Skepticism vs. Zeteticism.

Wed, 26 Jan 1994 11:36:53 -0500

> If anyone wants additonal perspectives on these topics, they should check
>out the journal, 'The Skeptical Inquirer' (no, not the National Enquirer).
>Several issues over the last two years have had excellant articles on lucid
>dreams, near-death experiences, false-memory syndrome, etc. WARNING: they
>are skeptical (with reason, perhaps...).

I do read the Skeptical Inquirer. I also read the Zetetic. Here is
how I see the difference. Let us take 'paranormal' phenomenon 'X'.

1. The "Skeptical" Inquirer assumes, a priori, that X does not exist, and
therefore devotes its energies to "debunking" all claims fof X. Thus it
begins with systematic disbelief, which to me is as dogmatic as systematic
2. The "National" Enquirer sells papers to people who, a priori, assume
that X does exist. They may or may not believe in the existence of X but
they know that making up instances of it sells papers.
3. The "Zetetic" neither believes in, nor disbelieves in, X. Belief is the
enemy. At the moment, not enough evidence has been assimilated to a
posteriori establish the existence or non-existence of X. No need to
propagate memes. The Zetetic may, however, wish to use the concept of X as
an operational heuristic device, until it is disproved.
As I see it, the "Zetetic" is the only true Skeptic, if we go back to
the older definition of skepticism as the "withholding of belief," which
from my point of view includes disbelief, since disbelief is belief in the
converse of a proposition.

Seeker1 [@Nervm.Nerdc.Ufl.Edu] (real info available on request)
Anthropologist, Cybernaut, PoMoDemite, Noetician, Situationiste, et al.
University of Florida, Gainesville, Cosmic Nexus of the Universal Matrix
"'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds!" --Malaclypse the Younger