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Originally posted by LongbottomLeaf
reply to post by W3RLIED2
Originally posted by SavedOne
Originally posted by W3RLIED2
But you know what I'm trying to say. The site motto seems to have fallen on about a thousand deaf ears recently.
YES!! Exactly right. What I believe we have seen is a serious infiltration of cynics that have all but completely drowned out the skeptics. The term "skeptic" has even become a bad word around here when in fact it is the skeptics that engage in meaningful debate. It's the cynics that derail every conversation with pointless bickering and personal attacks. Here's some info on skeptics versus cynics:
“What does it mean to be a skeptic? Some people believe that skepticism is rejection of new ideas, or worse, they confuse “skeptic” with “cynic” and think that skeptics are a bunch of grumpy curmudgeons unwilling to accept any claim that challenges the status quo. This is wrong. Skepticism is a provisional approach to claims. It is the application of reason to any and all ideas – no sacred cows allowed. In other words, skepticism is a method, not a position."
A skeptic is a truth-seeker who seeks truth by questioning assertions and beliefs. By the very definition, a skeptic is open-minded and a curious individual. On the other hand, a cynic projects that which they believe. Not only is the method of inquiry biased, but any answer (no matter how well reasoned) is unacceptable if it does not correspond to any subjective pre-existing belief of the cynic. Cynics are the ones motivated by their own inability to explore the world outside their subjective boundaries, resulting in dogmatic or closed-minded approaches to the argument. The net effect of a skeptic is to establish truth no matter if it goes against established principles, while the net effect of a cynic is to hide the truth to maintain status quo.
A cynic will frame arguments using certain styles of debate. These tactics include ignoring facts, inventing false explanations, raising the bar when their criteria for evidence is met, using double standards, character assassinations, grossly exaggerating and distorting trivial mistakes, or dismissing all evidence by classifying it as anecdotal, unreplicable, or uncontrolled.
The source for the above is an NDE site, but I think they do a nice job of summing up the differences between a healthy skeptical view and a biased, narrow-minded cynical view. The problem lately with ATS is that we're inundated with cynics.
The web being invisible and all...I now realize that sometimes ( a lot of times) we're arguing with the youngest of ATS members. Its hard to tell.
Originally posted by webpirate
Of course there are kooks here. It is a conspiracy web site. I agree there are a fair share of the crazies here. But...then again, even a diagnosed paranoid can actually have someone following them.....