Arguing against BS

Skeptics – Closed Group

What do you guys do when you are talking to someone who says something which you are fairly certain is bullshit, but backs it up with an apparent knowledge of reams of scientific articles (which I suspect are cherry picked, misunderstood, or have poor design)?

Several suggestions:
1/ Start by explicitly rejecting the notion of truth, and accepting that all things believed of reality come with uncertainties.
2/ As Mike says above, Ockham’s Razor then becomes a useful tool.
3/ As David says above – examine arguments for logical fallacies (and doing that requires explicit statement of assumption sets).
4/ Accept that for many things, knowledge will be so uncertain that one must retain multiple competing hypotheses with about equal probability (which can lead one to reject them all as unlikely, and leave the matter as entirely unknown).
5/ Get comfortable with uncertainty. The more time one spends looking at the details of anything, the more it is going to become the environment of necessity.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
This entry was posted in Philosophy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comment and critique welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s