Friday, July 06, 2007

Doggerel #110: "Cynic"

Welcome to a birthday marathon of "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.

We all know how Hollywood and the typical woos like to depict us. They like to think we doubt everyone's intentions, categorically label all psychics/clergy/quacks as conscious frauds, and generally believe that all woo is the result of deliberate deception for the sake of money.

But that's not the case. The typical woo I argue with is a sincere but mistaken believer. They really do believe in whatever nonsense they're touting, not making money off of it, and believe that they're making the world a better place for doing so. The problem is that they didn't use logic to get to their position, and that's what we attack.

What's worse is that woos will commonly resort to cynicism as a defense against our attacks: They'll invent elaborate worldwide conspiracies to explain the lack of evidence in their favor, preemptively assume we'll rig any test with infinite trickery powers, despite any precautions taken against them, and make up elaborate psychobabble to "explain" our motives and claim the evidence isn't important to us, despite repeated demands.

If my personal experience is worth anything, it's the woos who are the biggest cynics out there.

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