"The Skeptics Dictionary" Unmasked

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posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 10:46 AM
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One of the most popular Destinations for arguing some point on the Internet is the Skeptics Dictionary. It can be a good resource if you want to Debunk something or find the other side of an argument.

A closer examination of this Info-Source reveals that it rejects every- and anything that even just a little bit contradicts the most reductionist-materialist view of life and the Universe. This is problematic because it is used as a prime authority on reality by scientists and journalists alike. Let's examine some of their arguably false information.

Example: Firewalking

An entry on Firewalking they have filed under "Hoaxes" they claim that Firewalking only works if you walk over the hot coals with great speed.


one must move with sufficient speed or one will get burned


Having partaken in a Firewalking-Ritual ten years ago, walking barefoot over burning coals, not quickly but rather leisurely, I can state with certainty that the Skeptics are wrong on this one.

Example: Acupuncture

About this Chinese form of Treatment that has been succesful since thousands of years, the Skeptics say:


sham acupuncture is just as effective as true acupuncture. What is not so clear to some people, but is easily ferreted out from the evidence, is that acupuncture most likely works by classical conditioning and other factors that are often lumped together and referred to as "the placebo effect."


There is something disrespectful in implying that a Science that has provably cured Millions, as a "sham". And even if it were due to the "placebo effect"...wouldnt that be reason to recognize the power of Belief as a superiour means of healing? Of Course they dont, otherwise they would call it "power of belief" and not merely "placebo effect".

Again, from personal experience I doubt that Acupuncture is no more effective than a placebo. A close friend quit smoking cold right after her first acupuncture Session. Prior to that she had tried almost everything else, including having been given medcial substances (which should have called forth any placebo-effect that might have cured the condition). The night after her Acupuncture session she said she couldnt sleep because she felt more energized than ever before with not the slightest desire to smoke - ever again. And she hasnt smoked since.

I like to go by the motto "Whatever works is what is true". This is apparently not the case for the Skeptic who belittles anything not contained withhin his belief-system.

Also on the list of "alternative medicines" that the Skeptics Dictionary say are shams:

Ayurvedic Medicine (which also healed people thousands of years before "Skeptics" arrived at the scene)

Kinesiology

Chiropractic

Intuition

Healing Touch

Faith Healing

Hypnosis

NLP

and dozens of other well-established forms of helping people.

Example: UFOs & The Paranormal

According to the Skeptics Dictionary, UFOs, Ancient Astronauts, Area 51, Abduction, Crop Circles, Flying Saucers, Roswell...its all a sham and not worth looking into. From their entry on ancient-astronauts:


"Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past", for example, is a sweeping attack on the memories and abilities of ancient peoples.


This and a few hundred other statements display Skeptics utter lack of understanding of the subject matters they profess to be "debunking". Nowhere in the book "Chariots of the Gods" does it say that the ancients are incapable or have bad memories. It instead says that they did not have the vocabulary to describe spaceships so they used other words, such as "firey flying ships".

From the section on Area 51:


You don't really think that any human could have come up with the idea of the Stealth Bomber, do you?


I enjoy a good laugh when it is warranted, but the folks over at Skeptics Dictionary employ scoffing and ridicule on almost every page.

Other well-established realities that dont exist in the Skeptics World:

Jungian Psychology

Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon

The Sense of Being Stared At

Remote Viewing (then why did the Government invest so much time and money on it?)

Kaballa

Karma

Lucid Dreaming

Chakras

Near-Death Experiences

Meditation

and hundreds of other subjects I and many others have real experiences in.


Example 3: Religion

The "Skeptics" brush off thousands of years of religious tradition and its Billions of adherents as delusional. In this article they even ridicule Agnosticism.

One of the only things the Dictionary has a positive and affirming entry on is Anti-Theism and Atheism.

It seems that "Skeptics" are primarily preoccupied with rejecting and negating other peoples realities rather than living their own. While Skeptics are no doubt needed, and it is important to expose Quackery, their agenda obviously goes beyond that into promoting philosophical-Materialism and Atheism while rejecting any reality one cannot immediately perceive with ones senses.
edit on 28-11-2010 by Skyfloating because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 10:54 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 



I've never been to the Skeptic Dictionary though by the name of it it certainly seems like something designed for the SKEPTICAL or at least its pandering to them.

