Penn and Teller

SagSun05

Member
Has anyone seen their show? They're two magicians that try debunking a lot of supernatual type stuff in a comedic way, but they seem to resort to a lot of strawman fallacies by choosing the worst cases. For example, I just saw the December 21, 2012 episode and they seemed to select a lot of the "the world is going to end" types of people on their show.

I also heard they did a show on astrology. What do you guys think of them?

www.pennandteller.com
 

SagSun05

Member
that's the humor though, they are purposely so absurd that you realize the fallacy of your own fear.

I never said I was a 2012 believer. I'm hardly fearful. I believe some good might come out of it (or maybe nothing at all). Not everyone believes the world will end, including me. What they did was pick the weakest cases. Thus, the strawman fallacy.

I can imagine the astrology episode will be filled with "astrologer's can't agree withg one another" and "how can you base your personality on your Sun Sign" type of arguments.
 

LionKing

Well-known member
Penn is a good magician... but not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He couldn't even give the correct day of the stock market crash in 1929, when he was interviewed on the History channel, concerning 9/11 events. Ha! V/r LionKing :devil:
 

SagSun05

Member
Penn is a good magician... but not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He couldn't even give the correct day of the stock market crash in 1929, when he was interviewed on the History channel, concerning 9/11 events. Ha! V/r LionKing :devil:

Lol. That's pretty funny. :happy:

What I don't get is this whole trend of stage magicians trying to debunk everything that's even remotely supernatural. They say they're trying to protect people from being duped (this much may be true), but a lot of the people they try to debunk aren't like this at all. It seems like even believing in a god becomes wrong in their eyes (most magician debunkers seem to be outspoken atheists). I have absolutely nothing against atheism or skepticism, but when atheism is used as an excuse to attack any person who don't disbelieve in a god or skepticism (by that, I mean closed-minded skepticism) is used as an excuse to stay in your materialistic bubble, then there's a problem.
 

MDH

Active member
Yes - but it's not their "debunking" of things that bothers me. It's that their show is basically a bunch of straw men, as the first poster said. I remember them doing shows about a lot of different issues where if they had done their research properly they would've come to a completely different conclusion - As an example, the video games and violence issue: I play violent video games, but even I can admit that there is indeed a possible link between increased aggression in certain people (not all). But instead of mentioning this, they smeared the whole issue as a lot of bunk and that was that.

Their "philosophy" defines everything wrong with modern skepticism - it's lazy, presumptuous and has more to do with building an ego than honest critical thinking. But it's hip and they're getting more people on board, so what should it matter to them, right? :whistling:
 
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