The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

Corber’s Burden of Skepticism and The Omega Hypothesis

The Omega Hypothesis is the argument which is foisted to end all argument, period.
Social Skeptics work to defend this set of beliefs through several means. First they codify these beliefs into a partly unacknowledged, but comprehensively protected set. Further then, through application of an inverse negation fallacy, and conflating the ethics of skepticism with corrupted methods of cynicism they establish the preeminence of their favored beliefs, without or by skirting the rigor of science. All this stems from a principle of parsimony called Corber’s Burden. When one makes an authoritative claim as to possessing knowledge of a complete set of that which is incorrect, one must be 100% correct (or at least appear to be so).

Omeaga Hypothesis - CopyWho needs further science and hypothesis testing when you have skepticism? Further study of anything which falls outside of The Omega Hypothesis is pseudoscience. Why study it when we already have the answer through the magic of critical thinking and rationality? Such is the rationalization of the Social Skeptic. The Social Skeptic will then appoint their debunking resume with ample sets of Stooge Posed examples, case anecdotes of ridiculous debunking wherein their ‘critical thinking’ skills resulted in the correct answer. Jesus on a piece of toast, mermaids, swallowing whole bottles of sugar pills, statues drinking milk. An erstwhile skeptic Christmas tree adorned with such a profusion of correct ornaments that it will be difficult to impossible to locate any incorrect ones. They will imply that the entire suite of ideas they have disproved constitutes 100% bunk. But they need be cautious in such a claim. For god knows what the implications of being wrong are – when your job is to instruct everyone as to what is indeed, incorrect. This is related inside a tenet of parsimony, under Ockham’s Razor, called the Truzzi Fallacy or Burden of Proof. Making a claim to falseness is the same as making a claim. This applies as well to situations where the claimant implies falsity through various non-evidence avenues – or by attempting to shoot down or plausibly deny all alternative ideas.

When one makes or implies a claim to falseness, one assumes the burden of proof.¹

In ancient Biblical times, the test or ‘burden of proof’ of a prophet was that they need be correct in their prognostications 100%.² Thankfully we no longer rely on prophets to tell us a couple things about the future.  Now we rely upon Social Skeptics to instruct us as to ALL things about the present.  The nature of tendering answers in lieu of science (a false form of skepticism), demands that the purveyor of such correct conclusive thought – necessarily be correct in 100% of their claims.

For in those cases where you are right – you serve to simply re-enforce the prevailing dogma – thereby adding no real value.

And if even if in one case, you are wrong – even on 1% of the ‘pseudoscience’ you squelch without any research or real effort – your entire life’s contribution has been a net disservice to humanity.

This reality is born out in a principle called Corber’s Burden.

Corber’s Burden

Corber’s Burden Inverse Exponential Decaya. When one tenders an authoritative claim as to what is incorrect – one must be perfectly correct.

b. When a person or organization claims to be an authority on all that is bunk, their credibility decays in inverse exponential proportion to the number of subjects in which authority is claimed.

c. A sufficiently large or comprehensive set of claims to conclusive evidence in denial, is indistinguishable from an appeal to authority.

/philosophy : burden of proof : pretense/ The mantle of ethics undertaken when one claims the role of representing conclusive scientific truth, ascertained by means other than science, such as ‘rational thinking,’ ‘critical thinking,’ ‘common sense,’ or skeptical doubt. An authoritative claim or implication as to possessing knowledge of a complete set of that which is incorrect. The nature of such a claim to authority on one’s part demands that the skeptic who assumes such a role be 100% correct. If however, one cannot be assured of being 100% correct, then one must tender the similitude of such.

Corber’s Hypocrisy

/philosophy : pseudoscience : self misrepresentation/ : When a skeptic who dismisses a large set of specific subjects and who realizes that under Corber’s Burden they must be 100% correct in such a role – speaks often about ‘following the evidence’ or that they ‘withhold conclusion’ in a state of neutrality over such subjects – when indeed such claims of behavior are not the case at all in their habit or practice.

An example of this can be found in atheist activism. If one purports to be able to instruct others under the certainty that there is no god, and that the spirit realm and extra-material consciousness all do not exist – or further then that all these things have been ‘disproved by science’ – one ethically in this role is under the burden of needing to be 100% correct. In other words you better damn well be right – or you have committed a great harm to those you instructed. This burden applies to the greater domain of disdained topics as well. The likelihood of one harming others increases as one becomes more and more boastful as to those subjects in which one claims to be an authority to claims of both promotion or denial.

The Furtive and Mandatory Hypothesis

Corber’s Burden/Hypocrisy introduces an additional form of pseudoscience which fails the Popper Demarcation of science versus non-science. One which can be found in the practices regarding the employment of an invalid, hidden, but also mandatory null hypothesis, HΩ. The Omega Hypothesis is hidden precisely because of Corber’s Burden. The creation and unmerited protection of the Omega Hypothesis constitutes a form of hypoepistemology which is spun through practices of Inverse Negation Fallacy, and corruption of the standards and methods of science. It is an embodiment and method of ensuring that what we believe in Social Skepticism, is at any given time, regarded as 100% correct – in accordance with Corber’s Burden. Through these practices of social epistemology, an apparent coherence can be spun around a particular view of a subject, and protection by the corrupted institutions of science afforded until such time as a Kuhn Paradigm Shift is able to be precipitated. Sadly, this often only occurs upon the death of the key social epistemologists involved.

Omega Hypothesis (HΩ)

The argument which is foisted to end all argument, period. A conclusion which has become more important to protect, than the integrity of science itself.

/philosophy : pseudoscience : social epistemology : apparent coherency/ : the argument which is foisted to end all argument, period. A conclusion which has become more important to protect, than the integrity of science itself. An invalid null hypothesis or a preferred idea inside a social epistemology. A hypothesis which is defined to end deliberation without due scientific rigor, alternative study consensus or is afforded unmerited protection or assignment as the null. The surreptitiously held and promoted idea or the hypothesis protected by an Inverse Negation Fallacy. Often one which is promoted as true by default, with the knowledge in mind that falsification will be very hard or next to impossible to achieve.

1.  The (Wonka) Golden Ticket – Have we ever really tested the predictive strength of this idea standalone, or evaluated its antithetical ideas for falsification?

