuine enquiry and discussion, and genuine skeptical enquiry into the topics covered.
Discussions can be seriously stifled when pseudo skeptics, who really do nothing more than try to shoot down anything which threatens their materialist dogma, start to trudge over old well trodden ground and bring up old weak arguments which have been addressed a million times before. There is often a tremendous amount of intellectual dishonesty thrown in also, shown up as much by what they clearly choose to omit in conversation, as by what they do say.
Personally, I don't mind it that much, pseudo skeptic wrestling can be fun for me, and simply reaffirms my own sense of the need for keeping an open mind, and going where the data leads, not where I might want it to go.

Hope that helps.

I think people who regard themselves as unconvinced skeptics are getting a little overly concerned, and feeling as if there is some prejudice against them, but I think they are over reacting, from a place of fear. I think this new format is really trying to ensure that seriously closed minded individuals don't dominate and undermine the purpose for which this forum exists - open minded debate and discussion. Skeptics more than welcome.
Soul
 
#12
Or insisting that anyone who is a "materialist" must be immoral or an idiot.

~~ Paul
I don't think that is happening Paul. I think what Alex and others are getting at is that Skeptiko really is a place for open minded debate. Any one who refuses to concede that there are many things which have been studied and verified as real that entirely defy, and in fact undermine the materialist paradigm, can I suppose be said to be dogmatic. I am not saying that these anomolous findings ought to lead one to a complete abandonment of materialist leanings, but an admission and acceptance that holes may be beginning to form in it's promise of one day being able to account for all phenomena. Or a realistic appreciation of the limits of materialism's explanatory ability.

If one's faith in materialism means that they cannot accept at face value that anything at all from the vast warehouse of studies that have been thoroughly and scientifically investigated by countless respected researchers and published in peer reviewed journals is a valid and real phenomena worthy of further investigation, well, this can seriously stifle discussion, so I see Alex's point. It becomes an almost religious affair.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#13
I don't think that is happening Paul. I think what Alex and others are getting at is that Skeptiko really is a place for open minded debate. Any one who refuses to concede that there are many things which have been studied and verified as real that entirely defy, and in fact undermine the materialist paradigm, can I suppose be said to be dogmatic. I am not saying that these anomolous findings ought to lead one to a complete abandonment of materialist leanings, but an admission and acceptance that holes may be beginning to form in it's promise of one day being able to account for all phenomena. Or a realistic appreciation of the limits of materialism's explanatory ability.
When the day comes that I think these things are true, I'll be happy to acknowledge it. Meanwhile, since immaterialism has no explanation for these things either, shall we pronounce some immaterialists to be dogmatic?

I
f one's faith in materialism means that they cannot accept at face value that anything at all from the vast warehouse of studies that have been thoroughly and scientifically investigated by countless respected researchers and published in peer reviewed journals is a valid and real phenomena worthy of further investigation, well, this can seriously stifle discussion, so I see Alex's point. It becomes an almost religious affair.
When did I ever suggest that further study should cease?

~~ Paul
 
#14
When the day comes that I think these things are true, I'll be happy to acknowledge it. Meanwhile, since immaterialism has no explanation for these things either, shall we pronounce some immaterialists to be dogmatic?
When did I ever suggest that further study should cease?

~~ Paul
This means the same as what you said:
When the day comes that I acknowledge these things are true, I'll be happy to think it.

From that fact, we conclude that it will never happen for a long time yet!
 
#15
When the day comes that I think these things are true, I'll be happy to acknowledge it. Meanwhile, since immaterialism has no explanation for these things either, shall we pronounce some immaterialists to be dogmatic?
what on earth is 'immaterialism' lol?. :D There are many alternatives to materialism, e.g. A form of Idealism is a viable alternative which DOES offer very valid explanations for all natural phenomena as well as what we currently call 'para' natural (because of the materialist paradigm.

When did I ever suggest that further study should cease?
~~ Paul
You didn't. Clearly, such a suggestion would be unreasonable and dogmatic. ;)
 
#16
When the day comes that I think these things are true, I'll be happy to acknowledge it. Meanwhile, since immaterialism has no explanation for these things either, shall we pronounce some immaterialists to be dogmatic?

I
When did I ever suggest that further study should cease?

~~ Paul
"Immaterialism" isn't required to explain anything. In the true spirit of skepticism, it simply points out that what we thought was true - materialism - is, in fact, not actually true . . . This is what skepticism does.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#18
what on earth is 'immaterialism' lol?. :D There are many alternatives to materialism, e.g. A form of Idealism is a viable alternative which DOES offer very valid explanations for all natural phenomena as well as what we currently call 'para' natural (because of the materialist paradigm.
Alternatives to materialism are forms of immaterialism. So you're saying you have an immaterial science that offers explanations? What is the explanation for consciousness?

~~ Paul
 
#19
Alternatives to materialism are forms of immaterialism. So you're saying you have an immaterial science that offers explanations? What is the explanation for consciousness?

~~ Paul
oh right back at you buddy. What is the explanation for matter?
your question is redundant however, as we are looking for the root cause of all things, and believe it or not, consciousness does fit the bill quite nicely, unlike matter. In materialism, it is forces acting on matter (once matter is brought into existence through the big bang - something from nothing absurdity). The question remains, what caused the big bang, and trust me, it wasn't matter :P Could have been an event brought about by consciousness. I am not say this is the explanation, I am simply saying there is no reason why it couldn't have happened this way.
 
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