A skeptic can only accept something based on evidence. Your anecdotal story of firewalking doesn't count as evidence that it can be done slowly because its only YOUR experience. We can't be accepting random people's subjective experiences as evidence, that's not skepticism its gullibility. All the things you list have been refuted by studies and research, now it may very well be that some of them work or are real but without evidence there's no reason to believe in them. That's the skeptic position and that's why atheism is given credence in the dictionary, its a skeptical position about the existence of God(s) and the belief therein.

edit on 28-11-2010 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)
edit on 28-11-2010 by Titen-Sxull because: fixed some wording and stuff



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
It seems that "Skeptics" are primarily preoccupied with rejecting and negating other peoples realities rather than living their own. While Skeptics are no doubt needed, and it is important to expose Quackery, their agenda obviously goes beyond that into promoting philosophical-Materialism and Atheism while rejecting any reality one cannot immediately perceive with ones senses.


Hey Skyfloating!

As a person who gets tagged as a skeptic, quite often, I wish to quantify that not only do I disbelieve that which I cannot immediately perceive with my senses. I also hesitate to invest in any concept which cannot be documented or repeated in a controlled setting. While I tend to preclude spirituality from my skepticism, as I feel that spirituality, real or not, is a deeply personal and esoteric phenomenon... most of what's left I do tend to want substantive proof for if I am to allow myself to accept it as real.

But, before the angry posts begin... Please notice that I did use the word "Hesitate".

This doesn't mean I mock those who have divergent beliefs from mine. In fact, to the contrary, I sort of envy those who believe in spectacular and amazing things. I often "debunk" with a hope that *this* will be the thread that shows me just how wrong my cynicism was. I'd love to wake, one day, into a world previously unknown to me. It just doesn't seem to work out that way.

I am not married to my skepticism, but it does take a bit of work to get me to cheat on it!

~Heff



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
Perhaps you're unaware how skepticism works.


Ive used the Skeptics Dictionary many times. It has helped me write rebuttals to various notions posted here.




We can't be accepting random people's subjective experiences as evidence, that's not skepticism its gullibility.


So you reject Billions of peoples Experience. If thats Skepticism, thats fine. But it has nothing to do with our experiential reality.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by Hefficide
I am not married to my skepticism, but it does take a bit of work to get me to cheat on it!


Well thats great


It takes a lot for me to buy into something to. I check and double-check and triple-check.

The difference to a Skeptic perhaps is, that my checking not only includes what can be seen in a laboratory, but also what can be felt.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 11:07 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


It would be gullible to accept the personal experiences of billions because doing so would be accepting notions that contradict each other and, more importantly, do not have the objective evidence in support of them. Your personal experience is valid to YOU not to me and that's the way it should be, that doesn't mean that people who experience these things are lying it merely means that unless they have evidence I'm disinclined to accept the phenomenon as real.

If I see an alien and tell you about it but don't have ANY evidence I can't possibly expect you to believe it, you weren't there, you didn't experience it.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
If I see an alien and tell you about it but don't have ANY evidence I can't possibly expect you to believe it, you weren't there, you didn't experience it.


That's right. But if you were to tell me that Firewalking works, I would try it. If you were to tell me where to see Aliens, I might go there. Im curious. Even if my trust has been broken 999 times, Im still curious for a thousandth time.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 11:15 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Right. Personal investigation is fine. I myself have been on paranormal investigations despite not holding any belief in spirits because its both fun AND you never know you might just find something. I've had weird experiences on some investigations but I'm skeptical of those too, my senses could deceive me. That's why real science is even more important than personal investigation and experience, because if I can experience it that doesn't mean its real, but if the whole world can see the evidence of it and if science can quantify that evidence than everyone has a reason to believe. So until the solid scientific evidence is found I stand in the middle, lacking belief but being open to evidence.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 11:17 AM
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Great post Sky


Although skepticism is most definitely needed, the kind of skepticism at that website just proves who unbelievably close minded some people are at any hint or glimpse that their materialistic-based paradigm has any holes.

The fact of the matter remains that for a lot of those subjects, their is factual evidence that directly contradict what the skeptics claim is "lack" of factual evidence.

Case and point: UFO's.

I think even the most hardened of UFO skeptics here on ATS would agree without doubt that there is a very small percentage of UFO sightings that are completely unexplainable. It doesn't mean that they are alien spacecraft, but it definitely does not mean that it is just people seeing venus or a Chinese lantern caught in a windstorm.

