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JREF Forum posts: "Comprehensive characteristics of the pseudoskeptic"

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)

RG

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)

Excellent material, thank you!

You might want to include the link to the original here:

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?p=5592493

Boris Epstein

jref

jref forums must be one of the biggest cess pits on the internet. such stupidity and malice
have i rarely seen as i've seen there. this will go nicely with 25 rules of disinfo. thanks!

"crap rolls uphill"

The value of properly finishing arguments with our detractors

Thanks for this.

I am glad that some see the value in arguing with 'debunkers'.

I don't see arguing with usually disingenuous debaters as inherently a good thing, but it is important that, on every possible occasion, we put on the record clear evidence that their arguments are fraudulent and wrong.

(Conversely, if we can be shown to be wrong, which, obviously, I have yet to see, then it is incumbent upon us to change our views.)

At the time I was trying to sort out my views on 9/11, I did start and online forum discussion to see if anyone could prove the case of the 9/11 Truth Movement wrong. I was mostly convinced of the case of the 9/11 Truth movement, but not entirely sure.

However, observing the quality of the arguments in favour of the Official account of 9/11 quickly firmed up my views in favour of the 9/11 Truth Movement. That argument is "9/11+Truth" which began on 22 September 2008 and was closed off as a result of my forgetting to post for 3 weeks after 30 April 2009.

Another horrifically long argument, largely marred by a number of nasty trolls ganging up on me is on the Australian supposedly 'left of center' web site, larvatusprodeo.net. I think I can fairly say, I got the upper hand towards the end, before the moderator made an unjustified nasty personal attack on me and closed down the discussion.

I wrote a short piece about the latter debate, which I mean to expand upon some time, with specific examples of dishonest 'debunker' debating techniques. It is Cyber-bullying and 9/11 Truth of 30 Dec 2009.

These days, such arguments are usually much, much shorter. See, as examples:

* The forum+discussion in response to the article "Australia,+Afghanistan+and+three+unanswered+questions" of 11 Feb 10.

* The forum+discussion in response to the article "Bin+Laden's+unpaid+media+push" of 9 Feb 10.

I get the impression that the 'debunkers' don't like leaving arguments by myself and other 9/11 Truthers stand unchallenged, but they seem to see little other choice.

---

Some in the 9/11 Truth Movement who don't see any value in defending the case of the 9/11 Truth Movement all the way before determined debunkers seem to also have taken on one view that I believe to be profoundly mistaken and ultimatetly harmful to our cause if we allow it to be associated with us as some in Australia have allowed it to be. That view is rejection of the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming. That was argued in the forum arising from an embedded video We Are Change Sydney Meets Walk Against Warming.

If the case of We Are Change had any merit, they sure didn't demonstrate it in that video.

As far as I could tell the arguments put by the members of We Are Change were silly and self-contradictory. As one example, one argued that the world was not warming, and then very quickly turned around and said that if the world was warming that would be a good thing, because cold and ice was supposedly the enemy of life (as if intense bush fires, such as last year's Black Saturday bush fires in Australia, and desertification were not). The physicist they were arguing against won hands down in my view, and I believe that is how it will look to any critical-minded member of the public. So, I don't see how that particular video will help the cause of the Australian 9/11 Truth Movement.

So, it seems that had approached that debate and online debates over global warming in the same way that I try to approach arguments about 9/11, they would have come to understand by now that their own anti-AGW stance was wrong and would not be saddling the Australian 9/11 Truth movement with a position that most informed people undersand to be nonsense.

(BTW, I happen to agree with some anti-AGW advocates that any carbon trading scheme, supposedly to mitigate global warming is a scam that will do far more harm than good, but that is another question.)

http://candobetter.org/911truth

No contradiction?

"As far as I could tell the arguments put by the members of We Are Change were silly and self-contradictory. As one example, one argued that the world was not warming, and then very quickly turned around and said that if the world was warming that would be a good thing, because cold and ice was supposedly the enemy of life (as if intense bush fires, such as last year's Black Saturday bush fires in Australia, and desertification were not)."

I can't see what the contradiction is here.. isn't he just saying he doesn't think the world is getting warmer, but if it was there would be benefits?

"I don't see arguing with

"I don't see arguing with usually disingenuous debaters as inherently a good thing," I AGREE

"but it is important that, on every possible occasion, we put on the record clear evidence that their arguments are fraudulent and wrong."

