Talk:Skepticism

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  1. 2002-February 2010

Spelling[edit]

Before considering spelling changes -- "sKeptic" versus "sCeptic" -- please note the spelling of the title of this article, then review and/or add to the discussion below:

Sceptics vs skeptics =[edit]

There is a group from antiquity with the proper name Sceptics. The spelling of their name is probably because that was the proper spelling at that time. The more generic term Skeptics is now spelled with a k and no other spelling is current and proper unless you are referring to the group from antiquity whose proper name is still Sceptics. Scottprovost (talk) 20:05, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Order of sections[edit]

I'm leaning towards reversing the order, and making it philosophical, religious, then scientific. In addition to being alphabetical, it has some chronological relevance. Thoughts?Novangelis (talk) 16:24, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Being alphabetical isn't a good reason to reorder them. Being chronological would make sense if the article was telling the story of skepticism in a chronological manner (I'm not sure that it is). Placing the Philosophical section first (of the three) makes it (seem) more important. Is it? I think for the average reader arriving at this page, the scientific section is of greater relevance. I would be more interested in dealing with the morefootnotes box at the top. Tayste (edits) 04:28, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
I originally changed the order to reflect importance. The average reader will be coming here after hearing skepticism on television, they will be looking for a modern use of the word. They most certainly not be looking for the philosophy of the skeptikoi, since it is about the most obscure thing on wikipedia. I'm sure the WP:LEAD says something about what order they should go in if you wanna look. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TheThomas (talkcontribs) 12:30, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Skepsis[edit]

I think there is a connection to Skepsis, is there a way to confirm this? Paradoctor (talk) 11:40, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Skepticism is = " some degree of doubt regarding claims that are elsewhere taken for granted.[2]"[edit]

Before posting this I attempted to attain a sense of the validity of the reference, by looking at the University the statement originates from yet after doing so I still feel that the following section is irrelevant and should be removed as it adds connotation.

"that are elsewhere taken for granted" BoredextraWorkvidid (talk) 07:19, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

`Philosophical_skeptic` should redirect to `Philosophical_skepticism` rather than `Skepticism`[edit]

`Philosophical_skeptic` currently redirects to `Skepticism` (this article) rather than `Philosophical_skepticism` as it should do. --86.143.62.197 (talk) 18:20, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

This article has a "C" rating, but is of Vital importance.[edit]

Though I would prefer to make small changes, this article needs a lot of extra information added. It is about time to just lay down as much information as you can. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TheThomas (talkcontribs) 12:44, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Religious Skepticism[edit]

That whole section is particularly poor. I feel it needs completely rewriting but am holding back from doing it myself due to being fairly inexperienced on wikipedia. Some things to note though:

  • "Religious skeptics are weighing in on subjects outside the capabilities of science" seems a very strong declaration to make, and one that many would disagree with. Are religious matters necessarily outside the capabilities of science? Are religious skeptics "weighing in"?
  • "Religious skeptics are often very critical of the apologetics of one or many religions". This may be true of the most prominent skeptics, but we are talking about all religious skeptics. This strikes me as bizarre a line as "Communists are very often Russian" would be.
  • "Skeptics of christianity etc." again smacks of generalisation, and ranges from the obvious (of course skeptics don't accept the virgin birth) to the rare (is doubting the historicity of Jesus really typical of skeptics?). The inclusion of biblical innerancy also seems a tad out of place as that isn't part of the dogma for many christians anyway.
  • "Skeptics of islam etc." has the same problems as the above, as well as what seems to be an altered version of a joke in the third bullet point. Wikiditm (talk) 17:45, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Removing referance to book about existance of Jesus since it is generally not accepted see http://www.bib-arch.org/reviews/review-end-of-biblical-studies.asp http://www.tektonics.org/af/avalos01.html http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2009/07/philip-davies-on-end-of-biblical.html along with the claim as overly contravsial without a full article. RonaldDuncan (talk) 12:24, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Restored reference to book. Those three sources are about the worst you could choose to demonstrate "not generally accepted" - extremely biased sources that themselves are not generally accepted by scholars and a blogspot page... This book was published by a real publisher and has real support. Your personal dislike of it doesn't allow you to remove it from this article, let alone the general topic it was being used as a source for, which can be sourced to tons of other source as well, as shown by articles on Wikipedia about said topic. Your edit comes off looking more like an attempt to censor a viewpoint that responsible encyclopedia editing. DreamGuy (talk) 20:31, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Agnostiscism needs removing and religious skeptiscism needs a rewrite[edit]

The article makes the statement that most skeptics are agnostic. By definition, I am agnostic, but I am also, by definition, an atheist. I fit more in line with the de facto meaning of atheism rather than agnosticism, as agnostisicism generally implies more openness to religion, and much more openness to supernatural claims/psuedoscience, atheism is considered a stronger position.

