Recently I've been made aware of this weird group of new writers identifying themselves as skeptics who came out in droves basically telling people like me that we're doing it wrong. We need to stop being "mean". One of these writers in particular resorted to trickery and deceit to try and defend and promote the position he and his sock puppets held.
Just because I identify myself as a critical thinker doesn't mean that I'm on a crusade to join a skeptical "movement" that has no clearly defined goals I'm aware of. Yes, we may all agree that Sylvia Browne can not speak to the ethereal egos of dead people. We may even agree that we hope other people will realize this so she and other charlatans are exposed as deluded or even frauds. One way of doing this is to take their claims and present thouroughly researched evidence as to why they are bogus.
But sometimes I just feel like saying that Sylvia Browne is a pus-filled ass boil.
No claim refuted, just good old fashioned disgust for another skidmark on the underwear that is humanity.
That's why claims like this piss me off:
If you really want to counter [woo belief], choose one of the claims [woo] makes, do some research, and write a nice blog entry showing where [they go] wrong and what the evidence says, but do not resort to ad-hominem attacks. We are skeptics and we ought to be better than that.Since no evidence for the claim is provided, my critical thinking mind leads me to believe this dude just likes the sound of his own voice so he made up a position he likes the sound of, puts a "King of the Skeptics" hat on and proceeds to proclaim this postion as superior to other methods. Or, to put it another way, HIZ SKEPTICZ R BETTAR THN UR SKEPTICZ!!!1!1
What this guy doesn't realize is that sometimes being an asshole is not only fun, but gets one's point across with brevity and (hopefully) wit.
For example, Don is still getting moronic responses to an article he wrote about a particular snake oila year ago. The article and it's pursuant comments have time and again explained not only that science says this snake oil is useless, but that the anecdotes provided by the believers are worthless as evidence. That doesn't stop the idiots from coming out in droves to repeat the same arguments that were debunked a hundred times.
So maybe we can take a different approach: spray on a good thick coat of smart-ass. Even if the original commenter can't see how lame she is, an observer with half a brain can and may be swayed by this method rather than the nicey-nice championed by guys like Skepdude.
My last example may be the most frightening. See, I've been writing blog articles for about five years now which is four and a half years longer than most people. And back in my day, we roasted moronic trolls not only for fun but also to show fence-sitting observers how silly their beliefs were. The most beloved of our pets was Cocksnack. I asked Cocksnack something to the effect of
If there were no god, and therefore no Bible to provide your moral compass, would you start killing people?
His response? Yes, if there were no god and therefore no Bible, he would probably just kill people.
Rather than writing a "nice blog entry" about where he goes wrong, I just told him to hold onto that god belief for dear fucking life.
The point is, bombast is what convinced me. Others making fun of silly beliefs is what made me question my own silly beliefs. Do I want people to start thinking critically? Absolutely. Am I trying to do so in every blog article I post? Absolutely not.
Now quit trying to tell me what to do and how to do it fucktards.