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Should we be skeptical?

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posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 08:41 PM
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I didn't really know where to put this because it bleeds over to several different forums so here it is.

Should we blindly accept every theory and story that comes along or should we hold it to provable standards?

I have no problem with listening to and discussing any theory but when someone says that because they read it in a book its proof of aliens/ghosts/vampires etc; it simply is not true.

Examples....

I saw a glowing ball in our backyard when I was younger. Several of us saw it and it even left an oily substance on a bush that it went through.

What did I see? I have had people tell me a ghost and people tell me "will of the wisps" so what did I see?

A glowing ball that left a oily substance on a bush. I or no one else KNOWS what it is.

another example....

I saw three bright lights in the sky that flew in and out of formation making 90 degree turns that would have killed anyone aboard.

What did see? A flying saucer from outer space?

I saw a UFO in the true sense of the word an "Unidentified Flying Object"

Going from UFO to flying saucer full of aliens anal probing a bunch of abductees is quite a leap of faith.

We do our community a GREAT disservice when we try to defend every crackpot story no matter how outlandish with NO PROOF what so ever. The world at large will not take us seriously if we don't take ourselves seriously. If we ever hope to bring in REAL research on the subject we must demand proof that rests on things that can be measured, weighed, repeated, etc. If the stories are true tests would be able to confirm most of them.

We are quickly gaining the knowledge it takes to prove or disprove a lot of the tales. We do not need to nor should we take everything on "faith". I have seen people on these boards that ridicule Christians for blind faith that have no problem believing someone was abducted by space aliens without a shred of evidence to back it up.

Carvings on rocks, smudged pictures, people claiming whatever and ancient rulers claiming to be descended from gods prove NOTHING. They may give fuel for thought but still prove nothing.

As long as we sing the chorus for wackos the public will view us all as wackos, if someone offers no proof why should he be believed?




posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 09:00 PM
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I think a heathly dose of both,..

Those items that cant be proven with facts, can still be reasonably and objectively discussed in a what-if scenario.

Sometimes patronizing the outlandish, can lead to new personal discovery of reasonable theory or fact on related/unrelated subjects.



posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 09:11 PM
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Originally posted by smirkley
Those items that cant be proven with facts, can still be reasonably and objectively discussed in a what-if scenario.


I agree with this to a point. As long as it IS a what if then sure its open for discussion, where the problem comes in is when people claim opinion as fact. To say that aliens landed in the past because of rock drawings or the reptiles rule us because king Tut claimed to be descended from a god or a unexplained spot on a picture is a ghost is ridiculous.

None of this proves ANYTHING.

Take Roswell for example, although I tend to think there is more to this than meets the eye, what it is, is open to debate.

We have some good eyewitness accounts and supposedly hard evidence floating around out there but so far nothing really. And this is the Holy Grail of the UFO community



posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 09:24 PM
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I hate to put it this way,

But nobody ever believed we could walk on the moon, until enough people fathomed the idea and applied accumulated knowledge to try.



And if you suggested that in Salem Mass back a couple of centuries, you would have been publically dunked.






[edit on 11-12-2004 by smirkley]



posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 09:31 PM
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False information is easier to obtain now than it has ever been -- and it has never been difficult to come by.

In the age of Information Warfare, the truth is both more available and harder to discern than ever. Finding it requires the ability to recognize it.

Recognizing the truth requires understanding that it may not agree with our cherished self-delusions. In other words, finding the truth requires accepting the fact that it may not agree with our own prejudices.

Are you willing to accept the truth in exchange for your most treasured beliefs?

The answer to this question will determine your readiness to Deny Ignorance.



posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 09:57 PM
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Originally posted by smirkley
I hate to put it this way,

But nobody ever believed we could walk on the moon, until enough people fathomed the idea and applied accumulated knowledge to try.


But the difference is that I am not saying no one can go to the moon or ghosts will ever be proved I am saying that there is no proof that there is an Alien base on the moon.

See the difference? Will the belief in aliens create them? Of course not.

Your belief in or against aliens will not make them true or untrue your belief is immaterial to the FACT.



posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 10:00 PM
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Originally posted by Majic

Are you willing to accept the truth in exchange for your most treasured beliefs?


I don't have beliefs one way or the other. That is the problem people take there beliefs and then try to make a case for them instead of just going by the facts. Like the creationists they bend everything they can to point to there preconceived opinion and disregard EVERYTHING against it.

Of course I am willing to accept the truth are you willing to admit that cave drawings and hearsay is not proof? Nothing would make me happier then finding Proof of aliens/ghosts/etc.

But I will not accept as proof somebodies book or story without ANYTHING to back it up.



[edit on 11-12-2004 by Amuk]



posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 10:28 PM
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One of my favorite quotes on this subject is from the French mathemetician Henri Poincar:


To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection.


I've used it here as my signature, off and on. It's as much appropriate here as it is in the world of mathematics, or anywhere else for that matter.

I approach most new information with skepticism, whether it's a new conspiracy theory here or a new technology being introduced at work. That doesn't mean that I have an instant dislike for it, or that I will go to the ends of the earth to debunk it, just that I cannot take it as given yet. I use critical thinking skills to figure out if the information presented seems valid, and make my decision based on that conclusion.

