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How do you define "too much" skepticism?
When someone denies the facts in favor of a conspiracy theory. 22%  22%  [ 9 ]
When someone points out the lack of certainty in your claims. 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
When someone refuses to consider to any claim or opinion you express. 20%  20%  [ 8 ]
When someone refuses to follow your philosophy, politics, or religion. 5%  5%  [ 2 ]
When someone requests valid empirical evidence to support your claims. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
When someone responds to your every claim with "What if..." or "Yeah, but...". 15%  15%  [ 6 ]
When someone says you are wrong without explaining why. 17%  17%  [ 7 ]
When someone uses factual data to falsify your claims. 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
When someone else's opinions are in conflict with your own. 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
Other: ________________ (Please explain). 15%  15%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 41

magz
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13 Mar 2020, 5:22 am

The_Walrus wrote:
Personally I would separate skepticism with a k from scepticism with a c. A sceptic is someone who doubts, and a skeptic is someone who requires evidence, supports robust statistical analysis, believes in the rigorous application of the scientific method, and so forth. So a conspiracy theorist is a sceptic but not a skeptic.

A skeptic believes in the power of vaccines as proven by huge amounts of evidence. A skeptic believes that climate change caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions presents a medium-term threat to the natural world and will render some areas much less suitable for human life. A skeptic believes GMOs are as safe as unmodified crops, does not believe in any deities, and that humans share common ancestry with all known life on Earth.

I suppose skepticism could become a problem if it interfered with your life, or if it stopped you from making an urgent decision that didn't have much evidence behind it.

I can tell you what this too much "skepticism" looks like:
When e.g. some journalist uses the phrase "scientists say", you don't trust them - but you do trust scientists and their data. So every time such phrase turns up, you dig for peer-reviewed articles, source material and raw data to analyse it yourself. You know journalists routinely write about things they don't understand and summaries writen by scientists are usually bent the way to maximise chances for more funding but raw data are usually okay.
So you search for raw data, methodology, possible systematic biases, etc. until you have clear picture including errorbars and all the uncertainities.

In the meantime, you're unemployed, your bills are not payed and even if you are professionally a scientist, you are always late to publish and your research is not moving forward because you never stop digging for possible errors and biases in your own research, too.

Yup, that's me. I try to fight it, especially that I have my "real life" responsibilities, but it's hard.


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13 Mar 2020, 7:30 am

The_Walrus wrote:
Personally I would separate skepticism with a k from scepticism with a c. A sceptic is someone who doubts, and a skeptic is someone who requires evidence, supports robust statistical analysis, believes in the rigorous application of the scientific method, and so forth. So a conspiracy theorist is a sceptic but not a skeptic.

A skeptic believes in the power of vaccines as proven by huge amounts of evidence. A skeptic believes that climate change caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions presents a medium-term threat to the natural world and will render some areas much less suitable for human life. A skeptic believes GMOs are as safe as unmodified crops, does not believe in any deities, and that humans share common ancestry with all known life on Earth.

I suppose skepticism could become a problem if it interfered with your life, or if it stopped you from making an urgent decision that didn't have much evidence behind it.


How interesting, I thought this was just another case of different American/British spelling. Has the meaning really changed or is it somewhat related to a different cultural view/perception of the term? Can't find much on the subject :?


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13 Mar 2020, 7:34 am

Other: defined as when someone has reached a point of skepticism where they no longer have a personality, where nothing anyone else says to them can be interpreted in any other way than a statement to be proven or disproven, where their life revolves around being the guy who says "Well ACTUALLY" and when they finally, at the end of it all, think of themselves as "Skeptics" and die alone blinded by delusions of intellectual superiority.


