The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

Ethical Skepticism – Part 6 – Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

Social Skeptics bear the habit of hiding what it is they are seeking to promote. They accomplish this misrepresentation through terminological equivocation and the employment of club signature intimidation words. It behooves the Ethical Skeptic to understand what a person means when they utter certain words, and ensure that the words are not being implied as club weapons to enforce specious religious doctrines. It behooves the Ethical Skeptic to understand their own employment of such words, and exercise the use of them in a context of ethical clarity; to disarm the social inference that such words mean more, than they really do. To err in either regard is the source of all fanaticism.

Say What You Mean

Social Skeptics erroneously influence their acolytes through misleading them as to the meaning behind the terms they employ, and the nature of the underlying philosophy entailed. They believe that their use of the terms evolution, atheism and science affords them immediate scientific gravitas and a perch of correctness. When a person slings around the terms evolution, atheism and science, for me this is not tantamount to an immediate free pass into the graces of trustworthiness. I regularly encourage the Social Skeptic vulnerable among us to understand what it is indeed that they mean, by the terms they employ. Clarity is one of the consequentialist goals of Ethical Skepticism. If you represent critical thinking, science and rationality, then one would be hypocritical to not employ complex terms in a frame of meaningful reference. Otherwise the terms are simply used as a weapon of pretense and intimidation. I use the words evolution, atheism and science – therefore anything I say is scientifically correct, and I have an entire cadre of bullies available to back me up if I so choose. This is not science, it is a hypo epistemological process of fraud.

As an Ethical Skeptic, if I am to continue inside a discourse of life and meaning with such a person, I need to know if they really understand what they are saying when they spout off the words so frequently uttered by their ‘mentors.’ I really need to know what they mean by

Evolution – do they mean speciated diversity of life through the generational culling of environmentally stimulated allele changes?

Or …do they mean that life sprang up on Earth through abiogenesis and random primordial ooze, therefore we are simply a one way genetic expression machine which has deterministically resulted in the fluke illusion of consciousness?  The former fact is science, the latter argument is a highly separate religion – often protected by and conflated inside the club weapon word ‘evolution.’

Atheism – do they mean a personal ethic of not commenting or concluding around this undefinable construct called ‘god?’

Or …do they mean that they hate (and habitually apologize around this) anything to do with a certain religion, its adherents and any idea that a magical bearded entity poofed the universe into existence in 6 days, 6000 years ago? Do they really mean that they choose to venerate Material Monism, and an existential lack of any innate purpose to this biosphere Earth, or any other similar events which occur in our Universe? Really, because I am not sure how one derives such a conclusion. I did not possess their enthalpy laden spaceship, that much psychic clairvoyance, nor that much time, in order to determine such an extraordinary claim myself. The former choice is an ethical action, the latter argument is a highly separate religion called Nihilism – often protected by and conflated inside the club weapon word ‘atheism.’

Science – do they mean both the body of accepted knowledge and the method by which we objectively qualify and build that knowledge?

Or …do they mean screaming about a selective set of physical measures which target confirmation and methodically avoid falsification of a specific religious understanding of the world around us? Do they mean an ontology protected through a non acknowledged Omega Hypothesis (the hypothesis which is developed to end all argument) masquerading as the ‘null hypothesis,’ through an inverse negation fallacious approach – and therefore socially enforced as truth? The former definition is science, the latter argument is a highly separate religious hypoepistemology – often protected by and conflated inside the club weapon word ‘science.’

Science is also about clarity, value, disciplined thinking and trustworthiness. When you hear me use the words above, I mean the former and not the latter in each case. If I attempted to imply the orange ontologies in the chart below, as scientific truth – I could not look at myself in the mirror in the morning – from such a display of dishonesty. Passing off one’s ontology as a science, constitutes not only pseudoscience, but is a Wittgenstein Error (Epistemological) as well. Be wary of those who can do such without conscience. Be very wary of those who can not only look at themselves in the mirror after promoting such fraud, but aspire to celebrity in the process as well. The incorrect use of these words abrogates your claim to represent scientific thinking. Say what you mean – and you will gain the respect of those who truly understand philosophy and science.

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say - Copy

Mean What You Say

The Lie of AllegianceIf you join a movement, organization or philosophical movement – do so because you really understand and really mean and believe those tenets which are promoted by that movement. Don’t do so because you desire to appear as smart and scientific, or need some kind of self affirmation and acceptance, pep rallies or the rush of shaming others whom you regard as beneath you intellectually or socially. Such dispositions render one vulnerable to being manipulated by celebrity and malevolent influences. Otherwise, you are living what is called a Lie of Allegiance. If you, quietly over a couple beers, will soften your stance and reflect on a whole series of doubts you carry – but must hold in abeyance – then you are living a Lie of Allegiance. People in churches do this to make their families happy. People in Social Skepticism do this, and worse, in order to gain acceptance to that club. This personal foible is anathema to the Ethical Skeptic.

Fanaticist’s Error

/philosophy : self understanding : cognitive dissonance : error/ : mistaking one’s fanaticism or being ‘hardcore’ as positively indicative of the level of understanding and commitment one possesses inside a philosophy or adopted belief set. The reality is that being fanatical or hardcore indicates more one’s dissonance over not fully believing, nor fully understanding the nature of the belief tenets to which they have lent fealty.

A fanaticist is different from a fanatic. A fanatic simply loves a particular subject or brand. A fanaticist on the other hand employs their outward extremism as a cover to hide an unacknowledged and suppressed inner cognitive dissonance.

