Skeptics and Close Mindedness

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posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 11:28 AM
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I've been on here for a while now. Long enough to know that the most common ad hominem thrown at the skeptical crowd is that they are close minded. I myself have been the subject of these claims before. However, when one looks at the facts this simply isn't true. The very fact that they're on this site shows they are open to fringe ideas. However, they also demand evidence to support the ideas presented here. I know I'm personally always hoping to learn something new when I come on here. The simple truth is though that many of the topics discussed on here are poorly supported. That doesn't stop me from conversing with people who believe differently from me, hoping that they might provide some insights I hadn't thought of.

When we look at the behavior of believers it becomes even harder to call skeptics close minded. During my time on here I can't think of a single time I have seen a skeptic start a thread with the caveat that only other skeptics can post. I have never seen a skeptic tell others in the thread to ignore the believers. I have never seen a skeptic question whether believers should even be allowed on here. On the other hand I regularly see believers state they don't want skeptics in their threads, tell others to ignore the skeptics, and question whether skeptics should be banned. How is putting up walls around who you'll discuss certain topics with open minded in any way? You're simply putting on blinders and going against the motto of this site: Deny Ignorance.

I don't want this thread to be seen as trolling or purposefully irking believers. I just want it to serve as a reminder that just because someone doesn't believe the same thing as you doesn't mean their close minded. It just means they've drawn a different conclusion based on the evidence. Both sides can learn from the other and by putting up walls we only hinder the search for knowledge. So before you call someone close minded maybe you should try to view things from their side and question whether or not your behavior might actually be close minded.




posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 11:36 AM
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Your observation is true. I find it amusing when someone starts a thread which basically is opinion but presented as fact. They start off the thread with something to the effect of no sceptics allowed.

This tells me they are either not prepared to defend their position or the lack the skills of debate, or both.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 11:37 AM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


I believe that healthy skepticism is more open minded than blindly believing something without any supporting evidence. I realize that sometimes personal experience outweighs one's need for tangible evidence, but I am always amazed by people who blindly believe something with neither experience or evidence. To me that is closed minded.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 11:58 AM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


I don't believe a single word you say. Oh sure, you probably believe some of your own rhetoric. But the fact of the matter is, the 'skeptic' community sucks so bad, people have to give talks like this.



And this.



Oh sure, there are a few decent skeptics out there somewhere who aren't merely pseudo-skeptics in disguise. But then I have to wonder why they aren't reading books like this.

www.amazon.com...

Or this.

www.amazon.com...

There is so much out there already...but "skeptics" seem to have some sort of willful ignorance shield in place...

...there is no need for a true skeptic to rely on discussion forums at the expense of the evidence that IS ALREADY OUT THERE JUST WAITING TO BE READ.

But reading books doesn't make a pseudo-skeptic activist feel like part of the smart-kid clique. Regurgitating scientism dogma at woo-woos does.

edit on 20-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 12:09 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


Well, it's obvious why I'm reading this thread. I didn't know there was such animosity towards skeptics. I guess it's because people don't like being told that what they are saying is unbelievable. I mean, I don't mind it. Most of the time, that's what i want. I want someone to debunk something. If no one can, then it kind of confirms it for me.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 


In this age of the internet there's more to learning than just books. That is why I'm on ATS. I can be presented a large amount of information and viewpoints in a short period of time and I can then discuss that with the people presenting the information. That doesn't mean I don't also read books. I'm also willing to read books on a wide range of topics. For example, on my bookshelf I have The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn sitting next to Operation Trojan Horse by John Keel and Descartes' Error by Antonio Damasio right next to Self-Initiation to the Golden Dawn Tradition by the Ciceros. As I said in my OP I am open to new ideas but they should have empirical evidence to back them up.

Now let me ask you a question. From the other thread it seems like you are a 2012 believer. When was the last time you read a book or article by the likes of David Stuart or Stephen Houston?



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 12:35 PM
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Here is a perfect description of what the deference between a Skeptic and a cynic or gullible person.





posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


This is what skeptics once thought.


The sailors (believers) tried hard to tell the skeptics the truth. However the skeptics never accepted the fact that the earth is round until they experienced it.

