Re: [Debunking Debunkers] Skeptic "across the board annilation" of "supernatural
- I like that! --- "Oh, and what about physicists? Do we really want to trust people who tell us that light possesses two mutually exclusive
properties (wave and particle), and that somehow it "knows" what sort of experiment we're going to conduct, before the fact, and
In thinking about this today, about the need for critical thinking and the "dumbing down of America" in general (I
mean, have you ever seen Leno's "Jaywalk") I of course found myself agreeing with the need to "think critically."
Who wouldn't? I was thinking of a student I had last year; very surly, terrible speech habits, and so on. He just
wouldn't, couldn't, get that the way one presents himself and speaks (and comprehends) has a lot to do with getting
hired, maintaining a position, and so much more. And it's not a matter of being highly intelligent, but of being
perceptive. If I'm hiring someone, I want someone who of course can speak well and has a sort of general working
knowledge of "stuff" but I also want them to be aware, responsive, perceptive. Thinking critically. The problem, what
is thinking critically? Is the answer going on a vendetta like Paul Kurtz and ridding the world of "irrational beliefs?" I
hardly think so.
You can have two people applying for a job; both who believe in baby Jesus. I myself don't believe in Jesus or a God
in that sense at all, not for a second. And frankly, I have a hard time understanding how people can. BUT-- one
person who applies for the job may be unsuited; not because they believe in Christ, but because they're simply
unintelligent, etc. The other applicant may be very intelligent, and, yes, they're a Christian. So at this point I have to
respect that. Respect means accept and behave yourself in a well mannered way. It doesn't mean I share those
beliefs, or even understand them.
It's possible the one person who is not suitable for the job isn't suitable, in part, because they've swallowed the
whole fundie bible thing whole without thinking much about it. In that case, no critical thinking. But what of the other
person who has given it quite a bit of thought, and read plenty of other works on other religions -- including no
religion -- and has decided, for whatever reasons, that Christianity is the answer for them? Do I hire an atheist who
might be a dullard and a dolt, incapable of perceiving anything other than his big toe, or the Christian? Is the atheist
demonstrating "critical thinking?" And that's the better choice? I think not.
I don't give a damn if someone "believes" in ghosts or ETs or what. Those beliefs do not, in themselves, mean a
damn thing about critical thinking.
And it's a very dangerous road Kurtz and others are tumbling down in their frenzied attempts to instill "rational
beliefs" in people. FAr more dangerous than a "belief" in ghosts.
--- In debunkingdebunkers@y..., "Clyde Wary" <pack_rat2@y...> wrote:
> Speaking of "hard science"... Physics is probably the most rigorous,
> followed by chemistry, followed by biology, psychology, anthropology,
> etc, etc...getting "softer" in this progression. And mathematics,
> which is not a science, is the "hardest" of all, for it deals with
> pure logic. But the question to be asked is, "What virtue is there in
> 'hardness'?" It is only a relative yardstick for determining the
> liklihood that the theories asserted are true. This does not mean
> that the theories and ideas of "soft" science, or of non-scientific
> fields, are false! Until around the 18th century, science as we know
> it did not exist. Is one to distrust the sum total of human knowledge
> accumulated prior to that time, simply because it was acquired without
> benefit of the "scientific method" or double-blind experiments?
> Scientific methods are the best, but they're not the only ones around,
> and knowledge garnered by other means might not be quite as reliable
> as that uncovered by a physicist, but it should not be dismissed. Oh,
> and what about physicists? Do we really want to trust people who tell
> us that light possesses two mutually exclusive properties (wave and
> particle), and that somehow it "knows" what sort of experiment we're
> going to conduct, before the fact, and behaves accordingly?:):):)