227. Continued... Here' the new direction

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#21
naaa. It's because you're posts never get out of the rut they start in. For example, you "spent hours" (your words) reviewing the Pim van Lommel research, but whiffed on the guys conclusions. You made a similar (but different less egregious) mistake to Shermer's in not recognizing that solid research (which you admit this is) gives credence to the researcher's conclusions. In this case, Pim van Lommel has concluded that his research is suggestive of consciousness surviving death. If you can't find fault in the research then you should be inclined to accept the conclusions.

(see this this the kind of discussion we can have in the BvS forum... give it a try :))
Alex, you admit you haven't actually read my posts so you don't know what they say. Your reply here indicates you haven't actually read my analysis of the Lancet study (since your reply doesn't make sense given what I actaully wrote). And you want me to wear a gold star to feel like I don't belong here.

I've considered Skeptiko my online home for awhile now. You have made it abundantly clear that I'm not welcome here anymore except at the back at the bus. That does sadden me as I REALLY enjoyed my time here and got a lot out of it. I had quite a difficult time personally as of late and Skeptiko was my refuge. But you clearly don't respect me or want me here and I can't respect your new discriminatory approach so what would that say about me if I stayed? What you're doing now is the antithesis of what attracted me to Skeptiko in the first place.




haven't actually read my post carefully so you will have no way of knowing whether it is in a rut or not. You assume you know what my point was and what
naaa. It's because you're posts never get out of the rut they start in. For example, you "spent hours" (your words) reviewing the Pim van Lommel research, but whiffed on the guys conclusions. You made a similar (but different less egregious) mistake to Shermer's in not recognizing that solid research (which you admit this is) gives credence to the researcher's conclusions. In this case, Pim van Lommel has concluded that his research is suggestive of consciousness surviving death. If you can't find fault in the research then you should be inclined to accept the conclusions.

(see this this the kind of discussion we can have in the BvS forum... give it a try :))
 
#22
It is clear that those who have forced these changes are now the ones moaning about it. I can tell you that I stopped posting on the other forum precisely because of the dogmatic spoiling tactics of Paul and Linda (mainly). If this forum is to be no different, I'm not about to rejoin the discussions here either. It is not pleasant.

There have been no end of complaints about those ideologues and such a situation would have been stillborn at JREF and other skeptical sites, had proponents attempted the same tactics. The "who me" response is pathetic and an insult to the intelligence of everyone here. Arouet is no moderate either - he defends the other two constantly, supports their views and generally blames the proponents for not reading nor understanding their position.

If only there were some sign of movement from the trenches of debunkery, I'd be more charitable but I can't remember any of them giving an inch in thousands upon thousand of posts. Why would we want to be subject to many more thousands of repetitions?

If that's too harsh, that's OK. I'll stay away.
 
#23
Alex, you admit you haven't actually read my posts so you don't know what they say.
I read enough of that one to stand by what I said... to repeat, you've ignored van Lommel's conclusions (both within the paper and afterwards) in order to narrowly interpret the study to fit your preconceived ideas about NDE research.

I you disagree, start a thread in the BvS forum.
 
#24
My instinct is to ask you Alex, to please consider bringing over the Skeptiko Haven as a place where discussion can take place between like minded individuals...
I'm in favor of something like that. I can appreciate the need for people to have a place where they can gather with like-minded people.

But to banish dissent from the podcast threads is not a good idea. Right up at the top of the main page at Skeptiko it says "This podcast is a leading source for intelligent, hard-nosed skeptic vs. believer debate on science and spirituality. Each episode features lively discussion with leading researchers, thinkers, and their critics."

You don't get lively discussions by stifling opinions that disagree. Doing so would IMHO make the forum a less interesting place for almost everyone.
 
#25
It is clear that those who have forced these changes are now the ones moaning about it. I can tell you that I stopped posting on the other forum precisely because of the dogmatic spoiling tactics of Paul and Linda (mainly). If this forum is to be no different, I'm not about to rejoin the discussions here either. It is not pleasant.

There have been no end of complaints about those ideologues and such a situation would have been stillborn at JREF and other skeptical sites, had proponents attempted the same tactics. The "who me" response is pathetic and an insult to the intelligence of everyone here. Arouet is no moderate either - he defends the other two constantly, supports their views and generally blames the proponents for not reading nor understanding their position.

If only there were some sign of movement from the trenches of debunkery, I'd be more charitable but I can't remember any of them giving an inch in thousands upon thousand of posts. Why would we want to be subject to many more thousands of repetitions?

