Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Skepticon IV

For all you Midwes- tern godless out there, Skepticon IV is just months away. PZ and I are grandfathered in, so we'll definitely be speaking, along with many other awesome folk. Once again this irreverent ride is brought to you by the MSU Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and as always, in Springfield, Missouri.

The venue this time will be the Gillioz Theatre. Officially from Friday to Sun- day this November 18th to 20th (2011), but no events are yet planned for Friday (there is an excur- sion planned that day for the Strafford Creation Museum, but so far it will probably just be a mill-about-and-get-acquainted day, but something could still get on the schedule for Friday night). For everything you need to know (and to register) see their official website at Skepticon.org (which will be updated with more details over time as everything gets finalized).

It's free, but that  doesn't mean you're guaranteed to get a seat. Registration has already begun, and could fill up this year, so if you plan to go, register now rather than later! (Also, they need donations to keep this grand event free, and continuing into future years, so if you can spare anything and want to help out, visit the donation page on their website.)

For how amazing the event is, see my past blogs: Skepticon III, Skepticon II, and the original Skepticon. This year the speaker roster includes some new people and some folk from last year: 


No word yet on what everyone's topics will be, but mine will be on Bayes' Theorem. That's right, I'll be teaching you math, bitches! Don't worry, I promise it will be at least mildly fun.
 

18 comments:

solon said...

>>Historian and philosopher Richard Carrier

>>you don't have a PhD in philosophy
>>I do have a Ph.D. in the history of philosophy


Why do you keep lying and saying this is a degree in philosophy? It is so basic. You have a degree in history.

Ben said...

Oh the promise of mild fun. Almost as good as the promise of more Solon trolling...

Tatarize said...

Solon, you still exist? And apparently haven't gotten any more reasonable.

He has a doctor of philosophy in the history of philosophy, and natural philosophy. Has written books on the subject. And claims to be a philosopher, on account of that being the case.

Aristotle, fuck that guy, he didn't have a PhD in Philosophy. He just spent time engaging in Philosophy, becoming important in the field, wrote books on the subject, and spent time teaching it to students. -- Which apparently Dr. Carrier has also done.

Solon, you really need to reevaluate your criticism. It's the second oddest criticism of Carrier I've ever seen. And laughable on too many grounds, are we next to suppose that calling Dan Dennett a scientist is somehow unjustified?

Richard Carrier said...

Indeed. Look at one list of the "top ten" greatest philosophers as well as another, the first two lists that came up on Google: not a single one of them had a Ph.D. in philosophy, with the sole exception of Kant. Solon seems to like Nietzsche, yet he had no Ph.D. in philosophy, either.

But the real issue isn't what a Ph.D. is "in" but what studies were pursued in acquiring it, and a history of philosophy degree is widely recognized as an equivalent degree to philosophy itself (they study the same things: the history of philosophy). Likewise, getting papers published under peer review in philosophy journals constitutes meeting the requirements of doing competent scholarly, professional, academic work in philosophy.

In short, I am vastly more qualified in philosophy than Solon is, whom I can safely infer has no Ph.D. at all, and not a single published paper in an academic philosophy journal. So if "qualifications" actually are as important as Solon claims, he should just pick up his marbles go home.

psychadelicfuse81 said...

"That's right, I'll be teaching you math, bitches!"


ROFL! Milk came out of my nose.

:D

solon said...

@Tatarize said...
>>He has a doctor of philosophy in the history of philosophy

That makes no sense. He has a doctorate in History. Simple as that.

I never said anyone needs a Ph.D to be a philosopher. I've explained why Richard is obviously a bad philosopher and that, to defend himself, he lies and claims to have a Ph.D in philosophy and be published in philosophy journals on the subjects he is always writing about here and claiming absolute mastery of.

Richard Carrier said...

solon said... I never said anyone needs a Ph.D to be a philosopher. I've explained why Richard is obviously a bad philosopher and that, to defend himself, he lies and claims to have a Ph.D in philosophy and be published in philosophy journals on the subjects he is always writing about here and claiming absolute mastery of.

Find anywhere where I have said any of those things and quote me here. Good luck with that.

I have never claimed to have anything other than a Ph.D. in the history of philosophy, and I have never claimed to have any peer reviewed articles other than the ones I actually have.

You, on the other hand, have repeatedly challenged me to prove that I have any qualifications in philosophy. I have several. I have a Ph.D. in the history of the subject and several peer reviewed articles in the subject. Which, again, is far more than you. So if lack of qualifications requires shutting up on the subject, then let's see you practice what you preach...

solon said...

Richard, Richard...

Yet again: if you have a degree in History of Farming, does that make you a trained farmer? No.

So stop citing your history degree as proof that you are a trained philosopher. You are not.

Doesn't mean you can't possibly do philosophy, it just happens to be the case that you do it poorly.

Also, you constantly cite being "peer reviewed" to defend your wacky moral preaching but turns out you only have 1 single article on "biogenesis" in a respected phil/biology journal and nothing at all relevant to morality or major philosophers in history on the subject (or any other).

Again, you are misleading people in order to defend the legitimacy of your writings on morality.

Why not be honest and say you are not a trained philosopher and have no peer reviewed work in this area, but put it forth for critique? Trying to be sneaky about those issues makes your work look even more suspect than it does on its own.

Pikemann Urge said...

For all you Midwestern godless out there,

Skepticism != atheism. There are Christians in the skeptical movement. :-) I'm not in any of those camps, BTW.

Why do you keep lying and saying this is a degree in philosophy? It is so basic. You have a degree in history.

Richard has already replied to your question. In addition, his CV clearly states:

M.Phil. (Ancient History) May 2000
Majors: Greco-Roman Philosophy, Religion, and Historiography


This issue has been resolved several times over now.

