Clarification of terms
This term is falsely used by a group of materialist fanatics to make a connection to the philosophical movement of skepticism and to science. The self-designation of certain organized groups of detractors of homeopathy as “sceptics” is factually wrong, it displays philosophical ignorance and it is presumptuous.
Why? Scepticism has a long philosophical tradition in the west and denotes a way of thinking that is challenging itself all the time. True sceptics make doubt their most important tool, meaning doubt about their own position, which is thus clarified in a kind of hermeneutic circle to approach truth more and more.
Doubting only someone else’s position has nothing in common with scepticism but is pure dogmatism. Those who try to present themselves as “sceptics” in our context are in reality no more than dogmatics of a fundamentalist scientism.
Real scepticism is a philosophical tradition which is following the principle to doubt established dogmas and doctrines of their own theoretical layout. Scepticism is an important part of the enlightenment era and gave us a large part of the freedom of thought that we are now used to. True philosophy will always carry a good deal of scepticism as long as it understands itself as part of the sokratic way of thinking and questioning.
Those organisations of critics of homeopathy that are impudent enough to adorn themselves with the title of “sceptics”, are but the direct opposite. They are not doubting the established doctrines or their own beloved dogmas, but the beliefs of others that they can’t stand. But to doubt the ideas of your opponent has nothing in common with the art and requirements of Scepticism. Deeming your own opinion to be the only possible truth and that of your opponent to be false and out of question, is fundamentalism in the best case and populism in the worst. True sceptics don’t point their sword of critical questioning against others but against themselves. (Example: a christian sceptic is one who doubts christian doctrines to clarify their own convictions, but not one who doubts the ideas of islam or buddhism.)
As far as the well organized groups of detractors of natural medicine calling themselves “sceptics” are concerned, they are rather fundamentalist ideologists pretending exclusive validity of their version of a naïve positivism and trying to enforce it in the whole of our society. This kind of belief system is also called scientistic (as opposed to scientific) and it is no science. This scientistic belief system rests on some scientific paradigms of the 19thcentury and the idea which was common in some circles those days that the world could be thoroughly explained that way. 20thcentury science has overcome such mindsets long ago even though this notion has not yet arrived in all schoolbooks. It is the task of science to explain or calculate phenomena with the help of their well defined methods and tools. It is not part of their task to state which phenomena can be real and which cannot. The existance of a phenomenon is a matter of observation and not of theory. In the history of science observations that are out of the ordinary range of the known and predictable, have always been the impulses for progress and changes of paradigm.
An interesting question is still open: What motivates these groups of “sceptics”? With so many grave and obvious problems in this world, it seems an extraordinary behaviour needing massive reasons to invest such a lot of personal lifetime, energy and money only to fight a medical method that is not strongly represented anyway and obviously harmless. The so-called “critics” have obviously never learned anything about the objects of their attacks, as it would be common for critics. A literary critic is one who has read literature and then talks about it sophisticatedly, and not one who is against literature in general and has never read anything. From this one can gather that their point is not a relevant and factual discussion. The only point seems to be the emotional fight against and exposure of something, that they don’t understand and would actually like to extinguish completely from the face of this world. Apart from staunch fundamentalists who have to fight for their scientistic belief system with all their energy, there are of course lots of free riders who hope to gain attention by copying an attitude that is becoming popular and is being hyped by the media. They are part of every popular trend and not specific for this issue, and a factual argument is not their thing of course.
It seems very likely that the public derogation of a healing method that is very popular, very cheap and very effective, and which does not fit within the established frames of technological and chemical medicine, will appeal to certain powerful pressure groups. If and by which means these pressure groups are making use of the fanaticism and fear of a few fundamentalists, or whether they make them look more important than they are, by financial or medial support, has not yet been fully researched. The results of some german watch-groups (see e.g. the work of Markus Fiedler) strongly point into that direction.
This text is quoted from a blog entry about fake-skeptics.
You find a brilliant debate about these pseudo-sceptic arguments here.
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