Essay talk:Is RationalWiki really rational?

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I thought this site welcomed contributors with opposing views? Or apparently it doesn't now? (((Zack Martin))) 11:40, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Thank you AD for restoring that. I know we do not get along, but I have to commend your behaviour in this instance. (((Zack Martin))) 11:41, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
You are a fucking moron. So because the artciles are rational, you expect the people behind the scene to conform to your fucked up notion of what is rational? This coming from a man who made up his own religion. Fuck off! --PsyGremlinFale! 11:50, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
I believe I have already addressed your concern, when I wrote — A community can be said to be rational or irrational, depending on whether its members are willing to argue for and depend their viewpoints rationally, rather than resorting to irrational approaches. A community can still act rationally even though some of its members act irrationally, provided that (1) the values, standards, policies and culture of the community encourages rational rather than irrational behaviour; and (2) the community acts on and enforces those values, and consistently holds its members to account. (((Zack Martin))) 12:40, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

I just think you don't get us at all[edit]

I'm not going to attempt a massive refutation of this - I have better things to do quite frankly - but I would say that the analysis under the section Is RationalWiki really rational tells me that you don't understand us. A few that stick out:

Bullshit we call something bullshit if it can't be demonstrated as having merit under the scientific method. You are free to reject this method but we do not. If you are pedalling something, especially for a profit, and there is no evidence (or very poor evidence) that it works then we will call it bullshit. Simple. Don't like it? Tough; that is just the way we are and will always be.


JAQing off Not crude to us. You miss the point entirely. Again, this comes down to an understanding of our belief in the scientific method. Don't like the Scientific method? Fine but we do.


snark This is probably the most damning evidence that you have no clue of what we are about. Snark to us is almost as important as the scientific method. We like humour and we don't care if others don't like our humour. Don't like snark? then go contribute to less wrong or somewhere like that. We like it and will never deviate from this.


Frankly you are trying to turn RW into something its not, and you don't understand our culture. Your goin on and on about it is very annoying, not helpful for anyone and is causing a lot of stress and consternation. Basically its like if I went and joined a chess club and went around insisting that we play Go instead because I think it is a harder more technical game. I'd be made to feel unwelcome, just like you. In the end I'd be asked to stop trying to make everyone play Go and if I refused I'd be asked to leave. We will probably not ask you to leave, but we will not necessarily grant you all the priviledges and responsibilities that you want. DamoHi 11:31, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

we call something bullshit if it can't be demonstrated as having merit under the scientific method. You are free to reject this method but we do not — you misrepresent me as rejecting the scientific method, I don't. My views are a bit like non-overlapping magisteria — science is entirely legitimate in its own domain, but there are other domains of knowledge where it is inapplicable. What you are describing, is not the scientific method, but scientism. In the same way, when you imply that I don't like the scientific method, you are misrepresenting me — I support and approve of the scientific method, in its proper place. What is the proper place of the scientific method? Well, that is not a question for the scientific method to answer — that is a question for the philosophy of science (which is part of philosophy, not a part of the natural sciences)
And I do have a sense of humour, I see nothing wrong with some good-natured humour. What this place is full of lately, is not humour, but childishness. I'd say it has gotten worse during my stay. (((Zack Martin))) 09:35, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't buy that. This website subscribes to the "scientific point of view" RationalWiki:What is a RationalWiki article?. We believe that the only method for obtaining information about the world is through empiricism. You on the other hand reject this. You can use all the slurs and euphemisms you like "scientism" but don't pretend that your position is close to ours. We are polar opposites. Without getting into debates about what this means for your continued participation here, you do need to acknowledge that it is people like you that this website was set up to oppose. Can you understand that? DamoHi 10:19, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, to start with, scientism is not a slur — it is the name of a philosophical position which you appear to hold. See Talk:Scientism for some ample discussion on this; but let me quote TallMan's comments rather than my own:
Maratrean has the right of it here. The article's definition of scientism is too vague and (on the most natural reading) mistaken. A better definition would look something like this: Scientism is the claim that all meaningful questions can be answered through scientific investigation. As it happens, Maratrean is also right that scientism (so understood) is false. One thing the article gets right, though, which might have been lost in the discussion here is that accusations of scientism are often used inappropriately. There really are meaningful questions that aren't amenable to scientific investigation, but that in no way diminishes the value of scientific inquiry. For example, my work is in modality; in particular, I'm interested in the truth conditions for modal statements (i.e. statements about what is possible and what is necessary). So, is it true that water might have some chemical composition other than H2O? The scientific story here can tell us that water is in fact H2O, but it's not clear that it can tell us anything about whether or not water could be something else. Maratrean's examples involving mathematical truths are also fairly clear-cut cases of non-scientific knowledge.
You say This website subscribes to the "scientific point of view"—well, I to subscribe to a scientific point of view, but I do think the viewpoint you are referring to is better described as scientistic than scientific. When you say, We believe that the only method for obtaining information about the world is through empiricism, that is a statement, not of science, but of scientism (although I must say it depends a bit on what you mean by world, which is the most ambiguous part of that statement.) You mention one of my essays, but you ignore the very first sentence In this essay, I would like to present some reasons to disbelieve in the theory of evolution. Now, I don't necessarily subscribe to these positions myself — i.e. that essay consists of more some food for thought than definite conclusions. I do have my doubts about evolution, but I wouldn't go so far as to absolutely deny it — it certainly seems possible to me that it is substantially true, possible but not certain (likely or not? I am not sure). But I agree, whether it is literally true or not, it is certainly a useful framework for understanding the world — which is why I have labelled it a "useful myth". Anyway, isn't willingness to entertain doubts about established theories essential to science?
So, in conclusion, when you say you do need to acknowledge that it is people like you that this website was set up to oppose — you mean it was set up to oppose people who reject scientism? I thought it was set up by people who got turfed out of Conservapedia...
(((Zack Martin))) 08:38, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Probably the most frustrating thing about talking with you is that you are always talking a certain amount of what can only be described as quasi-philosophical babble. I read your essay the first time and I was struck by your insistence on presenting unfalsifiable conjectures as arguments. This continued on to extraordinary lengths in the essay talk comments. You can't possibly argue that people weren't extremely patient and understanding with you.
Anyway, that essay is only a snippet into your world. I have read plenty that you have written about your "make believe" (I won't dignify it by calling it a religion) to see that you are quite prepared to believe anything that you can type. Also disturbing is where you state that your goal is to create a colony of adherents that will eventually dominate the world - ushering in the end times apparently. Now that sort of stuff is dangerous on many levels and the absolute antithesis of who we are and what we stand for.
Also when you say at the end somewhat insultingly "I thought it was set up by people who got turfed out of Conservapedia...", I should say that although there is a literal truth to that fact, your bringing it up now only goes to show that you don't get us at all. And if I have to explain this it will only serve to ram home the point further. DamoHi 10:10, 6 October 2011 (UTC)