Of course, these are my own personal opinions, and have no factual basis; similar to the statements of skeptics being agnostic. I think the word agnostic needs to be purged from the article; it sounds like someone is trying to identify skeptics with their own beliefs, that is, agnosticism.

Regarding the "religious skepticism section, I believe this should be re-written in an entirely different direction.

Regarding the bible, the claims listed are okay, and thinks which I do(and I assume most religious skeptics doubt) but It doesn't reflect on the lack of evidence for a deity, afterlife, soul, heaven, hell, telepathy, etc; things which may or may not be based on the bible, but are central to Christian theology.

I think if one were to list these things, the article would lose neutrality, and would come off(rightly so) as an attack on religion.

Regarding Islam, the author of this section(assuming there is only one) does not make the same claims about it is he/she does Christianity, while the two religions are very similar. Instead, they list some minor claims and seem to make an appeal to ridicule.

They also challenge the claim that Islam is of peace. This sounds very much like loaded language. The author does not challenge Christianities status as a religion of peace, while, when adjusted for power and national wealth/development, are similar.(There aren't many southern baptist suicide bombers because they live in a developed nation and the hierarchy don't have the power to get many recruits willing to die, nor do they want to as they live in a developed nation. They, like everyone else, wants to stay comfortable, and because they live in a comfortable place, aren't as willing to do violence.)

I have never made a large contribution to an article, only minor edits; grammar, small facts, or neutrality rewrites. I would like to try to rewrite large parts of this article, salvaging what should be salvaged.

Hopefully I'll have a good chunk of afternoon some time in the future. If there's someone else who would like to take a section, or even the whole article, or who can think of something else that perhaps needs to be changed, feel free to post it here.

Thank you for reading. Gottogog (talk) 16:15, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

You are adopting an unnecessarily narrow view of 'agnostic' here, which means the general recognition that we don't know, and can be applied to all sorts of claims, particularly metaphysical claims, not just the existence of God. The Pyrrhonian sceptics were agnostic about all claims to knowledge, although the Academic sceptics had a more definitely negative view of the prospect of knowledge. See Benson Mates 'The Skeptic Way' Oxford Unversity Press 1996. If you removed accurate references to agnosticism then this would be an example of intrusive and biased editing. Evenbalance (talk) 15:41, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Uncited example in lead[edit]

The first paragraph of the lead currently makes an uncited assertion regarding the respective beliefs of skeptics and the public at large in the US regarding chiropractic. This is probably true, but I am not sure why we need an example at all there. Would anyone object were I simply to remove the sentence? - 2/0 (cont.) 14:20, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Done. - 2/0 (cont.) 19:52, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Please vote - A consensus vote as to whether to consider the journal Homeopathy an RS for physics, science, or medical conclusions[edit]

A consensus vote as to whether to consider the journal Homeopathy an RS for phsyics, science, or medical conclusions is happening here[1]. PPdd (talk) 02:08, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Vote here. -- Brangifer (talk) 05:03, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Atheism?[edit]

Why is skepticism listed under an atheistic category? Skepticism is in theory the stance of the open-minded not a case of willingly believing in everything - be it disbelief or belief (believing in atheism is still a belief, just as a belief in a supernatural (or otherwise) Deity), therefore it is not an article to do with atheism. Many atheists may put themselves as skeptics, but many skeptics are not necessarily atheists. Because one may question the existence of UFO's etc, doesnt mean one is not religious. NOTE: Many atheistic skeptics are also extremely aggressive when their 'faith' is questioned. Does anyone know why this is? Chris of England — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.12.125.50 (talk) 12:19, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Atheism is not a "faith" or a "belief". Many people are atheists because of their skepticism, which is why skepticism and atheism are linked. -- Scjessey (talk) 13:08, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Nicely said, since often skepticism, atheism, ignorant fervent wishfulness and religious fervor are the same beast of mind regardless of the vocabulary involved. I think global Basic Logic lessons might suffice to wipe out blind faith in endless, pure skepticism without reason, at the intelligence level of slime. When so-called scientists based on absence of information leap to alarming conclusions, regardless of the scientific vocabulary involved, they are still being illogical. Skepticism when expressed open-mindedly as you present it, is evidence of a logical mind, developable through formal education and real world practice. Many vapid naysayers behaving with less developed awareness than toddlers call themselves skeptics in an effort to seem smart. Ignoring vast quantities of relevant data and refusing to think is a form of Appeal to Ignorance and accusing from ignorance is a form of the Strawman Fallacy.

