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I'm Coming Clean on Fictional ET's

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posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 11:59 AM
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I’m coming clean on Extraterrestrials

They do exist - within certain minds.

This is a test folks. This is a test of the Fair Skeptic emergency system. If this were not a test - well...most of us analytical folk who trust evidence and reason wouldn't be here. This is a call-out to all you Fair Skeptics out there.

Let's take a short littel jaunt outside of the land of Oz for a bit and take a close look at this interesting phenomenon.

A hypothesis

Let's say hypothetically a member posts that they are in direct contact with an Alien. They do not claim to have evidence, and they even say that for the heck of it - they're going to mix in a bit of leaps of fantasy.

An entire discussion ensues...with a multitude of people who have accepted a certain reality to be true, sans evidence....and the discussion turns into what appears to be a metaphysical trip into a hallucinogenic land of make-believe - but discussed as a true and verified, unquestioned reality. In the story told - elements are stolen from Douglas Adams "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" where Arthur Dent and his Alien friend Ford Prefect traverse the universe....and early on even take a little accidental space walk. Sound familiar?

What makes a FAIR Skeptic??

The discussion is for current believers, not skeptics, and certainly not Fair Skeptics who value evidence. To paraphrase - "I do not have suitable evidence - I'm going to lay out a tale from my imagination and claim parts are true. And let's see how many people believe - solely on my word."

The Plato's Cave Argument

The claim - that you and I suffer from a "crafted" reality by religions, scientists, and the like. That we are asleep. The alternative offered, is that we "wake up" to a "reality" crafted for us by an author and member of a discussion forum. Hmm...if we were to wake up here - we would be looking around, touching, feeling, and experiencing things for ourselves - and not taking anyone's word for it. What qualifies anyone to tell you what is real? And why would anyone take someone at their word on something as important as waking up from the dungeon of Plato's Cave to experience what is the ultimate truth? Mental illness is a very real and scary thing. And yes - the mentally ill truly believe everyone else are the ones who are mentally ill.

Someone claims to have woken up, and experienced the lights and wonder of the 3d world outside the cave. So that must make the rest of us all prisoners who refuse to believe what this sleeper-human who has finally woken has to say. Guess how so many cults and religious followings have started in the same way? A group of people who have decided that they have "woken up" to the truth - sans evidence (Who needs the inconvenience?).

It is not fair to say scientists craft our reality - because science does have a common ground of trusted theories. But even these theories are constantly tested for chinks and cracks. The difference between scientists and delusional megalomaniacs - is that Scientists do not even fully trust their own evidence...and are constantly trying to prove themselves wrong. The megalomaniacs believe they have it all figured out - and don't need one stinking shred of evidence, they already have the truth - who needs evidence?

And more times than not...the teller of the tale is an author of other fictional tales that need to be peddled.

Where do we draw the line?

The show you are about to watch is based on a true story. Except there's nothing to prove that it's true, nor are any of the characters real in any way shape or form. The experiences are created from my mind, and the ideas are figments of my imagination and these forms are created from my personal pontification of reality. But it's all true. Trust me. Enter my alien friend Milton.

Let's have a discussion here - regarding the line between reality and delusion/fiction. What defines that line and where that line should be drawn? What makes your reality and my reality true? And what defines which parts of our individual realities are not true - but pure delusion...or for those of us who are a little more capable of differentiating reality from make-believe....fiction?

And most importantly - this is a call for those wonderful Fair Skeptics who made ATS so great - to come forward and offer their analysis regarding what makes something real vs. what makes something delusion.

-Ry


[edit on 7-2-2007 by rdube02]
`````````````````
Fixed BB code on "Where do we draw the line"

( I don't think the underline worked in conjunction)



[edit on 7/2/07 by masqua]




posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 12:55 PM
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These are all very fair and well-posed questions. Some ancient sage said (I paraphrase), that deluded thoughts are more dangerous than tigers or vipers. He was right. Even if you're not clinically mentally ill, delusions building upon delusion can spiral you into madness and misery from which escape is difficult even if possible.

I consider myself a fair skeptic. I also buy into nearly all of the standard scientific model of reality we've been building for the last two thousand years, and skepticism is how science gets done. I accept that we and our mental faculties have evolved over the eons, and the human brain is a brilliant evolutionary kludge with some dangerous shortcuts. When we arrive at the truth, we arrive gradually, tentatively, over a long time, with some wrong turns and blind alleys thrown in for extra drama.

In my early - and largely wasted - youth, I was eager to believe people who spun a good yarn that resonated with my own fantasies. Evidence was something we'd deal with later. Now, I require evidence before I'll let you in the door. I'm not even going to waste my time unless there is something verifiable and relevant to the claims made.

That filter alone will exclude nearly all of the more evident folly found on the internet and elsewhere. After that it gets much tougher, and one may be confronting the 'sophisticated noise.' I consider discerning truth from reality when one is being deliberately and cleverly spoofed to be a topic of "current research."

[edit on 7-2-2007 by disownedsky]



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 01:13 PM
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From the title I can see you are litterly trying to make a mock of Sleeper. I disrespect your smartness.

If you do not wish to believe what is written by anyone here you have your right to state your opinion on said thread (of disbelief) and to move on.

Now that I have stated my belief in what your thread is/was meant for I leave and have no intension of returning.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by rdube02

Let's have a discussion here - regarding the line between reality and delusion/fiction. What defines that line and where that line should be drawn? What makes your reality and my reality true? And what defines which parts of our individual realities are not true - but pure delusion...or for those of us who are a little more capable of differentiating reality from make-believe....fiction?


Good question. Deep deep topic. The whole epistemology area is one that can really get your head spinning, isn't it? How do we know we know anything? Only three ways (or combination thereof)-

1) Experience
2) Reason
3) Authority

Of course this still requires a degree of trust, either in your own faculties or the expert opinion of an unimpeachable source. So this still can get very nit-picky and subjective at its core. The possibilities for reducto ad absurdum run rampant, if allowed.


Originally posted by rdube02
And most importantly - this is a call for those wonderful Fair Skeptics who made ATS so great - to come forward and offer their analysis regarding what makes something real vs. what makes something delusion.


Boy, another big ol' can o' worms. And this obviously wasn't addressed to me but I'll jump anyway.

What is reality? Think I need more coffee and my own personal forum to delve too deeply into that one. Here's the condensed version- we have no idea. Everything we perceive as "reality" is at the mercy of the 5 senses we have (okay, I have), so "reality" exists nowhere but in our minds. There is no objective reality of which we can be aware because we're all viewing it through the same limited human filter. There could be plenty out there we're just not equipped to perceive, any more than a night crawler can sense a rainbow.

So my reality is based upon whatever reason, authority, and experience I bring with me. Along with my limited physical perceptive abilities.

Which is why I frequently end posts with "maybe".

Maybe.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 01:37 PM
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Good point and well-made. I like evidence, proof otherwise we can all be led like fools if we just go on blind faith alone and make no mistake, people will try to do this. I find it highly unlikely they wouldnt have one shred of proof/evidence that said things took place, to share the knowledge of something that can prove their story, without a doubt. Like a location of a place that has been lost for so long and they claim to know where it is..but wont say where. I think its quite unfortunate that skeptics are then labeled not open-minded enough or deserving enough to know the truth.

Whereas people who bring out different questions, like Hank and angles on the subject, most others prefer to remain blind to it, and wont explore these questions and still believe no matter what. I think we need people like Hank asking these questions and to keep on asking untill they get a fair answer.

The line between reality and delusion/fiction, well I guess that lies in our own mind, some make these decisions based on evidence, proof, some listen to others stories and can make their mind up from that alone. I guess that line for some is very fragile and easily manipulated.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 02:50 PM
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Originally posted by yeahright
There is no objective reality of which we can be aware because we're all viewing it through the same limited human filter.


I see where you're coming from yr, but I think there is a limit to the post-modernist line of thought.

There is an objective reality that we all share, regardless of our interpretation of it. If how we perceived things around us actually had some effect on reality, then how do you explain the experience of being surprised?

Surprise is when you perceive that things are one way, but then you discover that reality is quite different.

As a Fair Skeptic, I think it is a very important line to defend that there is, in fact, an objective reality that can be studied and described. While human perception can influence things like "emotion", it simply cannot influence things like "stone" or "aliens."

Either they exist or they don't.
If I believe they do, I'm either wrong or I'm right.

That said...if I completely misunderstood your post, I apologize.

Maybe.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 03:16 PM
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Originally posted by Essedarius

