Inverting the answer to your question, the only time I see these responses in social situations is when two close minded opinions clash. That's not being skeptical or even challenging. Skeptical means you should be investigating their beliefs so as to generate a confidence measure in their body of knowledge. If it's low, you discard the knowledge. After investigating it (hence, engaging them), you can challenge them if you wish, but it's generally futile. If they do not investigate your position, they are closed and it's unlikely to be a worthwhile conversation. Then you can accuse them of being closed minded/nit-picky, etc.
Never mind that challenging reinforces old beliefs. The only reason to "challenge" is to reinforce your own beliefs, or gain a sense of superiority in your existing beliefs. It's definitely not going to cause change.
Almost none. In the majority of cases, "skeptic" is a code word for implied "superiority". It's almost always using rhetoric to abuse someone less versed in it. A skeptic practices the logical forms used to trip up arguments more than they practice using a proper (bayesian, personally) framework of knowledge.How much of these reactions do you believe are intrinsically the reaction to a skeptic by a non-skeptic?
It's identical to a good and bad lawyer "debating". It doesn't even matter who is right, technically, only how good the argument is. It's also done at a lot of religious universities, where they have amateur non-theistic take on theistic professors. (Similar to atheists pulling up the worst parts of religion and ridiculing it while ignoring the rest of the social effect.)
This is about a conversation, so the criticism is probably correct. It's a poor form of conversation. Ask your purpose in the conversation, then you can answer if you are approaching it correctly and what your motivation is for doing otherwise.How much of these reactions comes from me/you, the skeptic in these scenario, being actually closed minded, nit-picky, or feeling superior to the non-skeptic?
Placebo? (Often as effective as treatment for subjective issues)? I could do this for a lot of them, but do you understand folk remedies? Why some are effective, etc?Folk remedies,
It's not so easy to define. We belong to a "cult" that is socially engineered consumerism that replaces the pacifying effect of religion, most of which would be believed to be a conspiracy theory originating from old myths (namely Freud's beliefs... not "old" old...).cryptozoological entities, get rich quick schemes, cults, main stream religions, conspiracy theories, urban legends, older myths, astrology,
It is a weird world, weirder than we can imagine.
Hee hee. I like that onetypology
A general belief that we are all very similar (acknowledging that I probably have many irrational beliefs). I debate where debate is wanted, I challenge if asked and I interview for understanding when conversing.How did you accomplish this?
Of course, at the fringe lies some pretty weird and easily rejected stuff. Yet those are the worst people to engage because it is ultimately futile. OTOH, I won't back down from certain moral and practical matters. Someone wanting me to not go for treatment or someone abusing someone else is not ok. Some topics are serious enough that I'll argue them. In all cases, however, it's social change I'm looking for. I do my best to not entrench others. I also tend to mirror the other person in the conversation, so some situations can turn ugly pretty fast. Neither side is being "skeptical" though. I'm just arguing/debating from my body of knowledge. Still, I try to avoid that.