Define skeptic for me

I’ve said this in different ways, usually in the heat of some discussion. Nice to step back and take a clear look at it.

Now, take a moment to reflect. Are those not the same things skeptics say about believers? They are, exactly. Skeptics and believers tend to follow the same thought processes, and come to conclusions that validate their own methods and beliefs, and invalidate those of their opponent.

I have a really tough time with that sort of argument (or cliche’) because I know from my own experience that soberly understanding the physical world around me is my highest priority. One that aces my ever so tender ego, along with my occasional delusions of grandeur and bubbles bursting.

I appreciate that being proven wrong is somewhat painful, but so is child birth, still look at the rewards for going through it. It’s the more complete understanding of our place on this planet and in the universe, the one that harmonizes the best with all I’ve experienced and learned about.

Pain is part of living, processing and overcoming personal pain is where the real rewards start coming in. When most stressed, we’re open to most learning and change potential. Which I think is one of Vervaeke main themes, buried under all the verbiage.

For example, a 9/11 Truther honestly believes that what everyone observed on 9/11 is not what happened, and that the consensus of what witnesses, victims, law enforcement, and emergency services experienced on that day is merely a government fabrication. They are skeptical of that fabrication, and thus consider themselves skeptics.

This also disturbs me. Not a mention about the massive amounts of deliberate deception, and strategic advertising, and strategic focused brainwashing that has been involved in developing some of these conspiracy theories.

The real difference between skeptics and believers is that skeptics have a useful foundation of scientific knowledge and an aptitude for following the scientific method. These tools allow us to distinguish poor quality evidence from good quality evidence. And, importantly, they help restrain us from drawing poorly supported conclusions from the evidence that we do accept, no matter how strongly we want those conclusions to be justified.

It seems that this is the place to discuss our relation with our EGO, how invested are we in our own ego. Is a sense of self-deprecating part of your make up, and I don’t mean “undervaluation of oneself”, for me it’s more like awareness not to “overvalue” oneself, to appreciate that we are on a journey and that it matters how we carry ourselves throughout the journey.

That’s why I like the article. It starts at that uncomfortable reality, that others can look at the same data and arrive at a different conclusion. It walks through the human faults that create that. The end, which you quoted, distinguishes what is needed to bring us together.

It would take a lot more work to address all your concerns and maybe teach the type of thinking it’s talking about, but it’s just one article.

There is a basic assumption inherent in this argument, and it seems to me that this assumption gets to the true heart of the matter. That is that only hard, scientifically provable evidence is high quality. Psychic phenonmenon do not yield to standards of scientific proof, therfore they do not exist. The same can be said for intuition, certain spontaneous, emotional states, and love. I take my facts according to science, but at the same time I would never say that love doesn’t exist. Unfalsifiable, to me, simply means a thing is not a fact, not that it doesn’t exist. It is still evidence of something - it is evidence of scientific uncertainty.

This is why I think it’s important to digest,
“The Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide”

Love (etc) is real, but our awareness is a product of the mind.

Love is also a product of the body’s biological processes and hormones dealing with some physical reality standing in front of you. We humans with our fantastical brains, can fold all sort of stories into that experience of Love, that other creature would be incapable of, even though on their own level they do experience love, even if without all the window dressing human are capable of weaving into it.

That would be part of the method. The article isn’t about proving or disproving the existence of love. Here’s the conclusion

So don’t focus on buzzword labels like “closed minded” or “true believer”. You can be both of those things and still be able to properly analyze evidence and draw a supported conclusion. You can also be guilty of neither fault, and yet be unable to distinguish a well-supported conclusion from mountains of poor evidence. Focus on the method behind the conclusion. Focus on the quality of evidence that supports the conclusion


IMO, love is a product of the empathic neural system. When our memory systems agree with what is being observed we call it reality and a cognitive bond is established, called "affection or love. (Anil Seth)