Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Skeptical Review



The Exodus writer began his tales of the confrontation between Aaron and Moses and the sorcerer’s of Egypt with a tit-for-tat theme. Whatever amazing feat Aaron would perform with his rod; Pharaoh would order his sorcerers to do the same, even when it meant increasing the pollutions of blood and frogs throughout all the land of Egypt. After the second plague, however, the sorcerers were stumped and had to give up. Aaron had caused "all the dust" in Egypt to become lice (or gnats or mosquitoes, depending on the translation), but somehow the sorcerers who had managed to change water that didn't exist into blood were unable to change dust that no longer existed into lice (or gnats or mosquitoes).

Exodus 8:16 Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Say to Aaron, 'Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, so that it may become gnats [lice] throughout the whole land of Egypt.'" 17 And they did so; Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and gnats [lice] came on humans and animals alike; all the dust of the earth turned into gnats [lice] throughout the whole land of Egypt. 18 The magicians tried to produce gnats [lice] by their secret arts, but they could not. There were gnats [lice] on both humans and animals. 19 And the magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God!"

Hmm, didn't these guys see the "finger of God" in all the other stunts that Aaron and Moses had performed? One would think that seeing Aaron change the water throughout all the land of Egypt into blood would have given these fellows pause to think from the beginning that maybe "the finger of God" was with these two upstarts daring to confront Pharaoh with demands to free the enslaved Israelites, but since they were somehow able to duplicate this feat and change water that didn't exist into blood too, that could explain why they had not yet seen the finger of God in the initial plagues. That wouldn't explain, however, why they could not duplicate the miracle of the lice or gnats.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Skepticism

Skepticism or scepticism (see spelling differences) is generally any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts, or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere.

Philosophical skepticism is an overall approach that requires all information to be well supported by evidence. Classical philosophical skepticism derives from the 'Skeptikoi', a school who "asserted nothing". Adherents of Pyrrhonism, for instance, suspend judgment in investigations. Skeptics may even doubt the reliability of their own senses. Religious skepticism, on the other hand is "doubt concerning basic religious principles (such as immortality, providence, and revelation)". Most scientists are empirical skeptics, who admit the possibility of knowledge based on evidence, but hold that new evidence may always overturn these findings.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Skepticism

Skepticism (or scepticism) has many definitions, but generally refers to any questioning attitude of knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts, or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere. The word may characterise a position on a single matter, as in the case of religious skepticism, which is "doubt concerning basic religious principles (such as immortality, providence, and revelation)", but philosophical skepticism is an overall approach that requires all new information to be well supported by evidence. Skeptics may even doubt the reliability of their own senses. Classical philosophical skepticism derives from the 'Skeptikoi', a school who "asserted nothing".Adherents of Pyrrhonism, for instance, suspend judgment in investigations.