A useful tool in Social Skepticism, the Lie of Allegiance, keeps the faithful unified and aligned in playing select activist roles.  A Lie of Allegiance is often promoted through one-liners, weapon words and circularly quoted propaganda, initially deployed by celebrity SSkeptics, and enforced by the faithful, looking for purpose power and reward. It relies upon the ignorance of its participants, leveraged through the application of pep rallies and the pummeling of effigies of evil opponents. This is why the acolytes and trolls of Social Skepticism often focus on politics and persons, and not science itself. They either do not fully understand, nor do they fully believe, the philosophy to which they have lent their fealty.

This inner dissonance, prompts what we observe as fanaticism.

The Lie of Allegiance

1. The origin of fanaticism. The core argument which binds together a group on one side in a false dilemma

2.  A core philosophy (such as Nihilism or Material Monism) which is masked by a differing but similar and more attractive cover philosophy (such as atheism) because of the cover philosophy’s generally more acceptable nature.

3.  A principle which is not fully regarded as truth by many or most of the members of a club of adherents, rather is adopted as a preemptive compromise in order to gain acceptance in that club. A principle employed only as the default, Omega Hypothesis, or battle cry agenda around which to combat those on the other side of the false dilemma argument.  The measure of adherence to the Lie of Allegiance principle is more a reflection of disdain towards those of antithetical positions, than it is an expression of rational conclusion on the part of the adherent.


i.  Many of the proponents in a Lie of Allegiance based organization, do not fully understand their Lie of Allegiance, nor perceive its contrast with the cover philosophy to which they in reality adhere.

Example:  Most self proclaimed atheists cannot coherently frame the difference between atheism, skepticism, agnosticism, naturalism, nihilism, ignosticism, monism, materialism, tolerance and apatheism.

ii.  Many members involved in a Lie of Allegiance do not in reality care about the specifics of the teaching under which they profess fealty.  Specific psychologies involving the Ten Pillars are at play inside the binding power of the Lie of Allegiance.

Example:  Many self proclaimed atheists wear the badge as a result of an emotional state, rather than a discriminating choice of conscience.  This renders them susceptible to Nihilist’s, who use rally cries and the pummeling of christian issues in effigy, as a way to enlist the emotional allegiance of those who have poorly rationalized their ontology.

Social Skeptics bear the habit of hiding what it is they are seeking to promote. They accomplish this misrepresentation through terminological equivocation and the employment of club signature weapon words. It behooves the Ethical Skeptic to understand what a person means when they utter certain words, and ensure that the words are not being implied as club weapons to enforce specious religious doctrines. It behooves the Ethical Skeptic to understand their own employment of such words, and exercise the use of them in a context of ethical clarity; to disarm the social inference that such words mean more, than they really do.

I look at myself in the mirror each morning, and I like and respect the guy I see there.

November 16, 2015 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Five Types of Null Hypothesis Error

Defending the integrity of the methods of science is not the same thing as tendering conclusions in lieu of science. Ethical Skeptics get this, fake skeptics do not. An additional litmus test with respect to being able to tell a fake skeptic from a real one, can be found in how they regard disposition of a null hypothesis inside hypothesis reduction theory. Do they conflate statistical hypothesis reduction with scientific hypothesis reduction? Do they employ the incorrect null hypothesis? One might be surprised to find that even in the disciplined halls of institutional science, abuse of the null hypothesis is one of the most common forms of pseudoscience.

There's no such thing as...The basic definition of the null hypothesis (H0) is as the preeminent and referential member of the mutually exclusive set of options to a sponsored alternative hypothesis (Hx). In statistical inference (and at times in multivariate theoretical reduction if such parity can be reduced) the null and the alternative are polar opposites: the contention that there exists no measurable relationship between two apparently independent variable arrival distributions. In scientific hypothesis reduction however, such parity is not guaranteed; often the null and alternative residing only as mutually exclusive ideas, and not necessarily representative of the entire domain of Ockham’s Razor sufficient potentiality. The null may need be dethroned through the persistent consilience of disparate inductive inferences, and not via one statistical falsification. Most often in science, the former is the case.

An (or the) alternative hypothesis on the other hand is the contention which is being tested for merit, which could serve to falsify, modify or strengthen the null hypothesis. The null hypothesis is the contention which is assumed to be the standard against which the alternative is to be evaluated. The null however is not assumed to be true in a hypothesis reduction (series of hypothesis feature tests and eliminations), neither in advance of nor after testing completion in which an alternative fails. Science is constantly seeking to modify, strengthen or falsify the null hypothesis. To regard therefore, the null hypothesis as ‘true’ – because it is the simplest, first-in-the-door, most conforming, default or least feature-stacked, is an assumption of pop-scientific illiteracy (see The Real Ockham’s Razor). Many times in the material labs I have run, we have had circumstances where we knew damn good and well that our null hypothesis was wrong – we simply struggled to conclusively prove it. The null in those cases acted as a lever of discipline, the threshing board against which our research and our thinking competed and was held to account. In this regard the null hypothesis was very useful. But I didn’t go around believing it as true.

The null hypothesis is simply the hypothesis which the researcher tries to disprove, reject or nullify. This misconception of the null hypothesis standing as the currently ‘true’ hypothesis stems from confusion over its oft framing as the the most familiar and accepted view of a contention, or

  • the common view of something,
  • the accepted view of something,
  • the historical view of something.

