Doggerel #9: “Open-Minded”

Welcome back to “Doggerel,” where I discuss words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.

Qualia Soup said it better than I can, but I’ll still give it my best shot.

As a skeptic, I’m often told to be more “open-minded” because I question various claims, particularly supernatural claims. The problem with many such critics is that they’re often quite unaware of the fact that I did seriously contemplate the issue with an open mind. I weighed in the evidence available to me, explored several alternative explanations, and settled on the most probable-seeming hypothesis. This review process can be revisited if new evidence comes to my attention or a genuine fallacy in my logic is identified. That’s what I think of as open-minded, and it’s how you’re supposed to think about the issue.

Continue reading

Genesis Alone

After my last post, I continued rewatching Qualia Soup’s videos, and one of the standouts was this:

He presents a lot of familiar objections to the Genesis story, but one idea that he emphasized was what the text said. Being culturally Christian, even if I’ve grown to be an atheist, I’m still used to thinking in terms of apologetic interpretations. Of course, many Creationists are also used to thinking in those terms. Reflecting on all the exchanges I can remember, I can’t recall anyone who ignored all the apologetic tweaks I realize I’ve been taking for granted. Some apologetics refer to passages from later books to alter the meaning of the text as is.

Continue reading

Excellent Videos

It’s been a long time since I’ve plugged them, but QualiaSoup and TheraminTrees are a pair of brothers who have put up some really wonderful videos on YouTube, dedicated to critical thought. I’ve occasionally considered making educational videos, drawing inspiration from their style, though I probably need a lot of speech practice to get anything down, as well as some software for making a good presentation.

But first, I should probably see how well I can maintain my blogging energy, which has been much more solid for some reason. I guess committing to the new place and starting with a clean slate has really helped. Anyway, some favorite videos below the fold:

Continue reading