Next Year

I wanted to retire this year, but that did not work out.   I might be able to retire a year from now, though.There are a number of topics from this year that I plan to carry over into 2015:1. The End of PoR?John Loftus has argued that public colleges and universities should stop offering classes in the Philosophy of Religion.  I disagree.  But I have not yet evaluated his argument for the End of PoR, nor have I made my case in support of PoR.2. Swinburne's case for GodI fi … [Read more...]

Why be Skeptical? Reason #1 (Lying Cheating College Students – Part 2)

Summary Statistics Table

If most people lie and if most people lie frequently, then that is a good reason to be skeptical.In previous posts I have provided evidence that very young children lie and that most children  lie, that most teenagers lie and cheat and lie and cheat frequently, and that most college students lie and lie frequently.  Now it is time to look into whether and how much college students cheat.There are two main kinds of cheating by college students that I will be providing evidence about: (1) a … [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...]