Einfach Mechanism – an explanation, theory or idea which resolves a contention under the scientific method solely by means of the strength of the idea itself. An idea which is not vetted by the rigor of falsification, predictive consilience nor mathematical derivation, rather is simply considered such a strong, or Occam’s Razor (sic) simple an idea that the issue is closed as finished science from its proposition and acceptance onward. An einfach mechanism may or may not be existentially true.

2.  Cheater’s Hypothesis – Does an argument proponent constantly insist on a ‘burden of proof’ upon any contrasting idea, a burden that they never attained for their argument in the first place? An answer they fallaciously imply is the scientific null hypothesis; ‘true’ until proved otherwise?

Imposterlösung Mechanism – the cheater’s answer. Employing the trick of pretending that an argument domain which does not bear coherency nor soundness – somehow (in violation of science and logic) falsely merits assignment of a ‘null hypothesis’. Moreover, then that null hypothesis must be assumed sans any real form or context of evidence, or Bayesian science cannot be accomplished. Finally then, that a null hypothesis is therefore regarded by the scientific community as ‘true’ until proved otherwise. A 1, 2, 3 trick of developing supposed scientifically accepted theory which in reality bears no real epistemological, logical, predicate structure nor scientific method basis whatsoever.

3.  Omega Hypothesis (HΩ) – Is the idea so important, that it now stands more important that the methods of science, or science itself. Does the idea leave a trail of dead competent professional bodies behind it?

Höchste Mechanism – when a position or practice, purported to be of scientific basis, is elevated to such importance that removing the rights of professionals and citizens to dissent, speak, organize or disagree (among other rights) is justified in order to protect the position or the practice inside society.

4.  Embargo Hypothesis (Hξ) – was the science terminated years ago, in the midst of large-impact questions of a critical nature which still remain unanswered? Is such research now considered ‘anti-science’ or ‘pseudoscience’?

Entscheiden Mechanism – the pseudoscientific or tyrannical approach of, when faced with epistemology which is heading in an undesired direction, artificially declaring under a condition of praedicate evidentia, the science as ‘settled’.

5.  Evidence Sculpting – has more evidence been culled from the field of consideration for this idea, than has been retained? Has the evidence been sculpted to fit the idea, rather than the converse?

Skulptur Mechanism – the pseudoscientific method of treating evidence as a work of sculpture. Methodical inverse negation techniques employed to dismiss data, block research, obfuscate science and constrain ideas such that what remains is the conclusion one sought in the first place. A common tactic of those who boast of all their thoughts being ‘evidence based’. The tendency to view a logical razor as a device which is employed to ‘slice off’ unwanted data (evidence sculpting tool), rather than as a cutting tool (pharmacist’s cutting and partitioning razor) which divides philosophically valid and relevant constructs from their converse.

Also, the instance common in media wherein so-called ‘fact-based’ media sites tell 100% truth about 50% the relevant story. This is the same as issuing 50% misinformation or disinformation.

6.  Lindy-Ignorance Vortex – do those who enforce or imply a conforming idea or view, seem to possess a deep emotional investment in ensuring that no broach of subject is allowed regarding any thoughts or research around an opposing idea or specific ideas or avenues of research they disfavor? Do they easily and habitually imply that their favored conclusions are the prevailing opinion of scientists? Is there an urgency to reach or sustain this conclusion by means of short-cut words like ‘evidence’ and ‘fact’? If such disfavored ideas are considered for research or are broached, then extreme disdain, social and media derision are called for?

Verdrängung Mechanism – the level of control and idea displacement achieved through skillful employment of the duality between pluralistic ignorance and the Lindy Effect. The longer a control-minded group can sustain an Omega Hypothesis perception by means of the tactics and power protocols of proactive pluralistic ignorance, the greater future acceptability and lifespan that idea will possess. As well, the harder it will to be dethrone as an accepted norm or perception as a ‘proved’ null hypothesis.

One key sign that an Omega Hypothesis is being promoted, is the tactic of declaring any non-conventional alternative explanation as constituting ‘magical thinking.’ This paranoia about every thought that threatens one’s beliefs as stemming somehow from magic, is in itself a version of religious thinking. Three conditions typically lead to this tactic, and highlight a person’s religious clinging to the Omega Hypothesis:

A.  Forcing a Null Hypothesis from an idea which has not really been matured into an actual scientific hypothesis in the first place,

B.  Assuming the Null Hypothesis to be true,

C.  Assuming all competing hypotheses to be declarations of ‘magical thinking’ – in an attempt to obviate any scientific testing or maturing of such an idea.

All the above a set of practice which abrogates a Popperian view of the threshold and rigor of adequate science, relying instead on the promotion of an invalid null hypothesis (HΩ) through academic inertia, ignorance of the discipline, promotification science, social skeptic campaigns or corporate pressure. Now to be fair, this set of unethical practice was also developed and perfected by Abrahamism and other religions, both currently and in the past. It is not something practiced by only Social Skeptics by any means.

The Signals of an Omega Hypothesis at Play:

omega hypothesis truck - Copy
Proselytize Children or College Students

Do they tout the wonders of ‘critical thinking’ before one possesses a deep or even a nascent understanding of the world around them?

Bears a Similitude of Science or 100% Correct Authority

Do they love to wear the robes of, or enjoy the regard of self, as being equivalent to an expert or scientist on a subject? Are they never wrong or uncertain?

Promoted by Means of an Inverse Negation Fallacy

Do they just happen to habitually apply methodical doubt to every idea except for a favored few?

Defended by the Martial Art of Denial

Instead of bringing evidence, do they habitually and only provide excuses or plausible outs as to why opposing evidence could be invalid?

Involves Clubs, Literature and Bandwagons Events to Re-enforce

Do they only hang with their fellows, or regularly celebrate visible membership and fealty to positions of club opinion and membership? Conventions, outreach literature?

Byzantine Enforcement of Preferred Ideas Through Social Pressure Rather Than Empirical Study

Do they wink and nudge, loudly alert their fellows for action, patrol forums, and loudly decry anyone who thinks differently about ideas they disfavor? Do they cite your dissent as constituting a ‘lack of critical thinking skills’ – and position you inside a pigeon hole of canned irrationality?

