The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

An Internet Pre-filtered by Authorized Knowledge is a Mistake

Google rankings, rather than misleadingly being based upon how many profit producing Knowledge Vault ‘facts’ a site can dredge up, should instead hinge upon a site’s degree of original thinking, publicly valuable content, lack of profit seeking and ethic of providing first hand/active field research based information. We should not fear a plurality of information, because in the end, incorrect information is much more informative than partially correct regurgitated facts. The latter is ‘not even wrong.’

facts are undeniableMuch akin to null result discovery in scientific testing, incorrect information falsifies itself through accrued verity and research. It does not last forever. And in its falsification, the process of knowledge development becomes extraordinarily informative, not simply about the nature and intent of those who hoax and lie inside an issue, but as well lesser-known aspects of the true story, interleaved inside unauthorized forums which seldom surface. Partially correct authorized answers are the antithesis of sound investigation. Stored in vaults of fact-vomit dogma, repositories no longer able to discern lies from truth, they ossify and serve to scaffold a surreptitiously misleading gospel. Many times having never been vetted by science at all, rather simply a representation of someone’s idea of what they want science to be. The neutral witness learns nothing but a canned answer. Google, do not betray us. All information is subject to challenge, especially in arenas where substantiative debate exists. Do not let these people take power through the authorization of what is considered fact. They are not benign in their intentions. There are fact repositories we can all access and there are popular resource topics which arise – and the users determine which they need when. Do not let these people ‘fix’ this.

The end of freedom

Fact-Vomit Fraud is a SSkeptical Art

Paul is Dead - we will never knowA nightmare in the making for a constitutionally driven people and nation.  Determining Google query rankings by ‘facts’ contained in the website drawn from a central reserve, Knowledge Vault, will serve only to put ONE group in power over information.  One of the tactics available for ‘correct thinking’ and SSkeptic websites will now be to regurgitate endless facts, in an effort to up their ranking over sites which offer observations, new data, and new ideas.  This will end in tyranny of information through fact-vomit fraud.  Much akin to how spam messages work their way through the sensors by alternating a series of coherent sentences in order to appear as legitimate comments or emails.  Now forcing everyone to see only these sites saturated in irrelevant and in-cohesive facts might sound good to the shallow minded.  But to those who have witnessed first hand how corruption works through ‘authorized information’ – we recognize that this is not a benign act.

Now it won’t just be the irritating ads which will fake answer your Google search – but as well, fact stuffed ‘knowledge’ sites who don’t even pay a fee, which also intercept your quest for information in an attempt to mislead.

We already are witness to what About.com, Answers.com and Ask.com have done to prostitute the internet with top-of-the-list fake and incorrect answers to questions posed in a web engine search. The majority of the time when I ask a question in an arena inside of which I am an expert, variants of these three service questions are answered at the top of the web search list, and consist of incorrect, neophyte babble or are out of context. But at least these services are not dictating these answers as true.  This action bears the potential that incorrect, neophyte babble and out of context answers will become permanent authorized fixtures in the social memory.

In the 1970’s, SSkeptics attempted to squelch rumors of an early 1900’s unimaginably large explosion over Siberia. I remember the articles decrying those who pondered the potentiality as alien theorists and believers of bunk. Today we know the Tunguska Impact to exist as a well documented fact.  But in 1972, it was a popular SSkeptic whipping dog issue. There was no such thing. ‘Fact’ based websites, as such, were deployed into the major media networks. The only way to hear about Tunguska research articles were in rogue publications such as Argosy and Omni magazines.  We were lied to regularly and with impunity. This will happen again.

Not every issue is so readily resolvable as was the Tunguska Impact. Let’s not let the 1950’s style of Official Media Information gain another foothold on our information and our minds.

