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Before commencing to debunk, prepare your equipment. Equipment needed: one armchair.
Put on the right face. Cultivate a condescending air that suggests that your personal opinions are backed by the full faith and credit of God. Employ vague, subjective, dismissive terms such as "ridiculous" or "trivial" in a manner that suggests they have the full force of scientific authority.
Keep your arguments as abstract and theoretical as possible. This will "send the message" that accepted theory overrides any actual evidence that might challenge it--and that therefore no such evidence is worth examining.
Always refer to unorthodox statements as "claims," which are "touted," and to your own assertions as "facts," which are "stated."
Avoid examining the actual evidence. This allows you to say with impunity, "I have seen absolutely no evidence to support such ridiculous claims!" (Note that this technique has withstood the test of time, and dates back at least to the age of Galileo. By simply refusing to look through his telescope, the ecclesiastical authorities bought the Church over three centuries' worth of denial free and clear!)
If examining the evidence becomes unavoidable, report back that "there is nothing new here!" If confronted by a watertight body of evidence that has survived the most rigorous tests, simply dismiss it as being "too pat."
Insist that the progress of science depends on explaining the unknown in terms of the known. In other words, science equals reductionism. You can apply the reductionist approach in any situation by discarding more and more and more evidence until what little is left can finally be explained entirely in terms of established knowledge.
At every opportunity reinforce the notion that what is familiar is necessarily rational. The unfamiliar is therefore irrational, and consequently inadmissible as evidence.
State categorically that the unconventional may be dismissed as, at best, an honest misinterpretation of the conventional.
In any case, imply that proof precedes evidence. This will eliminate the possibility of initiating any meaningful process of investigation--particularly if no criteria of proof have yet been established for the phenomenon in question.
If a significant number of people agree that they have observed something that violates the consensus reality, simply ascribe it to "mass hallucination." Avoid addressing the possibility that the consensus reality might itself constitute a mass hallucination.
Ridicule, ridicule, ridicule. It is far and away the single most chillingly effective weapon in the war against discovery and innovation. Ridicule has the unique power to make people of virtually any persuasion go completely unconscious in a twinkling. It fails to sway only those few who are of sufficiently independent mind not to buy into the kind of emotional consensus that ridicule provides.
By appropriate innuendo and example, imply that ridicule constitutes an essential feature of the scientific method that can raise the level of objectivity and dispassionateness with which any investigation is conducted.
Remember that most people do not have sufficient time or expertise for careful discrimination, and tend to accept or reject the whole of an unfamiliar situation. So discredit the whole story by attempting to discredit *part* of the story. Here's how: a) take one element of a case completely out of context; b) find something prosaic that hypothetically could explain it; c) declare that therefore that one element has been explained; d) call a press conference and announce to the world that the entire case has been explained!
Label any poorly-understood phenomenon "occult," "fringe," "paranormal," "metaphysical," "mystical," "supernatural," or "new-age." This will get most mainstream scientists off the case immediately on purely emotional grounds. If you're lucky, this may delay any responsible investigation of such phenomena by decades or even centuries!
Ask questions that appear to contain generally-assumed knowledge that supports your views; for example, "why do no police officers, military pilots, air traffic controllers or psychiatrists report UFOs?" (If someone points out that they do, insist that those who do must be mentally unstable.)
Ask unanswerable questions based on arbitrary criteria of proof. For example, "if this claim were true, why haven't we seen it on TV?" or "in this or that scientific journal?" Never forget the mother of all such questions: "If UFOs are extraterrestrial, why haven't they landed on the White House lawn?"
Originally posted by Koka
Bandit, intuitively most people will pick up on whether an image appears "Photoshopped", more especially if they are used to using it.
The third post on this thread is a relative example.
Originally posted by TheBandit795
And people love to dismiss something without even doing some research for themselves or not trying something out for themselves.
What I'm against here is statements based on a conclusion instead of on an inquiry.