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Originally posted by Visiting ESB
I hear this argument all the time, even from those who are allegedly in contact with aliens. The answer to "why would aliens do that" is simple: If I (or perhaps you?) saw a child in danger or sick and had no where to turn, no one to help and no knowlege of how to help themselves, I would intervene and maybe teach them what they needed and maybe even stick around until they could fend for themselves.
in Western philosophy, the attitude of doubting knowledge claims set forth in various areas. Skeptics have challenged the adequacy or reliability of these claims by asking what principles they are based upon or what they actually establish. They have questioned whether some such claims really are, as alleged, indubitable or necessarily true, and they have challenged the purported rational grounds of accepted assumptions. In everyday life, practically everyone is skeptical about some knowledge claims; but philosophical skeptics have doubted the possibility of any knowledge beyond that of the contents of directly felt experience. The original Greek meaning of skeptikos was “an inquirer,” someone who was unsatisfied and still looking for truth.
One who is yet undecided as to what is true; one who is looking or inquiring for what is true; an inquirer after facts or reasons.
A doubter as to whether any fact or truth can be certainly known; a universal doubter; a Pyrrhonist; hence, in modern usage, occasionally, a person who questions whether any truth or fact can be established on philosophical grounds; sometimes, a critical inquirer, in opposition to a dogmatist.
A person who doubts the existence and perfections of God, or the truth of revelation; one who disbelieves the divine origin of the Christian religion.
skep·tic also scep·tic (skptk)
1. One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.
2. One inclined to skepticism in religious matters.
a. often Skeptic An adherent of a school of skepticism.
b. Skeptic A member of an ancient Greek school of skepticism, especially that of Pyrrho of Elis (360?-272? b.c.).
Skepticism (British spelling: Scepticism) can mean:
* Philosophical skepticism - a philosophical position in which people choose to critically examine whether the knowledge and perceptions that they have are actually true, and whether or not one can ever be said to have true knowledge; or
* Scientific skepticism - a scientific, or practical, position in which one does not accept the veracity of claims until solid evidence is produced in accordance with the scientific method.
Scientific skepticism is related to, but not identical to, philosophical skepticism. Many scientists and doctors who are skeptical of claims of the paranormal are nonetheless not adherents of classical philosophical skepticism. When critics of controversial scientific or paranormal claims are said to be skeptical, this only refers to their taking a position of scientific skepticism.
The term skeptic is now usually used to mean a person who is taking a critical position in a given situation, usually by employing the principles of critical thinking and the scientific method (that is, scientific skepticism) to evaluate the validity of claims and practices. Empirical evidence is important to skeptics as it is possibly the best way to determine the validity of a claim.
Skeptics are often confused with, or even denounced as, cynics. However, valid skeptical criticism (as opposed to arbitrary or subjective misgivings for an idea) strictly originates from an objective and methodological examination that is often agreed between skeptics themselves. It should also be noted that cynicism is generally defined as a position that maintains an unnecessarily negative attitude toward human motives and sincerity. While the two positions are not mutually exclusive and many skeptics may also be cynics, they each represent a fundamentally different statement about the nature of the world.
Many critics of scientific skeptics accuse them of being "closed-minded" or of inhibiting scientific progress. The majority of these critics, however, are pseudoscientists, paranormalists, and spiritualists, whose views are not adopted or supported by mainstream science.
A debunker is a skeptic who pursues dispelling false and unscientific claims. Famous debunkers include James Randi, Basava Premanand, Penn and Teller and Harry Houdini. Many debunkers are rather controversial because they have strong opinions and can be vocal about things which may offend people, such as religion and pseudosciences.
Critics of debunkers state that their conclusions are filled with self-interest, and that they are crusaders and true believers with a need for certainty and stability. They (true believers) are readily identified by their cognitive distortions. (In the world of science, the term "cognitive distortions" is not a slur, but a psychological explanation).
In particular, many pseudoscientists are quick to attack skeptics and skepticism in general because of resistence to their fringe ideas and theories, which lack evidence and are not accepted by the scientific establishment.
Originally posted by watchZEITGEISTnow
reply to post by JScytale
baa. skeptics just don't get it. they need proooooooooooooooooof. they need substaaaaaaaaaaance. they need to be saaaaaaaaaaaaaafe in whatever they live in a five sense reality. they are scaaaaaaaaaaaaaared to look outside their small boxed in fixed views. i have nothing to prooooooooooove to anyone - and as soon as others wake up to this fact - they can believe whatever they want (even if i don't believe in it) they will be much happier. baa