And just who will determine the relevancy of the “facts” presented on each high ranked site? Who will be populating this reserve of authorized knowledge? The CIA World Factbook? When I travel into countries where I am on the ground working with relief agencies and governments, I find their information to be consistently incorrect.  Ministries chuckle at the inaccuracies in some cases. Will I be able to correct this information in the Knowledge Vault? And if my direct observation runs afoul of the CIA World Factbook/Knowledge Vault information – will my website be forced to the bottom of hundreds of noise-sites, replete with fake ‘facts?’ All for the simple audacity to actually hold a truthful but lesser known direct observation?  Again with Wikipedia, one who has first hand knowledge cannot correct errant information as it is.  When sites appear that present lies about people, issues and businesses – will they be accepted as a fact simply because one has been approved to tender information (see AAAS and ‘War on Science’), and not because one has direct knowledge of the subject, as is the practice of Wikipedia now?

What if I want to know the evidence behind a cult understanding of a phenomenon, and not just hear the regurgitated ‘facts’ from The Skeptic’s Dictionary, spinning a brick wall from three bricks and some spit? I don’t want to have to step to result #987 because the search result has been corrupted by hundreds of fake sites reciting canned authorized ‘facts’ – all replications without recitation of each other.

The information will simply not be good enough. The people are simply not ethical enough. The method simply too prone to Social Skeptic manipulation – to take this totalitarian step on managing what can and cannot be seen – what is promoted as truth along with the paid ads.  Yes, keep vaults of authorized knowledge and let us know how to get to them, but don’t start squelching information which does not fit the model it supposedly portrays.

On matters of well established science and cultural data it is fine to keep information repositories and highlight them.  But we already have a multiplicity of these sites on the internet. As well, we already have the bullies patrolling and posing as skeptics spinning extrapolated and fake science off scant ‘facts.’ We have seen this now with Wikipedia, blocking first hand information in favor of information from authorized activist sources seeking to dominate a topic. The victims of this ‘truth’ will be controversial and challenging subjects against which Social Skeptics and their cronies will petition and threaten Google and its partners to squelch. That precedent is well established.

And soon, when will the supposed ‘facts’ begin to bleed into the Knowledge Vault to impugn you, your career, your business, your faith, your neighbors and your family?  Not long after Social Skepticism takes power – anyone who disagrees with them will be eviscerated on the web. And if there exists any evidence which does not agree with their defamation, it will never be seen. Notice here, two case examples where existing Google Knowledge Graph mistaken representations impacted two businesses with potentially severe repercussions on their branding strength. Now these were accidents which were immediately corrected by Google and were spun into case anecdote justifications for the trustworthiness of Google. Well Google may or may not be trustworthy, but those who will be able to manipulate this process, have proved themselves to lack intellectual integrity, adorned with facts; tendering the appearance of correctness in order to damage and harm people and squelch topics.

Should Google begin this style of ranking with impunity, and in service partnership with Social Skepticism, I will no longer use their search engine, nor attempt to rank or register my professional and commercial websites with them. They will have betrayed us all. I will support search engines which promote the freedom of information, only. We already have ample propaganda and ‘correct thinking’ sites on the internet.

As an ethical skeptic I want information which challenges norms and provides more than simply the authorized facts. That is part of my makeup as a skeptic. Truth comes through the accrual and vetting of facts, not through the squelching of information.  One cannot live in fear of incorrectness. Incorrect information is much more informative than partially correct information. The latter is ‘not even wrong.’

Living the Dream – Profits from Promulgating Authorized Facts

global social warming 4It’s not that I believe that Paul McCartney is dead.  I do not. But what if I want to examine that information or recent news about such issues? – and apply that skeptical and rational thinking about which Social Skeptics speak so much? I shudder at the prospect of receiving a search engine result like the one above, on all subjects of controversy (which is 80% accurate to reality now). I want to know the arguments from both sides without spin, fact vomit and agenda. I do not care in the least what Wikipedia and The Skeptic’s Dictionary have concluded about the topic. They have not conducted first hand research, they do not contain original ideas, nor are they free to frame the issue objectively – both serving higher order masters who already possess the answer/the facts.  Steven Novella, in his March 2, 2015 blog opines in pseudo parsimony and through crocodile tears:¹

