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Skeptical Fallacies



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Skeptical Fallacies

Post by Kitkat on Sun 21 Jul 2013, 02:38


Skeptical Claims

Not all skeptics are honest truth seekers and their claims cannot always be relied upon for accuracy.

A well known skeptic once admitted, "I'm a charlatan, a liar, a thief, and a fake altogether. There is no question of it." (This is reported to have been said on PM Magazine, on July 1st, 1982.)

Many skeptics believe in materialism as if it were a religion and they often refuse to consider evidence that contradicts their beliefs. Unfortunately, like with religions, the intolerant attitude of the fundamentalists and the power grabbing leaders tends to bleed over to the more moderate believers. Skepticism is good when it exposes fraud and foolishness, but too many skeptics care more about spreading their materialistic beliefs than about uncovering the whole truth.

When a skeptic claims that a paranormal phenomena is really due to fraud, self-delusion, or mistaking an ordinary phenomena for a paranormal one, you must evaluate whether the skeptic's claim is valid. The skeptic may be incorrect or even deliberately deceptive.

The chapter on Skeptical Misdirection contains many examples of situations where skeptics have made deceptive statements. Because of the gross unreliability of skeptical claims, including payment for both false confessions and false accusations of fraud, one must have a skeptical attitude towards all skeptical claims. One must demand equally high standards of proof for claims by skeptics as one does for claims of paranormal phenomena. For example, an accusation by someone who claims to have inside information that a medium was a fraud is not proof of fraud any more than an unsupported claim of a paranormal phenomena is proof of that phenomena. There must be evidence to support the skeptic's claim, it must be corroborated by independent investigators, and the claims must be made by persons of reliable character. All the requirements that are demanded for proof of a paranormal claim are also required for proof of a skeptical claim.

Very few writers take the time to investigate skeptical claims in order to verify them. Even fewer take the time to find out what the other side of the issue says in rebuttal to the skeptic's claims. As a result, there are many unproven skeptical claims published, many with seemingly convincing evidence which if properly rebutted would be seen to be fallacious or inapplicable. Unfortunately, these unproven and invalid claims then get repeated as fact.

Unless you have investigated both sides of the controversy, you do not have enough information to decide whether any skeptical claim is valid and you should withhold judgment until you have learned what the other side has to say about those claims.

Unfortunately, there have been cases of charlatans making paranormal claims. It is equally unfortunate that there have also been cases of charlatans making skeptical claims. This skeptical misdirection has not helped to clarify matters it only makes it harder to determine the truth.

Link to full article:

Contents include:

    About Skeptical Thinking
        Ignorant Pseudo-skeptics
        Evidence Will not Convince a Pseudo-skeptic
        Why Pseudo-skeptics say, "There is no evidence"
        Moving the Goal Post
        Debating Skeptics

    Current date/time is Thu 19 Oct 2017, 22:59