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Old 3rd December 2012, 12:43 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
It is like I am denouncing pornography as a social evil and at the same time making a phonographic movie with fictitious characters. Of course it is a fiction. The characters are not real so where is the connection. How is that hypocrisy?

Wow. That analogy is quite a leap from Carl Sagan writing a piece of fiction about exploring alien contact and being a skeptic on the issue of alien visitation. So distant a leap in fact that either could best be described as irrelevant to the other.

Quote:
That is the problem with Skepticism. Skepticism is not a position (has no moral conviction), it is a process. The process is only as good as the person processing it.

Aha! That could be the crux of the problem right there. It appears you don't understand what skepticism is and how it's applied. No wonder your arguments seem filled with confusion and misunderstanding.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 12:45 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
It is like I am denouncing pornography as a social evil and at the same time making a phonographic movie with fictitious characters. Of course it is a fiction. The characters are not real so where is the connection. How is that hypocrisy?
That is the problem with Skepticism. Skepticism is not a position (has no moral conviction), it is a process. The process is only as good as the person processing it.
Perhaps you could remind me in what way Contact is "about" credulous "UFO" "sightings", or about "alien abductions"? Have you ever read Contact? Did you even see the movie?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 12:49 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Too many points to deal with in one post. The point raise in the legal system was the play on the line "beyond a reasonable doubt." So Skeptics are entitled to their doubts but are they reasonable and what is their threshold for accepting evidence because it appears very subjective from one Skeptic to another.
First off, in this context, the word "skeptic" is not a proper noun, so I'm not sure why you've begun to capitalize it.

You appear to be conflating skepticism with cynicism. They are not the same. Many skeptics I've encountered are among the least cynical people I've met. Skepticism isn't about saying, "I refuse to believe it". Rather, it is about saying, "I need to be convinced".

And guess what? Skepticism is subjective. It's a method employed by people. I'm not sure why you would expect all skeptics to agree completely about standards of acceptable evidence, or why it would surprise you that some people can be skeptical regarding certain issues, yet also believe in ghosts or gods.

Quote:
Skeptics are about debunking claims.
No, skeptics are about looking into claims in detail to see if they stack up against known reality. Everything we've learned through the application of the scientific method has been confirmed by skeptics.

Quote:
According to Brian Dunning Skeptics are also Ghost believers and many are deeply religious. So what have they debunked?
You think that selective choices by certain individuals not to apply skepticism to certain areas invalidates the value of skepticism?

Quote:
Skeptics are not experts in the field they criticize.
Really? Every skeptical peer review of a scientific publication is criticized by experts in the field. On this very forum I've seen crackpot claims about biology addressed by people with Ph.D.s in biology. I've seen an astrophysicist criticize statements regarding astronomy. I've seen engineers tear apart 9/11 conspiracy theories made by people who know nothing of engineering. I've seen geologists point out the fatal flaws in crazy theories about the Earth.

Quote:
This was a follow up to the notion that Skeptics are critical thinkers and evidence based directed. But critical thinking is a university level course often introduced in undergraduate courses and most Skeptics are not at that level of education on Skeptics forums (no offense intended). So much that is debated by Skeptics are really outside their scope.
So you've taken university courses in critical thinking, and you assume that no self-described skeptics have?

Quote:
Which brings us to extraordinary claims and extraordinary evidence. How many Skeptics can even raise to the level of understanding extraordinary evidence when they are barley coping with ordinary problems. I cited an example of a skeptic scientist Richard Muller who rejected climate change results because he was skeptical of its results even though it was peer reviewed research. He conducted his own research and came to the same conclusion. His research was denied peer review but Richard Muller announced he was now a climate change believer based on his own research which was a peer rejected study versus a peer reviewed one that he earlier denounced.
Could you cite a source for this, particularly of the part about Muller being denied peer review? Richard Muller supported the criticism leveled by two other scientists, Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, who pointed out flaws in the statistical analysis of a study led by Michael E. Mann. This very criticism that they were engaged in is the peer review process. Muller did not deny global warming. He wasn't saying that global warming wasn't real, and he never later "announced he was now a climate change believer".

Quote:
So Skepticism is really a state of mind a psychological attribute of insecure individuals.
So you think that it is an attribute of insecurity to want to look at evidence in detail before deciding the merits of a claim? Is it a mark of a secure individual to simply believe whatever they are told?