Novella on Knowledge Vault

This prospect already has Social Skeptics drooling, as they know exactly what to do in order to take advantage of what could turn out to be a big mistake. Steven knows this, and anticipates it with relish.  His media partners know this as well. Now those sites which will have paid Social Skeptics who are in control of how authorized information is gamed into SEO rankings in granting top Google search engine results slots, will be able to charge internet users for access to information, because such information is now blessed by Google and Social Skepticism. Below is an increasingly common page block, this one issued by The Economist, which tweets me articles and then asks me to pay regular money in order to see it. This is a great model for the future of correctness. Social Skeptics will achieve their dream of being compensated for sitting around doling out correct answers. Their celebrities exemplify this as role models now.

subscribe now for full access

I suppose the only saving grace might be embodied inside this dilemma, will the market bear the price for authorized information, or will ‘free’ information turn out to be a more value laden deal?  Who possesses more value, a layman sponsor conducting actual field observations, or a tenured academic pontificating from his university/institute office chair? I would not be willing to pay money for the latter. As well Google has had the front row seat witnessing the chicanery which has gone on inside the SEO market in regard to artificial jockeying of search rankings among players looking to make profits currently from being ‘page 1.’ Finally, there are a number of true skeptics at Google as a result of this, so the imposition of power through domination of authorized information, might constitute a bigger challenge for Social Skeptics than they are anticipating. Social Skeptics, if Google is ethical, incorrectly assume that this move will tender them complete and final control of information, as well as a potential profit stream.

Google, your seminal mantra was ‘Don’t be evil.’ Don’t work to filter information through homage to the Knowledge Vault. Apply your skepticism about the power of authority, and yes, even skeptics.

TES Signature


¹ NeuroLogica, “Google Wants to Rank Sites for Trustworthiness” Mar 2, 2015.

March 1, 2015 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Institutional Mandates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Misrepresented and So Called ‘War on Science’

The American People standing up against a coup d’état falsely spun in the name of science, does not constitute a ‘War on Science’
war on science is spin for social agendas
…doubters have declared war on the consensus of experts.” or so Joel Achenbach laments in this month’s issue of National Geographic. National Geographic contends there should exist shame on the public for not behaving as a herd of sheep, guided lock step by the dogs of supposed rationality. Characterizing public objection to political/social/corporate activism as a “War on Science” is maliciously incorrect. Pigeon holing those who express concerns as a group of 6,000 year earth-faked Moon landing-tin foil hat conspiracy theorists, simply because they have issued words of caution around the impetuous imposition of policy and wholesale politics extrapolated from science, is a fallacy of characterization from a negative premise or by straw man.  Science in American constitutionally based public policy should reside in the public trust, and not be employed as the tyrannical football of private activist and socialist oligarchy interests.
The rancor over this apparent conflict originates from manipulative forces precipitating a loss of public trust around the perception of the role of science in our culture. Ironically, the article in question exhibits key factors which are the very reason for this loss of trust. To regain the trust of the public, science needs to be returned from its imprisonment by Social Skepticism and back into the role of service to the American People. Regulatory government officials in critical matters of public trust should be drawn from the public and not corporate special interests involved in profiteering from those disciplines. Scientists yes, should answer to the public trust just as do our politicians. We have not surrendered these rights as Americans, just because one groups thinks they are smarter than everyone else and therefore only they and their ‘peers’ are qualified to determine policy.  Independent of the red herring of whether atheists or religious people have caused the most suffering throughout history, one thing is for certain, we have suffered from this type of elite regime rule before, catastrophically so.  The more social agendas we spin off claims of ‘consensus’ among the unaccountable elite, the less the public is going to trust those who make such claims. The public perceives the difference between freedom and tyranny, and is correct in their mistrust of any process which promotes loss of its rights.
There exists much less a War on Science as there exists a war of despotism on the part of non-scientist social activists inside the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) against the sovereignty and rights of the American People. The avarice and misrepresentation involved in this equivocal propaganda tender clues as to why the underlying scientifically flawed Pew Research Study² has been pushed so effectively; and moreover how essentially the same plagiarized article has been replicated so far and wide in such a short time frame in the same familiar media channels.