THIS IS WHERE WE PART COMPANY. Why is it important to counter their arguments on every possible occasion? You haven't sufficiently explained it's value, IMO. Some of these debunkers are not merely innocents who disagree with us, but planted saboteurs, whose intent it is to cause damage to our movement. Those of us who are sincere can quickly determine using our instincts if someone with different views is genuine or not. I still contend that in order to do their job, disrupters have to get us to confront them, to which I say: "Sorry, find another fool!"

I agree with you that we have allowed some other opinions on issues unrelated to 9/11 to become entwined with our message, and IMO you're right to suggest that we need to carefully separate them out.

Some satirical advice from Montreal:

"As far as I could tell the

"As far as I could tell the arguments put by the members of We Are Change were silly and self-contradictory. As one example, one argued that the world was not warming, and then very quickly turned around and said that if the world was warming that would be a good thing, because cold and ice was supposedly the enemy of life (as if intense bush fires, such as last year's Black Saturday bush fires in Australia, and desertification were not). The physicist they were arguing against won hands down in my view, and I believe that is how it will look to any critical-minded member of the public. So, I don't see how that particular video will help the cause of the Australian 9/11 Truth Movement.

So, it seems that had approached that debate and online debates over global warming in the same way that I try to approach arguments about 9/11, they would have come to understand by now that their own anti-AGW stance was wrong and would not be saddling the Australian 9/11 Truth movement with a position that most informed people undersand to be nonsense.

(BTW, I happen to agree with some anti-AGW advocates that any carbon trading scheme, supposedly to mitigate global warming is a scam that will do far more harm than good, but that is another question.)"

Exactly!!! What a turn-off for those of us who agree that human consumption of carbon fuel contributes to climate change, and at the same time question the carbon trading scheme. I hope these guys were trolls.
I wish the 9/11 Truth movement would stick to science and the fact that 9/11truth puts us on a path to gain an understanding of "deep government"...and end war.

DON'T FORGET

Don’t forget this is the TRUTH Movement.
We must replace 9/11lies with the truth wherever we find them.
This movement was built and continues to be built one person at a time.
Remember that the uninformed may stumble on any site at any time. If they have no agenda, and only seek the truth, we must be there to weigh the fact-bearing truth against the name-calling deniers. It is for these people, not the shills, we do this. And it is important work.
First they ignore us, then they ridicule us, then they attack us, then we win.

Effective satire

Thanks for that video. Among other things, it provides an opportunity for some self-assessment.

For example, I may, at times--out of exasperation--have resorted to the 'brainwashed' line of rhetoric.

But I have never--and hereby pledge that I never will--tell anyone that they 'need to, like, detox from, like, the New World Order.'

The post avoids one of the

The post avoids one of the most stunning aspects of the 9/11 Truth movement. Research and compiling evidence is only the beginning of a legal case or even a scientific one. in the case of a scientific investigation you have to connect the dots and advance a new hypothesis, either improving on the old one or knocking it down and standing up a new one that includes all the evidence.

In a legal environment or one of social justice the evidence needs to be presented to an institution which is capable of dispensing justice, accountability, and or revising laws and policies which govern our society.

Since the truth movement is convinced (and with good cause) that the evidence they have compiled fundamentally challenges the official conspiracy theory, they need to address the fact that:

1. The institutions which would be expected to act on this evidence have not to date
2. They have made little or no effort to make the institutions accountable to fulfill their obligations and mandate to the people's expectations to provide justice.
3. Naively expected that "the truth itself" has legs to right the wrongs.

Essentially the truth movement has done an excellent job of evidence gathering which flies in the face of the OCT and done little about actually displacing that OCT.

Analogy time. Detectives dig up the evidence and even connect the dots. Prosecutes then determine if there evidence of a crime and if there is will bring charges in a court proceeding. He will use that evidence to prove the case to the legal standard required - either by a preponderance of the evidence, or beyond a reasonable doubt. His case will often have to prove that the defendant had the means, motive and opportunity to commit the crime and will have to convince a jury of this.

Time for opening up another front and some strategy sessions in the 9/11 truth movement.

“We Welcome All Infiltrators, Spies, and True Skeptics"

"We have nothing to hide, please join us." could be written right next to “Paying Attention to 9/11 Related News” at the top of the 911 Blogger home page. With experience we will each figure out where to best direct our energy. Some 911 truth activists may want to wake up new people with the “Jaw Dropping” videos of WTC7, some may want to share new information regarding 9/11 by doing in-depth research, and others may want to debate a handful debunkers and spies all day long.

Thanks for the list Richard!

Happy Valentines Day!

Steve Walker

Super!

