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Author Topic:   The Nature of Scepticism
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 1 of 271 (690785)
02-15-2013 1:54 PM


"I wish to propose for the reader’s favourable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true". - Bertrand Russell, Introduction to Sceptical Essays

Is this an accurate reflection of scepticism? Is it the approach taken by science? Is it paradoxical and subversive?

If we apply the above where does that leave claims of the mystical and superntural?


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Dr Adequate, posted 02-16-2013 5:21 AM Straggler has responded
 Message 4 by Thugpreacha, posted 02-16-2013 5:31 AM Straggler has responded
 Message 12 by kofh2u, posted 02-16-2013 7:41 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 17 by RAZD, posted 02-16-2013 11:12 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 109 by kofh2u, posted 02-25-2013 10:48 AM Straggler has responded
 Message 154 by kofh2u, posted 03-04-2013 1:11 PM Straggler has responded

  
AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1923
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 2 of 271 (690787)
02-16-2013 5:17 AM


Where To Put This Topic
Thread copied here from the The Nature of Scepticism thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.

*******************************************************
I saw this topic and chose immediately to promote it, knowing your reputation as a thinker and respected poster at EvC.

I was undecided as to where to put it and initially thought it a scientific topic.

Upon further examination, I thought that since skepticism was defined as an approach rather than a discipline it belonged in Faith & Belief.

Edited by Phat, : explanation of Admin decision


    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 8.0


Message 3 of 271 (690788)
02-16-2013 5:21 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
02-15-2013 1:54 PM


Is it paradoxical and subversive?

Well yes and no: Russell was being sarcastic. His point is that this is just ordinary common sense unless one has a vested interest in being wrong.


This message is a reply to:
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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13043
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 4 of 271 (690790)
02-16-2013 5:31 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
02-15-2013 1:54 PM


Wikipedia
Wikipedia also states that skepticism
quote:
is generally any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts,[1] or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere.[2]

I certainly wouldn't want to frame skepticism as an absolute fact.

To me it is an opinion and a belief.

To you it is an attitude, no?

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Straggler, posted 02-15-2013 1:54 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by ringo, posted 02-16-2013 12:56 PM Thugpreacha has responded
 Message 9 by Straggler, posted 02-16-2013 1:14 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13043
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 5 of 271 (690791)
02-16-2013 5:34 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Dr Adequate
02-16-2013 5:21 AM


Is It Science or Is It Faith/Belief?
Dr.A writes:

Russell was being sarcastic. His point is that this is just ordinary common sense unless one has a vested interest in being wrong.

are we to believe that common sense is always right?

If so, bring it! Im not skeptical that you will.

add by edit: I'm not currently super familiar with Bertrand Russels philosophies, beliefs, and observations... but I am taking some time to study him in the interests of forming some sort of intelligence so as to engage my fellow EvC brethren in a debate/discussion.

Iron sharpens iron, and the only reason that I promoted this topic into Faith/Belief was to allow for a philosophical exchange rather than an absolute framework of logic, reason, and reality. Yes I know, it allows for my pet woo to enter the discussion, but I allow for it to be questioned, challenged, and tossed out by you skeptics!

Edited by Phat, : added clarification


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ringo
Member
Posts: 17439
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


(2)
Message 6 of 271 (690825)
02-16-2013 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Thugpreacha
02-16-2013 5:31 AM


Re: Wikipedia
Phat writes:

To me it is an opinion and a belief.


During my brief encounter with Evolution FairyTale, one of the members called me, "Skeptic!" in the same sense that you might call somebody, "Murderer!" It was plain that he considered skepticism a belief - and an evil one at that.

But I took the intended insult as a compliment. I consider skepticism the natural starting point for any inquiry. First you ask the question; then you look for possible answers; then you ask if the answers are adequate.

It's a never-ending process that may get you closer to truth/knowledge but it never gets you "there".

Edited by ringo, : Inflated my ego by capitalizing "I".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Thugpreacha, posted 02-16-2013 5:31 AM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 7 of 271 (690827)
02-16-2013 12:59 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Dr Adequate
02-16-2013 5:21 AM


Yes. I know. But presumably those with a more 'blessed are those who believe but do not see' approach to discerning what is real and what is not have a different take. It is they who the 'paradoxical and subversive' question was aimed at.

Ah I see Phat has joined the fray.....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Dr Adequate, posted 02-16-2013 5:21 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Thugpreacha, posted 02-16-2013 1:10 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 16 by Faith, posted 02-16-2013 9:54 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 31 by Dr Adequate, posted 02-17-2013 1:50 PM Straggler has responded

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13043
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 8 of 271 (690829)
02-16-2013 1:10 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Straggler
02-16-2013 12:59 PM


The Fray
Ah I see Phat has joined the fray.....
Yes, I want to contribute, but i must now go work 8 hours.

