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Why does Ufology waste time with skeptics?

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posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 01:29 PM
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Because believing in anything without proof makes you a blithering idiot, maybe that's why?




posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 02:24 PM
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I don't think it's a question of whether UFO's exist, it is a question of whether the evidence is real or not. I'm sure you have noted the increasing amount of hoax pictures and false claims (just browse ATS for threads closed due to hoaxes). In theory, if there is careful examination and inspection of the evidence, the results can also be PROOF that it is real. It depends on the poster and the evidence. Skeptics can be your best friend if the evidence is real.

I would ignore anyone who just dismisses evidence based on "a gut feeling".



posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 02:49 PM
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I'm a skeptic, but let me explain.

When living in England in the late 70s, I saw two somethings in the evening sky that I couldn't explain, the USAF couldn't explain, and MOD couldn't explain. Yup... There was something there that was unexplainable, alright. That, by definition, would be a UFO. I'm a believer that there are UFOs. Nary a doubt in my mind. I'll stand up anywhere and say to anyone who wants to listen, "Yup. There are UFOs".

But, generally, and without a great deal of factual evidence, sumbnall UFO believers seem to be able to make pridigious leaps in logic, faith, and often times, chicanery, to little gray men doing nasty things to our womenfolk, and men folk. Then there is the contingent that runs about claiming that wild-eyed reptilians from the planet Munimula are really ruling our planet, putting us in vats and doing, generally, evil things to us.

These same folks will become hostile when asked to provide some evidence that is factual, and/or material, and not material that is the conjecture of one or two people who make large amounts of money publishing books and documentary films, or factual data that is channeled from the spirit of Amon Ra, who just so happened to die 5,000 years ago or some such.

You, the UFO believers, have the evidence/proof that you need. No one in their right mind can really deny that there are Unidentified Flying Objects. However, if you, as a "die hard" believer would stop there and continue to investigate, then you are on to something, and I go along with it. Unfortunately, there are many people in the UFO milieu, who are dissatisfied with that much. The bogus and fraudulent claims abound. The wild-eyed believers or hoaxers are out to either convert us sceptics or call us names.

I, personally, am a skeptical believer, and while I can make no claims for efforts to turn believers to non-believers, I do like to get involved to the point that you can either provide proof that all of the outlandish claims are true, or put it all on a shelf until the proof becomes available.

And just for grins ... I posit that evidence is not proof.



posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 05:28 PM
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I believe in UFOs. I'm not sure if I believe in aliens. It's obvious there are things in the sky the public doesn't know about, but what are they? Weather baloons? Flares? Military/non-military test craft? A kid's science experiment? A space ship? An -alien- space ship?

They can be anything, and stories aren't always true, so you never know.



posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 06:32 PM
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Some of you are assuming that we have little concrete evidence as beleivers, and thus we are either unscientific or fanatical. You're also assuming that we're tired of being called such things, and are biting back in this thread.

Not so. The actual point we have is no evidence, pictures, stories or anything of the kind (no matter how genuine) will ever hold up to a skeptic's scrutiny. So, why bother to argue our case?

Skeptics reject anything a proponent will say, because they require a level of proof that is impossible to give second hand. Every picture is heckled with cries of "photoshop", every video is the same, and every story or theory is laughed at. Anyone can develop an infinite amount of reasons why something is bogus. It's not hard. Just because you can, doesn't mean it is.. And again, that's the problem we're having here.

The solution? If skeptics wish to continue entertaining these discussions, they need to listen and treat each beleiver with respect, they need to examine, study, and draw their own conclusions preferably privately. I have no problem with a skeptic who does that. However if they can't find it within themselves to do that, and they continue to childishly heckle every Ufology thread, spitting a billion reasons they can imagine why something is bogus, then it's time to back off and forget Ufology, or be ignored.

Can we really prove to a blind man the color blue? Are we really obligated to? It's time to stop.

[edit on 13/12/06 by SteveR]



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 06:35 AM
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Steve, I can understand your concerns, please allow me to address a few of them.