I have produced an even shorter form that is helpful:

Pseudoskeptics make unsubstantiated claims to wipe even questions from real skeptics from the table.

(you must never make an unsubstantiated claim of course, especially if you are a real skeptic. The pseudoskeptic unmasks himself by making such claims all the time)

a lively debate

Here is a refreshing piece of work by David Owen, who has put a great deal of work into the subject of what hit the Pentagon. You will see how he deals with the pseudoskeptic.

http://www.youtube.com/user/brokenstyx#p/c/1EEBAB7C327359FB

By the way I think this 9/11 Truth movement would do well to avoid making strong assertions at present about the global warming debate. Recent developments in this area have shown that there is now widespread concern that the IPCC authors have resorted to exaggeration, selective reporting, misreporting, attempted blocking of FOI requests, applying pressure to journals to censor papers by scientists who dispute the IPCC position, and reliance on temperature data which has been adjusted for improper reasons by others.

Here is a good site to keep up with this debate and I suggest that anyone interested in contributing to this debate should do it there, not here.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/

I agree with your words of caution about global warming.

I will not get into a debate here about global warming however Franks comments above are right on the money and I also strongly caution against making strong assertions about man made global warming. I have done a great deal of research into the issue recently and debated it to the tune of over 150 pages worth here: http://randirhodes.freeforums.org/copenhagen-t3877.html I post there as PSYOP. Bottom line the IPCC and others including NOAA and NASA now have been exposed for cooking the books and it looks more and more like a giant scam to make money off world wide CO2 taxes and CO2 credit/trade schemes. I recommend applying the same skepticism to the man made global warming issue as you do to 9/11. You will find out right away if you look at the issue objectively that things just don't add up.

We frame ourselves by calling them debunkers.

We truthers frame ourselves every time we refer to JREFers as debunkers. Just by calling them debunkers we are giving them a big advantage. What do debunkers do? They expose bunk. By calling them debunkers we are framing ourselves into a situation of disadvantage right off the bat. If anything is true we the members of the truth movement are the debunkers. JREFers are NOT debunkers some of them are paid disinformationists. Some of them are just unfortunate people stuck in deep denial. None of them are debunkers. We need to stop framing ourselves by using the language of our opposition. I wrote about another "frame" we truthers regularly put ourselves into here: http://www.911blogger.com/node/20566

I call them "anti-truthers" or "falsers"

I agree that calling them debunkers is giving them more dignity than they deserve. WE are the REAL debunkers because we debunked the official story to high heaven.

It's obvious to me who's paid to post at JREF.

For those who don't know the history of the genesis of the 9/11 CT subforum over there: The 9/11 forum at randi.org did not exist until Loose Change became a viral hit. Someone started a thread about Loose Change one day, and the thread took off and soon thereafter the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories subforum was born. Here+is+the+post+that+started+it+all+off:

Has anyone else seen this 9/11 conspiracy theory "documentary?" A friend asked me to watch it, and it's making me so angry I can't say anything intelligible about it. We're going to be stuck forever with people denying this tragedy just like we're stuck with people denying the Holocaust.

It's all over google video. Just type in "Loose Change" if you hate your brain.

ETA: http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=Loose+Change

The people who registered an account there AFTER this thread was born, and who average about 8,000 posts a year, and who don't post on other JREF subforums, are IMHO the ones who get paid to do it.

Those with much lower post counts are probably the "ordinary folks."

I have recently heard them called "trusters"

Trusters as in official story trusters. Easily converted to twusters. They trust everything that is the official narrative.

JREF entries often at top of Google. Welcoming Critical Thinkers

It is important to keep up a presence on the JREF "Critical Thinking" forum, as it is often near the top of Google, which picks up the occurrences of key words about 9/11. If we just leave it wide open to Trusters, then the general public only sees what they write.

9/11 has the most JREF threads, and its own major category.
http://forums.randi.org/forumdisplay.php?f=64

You will find many examples of PseudoSkeptics. With this list of the Characteristics I feel well armed. Their arguments are easy to debunk. There is a lot comments where Critical comes before the than Thinking.

Many of them use childish ad hominem attacks. Just call them out on that. A surprising number of JREFers are intelligent and well informed on 9/11 issues. I found out about April Gallop's April 5th hearing on JREF, found nothing about it on 911Blogger, and made a post.

For example, there is a thread about the number of Architects and Engineers on the Petition list.
http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=129163

Remember that true Critical Thinkers are future Truthers. They are just waiting to be shown the hard evidence.

If we have the truth, it can stand up to any Critical Thinkers. The hardest skeptics can make the best future proponents.