Facts, not Fantasy

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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Harpocrates Speaks: Just Answer the Question

Todd W. (yes, that Todd W.) runs a site called Harpocrates Speaks, and he has a brilliant entry that starts of in a manner that I myslef find a great deal of confusion on.  Hexactly how deluded are these people, and do they even realize that they are that deluded!

Just Answer the Question

There are times that I am truly amazed at just how seemingly clueless a person can be. Often, in dealing with alternative medicine or other pseudoscientific belief systems, individuals go to great lengths to avoid answering questions that are asked. The honest believers give it a good go, doing their best to support their beliefs with what they think are legitimate sources. Sometimes, reason breaks through and plants a little seed of critical thinking, and the believer realizes that they've fallen for a lie. On the other hand, the dishonest (and by that I mean the ones who outright lie or misrepresent things) go to great lengths to dodge direct questions. They build straw men, answering questions that were never asked. They deny and obfuscate facts. They work so incredibly hard to convince everyone that the naked emperor over there is actually clothed. Generally, they have some financial stake in it, and when push comes to shove, they quietly slink away, only to trot out their erroneous claims another day.

I found particularly amusing Todd W.'s summation of quakery arguments as:
  • X causes Y
  • Some people with autism have Y
  • Therefore Y causes autism
  • Buy my book

And I went with just generic X and Y arguments, because they do seem to come out of the woodwork with all sorts of crackpot ideas.

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