The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

Skeptics Need You – But You Don’t Need Them

Stop striving to impress skeptics. Just because scientists employ skepticism, does not mean therefore that skeptics represent science. In fact, they only serve to personify a straw man of science. They seek to foment conflict between the public and scientists – because that serves to impart power to them and their club.
A hypocrisy meme, where a man disdainfully holds his intellectual looking spectacles in the air and cites that the job of skeptics is to promote a better understanding of science. Then ironically, starts spinning a whole slew of reasons why science finds the reader unacceptable and calls them names and irrational.

Skeptics have placed you under the spell of a little mind trick. They do not seek the truth of any particular matter, rather they seek only to leverage your sincerity, wonder and inquisitiveness towards a goal of power, humiliation and polarization. They wish you to infer that scientists regard your lines of inquiry, rights and notions – as woo. They wish to imply that science relies upon proof and that scientists have disproved you, and further regard you as anti-science (q.e.d. anti-them).  Upon sensing this finger-point generated animus, scientists begin to perceive much of the public as a frothing, anti-science horde who cannot fathom what they do, and further must now be ignored in order to save the world. This is the actual lesson skeptics are teaching all concerned on both sides – “You must worship me as the smartest, cede unto me the power of punishment (of both the public and scientists) – as I now represent science.” It is a clever little social trick of identity bullying.

In this they ironically pose as a factor which promotes understanding of science on the part of the public.

Skeptics desperately need you – to add fuel to their superiority complex, polarizing message, power to humiliate, club member ranking, acclaim, and to tacitly reinforce their religious view of the world however, you do not need them. You do not need to invite them to events to ‘provide a skeptical perspective’, as this is part of the game of misrepresentation which they play on everyone. Most researchers are already skeptical in their work; most scientists are skeptics by nature and training. This infusion of discipline is a natural part of living a sincere, hard working life. But this does not mean that self-identity skeptics do any research, nor that they are sincere, nor that they are scientists – nor especially that they represent science.

Through personifying a straw man of science, skeptics seek to foment conflict between the public and science
– a state wherein their club gains authority along with the power to punish;
because both science and the public now perceive each other as the denialist enemy.
An enemy which you must fear, mistrust and marginalize.

Do not fall for this game. You will know that you have won, when skeptics ignore you back.

†  When we speak of ‘skeptics’ in this article, we are speaking of those who identify as ‘skeptic’ publicly, as a means of bullying, posturing and self-congratulation. Social skeptics. Fake skeptics. Those who regularly point the finger of ‘pseudoscience’, ‘woo’, ‘credulity’, and ‘anti-science’. Your identity as an ethical skeptic, is simply a means to say ‘I do not participate in that game – other than to oppose agency and bullying, I am not here to promote any given conclusion nor myself. I love science. I love mankind – let’s solve this together and without identity bullying.’

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The Ethical Skeptic, “Skeptics Need You – But You Don’t Need Them”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 4 Dec 2018; Web,

December 4, 2018 - Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , ,

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Thomas Donlon
Thomas Donlon

I appreciate your main point. Your warning or admonishment is well taken and I like it.

Separately you have another well done comic analysis of the Road Runner cartoon.

How did you intend though to link the cartoon to the main point about us not being over-eager (my personal take-away) to engage skeptics?

It just seems like two separate points … each valid in their own domain … but the connection escapes me.

Respectfully, Tom

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