- Disabuse yourself of the notion that something can be deduced from an unknown. (Just because something is unknown doesn't mean you can jump to any kind of conclusion based on that. Doing so is an argument from ignorance.)
- Disabuse yourself of the notion that eyewitness testimony is in any way reliable. (It just isn't. This subject is too extensive to comment in more depth here.) Also disabuse yourself of the notion that the reliability of eyewitness testimony has anything to do with honesty, intelligence or mental illness. Also things like profession, education, titles and ranks have little to do with this.
- Disabuse yourself of the notion that human feelings and emotions, no matter how strong, are more reliable than physical observation, measurement and testing.
- Disabuse yourself of the notion that all evidence is good evidence. (Not all evidence is valid, and even good evidence can be misinterpreted and misattributed.)
- Disabuse yourself of the notion that "the official explanation" must always be a false explanation and a coverup. (This doesn't mean that you should always accept official explanations without question. It means that you should get rid of the instinct to always reject it automatically.) Also disabuse yourself of the notion that experts aren't.
- Study how science works. Shove aside prejudice and misinformation about science and the scientific method, and get some actual information about it instead. Educate yourself, take classes, enroll in an educational institution, get first-hand experience on science. Disabuse yourself of the notion that the world-wide scientific community is in a huge conspiracy to discredit your world view.
- Disabuse yourself of the notion that skepticism means "stubborn closed-mindedness". Also disabuse yourself of the notion that "open-mindedness" means that you should accept everything based solely on questionable evidence (such as eyewitness testimony.)
Monday, November 12, 2012
A guide to skepticism
I thought I'd lay out some of the basic principles on how one can gain more insight into skepticism and have a more rational approach at understanding reality, as well as understanding our limits in knowledge and avoid making deductive mistakes.
Posted by Warp at 1:10 AM