Seeks Control of Media and Legislation in Lieu of Science

Do they seek to head off science by intervening through legislature or inflammatory articles, or consider the thoughts of the common man or those who have experienced anecdotes or health problems to be beneath them?

Enforced Through Celebrity and Priest

Do they seek the authoritative backing of celebrity voices, or celebrity for themselves, as a means of adding credibility to their message?

Employs Mocking and Derisiveness on All Opposing Thought

Is their first and primary resort to argument, a mocking disdain and derisiveness towards those who are honestly (and maybe errantly) seeking answers inside their lives? or are suffering a health challenge?

A word: Regard people who practice the above as DISHONEST.

shortcutsYou will find that the philosophy of Social Skepticism rarely if ever, delves into the philosophy of ethics, particularly in regard to the mantle assumed by one when undertaking the role of skepticism as an authority. Nor do they examine their steps in regard to enforcement of The Omega Hypothesis. Moreover, one would think that the role of the skeptic and free thinking would be to challenge The Omega Hypothesis. Sadly this is never the case inside Social Skepticism.

When philosophers speak of skepticism being the foundation of science, they are not referring to the unbridled spewing of methodical cynicism and prejudicial doubt which is practiced by those who today pretend to be, or assume the mantle of representing, science. Skepticism carries no agenda, save for the idempotent ethic of defending the knowledge development process. It challenges manipulation of data and methods through fear, establishment of control, practices of disdain, squelching of ideas, observations or persons, mafia elite powers and the cultivation of ignorance. This is why the definition of Ethical Skepticism begins with the statement:

Skepticism is the complement of sound science, not the privilege sword of a few pretenders. It is the handiwork of those who possess the grace, integrity and acumen requisite in the wielding of great ideas.

It is not, and never has been a license to spew denial as if one bore no responsibility in its offing.


¹  Philosophic Burden of Proof, Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof

note: An example of a false employment of a common misconception of burden of proof can be found here: RationalWiki Burden of Proof

In the definition cited, Rational Wiki cites that only ‘new and remarkable ideas’ bear the burden of proof. That once evidence is presented, it is ‘up to the opposing side to disprove the evidence.’  Specifically they employ the Error of the Default Null: “If someone has presented you with an idea and says that the burden of proof is on you to disprove the idea, work out what the null hypothesis is and then put their evidence for the idea against it. The person claiming something is possible or has happened needs to produce evidence to refute the null hypothesis.”

All of these fallacious ideas are employed inside fake skepticism.

²  McCoy, Ryan, “Biblical Tests of a Prophet,” http://www.biblicaltestsofaprophet.com/

August 25, 2015 Posted by | Argument Fallacies, Institutional Mandates | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Burden of Proof (in Gumballs)

Sometimes ‘simple’ is itself the extraordinary claim. A burden of proof may not always reside where we regard it. A claim that something is false, can be just as extraordinary as the claim that something is true. It is important that The Ethical Skeptic distinguish between claims which bear a burden of proof, those that do not, and those which are by their non-sequitur nature, irrelevant.

kids and teacher how many gumballs - CopyI was attending one of my kid’s school parties, a father/student night in elementary school one evening years ago, when an interesting contest arose. The teacher challenged the fathers to all guess how many gumballs were in a jar of gumballs she had on her desk. We all dutifully wrote our guesses down on a sheet of paper and tore it off into a small folded sheet to hand to the students’ homeroom teacher. Once all the slips of guesses were placed into a bowl, the teacher pulled each one out and wrote the guesses on the whiteboard for all to see.  110, 245, 43, 66, 190, and so forth. Number after number came up, and I waited dutifully for my guess of 143 to show. I had made the guess by counting the number of gumballs in the size of one fist. A fist is a common quick measure of volume in situations where one does not have any available measure for volume estimate. 11 Gumballs to a fist, 12 fists to the container – then a little sluff for the neck of the jar, which appeared to be full to the brim. 11 x 12 = 132, plus another 11 I could count in the neck. Thus my guess was 143.

Finally the teacher pulled up a piece of paper and started to read it, then stopped abruptly and smiled. “Well it’s obvious someone overhead me saying how many gumballs we had in the jar, earlier to Ms. Clemmens over here. So we won’t count that submission.” She set, what turned out to be my submission, aside.

The winning dad made a valiant guess of 127 against the correct count of 143 gumballs in the jar. Good job dad. I applauded his excellent guestimating skills and said nothing about the matter. After all, this is just elementary school. What we are taught here, does not matter in the larger scheme of things, right?  Such a drama-in-elementary exhibits an important principle with regard to claims of falseness.

When one makes or implies a claim to falseness, one assumes the burden of proof.¹

Under Ockham’s Razor, plurality should not be introduced without necessity. The homeroom teacher, by accusing me of exercising dishonesty in my submission, had violated Ockham’s Razor. The context of entrant anonymity in no way excused a direct or implicit claim of lying; as this is still the same contention. She had introduced a very complicated idea, by mistaking the challenge to be simple. She had chosen the simplest explanation – no one can guess EXACTLY the gumball count in my jar. As with fake skeptics, she failed to discern the real principle here, that of plurality – or hypothesis stacking – complicated-ness as it might otherwise be known. She chose without evidence, Hypothesis B below, and presumed it because of

Occam’s Razor‘ the simplest explanation – in my base of personal knowledge and critical thinking, the chance of guessing 143 gumballs is too unlikely to be considered as a valid outcome.

Therefore Hypothesis C below, had to be false, in her skeptical mind. Here are the available array of ideas surrounding my ‘lucky’ guess, as they stand:

Hypothesis A – One or more fathers is a psychic – one father reads minds and could ascertain from my thoughts that the gumball count was 143.

This Hypothesis fails Ockham’s Razor for the simple fact that it must first presume that psychic ability exists, that the teacher knows what being psychic even means, that there was a knowledge on my part on how to employ such skill here, that I possessed the desire to falsify a document and impress a crowd, that I was looking for glory as to how prescient I am, that this is the way I impress and provide a role model for my son, and that I held that desire so profoundly that I would apply it in the guess of a gumball count in a jar at my kid’s father/student party.

A highly stacked – or pluralistic – hypothesis

Hypothesis B – One or more fathers is a cheater and a liar – one father listened in on myself and my assistant and ascertained from my statement that the gumball count was 143.

