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User talk:WeakMindedSkeptic

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Welcome[edit]

New logo large.png Welcome to RationalWiki, WeakMindedSkeptic!

Please see our guide for newcomers and our community standards.

Tell us how you found RationalWiki here!

If you are interested in contributing:

Herr FuzzyKatzenPotato (talk/stalk) 23:07, 2 April 2016 (UTC)

Autopatrolled[edit]

Because of your edits to and time on the wiki, wizard Sysop has been added to your user rights. Feel free to let your newfound ᴘᴏᴡᴇʀ course through your veins. Once the high wears off, see RationalWiki:Sysop guide for more information. If you have questions, bleat ask away. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 19:28, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

Rabbit hole[edit]

Love it, good measurement.

What's on the mind now? FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 22:26, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

5/10[edit]

That's a relief. Like the shortened username. Also, when signing, try to use 4 tildes (~~~~) rather than just three. The difference:

Three: Fuzzy "Cat" Potato, Jr. (talk/stalk)

Four: Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk) 22:08, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

Thanks! Mʀ. Wʜɪsᴋᴇʀs, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 22:08, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

Will do!--WMS (talk) 15:58, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm quite late to say this and I'm really sorry about that but thank you very much for the concerns, I appreciate that :-)--WMS (talk) 18:22, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

RationalWiki bias[edit]

RationalWiki is generally pro-liberalism and anti-religion, and that's what people usually complain about. 20:34, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Oh ok, thank you for the answer--WMS (talk) 20:54, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
NP. For example, see Sargon of Akkad's reaction to RW -- he doesn't like that it's pro-feminist. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 22:50, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

My predicament[edit]

As soon as I get rid off my irrational fear of conspiracy theories, I become fearful of the simulation argument. I hope someone can help me with a little predicament. Anyway, so, I read the page on the simulation argument (especially the 'evidence for' section a few times) and I understand that, to a certain extent, it is possible but possible doesn't mean that it's True. Bostrom's equation does seem flawed and not most reliable. Overall, there isn't any real evidence, just speculation.

So, although there is some possibility that we're in a simulation isn't there also possibility that this is indeed the real life? I've seen the article and some other sources and they did have valid criticism of this theory which points out the flaws in it. So, there isn't really conclusive evidence for this theory. This could be the real life right. The simulation argument really seems more faith based than evidence based, it also is unfalsifiable which isn't a good thing. Also, people do say "you can't fully disprove the simulation argument" as their evidence. It just seems like a bunch of speculation, like I said faith based, people have been doing the same with God: trying to explain things with "goddidit", trying to come up with equations for God and saying that you can't disprove God.

On a side note, whenever I hear a theory like this I always use Occam's razor, in the wrong way, for explanations of things. I know it's not the right way to look at things and I know that there are more valid reason/theories than "simulationdidit". It's annoying but I don't know how to combat it (but to be fair, the same thing happened when I feared the illuminati but I did have people to pull through that, a lot of them on this very website)

Anyway, I hope someone can reply to this. Thank you in advance and apologies for being a moron.--WMS (talk) 11:59, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

First, Occam's Razor[edit]

If we are living in a simulated reality, would we know it? If the answer is "no" (if 1: the simulation is so accurate/complete/whatever that it shows no signs of being a simulation, or 2: it is generally impossible to know if one is in a simulation, in part because there's nothing to compare it to), then the evidence for "simulation hypothesis" and for "nonsimulation hypothesis" are equal. If so, then by Occam's Razor, you should assume the simulation hypothesis is wrong.