This month’s National Geographic features an article¹ which is part of a push series currently being promoted by Social Skepticism on how purportedly the American Public is apparently at war with science. I am disappointed that National Geographic would join a push propaganda bandwagon movement over a non-scientific poll² designed specifically to promote the idea that the public has no justifiable set of rights when it comes to issues which can be attached to science.

What National Geographic and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have done, is to spin ANY equivocal concerns inside these topics into foaming at the mouth tin foil hat irrationality, antithetical to the prevailing opinion of their ‘members’ conflated as representing the entire opinion of science.  This errant approach to journalism and public policy is illustrated in a set of four major flaws or fallacies of argument:

1. The topics chosen from the poll are Stooge Posed.  That is, easily discernible and visible topics or ludicrous versions thereof are chosen; versions of position inside which every normal person will find dissent to be ludicrous. These are then further used to elicit the issue of ‘science’ and the public trust in the most biased fashion possible.

1.  Stooge Posing

/fallacy – misrepresentation of self/ : attacks on a piece of data or an easily disprovable topic of credulity used as an effort to bolster or provide evidence for an opponent’s point or falsely boost their record of debunking success and club ranking. This reputation to then further allow for irrelevant and unmerited gravitas in addressing other arguments where data and observation do not support the goals of the opponent so readily.

This discrediting of the public comes from a distortion of poll results and statistical spin, used to underpin a claim that significant portions public are at war with science, as evidenced by phone and membership surveys on this set of very visible issues. Stooge Posed issues topics/claims which are equivocated in terms of the actual question posed in the poll, implied by the National Geographic article to be publicly regarded thusly (see cover of issue above):

  • The Public Denies that Climate Change Exists
  • The Public Denies Evolution
  • The Public Denies the Moon Landing
  • The Public Desires to Stop Vaccination Programs
  • The Public Desires to Eliminate Genetic Modification Science¹

Of course all these points of contention are ludicrous misrepresentations by National Geographic. The American Public is in no way at war with scientists, nor denying these stooge posed issues.  To the average American, Climate Change is obvious, evolution is a fact, we definitely went to the Moon, vaccines are a vital part of our National Health vanguard, and responsible and publicly approved genetic modification of yes, even our food, IS the future.  The simple fact is that, despite how the poll has been spun, none of these implied contentions bullet pointed above by National Geographic are true. At most, 18% of the public endorse 6,000 year creation.ª But truly, I have never actually met a person who has expressed to me that the world is 6,000 years old or has denied the Moon Landing, so they are getting this 18% from some strange or remote locations. The only argument inside of Anthropogenic Global Warming is the degree which man’s recent fossil fuel use has contributed to the 1.5 degree increase in the last 130 years. Most rational people aver that genetic modifications offer a potential wonderful future impact. Most people I imagine, would agree with the sentiment that a little more corporate accountability is warranted with respect to substances which impact each and every one of us so intimately. Perhaps conservatism in not rushing into modifying 90% of our food as the first foray into GM technology – especially when only for the benefit of marginally increasing logistics profits and for creating a glyphosate monopoly.  Wow, rational, level headed views held by John Q. Public which did not show up in the dissenting head count of the ‘survey.’ Views which would be spun as whack job profiles in this article and the underlying study.  The ‘survey’ purposely fabricated questions which would make the public look monolithic and irrational, and contrast easily with the lock step answers of people selected because they are activists for ‘science.’

