John Shook has a post up over at CFI about scientific skepticism versus rationalist skepticism with regard to religious claims. He notes that calls for scientific skepticism are not universal among skeptics, and he gives a fascinating bit of history on who originated the call for scientific skepticism to be applied to religion. Read the whole thing.
The first comment, however, raises a misconception that I’d like to address:
Whenever I hear someone talk about what other people should/should not accept/believe as if they know the absolute truth, I wonder how they differ from all of the other people who think that they, too, know the absolute truth.
Here’s the thing: That’s not what we do. It’s a common misconception based, I think, in the fact that we tend to get more attention when we’re talking about politics than when we’re talking about belief and epistemology (and the fact that you can now find atheist skeptics talking among themselves), but it isn’t true. There is no knowledge of absolute truth required to talk about what people should or shouldn’t accept as the skeptical position on religion. [Read more…]