Ask me a question or two to get me going...after all, its your topic.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Straggler, posted 02-16-2013 12:59 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Straggler, posted 02-16-2013 1:17 PM Thugpreacha has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 9 of 271 (690830)
02-16-2013 1:14 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Thugpreacha
02-16-2013 5:31 AM


Re: Wikipedia
Phat writes:

I certainly wouldn't want to frame skepticism as an absolute fact.

It's not a fact (I'm not sure it even makes sense to call skepticism a fact). It's an approach to considering claims, assertions etc. etc.

Phat writes:

To me it is an opinion and a belief.

It's not an opinion or belief (I'm not sure it even makes sense to call skepticism an opinion or a belief). It's an approach to considering claims, assertions etc. etc.

Phat writes:

To you it is an attitude, no?

It's a necessary approach if one is to avoid the pitfall of accepting things because they are personally appealing rather than because they are likely to be correct.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Thugpreacha, posted 02-16-2013 5:31 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 10 of 271 (690831)
02-16-2013 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Thugpreacha
02-16-2013 1:10 PM


Re: The Fray
Phat writes:

Ask me a question or two to get me going..

Is skepticism the approach taken by science? Is it paradoxical and subversive?

If we accept skepticism as an approach to considering claims, assertions etc. etc. where does that leave claims of the mystical and supernatural?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Thugpreacha, posted 02-16-2013 1:10 PM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Coyote, posted 02-16-2013 1:44 PM Straggler has not yet responded
 Message 42 by Thugpreacha, posted 02-18-2013 7:43 AM Straggler has responded
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Coyote
Member (Idle past 395 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 11 of 271 (690835)
02-16-2013 1:44 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Straggler
02-16-2013 1:17 PM


Evidence
Is skepticism the approach taken by science? Is it paradoxical and subversive?

If we accept skepticism as an approach to considering claims, assertions etc. etc. where does that leave claims of the mystical and supernatural?

Skepticism is merely a request for evidence, and evidence is one of the cornerstones of science. We fold, spindle, and mutilate the evidence to see if it holds up, and we try to explain it using theory.

Claims of the mystical and supernatural? So far these come up short on the evidence. That's why religions rely on faith and belief.

That's the exact opposite of science, by the way.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

How can I possibly put a new idea into your heads, if I do not first remove your delusions?--Robert A. Heinlein

It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers


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kofh2u
Member (Idle past 2109 days)
Posts: 1162
From: phila., PA
Joined: 04-05-2004


Message 12 of 271 (690841)
02-16-2013 7:41 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
02-15-2013 1:54 PM


of the various kinds of skeptism...
I assume you want to discuss Genesis in the realm of one kind of skepticism, the scientific which refers to the critical analysis of claims lacking empirical evidence.

The issue then requires that each verse in genesis be supported with a correspondence to what science tells us in regard to the cosmic evolution that Genesis describes unfolding in seven steps.

Right???/


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kofh2u
Member (Idle past 2109 days)
Posts: 1162
From: phila., PA
Joined: 04-05-2004


Message 13 of 271 (690842)
02-16-2013 7:48 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Coyote
02-16-2013 1:44 PM


Re: Evidence

Skepticism is merely a request for evidence, and evidence is one of the cornerstones of science.

Exactly.
Otherwise what one calls skeptism is doubt that resists change regards of the facts.

People doubted Gen 1:1 was either supported by fact or ever woukd be, until Hubbke gathered the eviidence for a Big Bang beginning.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Coyote, posted 02-16-2013 8:19 PM kofh2u has responded

    
Coyote
Member (Idle past 395 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 14 of 271 (690845)
02-16-2013 8:19 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by kofh2u
02-16-2013 7:48 PM


Re: Evidence
People doubted Gen 1:1 was either supported by fact or ever woukd be, until Hubbke gathered the eviidence for a Big Bang beginning.

I am really skeptical that Iron Age sheep herders had the big bang in mind when those particular tracts were written down.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

How can I possibly put a new idea into your heads, if I do not first remove your delusions?--Robert A. Heinlein

It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by kofh2u, posted 02-16-2013 7:48 PM kofh2u has responded

Replies to this message:
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kofh2u
Member (Idle past 2109 days)
Posts: 1162
From: phila., PA
Joined: 04-05-2004


Message 15 of 271 (690848)
02-16-2013 8:40 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Coyote
02-16-2013 8:19 PM


Re: Evidence

I am really skeptical that Iron Age sheep herders had the big bang in mind when those particular tracts were written down.

Me too.

I have no evidence that they did interpret what is written in the way we can see it does correspond to the scientific facts.

That is what makes this writing appear on face value as divinely revealed.

Who could have known?
Who could have made such a clear and unequivical and definitive first statement as to base everything that would follow one a speculation of a Cosmic beginning?

Since the coin flip of a Cosmos, one that was always there, agaisnt one which had an initial beginning would have been pure luck, it is at least an example of great confidence to have taken a position right off the bat.

But then to say that no Light appeared with that Big Bang, and a delay was experienced when we just discovered the Cosmic Dark Age, the coincidental possibilities are pretty scant, imo.

Edited by kofh2u, : No reason given.


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