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  • Are most of us pseudoskeptical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia: Pseudoskepticism
    David Leiter, a member of the Society for Scientific Exploration, uses the terms 'pseudo-skepticism' and 'pathological skepticism' to refer to the "organized skepticism" he found in one group he had encountered. Leiter claimed that many of its members had an "unfortunate experience with a faith-based philosophy" at an earlier period in their lives, and that they had sought an organized skeptical group as a reaction to this. "Instead of becoming scientifically minded, they become adherents of scientism, the belief system in which science and only science has all the answers to everything" and that even many of these members are unwilling to spend the time to "read significantly into the literature on the subjects about which they are most skeptical". He goes on to characterize members of skeptical organizations as "scientifically inclined, but psychologically scarred."

    Are you really skeptical or just "scarred"?
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. WAB's Avatar
      WAB -
      Instead of becoming scientifically minded, they become adherents of scientism, the belief system in which science and only science has all the answers to everything

      Saw that happen frequently in my ten years at FRDB.
    1. rizdek's Avatar
      rizdek -
      It might be interesting to consider that there is more than one personality in an individual. I'm not talking schizo...but there is the group personality that might sound a lot like it's just following the crowd...and that occurs in all areas. One can hardly exclude the group peer pressure of a church or religious institution. I'm sure it might happen in an atheist group.

      Then there is the individual personality. One never knows exactly what THAT persona actually believes. A person need NEVER actually fess up their true feelings and beliefs.

      I am sure, that at times, I jump on the bandwagon concerning some aspects of god beliefs I find particularly odd and even repulsive. I might overstate and exaggerate. But inside, I am pretty sure I'm honest with myself and harbor doubts about...almost everything I think I know.

      Anyone...Christian theists or staunch atheist should always retain a bit of humility in the light that we none of us can know everything. But generally my, perhaps biased, perspective is that the theists more often than not are the ones who claim certain knowledge about a vast number of things I absolutely know for sure they CAN NOT know. They are the ones who make a point of using faith and what they think in their heads as evidence for things and a solid basis for gaining knowledge and finding truth.
    1. Speakpigeon's Avatar
      Speakpigeon -
      I think it's a bit difficult to do science and produce the required creative efforts if you have a closed mind, at least in the current context of the last few centuries where successive generations of scientists had to see their pet theory or hypothesis being smashed by new contrarian observations and had to conceive completely new theories. However, you can be a follower of science and have a closed mind. There is not creative effort in being a follower. Taking in the ever changing scientific results and theories is easy if you have a bias in favour of science (rather than a bias in favour of any particular theory). So, clearly, what this article is talking about can happen and may be more widespread than suspected but that's life. People are people. Closed minds are closed minds and some of then will be atheist and some of them will be academics or scientists.