If that's too harsh, that's OK. I'll stay away.
one of the things I hope this new forum will bring is an end to harping about Skeptics in the Skeptiko forum. It's over! New start!

by definition there are no dogmatic, devious Skeptics in any of the Skeptiko forums. If anyone is then they won't be able to abide by the forum rules. If they are abiding by the rules then they can't be all that dogmatic.

the goal of separating the forums is to acknowledge that the divide that mucks things up is scientific materialism (i.e. mind=brain). If you're on the status quo side of that then you're not going to be able to engage with people who've moved past it... other than to keep banging on why they shouldn't have moved past it.
 
#26
I'm in favor of something like that. I can appreciate the need for people to have a place where they can gather with like-minded people.

But to banish dissent from the podcast threads is not a good idea. Right up at the top of the main page at Skeptiko it says "This podcast is a leading source for intelligent, hard-nosed skeptic vs. believer debate on science and spirituality. Each episode features lively discussion with leading researchers, thinkers, and their critics."

You don't get lively discussions by stifling opinions that disagree. Doing so would IMHO make the forum a less interesting place for almost everyone.
how do you know? give it a try. I think it will be better than before.
 
#27
I read enough of that one to stand by what I said... to repeat, you've ignored van Lommel's conclusions (both within the paper and afterwards) in order to narrowly interpret the study to fit your preconceived ideas about NDE research.

I you disagree, start a thread in the BvS forum.
Since your comments still seem to be responding to some other post (they don't make sense in the context of what I wrote) I do disagree. And I'd love to be able to stay in this community. But not so long as you have this awful discriminatory policy designed to humiliate and stigmatize people with different views from your own.

With all due respect Alex, you've lost your way here. Take a step back and see what you're doing! You've always claimed to avoid dogmatism - think about it!
 
#28
We have two forums. The Skeptiko Podcast forum is for folks who listen (or read) the show and want to discuss the topics and related issues in greater depth. People who accept that scientific materialism isn't a workable idea generally fit in here. If you're not a good fit for this forum we may ask you to move over to...

The Believer Versus Skeptic Debates forum is for hashing out debates about science and spirituality from a prove-it-all-over-from-the-ground-up perspective. If you're generally skeptical of the material presented in the Skeptiko podcast you're probably a good fit for this forum.
I do see one problem with this arrangement. I think an important role for Skeptiko, is to let people see the strength of the skeptical arguments (which isn't very high). If we push them all off into another forum, the skeptics will probably simply find themselves arguing with themselves, and newcomers won't get the big picture. Why not let skeptics keep the extreme skepticism to certain threads that they have initiated. That way, they are with us, but can't mess up more interesting conversations. More importantly, they definitely can't make negative comments on threads that describe the personal experiences of posters.

I can't imagine the BvS forum will survive for long.

David
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#29
Hang on a minute. I see that Arouet and I are "Associates." I believe that means we have been banned before the podcasts start.

Branded before the cattle drive even begins. Lovely.

~~ Paul
 
#31
Not sure if I understand the reasoning behind this polarization. If you want to have a debate forum call it: "debate forum".

I don't even know what it means to be a believer. A believer of what? That the mind is not limited to the brain... Or that we survive death? We have no idea how it works and what exactly is going on. To explore the possibilities by taking these things as axiom doesn't make me comfortable being called a believer. A skeptic, what does that mean, that you take materialism as axiom or naturalism? Well there is room for consciousness, even outside the brain, within materialism and naturalism, or some monism derived from it. I want to be able to explore that as well. I don't feel comfortable with this adherence to this schism in the debate that the hard nosed skeptics have created. What the hell. They polarize the debate, they have lumped all manner of things under the 'paranormal' umbrella. They created this. And now we are going to dance to their rhythm? I don't want to accept these labels, I want a free and open discussion where things are not wiped of the table just because of a label they received. The hard-nosed skeptical argument is super weak, they are nothing but loud and numerous. I honestly don't see why you've taken their advice on polarizing the debate, because that's what you have done here. Remove it, please.
 
#32
I'm in favor of something like that. I can appreciate the need for people to have a place where they can gather with like-minded people.

But to banish dissent from the podcast threads is not a good idea. Right up at the top of the main page at Skeptiko it says "This podcast is a leading source for intelligent, hard-nosed skeptic vs. believer debate on science and spirituality. Each episode features lively discussion with leading researchers, thinkers, and their critics."

You don't get lively discussions by stifling opinions that disagree. Doing so would IMHO make the forum a less interesting place for almost everyone.
I think I know what Alex wants to achieve, but the devil is always in the details. We all want to be skeptical about reports that don't seem robust. We want to discuss serious doubts about particular types of experiments, but there is a type of skepticism that goes beyond that. It is the kind of extreme, dogmatic skepticism that could have prevented science ever getting started if it had been applied to the early experiments. In a real sense, that type of skepticism is against the rational, scientific discussion of phenomena.

I'm not sure the BvS is the best solution to the problem.

