Yazata, Were you trying to bait me? If so, congratulations are in order, I suppose? You know I'm a skeptic. I think some of your criticisms of skeptics are flawed, especially the ones based on your Big Lie that holds that skeptics have already made up their minds about claims before they examine them. paranormal (n.): (1.) Seemingly outside normal sensory channels. (2) Not in accordance with scientific laws. Like it or not, I have little choice but to tolerate believers in the paranormal. For starters, there's just so damn many of them! I'm outnumbered. I have already explained at some length as to why believing in the paranormal, in the absence of any good evidence for it, is an error in thinking. I am rather resigned to the reality that a really huge number of people believe in all kinds of things for all kinds of really bad reasons, though. The paranormal is just one example of that kind of thing, and not even the most important sort of example, although it does tend to produce a whole bunch of negative flow-on effects. What we believe tends to affect how we act. When we believe for bad reasons, we also often go on to act for bad reasons. Do you care about what is true? I think you do. If you do, it follows that, at least in some cases, you might want to argue for the truth in the face of falsehood. In some cases, I would argue it is a moral imperative to do so, even when it involves "attacking other people's beliefs". Don't you agree? They (we) aren't misusing the word. As far as applying critical scrutiny "in house" goes, that is something you might not be aware of, looking from the "outside", but it certainly goes on, I assure you. Personally, I'm open to having discussions which critically scrutinise my own beliefs. It's a fantastic way to expose flaws in my own thinking and to learn new things. It's one reason I'm here on sciforums. You might not use the word, but you often talk about how there may be things "beyond science" or things that we can't know about through our senses. I'd say you've advocated for it pretty thoroughly, even on the current topic of UFOs. That's not actually saying anything that is controversial. No skeptic here has ever claimed that we know everything that there is to know, or that science is complete, or anything like that. We have claimed that there's no good evidence for things "beyond the senses" and similar - i.e. paranormal things. I agree. Faith is belief in the absence of evidence. Nobody needs to have "faith" in mathematics. In mathematics, assertions are either proven or not proven. It's black and white. There are axioms in every formal system, of course, which are necessarily unprovable using that particular system. There's the unexpected messiness uncovered by Godel. But axioms in mathematics are recognised as such. They are working assumptions. We acknowledge, consciously, that they might not be true. Similarly, "reason" does not require faith. Experience shows that reason works as advertised. There are some assumptions there, too, of course, but although unprovable they, and the deductions drawn using them, are consistent with experience. Few people other than philosophers ever seriously question that there is an objective reality. The philosophers can't provide any evidence or convincing argument that there isn't one, so like much else it turns out to be a most useful working assumption. As a philosopher, you might argue that there's no evidence that there is an objective reality, but then your friend, the philosopher across the room, will politely inform you that you're wrong about that and, in fact, everything we perceive is evidence of an objective reality. You can go back and forth on that with him if you like. The difference is that you're unwilling to recognise that I am quite able and willing to look at them with a critical eye. Indeed, I have already spent some time doing just that.