Among the intelligent and open-minded who may have some skepticism in the healthiest sense of questioning, learning, co-developing and working together with informed awareness, and in good-faith without tangible disappointment, we have valid questions in science-informed and faith-experience communities. Religion, normally interpreted as sophisticated guidance rather than recipes for living, has access to symbols and logic which leads human minds. Ignoring religion yet calling oneself a "scientist" amounts to ignoring heat sources in kitchens while claiming to be a chef. Human experience and human perception are valid information sources worth considering, especially when some repetition is visible in the population. For example, law enforcement agencies may keep maps with reported information marked on the map, eventually showing report patterns. Similarly, scientists could note reports of human experiences, see similar patterns and form conjectures based on observed data. Leadership in mind sciences, including developing science-informed observations and descriptions of faith experiences and reasoning, I think might be provided by Joseph LeDoux and Steven Pinker. I do not think we have language sufficiently developed in our human languages for accurate expression of what seems spiritual, such as the resultant experiences sometimes reported after some people have a mild electric current run across their temporal lobes. Meanwhile, having the ability to lead minds with symbols may be an interesting access to power.

JenniferProkhorov (talk) 04:04, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

"Empiricists see empiricism as a pragmatic compromise between philosophical skepticism and nomothetic science."[edit]

"Empiricists see empiricism as a pragmatic compromise between philosophical skepticism and nomothetic science."

It's not clear to me what this sentence means. It would be great if someone could expand or cite it.

-- Mad with power (talk) 04:54, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Elisabeth Whelan is the leader of the sceptical movement.[edit]

The leader of the Scepticlal movement is Elisabeh Whelam. She controll the money flow. Here organisation ACSH make contact between different persons in the movement, and companies that need help with their marketting.The sceptics spreads the companies views on their blogs, and the followers spread the views further. A part of the marketing plan is that the followers do not discuss from where their ideas come. They are not allowed to discuss the question. The followes are told, that talk about that is help the Woo-Woo(thats the name of the movements enemies), so the scientific way to respond is to change subject, and demand that he who ask the question answer another question first, and then takes the skeptic over and leads the discussion to the questions the movement propagate.

Customers are many different companies, who are accused of pollution, or sales of unnecessary or dangerous drugs, but in principle, all companies that pay are accepted as clients. ACSH is spreading propaganda to influential people within the movement, who get paid for their work. James Randi campaigned for climate skepticism in a few months. U.S. oil companies could pay a lot for such propaganda. In order to keep the members of the movement as it focuses a lot on changing the direction of discussions takes place. For example, a discussion is taking place in society, that the swine flu vaccine caused narcolepsi in some children, the movement can try to start a discussion on homeopathy instead. Advantage of this business idea is that it is inexpensive, and can be implemented at low cost. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.112.195.52 (talk) 08:20, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

It's shocking how much of what you said above is false. Whelam is no leader of any "movement" let alone a sceptical(sic) one. Capeo (talk) 18:02, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Read the four links in this link http://buggesblogg.blogspot.se/2014/07/is-sceptical-movement-really-sceptic-j.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by Östen Örbrink (talkcontribs) 19:08, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

pseudoscience[edit]

I've deleted the pseudoscience from the article.

Philosophy is the area of expertise. Scientific skepticism doesn't exist, the definition promoted here implies other kinds of skepticism are not scientific.

There are no other kinds. There is only one branch of philosophy. Everything else is ideology at best and pseudoscience at worse, non mainstream ideas should not be promoted in the main article.

The scientific skepticism article should pay tribute to Carl Sagan and the Mainstream scientific description and history of skepticism that is part of philosophy should be merged into this article.

84.106.26.81 (talk) 19:37, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

That sounds like a point of view that could be discussed in the article, with citations. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 20:18, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

  • I used to think that "skeptic" etc came from Greek σκέπτω = "I look", i.e. "Let's go look at it and see it for ourselves instead of trusting what other people say/write about it.". Anthony Appleyard (talk) 05:36, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Climate change skeptics and skepticism in practice[edit]