For example, if someone proposes an "International Conspiracy of Evil Podiatrists" bent on world domination through the insideous manipulation of shoes, and says that they've channeled all information from their past-life incarnation as Z'tkun the Atlantean mystic stoned to death for eating a hot dog on a Friday, I'd put that theory in the same category as the marketing drone's phone call at working promising that his or her new program can "increase standard dialup speeds to the equivalent of a DS-3.[1]

On the other hand, if the conspiracy theory is well-presented, coherent and contains references that I can check out myself it goes into the same mental slot as a marketing professional calling to tell me about a download accelerator that can help speed up dialup users' web browsing by compressing images before downloading them.[2]

Unfortunately we're not encourage to use critical thinking skills often. Without going into too much of a rant on education (a topic for a different thread) kids are being conditioned to expect the answers be given them, instead of learning how to evaluate things for themselves. When I was teaching high school, kids in my 4th year French class were absolutely stunned that I would ask for their interpretations of a passage in the book we were reading. Seniors in high school and they'd never been asked to do that before.

I see the same thing online, and not just here. To be honest, I expect it a bit on sites like ATS. We deal in the fringe here, and as such we get some folks who've gone a bit (or a lot) over the edge. I see it on technology sites, on education sites, pretty much any place I visit regularly I see it. The thing about ATS, and the other sites that I continue to visit regularly is that they do encourage their members to approach things in, if not a logical manner, at least a coherent and skeptical manner. This raises some hackles. People think that just because you're asking questions, because you're addressing the weak points in their arguments, that you're predisposed to disbelief. In most cases that couldn't be farther from the truth. The reason we ask tough questions here on ATS is that we desperately want you to be right. We want to learn that the world is a bigger, more magical place than is presented on Friends reruns. We, each of us, hold out the impossible hope that the world isn't as banal as it sometimes seems. We ask the questions we do because we hope the weaknesses are a result of poor editing on your part, not poor thinking. When we ask the questions, we're rooting for you.



posted on Dec, 12 2004 @ 02:37 AM
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Well said whiskey jack !!



posted on Dec, 12 2004 @ 09:00 AM
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Of course we should be skeptical. To accept anythnig on blind faith is to open yourself up to crooks, scoundrals, hoaxers (Titor anyone?), and the like.

When I was in school, I was taught to question everything, to never accept anything at face value, and I try to live by that.

Regardless of it's subject, whether it be religion, mathmatics, bigfoot, aerodynamics, ufos, general mechanics, ghosts, or carpentry, always question what you're told about it.

Some questions I tend to keep in mind when I'm reading something, or being told something.

1.) Has it been verified in the past? By who? How was it verified?

2.) Did more than one person witness it? Did these people know each other before hand? Are these people friends or enemies of one another?

3.) What kind of education did these people have? Was it applied knowledge, or textbook knowledge?

4.) Is there any evidence at all? What kind of evidence is it? Could the evidence have been faked? (This is the main reason I rarely accept pictures and video as proof.)

5.) Is there a more logical explanation for what happened? Does it apply to the situation at hand? Is there anything about the situation that the logical explanation not explain?

6.) What kind of terms do the people use? How are they using the terms? (IE I saw a ufo is a whole different field than I saw a space ship being piloted by aliens. I myself have seen several ufos, but to my knowledge they were not alien ships.)

7.) What does the person have to gain from the claim? Can they become famous from it, gain money, etc? Do they demand these things, or even hint at them?

8.) Does the story change each time it's told? Does it change in significant ways? Do they ever say something that contradicts something else they claimed?

9.) Are such claims stated else where, in books, papers, magazines, websites? What kind of reputation do these materials have? (I would believe something quicker in Fortaen Times than I would in Weekly World News.)

10.) The biggest question is, of course, does the subject at hand make any sense at all?



posted on Dec, 12 2004 @ 09:39 AM
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Without sounding anti American.

Why do all these theories stem from the Untied States and what is the driving force behind them?

The most famous UFO siting in th UK was on an American Air Force Base.

Whilst we have Secret Bases in the UK we don`t hype them as Area 51 has been, why because we don`t believe in the conspirices go as wild as the reason behind being Aliens NWO etc etc.We believe our govts don`t tell the truth all the time but we put that down to Politicians wanting to further there own careers within the realms of there own personnel wealth and reality.

If we researched Alien abduction l bet you would struggle to find a British person claiming they had receantly had an Alien encounter but if you researched the same in the states abduction seems to be an everyday occurence.

WHY?



posted on Dec, 12 2004 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by Whiskey Jack
When we ask the questions, we're rooting for you.


Excellent post Jack


That is a point that most don't seem to understand. Sometimes it seems that I am hard on someone but its more that I am digging for the truth than making fun of the person. The "flavor" of the week just harms us as a community when we try to back something without any evidence just because we "want" it to be true.

I have examined several haunted houses and would like to expand to most unknown phenomena not because I wish to debunk anything but because I want to PROVE it exists.

What makes me mad are the people who post we are being ruled by Reptiles and the next day post crop circles are aliens trying to communicate. Why would they want to communicate if they already rule the world? That is just an example I pulled out of the air but I am sure you get what I am saying.

I do think they are Aliens out there if for Mathematical reasons if nothing else. That is just a reasonable guess backed up by the conditions that some life live under here and the sheer size of the universe, number of stars/planets, etc.

Its a huge leap from that to "there are MILLIONS of Americans being abducted". But just the sheer amount of people that make those claims would tend to indicate at least SOME were real. But all of this is guess work and I present it as such. So far no one has proved anything.



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 01:31 AM
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Originally posted by weirdo

If we researched Alien abduction l bet you would struggle to find a British person claiming they had receantly had an Alien encounter but if you researched the same in the states abduction seems to be an everyday occurence.

WHY?



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I didn't delve deeper into any of the results but I'm sure there are a few that concerns people in Great Britain. To my recollection many documentaries on alien abductions and UFO sightings on Discovery Channel and such deal with British people.

It's not something isolated to USA. But considering the large population in USA it makes sense that more reports would come from there.

Now try Swedish abductions.

[edit on 14-12-2004 by Szticks]






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