The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Agency of Pseudo-Skepticism & Cultivated Ignorance

The Distinction Between Bias and Agency

Bias comes from the inside and only becomes bias when we ignore it or are compelled to act upon it. Agency comes from the outside and seeks to leverage ignorance. Bias is the prejudice of the individual. Agency is the awesome insistence of the club. Agency is that intent which seeks virtuous godship over a lesser person or at-risk stakeholder.

What is Agency?

As part of my studies of mythology and in particular Gnostic Christianity, I made an effort to transliterate my way through some of the Nag Hammadi codex material and in particular The Hypostasis of the Archons. These Second Century early-sect Christian texts were not discovered until recently, inside buried and sealed clay jars, in upper Egypt in 1945.1 2 In this version of early Christian mythology the ‘God’ which created the original failed prototype of mankind on Earth was named Samael. Pistis Sophia, the celestial and true God, took pity upon the suffering creature and made him into a fully sentient being – much to the indignation of Samael. As a result, Samael enslaved the new creature back into servitude under the Archons, or Rulers.

Samael, also called the ‘demiurge’, was a heavenly being, subordinate to the Supreme Being (Pistis Sophia), that was considered to be the absolute Ruler (Archon or Archangel) of the Earth – antagonistic to all that is celestial, enlightened and/or spiritual. Samael eventually came to be known as Ha-Satan,3 the one who in Levant mythology tempted Christ, the Son of Man, by offering him rule over all the kingdoms of Earth if he would only subjugate himself (and the coming Mankind) unto the authority of the Archons.

This Gnostic version of ancient writ was regarded as holy well before that Canonical consensus which was assembled three centuries later and eventually came to be called the Bible.4 It is no mystery why those in charge of developing that World power which would become the Christian Church would have sought to exterminate this version of scripture – causing it to flee into Egypt – because in its texts as compared to the Bible, the roles of God (Pistis Sophia, Eternal Wisdom and Faith) and Satan (Samael, Ruler of Earth) are reversed in many regards:

Of primary importance to know, is the core principal that the Chief Authority of the Rulers, Samael is spiritually blind. Because his spiritual vision was very limited in this regard, because there was apparently no one to challenge him from what he could see, and finally because he was also arrogant, he concluded that quod erat demonstrandum, he must be the most powerful entity which exists. He therefore declared himself manifestly, to be God. But as a good man knows, it is the gravest of sins to adorn one’s self in the costume of God over a fellow or lesser being.

Thereafter, the Rulers took the man Pistis Sophia had rescued from their inept hands and mercifully transmutated as well into a fully sentient being, Adam, and placed him into a great garden situated adjacent to their abode in the Levant. They tasked him to maintain and cultivate the garden. But in this garden, they had hatched another plan as well – that of a trap. The Rulers had decided to plant a Tree in the center of the garden, and to subsequently instruct their ‘Man of the Clay’, “From every tree in the garden shall you eat; yet from the tree of understanding what is not-evil and what is evil, do not eat. For in the day you eat from that tree, you will again fall under our dominion and may no longer claim this Earth which has been so unworthily bequeathed to you. You will again die like the service animal you are.” Of course the Rulers knew, that once man was told to not do something, that is the exact thing which he would elect to then do.

Nag Hammadi – The Hypostasis of the Archons (Consolidation and Transliteration)

Now of course, this cache of ancient mythological writing bears no more credibility nor lack thereof than does any other. However such mythology can stand as a form of analogue or parable relating key messages. What interests me in these passages of the The Hypostasis of the Archons, is the premise that – relative to the array of misdeeds which can be undertaken there exists no morality, there is no virtue – as every and any intent is actually good, when compared to that intent which seeks to enact godship over a fellow or ‘lesser’ being. It is not the costume one wears, nor how one appears to regard self, but rather what one does to others – which betrays the narcissist. This urge to godship is the original sin of the Archons.

Further then implicit in the Nag Hammadi mythos is the understanding that, avoiding regarding one’s self as god, and treating others accordingly is actually rather straightforward in its application:

First, there is a higher wisdom, knowledge and faithfulness (Pistis Sophia) to cherish and hold dear above all else.

Second, hold those within your reach just as worthy of this as you do yourself.