A perfect example of denialists on ATS is when i posted a thread about the 11:11 Wake-up Call.

75 million people have been seeing numerical codes for decades. However, because the skeptics were not experiencing the same numerical patterns, they denied everything labeling all believers as delusional.

So skeptics will always be close minded until they experience the 'delusional event' themselves.

Skeptics never have constructive questions to ask either. They simply crush the OP into the ground in the first page of responses.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by Rapha
 


The world was known to be round since the Greeks. Being a skeptic isn't about personal experience. In fact a skeptic knows that personal experience isn't the basis for anything. What matters is empirical evidence. Results that can be gained again and again by following the same methodology. The truth is human senses are fallible and when you throw in biases, both conscious and unconscious, as well as things like cognitive dissonance it becomes clear why we can't base what we know off of what we feel.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 01:25 PM
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I agree. My mantra as a "skeptic" has always been "it only takes one" - it only takes one of these wild claims that we hear every day to be true to totally turn the tables on how we view the world. The only problem is that, to this day, not one has been proven to be 100% absolutely true that I know of - not one UFO case, not one alien abduction, not one ghost encounter, not one EDE, not one case of clairvoyance, etc, etc (please correct me if I'm wrong). The fact that I require proof for these things to be true doesn't make me close-minded, but, on the contrary, imho makes me open-minded, but rationally and logically so. What maintains my interest in these subjects are the anecdotes and circumstantial evidence, and therefore I'm open to the small possibility that they could just possibly be true. It only takes one, and I, like many others out there who are looking for answers to big questions, would be ecstatic if any of one of these types of incidents could be proven to be "true" by our current scientific methods.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 01:43 PM
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Originally posted by redtic

The fact that I require proof for these things to be true doesn't make me close-minded, but, on the contrary, imho makes me open-minded, but rationally and logically so.


No, it makes you blind to the obsolete philosophical baggage you are taking on board, and it makes you blind to the evidence out there waiting for you to find it. You aren't doing your homework and you aren't thinking things through.

I can't make a skeptic do their homework but I can assign it (read one of the following) in the hopes that one of you might be curious enough to actually do it. Here goes.

The Trickster and the Paranormal

Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Science and Psychic Phenomena: The Fall of the House of Skeptics

The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal Is Bringing Science and Spirit Together

Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism, and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind

RANDI'S PRIZE: What sceptics say about the paranormal, why they are wrong and why it matters

edit on 20-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 01:51 PM
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Both sides of this debate are as guilty as the other side. We have very few objective people on this site. Neither skeptics nor believers are objective, and they are both operating from a belief system. I see no pride in being labeled with either tag.

Everything cannot be explained with science, because our sciences are too young, as well as being in a constant state of change. What is scientific fact today, will be hogwash tomorrow when a new discovery is made.

Neither can everything be explained by faith, and personal experience. If it could, I'd still be a diehard, fundamentalist Christian. Instead, I'm an atheist.

Objectivity. If you'll notice, the word Cartesian is listed as my mood. It's because it is a reminder to me not to think my own beliefs are above questioning. It is also a reminder to me to be as objective as I can be. I still make my mistakes, and have my prejudices, but I strive to be objective in my approach to the topics here at ATS. No matter what that topic is.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by Klassified
Both sides of this debate are as guilty as the other side. We have very few objective people on this site. Neither skeptics nor believers are objective, and they are both operating from a belief system. I see no pride in being labeled with either tag.

Everything cannot be explained with science, because our sciences are too young, as well as being in a constant state of change. What is scientific fact today, will be hogwash tomorrow when a new discovery is made.

Neither can everything be explained by faith, and personal experience. If it could, I'd still be a diehard, fundamentalist Christian. Instead, I'm an atheist.

Objectivity. If you'll notice, the word Cartesian is listed as my mood. It's because it is a reminder to me not to think my own beliefs are above questioning. It is also a reminder to me to be as objective as I can be. I still make my mistakes, and have my prejudices, but I strive to be objective in my approach to the topics here at ATS. No matter what that topic is.