Here's what I think. I think that you have a belief in something that you can't justify with facts or reason, and you've encountered many skeptics who have pointed out the logical flaws your arguments. But rather than address those flaws you've decided to poison the well by characterizing skeptics as as suffering from insecurity. Ironic, isn't it?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 12:50 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Skepticism is not a position (has no moral conviction), it is a process. The process is only as good as the person processing it.
And someone around here is performing that process very poorly.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 12:50 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by GeeMack View Post
Wow. That analogy is quite a leap from Carl Sagan writing a piece of fiction about exploring alien contact and being a skeptic on the issue of alien visitation. So distant a leap in fact that either could best be described as irrelevant to the other.




Aha! That could be the crux of the problem right there. It appears you don't understand what skepticism is and how it's applied. No wonder your arguments seem filled with confusion and misunderstanding.
That was a quote by Dr. Shermer: Skepticism is not a position; it's a process.
http://skeptoid.com/skeptic.php

How would a Skeptic know who he is?

Dr. Michael Shermer is Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, Executive Director of the Skeptics Society, and columnist for Scientific American.

Guess who said this." When I am good I am really good. When I am bad I am even better. "
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Old 3rd December 2012, 12:53 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Guess who said this." When I am good I am really good. When I am bad I am even better. "
I say it all the time; chicks dig it.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 12:58 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by GeeMack View Post
Fixed that for you.
That is as watered down as American beer. But thanks. I guess that should generate some fan mail next.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 12:58 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Skepticism: 1. A doubting or questioning attitude or state of mind; dubiety synonyms with uncertainty.
What problem do you have with this? Are you conflating doubt with refusal to believe? Do you question the value of thoroughly investigating claims of a scientific nature?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 01:02 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
That was a quote by Dr. Shermer: Skepticism is not a position; it's a process.

The problem you seem to have here is some severe disconnect between your perception of skeptics and skepticism and how the process is actually applied, what sorts of results might be expected, and how to work those results into our understanding of the universe we live in.

What is your agenda, anyway? Are you a ghost believer? UFOs = aliens? Climate change isn't man made? You think you can see people's kidneys through their clothes and skin, and some skeptics were mean to you when you couldn't actually do it? Really, why all the anger and resentment toward skeptics? What is your unsupportable belief, and why are you reluctant to just start a thread about it and make your best case?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 01:05 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
And he also wrote Contact which was all about UFOs, alien spacecraft and alien encounters. Here he is pandering to the so called irrational and trying to profit from it after he claimed to be a Skeptic of UFOs. It is hard to be a scientist and not indulge in some wild speculations or vicariously live in fiction, what the real world cannot provide, except in fantasy land.
1. Contact is a work of fiction. It was Sagan imagining what it might be like if humans did detect a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization.

2. Being a skeptic of UFOs does not mean that one must also believe that life cannot exist elsewhere in the universe. That's as silly as thinking that if life exists elsewhere in the universe, then it must be visiting us here in UFOs.

3. Being skeptical about something is not the same as denying its possibility. When asked, Sagan generally stated that he was very doubtful about the legitimacy of UFO claims, but he never claimed to have epistemological certainty that they were not alien visitors.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 01:07 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by Foster Zygote View Post
What problem do you have with this? Are you conflating doubt with refusal to believe? Do you question the value of thoroughly investigating claims of a scientific nature?
Skepticism appears to match the definition of insecurity.
Compare.

Skepticism: 1. A doubting or questioning attitude or state of mind; dubiety synonyms with uncertainty.

Insecurity definition: 1. Not sure or certain; doubtful:

That is what I said in the OP. What is a Skeptic?

Why they might not be Skeptics but just very insecure individuals.

Link: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=248789

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Old 3rd December 2012, 01:14 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Skepticism appears to match the definition of insecurity.
Compare.

Skepticism: 1. A doubting or questioning attitude or state of mind; dubiety synonyms with uncertainty.

Insecurity definition: 1. Not sure or certain; doubtful:

That is what I said in the OP. What is a Skeptic?

Why they might not be Skeptics but just very insecure individuals.