This Hypothesis fails Ockham’s Razor for the simple fact that it must first presume that the submittant cheats and lies, that the teacher is so smart and skeptical, that she can correctly detect this condition in a person and in me, that I possessed the desire to falsify a document and impress a crowd, that I was looking for glory as to how prescient I am, that cheating and lying is the way I impress and provide a role model for my son, and that I held that desire so profoundly that I would apply it in the guess of a gumball count in a jar at my kid’s father/student party.

A highly stacked – or pluralistic – hypothesis

Hypothesis C – One father made a skilled and lucky guesstimate – from a pinch of math and a bit of english, one father correctly guessed a gumball count of 143.

This hypothesis ‘holds the razor’ even thought it could be considered unlikely to guess 143 exactly – it is the null or favored hypothesis until such time as there is necessity, and a sufficient threshold of plurality evidence is brought forward which showed I ascertained the correct count of gumballs by any mutually exclusive and alternative means.

unlikely-versus-simpleI simply employed a little bit of skill I have used in the field in Africa and Asia, with a bit of math, combined with a bit of estimator’s wisdom (english) to get lucky on my estimated count of gumballs.  Had the teacher selected hypothesis C above – perhaps I could have explained how I did this to the kids – showed an example of measuring concretions being formed into a housing brick in Africa, and how I pulled off the guess.

But, it is better that schools teach the false form of skepticism instead, right? Don’t step outside of the rules of expectations, there is no way to get the correct amount. There are penalties if you do. There is no such thing as a cure for cancer or IBS, if you feel bad it is a panic attack, supplements are all evil, there is no such thing as a spirit realm, there is no such thing as ghosts, there is no such thing as…. – All easy pat, Occam’s Razor compliant answers.

‘Occam’s Razor’ says that the simplest explanation is that 143 is a hard count to guess, and cannot be guessed realistically, right? Something is up, if it is indeed guessed. Implicit in such a claim is a boast that I personally, hold the full domain knowledge of potentiality and likelihood. This is a common Social Skeptic implicit claim. The pitfall of the fake skeptic: I fail to be a skeptic of myself. Well the simple fact is, that

…sometimes, ‘simple’ is an extraordinary claim in and of itself.

Your effort will not be regarded as valid if you do not fit this errant version of ‘Occam’s Razor’ – simple contention – complicated-ness in knowing.  When one extrapolates this claim to Hypothesis B (see The MiHoDeAL Claim and The Appeal to Skepticism Fallacy), to apply to a whole domain of subjects they seek to discredit, under an air of authority as a skeptic – one is performing under Corber’s Burden. Under this burden, the skeptic must therefore always be right. Always. Or tender the appearance of doing so. Such is the enormous burden, the implicit claim, of the fake skeptic.

Which brings up the topic of proof gaming. Let’s examine that common social skeptic bad science method and fallacy, before we move on to our gumball examples.

Proof Gaming

/philosophy : argument : pseudoscience : false salience/ : employing dilettante concepts of ‘proof’ as a football in order to win arguments, disfavor disliked groups or thought, or exercise fake versions of science. Proof gaming presents itself in six speciations:

Catch 22 (non rectum agitur fallacy) – the pseudoscience of forcing the proponent of a construct or observation, to immediately and definitively skip to the end of the scientific method and single-handedly prove their contention, circumventing all other steps of the scientific method and any aid of science therein; this monumental achievement prerequisite before the contention would ostensibly be allowed to be considered by science in the first place. Backwards scientific method and skipping of the plurality and critical work content steps of science.

Fictitious Burden of Proof – declaring a ‘burden of proof’ to exist when such an assertion is not salient under science method at all. A burden of proof cannot possibly exist if neither the null hypothesis or alternative theories nor any proposed construct possesses a Popper sufficient testable/observable/discernible/measurable mechanism; nor moreover, if the subject in the matter of ‘proof’ bears no Wittgenstein sufficient definition in the first place (such as the terms ‘god’ or ‘nothingness’).

Herculean Burden of Proof – placing a ‘burden of proof’ upon an opponent which is either arguing from ignorance (asking to prove absence), not relevant to science or not inside the relevant range of achievable scientific endeavor in the first place. Assigning a burden of proof which cannot possibly be provided/resolved by a human being inside our current state of technology or sophistication of thought/knowledge (such as ‘prove abiogenesis’ or ‘prove that only the material exists’). Asking someone to prove an absence proposition (such as ‘prove elves do not exist’).

Fictus Scientia – assigning to disfavored ideas, a burden of proof which is far in excess of the standard regarded for acceptance or even due consideration inside science methods. Similarly, any form of denial of access to acceptance processes normally employed inside science (usually peer review both at theory formulation and at completion). Request for proof as the implied standard of science – while failing to realize or deceiving opponents into failing to realize that 90% of science is not settled by means of ‘proof’ to begin with.

Observation vs Claim Blurring – the false practice of calling an observation or data set, a ‘claim’ on the observers’ part.  This in an effort to subjugate such observations into the category of constituting scientific claims which therefore must be now ‘proved’ or dismissed (the real goal: see Transactional Occam’s Razor Fallacy).  In fact an observation is simply that, a piece of evidence or a cataloged fact. Its false dismissal under the pretense of being deemed a ‘claim’ is a practice of deception and pseudoscience.

As Science as Law Fallacy – conducting science as if it were being reduced inside a court of law or by a judge (usually the one forcing the fake science to begin with), through either declaring a precautionary principle theory to be innocent until proved guilty, or forcing standards of evidence inside a court of law onto hypothesis reduction methodology, when the two processes are conducted differently.

The Burden of Proof (exhibited in the oft-applied gumball analogy)

Which brings up the whole subject of the Philosophical Burden of Proof, which differs from a legal burden of proof regarding innocence.¹ When is a claim under the burden of proof, and when is it not? And when does a claim enjoy a lack of burden of proof simply because it is non-sequitur? In general, when one makes a claim to veracity (not a call for sponsorship and research – that is different) – in other words, one makes a claim that they are correct – the burden of proof falls upon them.  If I spot a big hairy man-like ‘thing’ in the forest and then make the call for more research on the observation – I am NOT MAKING A CLAIM. Rather simply calling for research – as I have no claim, save for being shocked by observing something paradigm shattering for which I have no explanation. This could be a person putting themselves in danger inside a costume, or it could be similar to what others of credible background have observed.  It is not a claim.  A claim, is a claim to empirical or analytical authority – that all must now accept as establishment of fact, reason, rationality or critical thinking – that which I am contending is substantiated by the evidence.