Obviously, this doesn't apply if the simhyp is more likely than not (because of Bostrom-esque equations or because of known facts). FuzzyCatPotato of the Universal Politicians (talk/stalk) 21:39, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

Just as a side note: I'm not saying there's anything wrong with exploring the above scenario/intuition pump/thought experiment (I even think it's fascinating) - but I just wanted to kick open an already open door and say something you both already know, and which is probably aside to the actual above discussion, by just pointing out that: the scientific way to approach any of these philosophical questions is not "What could possibly be imagined to be going on?" (I mean, we could all imagine infinite incompatible random scenarios); the scientific (and sceptical) way is only to ask "What do we have reason to believe is going on?".
Empiricism and the mechanism of falsification unite to remind us that anything we can't "weigh or measure" goes out the window (a.k.a. we are literally unable to get our hands on any data regarding it/there is no reason to believe such data exists), while any suggested scenario (while interesting) which is also unfalsifiable is, as Carl Sagan put it, a discussion on something which sounds an awful lot like a discussion on "nothing at all".
And then there's the fact that any discussion on reality leads to the Münchhausen Trilemma. Meaning; even if we had somehow established for certain that the universe is a simulation, the reasoning can't stop there - just like the stream of questions wouldn't exactly end even if a theistic God was proven to exist - so, the question then becomes; what caused the universe that the simulation is running in? And the reply will be one of three - either an infinite regress ("That's a simulation of a simulation of a simulation..."), or the reply is circular ("X causes Y causes X..."), or it's brick wall (axiomatic reasoning, a favourite of apologists like William Lane Craig) - e.g. we arbitrarily put our foot down and conclude "Ok guys THIS is a simulation but then outside of THAT is just a universe caused like a mystery like we used to see ours before we knew this was a simulation, ok?" (in which case what we should in fact be doing, per Occam, is to be saving a step and simply concluding that the universe we live in is the one likelier caused by a mystery, and no need for a simulation is left).
I mean, the whole problem of simulation is that it necessitates further universes - just a multiplication of the problem of original cause, but with less and less evidence for each step (see Occam). Again, I'm not saying this is fatal (per se) to what you guys are doing. But since Occam's razor and other tools of scepticism were brought up... Just wanted to toss that in. Thought experiments and intuition pumps need to be unfettered. Just make sure to remember that if we're, in a sense, actually discussing what is going on in real life, then the above has precedent. But please, do continue. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:03, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation of how to use Occam's razor in this scenario, it'll certainly help with this predicament. I read up about it a bit and there does seem to be flaws in it, even the main article on this subject states that the equation is flawed an he used ad hoc later on to arrive at the same conclusion. Others have said that Bostrom's equation isn't great and some even said it's self defeating. I think it's safe to assume that Bostrom's equation isn't the most reliable, is flawed and isn't conclusive.--WMS (talk) 22:54, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
No problem, WMS! Happy to help, if I did. (Also, I hope you weren't being sarcastic by thanking me on explaining Occam's razor in this scenario? It's hard to tell in text sometimes :3). All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:11, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
Don't worry RBP, that wasn't sarcasm. I genuinely am grateful that you took your time in order to help me with my predicament :) you seem to do that frequently and I really appreciate it! Again, thank you :)--WMS (talk) 23:32, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
Ok, thanks! That makes me happy to hear! And I do try my best to always make sure to be a teacher, student, and friend to all the good editors at this site - glad you feel that my efforts are noticable! :3 All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:58, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

Enough is enough[edit]

United we stand, divided we fall. All the best, your friend Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:31, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Wow, this is the first time an edit war unfolds while I'm a member (or at least I think it is) if it isn't resolved yet, let's hope we'll find a solution that everyone agrees on. FCP's proposal seems pretty good--WMS (talk) 21:22, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Rabbit hole status, old chum[edit]

(In a Cockney dialect) "What's all this, then?" Reverend Black Percy (talk) 11:21, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Excus me? I'm slightly confused. Have I done something wrong?--WMS (talk) 19:05, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry if I messed up with anything. I can answer any questions you have pal :)--WMS (talk) 19:20, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Also, I hope I haven't angered you in anyway. You've helped me earlier and you seem like a real nice fellow and I would loathe it if I screwed our relations (I'm sorry for the amount of messages on this talk page but hey, anxiety is normal with me :) )--WMS (talk) 19:43, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

@WMS: He's asking what you mean by "rabbit hole status".