Link: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=248789
So, if skeptics are supposed to accept your adversarial definition of what "skeptical thought" or a "skeptical approach" "really is", does it follow that you accept the adversarial characterization of "religion" as "superstition", since the Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (2nd ed) defines "superstition" as "any belief held without evidence"?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 01:16 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
But that is exactly the point. At 17 Carl Sagan believe in flying saucers and aliens. And took it seriously enough to write to the Sectary of State.
So what? As a child I believed in Jesus and UFOs.

Quote:
Later he became a skeptic of UFOs as it is mentioned in his biographies.
So, let me get this straight: As he grew up and gained more knowledge, he revised his position to "UFOs are most likely a construct of human imagination". And?

Quote:
But he did not lose his obsession with aliens. He spend the rest of his life looking for extraterrestrial intelligent life or aliens. That is a super sized obsession.
You continuing to call it an obsession is a transparently obvious attempt to discredit the man.

Quote:
Definition of Extraterrestrial: originating, existing, or occurring outside the earth or its atmosphere.
Aliens as everyone knows are extraterrestrial.
Could you please explain why belief in UFOs must go hand in hand with the conclusion that it is possible for life to arise on another world through the same natural processes that resulted in life evolving on this world? I'd really like to know, because your entire argument hinges on this premise. Why can't someone conclude that there isn't any evidence that extraterrestrial life is visiting us here on Earth, but that it is still possible, even likely, that biology has evolved on other worlds?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 01:20 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by Foster Zygote View Post

Here's what I think. I think that you have a belief in something that you can't justify with facts or reason, and you've encountered many skeptics who have pointed out the logical flaws your arguments. But rather than address those flaws you've decided to poison the well by characterizing skeptics as as suffering from insecurity. Ironic, isn't it?
Quote:
So Skepticism is really a state of mind a psychological attribute of insecure individuals.
Skeptics psychological attributes.

Quote:
The Pyrrhonians, in contrast, did not claim that knowledge is impossible; rather, they suspended judgment on all such theoretical questions, thereby avoiding the mental discomfort that comes from taxing one's brain with insoluble problems. For them, skepticism was a mental attitude and a way of life, not an abstract philosophical position. The Pyrrhonist refused to judge or criticize the laws and customs of his society, resolving instead to accept things as they appear to be, without committing himself to any judgment about them. In this way he attained the psychological tranquillity of ataraxia.
ataraxia definition:
a state of tranquility free from anxiety and emotional disturbance.
Why a Skeptic seeks ataraxia or a stress free state to pacify his insecurity, uncertainty or doubting attitude.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 01:21 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Skepticism appears to match the definition of insecurity.
Compare.

Skepticism: 1. A doubting or questioning attitude or state of mind; dubiety synonyms with uncertainty.

Insecurity definition: 1. Not sure or certain; doubtful:

That is what I said in the OP. What is a Skeptic?

Why they might not be Skeptics but just very insecure individuals.

Link: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=248789
What a cute semantic game.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 01:25 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by GeeMack View Post
What is your agenda, anyway? Are you a ghost believer? UFOs = aliens? Climate change isn't man made? You think you can see people's kidneys through their clothes and skin, and some skeptics were mean to you when you couldn't actually do it? Really, why all the anger and resentment toward skeptics? What is your unsupportable belief, and why are you reluctant to just start a thread about it and make your best case?
It would be quite nice if he/she would drop the other shoe and just spill the beans.

Then we could have a discussion.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 01:26 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Skeptics psychological attributes.



ataraxia definition:
a state of tranquility free from anxiety and emotional disturbance.
Why a Skeptic seeks ataraxia or a stress free state to pacify his insecurity, uncertainty or doubting attitude.
C'mon, spill the beans.

What woo do you do?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 01:31 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Skeptics psychological attributes.

ataraxia definition:
a state of tranquility free from anxiety and emotional disturbance.
Why a Skeptic seeks ataraxia or a stress free state to pacify his insecurity, uncertainty or doubting attitude.
Please don't smoke around all that straw.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 02:00 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
That's why God invented paragraphs.



As I said above, your courtroom comparison is invalid. It doesn't become more valid through repetition.



Sceptics are about scepticism, critical thinking. Sometimes this involves debunking claims.