In short, I am vastly more qualified in philosophy than Solon is, whom I can safely infer has no Ph.D. at all

Actually, I think he's currently studying history (degree level). Apologies to Solon if I'm mistaken. Sorry, I don't recall if and where he wrote that.

Yet again: if you have a degree in History of Farming, does that make you a trained farmer? No.

This issue, too, has been resolved. Richard effectively agreed with you, but has suggested a similar analogy which better suits his actual situation.

you only have 1 single article on "biogenesis" in a respected phil/biology journal

If that paper were not of concern to philosophy and philosophers, the journal would not have published it. Perhaps you take issue with biogenesis as a topic that a philosophy journal should publish?

Why not be honest and say you are not a trained philosopher and have no peer reviewed work in this area, but put it forth for critique?

Repeating accusatory questions as if the answers were never given is a very powerful political weapon. I think that it's something that candidates train to defend themselves against early in their careers.

kilo papa said...

Solon,

Put your pecker back in your pants and go back to reading your Rick Santorum newsletter.

Morrison said...

I am putting real effort into assembling a complete team to attend the Skepticon!

Books, pamphlets, a table, you name it.

It should be a real show.

john regama said...

I am far more interested in his thoughts then his degrees.
As a Greek, I have a great deal of respect for education; as a human being (benefit of the doubt, please) I have more for the results of free thought regardless of the source.

solon said...

@kilo papa said...
>>go back to reading your Rick Santorum newsletter

Who is Rick Santorum? Isn't he some American politician?

Is he some Christian nut? You do realize I'm not Christian and have been criticizing Richard's superficial reformed Christian moralizing for ages, right?

Merely pointing out that Richard didn't do his degree in philosophy but misleads about that, and has no peer-reviewed writings in the topics he claims to be a genius in and misleads about that too, doesn't make one the "enemy". You American blog-warrior types have been in the trenches too long.

Don't be suckered into defending Richard's nice-nice faux "atheism".

Ben said...

You see Solon is his own special brand of insanity. Not to be confused with the encultured version that accidentally ropes in lots of well meaning sane people.

Richard Carrier said...

"There are Christians in the skeptical movement."

IMO, not really. That's like saying "I'm a skeptic, but I believe in ghosts, blood magic, and psychics." I know it's unpopular to say, but it's simply the truth.

You could say "There are agnostics and deists in the skeptical movement." But Christians? Only if George Orwell rolls in his grave.

Richard Carrier said...

"[R.C.] has no peer-reviewed writings in the topics he claims to be a genius in."

My chapter on moral theory is a peer-reviewed writing. We've been over this. I guess this is Tea Party logic. Simply ignore facts that you can't explain away with impertinent analogies, and explain the rest away with impertinent analogies.

Setting aside the fact that I never claimed to be a "genius" in anything, only qualified to write academically in certain fields, when it comes to the latter, Solon has pretty much been proved the tard here.

I'm starting to see a pattern of Freudian projection defense all over his posts on my site. Indeed, the mere fact that he spends so much time here making lame and irrelevant claims, about documents he still openly refuses to read, yet claims to know what's in them (while getting completely wrong what's in them and never actually presenting any argument or evidence against their actual contents), suggests to me this is all an attempt to escape the cognitive dissonance caused by the fact that my very existence and philosophical work proves nihilism is stupid, and since he's a nihilist, ergo it proves he is stupid, therefore either Solon is stupid or Carrier is wrong. And since he's too lazy to actually check if I'm wrong (since he never reads or responds to anything I've actually written), that leaves only one tactic: ad hominem, ad nauseum.

Sad, really.

Pikemann Urge said...

But Christians? Only if George Orwell rolls in his grave.

Just to be clear, are you saying that the Christians in the skeptical movement are not the skeptics that they claim to be? I can understand where you're coming from.

But I just wanted to point out that when you called the "Midwestern godless out there," you were ignoring the Christian membership, who might feel a little slighted. I don't identify with either group, but correctness is correctness!

Richard Carrier said...

Pikemann Urge said... Just to be clear, are you saying that the Christians in the skeptical movement are not the skeptics that they claim to be?

Yes. They're not really "in" the movement, they're just tourists. They give lip service to ideals they simply don't follow except when it is convenient for them. Which is exactly the opposite of being skeptical. To the contrary, that's being dogmatic.

There isn't a human being alive who isn't "skeptical" of things they are against or don't believe in, of things contrary to the dogmas they've enslaved themselves to. The most superstitious nutbag fundamentalist Christian Truther is skeptical of something. That simply does not make them a skeptic.

When we get along all the way to the other end of the nonskeptical spectrum, where we find the more liberal minded Christians who are skeptical of quite a lot, what we find there are people who are just lazy. They don't want to apply their skeptical ideals to their own beliefs.

But I just wanted to point out that when you called the "Midwestern godless out there," you were ignoring the Christian membership, who might feel a little slighted.

As they should. Because they should feel ashamed if they claim to be skeptics--because such a claim would be lying, even if only to themselves.

The only conceivable exceptions would be Christians so wishy washy they won't commit to any specific "Christian" belief with any kind of certitude, or Christians in name only, who are really an agnostic or even an atheist who just likes certain self-selected Christian morals and finds it easier to get along by claiming "to be a Christian" than ever to say what they actually believe. But such Christians can't logically take offense--as they have no actual Christian beliefs for me to slight.

And of course uninformed Christians who, upon attending Skepticon, will not be Christians anymore within a year's time. But then Christians who would be turned off by anti-Christian talk, won't go to Skepticon anyway, where there will be abundant anti-Christian talk. Thus it would be wrong of me to falsely advertise Skepticon in a way as to to produce any other expectation.