Such positioning is a matter of procedural necessity, not inferred existential truth. Often as well, in the instance when a common view of something is not held, reduction may be assembled in terms of a null hypothesis which is

  • the parsimonious alternative (least complicated, predicate dependent or feature-stacked).

None of this qualification for the null hypothesis amounts to anything which would pass a Popper Demarcation test for falsification based science by any means.  Which introduces the circumstance when, despite the array of predictive and suggestive evidence (or Induction), when the inductive/predictive alternative cannot ethically be promoted to status as the null hypothesis. Specifically, when the ramifications of a hypothesis dictate conservancy in its application; say, regarding an idea’s safety or potential disruption of science or society for instance, the null hypothesis is that which defends against such risk, or

  • the alternative which introduces the least external risk in its application.

In the past in my labs, when introducing a new material for industrial component fabrication or compounding, even though the constituents of the altered material might be commonly assumed to be safe or might present the most parsimonious view of complexity with respect to the solution it entailed, we would default to the null hypothesis citing that the compound is potentially human health impacting (adds complicated-ness) until rigorously proved otherwise (see Error of the Guilty Null below). Many of our products never made it to market because we could not answer this question sufficiently.  I was not willing to look at a study and declare ‘looks like science’ and then hold my breath (and please stakeholders who pocket the earnings) while we tested the compound on the public at large. The guilty null ruled in such instances (the material was guilty until proved innocent).

Food science ethically is practiced under the Guilty Null ethic. Food is guilty until proved innocent. This may be a pain in the ass, might piss off stockholders and irritate fake academic payroll skeptics and impatient executives. But presuming to tamper with the substances that all of us consume, 3 times a day for life, demands a much higher level of scientific rigor than many social epistemologists are willing to tolerate. Certainly more than the 3 years of third party lab deferred study (work content) it took to approve glyphosate, for instance.

Under this null hypothesis ethic, we would then seek to nullify the idea that the material presented a health or well being danger, in both acute (mortality, vitality and fecundity) and long term (endocrine, carcinogenic and mutagenic) contexts. The problem resided in that we did not possess the expertise and resources to conduct such testing ourselves; therefore we had to contract with third party labs in order to predict each tactical assessment. It was our prosecution of the proper null hypothesis in such circumstances, which defined our skepticism – our ardent and ethical defense of science. The contracted labs were not hired in order for us to surrender our responsibility to bear the burden of science – as that is not why they are hired. A lab is going to simply study what they were contracted to study. We, and we alone, bore the responsibility to prosecute the null in each case. That was our scientific duty. There can never be a circumstance where we contended ‘but the lab said…’ This blame-shifting to analytical third parties is not allowed in the real business world; neither should it be allowed in science based business.

This null hypothesis framing can also be seen as a form of parsimony itself; as is mentioned above – risk, is indeed also a form of complicated-ness (not complexity). This introduces the principle of the abuse of the null hypothesis as a means to enact ‘truth’ which has not in reality earned this position of merit. Specifically, five types of error are committed by those who are eager to promote an idea (shortcut the science) through manipulation of the null hypothesis. The first two are formal failures in logical calculus and the final three are procedural failures of soundness. All five are fallacies of logical inference.

A. Null Hypothesis Formal Fallacy

  • Argument from Ignorance (Extrapolation from False Positive)
  • Proof by Negative Composition (Extrapolation from a False Negative)

B. The Omega Hypothesis Procedural Fallacy

  • Error of the Default Null
  • Error of the True Null
  • Error of the Guilty Null (The Precautionary Principle)

Through the art of the Elegant Lie, I can manipulate thought so as to enforce an entire religion. That is to say, by promotion of unmerited thought into positions of defended science, one can prematurely convince entire masses of people, that questionable thinking is indeed proved science.

A. Null Hypothesis Formal Fallacies: Conflating Statistical/Experimental and Theoretical Hypothesis Framing

Type I and II Error Fallacy Innocent Null - Copy - Copy - Copy

In general, an experiment conclusion always refers to the null, rejecting or accepting H0 rather than H1. The null hypothesis stands in the crucible. In statistical inference analyses however, often we do test a circumstance where H0 is indeed constrained to the outcomes true or not true. The conflation of statistical theory inside diagnostic hypothesis evaluation, with the broader set of science hypothesis reduction, often lends to confusion in broader hypothesis reduction practice. Not every experiment can be evaluated through the employment of p-value delimited distribution curves; nor can a μ0 = μ1 circumstance always be identified. One such example can be seen here with respect to the understanding and employment of type I and II errors inappropriately applied outside the constrained context of a statistical test.

Wikipedia cites regarding type I and type II null hypothesis testing errors:

In statistical hypothesis testing, a type I error is the incorrect rejection of a true null hypothesis (a “false positive”), while a type II error is the failure to reject a false null hypothesis (a “false negative”).¹

This principle is incorrect however, when being applied to theoretical hypotheses.

In broader theoretical hypothesis reduction a false positive and false negative impart no disposition whatsoever to the veracity of the null hypothesis; only the signal which was measured regarding the alternative hypothesis. Confusing the domain of statistical hypothesis testing with the larger practice of scientific hypothesis reduction is a principal tactic of social epistemologists. In logic, as opposed to statistics, the null hypothesis remains in a moot disposition under both a false positive and a false negative condition – and is not therefore assumed true – in scientific hypothesis reduction. In science, as apposed to constrained statistic set theory, when a type I or II error is introduced, a further disposition of the null hypothesis must be separately indicated. If such type I and II error theory is to be correctly framed inside the context of scientific testing, it should read:

In scientific hypothesis testing, a false positive outcome is the incorrect rejection of the null hypothesis which further can lead to a type I error, the incorrect rejection of a true null hypothesis. While a false negative outcome is the incorrect elimination of an alternative which can further lead to a type II error, the failure to reject a false null hypothesis.

