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And, as predictably as the dawn follows the night, the old debate sparked up again.
Genie takes a position very similar to my own – that science is agnostic toward untestable claims.
it is true that most ad concepts are inspired from a small amount of basic ideas, and re-used and executed in their own various special ways. and forget 1 billion people because this is blatant scam anyway. what makes an ad clever is taking something that people know and connecting it to your own ad benefit. and FYI, maybe 100 million people in the whole world know this illusion, but 1 billion people don't. judge richness with the eye of the peon not the king!
The topic of skepticism and religion comes up on a regular basis within skeptical circles, and I find I have to define my position on a regular basis.
So when religions make claims about history or the nature of the material world, they are within the purview of science.
It is absolutely not about ghosts vs holy ghosts – it is about methodological naturalism (science) vs faith (not necessarily religion).
This, of course, is Sagan’s invisible floating heatless dragon – creating a belief that cannot be tested.
It is important, in my opinion, for skeptics to be crystal clear on this point, because often the purveyors of pseudoscience will try to evade falsification or the negative effects of evidence on their claims by positioning the claim outside of science.
It is also logically invalid to claim that faith is an appropriate approach to factual claims.
Philosophical Naturalism There are many proponents of philosophical naturalism within the skeptical movement – the position that the material world that science can investigate is not only all that we can know but that it is all that there is.
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The content of the beliefs, however, does not matter – it does not matter if they are part of a mainstream religion, a cult belief, a new age belief, or just a quirky personal belief.