I don't know who Brian Dunning is, nor do I know why I should care. What I do know is that Brian Dunning should speak for himself.

That's assuming that you're accurately reporting what he's said, that is. I'm a little sceptical of your claim.



Which field is that? I'd love for you to tell me what I criticise.



I wonder if you thought about that paragraph critically before posting it? My guess would be not, but I'm willing to be persuaded, if evidence comes to light.



Where and when did you cite this example, what's it supposed to be an example of, and what point do you think that it proves?
Brian Dunning/ What is Skepticism?
http://skeptoid.com/skeptic.php

Quote:
Brian Dunning: The true meaning of the word skepticism has nothing to do with doubt, disbelief, or negativity.
So where do we get the meaning of Skepticism?

I don't meet skeptics outside of Skeptic forums. So I am trying to understand what drives a Skeptic.
Skeptic definition: 1. One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.
How does a Skeptic communicate if he disagrees with generally accepted conclusions. There are millions of generally accepted conclusion a cumulative buildup of knowledge over the generations. How does a Skeptic go about validating every one of those assertions before accepting them.
I went through 10 pages of debating because the Skeptic member (on another forum) refused to believe what he said and wanted me to show him the evidence. And when I did he refused to accept that was what he meant.
Here was a single parent on welfare, a school dropout living in a crummy apartment making it through the month a bus token at a time refusing to believe not only what he said but also the dire conditions of his existence.
It is this troubling experience that drives me to reach out to Skeptics and get them to recognize most times the evidence is self evident.
I apologize for sounding off. And I agree not everyone here is a Skeptic, they might just be very insecure individuals.

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Old 3rd December 2012, 02:07 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Skeptics psychological attributes.



ataraxia definition:
a state of tranquility free from anxiety and emotional disturbance.
Why a Skeptic seeks ataraxia or a stress free state to pacify his insecurity, uncertainty or doubting attitude.
Do you consider yourself to be skeptical justintime?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 02:14 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
It is this troubling experience that drives me to reach out to Skeptics and get them to recognize most times the evidence is self evident.

Pardon me if I don't buy that.

Why don't you come out and say what woo you believe in, rather than presume to tell skeptics what you think they believe?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 02:16 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Skeptics psychological attributes.
Fishcake ethereal boogie.

I am playing the game right, aren't I?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 02:18 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by Slowvehicle View Post
So, if skeptics are supposed to accept your adversarial definition of what "skeptical thought" or a "skeptical approach" "really is", does it follow that you accept the adversarial characterization of "religion" as "superstition", since the Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (2nd ed) defines "superstition" as "any belief held without evidence"?
I am not a religious person but I do believe in defending the religious rights of people. And with 0ver 3 billion believers. It would take a lot of hating to hold all of them in contempt. I have made the effort to study comparative religion and many secular philosophies. And they all teach us about our humanity.
As for your question. There are many religions and then there are superstitions. So learn "The difference between religion and superstition".
http://mikio.hubpages.com/hub/The-di...d-superstition
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Old 3rd December 2012, 02:20 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
So where do we get the meaning of Skepticism?
I honestly have no idea where you're getting any of the crap you're spouting.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 02:22 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
I don't meet skeptics outside of Skeptic forums.
How do you know this? Do you ask everyone you meet? Most people apply skepticism to one degree or another, so I suspect you've met more than you realize.

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So I am trying to understand what drives a Skeptic.
So far, you seem more determined to tell skeptics what you want them to believe.

Quote:
Skeptic definition: 1. One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.
There are no doubt people who fit that definition, but on a forum such as this you are more likely to encounter people who define skepticism as an unwillingness to accept claims that have not met a certain scientific standard of empirical evidence. This isn't to say that such skeptics won't acknowledge the possibility of a claim.

Quote:
How does a Skeptic communicate if he disagrees with generally accepted conclusions.
Generally with words.

Quote:
There are millions of generally accepted conclusion a cumulative buildup of knowledge over the generations. How does a Skeptic go about validating every one of those assertions before accepting them.
It depends on the standard of evidence that they require of a given situation. Around here, most rely on the scientific method for claims about the natural universe.

Quote:
I went through 10 pages of debating because the Skeptic member (on another forum) refused to believe what he said and wanted me to show him the evidence. And when I did he refused to accept that was what he meant.
Can you link to this discussion? It's just impossible to evaluate an exchange that we know nothing about.

