+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 14 of 14
General Chat Thread, Dr Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy in General; Dr Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy- gives a lovely little talk on a radical new approach for dealing with the ...
  1. #1

    mattx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    9,229
    Thank Post
    1,056
    Thanked 1,066 Times in 623 Posts
    Rep Power
    739

    Dr Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy

    Dr Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy- gives a lovely little talk on a radical new approach for dealing with the less skeptical amongst us.


  2. 3 Thanks to mattx:

    Andrew_C (22nd August 2010), joe90bass (22nd August 2010), tmcd35 (23rd August 2010)

  3. #2

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minehead
    Posts
    17,096
    Thank Post
    511
    Thanked 2,310 Times in 1,786 Posts
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    803
    Very nice. So true too. I remember an old vegan friend of mine saying that before he became a vegan his activist friends would shout at him and make him out to be evil because he ate meat and dairy. Only when he moved and became part of a group which didn't behave like that did he start to discuss it and change his mind.

    That old adage 'you get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar' comes to mind.

    That said - some people are just idiots, and no amount of sensible discourse will change their minds. Can you imagine convincing Sarah Palin of anything?

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Corby
    Posts
    1,056
    Thank Post
    12
    Thanked 20 Times in 18 Posts
    Rep Power
    23
    Ironically you mention "idiots" when in fact the video was partly about people who make those kinds of judgments about other people based on their scientific position. Would you care to classify what you mean by "idiot" and who exactly (with examples) you are talking about?

    If by "idiots" you mean people (yes- scientists and historians) who have valid PhDs and research degrees in their area interpreting evidence through the lens of a different framework, then I think you need to take the guy's advice. There are many scientists who are not "skeptical" (whatever you mean by that) and yet never go as far as making judgments against other people based on religious belief or scientific position.

    There might be a lesson there.

    I will wait for your reply.

    Paul

  5. #4

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minehead
    Posts
    17,096
    Thank Post
    511
    Thanked 2,310 Times in 1,786 Posts
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    803
    Quote Originally Posted by kingswood View Post
    Ironically you mention "idiots" when in fact the video was partly about people who make those kinds of judgments about other people based on their scientific position. Would you care to classify what you mean by "idiot" and who exactly (with examples) you are talking about?

    If by "idiots" you mean people (yes- scientists and historians) who have valid PhDs and research degrees in their area interpreting evidence through the lens of a different framework, then I think you need to take the guy's advice. There are many scientists who are not "skeptical" (whatever you mean by that) and yet never go as far as making judgments against other people based on religious belief or scientific position.

    There might be a lesson there.

    I will wait for your reply.

    Paul
    No, I mean people who use their supposed beliefs for ends other than simply believing in them. For example, politicians who life, cheat and steal whilst using their 'belief' in religion (mostly christian, based on the sample I've seen, being based in the UK and reading UK and US news) to justify laws etc...

    They are idiots in my mind. Some of them may even believe that they are christian, but are deluding themselves, others know they aren't and are just swindling people.

    Now, think I'm being one of those people that this talk is about it?

    Do you have an issue with the idea of skepticism? Your writing style seems to indicate that you do.

  6. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Corby
    Posts
    1,056
    Thank Post
    12
    Thanked 20 Times in 18 Posts
    Rep Power
    23
    I think when you talk about justification of laws etc., you have to realise that they are all based on some kind of world view. Whether that view is formed through a skepticism or religious belief makes no difference. You still require some foundation on which to base a moral or practical law. Some Christian groups in the USA (as an example) have laws pushed through their legislative process that promote their beliefs and I guess that is what you are referring to. That is wrong. But it is only wrong if you don't believe what they do- and when you really think about it (properly) you have to finally admit that they wouldn't like your laws for the same reason. So it's an acceptance really that the framework through which you see the world exists and that it influences your perception of politics and life and the way in which you view justice and skepticism and all those things.

    In addition to all of that you really have to show that "intention" was warped in the first instance before calling them "idiots". Even in UK law we have some precedent for making conclusions based on pre-meditation etc. The fact that people follow them and that their arguments resonate with some probably indicates something more than idiocy at work. Look at Hitler and his justification of war and genocide and the way people followed him.

