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AcroPhile 12-01-2011 01:15 PM

Thinking Critically
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Over the past few months I have seen a number of threads pop up regarding religion and atheism, aliens, the rapture, stupidity of politicians, gays in the military and the list goes on... People here seem to have a wide range of beliefs on these subjects so I thought it would interesting to introduce to SBF a podcast called Skeptoid that deals with many of these subjects from an unbiased standpoint and analyzed using critical thinking methodology. The creator of these podcasts is a guy caled Brian Dunning and they are available either though his website, or through iTunes. Each episode is about 10 - 15 minutes long and is a great listen whenever there is a few minutes to kill or during a commute to/from work. Here is a short list of some of my favorites and also some episodes that pertain so recent discussions we've had here.

The Science of Voting (Skeptoid #281) - Are democratic elections actually as free and fair as we think they are?

"Curing" Gays (Skeptoid #265) - Do therapies intended to help gays become straight actually work?

New Age Energy (Skeptoid #01)

Ann Coulter, Scientist (Skeptoid #69) - Conservative pundit Ann Coulter should stick to politics; her science is too screwed up for words.

Who Kills More, Religion or Atheism? (Skeptoid #76) - Has religion or atheism been responsible for the greater death toll throughout human history?

What Do Creationists Really Believe? (Skeptoid #82) - Creationism is not one set of beliefs - it is a battleground of dramatically conflicting world views.

The World According to Conservapedia (Skeptoid #120) - A new Young Earth Fundamentalist online encyclopedia rears its ugly head.

Sarah Palin Is Not Stupid (Skeptoid #160) - Is an ad hominem attack really the best way to express disagreement?

Vaccine Ingredients (Skeptoid #180) - Do vaccines really contain the horrifying poisons claimed by antivaccine activists?

Zeitgeist: The Movie, Myths, and Motivations (Skeptoid #196) - The Internet movie Zeitgeist uses flagrant dishonesty to make an ideological point that could have easily been made ethically.

Blood for Oil (Skeptoid #32) - Is the war in the Middle East really being waged for oil?

Organic Food Myths (Skeptoid #19) - Is it a revolution in health and the environment, or a counterproductive fad?

snowjeeper 12-01-2011 02:59 PM

I've read through a number of his articles and they are for the most part very good. Very intellectually honest.

Unfortunately people who read Conservapedia are already fucking morons, so they aren't going to listen to a guy like this anyway.

People who believe that Obama is a socialist muslim anti-christ are already fucking morons, they can't be reasoned with.

As seen on every political forum on the internet, unreasonable people like MPD can't be logically conversed with.

*see what I did there?*

JeffreyCH 12-01-2011 05:39 PM

Good stuff on there :thumbsup: I like how (on the site) you can either listen or read the articles. Thanks for posting.

Donutz 12-01-2011 08:38 PM

I'll definitely be subscribing to that.


Does it have pictures of boobies? :laugh:

AcroPhile 12-01-2011 08:57 PM

72 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Donutz (Post 447042)
Does it have pictures of boobies? :laugh:

It should. :D

dreampow 12-02-2011 05:31 AM

This looks good to me in that its good to take anything with a pinch of salt. Misinformation is everywhere and its a good idea to look objectively at both ends of the spectrum and see what works for you.

That includes the personal views of this guy, I would take them with a pinch of salt!

snowjeeper 12-02-2011 08:58 AM

On most of his articles, there wasn't a lot of opinion involved so that's refreshing.

Extremo 12-02-2011 03:15 PM


Originally Posted by dreampow (Post 447142)
This looks good to me in that its good to take anything with a pinch of salt. Misinformation is everywhere and its a good idea to look objectively at both ends of the spectrum and see what works for you.

That includes the personal views of this guy, I would take them with a pinch of salt!

You don't find this ironic that you're heeding critical thinkers to approach podcasts about critical thinking with critical thinking?

snowjeeper 12-02-2011 04:45 PM

Sounds like a paradox to me!

dreampow 12-02-2011 08:02 PM

He has his opinions just like everyone else, you really believe its totally objective?

No human being is totally objective.

I agree with this guy on quite a few points, but by no means all.

Just as everything else I would take it with a pinch of salt (which is consistent with what he is saying I guess).

At the end of the day its up to us to find our own stance on things. To me critical thinking and logic are valuable tools but not the only tools we have to decide things. I spent years in the world of science where everything is supposed to be about critical thinking and logic. Reality is its often warped by concerns for funding.
He had good experiences with modern medicine and is to some extent championing it IMO. I know many people who have had really bad experiences (operations that made things worse, side effects worse than the original condition etc,etc) and great experiences with alternative techniques.

Of course some conditions are better treated with modern medicine while others are not IMO. Plenty of bullshit alternative treatments and plenty of bullshit pharmaceutical products too.

I like going with my instincts and gut feelings as well as critical thinking. Right now I am looking for a house. Of course I want to make sure its sound structurally and will do all the logical checks. Once the checks are done I go with my gut feeling about a place to make the final choice. I have always trusted my gut instincts about people too, not scientific but its worked for me.
I am not dissing this guy or trying to start an argument, just sharing my opinion;).

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