“What’s the Harm” of Applying SSkepticism in Lieu of Science?
Below, you will see the outline of the seven key phases of the Social Skepticism lifecycle around a disfavored subject. This process takes anywhere from 30 to 90 years to execute and ends with a Kuhn Paradigm shift at the end; coupled with the passing on of the key celebrity skeptics who denied the issue. During the final phase of the process Social Skeptics clean up all their past articles and develop apologetics to explain how they were onboard the science all along, and never denied it to begin with.
A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
– Max Planck
Further below you will see a case example where Social Skepticism was enlisted in the early 1960’s to protect the, what would become, $215 billion in revenue for acid reducing prescription drugs which were foisted on the American population based on age old pseudoscience from 1905. It took about 90 years for this pseudoscience house of cards to finally come crumbling down, despite the enormous battle waged by Social Skepticism to support their Pharma Cronies. The net cost to American Citizenry was
- $215 billion in unnecessary revenue,
- $800+ billion in productivity loss,
- countless cases of peptic ulcers, endotoxin based endocrine disruption and deaths from stomach cancer, and
- immeasurable amounts of human suffering.
But hey “What’s the Harm?” We are skeptics after all – We do the science so science doesn’t have to. Compare the suffering above to the entire repertoire of supposed suffering broached in the name of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine approaches to human health and well being. None of the sins of that category of medicine can even begin to approach the damage enacted through this one single instance of applied Social Skepticism. It is not even close in comparison.
The Seven Phases of Fake Skepticism
I. Rally the Troops – Corporate or Academic sponsors contact Social Skeptics to pass message and define targeted enemy. Political rallies around issue – Dictate denial to troops – Big corporation or celebrity skeptic condemnation – Identify enemies to the troops.
II. Decry the Topic - Social Skeptics brief celebrity skeptics and develop presentations for key conventions. Develop a set of placeholder science for denial – Push propaganda in forums and conventions.
III. Demonize the Subject – Larger body of Social Skepticism is taught how to attack the issue and persons involved. Crucifixion through publishing ridicule and personal media.
IV. Police Public Discourse - Media and Forums are used to enforce conclusion on scientists and the public. Professional penalties enforcement for those who dissent.
V. Silence – Overwhelming tide of obfuscated observations quietly begins to turn ethical scientists toward dissent. Academia ignores the issue as a waste of time – Privately scientists dissent.
VI. Acquiescence - Dissent overcomes Social Skepticism – SSkeptics begin to remove history of articles from media. Mute disposition on the topic – Skeptic articles are slowly and surreptitiously removed.
VII. Behaviour Special Pleading - Excuses are passed, denials are made, SSkepticism was never wrong. Apparently no one ever denied subject to begin with. Behavior Special Pleading -“We never denied the issue – it was just good science.”
A Case Example †
Of course, up until 1994 we all knew that ulcers (PUD) were caused by ‘coffee, worrying to much, salt, peppers, alcohol, smoking, lethargy, acidic foods and masturbation.’ Can we find the articles today which cite this? Not any longer of course. The key statement by Social Skeptics, that the cure “arrived right on time” is an example of the post-defeat apologetics accompanying the flurry of article and publication removal which occurs in phases V and VI.
Observe here how, the only reason the science actually won over the Social Skeptics and corporate opinion, was because the patents had expired on acid blocking drugs and they were removed from prescription status to over-the-counter designation as heartburn treatments. The only ‘right on time’ which occurred had nothing whatsoever to do with science.
The Typical Fallacious Special Pleading Employed in Phase VII by Social Skeptics
Notice the sleight-of-hand involved below, where Social Skeptics will pretend that you are attacking science, when you raise a case history involving their nefarious activity. This default assumption that they now, or in the past, represented science, is a fallacy called Ergo Sum Scientia. When the process below is contended as a way of saying that you do not understand the process of science involved, nor the priorities of science, this is a Fallacy of Relative Privation.
The Scripted Pseudo Scientific Bullshit Apologetics from SSkeptics Concerning the 30+ Years of Obfuscation:
- Only “CAM Supporters” or pseudo scientists bring up these old issues.
- Where are all the old articles? We need recitation (pretending that the old wives tale paradigm never existed).
- “The science arrived right on time” baloney.
- Scientists always scoff at the first introduction of a new idea (ignoring the timeframe).
- “The contention was accepted right on schedule, and only after appropriate initial skepticism.”
- The history cited is mythical.