But with regard to the gumballs in our classroom anecdote above:

gumball analogy - CopyClaims Which Bear a Burden of Proof – regarding the gumballs to the right

  • There are 143 gumballs
  • There are an odd number of gumballs
  • There are an even number of gumballs
  • There are only red white and blue gumballs
  • There are no green gumballs
  • There is something besides gumballs in this mix
  • People who have observed green gumballs are liars
  • People who claim to have seen green gumballs are suffering memory suggestiveness
  • Observations of green gumballs are only anecdote
  • There are not an even number of gumballs
  • There are not an odd number of gumballs
  • We cannot see some gumballs currently

note that bullet points 2 and 3 above stand as an example of plurality under Ockham’s Razor

Claims Which are Non-Sequitur – they fail or skip large parts of the scientific method and cannot yet be contended or even asked

  • There are not 143 gumballs
  • The mix of red white and blue gumballs remains the same throughout those we cannot see
  • People who believe in green gumballs are credulous
  • We see an even number of gumballs, therefore the total of all gumballs is even
  • There are all sorts of gumballs of varying colors
  • There are only gumballs in this jar
  • People who attend church believe in green gumballs
  • Observations of green gumballs are pareidolia
  • Gumballs taste rancid
  • Gumballs can only be observed by a specific gumball expert team
  • Gumball skeptics are critical thinkers
  • Science does not have any evidence for green gumballs
  • Gumballs are pseudoscience
  • Gumballs are inter-dimensional and therefore hard to find
  • Dead body gumballs are necessary before I look beyond the visible ones
  • Skepticism tells me there are only red blue and white gumballs
  • The universe is so large that there must be green gumballs
  • Richard Dawkins has disproved all non red white or blue gumballs
  • Green gumballs do not exist
  • I hold the unambiguous definition of what is a gumball
  • Science holds the unambiguous definition of what is a gumball
  • There are no gumballs
  • There are no more red gumballs than what we see here, the rest are all blue and white

Claims Which are No Longer Under a Burden of Proof – established by empirical observation

  • There are 17 blue gumballs visible
  • We see an even number of gumballs (and recognize some dissent)
  • There are at least three colors of gumballs
  • Reality does not contain an empty set of gumballs
  • There are more than 0 gumballs
  • Gumballs are seen by more than one credible observing authority

In the end, is it not easier to skip a claim to knowledge and let the data accrue on its own, before one begins to invest in large grand scenarios of skepticism or launch into fanciful pathways of non-sequitur entertainment?  Or perhaps – best put, let ideas falsify themselves through accrued verity – not personal brilliance and experience.

Such is the nature of Ethical Skepticism. Man, now I am craving gumball.


¹  Philosophic Burden of Proof, Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof

August 25, 2015 Posted by | Argument Fallacies, Institutional Mandates | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rationality is Not What False Skeptics Portray

It is a common SSkeptic saga, *dreamy reverie fade into a youthful past – they joined Mensa because they were so smart. They longed to be with their elite fellows. The top 2% of the population. Yet they ran into those who considered ESP, UFO’s, ghosts, astrology, angels, parapsychology, conspiracy theories, delusions that government should serve the people, similar seditious ideas, religious groups, etc.  Oh my god the irrationality.  So in their open minds they fled in a storm of revealed supreme knowledge.  Fled as hero directly into the arms of the truly elite, the truly rational, the truly humble – just like themselves. They found their home not in Mensa, but here – in the compliant and comfy high-walled domain of Social Skepticism. Someone hand me a tissue please.
Social Skeptics regularly sling around the terms intelligence and rationality, as if there existed some prescribed social index and measure of each trait implied in the offing; they possessing an unquestionable grasp of such descriptives. While the definitions of the two terms differ in many regards, there indeed exists a nexus inside of which both terms are defined accurately, and are truly achieved.  But it may reside in a dramatic departure from those definitions portrayed inside the pages of Social Skeptic media cherry picking propaganda. Propaganda which conflates highly indoctrinated and compliant persons with those being ‘rational.’
IQ tests show the ability to spot patterns and solve puzzles, and social rationality is the ability to make one’s self appear acceptable. But true rationality and intelligence are indeed a single thing – a character trait exhibited through “thinking dispositions” as well as cognitive ability and social compliance (not that these are completely invalid). It is honed over a life spent in earnest curiosity, altruism and factual integrity. Not a life spent seeking reinforcement by being ‘science,’ or as to how much more rational one is than the unwashed goofballs one hates.

intelligence and rationality - CopyIts rebarbative milieu fatigues me, thus there will be no burying the lede inside this missive. My gosh, we have had the examples foisted upon us and splashed repeatedly across the push media. Yawn. Yes, Paul Frampton, a tenured professor of physics at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, believed that Denise Milani had the hots for him, or at least provided that excuse as to why he attempted to carry ‘her’ cocaine lined bag on a flight out of Argentina.¹ According to the Social Skeptic dogma, in his ‘hubris, narcissism, high personal assessment of intelligence and lack of rationality’, he plotted to bring her the bag, get married, and enjoy life with beautiful Milani. His sin, according to Social Skepticism, was that he was intelligent but not rational. Oh boy, I can just feel the bolt of the high powered agenda rifle being slammed home now.

If you’re like me, about now you’re wondering just what diatribes over this example of human weakness and desire to be loved has to do with contrast between rationality and intelligence. I mean yes, this man lacked basic judgment skills any brick layer might possess. But that does not make people with common sense, also rational. This is not just cherry picking, it is crabapple picking. To the perceptive observer here, the apparent lesson is, if you make a social mistake, your destiny may turn out to simply serve as a warning of what missteps not to commit. A very visible and socially deplored warning example. If you succeed, no one is the wiser and you were rational quod erat demonstrandum. In the end, it is all about being found right. So, rationality in the view of those who are hyper-socially-sensitive is ‘demonstrably never making a misstep.’ Just watch the composition which comes from this camp of the uber-diligent, highly indoctrinated; such rational script cannot contain even one questionable or non-compliant feature. Not even one. Their logic? Eh, well high school level or even one of flawed basis is good enough. The sad reality is, that their cronies are only intelligent enough to spot the procedural or format mistakes, and will only examine as deep as a couple comforting one-liners, to vet the soundness of the material beneath. After all, they are not narcissists.

