Guardians of Irrationality
The Modern Skeptic

he other day I realized something that was rocking around inside my head for quite awhile. You've all seen/heard skeptics of the Skeptical Inquirer crowd ... eh?

I like them. They always put on a good "sensible" show. But ...

They only attack small fry

I should say counter-attack which is more accurate. First, the offender makes some more or less bizarre claim, gains some adherents, shows up on their radar screens ... and then ... gets a righteous clobbering. This is all well and good (and necessary for the most part).

They show a real lack of courage, however, when choosing what to counter-attack. They never offend the cash cow, i.e. those who buy their books and make possible a living out of debunking (such small living as there may be). Yet, here is where they could do some real damage to the opposition (quackery).

What do they attack?

Only those who will not re-attack them with "real" weapons like guns and knives and poison and lynchings and crude physical beatings. Sure, they can call into question the credibility of a UFO observer or a ghost hunter or a psychic medium even Big Foot. These people (or things) will not kill them. They have no violent constituency. At worst they may be the recipients of "harsh language".

But you know they will never attack the "quackery" of religion.

That would be dangerous (possible crude physical danger). Remember that religion has murdered millions of individuals over the span of its "con".If organized religion felt threatened by skeptics, those same skeptics would be examining the under-carriage of their cars every morning with a mirror attached to a stick.

They have never attacked it in the past or present and won't in the future ... thereby giving to religion the status of social and scientific credibility ... because ... if you put all manner of quackery in a box, anything left out is considered "not quackery". Skeptics may attack remote aspects of religion like Creationism but they will never go for its fundamentals ... its core beliefs. They will not undercut its base as some few relatively unknown scholars have done.

They have not got the balls for that.

If fact, as I pointed out to one once in an email exchange, they will not even call an individual a "liar" to his face when no other alternative is possible. For instance, if someone claims to have seen a UFO land 100 feet away in broad daylight ... even here ... they haven't got the balls to call him a liar to his face when it is certain he cannot have made an error of judgement ... he's either a liar or has seen a genuine UFO. Instead, they opt for the absurd and cowardly "He's mistaken some other phenomena for a UFO.". The only appropriate reply (given their beliefs which they have every right to) is "You, sir, are a liar.". Why can't they say it like that ... like a man?

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