A Flawed Study

scientific poll what you don't seeThe Pew survey sampled 2002 adults on “landline and cellular telephone”² (one should take a hint here – professional cell phone users ignore surveys‡) as well as “3,748 U.S.-based members† of AAAS”² touted as representing science.¹ ² Phone surveys are a well established and notorious method of ‘dumbing down and extremist skewing a survey result.’‡ Especially when used as a direct numerical contrast against a survey conducted inside a special interest activist group. This is a non-scientific, flawed method of drawing contrast. A member of the AAAS neither represents a typical scientist, nor does an AAAS member indeed have to even be a scientist. Science has not been completed to a Roper or Gallup industry standard, which would show the (s) to (S) population statistical significance of the phone poll or the AAAS ‘scientists’ pool selected. The integrity of both surveys, the sole empirical basis of the Pew Research Center study, is highly in question.

What they are asking you to infer is that 60+% of the public believe completely irrational and destructive things (bullet pointed above topical expressions that incorrectly cite what was actually asked in the poll) that only 5-15% of scientists hold true. This is a false representation of reality.

The simple fact is, that the public is an order of magnitude more rational as a whole than Joel Achenbach, the AAAS, Forbes Magazine (another push outlet for this article series) and their science-excused coup d’état cronies would ever admit.  But assassination of the idea that the American Public has the right to determine its own governance, even on issues of science, is the goal at hand.  We continue with the next applied fallacy from the article.

2.  Those who expressed an issue of concern inside these topics are further spun by the Pew poll study and the National Geographic article into ludicrous representations of their argument, categorizing these people into the lunatic fringe through a bifurcation error in tally. All this in an effort to show why it is dangerous to have science operate in any fashion besides outside the public trust.

2.  Straw Man Conformance Fallacy

/fallacy – fictionalized mischaracterization of persons or groups/ :  an argument formulated according to the idea that since a person or group believes or considers subject A to be a potentiality, then an opponent insists that they therefore have endorsed extreme misrepresentations of subject A as well. Usually tendered at the end of a discussion or in a format where no retort is allowed.

The article portrays the public as an incompetent and completely irrational mass of idiots.  Unworthy of determining self course or lacking competence to discern even the most straightforward principles of science on their own. The implication below being, that the public is wildly irrational and must be forced to surrender their rights because of this lack of scientific ability or correctness. The National Geographic article continues:

“Less than half of all Americans believe the Earth is warming because humans are burning fossil fuels.”¹

But this is not what the study poll asked.  This is only one example of mismatch between the question asked, and the spin applied to the numerical answers on the part of Social Skepticism media. The study poll asked if “Climate Change is mostly due to human activity.”² Most graduate science level educated Americans are aware of Milankovitch Cyclical variations which have placed us in the last 2000 years especially in an uptick warming cycle, naturally.  It is just that the current spike is rising faster, especially since 1939, and a significant percentage higher than the most recent Milankovitch climate temperature peaks.  This is disconcerting, and certainly argument must be made that this overage in temperature rise is attributable to human activity. But the actual question posed in the poll leaves too much to equivocation.  When this equivocation slack (play in systemically derived numerics) is matched to the lock step allegiance (low slack) of the activist AAAS membership, an artificial gap is imputed into a misconstrued, bifurcated and finally misrepresented contrast.

3.  The public is spun as one large untrustworthy and irrational group, and as such, enough of it adheres to bunk and ridiculous ideas so as to consider that the public at large principally believes antithetical concepts inside all of the issues contended by science.  Therefore a mandate must be assembled to counter this. A mandate which in the eyes of Social Skepticism, supports that science must operate outside the public trust.

3.  Fallacy of Characterization from a Negative Premise

/fallacy – fictionalized mischaracterization of persons or groups/ :  subject A is a disproved topic. As a ponderer of subject A you are therefore a pseudo scientist; and in being pseudo scientist you therefore then adhere to every other philosophy of pseudoscience and every philosophy a critical observer finds distasteful. Class stereotype disdain with fictionalized evidence.

