Posts Tagged by skepticism

Top 10 Reasons Not to Trust the Government

If you have been watching the main stream news, you will have recently noticed an uptick in reports about a situation that many of us have known about for months and months.  I am speaking, of course, of Benghazi. Watching liberal, Obama sympathizers come out with what looks like disgust with the Obama administration suggests […]

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On the muzzling of climate change skeptics and your gullibility

The media knows that they have a significant role in shaping public opinion. They know that if they don’t report the ‘minority’ position you, my dear reader, will likely never hear it. If you are lucky enough to ever hear it, they can count on you to dismiss it without further thought, “If it was a valid viewpoint it would be in the papers” “This flies in the face of the scientific consensus, you idiot! They said RIGHT ON THE BBC that this is the SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS!” or “Why would the governments of the world be pushing this way if it weren’t true?”

But this article allows one to pull back the curtain, just a shade, to see the truth. They are manipulating you. You are being manipulated. You are a regular reader of the news and keep abreast of current affairs by watching the nightly news. You think you are informed. You aren’t. You are a gullible dolt being led by the nose by the powers that be to believe just whatever it is they want you to believe right now. At least, that is what the media thinks, and this article implies. And why would they think that way if it weren’t true?

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Cheap shot skepticism, courage and cowardly ‘free thought’

It’s easy to be a skeptic because it is much easier to not believe something as to believe it. Skepticism has no non-arbitrary stopping point. That is, full blooded skepticism will naturally morph into cynicism. There is no objective point where any kind of argument, piece of evidence, or logical deduction must coerce belief. This is a point I raise in this post. Many skeptics construe their skepticism as an act of courage, as though being willing to question everything shows a brave streak that others do not have. To a point, there is courage… and in a way, yes, there is something to that.

However, if it is brave to question everything it is braver still to believe anything. Let me illustrate.

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Demanding Extraordinary Evidence for Extraordinary Claims Can Render You an Extraordinary Dupe

if one applies a higher standard of inquiry against claims that they might deem extraordinary, then claims they find to be ordinary will ordinarily be accepted- without demonstration at all. Here again we see skepticism turned on its head: the skeptic is not skeptical about the things he is prepared already to believe. It is only the things he deems unlikely that he is skeptical about- God alone knows how the skeptic determined something was ‘unlikely.’

It is a fact of human nature, I think, to quickly accept things that one is already prepared to accept. If I am told tomorrow that some Democrat in high office has failed to pay his taxes- again- I will pretty much accept it as a fact because I have become accustomed to Democrats doing such things (eg here, here, here, and here). We should expect nothing less from the people who believe that we should all pay higher taxes; by ‘we all’ it is known they mean us all. I am prepared to believe it as a pretty ordinary claim in the realm of things and therefore will demand very little evidence to support it. So you see, I am not exempting myself from this human tendency.

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Knights of Contention Debate: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence?

This ministry hosts a regular online round table discussing matters of substance and controversy.  Christians and NonChristians are invited but it is not necessarily an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ debate.  Past topics have included matters of controversy only amongst Christians and due to the flexibility of the discussion, topics can change on a dime. The next […]

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Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon Bonaparte by Richard Whately against David Hume and Skepticism

Over the last three hundred years unbounded skepticism has been applied to religion and Christianity especially. Atheist philosopher David Hume was one of the prominent voices calling for stringent criteria in evaluating miracle claims, and the like. Not everyone thought very highly of this criteria. One such person was the Reverend Richard Whately, who skewers Hume’s reasoning by showing how if it were applied consistently, one could not be reasonably certain that Napoleon existed- a public figure that was said to be alive and roaming Europe even as he spoke!

This playful little book is not a treatise by any means, but it provides a glimpse into the conversations of the 1800s and challenges the ‘enlightened’ skeptics to decide: If they won’t apply their principles thoroughly and consistently, but choose only to apply them to certain claims (and how did they choose which ones?), are those principles worth their salt?

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Barker’s Rebuttal to Kingsley’s Easter Answer: A Dud

Barker’s Challenge explicitly says: “…without omitting a single detail…write a simple, chronological narrative of the events between the resurrection and the ascension… [it] does not have to pretend to present a perfect picture- it only needs to give at least one plausible account of all of the facts. … The important condition to the challenge, however, is that not one single biblical detail be omitted.”

Who among us is surprised to hear that by ‘plausible’ Barker basically means ‘naturalistic explanations’? Even I, I mean, even I, was shocked to hear Barker dismiss the plausibility of Kingsley’s chronology because, well, one must adopt a naturalistic perspective of what counts as ‘plausible’! Unbelievable! Consider this exchange leading into Part 2: [More…]

Dan: Yes. But we’re not there yet. In order for your evidence to be admissible, you have to produce a coherent, noncontradictory, plausible version of it.
Elizabeth: And that is the point of your Easter Challenge. I understand. So the only way for us to proceed is to assume that we are both naturalists, simply looking at the details of the stories themselves, on their own merits.
Dan: Yes. That’s all I was trying to say.

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