The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

In Defense of Social Skeptics

in defense ofAs I have often stated, for the most part I do not wish to come down on a side in a particular valid conflict of observation, rather only speak up and outline deceptive methods, when I observe surreptitious behavior on the part of Social Skeptics. I usually do not elicit a position on an argument unless some aspect of Social Skepticism seeks to defend a group which has harmed me or my family through their activity. Once I have shown, as I have through exhaustive method and observation, that certain food for instance, has harmed my health, and the health of my spouse and children significantly – I will be very vocal on this position, as a side issue. That will run as a kind of exception to the ethos of my blog, which is more focused on critiquing errant methodology, masquerading as science.
But what does not often come through in my diatribes, is the fact that I often and most frequently agree with the contentions of those in the Social Skepticism movement. This is not in question, as most of their ideology is founded on real science.
My hackles are stirred when the boundary of what is considered to be science is purposely blurred in order to sell a new religion, to replace the old one.  Now, that being said, the old religion is being replaced for good reason.
And from time to time I need to point out that Social Skeptics are at the forefront of replacing that religion – and it is a war. They often do bravely bear the brunt of unethical activity by those who are seeking to defend the old religion.
Michael Shermer in the Twitter graphic here Tweet-cites a very cogent and cohesive address by Christopher Hitchens, a competent apologetic defense of his lifelong stance against monotheism. Unfairly, Michael is attacked by a minion inside the cadre of theists seeking to enforce their view of god on everyone else. I stand with Michael Shermer on this issue. Our planet suffers from the violence, intransigence and fatalistic/apocalyptic teachings of Abrahamic religions which have ruled mankind for the last 3600 years. I disagree with Social Skeptics that Nihilism is the bifurcated solution, as that religion carries its own set of perilous powers, which will be unquestionably wielded by the wrong hands as well. Nor do I completely reject the idea of a natural spiritual/dimensional aspect of our realm. Science has not shown anything, predictive, falsifying, aggregating, or otherwise of any kind to the pro or con, and remains mute on the topic. Therefore as a skeptic, I hold that argument open. The popular understanding that we are not offered a false dilemma, and that one does not have to choose Nihilism, upsets many Social Skeptics who angrily seek to enforce that religion as scientific truth.  But then again, when you are defending a religion, as you see in the graphic above, anger will prompt a host of actions of poor character.
But in the meantime, not that Michael Shermer needs me to defend him, but this set of tweet responses is absolutely unfair, unethical and uncalled for. Michael is fighting the good fight here.
He is a decent man. It is just, as a skeptic I cannot simply swallow 100% of his religious choice until science has had adequate time to examine the issues more exhaustively.

August 15, 2014 - Posted by | Argument Fallacies, Ethical Skepticism | , , , , , ,

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