Latent Demand for Critical Thinking about Skepticism

Mark TwainDespite the difficulty of task entailed in informing people of the possibility that they have been fooled, apparently we at The Ethical Skeptic are not the only ones who bear a discomfort with the deceptive and misleading actions of Social Skeptics. We consistently receive private feedback on the order of ‘I knew there was something that I just didn’t like about this group,’ or ‘It’s nice to have someone finally articulate this. Keep up the good work.’ Frankly, because the power of the group and its habits over the last century, people are intimidated by this Oppressive Cabal of fake skeptics. Media persona, educators and scientists will only speak against them in private, and dare not tender their honest thoughts on pluralistic subjects publicly.

I do not blame them at all, as I have seen fake skeptics at work in my professions and business verticals, as well as in the social discourse. No one can speak out against them without fear of harassment, ostracizing or harm to their career or reputation. It is not that all their conclusions are wrong; rather, they employ an errant vigilante methodology in lieu of science.  It is this pseudo scientific method which concerns us most at The Ethical Skeptic. The method is justified through its media-hyped application by non STEM professionals on stooge posed and easily debunked topics. Moreover, it is further then employed to promote Nihilism, control institutions and people. and develop a presiding culture of fear and ignorance.

We, real science and engineering professionals, are beginning to speak up about this misrepresentation of science, and our collective professional opinions.

Ethical Skepticism

/ Epoché Vanguards Gnosis / : a means of disciplining one’s mind, practices and data sets in order to maintain objectivity in methods of science. The positive technique of developing a neutral phylogeny, cataloging existing and new data without prejudice. An aversion to obsessing over proof or the disposing of subjects, people and claims; while instead, focusing on accruing field observations and asking the critical reduction path, value and clarity enhancing, next question under the scientific method. Defense of the Knowledge Development Process through application of Ockham’s Razor and full scientific methodology. Opposition to all thinking which seeks to surreptitiously establish power through errant science or method, religion, institution, cabal, oligarchy, intimidation or ignorance – regardless of how ‘critical’ or ‘rational’ it purports to be.

.The Ethical Skeptic Monthly Visitors
“Spent a while searching and eventually found this blog, the only one of its kind as far as I know. A sigh of relief that this phenomenon has been noticed and analysed. A breath of fresh air consistently delivering quality content as well as strategies to deal with acolytes of the SSkepticism religion.”
stats are booming
“Finally someone has the guts to say what we’ve all been quietly thinking for some time.”
“I have been entranced and fascinated with this site of yours called The Ethical Skeptic.”
“Whoaha! I have hit the mother load. This is gonna take me all month to catch up on. Well done.”
“Looking forward to reading your site! Down with fake, screeching pseudo-skepticism!”
“It has been nice to read the work of someone who can finally articulate this.  Keep up the good work.”
“I knew there was something I did not like about this group of so-called skeptics. Now I can grasp what it is.”
“Oh my god this is good. Oh my.. oh my…..I gotta link this to a buddy of mine.”
“I have a request TES if you don’t mind? Can you put this in a presentation for me? I would love to give it at our next meeting.”
“Es patológico que menéame permita la difusión de las tonterías de los payasos dizque escépticos. Ojalá pronto se denuncie, oh espera ya se hace (apreciar la genial imagen):”
“Se recomienda leer  ¡A darle duro a los seudoescépticos!”
“When I speak, I speak to the public, not to some point-fingered critic.” – notorious ill mannered self promoting Sorwert Scale Level V Social Skeptic
The Ethical Skeptic has been blocked on Twitter by some of the most prominent Social Skeptics, not because of harassment by any means. But because, in order to live in a cocoon of delusion, one must proactively block all competing or outside philosophy and surround themselves with only the qualified club members. Sounds an awful lot like a religion we all know.
What this means is, that we are making an impact. Their fear of being in error resides second only to their fear of the unknown.

Ethical Skepticism – Part 3 – The Knowledge Development Process

The purpose of skepticism is not to defend the correct answer; rather to defend the integrity of the Knowledge Development Process, and to challenge the imposition of ignorance. The Ethical Skeptic, in keeping with this underlying philosophy must ever be vigilant for employment of the Masquerade or Abrogation of the scientific method, M’ , or the surreptitiously promoted religion q.

The Epignosis – The Knowledge Development Process

The Lyintific MethodBritish philosopher and logician Bertrand Russell laments in his work The Problems of Philosophy, “Is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?”¹ Well yes, there exists such knowledge. But that is not the preeminent issue we face as a society and culture of man. To the sense of the Ethical Skeptic, an over focus on the hoarding of authorized knowledge, and one’s perfect role in knowing such, is not the purpose of our science. Rather, the prevailing ethos benefits of value and clarity (ethics) demands that we stand watch over the processes which feed (the Epignosis) this authorized knowledge set (or Gnosis). Our first priority is not necessarily to seek perfection of the Gnosis itself by personal sheer will, acumen and study.  It is indeed the watch, the diligence by which we sponsor, screen and prepare that which is accepted to the body of knowledge, or even that which is demoted from the body of knowledge, which merits our first fealty. Phi Beta Kappa Emerson Award winning Philosopher Robert Nozick defines the Knowledge Development Process as being a way of determining how we arrive, via facts, to the state where our belief of what is true and what is not true aligns with the actuality of what it true and not true. Truth in the Nozick context being what is called Condition Statement 1

1.  p is true.

