The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

How to Spot a Fake Skeptic

Skepticism is a discipline of preparing the mind and observation sets in order to perform science; it is not an artifice to be used as a substitution acting in lieu of science. It does not tender conclusions, as only science can do that. Nor does skepticism serve as a justification of one’s personal ontological beliefs and politics. It does not afford the practitioner a claim of representing science or the opinion of scientists.

skeptical of skepticsThe more I read through the blogs and substantive descriptions of skepticism published by prominent Social Skeptics, the more I gain a keen understanding that, these attention seekers really have no idea what skepticism is at all. Below is simply a short tally of my disgust after reading through about a dozen published false understandings of what constitutes skepticism, promoted by people who hold no technical or scientific advanced degrees yet insist on speaking on behalf of science. Unfortunate persona who have been mentored by dishonest, agenda laden professional cynics. Trust me, most of these high visibility “skeptics” have no idea as to what constitutes true scientific skepticism. Some of the actual scientists who are included in this group apparently did not have a rigorous philosophical core to their postgraduate work.

Social Skeptics habitually fail to understand that science remains mute on topics inside of which the scientific method has not been rigorously applied; regardless of the reason why it has not been applied. Instead of this essence of the Pyrrhonistic application of epoché, the essential and ethical core of professional scientific thinking, the fake skeptic falls prey to their own mental deceptions and religious mindset.  They attempt to establish a smug plateau of veracity upon which they perch and enforce their favored arguments on others.

It never fails to amaze me how people can feel they are ‘oh so smart’ and rational, and yet not see when they are being used as a pawn to accomplish corporate, political or social ends. 

The Faker's TriadThis is fake pawn skepticism. A checklist one can employ to spot a fake skeptic:

  • If you think that skepticism “is a process of evaluating claims” …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you are not aware of the difference between a ‘believer’ and a sponsor under Ockham’s Razor …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you proselytize children with your version of ‘critical thinking:’ one heavy with conclusions …then you are not a skeptic
  • If you cannot define the structure and nature of rhetoric, you are probably already using it and …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that a topic or subject can be pseudoscience, and not a set of pretense actions or method … then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you bristle when consumers can test your claims about products, in their own lives, and then disagree with you …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you do not understand the statement ‘Epoché vanguards Gnosis’ …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you speak about “Occam’s Razor” promoting the simplest explanation …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you cannot quote Ockham’s Razor, explain concisely what it means and give an example …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you insist on garnering media spotlight to shed the light of dismissive conclusion into a valid conflict of evidence … then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you behave like a groupie and travel in gaggles of fandom for celebrity skeptics or science spokespersons …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you behave like a ‘paparazzi of science’ obsessing over and doing dirty work attacking those you see as the enemy …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that nominating a single hypothesis and then conducting predictive studies which support it, is the scientific method …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you demand ‘proof’ before you will consider or research an idea, then publicly discredit the idea because there is no ‘proof’ …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you have never made an investigative trip into the field to see first hand …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you have spent 90+% of your time in your home country or state …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you have never sat with African villagers at evening prayer, worked alongside followers of Ganesha in India, or held a person in your arms as they died …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you do not understand the difference between skepticism’s being used as a tool inside of science, and its being employed in lieu of science …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you believe that science has proven why Republicans, or conservatives or Fox News are an assemblage of morons …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that ‘critical thinking’ involves applying your current knowledge to dismiss challenging first hand observations by others …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that every first hand observation is a “claim” and don’t understand the difference …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that ideas are tantamount to theories …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that capitalism is evil, and tout the wonders of academic socialism …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you must pepper your discourse with technical terms from disciplines other than your own, in an effort to show that you are a smart ‘scientist’ …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you find joy in bashing Christians or Islamics or obsess over Jesus believers …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If your ‘skeptic’ insights bear a habit of pointing out how evil men are or how stupid mothers or women are …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you do not understand the difference between predictive studies and falsification testing …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you tout a study as evidence for a position and have not read its Abstract and Methodology …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you are quick to claim that your opinion reflects the consensus opinion of science …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you contend that all your beliefs are underpinned by systematic observations and reason …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you believe that a conclusion must be reached at the end of a skeptical process …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you fail to regularly employ the principle of a construct, and instead habitually promote everything to the state of ‘hypothesis’ …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you habitually grant your favored conclusions, which cannot be addressed by falsification testing, the default status as the Null Hypothesis …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that only Atheism and God based religions are the two choices offered us all …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that Atheism means a complete rejection of alternative life or realms or spirituality …then you are neither an atheist nor a skeptic.
  • If you immediately ‘doubt’ every first hand observation which you hear or read, which does not fit your preferred model …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that your preferred model is the same one carried by the consensus majority of scientists …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that you understand most every subject well enough to identify what question should be asked first …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you apply skepticism to subjects such as music, art and literature …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you term anything which contradicts your natural model ‘supernatural’ …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you must always force a conclusion to observations which adheres to only your ‘natural’ explanation …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that all memory is fallible and do not differentiate observations by the 6 types of memory …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you have never caught yourself in a logical fallacy …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that evolution is random …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you deny global warming or believe science is wrong and the Earth is 6,000 years old …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that observations of events, even from trustworthy people, make for very poor evidence on their own, and you refuse to aggregate them so that they are forever on their own …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that the majority of doctors support all the views of Science Based Medicine or pharmaceutical or health care companies …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that everyone who raises a question about our food, is an evil pseudo scientist …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you cannot cohesively and quickly explain why you are not a cynic or debunker …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If the first things which come to mind, when thinking of examples of applied skepticism, are ghosts, Bigfoot or UFOs …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that a skeptic doubts everything, and you cannot articulate a state of suspended or mute disposition, and contrast that with doubt …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you believe that everything in Classic Greek Skepticism was ‘doubted’ …then you do not understand skepticism.
  • If you think that skepticism and atheism and humanism are essentially the same ethic …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that skepticism is something you can best apply from your university office, study or lab …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you often dismiss observations via the Law of Large Numbers, but cannot articulate the difference between the strong and weak variants …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you do not hold your skeptic peers accountable and rather, celebrate the camaraderie of their shared beliefs …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that holding a skeptic accountable for scientific malfeasance or bad behavior only stems from some anger over a debunking of a pet topic …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that science has an opinion on realms and ideas which cannot be tested …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you use skepticism to seek celebrity and attention under the excuse of ‘promoting science’ …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you use your skeptically based notoriety to push personal political agendas …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you conflate philosophical skepticism with scientific skepticism, in hopes that others infer that your philosophies are science based …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you point out trivial faults in a broad array of assembled observation, as a basis to refute the observations …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you believe that skepticism is something which tells you how you should think about something to get to the conclusion that has the best possibility of being true …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If every idea which is outside your favored model, is to you, a ‘belief’ held by others …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you divide the world and its observations in to the bad people and the good people …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If celebrity promotion of one side in a controversial topic or issuance of a popular one liner make you feel all warm and satisfied …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If feminism, socialism, atheism, liberalism, sexual preference rights, anti-gunism, party-ism and a host of other ‘ism’s’ are your skeptical focus, even though these may stand for good things …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you obsess over the Bible, Obama or Richard Nixon and how good versus evil it all is …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that the promotion of science only centers around physical science and chemistry lab experiments …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you adopt skepticism simply to resist change …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that a religion must venerate a god …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you think that calling yourself a ‘skeptic’ affords your opinion or politics or personal philosophy more merit …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you tout your skepticism as a way to imply to others that your opinion bears equal merit with a scientist or expert in a particular field …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you force all observers of things which make you uncomfortable to provide evidence, and accept your skeptic peer contentions at face value …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you believe that punishing or chiding or mocking people, is productive …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you go around saying ‘Burn the Bible or Koran or Constitution or Bhagavad Gita,’ even in jest …you are not a skeptic.
  • If you immediately accept Monsanto as always correct …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If anyone who does not agree with your conclusions is a purveyor of pseudoscience …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you believe that a pseudoscience is a topic …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you cannot quickly explain the act of pseudoscience, what qualifies it and cite an example …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you believe that science as social activism can determine your values, politics, economics and morality …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you contend that science has demonstrated that free will or self awareness are an illusion …then you are not a skeptic.
  • If you do not perceive the concealed religion being foisted by Richard Dawkins and James Randi …then you are not a skeptic.
The essence of skepticism in reality involves several beautiful character traits. Traits which are in no way exhibited by members of Social Skepticism. The term “skeptic” derives from a Greek noun, skepsis, which means examination, inquiry, consideration. It has very little to do with doubt, rage, personal religion, hate, proof, claims, self or idea promotions and campaigns. Skepticism is a discipline of preparing the mind and observation sets in order to perform science; it is not an artifice to be used as a substitution acting in lieu of science.
1. The ability to tolerate fear and suspended uncertainty (Epoché),
2. The ability to withhold judgement, and dispassionately consider several models at once,
3. A fairness of mind and listening, compassionate nature,
4. Intense curiosity, and ethic of gathering, not dismissing, observations, which forces one into the field to see for one’s self,
5. The backbone to not immediately accept every institutional doctrine or mandatory claim you are handed as true,
6. A joy which celebrates all the fine experiences of mankind, before following the desire to draw conclusions
7. An intolerance for narcissistic, fake, hate filled, angry, abusive, gang-mentality or negative and control oriented people.

epoché vanguards gnosis

August 10, 2014 - Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. It’s only true skepticism when you have doubted all of your core beliefs. and it’s obvious you have not. try again

    Comment by billy | October 16, 2017 | Reply

    • Examined your core assumptions; not ‘doubted your core beliefs’ (the latter is agenda-speak). And you have no means of ascertaining such a judgement from this blog post. None…

      You are obviously offended by these tenets, which hints to me that you are a wholly bought into the poseur persona; a fake skeptic. You conflate doubt with skepticism and have no idea about any of my core assumptions beliefs and what I have done to challenge and examine them (of which I have challenged, examined and changed most ALL of them). Making a claim with ZERO evidence is not skepticism – it is the fake form which comes along with ‘methodical doubt’ as you just applied here. Nice try – but you failed the test miserably. When you graduate from high school, sign up for a course in philosophy, if you are able to choose college as your next step.

      Comment by The Ethical Skeptic | October 16, 2017 | Reply

  2. […] might think the Skeptics were all full of themselves and acting like a bunch of schoolyard bullies. Some people within the Skeptical community have stood up to the bullying but there is some movement outside the group (if I may use that term loosely) that represents a […]

    Pingback by Skeptics Challenged for Using Faux Science in Debunkery Attempts | Sam on Science | August 24, 2014 | Reply


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