@RBP: It means "how much have I bought into conspiracy theories recently". Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 20:11, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

It's got something to do with Alice in Wonderland... Laurogeita Hamabost (talk) 20:31, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Oh ok, once more thank you for clarifying FCP :D (every time I let anxiety take over, it seems I make a fool out of myself :P).--WMS (talk) 23:02, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Argument from ignorance[edit]

The article writes:

a premise is false because it has not been proven true

You wrote:

I found that confusing because, if someone makes a theory, don't they have to prove it?

That's exactly the point! Let's do a little translating.

  • "a premise" = "a theory". (A premise is merely the assertion that something is true -- very very similar to a thoery.)
  • "is false" = "is assumed to be false". (We don't say that, say, string theory is wrong because it has not been proven (because we also do not know whether it is wrong, as we have no evidence against it) -- but instead merely fail to use it as true (because we have no evidence for it). In other words, "X is false" largely means "we ignore X".)
  • because it has not been proven true.

This makes:

"A theory is assumed to be false because it has not been proven true."

Which makes sense, doesn't it? If there's no reason to believe in something, Occam's Razor (roughly) tells you to ignore it.

Fuzzy "Cat" Potato, Jr. (talk/stalk) 21:03, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

I gave a way, way messier reply on my talkpage, too! But this is the neat version. I think. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:13, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Thank you RBP for your response, it helped me get an idea of what is meant by the argument! Also, I agree, it is nice when we speak! (Little hugging emoji (I have no idea how to insert that)). Thank you FCP for your respone too, it made me understand the argument a bit more too. One thing I still don't understand is that: if it makes sense to assume something is false because it hasn't been proven true, why is that classified as a logical fallacy? If it's a reasonable thing to do why is it considered a fallacy? Again, thank you both very much for responding; if you could also tell me why it's classified as a fallacy that'd be great. Anyway, thank you very much again--WMS (talk) 19:49, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
I found this example on the Internet "Fred said that he is smarter than Jill, but he didn't prove it, so it must be false." if Fred failed to ever prove that he's smarter than Jill, why is it wrong to assume that Fred is false? Seems logical to assume his statement is false if he fails to prove it.--WMS (talk) 20:19, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
The reason for this is the burden of proof. Please watch this video, it'll make things much clearer I think! Also, you insert the hug emoticon by typing {{hug}}. Oh, and by the way - on an unrelated topic - don't forget to add your endorsements/anti-endorsements/goats to the campaign page (anyone can add those). They help other people know how to vote and so on. All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:15, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Alrighty, thank you again amigo! And I'll do that thing you asked me to. Thanks again and have a good day! :)--WMS (talk) 18:16, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

"Paranoid git"[edit]

Paranoid, maybe. Git, certainly not! Asking for help with debunking is not mean by any standard. By all means, keep it up -- it's even created some good articles! :) FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 21:17, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

Thank you FCP, that means a lot to me! :)--WMS (talk) 01:45, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

WOW, Skeptic — great moves! Keep it up. Proud of you.[edit]

I grant you... my secret weapon.
For use only when your victory is utterly flawless and complete. I trust you to link to it wisely and with restraint. All the best buddy, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 11:42, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
It's a great honour my friend, I shall use this with gratitude. Thank you, RBP--WMS (talk) 12:49, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
Mwahahaha! I have found the secret weapon!-DïämöńđDïsc1 (talk) 03:23, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Wrote you a reply[edit]

Here. Nice catch, by the way — you were right to think that the reasons given for why Aynd was wrong (something something physics?) were incorrect (they are). Though the fact still remains, she's wrong too. Th hug.gif All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 09:47, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Hit me up if you ever read my reply! :) Peace, friend. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:53, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

Hello from the other side.....[edit]

Wave.gif-Totally Not Adele (talk) 05:52, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

