Everyday Skeptic: Our Mission Orders Have Been Flawed

Convincing our fellows using reason and evidence is a bridge too far.   A few recent encounters out on the wide world of the internet, as well as social media, have enlightened me to a great failing in my personal perspective and my assumptions when dealing with others. That failing, that misjudgment, is in believing that other people value reason, demand evidence of claims, and have a desire to discover the truth. That failing was revealed through hateful and emotional reactions that people had to simple claims that went counter to their own stated position. The immediate reaction to reasonable…

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Everyday Skeptic, Part 3: Credible Evidence

Note: The video portion of this article could not be completed due to time constraints. It will be added on a future date. While it is very possible to dismiss many claims using the rules of logic covered in the last installment of the series, you are still likely to encounter claims that, while adhering to the rules in their format, still warrant a bit of skepticism from you, the reader. This is because not all claims have credible evidence. Just to review from last week: A statement is true if it is a positive claim and there is credible evidence to…

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Everyday Skeptic, Part 2: What is Truth?

Note: the video contains the same information as the article, but in a more conversational form. Now that we have established why it is important to be skeptical, and what sort of situations should prompt you to be extra careful, we can dive into the methods used to be skeptical. Being a skeptic doesn’t mean you disbelieve everything and everyone, it means that you demand proof of claims before you commit them to belief or take action. In future articles, we will delve into what constitutes good and bad sources of evidence, and how to tell if evidence is used properly. For now, let…

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Everyday Skeptic, Part 1: Why and When to be Skeptical

Please note: The video below contains the same information as the article, but in a more conversational form. Choose which format you prefer! I. Series Introduction: Information and Expertise Everyday life is filled with decisions. Many of these decisions are made without knowing what the outcome will be. We rely on many things to help us make these decisions, including our own experience, intuition, assumptions how other people will act, and, the subject of this article, information from other people. Everybody is an expert in something, but nobody, not even the super intelligent, can be an expert in everything. Each person…

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Teachers make a DIFFERENCE! What about YOU? Huh?

A Reflection on the Ego of the Teaching Profession I had a different article in mind for today, but a conversation I had during work yesterday with my screenwriting partner Matt (find his website here) inspired me to create a different piece. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share! Credit/Source: Zen Pencils, zenpencils.com              I am a teacher.             I have been a teacher for more than ten years, in various faculties. I’ve taught at private and public school. I’ve taught individuals and I’ve taught classrooms full of kids. I’ve taught at the college level and the elementary school level. Given…

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A Short Exposition on Bullying

What is bullying? Bullying is classified a power relationship.  It is one of fear, and aggression, and violence.  It is one person being marginalized by another, being subjected to their will on some level, whether that will results in theft or malevolent degradation, or just plain violence. Bullying is a more horrific experience than you may realize. My childhood experience with my peers is one of violence.  Not necessarily as a “victim” per se, but as part of a general atmosphere.  Children sought to hurt each other, and they used far more than words; they used fists and knees and…

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The Value of an Education

Lots of people talk about the value of a good education, but what is this value, really? The Market Value of a Degree Whether the market values your degree is almost entirely dependant on the type of profession you are entering and the type of degree you have acquired. A doctor must legally have a medical degree. Likewise a law degree is necessary to practice in most states. These are pretty significant gate checks if you are entering into these fields. So if you put in the time and effort to get an MD or JD there is a good…

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