Saturday, February 13, 2010

JREF Forum posts: "Comprehensive characteristics of the pseudoskeptic"

Richard Gage
February 12, 2010

Here is the excellent post on the JREF forum (Feb 6th) that actually exposes all of their 9/11 Debunking tactics in one convenient tidy package - from their own master. It can be seen as the bible of the true skeptic - by the ultimate skeptic, Proff Truzi. Use this to expose the debunkers with their own "Comprehensive characteristics of the pseudoskeptic and the skeptic". (I have added the numbers for your future use). Use it liberally!

(Thanks go to Dan Noel)


Comprehensive characteristics of the pseudoskeptic and the skeptic
I have noticed that there appears to be two main types of skeptics. One an admirable role, one quite the opposite.

Therefore we have a skeptic, and a pseudoskeptic.

Points courtesy of Proff Truzi,

Characteristics of a pseudoskeptic:

1. The tendency to deny, rather than doubt.
2. Double standards in the application of criticism.
3. The making of judgments without full inquiry.
4. Tendency to discredit, rather than investigate.
5. Use of ridicule or ad hominem attacks in lieu of arguments.
6. Pejorative labeling of proponents as 'promoters', 'pseudoscientists' or practitioners of 'pathological science.
7. Presenting insufficient evidence or proof.
8. Assuming criticism requires no burden of proof.
9. Making unsubstantiated counter-claims.
10. Counter-claims based on plausibility rather than empirical evidence.
11. Suggesting that unconvincing evidence is grounds for dismissing it.
12. Use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims.
13. Asserting that claims which have not been proven false must be true, and vice versa (Argument from ignorance).
14. They speak down to their audience using 'arguments from authority'.
15. They put forward their assumptions as if they were universal truths.
16. No references to reputable journal material.
17. If the pseudo-skeptic has a monetary interest (such as maintaining a funding stream or a salary) his criticisms often become vituperative.

True Skeptics / Open-Minded Skeptics

A. Does not show any of the characteristics of a pseudoskeptic.
B. Inquires and asks questions to try to understand things
C. Applies open inquiry and investigation of both sides
D. Is nonjudgmental, doesn't jump to rash conclusions
E. Has honest doubt and questions all beliefs, including their own
F. Seeks the truth, considers it the highest aim
G. Fairly and objectively weighs evidence on all sides
H. Acknowledges valid convincing evidence
I. Possesses solid sharp common sense and reason
J. Is able to adapt and update their paradigms to new evidence

Just a nice guide to fall back on, the skeptics bible in a way. Its not amazingly consistent (ie, skeptics should not give people a stereotype and dismiss them due to that, so immediately labelling the pseudoskeptic, so has an early issue)

Related Info:

Gordon Ross is pretty sure he exists.

Debunking PseudoSkeptics - CSICOP, James Randi, Michael Shermer, etc

How Pseudoskeptics hijack "Skepticism" to mean its opposite: Disinformation, Mind Control and Suppression

They Are the Ones Who Are Not Skeptics

I have seen the light! [Satire]

Circular Rationalism

JREF Forum posts: "Comprehensive characteristics of the pseudoskeptic"

911 Truth: Michael Shermer's Amateur Disinformation Attempt Fails (again!)

Debunking Myths on Conspiracy Theories