Narcissism in the mind of the Social Skeptic is the temerity to not conform. How dare they! They must possess an enormous ego to disagree with us like that.

Such exemplifies the psychosis among Social Skeptics – an inner conviction that they must always be right, and at all costs. Rationality is about always being correct; and not only that – making sure that such correctness is a virtual Potemkin Village of compliance, socially demonstrable and highly visible. All posed inside a facade of akratic aeunoia.

I only follow the facts - CopyMost people are not surprised to discover that former president George W. Bush is actually rather intelligent. Why are they not surprised? Because our former President is continuously exploited as a poster child for those who like to imply that lower academic marking is somehow equivalent to dunce-ism, lack of achievement ability and a whole slew of political decisions with which they disagree – because they represent the opinion of ‘science.’ Such purveyors of wisdom routinely like to cite that former President Bush is also ironically, ‘intelligent.’ Recitation of this irony pleases their funding and political sponsors enormously. Again the high powered agenda rifle bolt can be heard slamming home.

I have had these two weak anecdotes of intelligence versus rationality thrust in my face so often that it about makes me want to puke. It is the height of intellectual laziness, and is demonstrative of a lack of real world application and experience, to draw from canned tabloid and political party porn to try and develop examples eliciting a very complex cognitive human issue, such as aptitude, decision making skills and intelligence. Further examples of those who are irrational usually involve some kind of disparagement of their academic performance, lack of adherence to protocols, the fact that their grades did not match their aptitude scores, and the extraordinary contention sans evidence, that an intelligence bent inevitably leads to narcissism. Somehow the humility, subject depth and low key nature of the SSkeptic community should stand as an example of applied rationality and not-narcissism I guess (can my eyes roll any further around my skull?).

The Handiwork of Social Skepticism’s ‘Rationality’

we loseSo, Intelligent people joining in forces together does not solve the prodigiously perplexing ‘problems of the world.’ So regularly claim the Social Skeptics. That really makes the case for me. My job done here, let’s go home. Well OK to balance out this extraordinary claim which sneaks by on its viability as a one-liner, I have to admit that I am not sure I have met a self proclaimed set of ‘rational’ people who could accomplish this herculean task as well. Solving all the world’s problems, hmmmm.  A very objective and unbiased measure I might add. We are well aware that our most dastardly crimes and thefts of wealth all occurred recently at the hand of those who were the academically best and brightest in the room (see A Mediocracy in 4.0). Those holding the top marks, from top universities. Those who were the most rational. They did not make a mistake in judgment, as did wayward Mr. Frampton, this was the humble plan:

  • The theft of American worker wealth by means of 40:1 leveraged debt defaults buried in our pension funds, from 2004 – 2009, as orchestrated and encouraged by the entire derivative banking industry and our progressive politicians, then sold off as equity value into elite hands, went exactly according to its rational plan.
  • The shift of American consumer goods production offshore and into inaccessible channels of supply, killing off American businesses, weakening the West, empowering our enemies, skirting the Sherman Anti-Trust act, was all rational and dictated as ‘best practice’ by the retail oligarchy and the Harvard Business Review. (Please note Walmart’s reversal of this idea in its most recent market push to invest in US production side economics: Walmart: We’re Committed to American Renewal)
  • The single most damaging health event in American history was brought to its inception via fully rational compliance. Conducted in one-shot small labs, collusion and regulatory nepotism, and foisted on 95% of our food by means of wholly inadequate science. The rollout of glyphosate, to such a level that every American consumes 1 lb of its dry concentrate each year. All based upon three scant years of rat death pseudo-science by companies created solely to do this testing and then shut down; solely in purpose to create the ABCD cartel – the ensuing health decline is ignored because, to ignore the crime or its impact – is ‘rational.’∈
  • long working hours for the highly educated - CopyA shift in professional rational work habits towards appearances, rather than competence and outcomes. Oligarch employers will gladly accept longer work hours as an ‘objective’ measure of rational work performance. Employees no longer affect/effect outcomes, since oligarch business outcomes are pre-scripted in the rational plan. Therefore, alternative pretenses become the method by which employees distinguish themselves. Families and personal depth lose out to the need for rational ‘goal-enabling behavior.’

All were enacted through silo and tunnel-view rationality as to what was the “Stanovich-goal enabling’² acceptable thing to do; all sans true intelligence. All were executed through compliant 4.0 executives and PhD advisement, wherein no one – not one person possessed the ‘narcissism’ to stand up and say: “What we are constructing and planning is wrong.”

The deleterious impact of these four mistakes of rational arrogance alone, dwarfs in comparison the sum total of every single mistake of ‘credulity’ or ‘lack of critical thinking’ on the part of the ‘intelligent’ in total over the last 200 years.  The damage enacted by these instances of Social Skepticism ‘rationality’ was indeed immeasurable.

The Basis: Flawed Understandings of Intelligence and Rationality

you are a narcissist - CopyAnd just how do we enforce these completely flawed social understandings of rationality? By educating in error. In exhibition, I suppose that the definition of intelligence depends upon how lowly on the cognitive acumen layer model it is defined by a Social Skeptic. I bristle at the purposeful framing of intelligence in such a way so as to allow for the maximum footprint allotted to its ‘rationality’ complement, both in context and example. In that poor framing, pattern solving memory can be blamed for all bad outcomes, and rationality can take the credit for all the beneficial ones. Yet in this bad practice of definition, to the Social Skeptic, the definitions fall out thusly:²

Intelligence

/as defined by Social Skepticism/ in its most base and prejudiced framing, is expressed as the measured ability to spot patterns and solve puzzles in a small single controlled closed setting.²