What do editors have to say about the category category:Climate change skeptics becoming a subcategory of category:Skeptics and Skepticism in general? (diff) It's somewhat jarring that we can now find James Randi, Richard Dawkins, Alex Jones (radio host) and Christopher Monckton under the main category Skepticism. If words no longer convey meaning, can we at least find room here on this article to define Climate change skepticism and describe how it diverges, at least to some degree, from what is expected? Thoughts are welcome. — TPX 17:09, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia categories tend to be inclusive rather than exclusive. So I'm okay with it. Some of them could be considered to be genuine skeptics and the deniers tend to call themselves skeptics. I have tsaken the liberty to stick ':category:' into your links, the initial ':' makes it a link rather than saying this page is in the category. Dmcq (talk) 18:09, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Definition Template Stability...[edit]

I did not want to add this directly to the article itself right away, as I was confused to a certain extent by the phrase "no original research". Is this a policy for certain Wikipedia articles, that additional research is not permitted for certain topics? Also, what qualifies as original research? Is correcting false information considered to be "original research"?

If we are to (correctly) state that "skepticism" is "any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts, or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere"; than we should follow this template into disambiguation. For example, "Religious skepticism" is here claimed to be "doubt concerning basic religious principles (such as immortality, providence, and revelation)". Not only is this (1)incorrect regardless of who said it, and (2)offensive to Theistic skeptics such as myself, but (3)absolutely unverified. The "source" (supposedly the Webster who published the apologetic book in 1834) has no link and the Merriam Webster online dictionary has no entry for "Religious Skepticism", and no sub~heading under "skepticism".

May I simply suggest an edit to this otherwise excellent article, by taking the template from the term "skepticism" and applying it to "religion". To question all purported beliefs until well verified is the nature of skepticism. To not believe anything (recall the school asserting nothing) until given a good reason for believing it. Even in "Religion". God Bless! UnchainedPhilosophy (talk) 11:04, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

The policy of no original research is covered in WP:OR. Basically we're here to summarize in a readable manner and a neutral manner things that are in reliable sources. If it is in a reliable source it is not original research. If it is something you know or have worked out but not in a reliable source then it is normally original research. Only very constrained exceptions are allowed like converting weights and measures or totaling some numbers that a user would obviously want totaled. Even correct maths is counted as original research if it is not something quite obvious. 'Correct' is a word to be wary of in Wikipedia, as the saying goes 'verifiability not truth'. That doesn't mean we stick in things which are obviously wrong - but we are not here to promulgate some truth, just to summarize what is in the sources. Dmcq (talk) 12:38, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

The truth within your own source on the definition of Religious Skepticism is non-offensive and much more accurate than assuming that Religion and skepticism are at odds. As to "sources" I can present 10 opinions; each one in disagreement with the next, and each one with a respected source. It requires a brain (a skeptic, actually) to cipher "truth" from a world of "facts". UnchainedPhilosophy (talk) 14:07, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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checked true Cyberbot II Kyle(talk) 00:48, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Cleanup[edit]

I have started to clean up this article and references. For now I have removed the references needed template. Kyle(talk) 00:44, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

More cleanup - I have added some references and reworked the further reading section. I think this article needs a few major sections "Ancient Greek Skepticism" and "Contemporary Skepticism" for example. Kyle(talk) 09:52, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

I'd like to clean up the article further, with the aim of being more rigorous. The most sensible structure I see the article taking is to bifurcate into two notions: One being the philosophical notion of skepticism, which is more formal, academic and systematic. The second would be the social category, under which we might want to discuss science skepticism, religious skepticism, and the like. If anyone has any further ideas (or objections!), let me know. BabyJonas (talk) 06:16, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

Do you have any reliable sources that group those things that way, or is this just original research of yours? --Hob Gadling (talk) 11:18, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
Textbooks on philosophy sound good to me. Got any other suggestions? BabyJonas (talk) 15:06, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
I didn't ask if you have any idea in which category reliable sources grouping those things that way could possibly be found in libraries. I asked if you have any reliable sources grouping those things that way. In order to name them in the article. Because it sounded as if the grouping was your own idea (WP:OR). --Hob Gadling (talk) 07:46, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
There are no sociological studies on skepticism, at least those that include both a philosophical and sociological analysis of skepticism, that I'm aware of. But that doesn't matter; article structure is not WP:OR. It should be evident in the content of these articles, an appearance not requiring original research, that the content falls into two broad categories: Sociological skepticism, and philosophical skepticism. To allay your concerns further, it's worth pointing out that one doesn't have to use the title sociological skepticism to cover the content that falls into this category. BabyJonas (talk) 23:10, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
I still suspect that your pro-woo, anti-skeptics POV will somehow ooze in but I'll just wait and see - maybe it won't. --Hob Gadling (talk) 10:57, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
WP:GOODFAITH BabyJonas (talk) 12:22, 7 July 2016 (UTC)