Sunday, February 1, 2009

A guide to Skeptical Etiquette

Tip o' the martini glass to the Bad Astronomer who links to a great piece of writing by


  1. I've lately decided it's ethically wrong to remain quiet and thereby imply agreement to statements I believe harmful. Yet I was brought up to be polite and respectful. Here's the tone I tend to take:

    So when someone says, "Congratulations! It was meant to be! (or "I was praying for you!")!"

    I say, smiling, "Thanks! I do have to say I don't share a belief in fate (or prayers), and believe it had more to do with work, expert help, and a lot of luck. But I appreciate the nice words!"

    [But of course, if they say, "Does the fear of hell bother you?" I've no choice but to respond, "Obviously no more than your cretinous, narcissistic ignorance bothers you."]

  2. Hehe, yeah my response depends on who I'm talking with. Usually, I don't even want to bother getting into a discussion. Those who know me well no better than to say such things, because I will make a point around those I feel comfortable with!

    Except my little brothers, who make a joke of it :-)