Originally posted by SteveR
Some of you are assuming that we have little concrete evidence as beleivers, and thus we are either unscientific or fanatical. You're also assuming that we're tired of being called such things, and are biting back in this thread.


A lot of us don't do that unless it's merited. I don't blanket assume that every person who cries UFO is a nutcase, fanatic, or unscientific. However, if someone posts something entitled "Absolute Proof of Alien Contact" and their proof is saying "I close my eyes and see color patterns" then, yes, that is unscientific and amatuerish, and they have every right to get the heckling that's coming to them.

If, however, someone were to post entitled "I see odd color patterns when I sleep", and then described them as best they could, documented when they happened, and what various emotional or physical responses accompanied them, then I see nothing wrong with it.

The problem, Steve, is that just as you have seen many "bad skeptics", I and other "good skeptics" have seen a lot of bad claims, or claims presented as something other than what they are.



Originally posted by SteveR
Not so. The actual point we have is no evidence, pictures, stories or anything of the kind (no matter how genuine) will ever hold up to a skeptic's scrutiny. So, why bother to argue our case?


For the same reason anyone ever presents evidence. Because you seek acceptance of it and confirmation of your case. And since it'd be pointless to preach to the choir, the skeptics are your next best bet. And, by the way, a "good skeptic" IS able to be convinced with the proper evidence.



Originally posted by SteveR
Skeptics reject anything a proponent will say, because they require a level of proof that is impossible to give second hand.


I agree, there are some skeptics out there who are not very good at analyzing evidence, and are not very open minded, but those exist across the board in every single field out there, they are not unique to UFO's. You will find them in everything from physics, to automotive, to aerospace, and anything where something new might be presented to a community of very educated people whom are vested in the status quo. That does not mean, however, that they are all like that, and I wouldn't call such people skeptics, to be honest.


Originally posted by SteveR
Every picture is heckled with cries of "photoshop", every video is the same, and every story or theory is laughed at. Anyone can develop an infinite amount of reasons why something is bogus. It's not hard. Just because you can, doesn't mean it is.. And again, that's the problem we're having here.


Hey, that's going to happen, man. I'm sorry. If you can't roll with the punches, you need to get in an easier field. The world is a tough place and you need to either buy a helmet or stay indoors. The reasons there are so many cries of "photochop" is because the vast majority of photos and videos out there are hoaxes. When Bob the Amatuer Photochopper is even able to filter a photo to reveal the inconsistancies that make it a fake, you just need to shrug and write it off as another hoax giving your community a bad name. If pro's come back and say "I dunno how they did it. Everything is consistant" then that lends the photo credibility, and strengthens the case. And I've seen both types of cases happen on ATS a number of times.

You're right, some people WILL just reply "photochop" without even the slightest bit of debunking done, but those aren't skeptics, those are hecklers, and there's a big difference. But if you can't deal with bad or fabricated cases getting debunked by real skeptics, who'm are trying to honestly analyze the evidence, then you're better off preaching to the choir instead, where a paper plate thrown in the air and photographed won't even raise a hair of doubt.



Originally posted by SteveR
The solution? If skeptics wish to continue entertaining these discussions, they need to listen and treat each beleiver with respect, they need to examine, study, and draw their own conclusions preferably privately.


MMmmmm, Yes, no, yes, yes, yes, and no.

Everyone deserves an ear, unless they're known to hoax, in which case, they usually don't even get 3 attempts to cry wolf. Once someone is discovered as a hoaxer, most skeptics are going to be heavily biased against the next case by the same person, if they review it at all.

Not everyone deserves respect. Respect isn't something you're born with, entitled to, or have rights to given in the constitution. Respect is earned. And to a skeptic, the only way you earn respect is with good documentation, evidence, and a lucid, well-presented case. Gazrok is a good example of a case presenter whom I very much respect, and I lend his cases a heavy ear.

