Never Believe Anything Anyone Says

There are days that I wake up in the morning and think, “What should I blog about today?”.

Then, there are days I get up in the morning, see posts like this and this and immediately facepalm. In this case, double facepalm.
Being a skeptic does not mean that you’re skeptical of everything. I don’t have these kinds of conversations with anyone and it just shows how some people really don’t understand what it means to be a skeptic. In fact, the poor analogies used in both of these posts places skeptics in a bad light, in my opinion.
Can you imagine the non-skeptical world out there reading tripe like this? What do you think their reaction would be? Yep, laughter.
Now, I realize, since their failure to launch a campaign against certain skeptics and atheists they have trepidation in calling out anyone specifically anytime soon, but using analogies such as they have, just show that there is little understanding of what skepticism is and how it’s applied.
Skepticism’s not about ordinary claims. If I tell you I took my dog for a walk yesterday evening, and you know that I have a dog, are you going to question me in detail, about the route, time, weather, etc? Of course not.
So now, are we supposed to be skeptical of anything anyone says, no matter how ordinary the claim? Skepticism is about questioning extraordinary claims others make. Something personal in their life that is outside our normal experience with that person and where there is no evidence provided that would show the claim is true.
Would these same people, if I made a claim about seeing an UFO over the weekend just take my word for it because, well, I’m a good guy and I wouldn’t make up something like that? Of course not. They would be demanding evidence.
If you came up to work to me this morning and claimed that yesterday, you were hit by a car while crossing the street, and yet showed no signs of being hit, and looking in the local paper, there wasn’t a report about it, I’m probably going to be skeptical. “Well, I didn’t make a police report”. Yeah, I’m skeptical.
So here we are where people are trying to make light of skeptical analysis, using analogies that are so ridiculous they are painful to try and even read.
In providing the rest of us with their powerful skeptical intellect though, I guess we’re supposed to be shamed into admitting that they were right all along. It’s laughable and insulting to the skeptical community. It’s amazing to me that anyone would buy into this idiocy. But some do. Just go to the comments and see what is being said. I won’t point out anyone specifically here, but just browse for a couple of minutes. It’s fascinating how many people buy into this “logic”.
It’s actually quite sad to see just how arguments have devolved in order for some to justify their position.
It’s like a schoolyard, where some of the “popular kids” attempt to make fun and shame others. Yeah, that’s what it is. Childish.

One thought on “Never Believe Anything Anyone Says

  1. I’m rather feeling my way through the jungle that is, but ought not to be, internet skepticism. I discover that “hyperskeptic” is defined as any actual skeptic who chooses to question the evidence-free beliefs of political correctness. That an ad hominem argument is considered a proper response on some forums (here’s a laugh for you: “AND FUCKING LEARN WHAT AN AD HOMINEM ATTACK IS, dipshit.”). And I added the comma to make it read more sensibly. That to wildly accuse someone of a particularly nasty crime is consequence-free in the minds of comment-mobs. I’ve been on the internet from the moment it was available to civilians and non-academics in my country. I’ve been an atheist, a skeptic and a scientist since my teens. I’ve been a qualified physician for 32 years, practicing 24/7 in a remote area. Now I have the honour of being banned by PZ (under the username of another minor Shakespearean character). Oh, well: there’s none so blind as those that refuse to see.
    And what in ‘s name am I doing commenting about this here, on a blog describing itself as ‘conservative’? Yech! I’m a dyed-in-the-wool socialist. Yep. I love paying taxes so that I might live in a fair society. Pretty sad I find this one of the only places I might complain about the petty, immature and woolly thinking I have found on so-called skeptic sites. I guess PZ wishes he were the fifth horseman – no chance, buddy! I’d give a whole crate of Johnny Walker Blue Label to know what the Hitch would have said about his disgraceful disregard of due process (and clarity of thought)! He would have minced PZ and and tapped his ash on the remains.

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