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Debunking Sources

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posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 04:35 PM
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I've noticed a lot of people debunk sources here on this site. A lot of it is justified. We talk a lot about aliens, the paranormal, politics, etc. and there are some really shadey sources out there. There are many times we need to debunk sources as being very dubious because the people who don't know might believe the things they read or hear on them.

Yet, a lot of this debunking isn't debunking. It's simply saying, "this source is crap" and you're supposed to accept it based on their word alone. In my mind, this is just about as bad as the political sniping. Someone comes on, tells of a story they found, and someone else responds with a one liner saying the source is bad. No explanation why, no reasoning, just saying that they shouldn't use that source.

This happens in all the categories, from the paranormal to political, and it can easily be used as a weapon to cut someone off at the knees when you have no reason to disagree with what they're saying except that your gut tells you they're wrong.

Is anyone else as bothered as I am by this sort of, "It's not true because I said so" arguement?




posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 01:26 AM
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Well when you write sources, I understand web links to be of particular problem. People tend to link to personal web sites as legitimate sources to support their stories as newsworthy or factual. And those sites in turn link to other personal web sites to support the same notions, themes, or subject matters. It usually takes only a few sentences to conclude there is little or no objectivety to their claims.

I mean if someone wants me to subscribe to the notion that Gnomes really do exist, linking to sites like Gnomesdoexist.com. Gnomenologits.com, Ivebeenabductedbygnomes.com, and gnomeconspiracy.com it probably should raise a few eyebrows.

There are people who have strong beliefs, and they find support for those beliefs wherever they can. Often at times embracing fringe sites to bolster them. Of course the easy out is always conspiracy of the modern news press and publications threatened not to run such information.
Irregradless of linked source, evidence is king. Getting that evidence in the hands of qualified research and investigation most always seems to fail the qualification gap. So...."this source is crap" applies. When people learn that its not enough to state proof but bring it forward to be examined, then they will hold some merrit for their claims.



posted on Aug, 28 2005 @ 06:20 PM
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I was actually talking about sources that are just dismissed with no written justification like Pravda, WorldNetDaily, FoxNews, New York Times, orAnanova. I'm talking about the big guys that a lot of people link to and are pretty popular "news" sites. I have my opinion on each of those sites, but if I'm going to state it, I'll explain why I have a problem with the source. I would probably also find a counter story on a more trusted (in my mind) source or point out that that site is the only source covering the story.

What would be the effectiveness and reaction if I wrote something like this:

You can't trust Democrats, they make up stories and are a bad source.

or

The explanation is probably because it came from a Democrat.

And that's it, no other content justifying that position, no reasoning as to why I feel that way. First, I would probably get a warn, and a 20 point deduction for a one liner. Beyond that, the person who quoted the source (democrat, in my examples) would either be angered or wouldn't care about my statement. Why is it acceptable to do with sources what we cannot do with other topics?



 
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