The public is spun as one monolithic will, irrational to the core and unqualified to pass jurisdiction on issues of science because it believes a whole host of nonsense and non scientific ideas. The war is a symmetric and purposed action in their view, an act of will on the part of a public, which now justifiably must be emasculated of its power.  The American People have become dangerous through their irrationality. Wow.

“Science appeals to our rational brains, but our beliefs are motivated largely by emotion, and the biggest motivation is remaining tight with our peers. ‘We’re all in high school. We’ve never left high school.’ “¹

So contends the article. However once this assassination of the public trust is achieved, we must nominate those who will inherit the mantle of authority in place of the American Public. Who? Why us of course, after all, We Are the Science.

4.  The “consensus of scientists” is spun by polling one biased activist organization (AAAS), and not through the polling scientists themselves as is claimed in the whole propaganda push campaign.  By the simple act of citing the study poll and championing the authorized conclusions in the stooge posed topics assembled inside the poll, journalists are able to impress their Social Skepticism peers, and falsely default themselves and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as ‘representing science.’ Moreover, these newly qualified ‘science’ media channels are now fully granted tacit permission, through compliance in repeating the authorized message, to characterize such polling evidence which differs from their activist policy survey as a “War on Science.”

4.  Ergo Sum Scientia

/fallacy – misrepresentation of self/ : when a group portrays highly visible activism on an easy or a sensible cause célèbre in support/defense of science, in order to tender the appearance of and imply to an audience that they represent critical thinking, the scientific method or the correct conclusions of science.

We Are the Science 2The simple fact is that only the AAAS was polled in the portion of this survey which was supposed to represent ‘scientists.’ The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is a political advocacy group, and as such does not bear a profile of opinion which would be congruent with the larger body of scientists. They are qualified for membership by adherence to specific advocacy causes before the United States Congress and Regulatory Bodies.³

If anything, the statistics posed in the study are falsely claimed as representing the opinion of scientists.  They are simply the opinions of a special interest activist organization, the membership of which wishes to claim to represent science – when they are not scientists at all for the most part. The members of AAAS do not actually have to be indeed scientists.† 

This statement from the Pew Research Center website makes it clear that the AAAS is an amalgamation of non-science social activists and their ally – highly politically biased scientists:

“A survey of 3,748 American-based scientists connected with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) finds that 87% agree with the statement “Scientists should take an active role in public policy debates about issues related to science and technology.” Just 13% of these scientists back the opposite statement: ‘Scientists should focus on establishing sound scientific facts and stay out of public policy debates.’ “

It was this same exact survey, which not only established its own inherent bias, but moreover was used to establish the ‘gap’ between public phone call sentiment and the supposed sentiment of scientists.  This is research fraud.

“The survey of scientists is based on a representative sample of 3,748 U.S.-based members of AAAS”²

The charter and policy declarations from the AAAS clearly delineate it as a social activism group. This is far from a valid basis from which to make the claim that one has sampled an opinion representative of scientists. This is the opinion of ONE BIASED ORGANIZATION. From the AAAS website itself:³

“AAAS provides objective analysis to decision makers and helps experts contribute to policy-making.”

Read this as a social activist organization. Further,

“The Center [of Science, Policy, and Society Programs] engages science and scientists with many communities, including those of government, religion, and law.”

“Office of Government Relations Providing timely and objective information to Congress on current science and technology issues, and assisting scientists in understanding and working with Congress.”

How are these scientists going to vote at the AAASTheir charter as a social activist organization is to influence, intimidate and bypass the public trust in an attempt to influence the government. A right granted solely to the American Public, stolen by a special interest.  And finally, from its 1973 AAAS CONSTITUTION (Amended):

Article III. Membership and Affiliation
Section 1. Members. Any individual who supports the objectives of the Association and is willing to contribute to the achievement of those objectives is qualified for membership.†

This series of declarations show that, in order to join the AAAS, one must support the advocacy goals of the organization, and does not actually have to be a scientist. This is a self regulating requirement and calls into high question the contention that 1) the AAAS represents the consensus opinion of all scientists, and 2) that the poll conducted on 3748 “members of AAAS” was actually a poll of scientists.