Null hypothesis error type and separately an alternative hypothesis’s status as false negative or positive are not the same thing. To force the two outcome dispositions to indeed constitute the same logical equivalent of a type I or type II error constitutes exercise of decision theory inside a bifurcation fallacy. I have observed a cadre of clinical neurologists speak often of examples of type I and II errors, inexpertly identifying cases wherein the two options are not opposites. Ideally, when constructing a critical path for experimentation, one should seek to establish a reductive/deductive series of opposite Bayesian inference tests in which a posterior inference can be drawn.  But this is less often the reality. Most errors in scientific testing result relate to controls or constraints (CC), measure (M) or significance (S) errors.  A great summation of this principle from even a statistical testing standpoint can be found here: Never Found a type I or II error (Science Modeling, Casual Inference and Social Science).

This principle, the abuse of type I and II error contexts, is displayed in the graphic above, where such a bifurcation is shown to be enacted through an implicit argument from ignorance or fallacy of negative composition. Categorization of a hypothesis testing, outside of Bayesian theory, to have constituted a type I or type II error is a disposition that can be assigned only after the hypothesis reduction has been completed in finality. Never before. But you will find social epistemologists swinging the term inside pluralistic arguments like they were an erstwhile major league batter of science.

A principle method of deception-by-pretense employed by social epistemologists (Social Skeptics) is the prejudicial framing of arguments as constituting type I and type II errors, while indeed the science is still ongoing inside a hypothesis reduction. This is pseudoscience. Be very wary of a Social Skeptic who over-employs the type I and type II error disposition in social discourse.

Type I and II Error Abuse Fallacies

By forcing a false positive or negative, or spinning alternative outcomes inside a diagnostic or statistical ‘true or not true‘ theory basis, to therefore imply without sufficient evidence a conclusive hypothesis reduction, of the nature of a type I or II error, I have committed:

Argument from Ignorance

/logic : fallacy of argument/ : asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false, or is false because it has not been shown to have any evidence.

Science has found no proof of intelligent life nearby us in space, therefore intelligent life does not exist nearby us in space.

Science, despite its best efforts, cannot disprove the concept of existence of a god, therefore God exists.

Proof by Negative Composition

/logic : fallacy of argument/ : disproof of tenets inside an opponent’s idea or of the idea itself stands as proof of my own idea or argument.

Discrediting of the Piltdown Man fossilized remains as a paleoanthropological hoax, demonstrates that evolution is a fraud and stands as a proof of the validity of Creation Theory.

B. The Omega Hypothesis: Abuse of Soundness of the Null Hypothesis

Apparent Coherency - CopyAn additional form of pseudoscience which fails the Popper Demarcation principle, can be found in the practices regarding the employment of an invalid null hypothesis, HΩ. 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. 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)

/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.

These stand as the warning signs that a social epistemology of bullying, and enforcement of the Omega Hypothesis, is in play.

Omeaga Hypothesis - CopyAll 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.

Assignment of the incorrect null is in reality a form of asking the wrong or begged question under the scientific method. I can prejudice the results of science by tampering with that which is assumed as its null. Specifically, this entails several forms of favoring a null hypothesis by assigning it unmerited status as the null hypothesis through a series of non discriminating, but sciency-looking pretend induction tests, – promotification or King of the Hill science practices – and moreover, through ‘parsimony’ or ‘Occam’s Razor’ default, granting the incorrect null unmerited status as generally accepted scientific theory until such time as the monumental task of disproving it, is achieved. Karl Popper cited in his essay on pseudoscience, Science: Conjectures and Refutations, element (4) in his list of 7 things which distinguish science from non-science:

(4) A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is nonscientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory (as people often think) but a vice.²

This is the essence of the first of the two null hypothesis assignment errors. The Error of the Default or Irrefutable Null. There are two forms of such tampering with the null hypothesis:

Error of the Default Null

/philosophy : pseudoscience : incorrect hypothesis testing/ : a variation of argument from ignorance.

The practice of assigning a favored or untestable/unfalsifiable hypothesis unmerited status as the null hypothesis. Further then proclaiming the Default Null as the null hypothesis until such time as it can be defeated by new competing science.

Since science has conducted no research into the possible existence of a spiritual realm, therefore the spiritual realm exists, stands as the null hypothesis until such time as this can be disproved by science.

Running promotification tests supporting an idea when test data falsifying that idea already exists.

I possess an accurate definition of the term God.

You cannot prove that god does not exist, therefore God exists until otherwise proved

You cannot measure God, therefore no such thing as anything unmeasureable exists.

 You cannot prove that god does not exist, therefore God exists until otherwise proved

I possess credible science and resources regarding representation of scientific consensus.

Error of the True Null

/philosophy : pseudoscience : incorrect hypothesis testing/ : a variation of argument from ignorance.

Regarding the null hypothesis as objectively ‘true’ until proved otherwise, when it simply is the null hypothesis from the standpoint of the logical calculus in a hypothesis reduction hierarchy and not because it has been underpinned by a Popper level scientific rigor. Further then proclaiming the True Null to be the prevailing conclusion of science.

Consciousness is material monist in origination. Science has shown that all other hypotheses are false.

Science has ‘found no evidence’ regarding the existence of a spiritual realm, therefore no investigation should be conducted until such time that absolute proof is obtained.