That is pretty much it. One does not have to save the world. One does not need to put on a fake humility. One does not need to extract money from hard-working people in the name of helping the oppressed refugees championed in some virtuous narcissistic fantasy. These are merely forms of godship over those ‘lesser’ than us. We are deceived often in this – that between the at-risk laborer who is harmed, and the lowly victim who is blessed, there exists an enacting, ‘humble’ and ‘virtuous’ third party who has made an implicit claim to godship inside this entire sordid play. Part of treating others as you would want to be treated, also involves holding all accountable to do their share and not simply sexually reproduce beyond sustainability and confiscate the workfruit of their fellow beings (through that third party). This does not serve to invalidate acts of taxation nor mercy of course; however, there is no mercy in this particular social play act – rather only opportunities to claim godship over one’s fellow man.

Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell.

Karl Popper

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.

Lord Acton

Therefore the mere biases of suspicion, skepticism, sponsorship, hunch, predilection or conspiracy theory are one thing – but evil is known by one signature and one signature alone – and that is agency – the intent which seeks a position of godship over a lesser being or at-risk stakeholder. To costume this intent in virtue, goodness, morality, justice, science, religious or academic robes or any other urge of the poseur, stands only to compound such evil.

Evil is known by one signature alone – agency –
that intent which seeks godship over a lesser being or at-risk stakeholder.

To costume this intent in virtue, goodness, morality, justice, science,
religious or academic robes serves only to compound its evil.

Yes, an ethical skeptic recognizes the risk inherit in bias – but also understands as well that bias, is not really our preeminent problem. This is why the First Duty of Ethical Skepticism is to oppose agency.

         Bias

Any form of development in epistemology which is conducted under a lack of epoché or skeptical neutrality. Bias is not something that one holds – as everyone possesses this form of ‘bias’. Rather bias is an action which has succumbed to such inclination, whether conscious or unconscious. It is a set of actions, postulates, questions, observations, analyses, portrayals, manipulations, methods or conclusions which are influenced in any way by a premise of non-neutrality concerning a question of inquiry or science.

         Agency

The manipulation of persons, institutions, procedures, risks, ignorance, biases or social message such that they bring to effect a particular surreptitious or manifest outcome. The seeking of godship over lesser, disdained or at-risk stakeholders in the form of power, virtue, moral authority, conflict, positional authority, defamation, control, retribution, sequestration, harm, death, justice, extermination, extraction of wealth, oppression or enslavement.

         Bias versus Agency

Bias will be acknowledged and surrendered by an honest researcher. Agency will not.

Bias can be mitigated and worked around. Agency can not.

Bias does not seek to exploit other bias. Agency does.

Bias does not form a syndicate (cartel, mafia, cabal). Agency does.

Bias does not seek to govern. Agency does.

Bias introduces error. Agency enforces it.

Bias is Tau. Agency is Indigo. (*see here)

Bias counters its potential error by means of skepticism. Agency entrenches its correctness by joining a skeptic club.

Bias can be countered by in-context methodology and researcher discipline. Agency can not.

Bias does not celebrate, exploit nor seek to wallow in ignorance. Agency does.

Bias is identified through knowledge. Agency is identified through intelligence.

Bias will seek to protect its own. Agency will seek to harm those different.

Bias might involve standing up to a bully. Agency is the bully.

Bias does not see the full set of ramifications. Agency sets those as its goal.

Bias does not seek to bolster an institution. Agency does.

Bias comes from inside. Agency comes from the outside.

Bias appeals to a higher authority aside from itself. Agency does so only in furtherance of its goals.

Bias can detect and deliberate an impact upon stakeholders. Agency does not care – or is even worse when it does.

Thus I have outlined as faithfully as I can muster, the threshing tool of the ethical skeptic allowing a distinction between bias and agency. Wise is he or she who understands and can master the difference.

The Ethical Skeptic, “The Distinction Between Bias and Agency”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 4 Jan 2020; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=42966

January 4, 2020 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism, Institutional Mandates | , , | 5 Comments

Essential Eyewitness Testimony is Highly Reliable Despite What SSkeptics Claim

Social Skeptics regularly celebrate 1980’s psychology studies which they inexpertly believe afford them the luxury of dismissing eyewitness testimony as an unreliable form of evidence.  Through the equivocation of regarding all observations as equal under the moniker of ‘eyewitness testimony’ SSkeptics can manipulate the process of science observation to their liking. But not all types of eyewitness testimony are created equal; nor are they regarded as such in the cited studies. There exists a difference between circumstantial and non-critical descriptive observations, and those observations of immediate schematic essence. Through a one-liner laden misunderstanding of the oft touted Loftus study, bad science and amateur law, SSkeptics actively seek to block entire domains of observational data from being afforded entry into the body of science. 
The dismissal of data a priori for any reason of conjecture is pseudoscience. Moreover, not all types of eyewitness testimony are easily dismissible, despite the facade of authority spun through context-less snippets phrase-lifted from cool sounding psychology studies. The dismissal of Essential Eyewitness Testimony through psychological conjecture constitutes scientific fraud in the manipulation of observations which otherwise could establish analytical bases or necessity under the scientific method.