And of course skeptics need to study and examine the evidence, that's just proper and good science. However, I disagree with the idea it should be done privately. I SUCK at photoshop. My avatar is about the best I can do. I couldn't even begin to tell you if a photograph was photoshopped or not unless it was so blatantly obvious a child could point it out. However, we have some very professional imagers on this site whom take time out of their own day to analyze photos and share their findings. Together, when we publish our individual results, questions, etc, it provides a more broad-based analization, and gives us each other's clues and cues to look for either in that case or the next one. It's information sharing, and that's the whole point of ATS in the first place.

Look, what it boils down to is this, ATS is a community of people who think outside the box, or want to think outside the box. If they're here, the chances are pretty good they're here looking for something. But they're still human beings, they still have opinions, and there's always going to be arseheads in any social group you name. I'm sure you can name a few UFOlogists who make the more serious amongst you wince every time the name is mentioned. Well, skeptics are the same way.

Maybe what is needed is a "good skeptic registry"... where the open-minded skeptics who are willing to give your cases a fair go can sign up... hmmm... maybe I'll go start that thread now.



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:27 AM
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You have voted thelibra for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.


Would that I were so eloquent libra. Thanks for the intelligent response. And the defense of some of us good skeptics.



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:28 AM
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I've created a new thread, The Fair Skeptics Registry, to try and bridge the gap between UFOlogists and Skeptics. The point of that thread is basically to let UFOlogists know that there's not only some good skeptics out there that'll give their case a fair go, but will also let them know which ones are willing to listen.

Hope this helps.



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:32 AM
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Originally posted by sigung86

You have voted thelibra for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.


Would that I were so eloquent libra. Thanks for the intelligent response. And the defense of some of us good skeptics.


Aw, thanks man! Actually I found your previous post to be quite eloquent and well written. It brought up several points that had not yet been mentioned, especially the leap of faith part. I look forward to more thread discussions with you and hope to see you on the fair skeptics list.



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 09:50 AM
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Nice reply, libra. Your thoughts are appreciated.

I have especially liked some of your posts in the past (on totally different subjects).

I'm replying because I need to point out a couple of mistakes.



For the same reason anyone ever presents evidence. Because you seek acceptance of it and confirmation of your case.


I think the general consensus with genuine beleivers is that we don't need to prove anything, and simply post our stuff so you may read our stories and partake... but not enter ourselves into some unspoken agreement that we are obligated to prove our "evidences" and appease the skeptic audience.

That's one of the things I tried to communicate in my previous post, and I think montana was saying this too.

In my view, the only value of such an arrangement would be to help us decide if a piece of evidence or experience is "valid" or not.. i.e. we were originally unsure.

I don't think someone who knows 100% what he saw, and is simply willing to share that, needs to be put through a trial (nor do I think he is asking for one).

Yes, this generates discomfort on both sides. But in the end it's all down to how you see ATS. Is it a place to harshly criticise everything in the search of concrete evidence? Or is it a place to share experiences with friends, and have your inability to prove respected?

Some of you act like we owe you when we make our threads.

Anyhow, I appreciate the work your doing libra and your new thread.


Have to disagree though about not all humans deserving respect. Perhaps we're thinking of different contexts there.

[edit on 14/12/06 by SteveR]



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 09:14 AM
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Hi Steve, sorry it took me so long to get back on this one, for some reason I thought I had replied already.


Originally posted by SteveR


For the same reason anyone ever presents evidence. Because you seek acceptance of it and confirmation of your case.


I think the general consensus with genuine beleivers is that we don't need to prove anything,


Ah, sorry about the misunderstanding. I didn't mean to imply that true believers needed verification to substantiate their beliefs. Rather I was specifically referring to why someone presenting evidence of a UFO would bother with seeking a skeptic's opinion, as was the question in the OP. And even then, I can see how some people would post a picture with a "meh" attitude about what anything thinks on it.

However, the majority of "evidence" posts I've seen in regards to UFOs has been from people seeking confirmation of their findings, not of their beliefs.



Originally posted by SteveR
but not enter ourselves into some unspoken agreement that we are obligated to prove our "evidences" and appease the skeptic audience.

