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Enthusiastic Response

Your March/April 2017 issue has provoked me to make an enthusiastic response. I’m a longtime subscriber since the early ’80s. I had seen your journal mentioned in an article and was very curious. I actually had to write to the publisher to get a subscription.

First, Lindsay’s “Why Skep ­ticism?” spoke to my own bias about items in SI. I, too, thought SI spent too much time on the “soft issues.” Lindsay’s article has led me to see that the strength of CSICOP is in its ability to attack irrational thinking at all levels of sophistication.

The articles by Tavris and Aronson and by Pigliucci are particularly timely and relevant. And I must say that SI has been publishing more on how and why we think, and that is good. One of my favorite books of the last few years is Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow, which is very relevant to skeptics’ thinking. Pigliucci’s article, in particular, is relevant, I think, to dealings with the religious person. To the religious person there is virtue in belief. This is a quality that often gets lost in skeptics’ responses.

And finally, a comment on a letter to the editor: Parenthetically, let me say that I find the letters to the editor and their responses are often as informative as the relevant articles. The letter from the Episcopal priest probably expresses a common fear of non­skeptics who may want to participate in dialogues about controversial topics. I am not sure to what extent her fears are justified, and I think Rad­ford’s response was quite appropriate. I have a vague memory that there have been letters like that in the past. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way of setting up a dialogue with these people using Pigliucci’s Epis­ temic Virtues?

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About Skeptical Inquirer

Fire-Breathing Dinosaurs? Physics, Fossils, and Functional Morphology vs. Pseudoscience JonBenet Murder Mystery Solved? (Not by Psychics) An Investigation of the Missing411 Conspiracy