Finally, in the finishing paragraph of the National Geographic article you have presented the premise of the article:

“But then they should use the scientific method, or trust people using the scientific method, to decide which way they fall on those questions.”¹

The public is an irrational mechanism and as such, cannot be trusted to be empowered with decisions upon which science has a potential input or bearing.

In short, bullshit. This is promotion of a coup d’état in the name of science. You must surrender your Constitutional rights and rights to self determination, via justification spun through any tendered appearance of scientific study.  This all of course, as we have consistently observed, existing as key tenets of Nihilism, coincidentally the religion of choice of those who promote the rule of science above the public trust.

In order for the American Association for the Advancement of Science to win the trust of the American Public, they must return legislative and moral power of science back into the American public trust.

TES Signature


¹  Joel Achenbach, “The War on Science,” National Geographic March 2015, pp. 34 – 47.

²  Carry Funk and Lee Rainie, “Public and Scientists’ Views on Science and Society,” Pew Research Center; February 29, 2015, http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/29/public-and-scientists-views-on-science-and-society/

³  American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) website: http://www.aaas.org/

†  American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 1973 AAAS CONSTITUTION (Amended)  http://www.aaas.org/aaas-constitution-bylaws

ª  Bishop, George F; Thomas, Randall K; Wood, Jason A; Gwon, Misook (2010). “Americans’ Scientific Knowledge and Beliefs about Human Evolution in the Year of Darwin”. National Center for Science Education. Retrieved September 6, 2014.

‡  FactCheck.org “Are polls skewed because many people only have cell phones?” http://www.factcheck.org/2008/02/cell-phones-and-political-polls/

February 26, 2015 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Argument Fallacies, Institutional Mandates, Social Disdain | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ignosticism

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.

Ignosticism

/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.

IgnositicismIgnosticism 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

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.

TES Signature


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!

February 15, 2015 Posted by | Argument Fallacies, Ethical Skepticism | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Ten EnDamnedments – Where the Moral Arc is Headed

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

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.

TES Signature

February 12, 2015 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yes Skeptics Have a PR Problem – Social Skeptics

I find it amusing that now even Social Skeptics are beginning to coach their acolytes as to lessons on avoiding horrid behaviour. When the most circulated speech from TAM 2014 advises the minions about “not being a dick,” you know that they realize they have a PR problem. My critique of Social Skeptics falls along these lines below. Every one of these negative-control social actions, I have personally experienced recently.  Moreover really enough to make me sick, through the last decades since the 1970’s pseudo-intellectual backlash movement started. This is not simply a public relations problem, but a sad sad reality inside of modern skepticism
A cabal of nasty people, protecting themselves with the shroud of faking as if representing science.
Until we weed out these deleterious social actions, I am not sure that we have a real dog in the hunt of claiming a right to moral authority over most people of faith.  So, without further ado, SSkeptics suffer from a/an:
I'm a Skeptic Karfunkle evil activityI.  Overestimation of Personal Acumen, Skill and Knowledge Inventory
II.  Visceral Disdain for Anyone Who Considers Different Ideas
III.  Childish Manners of Mocking, Defamation, Deceit and Social Clique Derision
IV.  Shallow Understanding of Skepticism, Philosophy, Science and Method
V.  Boorish Taunting of People of Faith
I'm a Skeptic MiHoDeAL
VI.  Know it All Arrogance / Assumption of Unmerited Scientific Credential
VII.  Lack of Self Circumspection / Empathy
VIII.  Official ‘Look the Other Way & Wink’ Celebrity Policy Regarding Harmful Nefarious Activity
IX.  Maniacal Desire to Control Society/Antipathy towards General Public Sentiment
X.  A Critical Blindness and Hatred towards Those They Have Been Told are the Enemy

TES Signature

February 10, 2015 Posted by | Social Disdain | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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