Gnosis is the state at which our collective mind S, via M, has arrived at p is true. The Epignosis is the method M contrasted with errant methods of ignorance M’, by which our collective mind arrives at p is true, constituted by hopefully the full, and not partial, scientific method. The Knowledge Development Process is what Nozick deems to be what he calls Condition Statement 2

2.  S believes, via method or way of coming to believe M, that p is true.

Defending Knowledge Development from The Masquerade: M’

Ethical Skepticism demands that those who would seek to act as authorities in the Knowledge Development Process challenge and examine the integrity of method M, and resist the condition wherein tampered method M‘ and the following Condition Statements 1 and X are employed in abuse of the Knowledge Development Process. The Ethical Skeptic understands that any effort to deny or block actions of scientific method, or to proactively intervene on behalf of the scientific method, are suspect. Especially when the excuse is tendered that such can be done because the proponent is ‘rational,’ ‘skeptical,’ a ‘critical thinker,’ or because the doctrine of a ‘smarter or more knowledgeable than you’ group of people dictates that you must accept their conclusions.  This in philosopher’s set terms is structured opinion set q. And q is anything outside the ethical rigor of knowledge development, presumed to be necessarily true:³

Methodical Cynicism and How it is Misadvertised as ‘Skepticism’

q is The Illusion of Absolute, i.e. a religion.

M’ is an abrogation of or substitution for the scientific method

SS is the Social Skeptic

1.   p is true.
2‘.  SS knows q to be necessarily true, and reconstructs method or way of coming to believe M‘, such that q is true.
3‘.  SS believes, via method or way of coming to believe M or M’, that not-p then q
4′.  Rationality ≡ Knowledge of q entails Knowledge of not-p (post hoc ergo propter hoc).

By reaching modified Condition Statement 4′, I am now logically armed with the ‘rational ability’ to dismiss something which is disliked, through a method other than science. I defend this method by falsely calling it or being taught that it is ‘skepticism.’

As a Methodical Cynic I use this method incorrectly to intervene and speak on behalf of science. In other words, not-p is proved by valid or invalid method M or M’, as being congruent with q. However q is proved to be true by errant or modified method M‘. It is this M’ and its employment which bears the opportunity for sleight-of-hand activity. It is the arena in which the Ethical Skeptic must first keep diligent watch. The practitioner of pseudo-skepticism and plausible deniability often will not disclose his fealty to q, nor even q itself in 2′ and 3′. He cannot, as q is true, broaches review of M’. This lack of disclosure of method, constitutes the central broach of ethics to the Ethical Skeptic. Given the Hegel criteria wherein Religion is the Illusion of the Absolute,³ then

  not-p Is introduced by interloping M‘ and post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy with q
and subjunctives
q is necessarily a religion for two reasons (see What Constitutes a Religion)
1. The condition that q, which is defined as not-p, is therefore necessarily rational in 2′ through 4′.
2. That q is true, can be made in absence of falsification.
This is the genesis of the domain framing which affords the Ethical Skeptic the only possible definition of religion: “The compulsory adherence to an idea which is prohibited testing for falsification.”
Interloping M‘ consists of three error taxonomy groupings:

M‘a – Skepticism is employed as acting in lieu of method M, AND where q is not disclosed.

A. Pseudo-skepticism
E. Plausible Deniability

M‘b – Method M modified so as to be executed only in part, or such that predictive methodologies are employed to screen out potential falsification pathways, such that q is true.

B. Credulity
D. Denial
H. Doctrine

M‘c – Social control mechanism are employed such that q is true, in absence of M. q may or may not be disclosed.

C. Fanaticism
F. Cynicism
G. Mores

It is the job of the Ethical Skeptic to understand keenly the process of M the Epignosis. Moreover, to watch for, in himself, his peers, and in organizations, the condition wherein method M, has been abrogated, eliminated or is tampered with (M’x).

That which serves us in advancing mankind, and that which the Ethical Skeptic defends, regardless of what answers arise.

The Epignosis - Copy 801

¹  Russell, Bertrand, The Problems of Philosophy; The Public Domain, Project Gutenberg, Release Date: May 2, 2009 [EBook #5827].

²  Nozick, Robert; Philosophical Explanations, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1981, ISBN 0-674-66448-5; pp. 179-187. Note: Here we depart from Nozick’s Condition Statements 3. and 4., necessary compliments in the establishment of ethical knowledge, in order to elicit the errant versions of the same.

³  Rosen, Stanley, Editor; The Philosopher’s Handbook: A User’s Guide to Western Philosophy, Random House, Inc., New York, NY, 2000; ISBN 978-0-375-72011-6; pp. 165-169.