I must have seen this lyrics a thousand times Shifty.gif.--WMS (talk) 21:40, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
Just wanted to tell you I'm sorry for not dropping by sooner...Totally Not Adele (talk) 00:09, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
But when you're active, I never seem to be on (RW)...--WMS (talk) 01:11, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Coffee spray.gif Laughing.gif -DïämöńđDïsc1 (talk) 01:24, 9 November 2016 (UTC)
Always good to indulge in some lyrical banter, haha :D Laughing.gif--WMS (talk) 01:34, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

RE: your right-leaning friend[edit]

I think it's a good idea to remain friends with this person. One of the key defining features of rational people is that they avoid echo chambers. You don't want to be friends with people who only think like you; that is a recipe for disaster. However, that said, you need to keep your wits about you, lest he "influences" you and drags you to the "dark side". It's important to critically question everything he puts to you, even if they seem convincing. Always play "devil's advocate", even if it's just to fuck with him. --Levi Ackerman (talk) 13:39, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for the advice, it'd be boring if all my friends had the same political ideologies to me. And sometimes we can have a good, entertaining debate me and my friend; I will try to play devil's advocate more and I will stand my ground with more courage when he says something I consider not correct now thanks to you encouragement :D. I'm very glad for the help, I needed it.--WMS (talk) 23:25, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
And don't forget the positive effect you have on him by being his friend — a patently nice person — yet not sharing his views. If you can be a friend and an ideological opponent at the same time, you prove a lot about humanity, and you help to prevent splittingWikipedia's W.svg both in your friend and in yourself. If you were to adopt his exact views (or he was to adopt yours), you would both stand to lose a certain amount of nuance. This is yet another reason to, as Levi puts it, actively challenge each others' views yet not "convert or be converted", per se. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:30, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for the very kind words RBP Th hug.gif! And you're very right- it's very good that we manage to stay good friends despite our beliefs being quite the contrast and in recent weeks/months (because of the time spent on RW and with yours, FCP's, Levi's and many other lovely people's help in teaching me the etiquette of debating which I was able to pass down on my friend) our arguments have moved on from ad hominem, straw men etc. into actual coherent debates.--WMS (talk) 23:44, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

A page relevant to your interests: Fake news[edit]

Figured I'd just drop a link. :) Fuzzy "Cat" Potato, Jr. (talk/stalk) 20:29, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

Thank you :)--WMS (talk) 20:37, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

Everything OK?[edit]

Saw this, was wondering. Th hug.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:23, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

Everything's ok friend, just going through (for the lack of a better phrasing) a time of solitude. Thanks for asking, by the way, I really appreciate it Th hug.gif!--WMS (talk) 00:50, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

I'm way behind on my friendly chatting quota[edit]

Hey dude, sorry for taking so long to reply to you (to this).

Your questions, as always, were and are welcome, and you didn't have to erase one of them out or anything. It's just my ADHD and the fact that I've been so busy doing stuff off-site these past weeks.

Regardless, to give you my two cents: I'm going to quote Ethan here, who — I think — nails the most important thing in the following quote:

Just remember that as we goof on people, it doesn't necessarily mean that we hate them. I think one of the most important things we can take into the world is a tenderness and a compassion for those we may dislike or even hate. And one more footnote — that Zarna does not represent feminism. I think what she represents is the cult of outrage, it's a bastardization [of feminism]. It's like... It's like saying an Orc is an Elf. Ok? And those of you who are familiar with Lord of the Rings lore know that the Orcs were buried and bastardized by dark magic and turned into a completely different race. So to say that Zarna represents feminism is like saying an Orc is an Elf. And anyone where who's read the Lord of the Rings knows that's not the same thing.

A lot of people have jumped on these issues with the disingenous and incorrect view that Zarna somehow represents feminism. Let's be clear that she doesn't, and bringing attention to all the shit she's been stirring is not an indictment of the entire project of feminism (read: equality) itself.

