Is Skepticon Good For Skepticism?

Just having the name “Skeptic” or some sort of fragment of “skeptic” in your name is a popular thing to do.  I myself use “Skeptunes” as a name of a website.  Some people use it in a misleading way, namely people like Alex Tsakaris  who calls his podcast “Skeptiko” when it has less than nothing about skepticism.  I turn my eye to Skepticon, a conference which is held a few hour drive from me, but which I’ve never gone to or plan to go to.  I decided to look at the speaker list and see if it really had to do with skepticism, since it brands itself as the largest free skeptic conference in the world.  

Onward to the speaker list:

  • Seth Andrews, known as the Thinking Atheist.  Never read anything he’s written or heard him speak, therefore not interested.

  • Richard Carrier, self reports that he is renowned.  I’ve read his writings, but never heard him speak, therefore not interested.

  • Greta Christina, atheist writer.  I’ve read her blog posts, 1 chapter of her awful erotica book (one of the worst things I’ve ever read sincerely), but have never heard her speak, therefore, not interested.

  • John Corvino, never heard him speak, therefore, not interested.

  • JT Eberhard, mostly known as an atheist writer.  Never heard him speak, therefore, not interested.

  • David Fitzgerald, atheist writer.  Never heard him speak, therefore, not interested.

  • Debbie Goddard.  Mainly deals with secularism, and outside of a couple panels, I’ve never heard her speak, therefore, not interested.

  • Rebecca Hensler, secular activist.  Never heard her speak, therefore, not interested.

  • Amanda Knief, atheist.  Never heard her speak, therefore, not interested.

  • Keith Lowell-Jensen, atheist comedian.  Never heard his act, therefore ,not interested.

  • Amanda Marcotte is somehow list as skeptic superhero, even though, she doesn’t know much about skepticism, and is virtually unknown in the skeptic movement.  I’ve never heard her speak, therefore, not interested.

  • Hemant Mehta, known as a Friendly Atheist.  Never heard him speak, therefore, not interested.

  • Monica R. Miller.  Never heard her speak, therefore, not interested.

  • PZ Myers, mainly an atheist writer.  Never heard him speak on anything other than squid, so not interested.

  • Aron Ra, atheist writer.  Never heard him speak, therefore, not interested.

  • Shelly Segal, atheist.  Never heard her speak, therefore, not interested.

  • David Tamayo.  Never heard him speak, therefore, not interested.

  • Rebecca Watson, ex-skepticism promoter.  I have heard her speak, therefore, not interested.

So, in going down the list of guests one by one, there is almost no actual skepticism being discussed.  Atheism and secularism are not skepticism.  My conclusion is that since I’ve never gone to Skepticon, never plan to go to Skepticon, and have never heard the vast majority of speakers, I conclude that Skepticon is not good for skepticism, and they should change their name.

 

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