Quote:
Here was a single parent on welfare, a school dropout living in a crummy apartment making it through the month a bus token at a time refusing to believe not only what he said but also the dire conditions of his existence.
How do you know this? Did he tell you this, or is it something you've assumed?

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It is this troubling experience that drives me to reach out to Skeptics and get them to recognize most times the evidence is self evident.
What evidence? What claim did you make?

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I apologize for sounding off. And I agree not everyone here is a Skeptic, they might just be very insecure individuals.
Or they may simply be people with higher than average educations who have learned a thing or two about critical thinking and the scientific method.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 02:36 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
I am not a religious person but I do believe in defending the religious rights of people.
And you think this makes you different from skeptics?

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And with 0ver 3 billion believers. It would take a lot of hating to hold all of them in contempt.
I think there are more than three billion. And again, do you think that holding the religious in contempt is a defining characteristic of skeptics?

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I have made the effort to study comparative religion and many secular philosophies. And they all teach us about our humanity.
You'll find a lot of skeptics on this forum who have also studied religion in great depth because it is so important to understanding humanity.

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As for your question. There are many religions and then there are superstitions. So learn "The difference between religion and superstition".
http://mikio.hubpages.com/hub/The-di...d-superstition
Hardly an authoritative source. Looks an awful lot like special pleading to me.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 02:36 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Definition of Obsession: 1: a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling.
Well, Sagan's interest in the possibility of extraterrestrial life wasn't disturbing and the idea wasn't unreasonable. So I guess it wasn't an obsession.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 02:39 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
It is like I am denouncing pornography as a social evil and at the same time making a phonographic movie with fictitious characters.
But Sagan never denounced science fiction as a social evil.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 02:44 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
I don't meet skeptics outside of Skeptic forums. So I am trying to understand what drives a Skeptic.

So everyone you meet outside of skeptical forums accept that all politicians' claims are 100% factual?

Color me ... skeptical.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 02:47 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
It is like I am denouncing pornography as a social evil and at the same time making a phonographic movie with fictitious characters.
That's one of the worst analogies I've ever seen.

Why can't you seem to understand that one can accept the possibility that life exists elsewhere in the universe, but also conclude that there isn't any convincing evidence that it is visiting us here on Earth with the purpose of anally probing any idiot in a pickup truck?

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Skepticism is not a position (has no moral conviction), it is a process. The process is only as good as the person processing it.
Duh.

Science has no moral convictions either. Morality is subjective and varies from person to person.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 03:00 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
And he also wrote Contact which was all about UFOs, alien spacecraft and alien encounters. Here he is pandering to the so called irrational and trying to profit from it after he claimed to be a Skeptic of UFOs. It is hard to be a scientist and not indulge in some wild speculations or vicariously live in fiction, what the real world cannot provide, except in fantasy land.
What a load of tosh! There wasn't a single UFO anywhere in the FICTION NOVEL Contact, and the only alien spacecraft was built by humans.

Also, it is not unusual for scientists and engineers to "cross over" to be science fiction authors and vice-versa.

You may have heard of Isaac Asimov, a prolific science fiction writer, but what you may not realise is that he also wrote over 60 books of non-fiction including textbooks on particle physics, astrophysics and chemistry. So wide ranging was his writings that his works have been published in all ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal system!

Fred Hoyle also comes to mind (the Black Cloud), and Gentry Lee, who is the chief engineer for the Planetary Flight Systems Directorate at JPL, co-wrote the "Rama" sequels with Arthur C. Clarke. Interestingly, Lee was also a series producer on Carl Sagan's "Cosmos".
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Old 3rd December 2012, 03:22 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by Foster Zygote View Post
That's one of the worst analogies I've ever seen.

Why can't you seem to understand that one can accept the possibility that life exists elsewhere in the universe, but also conclude that there isn't any convincing evidence that it is visiting us here on Earth with the purpose of anally probing any idiot in a pickup truck?


Duh.