Well of course this is useless pseudo-intellectual agenda fodder, serving to promote every success of mankind conversely into the domain of ‘rationality.’ Yay, our club is so smart. But, this is not intelligence. Puzzle solvers might never grasp that maybe their organization is doing something wrong. It is simply procedural skill along with some repetitive cognition ability, and as such it holds some usefulness as a measure of course. In college aptitude acceptance testing, we have to rely upon some kind of objective measure besides academic grades. If not to simply ward off the massive amount of grade and college entry fraud which exists now in the name of ‘rationality’.‡ If we care at all beyond our high powered agenda rifle that is. However, master chess players would be the last group of people from which I would seek talent to solve the problems of the world. They would fare just about as well as Rubics Cube aficionados I would imagine.  Neither is necessarily intelligent in reality.  But not to worry, intelligence’s assumed complement, rationality is here to rescue us all.  At least according to Social Skeptics.  And guess just who is rational? *drum roll …Why THEM of course! Just ask ’em, and they will tell you. And just what is rationality? Well,

Rationality

/as practiced by Social Skepticism/ in its applied essence, is the ability to spot socially deleterious behavior, and take appropriate self correcting action, before lack of compliance exposes the whole world to how narcissistic and stupid you really are. (Coupled with an obsessive drive to point out such behavior in others)²∋

“The modern hypocrite gives the designation ‘respect’ to what is nothing but fear of the powerful.” – NN Taleb

Rational Thinking - CopyBoth of these reality definitions of Intelligence and rationality however, underpin the reasons why this whole debate is a red herring. True rationality is exhibited by certain overlay traits on the part of an individual which have nothing to do with the above reality definitions employed by Social Skepticism.

IQ tests show the ability to spot patterns and solve puzzles, and social rationality is the ability to make one’s self appear acceptable. But true rationality and intelligence are indeed a single thing – a character trait exhibited through “thinking dispositions” as well as cognitive ability and social compliance (not that these are completely invalid). It is honed over a life spent in earnest curiosity and factual integrity. Not a life spent seeking reinforcement as to how smart we all are. Social Skeptics routinely sling the term rationality around without real definition – only recitation of well worn out anecdotes illuminating where intelligent people err, committing sins like considering bigfoot, or belonging to the wrong political party. Horrid practices of irrationality.

You see, there exists cathartic reward in becoming angry about having to hide one’s lack of intelligence through a veneer of uber-adherence to protocol. In this anger I can find revenge by cleaving to a club of ‘rationality.’ I will dance with my fellows in glorious mocking of those who think differently. Therein resides my victory.

And in my best moments I can blend a couple worn out anecdotes, along with a bit of sleight-of-hand into a gigantic Kriging Leap linking these tales across a great gulf of magic and finally into defining rationality as “belief structures and behaviors that optimize goal fulfillment.”  OK, while I don’t accept the worn out anecdotes of how people who disagree with me, or evil Republicans, are examples of irrationality – I do accept this idea of rationality being defined as belief structures that optimize goal fulfillment.  These are dispositions, and as such, dispositions can be cultivated to overcome these false perceptions of rationality and intelligence. These valid dispositions include:

The True Personal Nexus of Rationality and Intelligence

Yes, intelligence and rationality do bear a nexus. Personal dispositions which influence this nexus (belief structures and behaviors) – are, in increasing levels of sophistication, listed below (with a brief precis of its antithetical understanding).

Indoctrination Based Rationality – Belief structures foisted as not constituting belief structures – the ability to spot socially deleterious behavior, and take appropriate action before lack of compliance exposes to the whole world how narcissistic and stupid you really are. The self-delusion and pretense of being open-minded, humble and researching where the facts lead. Highly indoctrinated people are constantly perplexed as to why they are not successful, and live in a constant state of fear of being found out as being not really all that intelligent.  Typically blaming a lack of success on their humility, or choice of serving profession, or not being greedy or some lack of nefarious skill set thereby – or a whole other set of superior skill, chief of which is humility. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy agrees with Keith E. Stanovich, Professor of Human Development and Applied Psychology at the University of Toronto,² opining thusly about the basis and origin of scientific rationality:

For instance, in the case of instrumental rules which tell us the best way to achieve certain goals, philosophers of all stripes would say that looking at historical attempts to achieve those goals will help us evaluate our current proposals for achieving them.“³

cruel rationality - CopyEvaluations which are therefore best left to historians and applied psychologists …Right? Realizations which can only come through specific education repositories and their ‘consensus.’ …Indeed? (*my best rendition of a Vulcan Mr. Spock eyebrow raise). It is rationalizations just like this which lead to malicious pseudo-intellectual arrogance agendas, as exemplified by attempts to remove chaplaincy from hospitals. Not being a religious person myself, nonetheless my rationality forbids me to underpin with support, such a horrid imposition of my personal religion on the rest of humanity. Rationality, stemming from the actual real world human experience of holding people while they died, bids me to regard that stressful period of life in the compassionate and altruistic manner in which it should be handled – an not escalate my perception of personal brilliance into becoming a monster. The SSkeptic faithful will let this monstrous stance slip by and never mention a word to Skeptic Magazine. Let this stand as a hint. In the realms of Social Skepticism, rationality ≡ fear based compliance.

Rationality is never an excuse for becoming intellectual slime. Compliance is never a suitable excuse for cowardice.

In any exhaustive research into the definition of rationality, you will find that it’s root inevitably culminates in the delivery of power into the hands of Social Skeptic academia, and not inside any external objective reference. NO standard exists, save for the shift of power, the religious material monism and political domination entailed. Indeed. But for the rest of us who operate the real world, this is rationality:

Wisdom: Ethical Skepticism applied inside a Rationality/Intelligence Nexus Based Character ———————————– (from this point on)

nexus of int and rat - CopyA.  Efficient Prejudices – Certain foods can make me sick, and I don’t swim after eating. I don’t dive into unknown water. There are the little tidbits of knowledge which parsimony and the desire to survive, along with our parents and friends, impart deeply into our psyche. Note that these tenets are not skepticism – as skepticism is the mindset which allows all of the following (exclusive of Indoctrination) to develop as it should. Indeed, efficient prejudices can become the enemy of skepticism. Skepticism, contrary to Social Skeptic propaganda is not a body of knowledge or probable knowledge unto itself. It is a means of preparing the mind to responsibly develop this process, this nexus of intelligence and rationality.

B.  Body of Gnosis – Much of this may not have been arrived at through the full scientific method, but is science nonetheless.  A hot stove will burn your hand, driving too fast or while drinking can cause an auto accident, etc. Although each of these can, and ultimately many times were, backed by science, people ascertained this from their own ‘observational method’ and not from skepticism.