- The lacking number of citations did not merit the idea’s consideration at the time.
- Even the discoverers had some doubts and conflicting evidence (early early on…).
- The ‘scientific method’ and standards of progression were not followed or took time to execute.
- It has to be replicated (ignoring the decades of refusal to do so).
- The solution or treatment had to be shown as safe or had side effects (ignoring the decades of elapsed time and suffering).
- Animal models needed to be developed and pursued.
- This was not a simple task.
- Other forms of x pylori exist in 90% of humans and they don’t all get ulcers (ignoring the fact that the sickness involves more than simply ulcers).
- A case for absolute proof needed to be established, just to be safe.
- Time was required to study trials which observed humans over long timeframes, in order to prove efficacy and safety.
- This is all a Myth.
Yet at the same time, the enormous achievement of approving the Genetic Modification of Food for Glyphosate, took only around 12 years to formulate, test, review and deploy IN ITS ENTIRETY. The principal body of science itself was only executed over THREE YEARS, 1988 – 1990, by a couple small labs, prior to its approval in 1991. And this was approval to treat 80+% of our food! The most monumental initiative of science impact on human well being ever. Three years to pull off. Let the Fallacy of Relative Privation fly.
It is clear that when we want to do something, it is amazing how Social Skepticism simply evaporates and all the excuses above just do not seem to apply. When we do not want to do something, Methodical Cynicism comes into play, and the excuses are myriad.
Funny how that works.
Ethical Skeptics, don’t let the fake skeptics kid you either. The next big issue on the horizon, which they are complicit in squelching for decades in similar fashion to h. pylori science, is the role of sugar and our cognitive health. You can hear the big guns of Social Skepticism attacking doctors (Oz, Mercola, Crane, Scott, etc.) who cite the science behind sugar, grains and the brain even now. There are at least 200 more issues just like this on the horizon, which are about to explode now that the era of sharing of information has arrived in force. A set of 200 issues which will undergo revolution in thinking and serve as a discrediting mechanism towards this fake and deleterious form of social activist based skepticism. During this process it will be vital that we keep the internet free from SSkepticism’s taking control.
The fireworks are merely beginning, and you have a front row seat to it all.
† Timeline of peptic ulcer disease and helicobacter pylori, Wikipedia; extracted 26 March 2015; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_peptic_ulcer_disease_and_Helicobacter_pylori
“The gentle outlasts the strong” or so it is observed in the Tao. Ignosticism – it is an idea – a refusal to act in the contrivance of Nihilist or Fundamentalist bullying. It is the only ethical pathway to atheism. In ignosticism, I do not feel compelled to mock Muhammad, or marginalize believers as Inquisitionists, or blame atheism for Stalinist/Maoist purges. I observe that it is our humanity alone which produces its keenest wisdom and its worst violent nightmares. To blame those unlike one’s self is vanity.
/ihg-ˈnäs-tih-sih-zm/ : the idea that most or all theological views assume baseless underpinning extraordinary claims to knowledge, as demonstrated by absurd debate over undefined concepts such as divinity, god, spirituality, heaven, afterlife, null sets, damnation, salvation, alternative life forms, sin and the soul. The distinguishing of one’s philosophy as a gentle idea and not a religion, an aversion to citing others as being materially incorrect, the refusal to boast of knowing the right question to ask in the absence of sound falsification based science and the lack of any theological position for which one must develop an apologetic to defend.
Ignosticism is the branch of atheism to which I subscribe. Ignosticism presents attractiveness for me as a philosopher, former arch skeptic and former studious religious youth, in that it allows the unknown to persist and does not force abject conclusions to the pro or con upon science, self or others. I spent almost two decades in the ‘atheist/believer’ camps, and eventually began to see the philosophical folly of both. Ignosticism’s central argument is intrinsically a discipline, and not a tenet – it does not possess something to be forced upon others. Much like the Tao is a difficult faith to force on others, much because of its ethic of self discipline of thought (and the fact that once you force the philosophy, you are no longer acting in the Tao anyway†), the essence of ignosticism is an ethic of simply disarming the absurd. Neutrally rejecting forced-religious presumptions and definitions. It is a refusal to claim that one knows the penultimate question to ask in the first place. Ignosticism is ethically skeptical.