    And then we have to admit that beliefs do (and by their nature *should*) influence the things around us. Otherwise they would be pretty pointless. Take, for example, Christianity. If you believe in an all-powerful creator God who is interested in His creation at every level and a person believes this it will indeed have an impact across all facets of their lives - and those around them. Some of the greatest social work has been carried out under the "influence" of such a faith and its action- and paradoxically some of the worst of human nature displayed. And that is the paradox. Whether you are a "skeptic" and hold no "faith" except in man's prowess and ability to push forward you inevitably mess with this paradox- that people of faith and people of no faith (questionable) have the ability to cause suffering or improvement.

    That is fact.

    Those a bit more skeptical (and there's nothing wrong per se with skepticism) will admit that bad things happen and people twist truth and lie for their own ends and will use this as a further evidence that Christianity (or any other faith) is false and indeed empty; whereas those who have genuine faith (which is something you at least allow) will realise that this is why they look to someone outside of themselves for hope...

    I'm not sure that my writing style says I have an issue with anything other than your assertion that people you disagree with- or who disagree with you or your own thought system- are idiots

    Take care,

    Paul

  7. #6

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minehead
    Posts
    17,096
    Thank Post
    511
    Thanked 2,310 Times in 1,786 Posts
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    803
    You missed my point. My point was that those who claim to have beliefs but show examples every day that they don't - eg. stealing, cheating etc... (look at examples such as republican, highly religious politicians who come out and say that homosexuality is 'evil' and then turn out to be gay themselves.

    Those are the people who are idiots.

  8. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Corby
    Posts
    1,056
    Thank Post
    12
    Thanked 20 Times in 18 Posts
    Rep Power
    23
    ...and that was my ending point actually. The skeptic will claim idiocy and the person of faith turn and look outwards knowing that this is the human paradox.

    Good discussion!

    Take care!!

    Paul

  9. #8

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minehead
    Posts
    17,096
    Thank Post
    511
    Thanked 2,310 Times in 1,786 Posts
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    803
    Quote Originally Posted by kingswood View Post
    ...and that was my ending point actually. The skeptic will claim idiocy and the person of faith turn and look outwards knowing that this is the human paradox.
    You presume too much of people with faith, and too little of skeptics.
    Last edited by localzuk; 22nd August 2010 at 08:47 PM.

  10. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Corby
    Posts
    1,056
    Thank Post
    12
    Thanked 20 Times in 18 Posts
    Rep Power
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    You presume too much of people with faith, and too little of skeptics.
    Perhaps.

    I am sure there is a lesson in that for both of us

    Paul

  11. #10
    techtopia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    89
    Thank Post
    27
    Thanked 18 Times in 6 Posts
    Rep Power
    43
    He was featured in a program series I've just been watching on Discovery, "How the Universe Works". Fascinating series of programs, each one concentrating on different aspects of the Universe. I thoroughly enjoyed it - thank goodness for Sky+ !

  12. #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,161
    Thank Post
    95
    Thanked 318 Times in 260 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4
    Rep Power
    111
    Quote Originally Posted by kingswood View Post
    I think when you talk about justification of laws etc., you have to realise that they are all based on some kind of world view. Whether that view is formed through a skepticism or religious belief makes no difference. You still require some foundation on which to base a moral or practical law. Some Christian groups in the USA (as an example) have laws pushed through their legislative process that promote their beliefs and I guess that is what you are referring to. That is wrong. But it is only wrong if you don't believe what they do- and when you really think about it (properly) you have to finally admit that they wouldn't like your laws for the same reason.
    Where those laws restrict what people can do, then they need to be backed up by something more than just 'belief'. There is a right to freely practice your religion, but not to push the tenets of your religion onto someone else.

    So it's an acceptance really that the framework through which you see the world exists and that it influences your perception of politics and life and the way in which you view justice and skepticism and all those things.
    Which is fine, so long as you are not trying to enforce the restrictive aspects of that worldview onto someone else. Even more so when you fail to adhere to it, and still try and legally enforce the principles.