A suspect in a very difficult legal case should be considered guilty until such time as he is able to prove he is innocent.

A subject is scientifically considered a pseudo-science until such time as it can be proved real.

You cannot measure God, therefore under science any thing which it has not measured objectively does not exist.

Error of the Guilty Null (Precautionary Principle)

/philosophy : pseudoscience : incorrect hypothesis testing/ : the practice of assigning a favored hypothesis the status as null hypothesis, when in fact the hypothesis involves a feature or implication which would dictate its address as an alternative hypothesis instead.  A null hypothesis which is, by risk or impact, considered potentially harmful until proved innocent, should be treated as an alternative under correct parsimony. Further then invalidly proclaiming this Guilty Null to be the prevailing conclusion of science until such testing is conducted which could prove it to be false or until such time as it can be defeated by new competing science.

A violation of the precautionary principle, in this case a ‘lack of directly associated hazard’ is commuted to mean ‘lack of necessity to observe or measure risk.’ Since risk cannot, has not, or has been shown through scant study to possibly be low, then the substance is approved for use until proved harmful. It is fraudulent pseudoscience. When stats of a substances harm are further squelched, the pseudoscience becomes a crime.

Presuming disease to be simply a matter of bodily system malfunction, rather than to stem from external inducement (environment (involuntary), lifestyle (voluntary), epigenetic, viral, bacterial/biome, genetic) – while logically such a contention is easy to default and could stand as a null hypothesis, such a practice introduces extraordinary amounts of stacked provisional knowledge and risk. It fails the precautionary principle. This again is a common trick of pseudoscience.

A new crop control pesticide is safe for human consumption until proved by science to be harmful/inflammation inducing.

DNA and protein chains from food never make it past the human digestive barrier so therefore polynucleotides and protein chain based hormones added to animal stocks do not impact human endocrine systems.

Light dimming switches are safe for consumers until such time as house fires can be objectively linked beyond correlation, to their introduction into the market.

The standard of testing of safety for a compound which is applied topically or ingested occasionally, should be the same standard applied for a compound which is ingested daily/regularly.

An example of The Guilty Null and The Default Null can be found here with respect to Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Precautionary Principle (click on image below):

The precautionary Principle

Redactionary Principle

/business : consumer social policy : medicine and food/ : the lifecycle management of chemicals, adjuvants or biological agents which do not indicate immediate classic major pathology pathways in test animals, into a final phase of testing upon the broader human population, in order to speed them to market and generate revenue during long term employment testing. Establishment of activist ‘skeptics’ to patrol and ensure any failures are squelched as constituting only pseudoscience and anecdote.

Keep a sharp eye out for both the type I and II error claims as well as practices of King of the Hill pseudoscience, as such fallacies inside of hypothesis reduction regularly occur inside science as well as the social discourse. Both fallacy sets can masquerade as real science if keen minds are not watching the candy store. In essence, deployment of the two forms of the Omega Hypothesis stands as a way of interceding on behalf of science. By skeptically upstaging science I can therefore pretend to speak on behalf of science by socially corrupting its methods.

Ethical Skepticism Litmus

As an Ethical Skeptic, you are the one tasked with maintaining a discriminating mind with regard to process. No, you are not claiming to represent science or its conclusions. But one can as a skeptic indeed take a stand to defend the method of science when one observes it being abrogated. This is what the term ‘ethics’ means, an allegiance to a standard of practice – and not an allegiance to a particular set of outcomes, or categories of thought one considers socially valid or invalid.

Protecting the integrity of the methods of science is not the same thing as tendering conclusions in lieu of science.

This differentiation is a key litmus test in being able to tell who is a fake and a real skeptic.  Real skeptics get this difference. False skeptics do not.

¹  Wikipedia: Type I and type II errors,

²  Karl R. Popper: Science: Conjectures and Refutations. Conjectures and Refutations (1963), p. 43–86;

August 17, 2015 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Institutional Mandates | , , , , , | 1 Comment


The gentle outlasts the strong” or so it is observed in the Tao. Ignosticism – it is an idea – a refusal to act in the contrivance of Nihilist or Fundamentalist bullying. It is the only ethical pathway to atheism. In ignosticism, I do not feel compelled to mock Muhammad, nor marginalize believers as Inquisitionists, nor blame atheism for Bolshevik/Stalinist/Maoist purges. I practice the quietest of all approaches. I observe that it is our humanity alone which produces its keenest wisdom and its worst violent nightmares. To blame those unlike one’s self or cite them as wrong, is indeed vanity.
When we are born, we bear no awareness of arguments around god and deities, nor do we even hold a coherent definition of such. We only learn this argument later from agenda laden contributors. Ignosticism is an effort to reclaim that virginal status and no longer be tainted or burdened by antiquated and incoherent arguments.

As an ethical skeptic and a pursuer of science, the gentle outlasts the strongignosticism is the branch of atheism to which I subscribe. Ignosticism is a discipline of thought which seeks to avoid the common social discourse pitfalls regarding the discussion of theism: specifically those of Wittgenstein (sinnlos and unsinnig) and Popper Demarcation error. I simply contend that the concept ‘god’ bears no scientific Pathway to Accepted Knowledge, and therefore I cannot conclude anything nor make further comment on the matter. Ignosticism is a personal discipline based upon the idea that most or all theological views assume baseless underpinning extraordinary claims to knowledge, as demonstrated by Wittgenstein unsinnig and/or Popper nonscience disputes, coercion, polemic and philippic discourse.  Ignosticism is silent in the face of rhetoric over undefined concepts such as divinity, god, spirituality, heaven, afterlife, null sets, damnation, salvation, alternative life forms, sin and the soul. In ignosticism, I do not run around telling everyone (on any side) how ridiculous their beliefs are. This arrogance is anathema to the character of the ignostic.

To the ignostic, the mere fact that we exist, and the fact that I reside in this vessel and experience this realm is orders of magnitude more fantastical and improbable than any other claim which has been submitted to me. Beyond claiming my rights as a being, I cannot make any other claim to truth. I expect to be utterly amazed as this gift unfolds.


/ihg-ˈnäs-tih-sih-zum/ : ontological silence : a personal discipline that holds that the concept ‘god’ bears no falsifiable (Popper) definition (Wittgenstein), and therefore prohibits me from concluding or making further comment on the matter.

There is a list of positions however (below) which the ignostic cannot in good conscience make in statement. Instead the ignostic chooses the simple distinguishing of one’s philosophy as a gentle idea and not a religion, an aversion to citing others as being materially incorrect, the refusal to boast of knowing the right question to ask in the absence of sound falsification based science and the lack of any theological position, conclusion or commentary for which one must develop an apologetic to defend. As a result, under such a discipline, my personal discipline contrasts with the impetus behind the following list of claims made by philosophy, pseudo-science and religion (denoted by –  see What Constitutes a Religion? and The (Ethical Skeptic) Definition of God).

As an Ignostic I Do Not:

despite all the rhetoric - Copy = Qualifies as a Religion

ø = Qualifies as a Pseudoscience

Agnosticism – make the nonsense (Wittgenstein unsinnig Error) claims that

  • you/we have not defined god for me (this is not the same as mute ignosticism) – agnosticism (passive)
  • I do not know if god is knowable – agnosticism (strong)
  • I do not know if there is a god or not – agnosticism (weak)
  • god might exist but it does not/no longer matters to me – Extheism
  • I have no idea so god is irrelevant to me – agnostic apatheism

Atheism – make the nonsense (Wittgenstein unsinnig Error) and nonscience (Popper Error) claims that

  • I lack belief in god(s) – atheism (neutral)
  • I do not believe in god(s) – atheism (weak)
  • there is no such things as a gods of any kind – nontheism
  • god does not exist – atheism (strong)
  • I am opposed to/seek elimination of any form of god worship – Anti-theism
  • I am god by implication (the functional placeholder thereof) – Social Skepticism ø
  • only the material and directly observable (approved by me) exist – Material Monism ø
  • material monism is rational, proved science or scientific – Nihilism ø
  • I claim to be an atheist but really am a vehement Nihilist – Atheism ø
  • I am mad at god or religious people so I claim to believe that god does not exist, as my revenge – extheist Atheism

Igtheism – make the nonscience (Popper Error) claims that

  • god is meaningless (this is not the same as ‘not holding falsifiable definition’) – igtheism
  • the concept of god does not make sense – theological noncognitivism
  • the senseless (Wittgenstein sinnlos) concepts of god render it irrelevant to me – apatheism (weak)
  • the senseless (Wittgenstein sinnlos) concepts of god render it inherently irrelevant – apatheism (strong)
  • gods exist as an advanced terrestrial, extra-terrestrial or Inter-dimensional culture – interventionism

Deism – make the nonsense (Wittgenstein unsinnig Error) and nonscience (Popper Error) claims that

  • some form of god or gods might or must exist – deism
  • the elegant interleaved dependencies of nature/physics hint that a god must exist – natural theism ø
  • the god or godhead exists – theism
  • a council of gods exists – elohimism
  • god is an omni-empowered person seeking to eternally love, punish or forsake me – fundamental theism
  • I am one of god’s chosen people – electism
  • a certain person is god – hominem-theism
  • I am a god – egotheism
  • I am god’s chosen one – messiah complex
  • I am the god – ego sum deus/insanity
  • I am god’s messenger – prophet complex

Forsantheism – make the nonsense (Wittgenstein unsinnig Error) and nonscience (Popper Error) claims that

  • god is indefinable and might or must exist in several disparate forms – forsantheism ø
  • god is indefinably everywhere including us – pantheism ø
  • god is indefinably in/all of us as a collective – iptheism ø

Neologism – make the senseless (Wittgenstein sinnlos Error) claim that ignosticism is a neologism

The philosophical construct placeholder, as well as the scientific basis of its discipline have always existed, both distinct in approach from the above list of thinking and philosophy, ∴ ignosticism is not simply a new word, and holds specific isolate and logical critical path roles. Therefore the term fails the three tests for rejecting a neologism (novel, non-isolate, non-critical path).

For example the word ‘five,’ was never a neologism. While the word five was new at one time, it was an isolate (basic element) in the sequence of numbers, and held a preexisting critical path role in math logic. Therefore the word five failed two of the three tests to qualify as a neologism. To claim that a word is a neologism, simply because it is novel, under this circumstance where the other two tests of a neologism fail, constitutes a Wittgenstein Error (Descriptive). To claim that a word is a neologism, because it is superfluous with another term (above) which in reality does not, or only slightly overlaps it, is a fallacy by proxy equivocation. The word ignosticism only overlaps with the terms above, to the shallow and untrained mind.

Unless of course one makes the contention that ignosticism is a version of ‘science,’ a fortiori – in which case one might have a point; as the term would hold utility, but also be superfluous.