David
 
#33
I do see one problem with this arrangement. I think an important role for Skeptiko, is to let people see the strength of the skeptical arguments (which isn't very high). If we push them all off into another forum, the skeptics will probably simply find themselves arguing with themselves, and newcomers won't get the big picture. Why not let skeptics keep the extreme skepticism to certain threads that they have initiated. That way, they are with us, but can't mess up more interesting conversations. More importantly, they definitely can't make negative comments on threads that describe the personal experiences of posters.

I can't imagine the BvS forum will survive for long.

David
I think you're being too negative, David. People will still be able to argue the toss. Not a few proponents seem to like arguing with sceptics, and if they do, they can do so on BvS. One thing I will say, is that if people are allocated to BvS only, they might usefully be able to see what's going on on the Skeptiko forum. IOW, read but not write access. Unless we try new approaches, we'll never know what does and doesn't work. Personally, I want to give it a chance and see how it pans out. We can always revisit the issue in the light of experience, and maybe Alex will at some future time tweak things should that prove necessary.
 
#35
Another thing I like about this is that it was always a bit of a pai
I'm with Paul and Arouet here - I'm a open-minded atheist materialist who listens to every podcast. If I would like to join the conversation about one of them, why do I have to go sit in the back of the Skeptiko forum bus? The clear message this conveys is that you're unwilling to tolerate other viewpoints, even when they're presented respectfully.

Especially with the upcoming podcasts about UFOs, I think I would have more to contribute than on other topics.
Rather than thinking of this as sitting in the back of the bus, you should think of it as getting out of the way of the bus so you don't get run over. At least this way you are on the bus and your questions can be raised there.

AP
 
#36
how do you know? give it a try. I think it will be better than before.
I say lets give it a go. If any of the things people are worried about here DO become an issue, they will be obvious and the need to address these issues will rise to the fore. As it is, I agree with Alex and say 'lets at least TRY it. It may well turn out to be better than before. As a proponent of Buddhism, I deeply understand the instinctive reluctance toward change, and catch it equally in myself, but it is nothing more than feeling one's comfort zone threatened.

Let's try it, you never know, we might just like it ;)
 
#37
Alex, are we allowed to discuss the controversial issues of science, scholarship and society that do NOT relate directly to the consciousness research, spirituality and anomalous phenomena? Such as (for example):

- catastrophic anthropogenic global warming;
- HIV-AIDS causation;
- alternative physical cosmologies (Electric Universe etc.)
- criticisms of biological psychiatry;
- youth rights;
- censorship and free thought/speech/expression;
- conspirasy theories;
- different forms of alternative medicine (homeopathy, naturopathy etc.)
- general problems of modern science and medicine;
- other controversies (GM products etc.).

If we allowed to do so, on what one of the two forums? Only on "Believers vs. Skeptics", or on both ones?
For my part, I'd rather not see most of these issues outside of the random stuff thread.

AP
 
#38
It won't be because I won't be there. I'm not going to wear a gold star Alex. I guess it makes sense why your replies to my posts seem so unrelated to what I've actually written - that's the natural offshoot of ignoring what someone has to say.
If there was any one post that makes your interest in psi appear to be disingenuous, this is it. It could be translated as "If I cannot prevent conversations from happening, I don't want to be here any more."

There is no "gold star" here. This is a natural distinction between conversations about whether psi is genuine, and other conversations that accept that psi is genuine in order to continue.

AP
 
#39
I'm in favor of something like that. I can appreciate the need for people to have a place where they can gather with like-minded people.

But to banish dissent from the podcast threads is not a good idea. Right up at the top of the main page at Skeptiko it says "This podcast is a leading source for intelligent, hard-nosed skeptic vs. believer debate on science and spirituality. Each episode features lively discussion with leading researchers, thinkers, and their critics."

You don't get lively discussions by stifling opinions that disagree. Doing so would IMHO make the forum a less interesting place for almost everyone.
There is no banishment of dissent going on here. Debates are going to be in the debate forum, conversations that are explorations of the material go in the other forum. This is a natural division.

AP
 
#40
I think I know what Alex wants to achieve, but the devil is always in the details. We all want to be skeptical about reports that don't seem robust. We want to discuss serious doubts about particular types of experiments, but there is a type of skepticism that goes beyond that. It is the kind of extreme, dogmatic skepticism that could have prevented science ever getting started if it had been applied to the early experiments. In a real sense, that type of skepticism is against the rational, scientific discussion of phenomena.

I'm not sure the BvS is the best solution to the problem.

David
What we do know is that the old forum wasn't a solution either, nor the Haven, or the ____ _____. Let's give this a shot and see how it goes. It won't be going away until it's been tried, so let's see how it works.

AP
 
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