Science has no moral convictions either. Morality is subjective and varies from person to person.
That should be of grave concern that science has no moral convictions. I have tried to accept Science as an amoral discipline. I also considered those scientist who help build the nuclear bomb. If scientist cannot be responsible for how it is used. Then their scientific curiosity should be subject to some restraint because of consequences they have not considered. Which brings to mind Stephen Hawking's warnings that we should avoid making contact with aliens because they might not have altruistic intentions.
Now try communicating that to a scientist like Carl Sagan who was obsessed with contacting aliens and supported by Skeptics who have yet to articulate the wisdom behind his obsession.
Stephen Hawking Warns Over Making Contact with Aliens
https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/04/25
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Old 3rd December 2012, 03:28 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
But Sagan never denounced science fiction as a social evil.
Why would he? He was profiting from it. Alimony for 2 wives and married to the third. Any one gifted with critical thinking knows there are bills to be paid and suckers to pander to. Why he targeted Skeptics is the focus of my inquiry.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 03:36 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
What a load of tosh! There wasn't a single UFO anywhere in the FICTION NOVEL Contact, and the only alien spacecraft was built by humans.

Also, it is not unusual for scientists and engineers to "cross over" to be science fiction authors and vice-versa.

You may have heard of Isaac Asimov, a prolific science fiction writer, but what you may not realise is that he also wrote over 60 books of non-fiction including textbooks on particle physics, astrophysics and chemistry. So wide ranging was his writings that his works have been published in all ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal system!

Fred Hoyle also comes to mind (the Black Cloud), and Gentry Lee, who is the chief engineer for the Planetary Flight Systems Directorate at JPL, co-wrote the "Rama" sequels with Arthur C. Clarke. Interestingly, Lee was also a series producer on Carl Sagan's "Cosmos".
Please read Plot summary for Contact. I have the same reaction with every Skeptic who claimed they read Contact. They all missed that part. This is why we group them as Skeptics. They all arrive at the same conclusion with different facts.

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Wiki: A third message is discovered containing over 30,000 pages describing plans for a machine that appears to be a kind of highly advanced vehicle, with seats for five human beings. But they cannot understand the third message until they find the fourth message, a primer hidden in phase modulation.[2] The primer allows them to translate the alien language to human language.

Ultimately, a machine is successfully built and activated, transporting five passengers
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Old 3rd December 2012, 03:40 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Why would he? He was profiting from it.

Your analogy relies on his having denounced science fiction as a social evil. If he didn't, then your analogy fails.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 03:45 PM   #156
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Now try communicating that to a scientist like Carl Sagan who was obsessed with contacting aliens and supported by Skeptics who have yet to articulate the wisdom behind his obsession.
You keep making this claim, but you haven't established it (his purported obsession) as a fact.

In fact, I don't think he was obsessed with ETS and UFOs.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 03:46 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Please read Plot summary for Contact. I have the same reaction with every Skeptic who claimed they read Contact. They all missed that part. This is why we group them as Skeptics. They all arrive at the same conclusion with different facts.

It's fiction! And what's more, the plot summary you quoted actually supports smartcookie's comment that "there wasn't a single UFO anywhere in the FICTION NOVEL Contact, and the only alien spacecraft was built by humans".

But basically, it's fiction.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 03:49 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Why would he?
You made an analogy to Sagan writing pornography while simultaneously denouncing it. I was just following your analogy.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 03:52 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
That should be of grave concern that science has no moral convictions. I have tried to accept Science as an amoral discipline. I also considered those scientist who help build the nuclear bomb. If scientist cannot be responsible for how it is used. Then their scientific curiosity should be subject to some restraint because of consequences they have not considered.
Who do you propose should subject this restraint, and what qualifies them for the task?


Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Which brings to mind Stephen Hawking's warnings that we should avoid making contact with aliens because they might not have altruistic intentions.
I fail to see the relevance. This suggestion is simply prudent in light of our presumed technological inferiority to an extraterrestrial race capable of interstellar travel. It really has nothing to do with skepticism, but rather self preservation.


Originally Posted by justintime View Post
Now try communicating that to a scientist like Carl Sagan who was obsessed with contacting aliens and supported by Skeptics who have yet to articulate the wisdom behind his obsession.
Being that you haven't established that Carl Sagan was actually obsessed with contacting aliens, why do you continue to accuse him of it?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 03:54 PM   #160
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justintime, do you understand the difference between extraterrestrial life and UFOs?
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