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How to be a responsible skeptic

When we positively assert something, we are making ontological claims. We are all doing it all the time, often without even knowing it. We are essentially claiming that a phenomenon or thing 'is' (exists) or that A causes B, for example. We can also make a positive ontological claim of non existence or that A does not cause B. To be intellectually honest, these assertions carry with them an obligation on our part to support that claim using reason and evidence.

Information

We live at an amazing time. Information has never been so available and abundant. Modern technology affords virtually every human being the ability to access a global database of human knowledge and information with only a few keystrokes and a cheap internet connection. We have the instantaneous capability to query, parse and review all of recorded history, legal and political deliberations and records, public companies' financial information, education resources and technical scholarly material, including the most cutting edge ideas and data in science and technology.

To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.

Thomas Paine (Click here to learn more)
http://www.selcukerdem.com/

What does solipsism, postmodernism, biocentrism, relativism –moral or any other– and supernaturalism have in common? They claim there is no “objective” reality. Invariably, a conversation about scientific realism or morality ends up hitting the wall of “subjectivity”. “But all of your arguments are only subjective! How can you say they are applicable to anyone else?” Also, invariably, quantum mechanics is used as “scientific proof” of solipsism; our “consciousness” creates the world, after all.

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“Why” is the question word that asks for the “reason” behind things. However, “reason” can mean both the cause that leads to a specific outcome (Why do objects fall? Because gravity pulls them towards the earth) and the purpose behind a specific outcome that will be fulfilled after its realization (Why did you turn on the oven? Because I want to bake something).

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