C.  Knowledge Principles – Learned logically framed constructs and linkages which guide our human, economic, and physical realm. Profit is determined when we take all expenses, depreciation, amortization and interest away from revenue. From this dividends may be issued.

D.  Knowledge Facts – The data bricks which can make a brick wall, or a fake brick wall depending upon how we employ them. PV = NRT.

E.  The Unquenchable Drive to Know – The integrity to want to improve the knowledge development process and body of knowledge coupled with the selfish desire to improve one’s insight into the wonder of our realm. I have to know, and no manner of accolade and personal boast to knowledge (or the lack of need to pursue it) on your part is going to arrest this desire.

F.  Education – Education is the ability to distinguish one’s indoctrination from one’s knowledge.

G.  Epoché – A neutral suspension of prejudicial belief.  Not just being open-minded (which is a self delusion); indeed rather, the adherence to the scientific method ethic of holding no prejudice until the preponderance of data dictates such as warranted. Even then the cautious parsimony of avoiding pluralistic stacking and explanatory complexity.

H.  Scientific Method – Observe, survey, ask, define, measure, consider and repeat. Wise is the one who understands how and why this works – not the one who talks noisily about it for appearances sake.

I.  Sincere Innate Humility (not the social pretense) – Humility is measured by the integrity and respect exhibited in one’s dealing with data and with other people.  It is not measured in how one regards themselves. This is one of those lessons you learn by living a real life of challenge, and not an academically compliant facade. It comprises a lack of desire to mock, deride and control. A lack of arrogance or anger over an inner knowledge that one does not have THE highest cognition skills in the land. Lack of the desire to strike back, mock and ridicule those who do not conclude the same things as do they…. Lack of the need to band together into a club, in order to derive significance and fill the void of nagging self perception.

J.  Creativity/Insight –  Not simply the ability to invent or conceptualize, rather the ability to look at asymmetric problem sets in fresh and new ways, not simply using pattern recognition, but also developing new ideas and possessing an insight which extends beyond the prima facia issues that cloud a problem.

K.  Adeptness with Risk – Life to those who have taken risks, in order to benefit others and those they love, is about balancing risk and benefit. About knowing when the risk/benefit analysis does not apply because one may be treading on the well being and rights of others. People who see themselves as ‘rational’ in a Dunninig-Kruger sense, often are dilettante at risk/benefit scenarios or in grasping or understanding the rights of others (unless it benefits their politics). This is how we snuck glyphosate into the market to such and extent, that now each American consumes over 1 pound of it, in dry concentrate form, each year.†

L.  Altruism/Love – The understanding that consciousness precedes at least part of our reality, coupled with the desire to direct one’s intention to make the plight of those on the planet better; and not simply serve a presumed course of the rationality dictated by those with an agenda rifle.  Here is the key = true intelligence is the only pathway to this realization. The procedurally rational among us never get here. They wallow in self justifications and activist anger over others’ success. They substitute revenge based activism in lieu of ethical work on behalf of humanity.

life good on the inside - CopyTo be rational, we must know when to override indoctrination and propaganda from academic activists masquerading as knowledge, and begin to walk the intelligent path of vision as to why/when to apply risk, altruism and love – above self. Whereupon, in that realization, that coming of age, one attains intelligence. One is rational, only then.  This is intelligence, not the ability to solve puzzles. This is rationality, not some elite display one puts on for the purpose of being included inside a club of elite fellows.

That requires more than critical thought, more than cognitive ability. It requires us to hold our biases in a state of epoché while we investigate and grow in knowledge in an altruistic fashion. Thinking dispositions which carry anger of presuppositions of what is and what is not intelligence and rationality, get in the way of that process.

It is a common SSkeptic saga, *dreamy reverie of youthful past – they joined Mensa because they were so smart. They longed to be with their elite fellows. The top 2% of the population (or often cited as an overly inclusive 1 in 25 because of measurement error, error which apparently produces an upwards bias 100% of the time, of course – in other words you are only considered smart because the test results were wrong). Yet they ran into those who considered ESP, UFO’s, ghosts, astrology, angels, parapsychology, conspiracy theories, delusions that government should serve the people and other similar seditious ideas, religious groups, including atheists…  Oh my god the irrationality.  So they fled.  Fled back into the arms of the truly elite, the truly rational.  The self proclaimed ‘skeptics.’ They found their home not in Mensa, but here – in the compliant and comfy domain of Social Skepticism.

“Hmmm, sigh.” …and all that bad Mensa stuff?  All of it is proved to be applied irrationality, things which a right thinking skeptic just knows are folly and incorrectness from the very start. I mean just look at the jokes we make about these camps. Meanwhile we will bask in the superior nature of our open-mindedness, need for cognition, lack of laziness, and very demonstrable humility, the self proclaimed pinnacle traits of rationality …right? …right? …right?


¹  Swann, Maxine, “The Professor, the Bikini Model and the Suitcase Full of Trouble,” The New York Times; March 8, 2013.

²  Keith E. Stanovich, Professor of Human Development and Applied Psychology at the University of Toronto (Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/rationality-versus-intelligence#oIy7FtCMSFJUkhRj.99):

“To be rational means to adopt appropriate goals, take the appropriate action given one’s goals and beliefs, and hold beliefs that are commensurate with available evidence.”

“Yet assessments of such good (rational) thinking are nowhere to be found on IQ tests.”

³  Matheson, Carl and Dallmann, Justin, “Historicist Theories of Scientific Rationality”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2015/entries/rationality-historicist/>

†  Glyphosate Use Growth Curve (annual, in millions of pounds, dry); https://theethicalskeptic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/glyphosate-history-curve1.png?w=800&h=585.

‡  “Grade Inflation: The Current Fraud.” By M. Donald Thomas and William L. Bainbridge. Effective School Research. January 1997.

∈  The Rising Age of the Cartel http://theethicalskeptic.com/2015/07/07/the-rising-age-of-the-cartel-your-freedoms-were-simply-an-experiment/

∋  McDonald, Cheryl Ann, Psy.D, “Am I Normal, A Self Measure” Health Psychology Center, http://healthpsychology.org/am-i-normal-a-self-measure/

July 10, 2015 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Institutional Mandates, Social Disdain | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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