That's one of the things I tried to communicate in my previous post, and I think montana was saying this too.

In my view, the only value of such an arrangement would be to help us decide if a piece of evidence or experience is "valid" or not.. i.e. we were originally unsure.


And that's fine too. Really. If someone just wants to post a thread saying "I got abducted, here's a MS paint sketch of what everything looked like" and they just want to leave it at that, that's fine.

However, I do see a large number of people actively seeking verification, confirmation, or opinions about their experiences and the evidence they present. The Fair Skeptics is a sort of volunteer panel to offer such people a range of responses from people who aren't immediately going thumbs-up or thumbs-down a post, but rather give it some careful thought and deliberation. That's all.


Originally posted by SteveR
I don't think someone who knows 100% what he saw, and is simply willing to share that, needs to be put through a trial (nor do I think he is asking for one).


Of course not. But it'd be nice to know they could get a fair trial if they wanted one.


Originally posted by SteveR
Yes, this generates discomfort on both sides. But in the end it's all down to how you see ATS. Is it a place to harshly criticise everything in the search of concrete evidence? Or is it a place to share experiences with friends, and have your inability to prove respected?


All of that...and then some. ATS has, just in the two years I've been here, evolved a great deal. Given another couple of years, I'll be able to order groceries off of it. But yeah, ATS is a place where threads range the gamut from introductory happy friend-threads, to hard-core debate down to the Nth decimal of math, to out and out slug-fests between opposing views. That's what makes ATS great.


Originally posted by SteveR
Some of you act like we owe you when we make our threads.


That'll happen. And of those, some will be more polite than others. You hopefully won't have to worry about that kind of attitude from the Fair Skeptics though.


Originally posted by SteveR
Anyhow, I appreciate the work your doing libra and your new thread.



Thank you, and I appreciate the good dialogue we're having. It's important to me that Skeptics not get a bad name because I personally don't believe Skeptic to be a bad word, anymore than I consider UFOlogist to be a bad word. I'm proud to be skeptical and open-minded at the same time.


Originally posted by SteveR
Have to disagree though about not all humans deserving respect. Perhaps we're thinking of different contexts there.



Probably different contexts. Of course, I believe in respecting the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But beyond that, in terms of credibility, dependability, and so forth, I feel respect must be earned. Obviously there's a default state of "the benefit of the doubt" that one gives to most people across the board. For instance, I might give a new poster here the benefit of the doubt that they took a photo, didn't doctor it, were giving the accurate details to the best of their ability, and so forth. In other words, not assuming they are outright lying. And I would respect them as a fellow user of ATS.

However, I would not afford them the same level of credibility I would to, say, Gazrok, if both were to post something outlandish, but that's because Gazrok has, time after time after time, demonstrated an admirable level of research, restraint, and presentation, in the areas of UFOlogy. It doesn't mean that JimmyNewUser is any less valuable of a human being, but rather Gaz would have more credence from my perspective.


[edit on 12/15/2006 by thelibra]



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 09:25 AM
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For an answer to the question posed in the title to this thread, Jacques Vallee has given one of the many potential answers:

"Unless you deliberately seek out people with critical minds able to debate a particular belief or fact with you, it is very easy to miss some important data".

"Sometimes the best recipe for sanity is to turn away from your friends and seek out your own critics, even your opponents, to listen calmly to what they say, and to reconsider your own facts and beliefs based on everything you have heard". Otherwise, you risk limiting discussions to those with similar views, "constantly reinforcing, rather than questioning, each other's prejudices".


See Vallee, Jacques in his Revelations (1991) at pages 214-215 (in Chapter 8) of the Ballantine Books paperback edition.

Kind Regards,

Isaac Koi



posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 09:27 PM
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Skepticism is hardly a waste of time.
Following a path blindly is.
[cliche] think outside the box[/cliche].



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 12:33 PM
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Why waste time trying to convince a skeptic that UFO's exist?


Because in debating a topic, you learn the weakpoints of your own argument, and get to benefit from others' objectivity. Like it or not, we are all biased to a degree, and when formulating a logical opinion, it is extremely helpful to have the input of those who disagree with you.