Additional good news is found, in that, since ignosticism is not a form of theism-abstracted argument, I am also free to not comment or conclude upon a whole host of other ethereal/mystical/spiritual issues aside from the concept of god. No forcing any personal ontological or pseudo-epistemological contention upon others! Such a concept! Ethical Skepticism in application.

Ignosticism presents attractiveness for me as a philosopher, former arch skeptic and former studious religious youth, in that it allows the unknown to persist and does not force abject conclusions to the pro or con upon science, self or others.  I spent almost two decades in the ‘atheist/believer’ camps, and eventually began to see the philosophical folly of both as part of my formulation of thoughts around ethical skepticism.  Ignosticism’s central argument is intrinsically a discipline, and not a tenet – it does not possess something to be forced upon others. Much like the Tao is a difficult faith to force on others, because of its ethic of self discipline of thought (and the fact that once you force the philosophy, you are no longer acting in the Tao anyway†). The essence of ignosticism is an ethic of personal choice to disarming the consideration of absurd contentions – Their conversion to the ethical discipline of silence. Neutrally rejecting forced-religious presumptions and definitions. It is a refusal to claim that one knows the penultimate question to ask in the first place. Ignosticism is ethically skeptical.

Indeed, in many ways ignosticism is like good science and skepticism. It is honest, lacking boast, neutral, observing, data collecting, making no claim nor possessing an eagerness to do so without sound basis. It demands that the right questions be asked first, and that no presumption to personal inerrant knowledge underpin one’s search. And in absence of good data and an appropriate question, ignosticism refuses to force a conclusion.

Atheism Spectrum

Not that I am instructing anyone to do so but, personally, I choose a ‘Lack of Allow-For’ rather than simply a ‘Lack of Belief.’ This because a ‘Lack of Allow-For’ adheres more closely to the tenets of ethical skepticism. But at the same time I do confess an affinity for both the atheist and agnostic positions. I consider those who hold to those tenets as being individuals who are sincerely deliberating the issue. I do not consider the 3 belief category proponents above to be sincerely deliberating anything – rather trying to instruct me as to what I should believe.

Of the most commonly held contentions, theism, strict atheism, Nihilism (‘Big A’ Atheism), agnosticism as well as fundamentalism are all religious philosophies to the ignostic. Faiths distinguished by holding definitions for that which bears no Wittgenstein language of definition. Distinguished by the way in which one presumes to ask questions, or for all but the agnostic, the choice one makes to subsequently cite all others as being materially incorrect. The religions of Nihilism and Fundamentalism in particular, take absurdity to the extreme of bullying. This is where the social rancor over ‘atheism’ and ‘theism’ originates. It is a fight between extreme dogmatists. Ignosticism cannot boast of material certainty, or that such questions can even be asked. Nor can it be forced as a religion; as it is simply an idea. 

In ignosticism, I do not know what a god is. I have no basis to declare others as being wrong. Therefore I have no belief which to defend. Ontological silence. This is why you do not hear much from the ignostic.

Its Contrast and Reconciliation with Atheism

The path to The Knowledge of GodI do not possess a frame of reference on the subject over which you obsess, so how can I possibly recommend or force a view of it upon you? Were you a Hollywood producer asking me to chime in on the tag-along restrictions of the latest version of a Screen Actor’s Guild contract, I would respond that I have absolutely no idea what any of those things are indeed. Ethically, I could not comment. But with atheism and theism participants, un-dawned on their mindset, is the fact that the principles of the SAG, tag-along laws, and Hollywood contracts do not even exist, so the questions are much more basic than the participants of those philosophies even realize. They simply pretend that there is a SAG, and that there are contract laws or tag-along clauses. This pretense constitutes a Wittgenstein Error (unsinnig) in that no language exists, no definitions exist in reality, the context is unframed and the basis of understanding is solely ontological.

The ignostic is ‘unskilled in the argument by choice’ – it is an ethic of attempting to regain the virginosticism of a newly introduced and dispassionate player. A refusal to enter the game of either the duality (belief/anti-belief) or the pretense of knowledge of what the word ‘deity’ means.

But since one can never reclaim a virgin status, sadly the state of ignosticism is the ethical stance of the atheist who refuses the game. It is a circumspect and well considered choice (yellow text in the graph above).

In the above graphic, you see differentiated a position of knowing the definition of god, and choosing whether or not to hold belief, as distinct from either an ignorance of or a refusal to acknowledge god as a coherently defined subject. These are the two categories on the right hand side represented by the gnosis and ignosis boxes respectively. The third box, ‘virginosticism’ is simply a term I made up to elicit the circumstance where we are not even aware that such a debate even exists, moreover nor are we aware of our own lack of belief in the circumstance – as a result. As in the case of aliens or newborn babies – they are brought to the table without any introduction into the debate in the first place. Ignosticism can be viewed as an attempt to try and regain this virgin status of gnosis. To go back to the circumstance where the argument did not even exist in the first place. And while one cannot step back to a status of pure virginosticism – ignosticism can be a viable alternative to knowledge based lacks of belief (agnosticism and atheism).

