Vanessa's Ramblings

New Atheist Skepticism

To say there is a burden of proof on a witness is to be unfair. That’s not their job. There job is just to relay their experiences. It’s the job of the skeptic or the researcher to dig further and find out more.

For example, in the case of a crime we never demand the witnesses prove anything. We don’t even demand the defendant prove anything. It’s innocent until proven guilty after all. It falls on the prosecution to meet the burden of proof to prove their actuations.

The New Atheist movement is entirely built on that backwards kind of guilty until proven innocent logic.

“You’re just a liar, a fake, a fraud, until you can prove to me to my satisfaction (a satisfaction you’ll never meet because I get a sick sense of superiority in clinging to this world-view) that what you witnessed really happened.”

It’s absolutely ridiculous, and with things as fringe and unpredictable like ghosts, UFOs and magick, that kind of demand for evidence cannot ever be met since we have no idea how and why these things operate.

It’s like saying to a hiker who says they saw a bear to prove they saw a bear in the woods and show you the bear and prove it’s really a bear. Then if someone gets really adamant and goes out and shoots the bear you say “well some really good Hollywood prop artists can make convincing bear pelts so you’re still a liar.” What kind of backwards nonsensical thinking is that? No! If you want to find the bear YOU need to go out looking for it or at least seek out someone who’s an expert in tracking bears.

Just because a really good stage illusionist can make a convincing fake of some kind of magickal ability doesn’t mean you’ve disproved it, all you’ve proved is you can make a convincing fake. It’s utterly ridiculous to claim anything beyond that unless you can prove that’s really what you’re doing. Just showing how it might be faked doesn’t prove that’s really how they’re doing it.

You’re not being smart, logical or clever by just sticking to your beliefs even in the face of evidence to the contrary while you endlessly move the goal posts. You’ve just crafted a new kind of hierarchal religion but one with a really really bad map that don’t match the complexity of the really around us unless you take off your glasses and squint and ignore all the detail. That’s not a healthy skepticism, that’s just stubbornness.

It’s fair to place a stronger burden of proof on researchers to a point, but that’s not fair to ask of the public and especially not of people who are just coming forward as witnesses. Even at that though, if the researchers meet that burden you’ve placed, you can’t just move the goal post because it doesn’t fit with your preconceived notions as to the nature of reality. At some point it falls on you to pickup the torch and do further research yourself and stop being so lazy and stubborn. That’s the whole part of science that you’re so happy talking about when it helps your views against ideas that you don’t like but you seem to conveniently forget whenever it doesn’t.

Vanessa

Vanessa is a witch, a musician, a dabbler and all around creative type from Ohio with a deep fascination with all things weird, magical, fortian, esoteric and occult. She is Wiccan but follows her own variant of Wicca based on the ancient Sumerian, the Kabbalah and a little bit of the Tao Te Ching which she is currently writing a book about.

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