    In addition to all of that you really have to show that "intention" was warped in the first instance before calling them "idiots". Even in UK law we have some precedent for making conclusions based on pre-meditation etc. The fact that people follow them and that their arguments resonate with some probably indicates something more than idiocy at work. Look at Hitler and his justification of war and genocide and the way people followed him.
    Just because a lot of people agree with something does not mean it is not idiotic, ignorant or wrong.

    And then we have to admit that beliefs do (and by their nature *should*) influence the things around us. Otherwise they would be pretty pointless. Take, for example, Christianity. If you believe in an all-powerful creator God who is interested in His creation at every level and a person believes this it will indeed have an impact across all facets of their lives - and those around them. Some of the greatest social work has been carried out under the "influence" of such a faith and its action- and paradoxically some of the worst of human nature displayed.
    It's really irritating when this argument comes up - some of the greatest social and charity work has also been carried out without the influence of a faith, other than a general belief that you should be nice to people. Equally some of the worst of human nature has come from a non-faith-based view.

    And that is the paradox. Whether you are a "skeptic" and hold no "faith" except in man's prowess and ability to push forward you inevitably mess with this paradox- that people of faith and people of no faith (questionable) have the ability to cause suffering or improvement.
    Why questionable? Not very open-minded of you.

    Those a bit more skeptical (and there's nothing wrong per se with skepticism) will admit that bad things happen and people twist truth and lie for their own ends and will use this as a further evidence that Christianity (or any other faith) is false and indeed empty; whereas those who have genuine faith (which is something you at least allow) will realise that this is why they look to someone outside of themselves for hope...
    There's nothing wrong with skepticism, not per se, just generally nothing wrong with it. And why do you suggest that skeptics can't admire someone's moral code? In many ways an atheist who is a good person is more admirable than a theist, as their moral code is purely self-imposed rather than pressed upon them by hope of reward or fear of punishment.

    I'm not sure that my writing style says I have an issue with anything other than your assertion that people you disagree with- or who disagree with you or your own thought system- are idiots
    That wasn't the assertion he made. The assertion is that people who profess a particular code, try to impose it on others, but fail to follow it themselves are idiots. Not that those who profess a code and attempt to follow it, but occasionally fail are idiots - it only becomes idiotic when they are trying to enforce that code upon others.

    In other words if you're trying to force people into doing something, you better live up to your own standards.

  13. #12

    Andrew_C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Winchester
    Posts
    2,840
    Thank Post
    62
    Thanked 348 Times in 269 Posts
    Rep Power
    149
    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    That said - some people are just idiots, and no amount of sensible discourse will change their minds. Can you imagine convincing Sarah Palin of anything?
    My take on this aspect of the debate is with the choice of word "idiot". Some non-sceptics are very smart people, just deluded. Again, based on the video, it won't help pointing this out, but that doesn't alter my PoV.

  14. #13

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minehead
    Posts
    17,096
    Thank Post
    511
    Thanked 2,310 Times in 1,786 Posts
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    803
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    My take on this aspect of the debate is with the choice of word "idiot". Some non-sceptics are very smart people, just deluded. Again, based on the video, it won't help pointing this out, but that doesn't alter my PoV.
    True. I can hold a personal opinion of someone, but I don't necessarily tell them it to their face. (If everyone did that, we'd have a lot more fighting and wars going on!)

  15. #14

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,161
    Thank Post
    95
    Thanked 318 Times in 260 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4
    Rep Power
    111
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    My take on this aspect of the debate is with the choice of word "idiot". Some non-sceptics are very smart people, just deluded. Again, based on the video, it won't help pointing this out, but that doesn't alter my PoV.
    He's not really calling non-skeptics idiots, just a certain type of hypocritical, close-minded personality - skeptic or not.

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. [Website] Best astronomy-related college prank ever
    By mattx in forum Jokes/Interweb Things
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 3rd June 2010, 12:03 PM
  2. Prince Phil does it again!
    By CHR1S in forum General Chat
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12th March 2010, 11:18 AM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 28th January 2010, 07:57 PM
  4. lost cd Astronomy Software
    By imiddleton25 in forum Educational Software
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 9th June 2009, 09:27 AM
  5. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 19th February 2008, 02:07 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •