The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Podcast 5

Well, here we are at number five already. This one runs just over 9 minutes and hits on a subject near and dear to our hearts - talking to credulous people about shit that is likely not real. Enjoy and, as always, I'd love to hear your thoughts (unless you're the crazy Christian posting stupid jokes in the comments - not pointing elbows or anything...MICKY).

9 Barbaric Yawps:

At 14/1/08 10:57 am, Blogger RickU said...

Hey! You didn't die! Hooray for beer!

At 14/1/08 11:58 am, Anonymous Maakuz said...

I find this to be your best podcast so far. Clear, straigthforward, and very easy on the ears.

At 14/1/08 8:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flying people from the North...nah. But THAT's possible.

I nearly peed my pants laughing. Great podcast.

At 15/1/08 11:54 am, Anonymous βPer said...

Nice podcast! I was going to tease you about the non-rant, but you stole my thunder.

At my work, people know that I'm an amateur astronomer. A couple of my colleagues like to call me an astrologer just to try to get my goat, but that wasn't working, so they sent a 'lost waif' to me, telling him that I was an astrologer. This guy was/is your typical New Ager, and was looking for help with astrology. Instead of just blowing him off, I spent a weekend collecting information debunking astrology and presented it to him the next week. I tried to do it in as neutral and non-condescending a manner as I could muster, and it paid off, because AFAIK, he no longer buys into that crap.

Since then, he has come to me on a number of occasions to ask my opinion about various New Age schemes, pop myths (e.g. Mars being so close that it would appear to be bigger than the Moon), and philosophical issues. By keeping it non-confrontational and respectful, I've managed to inject a bit of skepticism and reality into his thinking. He's still a lost waif, but maybe some day my efforts will pay off.


At 16/1/08 6:39 pm, Blogger Titan said...

"When confronted with another person's error, begin your answer by saying the certain cases or circumstances where his opinion would be right, but in the present case, there appears or seems to be some differences."
~Ben Franklin

At 16/1/08 9:22 pm, Blogger Titan said...

Err, sorry for the poorly-edited (and possibly inaccurate?) Franklin quote. Here's a more reliable version, from his autobiography:

"I was charmed with the Socratic method of rhetoric and logic, adopted it, dropt my abrupt contradiction and positive argumentation, and put on the humble inquirer.

I found this method safest for myself and very embarrassing to those against whom I used it. Therefore, I took a delight in it, practiced it continually, and grew very artful and expert in drawing people, even of superior knowledge, into concessions, the consequences of which they did not foresee, entangling them in difficulties out of which they could not extricate themselves, and so obtaining victories that neither myself nor my cause always deserved.

I continued this method some few years, but gradually left it, retaining only the habit of expressing myself in terms of modest diffidence; never using, when I advanced anything that may possibly he disputed, the words 'certainly,' 'undoubtedly,' or any others that give the air of positiveness to an opinion. Rather, I say I 'conceive' or 'apprehend' a thing to be so and so; 'it appears to me,' or, 'I should think it so or so' for such and such reasons; or, 'I imagine it to be so;' or, 'it is so if I am not mistaken.'

This habit, I believe, has been of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcate my opinions, and persuade men into measures that I have been from time to time engaged in promoting.

As the chief ends of conversation are to inform or be informed, to please or to persuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen their power to doing good by a positive, assuming manner. It seldom fails to disgust, tends to create opposition and to defeat everyone of those purposes for which speech was given to us - to wit - giving or receiving information or pleasure.

If you would inform, a positive and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments may provoke contradiction and prevent a candid attention.

If you wish information and improvement from the knowledge of others, and yet at the same time express yourself as firmly fixed in your present opinions, modest and sensible men who do not love disputation will probably leave you undisturbed in the possession of your error."

At 16/1/08 10:57 pm, Blogger BigHeathenMike said...

Ben Franklin: a skeptic and scientist of some note.

(haha...a little reference to the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe there)

At 18/1/08 10:39 am, Anonymous mikekoz68 said...

Exactly! This is actually my new and most effective way of talking to irrational people. This seems to work - people can follow this line of logic. It's said best here:

At 18/1/08 10:51 am, Anonymous mikekoz68 said...

oops! Try: Randi with P&T


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