Even more so with this concept you call god, I have no idea what a god is – so I can make no claim as to whether or not one exists. Under a Wittgenstein definition of science therefore, it is moot whether or not I know or do not know that I do not hold a coherent definition for ‘god,’ therefore to Wittgenstein and an ethical skeptic, virginosticism is farcically moot (and indeed it is only posed as a lever for understanding here) and the two concepts merge into one philosophical entity called ignosticism. I refuse to acknowledge that the concept has been given a coherent or observation based definition. I adhere to what the Tao says about declaring the duality (gnosis state resulting choice of belief or anti-belief in the graphic/belief-superset above):

The Tao Te Ching cites in Classic Tao Chapter 2:

ttc - CopyThe gentle outlasts the strong

When the world defines beauty as beauty, ugliness arises
When it defines good as good, evil arises
Thus extant and nonexistent produce each other
Difficulty and ease are their own co-creators
Long and short reveal each other
High and low only exist because of each other

To the ignostic it is the defining of the principle and character of a god which creates both the theist and the atheist. They are the same form of circus clown, both wearing makeup, just painted with different faces. They both worship the same creature crafted of their imagination and seek to enforce that version of worship, veneration and null-veneration, as a set of truth on mankind. To be fair, the nontheist atheist offers the special pleading exemption from this reality by citing ‘well then I don’t believe in gods of any kind, any definition!’ (nontheism). To my friends who are nontheist atheist, I cite this special pleading as a false pluralistic single, a version of the Plurocratic Fallacy.

Pluralistic Single Plurocratic Fallacy

/noun – apologetic/ : a special pleading wherein one claims that their argument applies not to just one version of its claim, but all possible versions of its claim – while failing to define a distinction of such versions – so as to cover all bases in advance. It is therefore a special pleading distinction without a difference.

It is the same exact argument, painted to appear as if it resolves the primary critique.  It does not.  It is purposely crafted to flex one’s philosophy so as to accommodate any objection that can be brought.  This renders the philosophy, a philosophy in name only. The argument is an apologetic grasping for the ethic of ignosticism, when ignosticism does not have an apologetic to begin with. When one chooses to negate an idea, as the Tao Te Ching adeptly cites, one has revealed both itself and its antithesis. One is dancing in the duality, just pretending to not dance.

This broaches the key weakness of pluralistic single atheism.  If you reject all ‘gods,’ by nature of their being and bearing a minimal set of characteristic skills in this realm, where do you draw the line? Omniscience? Omnipotence? Fathomless Compassion and Love? Or simply some reduced specter of each along the road thereof?  You reject then higher beings and caring intelligence of any kind, benevolent celestial life, advanced technology or inter-dimensionality? In the false pluralistic singular, pretty much any definition or domain you craft for this specially pleaded ‘god,’ might well exist. The only reason in your philosophy it does not exist, is because you said that it does not. Where did you get the exhaustive method and evidence from which to underpin this conclusive claim? Ah, someone told you, and said that they were correct because ‘science’ proved it to them. Yes, my dear atheist/igtheist, we have heard this type of claim before, from the very people you disdain. The simple fact is that you are dancing the duality – and pretending to not dance.

You are ‘acting in the contrivance‘ according to the Tao.†

Ignosticism is the idea that any religious term or theological concept presented must be justified through coherent epistemologically derived definition (Wittgenstein), backed by falsification reduction and sound science (Popper). Conjecture is allowed in such a role as to exemplify philosophy, without trivialist’s critique.  However, beyond this, without a clear definition, an ethical question cannot be formulated, and such principles cannot be meaningfully discussed. Once one broaches the threshold of implying such underlying extraordinary claims – as often expressed in the contention that others are materially incorrect, correct or irrelevant; to the ignostic, one is now participating in a religious argument.

Some philosophers have seen ignosticism as superfluous neologism; because it is simply a variation of agnosticism or atheism. This is superficial and incorrect. This equivocation allows for cognitivist apologetics to be broached, and therefore is not consistent with the core idea of ignosticism : ontological silence : to begin with.

Indeed in this nascent field of ideas, independent author Tristan Vick makes the argument that ignosticism, is the only valid pathway to atheism.¹

The atheist, by his own definition, can make no opinion on matters of afterlife, spirituality, the soul, or alternative life forms. Those topics have no context inside of Strict atheism as atheism is only a conclusion about ‘gods.’ The Nihilist possesses final definitions and conclusions about all such concepts, and the debate is closed. This is the strong, it is the power of undeniable conclusion acting inside the contrivance decried by the Tao Te Ching; which eventually falls to the subtle whisper of evidence/lacking evidence rending the original presumptions absurd.

The ignostic in contrast is free to ponder the gentleness of ideas, and is free from the strong of defined conclusions.

Free to research and consider such principles as their epistemological framework comes into clarity, as they have detached their ideas from the artificial construct of god or ‘no god.’ In the end, the diligent atheist who no longer wishes to instruct others as to what is and is not, in absence of enough knowledge, must find their path through the integrity of ignosticism; both in freedom from religion, and freedom of discussion domain. The diligent theist must likewise step off the pulpit of certainty and regain the wonder of not knowing and model the integrity to withstand the cognitive dissonance which arises from being intellectually ethical. Otherwise they both are forever fixated on the religious duty of telling others that what god and all these things are, and indeed that they do or do not exist. All a life spent dwelling inside absurd noises and wasted philosophy.

¹  Vick, Tristan; Ignosticism – A philosophical Justification for Atheism, CreateSpace Independent Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-1490961828, pp. 23 – 46.

†  Tao Te Ching, Classic. I do not practice the Tao Te Ching as a religion, rather simply observe its writings and highlight where I see wisdom. It is a casual interest, not a life passion or practice of faith or religion. But then again, the Tao would say that I am therefore practicing the Tao. Oh my gosh, will the Plurocratic Fallacies never end! LOL!

February 15, 2015 Posted by | Argument Fallacies, Ethical Skepticism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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