Moderator note: This thread was split from the following thread: Venus and camera stabilizing | Sciforums --------- The movement "skeptics" come into an argument with their minds already made up that thatever their opponents propose is bullshit ("woo") and that their self-appointed mission in life is to erase bullshit (and those they perceive as bullshitters). In this case the perceived bullshit is any proposal/hypothesis that something unfamiliar might be happening in the sky that doesn't conform (or can be reduced) to the set of things that the "skeptics" already believe can happen in the sky. Then they practice highly selective targeted skepticism in which those opponents' ideas are exposed to relentless attack while their own preexisting beliefs are simply accepted as givens. It appears hypocritical at the very least. Real skepticism is doubt and questioning about any and all belief. If our movement "skeptics" were really skeptical, they would criticize their own assumptions just as rigorously as they criticize those of their opponents. In their minds, bullshit isn't worthy of anything more than insult and ridicule. Of course, their preexisting assumption that their opponent's hypothesis is bullshit might itself be bullshit. If they really want intelligent discussion, they mustn't try to gratuitously anger their opponents. That just hardens those opponents against anything that they have to say, no matter how valuable it might be. There's no way that we can anger our opponents into agreeing with us. That's not how it works. The goal in rhetoric is to make opponents want to agree with us. That means sympathetically addressing their issues and concerns and finding some way to make them consistent with our own.