Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pseudo Skepticism

The term skeptic gets thrown around a lot. Some people say they are open minded skeptics to psi and survival after death which is fine. But then you get people like James Randi who say i am open to the paranormal being real but there is not a shred of evidence. Closed Minded skeptics such as James Randi like to pick things apart and declare well even if there is evidence for the parnormal it doesn't matter because it's likely that it is not true.

As Marcello Truzzi correctly observes with skeptics attacking psi experiments

Critics who assert negative claims, but who mistakenly call themselves "skeptics," often act as though they have no burden of proof placed on them at all, though such a stance would be appropriate only for the agnostic or true skeptic. A result of this is that many critics seem to feel it is only necessary to present a case for their counter-claims based upon plausibility rather than empirical evidence. Thus, if a subject in a psi experiment can be shown to have had an opportunity to cheat, many critics seem to assume not merely that he probably did cheat, but that he must have, regardless of what may be the complete absence of evidence that he did so cheat and sometimes even ignoring evidence of the subject's past reputation for honesty. Similarly, improper randomization procedures are sometimes assumed to be the cause of a subject's high psi scores even though all that has been established is the possibility of such an artifact having been the real cause. Of course, the evidential weight of the experiment is greatly reduced when we discover an opening in the design that would allow an artifact to confound the results. Discovering an opportunity for error should make such experiments less evidential and usually unconvincing. It usually disproves the claim that the experiment was "air tight" against error, but it does not disprove the anomaly claim.

This also applys to survival after death one skeptic asserted to former lawyer Victor Zammit in a conference that even if you could prove it to me Victor i still would not accept it.

I remember Dr. Steven Novella [Materialist] saying that the best thing for a believer is a skeptic now that sure is true not that does not apply to all SKEPTICS the ones that are closed Minded.

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