Posts Tagged ‘quotes’

A Name by any other …

August 4, 2009
As many of you who regularly read this journal will know, I have been battling to find the correct term to call myself, what my, dare I say it, my belief system is. Prehaps we should rather call it my lifestyle choice?
I hate to call myself an Atheist for many reasons. I suppose one of the main reasons is the negative association it has. You tell someone you are an Atheist and they immediately turn off to whatever you may have to say.
I also don’t like the idea of Atheist in that I am then defining myself based not on my but on someone else’s beliefs that I do not follow. Calling myself an Atheist is the same as saying, I am not a Theist. Well ok, but what am I?
The other thing about Atheism is that it holds that gods do not exist. The problem with this is that by believing that gods do not exist does create a type of bias, even if a very, very small one.
I prefer the idea of being a skeptic but that too has a negative association.
So what is left?
As a skeptic, a follower of the scientific principal, we are often accused of being closed minded, although that is far from the truth. We are always willing to listen to New ideas, investigate New evidence. The problem is, most of the ideas thrown at us, the majority of evidence given us, is Not New. We have seen it all before, we have tested it all before, we have run all the experiments on it before.
Do you keep on putting you hand in the fire to make sure you will still burn yourself?
You do it once, and maybe, just maybe a second time to verify your results but then you stop.
If you want to tell me the fire does not burn. Fine, you put your hand in the fire first. I have run my experiments already. You do yours. You show me that I was wrong*, then I may try the experiment again.
But You First*.
I like the term, Free Thinker. It hints at the openness to look deeper. The unconfined mind i.e. the mind not confined by any preconceived religious ideas. The idea that I am willing to think and not just believe anything on someone else’s say-so.
Wikipedia has this to say, “Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that beliefs should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or any other dogma.”
That in a nutshell is what I believe.
Now I know one should not beg for comments but what do you think about the above?
* – “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” – Carl Sagan

As many of you who regularly read this journal will know, I have been battling to find the correct term to call myself, what my, dare I say it, my belief system is. Prehaps we should rather call it my lifestyle choice?

I hate to call myself an Atheist for many reasons. I suppose one of the main reasons is the negative association it has. You tell someone you are an Atheist and they immediately turn off to whatever you may have to say.

I also don’t like the idea of Atheist in that I am then defining myself based not on my beliefs but on someone else’s beliefs that I do not follow. Calling myself an Atheist is the same as saying, I am not a Theist. Well ok, but what am I?

The other thing about Atheism is that it holds that gods do not exist. The problem with this is that by believing that gods do not exist does create a type of bias, even if a very, very small one.

I prefer the idea of being a skeptic but that too has a negative association.

So what is left?

As a skeptic, a follower of the scientific principal, we are often accused of being closed minded, although that is far from the truth. We are always willing to listen to New ideas, investigate New evidence. The problem is, most of the ideas thrown at us, the majority of evidence given us, is Not New. We have seen it all before, we have tested it all before, we have run all the experiments on it before.

Do you keep on putting you hand in the fire to make sure you will still burn yourself?

You do it once, and maybe, just maybe a second time to verify your results but then you stop.

If you want to tell me the fire does not burn. Fine, you put your hand in the fire first. I have run my experiments already. You do yours. You show me that I was wrong*, then I may try the experiment again.

But You First*.

I like the term, Free Thinker. It hints at the openness to look deeper. The unconfined mind i.e. the mind not confined by any preconceived religious ideas. The idea that I am willing to think and not just believe anything on someone else’s say-so.

Wikipedia has this to say, “Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that beliefs should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or any other dogma.”

That in a nutshell is what I believe.

* – “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” – Carl Sagan

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The First Post.

April 17, 2009

Quick review of myself:-

I am South African.

I am almost 38 years old.

I am a computer programmer.

I am geek*

I love to read.

I have a very bizarre humor.

I enjoy computer games.

… and I try to follow the scientific method in all I do (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method).

 

This blog will hopefully fill up with information about scientific things I find interesting.

There will also be rants against those things and ideas that are not scientific but are ported to be scientific or are said by someone attempting to be scientific, in other words Pseudoscience (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoscience).

I will have the odd comment about those parts of religion that I don’t get or those that state they believe/follow a certain belief system but their actions go directly against those beliefs.

I will post comments on news articles that are stupid, dangerous or unbelievable weird to have ever gotten published.

I will rant and I will rave and you may as well, all comment will be open and never be deleted.

I do have my own online journal for personal stuff that does not fall under the above heading and on occasions I will cross post but I am hoping that most my posts will be happy. (http://themyst.livejournal.com)

I am hoping to update this blog at least once a week.

 

Until next time, a couple of my favorite quotes.

 

“Skepticism is an approach to testable physical claims. Atheism is a conclusion regarding an untestable metaphysical claim. These are not the same thing. You can be both a skeptic and an atheist. This is demographically common amongst skeptics. But please remember, there are many other skeptics who do hold or identify with some religion. Indeed, the modern skeptical movement is built partly on the work of people of faith (including giants like Harry Houdini and Martin Gardner).You don’t, after all, have to be against god to be against fraud.” – Daniel Loxton

“It’s fine to form a hypothesis, but don’t try to confirm it — try to disprove it.” – Jeff Wagg

“We should treat each case anew, each experience as unique, and not as “just another ghost story.” Think it over, discuss it with colleagues, research and analyze the data before making premature pronouncements.” – Dr. Karen Stollznow

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” – Carl Sagan 

“Scientists want criticism, they invite objections, they seek out ways to falsify hypotheses. But these criticisms, objections and falsifications must be logical, they must be self-consistent, and they must be scientific themselves.” – Dr Phil Plait

 

 

*The word geek is a slang term, noting individuals as “a peculiar or otherwise odd person, especially one who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of intellectuality, electronics, etc.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geek