Besides, a discussion is far more interesting (and enlightening) with one you disagree with, rather than one who supports your position.



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 01:51 PM
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Yeh lets just have a ufo section were only the believers are allowed to read and post their opinions eh?


Get real. Just because YOU happen to 100% believe in UFO/Aliens (with absolutely no proof what so ever), it just happens to be your opinion.

True i am a skeptic, but im so glad i havent got that blinkered approach to
the subject that i cant express my opinion on yet another crap vid or a testimony that means nothing at all in the real world (hello disclosure project)
Anyway, the most ardent believers have to prove to US (the skeptics) that aliens exist on or around this planet not the other way round.

And i'll be honest, you havent done a very good job at convincing me that all thats strange flying round up there, is not just our own governments sneaky projects but our little green friends.



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 02:03 PM
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With "proof" of anything, there's no longer an argument.

However, there is lots of "evidence" to consider on both sides...and not all of it is "equal" evidence...

I doubt many of those interested in UFOs believe the majority of unidentified objects are truly interstellar craft. However, it only takes ONE such demonstrable case to then answer the question once and for all, no?



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 02:22 PM
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I doubt many of those interested in UFOs believe the majority of unidentified objects are truly interstellar craft. However, it only takes ONE such demonstrable case to then answer the question once and for all, no?



Yes it does, but here is the rub; it hasn't happened.
We have in the history of mankind not one piece of tangible evidence that makes us believe outright that they have ever been here, and thats what gets me.
By ufologists reckoning they have/are here because the grainy videos they watch have made them believe inexplicably that they exist yet in all that time aliens have left nothing behind?

Christ, a toenail would do.



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 02:31 PM
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The same could be said for any "secret" before it is revealed. Did anyone publicly have a piece of the Raptor before it was released? No. Or the Blackbird? No. Were there grainy pics and artist concepts? Sure. Were there witnesses? Sure. But until they were announced...these secret craft were nothing more than folklore.

Many argue the same is true of UFOs, and it isn't that unrealistic to assume that if genuine artifacts came to attention, that such artifacts would be stolen, confiscated, or otherwise turn up missing, and there are numerous reports of this.

Does that "prove" anything? No. But it doesn't mean the objects DON'T exist either...just because debris hasn't come to a museum near you or I...



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
The same could be said for any "secret" before it is revealed. Did anyone publicly have a piece of the Raptor before it was released? No. Or the Blackbird? No. Were there grainy pics and artist concepts? Sure. Were there witnesses? Sure. But until they were announced...these secret craft were nothing more than folklore.

Many argue the same is true of UFOs, and it isn't that unrealistic to assume that if genuine artifacts came to attention, that such artifacts would be stolen, confiscated, or otherwise turn up missing, and there are numerous reports of this.

Does that "prove" anything? No. But it doesn't mean the objects DON'T exist either...just because debris hasn't come to a museum near you or I...




Sorry but that makes no sense. The raptor and blackbird were made by humans from the planet earth, not by the grays.
Also if the technology of those aircraft was kept hidden for many years, who is to say what we're seeing in the skies is not exactly the same thing?

the problems i have with ardent believers is that to them, if they cant explain
a strange object in the sky it has to be of alien origin.
To me thats a short cut to thinking.



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 03:00 PM
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Originally posted by Shadowhawk
...We need to dump Roswell (case closed!) and the "MJ-12" mythos and move on to the truly promising unexplained sightings. There have been events that even the most skeptical among us can't simply write off or explain away.

We also need to given human beings due credit for their achievements. Don't attribute ancient works of technology and architechture to ancient astronauts. Don't attribute modern advances to reverse engineered extraterrestrial technology.

Most of all, employ critical thinking when examining the "evidence." The truth is out there. Be prepared to accept it even if it is disappointing.


Shadowhawk,

Thank you so much for this argument exposing the silliness of decrying the existence of sketicism in the field of ufology.


You have voted Shadowhawk for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.


Harte



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