Naked Skepticism

No, I’m not talking about our Skepchick calendar, although we will be hearing more about that soon.

I’m plugging The Naked Skeptic, my new web column for CSI. In my inaugural article, Psychics Aren’t Psychic crystal-ballAnymore, I discuss how and why some psychics prefer to call themselves intuitives or sensitives. I also talk about how these intuitive’s abilities have gone from crystal-ball readings of your past, present and future to vague claims of “feeling”, “sensing” and “knowing”.

Okay, while we’re on the subject of nudity and plugging, check out my Skepbitch post about a terrifying new paranormal phenomenon: rectal ghosts!

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  1. From the rectal ghost post

    “his anal ghost removal our sex life was very poor to say the least. But in time all was rectified through patience.”

    He he he… Rectified!

  2. We go to a Unitarian-Universalist church that, unfortunately, has hosted an “intuitive” a few times for evenings of readings. UUism is open and inclusive which means you get a weird mix of skeptical humanists and gullible, er, “open minded” new-agers. So I get left with an ethical dilemma: Do I risk offending other members of the congregation by objecting to hosting this person, or do I make nice and help perpetrate fraud?

  3. @PeteSchult:
    Are those really your only two options? Can’t you just opt out and not be involved at all? Then you can keep the peace without perpetrating the fraud.

  4. Worst kind of phenomena in the annals of skepticism. Except for haunted penal colonies. Or the strange creatures orbiting Uranus in search of Klingons.

    What do you call the goey ooze that comes out when you’ve got a haunted anus? Rectoplasm.

    Yeah, it’s true. Look it up.

  5. @Glow-Orb: I have largely quit going because of my work schedule, but the church occasionally has programs that are interesting and rational, so I still support it and go when they do. And my wife continues to go but with a skeptically open mind.

    @MiddleMan: Yes, they do seem to value inclusion over reason. Reason is only one of the traditions they draw from. Others explicitly mentioned are Jewish and Christian traditions and other religions, including earth centered traditions (presumably paganism). Usually, I just view it as a forum in which I can present reason and others can present woo and we can all drink coffee together.

    The problem I had with the program featuring the intuitive was that it was a fundraiser for the church, so we were actually profiting from fraud. I suppose I could take a stand and leave the congregation over it, but it doesn’t yet rise to that level of moral problem for me.

  6. Two thoughts, I remember when I was Pentecostal ministry training being told never to say “God says” but say things like “God is showing me…” or “I’m getting X from the Lord, what does that mean to you?” Which is pretty much the vague crapification you describe.

    “My husband got ghost in in his ass”
    “You mean his rectum.”
    “Wrecked him? It damn near killed him!”

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