Thursday, April 23, 2015

A "Safe Space"

I’ve been seeing many demands for a “Safe Space” coming from various people recently. A “Safe Space” seems to be a place where one doesn’t have to hear things that might be a reminder of a traumatic event or a place where no one expresses ideas that the safe space proponents don’t agree with. “Safe Spaces” are places where no one is allowed to hear or see what some may find traumatic or objectionable. People with wrong ideas must be prevented from speaking. Movies, music, and other artistic expressions that some find offensive must be banned. Hobbies and games must be completely inoffensive. Only language deemed appropriate may be used. Attire should be criticized if it is deemed offensive. If this is what makes a space safe, then I grew up in an extremely safe space.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The ongoing PR problem that is pissing me off

For the last two years I have been watching “skeptics” dissing skeptic organizations, calling for boycotts, and demanding resignations of the leaders of these organizations. As someone who cared deeply about the promotion of skepticism, and was willing to support organizations who had this mission, the ugliness has been very disheartening. Why? Because the people doing the dissing are people whom skeptics were too willing to encourage, by giving them a platform and applause, while being unwilling to seriously consider whether they deserved our support.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Noteworthy, 12 December 2012

Ed Clint's recent post on his IncrEDulous blog, Why teaching critical thinking fails, argues that while critical thinking skills can be taught, doing so is not enough to turn people into critical thinkers.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Sinking of the Titanic

We’ve hit an iceberg, and there is confusion, hysteria, and not enough life boats to save us all.

Monday, September 10, 2012

With respect to respect

"Everyone deserves respect!"

"No, respect must be earned!"

Sigh. I get tired of hearing exchanges like this, especially when they are presented as prescriptive moral or ethical guidance. As usual, the reality and the ethics are more complicated than that.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Some much-needed discussion

There has been quite a bit of activity in the blogosphere and on Twitter and Facebook in recent weeks on two subjects that our regular reader(s) know have been topics of concern to Ardent Skeptic and me.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Noteworthy, 08 July 2012

Advice for a 'Freethought' blog, by Notung, has advice that skeptic bloggers should consider as well.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Noteworthy, 17 May 2012

Steve Cuno has a new post up on his personal blog that's worth a look: The Value of Dissent. And while welcoming informed alternative points of view is useful for everyone, it is essential for skeptics.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Noteworthy, 09 May 2012

This is from last week, but in case you missed it, Barbara Drescher has an excellent post about skepticism on her blog: You Can't Judge an Argument by its Conclusion.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

An Open Letter on Disagreement

by Steve Cuno

Author’s note: The inspiration for this article was an angry note from a friend. Any attempt to guess which friend or to point fingers risks missing a great opportunity to see if the shoe fits.

Dear Friend:

Disagreement is inevitable. When it happens, let’s see if we can handle it sans ad hominem attacks.