Indeed, in many ways ignosticism is like good science and skepticism. It is honest, lacking boast, neutral, observing, data collecting, making no claim nor possessing an eagerness to do so without sound basis. It demands that the right questions be asked first, and that no presumption to personal inerrant knowledge underpin one’s search. And in absence of good data and an appropriate question, ignosticism refuses to force a conclusion.
Theism, Strict atheism, Nihilism (‘Big A’ Atheism), Agnosticism as well as Fundamentalism are all religious philosophies to the ignostic. Faiths distinguished by holding definitions for that which is undefinable. Distinguished by the way in which one presumes to ask questions, or for all but the Agnostic, the choice one makes to subsequently cite all others as being materially incorrect. Nihilism and Fundamentalism in particular, take absurdity to the extreme of bullying. This is where the social rancor over ‘atheism’ and ‘theism’ originates. It is a fight between extreme dogmatists. Ignosticism cannot boast of material certainty, or that such questions can even be asked. Nor can it be forced as a religion; as it is simply an idea.
In ignosticism, I do not know what a god is. I have no basis to declare others as being wrong. Therefore I have no belief which to defend. This is why you do not hear much from ignostics.
Its Contrast and Reconciliation with Atheism
I do not possess a frame of reference on the subject upon which you obsess, so how can I possibly force a view of it upon you? Were you a radio control enthusiast asking me to chime in on the FAA debate regarding private drone operation, I would say that I do not have the first inkling of knowledge as to what any of this is. Therefore I cannot comment upon either side of the argument. But with atheism and theism, moreover the principles of the FAA, drones and laws do not even exist, so the questions are much more basic than the participants of those philosophies even realize. They simply pretend that there is an FAA, and that there are aviation laws or radio controlled aerial devices. This pretense is absurd.
Even more so with this concept you call god, I have no idea what a god is – so I can make no claim as to whether or not one exists.
The Tao Te Ching cites in Classic Tao Chapter 2:
The gentle outlasts the strong
When the world defines beauty as beauty, ugliness arises
When it defines good as good, evil arises
Thus extant and nonexistent produce each other
Difficulty and ease are their own co-creators
Long and short reveal each other
High and low only exist because of each other
To the ignostic it is the defining of the principle and character of a god which creates both the theist and the atheist. They both worship the same creature crafted of their imagination and seek to enforce that version of worship, veneration and null-veneration, as a set of truth on mankind. To be fair, the atheist offers the special pleading exemption from this reality by citing ‘well then I don’t believe in gods of any kind, any definition!’ To my friends who are atheist, I cite this special pleading as a false pluralistic single, a version of the Plurocratic Fallacy.
Pluralistic Single Plurocratic Fallacy
/noun – apologistics/ : a special pleading wherein one claims that their argument applies not to just one version of its claim, but all possible versions of its claim – while failing to define a distinction of such versions – so as to cover all bases in advance. It is therefore a special pleading distinction without a difference.
It is the same exact argument, painted to appear as if it resolves the primary critique. It does not. It is purposely crafted to flex one’s philosophy so as to accommodate any objection that can be brought. This renders the philosophy, a philosophy in name only. The argument is an apologetic grasping for the ethic of ignosticism, when ignosticism does not have an apologetic to begin with. When one chooses to negate an idea, as the Tao Te Ching adeptly cites, one has revealed both itself and its antithesis. One is dancing in the duality, just pretending not to dance.
This broaches the key weakness of pluralistic single atheism. If you reject all ‘gods,’ by nature of their being and bearing a minimal set of characteristic skills in this world, where do you draw the line? Omniscience? Omnipotence? Fathomless Compassion and Love? Or simply some reduced specter of each along the road thereof? You reject then higher beings and caring intelligences, benevolent celestial life, advanced technology or dimensionality? In the false pluralistic singular, pretty much any definition you foist of this specially pleaded ‘god,’ might well exist. The only reason, in your philosophy it does not exist, is because you said that it does not. Where did you get the exhaustive method and evidence from which to underpin this conclusive claim? Ah, someone told you, and said that they were correct because ‘science’ proved it to them. Yes, my dear atheist, we have heard this type of claim before, from the very people you disdain. The simple fact is that you are dancing the duality.
You are “acting in the contrivance‘ according to the Tao.†
Ignosticism is the idea that any religious term or theological concept presented must be justified through coherent epistemologically derived definition, backed by falsification reduction and sound science. Conjecture is allowed in such a role as to exemplify philosophy, without trivialist’s critique. However, beyond this, without a clear definition, an ethical question cannot be formulated, and such principles cannot be meaningfully discussed. As such it remains an idea. Once one broaches the threshold of implying such underlying extraordinary claims – as evidenced by the claim to others being materially incorrect; to the ignostic, one is now participating in a religious argument.