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13 Mar 2020, 7:39 am

@BenderRodriguezThe term skeptic has acquired a series of colloquial meanings which don’t really fit with the original one, indeed in the case of the one I typed in as “other” and fnord has added to the poll: the original meaning has been inverted.
An example of that would be “Euroskeptic” when the person in question is referring to the EU as either “the fourth reich” or the “EUSSR” with complete sincerity. 8O



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13 Mar 2020, 7:42 am

BenderRodriguez wrote:
How interesting, I thought this was just another case of different American/British spelling. Has the meaning really changed or is it somewhat related to a different cultural view/perception of the term? Can't find much on the subject :?

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/pl/dic ... sh/skeptic
Quote:
skeptic
noun [ C ]
mainly US (UK usually sceptic)
uk
/ˈskep.tɪk/ us
/ˈskep.tɪk/
a person who doubts the truth or value of an idea or belief:
People say it can cure colds, but I'm a skeptic.
to convince the skeptics

Bender seems right.


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magz
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13 Mar 2020, 7:55 am

Karamazov wrote:
@BenderRodriguezThe term skeptic has acquired a series of colloquial meanings which don’t really fit with the original one, indeed in the case of the one I typed in as “other” and fnord has added to the poll: the original meaning has been inverted.
An example of that would be “Euroskeptic” when the person in question is referring to the EU as either “the fourth reich” or the “EUSSR” with complete sincerity. 8O

I find use of the word "skeptic" for opponent a form of manipulation.
1. You pretend your idea does not have opponents, just sceptics;
2. (probably more important) You shove real sceptics - people who have doubts and want answers for uncomfortable questions - into one category with all possible freaks and extremists and then you are free to overlook their existence - sceptics are the conspiracy weirdos, not the ones who ask for uncertainities.


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Last edited by magz on 13 Mar 2020, 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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13 Mar 2020, 8:03 am

magz wrote:
Karamazov wrote:
@BenderRodriguezThe term skeptic has acquired a series of colloquial meanings which don’t really fit with the original one, indeed in the case of the one I typed in as “other” and fnord has added to the poll: the original meaning has been inverted.
An example of that would be “Euroskeptic” when the person in question is referring to the EU as either “the fourth reich” or the “EUSSR” with complete sincerity. 8O

I find use of the word "skeptic" for opponent a form of manipulation.


The folks in my country who use those terms refer to themselves as euroskeptics!



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13 Mar 2020, 8:07 am

Yeah, according to the dictionary, it's just a different spelling. I was wondering if due to different cultural attitudes towards the term (it's neutral to me, but obviously seen in a positive or negative light by some people), the actual meaning might have been shifting.


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magz
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13 Mar 2020, 8:08 am

Karamazov wrote:
magz wrote:
Karamazov wrote:
@BenderRodriguezThe term skeptic has acquired a series of colloquial meanings which don’t really fit with the original one, indeed in the case of the one I typed in as “other” and fnord has added to the poll: the original meaning has been inverted.
An example of that would be “Euroskeptic” when the person in question is referring to the EU as either “the fourth reich” or the “EUSSR” with complete sincerity. 8O

I find use of the word "skeptic" for opponent a form of manipulation.

The folks in my country who use those terms refer to themselves as euroskeptics!

The manipulation has advantages on both sides.
For the "skeptics", it presents them are more moderate, thus more acceptable.
For the "enthusiasts", it gives them a pass to dismiss most of reasonable criticism by equating it to unreasonable criticism.
It fits the extremes at the expense of moderate doubtful position.


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13 Mar 2020, 8:20 am

magz wrote:
1. You pretend your idea does not have opponents, just sceptics;


Umm... I did say where the person in question. I know quite a lot of people who voted out in our referendum, for a variety of reasons which range from valid concerns I happen to disagree with, all the way through to barmy conspiracy theories... hence the use of that phrase :wink:

Quote:
2. (probably more important) You shove real sceptics - people who have doubts and want answers for uncomfortable questions - into one category with all possible freaks and extremists and then you are free to overlook their existence - sceptics are the conspiracy weirdos, not the ones who ask for uncertainities.


