[I should probably point out that I started writing this post before I heard that Sam Harris just released a short book / long pamphlet about this subject. You'll just have to take my word for it.]
Being a connoisseur¬†of crazy ideas carries with it a sort of¬†demarcation¬†problem. Is there a clearly defined line between a belief being totally unreasonable and kooky, and a belief which is just simply wrong? What kind of method can we use to tell the difference?
Sometimes it can be tough to distinguish between one unjustified belief categorized as crackpottery while another equally unjustified belief escapes unscathed simply because it’s popular. As it goes with pornography and Supreme Court justices, we might not be able to clearly define woo, but we can know it when we see it. As hazily defined a term as it is, maybe it would help the cause to expand its definition to the point where it makes more people re-examine their positions. (more…)