You have a point, I was feeling something similar last night when I reflected on what I wrote. You can address me directly if you like, I will listen to legitimate and sincere criticisms. I can get a little emotional about this, and let me tell you why.zoobyshoe said:Here again, what I don't like about Les' argument is the underlying emotional reasoning: he is trying to bully Chronos into seeing the matter as a false choice between open mindedness and closed mindedness from fear. He is threatening Chronos with the label of cowardice if Chronos doesn't adopt Les' idea of an open mind. Les' did the same thing earlier, refering to the skeptical view as "gutless".
So, really, Les has given Chronos the choice of being one kind of coward or another: afraid of the unknown, or afraid of his label of him. The intelligent parts of Les' analysis get swept aside by these emotionally intense paragraphs, in which he ascribes all sorts of motivations to other people. This kind of emotional pressure is an automatic red flag.
I have been debating here for a long time, and have run into a certain attitude again and again. It is an attitude that is disrespectful to anyone who doubts physicalist theory (and it used to be a lot worse before mentors started requiring members to be more polite). The attitude is often scornful, with a pinch of condescension, and a healthy portion of "I know the Truth, and only science reveals it."
Under the guise of being informed and objective, individuals give evaluations of potentially (i.e., not necessarily) non-physical aspects of reality. Many times the argument is made "in the name of science," when really it is in the name of physicalism. So the points are made with an ontological assumption in place that hasn't been shown to be true yet.
Why should I let that bother me? Because you can't get anyone to admit they are selecting information which supports their belief system while ignoring and distorting information which is contrary to their belief system. So seldom is there a fair debate. That is how Chronos argued here.
You say I gave him a false choice between "being one kind of coward or another: afraid of the unknown, or afraid of his label of him." That wasn't the choice I offered at all. What I did was confront, albeit too emotionally, his dogmatic, uninformed evaluation of the subject under discussion. BTW, I think highly of Chronos, and you too Zooby (and most of the excellent thinkers that populate this site). It is just one attitude that disturbs me, which I recognize as exactly the same attitude I endured from the religious fundamentalists I grew up around. And I mean, EXACTLY . . . the tactic of assuming something is true, exaggerating the significance of the facts you have supporting your belief system, and then filtering and distorting contrary facts.
Tell me, should there be a standard for opinions from PF representatives? In fact, in a science forum dedicated to educating people, shouldn't there be (and isn't there already) a standard for all participants? Why is it that crackpot physics theories are mercilessly ridiculed and banned, but the science side gets to spout misinformation about anything that doesn't fit their ontology? It is a double standard, and yes, it tends to piss me off every time I see it, and I see it often.
I agree I should learn to keep my frustration out of my arguments, but what is wrong with insisting on unbiased, informed opinions in a public forum?