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71 votes
Accepted

Is the Skeptic's Prayer a valid scientific experiment?

This must be one of the grossest attempts at manipulating one's readership I have ever seen. The proposed "experiment" can never fail because the authors carefully planted 3 escape routes ...
armand's user avatar
  • 6,780
20 votes

Do atheists bear the burden of proof in showing why/how the reasons presented by theists are unconvincing?

I'd say the burden of proof is on the theist. The theist asserts the existence of some god. The burden of proof lies with the one making the claim.
JRE's user avatar
  • 327
20 votes

Do atheists bear the burden of proof in showing why/how the reasons presented by theists are unconvincing?

The answer is not going to be "the theist has the burden of proof" nor "the atheist has the burden of proof". Before you can answer "Who has the burden of proof?", you ...
Stef's user avatar
  • 969
19 votes
Accepted

Is there any counterexample given against radical skepticism?

A good question. Every machine is fallible, including the human brain; this means that when the human brain comes up with any conclusion, there is always the possibility it made an error and came to ...
causative's user avatar
  • 14.4k
18 votes
Accepted

Do atheists bear the burden of proof in showing why/how the reasons presented by theists are unconvincing?

I think gnasher729 and NotThatGusy make a great first point - "God" is too fuzzy a concept. Any discussion of God first needs to establish what properties we are assuming God has. However, ...
Annika's user avatar
  • 1,681
18 votes

Is it "unscientific" to be sceptical without offering alternative explanations?

Definitely not. To say that it is unscientific is to fall into what is sometimes called the Sherlock Holmes fallacy. Alice seems to be saying that her explanation must be right because she has ruled ...
Mark Foskey's user avatar
17 votes

Is watching an amputated limb regrow proof of the supernatural?

Logically, if we could prove that God healed amputees then it would as a corollary prove the existence of God. (it is simply the argument that; "if X is specifically observed to do Y, then X must ...
Guy Inchbald's user avatar
  • 2,582
17 votes

Is the Skeptic's Prayer a valid scientific experiment?

It is a test of whether you can be talked into religious belief. In that respect it is rather a pointless test, since billions of people all over the world are ample proof that it is possible to be ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 23.6k
16 votes
Accepted

Is it "unscientific" to be sceptical without offering alternative explanations?

Alice has made some anecdotal observations. Through a process of elimination, she proposes a hypothesis to explain the phenomenon, as well as an experiment to validate (or otherwise) her hypothesis. ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 6,007
14 votes

Can we doubt all knowledge?

To answer the question in the title: Yes. That's a key trait of any good scientist. To answer your last question in the body: Because we have no better option to depend on or behave according to.
TCooper's user avatar
  • 275
14 votes

Is skepticism invincible?

You didn't explain why you think skepticism is self-refuting, but I've heard people say this would be because skepticism would demand skepticism of skepticism itself, so I'll address that. Yes, you ...
NotThatGuy's user avatar
14 votes

Has Münchhausen's trilemma been solved?

The Muenchhausen Trilemma is a philosophical insight, not a philosophical problem. Hence there is no need for a solution, but the call for application. The trilemma was formulated by Hans Albert. It ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
  • 33.6k
12 votes

Can a coincidence be evidence of a god?

Suppose for example that a person is standing on stage and says “God, if you exist, strike me with lightning right now” and a lightning strike occurs that barely misses him, is this evidence of God? ...
Dikran Marsupial's user avatar
12 votes

Do atheists bear the burden of proof in showing why/how the reasons presented by theists are unconvincing?

Unless one is a fideist, one is essentially bound to onus probandi. From WP: [T]he burden of proof lies with the one who speaks, not the one who negates... is the obligation on a party in a dispute ...
J D's user avatar
  • 28.4k
12 votes

Is the Skeptic's Prayer a valid scientific experiment?

No, it is not a scientific experiment, because there is no objective way to determine the outcome. First, by refusing to set a time limit, the proposal protects itself against falsification; the "...
causative's user avatar
  • 14.4k
11 votes

Is watching an amputated limb regrow proof of the supernatural?

The term 'supernatural' is generally used by modern skeptics in the sense: "That which cannot be explained by natural processes using the natural sciences." However, any event that can be ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 20.6k
11 votes
Accepted

Is watching an amputated limb regrow proof of the supernatural?

Short Answer As an athiest who advocates for philosophy, I would suggest there would be many rational bases for attacking your attribution of the regrowth to the supernatural which by definition ...
J D's user avatar
  • 28.4k
11 votes

Can we doubt all knowledge?

You can of course do anything you want... But to doubt all knowledge is to indulge in radical skepticism, is it not? If we were all radical skeptics, then we'd be living in a world in which knowledge ...
niels nielsen's user avatar
10 votes

How far can/should one press philosophical doubt?

Descartes was the modern founder of what is called foundationalism about knowledge, the idea that we must find a secure self-evident ground from which all the rest of our knowledge can be justified. ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 43.5k
10 votes

How can a non-religious person justify or rationalize hope or optimism in an absurd world?

My first comment provides the starting point for my answer. This is something that's far easier to discuss in person than it is over the limiting format of Stack Exchange. What gives people hope is ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 18.2k
10 votes

How can a non-religious person justify or rationalize hope or optimism in an absurd world?

How can a non-religious person justify or rationalize hope or optimism in an absurd world? Can you acknowledge the absurd and still be hopeful and optimistic? I feel like you either can acknowledge ...
Agent_L's user avatar
  • 230
10 votes

Is it "unscientific" to be sceptical without offering alternative explanations?

she proposes a hypothesis to explain the phenomenon, as well as an experiment to validate (or otherwise) her hypothesis... Bob still believes that it is reasonable be open-minded, even though he ...
J.G.'s user avatar
  • 734
10 votes

Is it "unscientific" to be sceptical without offering alternative explanations?

Let's suppose the answer to your question was yes, it is unscientific to doubt theories without alternative explanations. Bob would have to say 'No need to perform your experiment, Alice; I can't ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 23.6k
9 votes

How to be skeptical of transcendental arguments?

I don't see any need to be 'sceptical' of transcendental arguments. It's rather like being sceptical of deduction whether done classically or modally. And in fact, a transcendental argument relies on ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Is skepticism invincible?

The history of philosophy has many examples of people who think they have refuted scepticism - Descartes, Berkeley, Locke and Hume not to mention Russell, Ryle and Wittgenstein are all examples. And ...
Ludwig V's user avatar
  • 2,888
9 votes

Can a coincidence be evidence of a god?

No it doesn't imply a god exists. Think about it scientifically. How do physicists go about developing hypotheses and testing them? If you wanted to apply scientific reasoning, you would need to ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 23.6k
8 votes

Is it possible for the sentence "bachelors are unmarried" to be fallible?

"Bachelors are unmarried" is roughly a definition. Technically "Bachelors are unmarried men" is the definition, and then you'd have a tautology of "Unmarried men are unmarried&...
NotThatGuy's user avatar
8 votes

Do atheists bear the burden of proof in showing why/how the reasons presented by theists are unconvincing?

Practically in informal circumstances the burden of prove lies with whoever needs to convert the doubter. If you are an atheist trying to persuade a Catholic their belief is misguided, the burden of ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 23.6k
8 votes

Is it "unscientific" to be sceptical without offering alternative explanations?

I would say that Bob is not "flouting" the scientific method, but he's not yet doing very good science. Alice is doing better science than him so far. I would say that Bob pointing out "...
Jagerber48's user avatar

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