skeptics are not acceptable expert witnessesThere are several types of evidence regarded as material to an issue of fact, varying in reliability depending on the source, medium, mode and form. The Laws of Evidence govern the use of testimony, which is typically delivered in the form of direct evidence exhibits (e.g., biological, DNA, fingerprint, or other physical media), documentary material (e.g., account activity, phone calls, travel, physical media), or other demonstrative evidence, which is material to an issue of fact.  An additional rule of evidence pertains generally to Scots law,  the rule of corroboration used in criminal law, which requires that two or more pieces of evidence, stand as first basis to establish an essential fact.  Contrary to what amateurs contend, Scots law thresholds do not constitute ‘proof’ of an issue of fact; however such an attainment stands as senior evidence, until stronger evidence supplants the Scots’ basis.

One of the material evidences regarded as valid under Scots law, is Eyewitness Testimony.  In general, assembled from the Federal Rules of Evidence (Federal Rules of Evidence, 2014; Federal Evidence Review, Arlington, VA; VII. Rules Regarding Opinions and Expert Testimony), there exist six types of Eyewitness Testimony (listed below in order of increasing material relevance regarding a specific issue of fact), which may or may not qualify as material to a case of dispute:

essential eyewitness testimony is validThe Six Types of Eyewitness Testimony (Federal Rules of Evidence, 2014)

  1. Hearsay
  2. Character
  3. Circumstantial
  4. Descriptive
  5. Identifying
  6. Essential Schemata

(The woman in the photo to the right is witnessing Essential Schemata.  She may forget how much money she had in her wallet at the time, or she may forget what she had for lunch that day or what objects were in the backseat of the car.  She will not forget however, that there was a car collision, nor that the car was on fire and passengers were in the car; no matter how much time elapses, nor how many people tell her otherwise.  As well, her recall of anything relevant inside the schema of the whole event, will be crystal clear)

Social Skeptics, equivocate between types 3. Circumstantial and 4. Descriptive eyewitness testimony, which can be unreliable in certain circumstances, and apply this doubt to matters of 6. Essential Schema (see Yuille Study¹ below) testimony.  This is an invalid application of psychology and legal principle.

Recent Psychology Study Shows Essential Eyewitness Testimony as Being Highly Reliable

the-party-told-you-ignore-evidence-of-eyes-and-earsOne recent psychology study in the Journal of Applied Psychology demonstrated that immediate witnesses of a real life incident maintain remarkably accurate memories of a stressful first hand event.1 Eyewitness recall of essential elements of data which form a schema of memory, the essence of context and fact inside a recall structure, concerning what occurred in a stressful event, whether individual or in a group, was shown by the study to be extraordinarily accurate.  In the study itself, police interviewed witnesses, all of whom were re-interviewed five months later concerning the same incident and same recall features.  The group recall was found to be schematically accurate, even after a long period of time had elapsed, and despite the introduction of two misleading questions inserted by the research team in the follow up questioning.2

Matters of eyewitness testimony establishing essential schema are typically very reliable.  Opinions may differ as to the eye color of the assailant or even at times his identity; but the fact that a man came in and robbed a store, is typically indisputable.

In fact, a recent study by John T. Wixted (University of California, San Diego) and Gary L. Wells (Iowa State University), leading researchers in the field of eyewitness memory, cited that dismissal of eyewitness testimony has been a grave mistake in trend inside judicial practices. Ironically, the report was endorsed by none other than Elizabeth Loftus herself:

The purpose of our article is to explain why a blanket disregard for eyewitness confidence is not only at odds with what has been learned in recent years but can also contribute to both the wrongful conviction of innocent suspects and the unwarranted removal from suspicion of a guilty suspect,” the researchers write.

