I'm not thinking straight & it is due to a course of strong antibiotics fighting a bad toothache that has kept me mostly awake for over a week so do forgive me if I don't make sense with this post. It's something that has been bugging me for a few days and I would really appreciate any feedback and comments from people who read this because I genuinely am confused.
When I became more involved in the skeptical community the one thing I realised that I had been doing wrong for so long was expecting people to understand my skeptical POV without even explaining the facts to them. I realised by approaching people about what I considered to be wrong information or quackery and challenging it in the wrong manner wouldn't actually have any positive outcome and would only result in creating two sides of an argument that neither side would back down from because each side believed it was right.
This isn't a proactive way of helping to introduce people to rational thinking; I came to understand that you can't preach to people, you have to just present the information so that it's available for people who want to find out about it.
See, to me that seems a bit laid back but I can understand how it's a more proactive way of dealing with misinformed beliefs and claims. I was a believer in ghost related woo not three years ago and whenever a skeptic would come on television and outright tell me what I believed in was wrong the barriers went up. Simple as that.
However, when a skeptical person introduced me to the idea that I was wrong and encouraged me to go and seek the information to show they were right I did it and realised that they were indeed right.
Don't get me wrong, I understand that challenges have to be made where severe misinformation is passed onto members of the public. I am not against that at all because handled correctly such direct challenges can have great effect on the public awareness and understanding of the topic in question.
My concerns have been raised though as I watch the progress of the 10:23 campaign (which I believe is a fantastic campaign) and come to see numerous people who take on a 'them vs. us' stance towards homeopaths and people who use homeopathy. It doesn't achieve anything in my opinion, in fact it undoes any progress being made because suddenly those barriers will go up and it becomes a two sided battle that cannot be won. I don't like that idea.
It's difficult to not get involved deeply with a topic you feel passionately about, I guess it's just having the ability to ask yourself if what you're saying or writing is going to have a positive long-term effect or whether it's just a cheap shot that's going to do nothing but achieve a feeling of smugness for a moment or two? That's not what I understood skepticism to be about, perhaps I'm wrong...