Since I have directly experienced many things that science can't explain (and can't explain away) I don't feel any of the guilt that you assign to the position of 'believer'. I am not operating from a belief-system. I am operating from experience and scholarship and science.

Whereas armchair pseudo-skeptics operate from a lack of experience, from willful ignorance, from double-standards, from obsolete dogma, from publicity stunts, from bullying tactics while basking in the prestige of science and the word 'skeptic'...a word which pseudo-skeptic activists are not entitled to.

edit on 20-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 02:46 PM
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The issue of skepticism in society is gigantic, and the basis for how the MSM and the elite use it for disinfo on a daily basis.. From everything they want to twist or turn, things are presented in a way that can be described so it seems rediculous or just mundane..

Like when there is a multi witness UFO story that makes the evening news, it is usually littered with talk of little green men and other colorful metaphors by the news casters, so in the end, no one has learned anything useful, and the issue has been relegated to a mundane, or giggles sort of feelings.. This all in spite of any interesting known facts that may have been mentioned.

Most people can see through bogus skepticism on ATS in my opinion though. It is a real mixed bag of sorts, and sometimes annoying however..



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 03:00 PM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 


Wait, are you saying that these books possess peer-reviewed, scientific evidence of paranormal phenomenon? Evidence, apparently, that the scientific community chooses to ignore? That is monumental and historic.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 03:02 PM
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Originally posted by redtic
reply to post by BlueMule
 


Wait, are you saying that these books possess peer-reviewed, scientific evidence of paranormal phenomenon? Evidence, apparently, that the scientific community chooses to ignore? That is monumental and historic.


Wait, are you saying that you have been just sitting on your lazy ass, expecting scientists to bring you peer-reviewed, scientific evidence on a silver platter if it exists? That is weak and foolish.



edit on 20-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 03:08 PM
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you're not close minded, you're just cynical, self serving, control freaks who get off on insulting other people in order to make yourselves look better. probably got picked on a lot when young, maybe wore those glasses with tape in the middle and everyone called you nerds, it's ok you can let go now.

you asked....



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 03:13 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254 started at 20:30 UTC
 


Having read what there is of the thread so far I would say this:

Why do we have to classify anyone as denier, sceptic, believer, etc? It used to be that we did not resort to this incessant name calling in what basically seems to be an attempt to browbeat, belittle and demean our opponents in a debate.

One should be able to debate a subject with decorum and whilst there is no reason why one cannot be scathing in appropriate places there really is no necessity to be rude.

I really do get the distinct feeling that people have lost/are losing the ability to debate and resort to name calling to attempt to bolster their own position. It adds nothing to a debate and detracts much.

In order to debate you need to research and you need to be able to set out your position in a lucid manner without resorting to what are in fact ad hominem attacks on other people. Because people are not taught how to communicate properly these days it seems they are unable to understand and appreciate, whilst not agreeing with, another's point of view.

It is not a war or a video game. It is communication and there does not have to be a victor. Everyone should learn something from debating a subject and should leave the debate with respect for the other participants, whether you agree with their point of view or not.

My apologies if this comes a little late. We have had huge Internet problems this evening which are still ongoing.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by BlueMule
Wait, are you saying that you have been just sitting on your lazy ass, expecting scientists to bring you peer-reviewed, scientific evidence on a silver platter if it exists? That is weak and foolish.
edit on 20-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)


While I won't stoop to your level of name calling, I will just say thank you for those book references - I will try to read them when I can as I am genuinely interested in this subject. Have a good one.



posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 03:21 PM
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Originally posted by redtic

Originally posted by BlueMule
Wait, are you saying that you have been just sitting on your lazy ass, expecting scientists to bring you peer-reviewed, scientific evidence on a silver platter if it exists? That is weak and foolish.
edit on 20-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)


While I won't stoop to your level of name calling, I will just say thank you for those book references - I will try to read them when I can as I am genuinely interested in this subject. Have a good one.


Well if you do read one, please let me know afterwords so that I can test you and see for myself that it's possible for a skeptic to read such a book. I'm beginning to think it isn't.

edit on 20-11-2012 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)






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