The report is accompanied by commentaries from several notable experts, including Senior Circuit Judge Andre M. Davis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and renowned memory researcher Elizabeth F. Loftus of the University of California, Irvine. The report and commentaries are published together in Psychological Science in the Public Interest (PSPI), a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.”3

By regarding, through a priori conjecture and misapplied psychology, the whole incident of a store robbery in the above example, to constitute fiction through unreliable testimony, SSkeptics commit the pseudo-scientific fraud of observational data dismissal. This is a destructive trend, which even former supporters have begun to rethink in our most recent science on the issue.

Essential Schema

/psychology : memory/ : an organized structure of thought and perception that interleaves information frameworks by the relationships among key data. A mental framework of epistemological or preconceived ideas, representing some aspect of the world, concept of learning, system or event. It can be utilized as a system of organizing, perceiving and retaining new information. Schemata influence attention and the efficacy of absorption/retention of new knowledge. People are more likely to notice and retain data which fit into their schema. Essential Schemata have a tendency to remain unchanged, even in the face of contradictory information and the passage of time.

A Misapplied Study

eyewitness testimony is reliableMuch ado is made of a series of studies from 1978 through 1989 in which Elizabeth Loftus cited the unreliability of eyewitness memories in situations where time has elapsed or bias inducing information has been introduced to the witness in the meantime.  In the study which stemmed from a 1978 previous basis, a danger of what is called a Misinformation Effect on the part of eyewitnesses was delineated.4 Participants in the original study were shown a series of slides, only one of which featured a car stopping in front of a yield sign (see right).5 6 After viewing the slides, participants were then given to read an outside opinion description of what they saw in one of the slides. Some of the participants were given descriptions that contained misinformation about the one slide with the car and yield sign, which stated that the car stopped instead at a stop sign.  Now remember that this type of testimony is not based on memory of 6. Essential Schemata.  It is based upon 3. Circumstantial and 4. Descriptive memory. As well, it positions the memory, not only outside a framework of a retention schema, but inside a reality of being disassociated trivia.  These are the pertinent factors regarding this memory effect cited in the study, not the fact that the Essential Schemata was remembered incorrectly.  “Following the slides and the reading of the description, participants were tested on what they saw. The results revealed that participants who were exposed to such misinformation were more likely to report seeing a stop sign than participants who were not misinformed.7

Essential Schema Filtering Error

/philosophy : pseudoscience : biases : data filtering/ : when one uses pop psychology studies such as the 1980’s Loftus Study to dismiss memories and observations which they do not like. By citing that memories and eyewitness testimony are unreliable forms of evidence, pretend skeptics present an illusion of confidence on dismissing disliked eyewitness essential schema data, when neither the Federal Rules of Evidence, science nor even the cited studies make such a claim which allows the dismissal of eyewitness testimony at all.

The problem with this study is that it is measuring the accuracy of the long term, bias influenced mind on trivial matters, and trick questions (uti dolo is a form of ambiguity) which focus on trivia and exploit memory phenomena with no supportive memory schema, relating to

  • Hearsay
  • Character
  • Circumstantial
  • Descriptive

evidence bases. These are memory bases which can easily be altered by the passage of time or the influence of outside contrasting testimony which can impart a memory bias. The study shows this, but more importantly, it also shows that matters of memory in terms of 6. Essential Schemata, are very accurate.8

These elements of memory are called in psychology the ‘Moses Illusion’ – the idea that flaws in memory on trivial matters, somehow impart grand assumptions about memory which must be brought to bear on retainment which relates to highly reliable essential schema, and not simply trivia and trick question.9 However, the brain does not work this way, and the Loftus Study confirms this. Essential schema is highly reliable, trivial schema is not. Beware of those who do not differentiate the two, as they are most likely pushing an agenda.

The witnesses, 100% recalled that a car was stopped at a sign.  This is Essential Schemata, and it was demonstrated to be 100% accurate.10

In other words, the witnesses may have doubt introduced in their mind as to whether a car in one slide in many, was stopped at a yield sign or a stop sign, but they did not have any doubt about the essential schema of a car stopped at a sign.  A Social Skeptic would contend here that there was no such thing as a car stopped at a sign, or a collision and a car fire (in the further above example).  It is a contrivance and manipulation to apply these study principles in this fashion.

Social Skeptics employ this twist of equivocation, a misapplication of this study and others like it, to principal memories of Essential Schema. Structures which retain Essential Schemata which otherwise could act as an evidential basis supporting an ethical employment of the scientific method.  In this fashion, they obfuscate targeted sets of research and analysis from becoming the observational base for necessity made available to science.

This activity is fraud, and pseudoscience.

epoché vanguards gnosis

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April 29, 2014 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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