Don’t Criticize What You Can’t Understand

Recently, I found myself defending William Lane Craig's reformed epistemology.   I was defending it NOT because I believe it to be true or correct, but because his views were being presented as 'stupid' and obviously false.  My impression was that those who were making these strong claims did NOT understand Craig's views on epistemology, and therefore were objecting to a Straw Man.  There was little interest in my points about reformed epistemology--apparently philosophy is too boring and co … [Read more...]

Why be Skeptical? Reason #1 (Lying Cheating College Students)

Lying to Parents graph

If most people lie and deceive, and if people often lie and deceive,  then we have good reason to be skeptical.  We have seen in previous posts that most children lie and lie frequently,  and that most teenagers lie and cheat and do so frequently; it is now time to take a look at the behavior of college students.A study of lying in everyday life was conducted in which one group consisted of college students and a second group consisted of community members (ranging from 18 to 71 years old).   … [Read more...]

Why be Skeptical? Reason #1 (Lying Cheating Teenagers)

One good reason why we should be skeptical is that people often lie, deceive, and cheat.This is not just my personal opinion. This is a fact, a fact established by scientific observation and research. I have presented factual scientific data showing that very young children lie, and that elementary age children lie frequently. Now it is time to look into how much teenagers lie, deceive, and cheat.I take it as an obvious truth that teenagers sometimes lie and deceive and teenagers … [Read more...]

Why be Skeptical? Reason #1 (Little Liars)

percent of transgressors who lied

If an adult person is not mentally ill and not mentally disabled, then he/she will answer YES to the following questions:1. Do children sometimes lie?2. Do teenagers sometimes lie?3. Do college students and young adults sometimes lie?4. Do adults sometimes lie?It take it to be UNCONTROVERSIAL that children, teenagers, young adults, and adults sometimes tell lies.There might be some who disagree about the claim that VERY YOUNG children tell lies (i.e. children who are only … [Read more...]

Why be Skeptical? Reason #1 (continued)

I was planning to focus on teenagers and adults in this post, but there seems to be some SKEPTICISM about the idea that babies and very young children are involved in deception and lying. Since skepticism, at least critical skepticism or skepticism which demands good reasons and solid evidence for claims, is a good thing in my view, I don't want to ignore or discourage such skepticism.Rather, I think we should take a closer look at some important facts and evidence on this question about … [Read more...]

Why be Skeptical? Reason #1

In a previous post I put forward seven reasons why we should be skeptical (Reason For Skepticism #7 is in the comments section).  In this post I'm going to provide some facts and data in support of Reason For Skepticism #1:(RFS1) People are often dishonest, deceptive, or have been deceived by others.Here is a nice summary statement about psychological research on this topic:Overall, the experimental evidence shows that when placed in the right (or wrong) situation, people are prone t … [Read more...]

Why Be Skeptical?

According to my old American Heritage Dictionary (2nd College edition, 1982), a “skeptic” is a person “who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.”  This seems to come close to what I have in mind when I support the view that students should be taught to be skeptical as a part of teaching students to become critical thinkers.However, this definition is a bit too weak.  Someone who only questioned “assertions” or “conclusio … [Read more...]

Critical Thinking and Skepticism – Part 3

John Loftus did a short post on this topic back in May.   Based on that post, it is clear that we agree there is a close connection between critical thinking and skepticism.  Here are two of his statements along those lines:...to think critically is to think skeptically, and vice versa....there is no distinction between critical thinking and thinking skeptically. They are one and the same. Although Loftus views critical thinking and skepticism as being "one and the same"  he says thin … [Read more...]


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