She's just another example of the cult of outrage, which Ethan wisely points out is made up of the just as triggered Alt-right. In the end — while no person in the world is above bias — what we must atleast help each other to avoid is falling victim to our own splittingWikipedia's W.svg. All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk)

Thank you very much for replying amigo! And don't worry that it took you so long, I understand that people tend to be quite busy outside of the online world. Anywho, I do completely agree with you, like you pointed out feminism is about equality and respecting others, Zarna did not have any respect for Hugh and her outrage for such an innocent joke was unjustifiable. She went so long about the alleged "sexual harassment" whilst more important and real issues need to be tackled. You are correct, she doesn't represent feminism, she represents the outrage culture which has sadly became more prevalent in the recent years. I'm glad that Ethan brought attention to this, helped Hugh and pointed out how silly and irrational Zarna was. Thanks again for replying friend, Papa bless :).--WMS (talk) 17:19, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

Do you enjoy audio books?[edit]

Well, do ya? :3 Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:22, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

I do, why do you ask friend?--WMS (talk) 23:23, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
Because Christmas draws near... Th hug.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:31, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
It sure is :).--WMS (talk) 23:35, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
Do you have Audible? If you don't, I have a plan, see... Edit: Turns out the plan works out regardless if you have it already or not. So, do ya? :3 Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:38, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
I do not have audible currently :P.--WMS (talk) 23:44, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, if you'd be interested, I'd love to use the Audible Share feature and gift you this brilliant lecture series, from the esteemed Great Courses series, narrated by the highly talented Steven NovellaWikipedia's W.svg. 24 lectures in total, 31 minutes per lecture, a total of 12 hours of great audiobook content on all things a skeptic should be acutely aware of. Tell me if you're the least bit interested in this, and I could e-mail you the link. All you gotta do is open it on your smartphone, and it'll download the Audible app (a great app) and you can start listening. Th hug.gif (Or even better, if you wanna be proactive, just download the Audible app from your trusted app store first, and then take the steps in the e-mail). Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:13, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
Courses that can enhance my critical thinking skills and, therefore, make me a better skeptic? That sounds brilliant! I'm interested in this quite a bit. I already have the audible app downloaded. Do you know my email or should I write it down? Th hug.gif--WMS (talk) 00:33, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
Type out your e-mail here (use a throwaway e-mail if you want your main e-mail account to stay anonymous) and I'll e-mail you the link! Th hug.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:32, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
Alrighty, here's my secondary email (please don't mind the name, I was young and just starting my 'edgy' phase) --WMS (talk) 01:38, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
Check you inbox! Also, love the game assassin vibe. Watch h3h3's "Cleaning Your Gamer Gear" to learn why. All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:54, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
Haha, that's a great video! Anyway, thank you very much for this RBP! Th hug.gif This is going to be an awesome lecture :D.--WMS (talk) 02:33, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

So, how's the lecture going?[edit]

Assuming you're doing all right with it, I have one more you just have to listen to next — it's brilliant, and if you liked the Steven Novella one at all, you'll love the one I'm recommending now — Skepticism 101: How to Think like a Scientist by the irreplacable Michael Shermer. It's a bit like if someone made an audiobook on "The topics relevant to RW". Th hug.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:10, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

Hey! The lectures are fantastic! Thanks again for the gift. Ooh, more ways of becoming a better skeptic, thanks RBP Th hug.gif. By the way, my sincerest apologies for replying to you so late, I hope you don't mind. Thanks again :).--WMS (talk) 21:47, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
No worries, m'boy. I'm 'late' too, as it were. Th hug.gif All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:43, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

*has not forgotten about you*[edit]

Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:53, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Haha, thanks RBP, I haven't been on lately because I've been super busy- and, to be fair, I doubt I'll be on much later too unfortunately. But hey, I found some spare time and I decided to come on by.--WMS (talk) 03:28, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
Makes me glad to hear that you've got things going on to fill your days, as it were! Remember... It's not bad when you're tied up elsewhere. It's just good when you drop by. Th hug.gif All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:39, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks RBP Th hug.gif--WMS (talk) 12:51, 2 June 2017 (UTC)