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Advocatus


  • I’m far from decided.  I like Lieberman, but he just seems too old.  Warren comes off as too shrill and argumentative.  I’ve seen her on The View a couple of times too, and she seems like someone you’d want to have in your Cabinet, but I don’t know if I’d want her in the big chair.  I heard a lot of good ideas in the debates, but nothing that rea…[Read more]

  • Player wrote: “What did i say that you took offence to?”

    I’m not saying that you’ve offended me. Maybe you’re just not aware of how spiteful you sometimes come off sounding. There’s nothing wrong with engaging people and asking them questions, but sometimes you make it sound like an interrogation.  People don’t want to be put on the defensive the…[Read more]

  • My admittedly limited experience with Intelligent Design comes from religious people who refuse to accept evolution, so they conclude that life “must have been designed”. Or they might pretend that they have “studied the matter objectively and come to the only logical conclusion”. To me that’s not a scientific argument. It’s not even an argument…[Read more]

  • Tee Bryan Peneguy wrote “Player, can I assume you’re always this much of an asshole?”

    I see that you’ve met Player.  The funny thing is he isn’t always like this.  On some topics he can be quite well-informed and thought-provoking.  On other topics, he just seems to turn into a troll.  I don’t understand it myself.

  • Xain wrote:  “I’m not entirely sure this is what a genuine life is. I don’t believe we humans have a true nature like it says and what they mean by a genuine life sounds like more of their own opinion rather than what actually constitutes it.”

    Xain, you keep going back to these Buddhist sites as if deep down inside you truly feel that they have…[Read more]

  • But you are definitely closer to the flagpole in the second shot, and it looks like you turned your phone from landscape to portrait.  Couldn’t that have made the reflection move?

  • When I read the article you cited, it seems to me that the author is not saying that thoughts aren’t “real”; she is merely cautioning us not to get obsessively caught up with them to the point to the point that we ignore the reality around us.  We’ve all known people who get caught up with one idea (whether it be global climate change or some…[Read more]

  • Here’s a link to a Skeptical Inquirer online column by Kenny Biddle which might answer your question.  Scroll down to the one titled, “Groundbreaking Experiment Breaks No Ground”.

    https://skepticalinquirer.org/authors/kenny-biddle/

  • You mention an “exhaust leak”, but it’s not clear from your post if you were driving that same car.  The symptoms you describe — “I kept falling down like I was drunk” — do sound like the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.  I don’t know how you would have gotten back into your car and driven home again, unless you just did so and then f…[Read more]

  • True; the argument from personal experience is probably the most compelling to the person making it, but when it comes to convincing others, it’s the weakest.  Consider that when the first European explorers in Australia discovered the platypus, naturalists back in Britain and America didn’t believe them. They thought it was a hoax. Photographs…[Read more]

  • Not as far as I’m aware of.  There is a toy, the Ouija board, which can give the illusion of contact with “other voices”, if you enjoy that kind of thing.  But it’s a trick.

  • Advocatus replied to the topic What is Pseudo-skepticism? in the forum Philosophy 1 month ago

    Marcello Truzzi defined a skeptic as someone who was 100% Neutral, 100% Agnostic on the paranormal. A believer can believe in the paranormal, but a skeptic who doesn’t believe in the paranormal isn’t really a skeptic according to him; he’s a “pseudoskeptic”. That sounds good in theory, but in practice if you study a topic for long enough, you come…[Read more]

  • Advocatus replied to the topic Spiritism in the forum Religion and Secularism 1 month ago

    Sofista wrote:  “From time to time, science discovers that something is trustworthy and
    true, even if scientists do not know precisely how or why
    it works. Let’s consider the law of gravity. We experience it all
    days when we jump from a vehicle or down a ladder. Physical and
    engineers made tremendous progress in studying the effects of gr…

    [Read more]

  • I would go along with the conclusion that the “cause” is more psychological than hormonal, but I would hesitate to use the word “illness”, unless you’re willing to say that nearly EVERYBODY is psychologically ill to some degree or another.

    Although I am trying to accept transgendered individuals, I am old-fashioned enough to ask them to cut us…[Read more]

  • Ah, so you’re a disciple of Marcello Truzzi!  Sofista, I have a funny feeling that you have a point to make with this, but you’re doing it in a roundabout way.  Please just come right out and say what you think.

  • Skeptics in general are not very much interested in a person’s religious beliefs.  If it comforts you to think that the spirits of your loved ones continue to exist on some other plane, that’s perfectly fine.  Some skeptics — most notably Harry Houdini — have looked into séances, mediums, and other physical manifestations, and have generally co…[Read more]

  • Sofista wrote: “we can’t see radio waves, electromagnetism, air, gravity, magnetic force, etc. but they exist anyway, it is logical to assume that there are other things that could exist but aren’t yet measurable. Our technology may not be up to the level to measure other things that could be there.”

    That’s a good point.  But all the things you…[Read more]

  • That is a really good article, Lausten.  At my age, it has been very difficult to grasp the idea that sex and gender are not the same thing, but I am slowly coming around.  Sex is basically the physical equipment you’re born with, but gender is more the sexual role you identify with, and the two may not coincide, or they may coincide sometimes b…[Read more]

  • To me the strangest thing about the so-called Nimitz incident is the fact that the Navy apparently had no interest whatsoever in investigating it.  They didn’t even debrief the pilots on what they saw!  The incident was totally forgotten until 13 years later a documentary suddenly appears.  By the way, I unintentionally misstated the case ab…[Read more]

  • I used to play several role-playing games years ago — Dungeons and Dragons, Marvel Superheroes, James Bond — but I don’t have enough friends these days who enjoy that kind of thing.  I agree that it’s no fun playing with somebody who memorizes the rules and calculates his moves for optimum advantage.  The rules of a role playing game (or the i…[Read more]

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