The kind of attitude that some skeptics, like the ones at the site, hold towards their precious "infallible" is almost a direct reflection of the same kind of attitude Christianity had towards science a few hundred years ago.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 11:26 AM
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Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Another attack on skeptics. Yawn.

I've never been to the Skeptic Dictionary though by the name of it it certainly seems like something designed for the SKEPTICAL. Perhaps you're unaware how skepticism works. A skeptic can only accept something based on evidence. Your anecdotal story of firewalking doesn't count as evidence that it can be done slowly because its only YOUR experience. We can't be accepting random people's subjective experiences as evidence, that's not skepticism its gullibility. All the things you list have been refuted by studies and research, now it may very well be that some of them work or are real but without evidence there's no reason to believe in them. That's the skeptic position and that's why atheism is given credence in the dictionary, its a skeptical position about the existence of God(s) and the belief therein.


It's not an attack on skepticism at all. Skepdic is actually rather pseudo-skeptical. An example is how they use anecdotal admissions of hoaxes as evidence against the paranormal, but will reject anecdotes when in favor of it. In their eyes, anything that goes against their materialistic worldview must be false. How is this skepticism? A true skeptic is skeptical of all sides, not just the things that go against their worldview. I like how you said you've never even been to the site, but it's already vindicated in your eyes. Good use of evidentialism there.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 11:28 AM
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reply to post by cLOUDDEAD
 


Hmm... Yeah I'm not too familiar with the dictionary, I only took a glance at a few articles. I removed the text in my original reply, its not an attack on skeptics but merely this one resource sometimes used by skeptics.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
I stand in the middle, lacking belief but being open to evidence.


In that case you are not like the folks over at Skeptics Dictionary (who even view quite established things like conventional psychology with suspicion).
edit on 28-11-2010 by Skyfloating because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by Monts
It doesn't mean that they are alien spacecraft, but it definitely does not mean that it is just people seeing venus or a Chinese lantern caught in a windstorm.


Totally.

Flying silver discs is another thing Ive seen with my own eyes. And I'd like to know what they are. "Skeptics" who are making it look as its a waste of time to even make an inquiry are doing a disservice to humanity.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 12:56 PM
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Example: NLP

NLP was created by two guys from Harvard who studied the behavior of succesful people in various fields and created a system of "success methods" from it. The Skeptics Dictionary views it as new age bunk.

Example: Chiropractic

Chiropractic is accepted as complementary by most medical professionals. Yet the Skeptics Dictionary views that too as bunk.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 05:52 PM
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Kinesiology, I can move stuff in my mind so why not

Chiropractic if it releaves pain ( what it does ) it works

Intuition, Proven true just last week

Healing Touch, true from experience

Faith Healing ,Multiple studies proof that people with faith get other results


NLP What's this never heard of it ?

Jungian Psychology ,Why not ?

Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon ,True and even observed in human history

The Sense of Being Stared At, Very true and not even possible to say it's false

Karma / luck ?
Chakras ,Very real from eperience

Meditation ,very real from experience



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 06:26 PM
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A really good subject.

The things you have listed are "phenomena" or "alternative practices" that have tangible measurements and results.

The Chi/energy of Chinese medicine is something that should be explored in greater detail by "science" we are electrical creatures as well as organic.

Meditation, the benefits of this is hardly something that can be debunk, the old saying "you arent doing it right" should be applied.

Like Heff, I am skeptical in nature, and usually take most hysterical claims lightly.

The metaphysical world, is there, and I don't ignore it.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 06:37 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 

How about Capitalism, Globalization, Zionism, Free Market, and related concepts, as long as they isn't opposite



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 06:46 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


I wouldn't mind the skeptics on ATS so much if they used the same standards proving an idea as they do when debunking...
Time and time again I have seen it occur..
If they believe something it seems the same level of proof is not required or put forward..



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by backinblack
 


I would disagree with this, I do think Most skeptics provide proof.



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 07:05 PM
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Originally posted by zazzafrazz
reply to post by backinblack
 


I would disagree with this, I do think Most skeptics provide proof.


Well I could show you a lot of examples where the degree of proof alters for what "they" put forward as opposed to others..
eg: suddenly word of mouth is accepted where it is not for say a UFO encounter or ghost etc..
pics are accepted without the originals showing no tampering.

I could go on....






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