I was referring to the colloquial usage of the term as used in English at present: not seeking to create a category for my own convenience...

For clarity I regard the usage of the word skeptic as a badge of identity by conspiracy theorists of all types (and political persuasions) as an abuse of language.

:( I also feel like we might be arguing, and I don’t want to argue with you :(

Ah! Just seen your last post below! :D
Yes, i agree completely that the misuse of the term skeptic has massive propaganda potential that is very worrying. :D



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13 Mar 2020, 8:24 am

I hope we're not arguing, are we?
Sometimes I agree with the idea but hate the propaganda promoting it.
Especially I hate manipulations to silence those asking uncomfortable questions, even if those questions could be validly answered.


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13 Mar 2020, 8:33 am

^ I wasn’t entirely sure to be honest: but found the thought we might be rather anxiety provoking... Hehe: but if neither of us were seeking to them we weren’t/aren’t, just me having an attack of the old misinterpretation :lol:

Yes I agree: noting that there are people in my country who profess to believe that the EU is a big plot cooked up by the Vatican to eliminate Protestantism (I know at least one person who sincerely believes that), does not absolve one of the need to take seriously concerns over the long-term viability of the single currency. For instance. :)

I’d say especially if those questions can be validly answered!
It’s not just manipulative there: it’s unnecessary manipulation for the sake of a quick lazy win 8O
Bad form, very bad form.



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13 Mar 2020, 8:38 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Most of the examples have nothing to do with "skepticism"...
Ahh ... but they are endemic to certain discussions on this very website, as well as the general behavior of certain members (who shall not be named). I am trying to gain a consensus from as many members as possible, as well as opening up a conversation on skepticism -- its meaning and practice. So far, it has all been informative.


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13 Mar 2020, 8:43 am

Karamazov wrote:
that there are people in my country who profess to believe that the EU is a big plot cooked up by the Vatican to eliminate Protestantism (I know at least one person who sincerely believes that)

No way, they are a big plot of the masonry to defeat catholicism! ;)

My own conspiracy version: I prefer the fight for hegemony in Europe happening at, or even under, the tables in Brussels over the trenches in Carpathian Mountains.

But that's completely off topic.

I stick to the original meaning of "scepticism/skepticism" and say, too much of it is when you spend all your resources on checking all the data you encounter, to the point you can't be productive in anything.


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13 Mar 2020, 8:48 am

BenderRodriguez wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
Personally I would separate skepticism with a k from scepticism with a c. A sceptic is someone who doubts, and a skeptic is someone who requires evidence, supports robust statistical analysis, believes in the rigorous application of the scientific method, and so forth. So a conspiracy theorist is a sceptic but not a skeptic.

A skeptic believes in the power of vaccines as proven by huge amounts of evidence. A skeptic believes that climate change caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions presents a medium-term threat to the natural world and will render some areas much less suitable for human life. A skeptic believes GMOs are as safe as unmodified crops, does not believe in any deities, and that humans share common ancestry with all known life on Earth.

I suppose skepticism could become a problem if it interfered with your life, or if it stopped you from making an urgent decision that didn't have much evidence behind it.


How interesting, I thought this was just another case of different American/British spelling. Has the meaning really changed or is it somewhat related to a different cultural view/perception of the term? Can't find much on the subject :?

Since about the mid-00s, skeptics have been using the k spelling to distinguish themselves from climate sceptics in particular. I first encountered this in a book although as I read it at least 10 years ago I don’t remember which one. It’s briefly mentioned here: https://www.theguardian.com/science/blo ... s-march-us

Certainly the term is usually just spelled geographically, but there is a subculture where the c or the k conveys a different meaning.



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13 Mar 2020, 8:59 am

Scepticism is the UK version.
Skepticism is the American version.

Of course, linguistics is a dynamic process. So, it's a bit more than the above.

Fascism with a capital "F" is way different and specific than fascism with a lower-case "f."



cron