In disclaimers attached to our news stories and articles we often state that “skeptics” or pseudo-skeptics may not accept the truth of the information we provide. This has led people to ask us what we mean by these terms, so, it’s probably time for an explanation.
A skeptic, or sceptic (the word can be spelt either way) refers to someone who habitually doubts or questions the truth of something – they are said to be skeptical. “Pseudo” means not genuine, sham, false, or insincere.
So, a pseudo-skeptic is one who pretends to question something from genuine doubt, but really has other motives for doing so. In other words, they’re a false skeptic and being less than honest.
You may be surprised to learn that we like skeptics – the true ones. They test and challenge things and have a healthy curiosity about the unfamiliar. In fact, it could be said that many of us here at Homeopathy Plus are skeptics.
In contrast, we regularly come across pseudo-skeptics – those who have no real interest in the evidence for homeopathy or the experiences of others. We don’t go looking for them, but they show up all the same. It appears they are on a mission to harass or discredit anything homeopathic and like to do it with malice and venom. If they can attack or smear a person rather than the information, so much the better.
But are these pseudo-skeptics blind to their own failings? While they claim their dogma is the “real science”, and that they themselves are “scientific”, what they do and the way they do it shows otherwise.
They absorb the mantras of their pseudo-skeptic groups, circulate mis-information they glean from pseudo-skeptic blogs and websites, and attack the evidence for homeopathy – yet fail to do the same with their own faulty beliefs or practices.
At Homeopathy Plus we have a good measure of respect for the true skeptics – and a lot in common with them, too. But the pseudo-skeptics? If someone avoids the evidence of experience, applies skepticism to only one side of an argument or debate, and tries to demean a person in the process, they can no longer claim they are truly being skeptical.
Pseudo-skeptics give the real skeptics a bad name.
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