Given the extraordinary nature of the domain, inherently such concepts must also be falsifiable. Lacking this, or only possessing predictive, associative or anecdotal evidence (see Popper Error), an ignostic takes the theological non-cognitivist position that the existence or nature of the principles presented (and all matters of debate) is meaningless.
Some philosophers have seen ignosticism as a variation of agnosticism or atheism. This is superficial and incorrect. This equivocation allows for cognitivist apologetics to be broached, and therefore is not consistent with the core idea of ignosticism to begin with.
Indeed in this nascent field of ideas, independent author Tristan Vick makes the argument that ignosticism, is the only valid pathway to atheism.¹
The atheist, by his own definition, can make no opinion on matters of afterlife, spirituality, the soul, or alternative life forms. Those topics have no context inside of Strict atheism as atheism is only a conclusion about ‘gods.’ The Nihilist possesses final definitions and conclusions about all such concepts, and the debate is closed. This is the strong, it is the power of undeniable conclusion acting inside the contrivance decried by the Tao Te Ching; which eventually falls to the subtle whisper of evidence/lacking evidence rending the original questions absurd.
The ignostic in contrast is free to ponder the gentleness of ideas, and is free from the strong of defined conclusions.
Free to research and consider such principles as their epistemological framework comes into clarity, as they have detached their ideas from the artificial construct of god or ‘no god.’ The idea of a god is absurd and irrelevant to begin with, so why would one want to base an entire philosophy on its dispute? In the end, the diligent atheist who no longer wishes to instruct others as to what is and is not in absence of enough knowledge, must find their path through the integrity of ignosticism, both in freedom from religion, and freedom of discussion domain. The diligent theist must likewise step off the pulpit of certainty and regain the wonder of not knowing and model the integrity to withstand the cognitive dissonance which arises from being intellectually ethical. Otherwise they both are forever fixated on the religious duty of telling others that what god and all these things are, and indeed that they do or do not exist. An absurd contention and waste of a life’s philosophy.
¹ Vick, Tristan; Ignosticism – A philosophical Justification for Atheism, CreateSpace Independent Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-1490961828, pp. 23 – 46.
† Tao Te Ching, Classic. I do not practice the Tao Te Ching as a religion, rather simply observe its writings and highlight where I see wisdom. It is a casual interest, not a life passion or practice of faith or religion. But then again, the Tao would say that I am therefore practicing the Tao. Oh my gosh, will the Plurocratic Fallacies never end! LOL!
This is the purposed inheritance and destiny of the Moral Arc. Perhaps we cannot exist in the future by any other means. I do not pretend to know the answer to that. All I know is, what I have seen first hand is that which junta and mafia corruption controlled governments bear as habits. Those habits preside right along these lines. And I do know that I don’t want to be a part of this future. – TES
The Ten EnDamnedments of Nihilism
1. Your sentience and human intelligence have been proved to be exclusively an artifact of biological variation; iteratively mutated, survival culled, conserved along with a long history of precursor versions, replicated and expressed, all inside of 30 megabytes of allele data. This renders you a worthless, pestilential fluke of nature.
2. You are hidden in an unoccupied far corner of all there is. Your life as a flesh bot is solely the result of single instance, accidental material chemistry and closed set energy. Therefore, you are alone.
3. Your so called ‘free will’ and ‘self’ are an illusion of neurofunction, the sociopathy of which renders you a wholly ignorant and detrimental presence on Our planet; unworthy of the right to determine your means of health, diet, education, purpose, property or other supposed matters in defense of ‘self.’
4. There are no extant or nearby forms of life, intelligences or information which could relate to your presence, or through which you could understand more, develop self, nor through which any individual rights or cultural morals could be derived.
5. Therefore as a weed, you bear nothing special about you which would warrant an accommodation of life, liberty or a pursuit of happiness.
6. Your disarming and emasculation of power, freedom and unauthorized property is justified therefore.
7. Only science is qualified to determine rights, responsibilities and morals. A supreme rule through the fascism of science/governance is manifestly justified therefore, as your only ultimate option towards fealty.
8. We are the science. You are not.
9. There are no extant other realms or intelligences which could hold Our Neo-Fascism morally or ethically accountable.
10. You exist and function at Our behest.