Posts tagged ‘Skepticism’
It is something that has not really occurred to me until recently, but there is much to be skeptical about in the realm of law. I have always, or at least nearly as long as I can remember, been a skeptic (and, depending on who you talk to) a contrarian at heart.
It is not as though law exists in a vacuum, though. It is something fluid and it changes society just as society changes it. Often times, our laws are propped by up by claims of necessity and social good, and it is just these types of claims that can be put under a ‘microscope’, as it were. Further complicating matters is the inherently political nature of law and, by extension, the nature of politics itself. Things that aren’t actually true are true nevertheless, at least as far as public perception is concerned. Throw a little fear and religion into the mix, sprinkle with mass media, and a generous helping of corruption and you end up with an area that is just ripe for skeptical analysis.
So I know it’s been a gazillion years (well, maybe not that long) since I last updated. I just came out of my post-law-finals coma and I figured I would throw something up.
Like I mentioned a couple of posts ago when I was trashing Kirby, I’m not a scientist (then again, neither is Kirby…okay, enough about Kirby). In fact, the extent of my science education amounts to an undergraduate degree in psychology and philosophy. Neither of those are exactly “sciency”, except for maybe psychology (though if I had a nickel for ever time a Chemistry or Physics major told me that psychology was not a “real” science). I do have some funny letters after my name, but none of them involve any sort of ‘D’ for doctor.
One of the things that I spend some spare time doing is debating Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) advocates on the intertubes. The wide, wonderful, and wacky world of CAM is full of all manner of cure-alls for whatever ails you. From reflexology to homeopathy to magnet therapy, if you’ve got an illness then surely there’s someone on google claiming that they can heal you.
Something that I have noticed during these enlightened meeting of the minds (or flamewars, if you prefer) is a certain rhetorical strategy that CAM advocates use that seems to trip a good number of people up. Namely, it’s somewhat reminiscent of a bait-and-switch tactic.
Recently, in conversation with my Jesus-pals at a coffee shop I frequent (perhaps I should stop hanging out next door to a christian youth outreach program) and in the Religion / Theology forums over at Democratic Underground, some have been asking me what evidence I would need to accept the claim that God exists. It’s a legitimate question, as if there is no evidence that could convince me, then I am simply being a headstrong idealogue.