I see where you're coming from yr, but I think there is a limit to the post-modernist line of thought.


I agree and is why I included the Latin phrase. It can certainly be dragged down to an absurdity.



There is an objective reality that we all share, regardless of our interpretation of it. If how we perceived things around us actually had some effect on reality, then how do you explain the experience of being surprised?


Two different things. I'm not saying necessarily that the way we percieve things affects reality (quantum levels notwithstanding), I'm saying "reality" is what we perceive, and that's limited to what our senses enable us to perceive. But there could be much, much more there. In fact, I'll not hedge, we "know' there's much, much more there. We just can't quantify how much or determine what it all is.



Surprise is when you perceive that things are one way, but then you discover that reality is quite different.


Hope I explained above. As I said, it's complex and can't adequately be explained in a forum post. Would've made Hume, Kant et al a lot simpler had they been held to that limit, though.




As a Fair Skeptic, I think it is a very important line to defend that there is, in fact, an objective reality that can be studied and described. While human perception can influence things like "emotion", it simply cannot influence things like "stone" or "aliens."


Yes, there is an objective reality, but I don't believe we can know what that is. Our perception can't influence "stone" or "aliens' but maybe our limited perception keeps us from seeing "aliens". Maybe.



Either they exist or they don't.
If I believe they do, I'm either wrong or I'm right.


Agreed.



That said...if I completely misunderstood your post, I apologize.


Any misunderstanding would be due to my inability to articulate concisely what I'm trying to say.


Maybe.


Too late. No takebacks on apologies.


My signature should include the line "... and bear in mind, I have absolutely no idea what the hell I'm talking about."



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 03:22 PM
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Ha! I know who and what you're talking about, you can't fool me!

I read about 30 seconds worth of that "other" post and came to the conclusion that a fool is born every minute, and that thread seems to be a breeding ground!



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by Essedarius
There is an objective reality that we all share, regardless of our interpretation of it.


I second that. "Reality" is a top level concept that cannot be expressed with degrees of 'reality-ness'. It is reality or it is not. When people express concepts of 'opening your mind' and discovering 'other realities', I have to cringe. 'Other realities' are an unrecognized part of reality.

It occurs to me....I find some delusions surprising


If a second person can raise their hand and declare..."Yes, I've experienced exactly that same situation"...I'm inclined to consider the reality of a case. When I can find no other corroborating account, I have to consider an account as intentionally fictional or unintentionally delusional.

And to be clear...simple agreement with an account, or claiming it 'rings true', does not constitute a duality of experience.

I hope that makes sense. Much better minds than this one have pondered this question for centuries.

[edit on 7-2-2007 by MrPenny]



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 04:17 PM
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Some great posts/responses. I'd like to add this.

Quite some time ago I experienced some things with ghosts. Had pictures, witnesses, etc. Now many, if not most people never encounter ghosts period. So, my reality is different than most other peoples. I at that point in my life realized that I should never shrug off things people tell me about. And believe me, I've heard some crazy things from people very close to me. My best friend of years back experienced a session in church (his dad was the pastor too) where someone coughed up a green thing during confession or something like that, and it ran out of the church. Sound crazy? Sure does. My grandma had a UFO over her house once in OK. Should I believe her?

I don't go out preaching that there are ghosts or aliens. I know there are, that is "my" reality from experience.

When it comes down to it, we are all just a product of our own experiences and how we interpret the experience, bottom line. There is no right or wrong, it is what it is.

As far as the comment about Sleeper's thread, the guy is an admitted author. I think stories are great, but I don't believe they belong on the main page of ATS Aliens & UFOs. For example, a new user that has just had an experience comes to ATS to poke around, then he reads about Sleeper having sex and bowling with his alien buddies. Away he goes, remaining silent because he thinks we are all nuts. The UFO community receives enough mockery without blatant garbage like that.

At times I've wondered how many people are here to seek answers, vs. lonely people using this board as their personal diary or entertainment, or people so caught up in just stirring things up because they only know how to live in chaos. Again, maybe just a product of their own reality or experience ;-)



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 04:51 PM
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Originally posted by knows_but_doesnt
When it comes down to it, we are all just a product of our own experiences and how we interpret the experience, bottom line. There is no right or wrong, it is what it is.


The distinction that is worth making (and the one that yeahright made earlier), is that while our experiences color the way that we interpret things, they do not actually influence what is real and what is not...especially when you are discussing things that may well exist outside the abilities of our perception.

So while I agree that we interpret things according to our history, I would contend that you can, in fact, score a person's interpretation as "right" or "wrong."

I asked a girl to a dance in high school because she was totally making eyes at me in the parking lot at McDonalds on Friday night and I knew she was into me.

My interpretation was, regrettably, wrong.

The reality was...well I don't really want to ponder the full reality...but the point is that she totally wasn't making eyes at me and I was at home the night of the dance.

Man...how depressing...

Here's the deal, if you are suspending your critical thinking skills and relying on the story of a professional fictionalist to paint your reality for you then that's akin to me sitting at home with a bag of cheetohs watching Robocop and convincing myself that Tracy really likes me a lot but was confused by the depth of her emotions.

Ohhh forget it...reality is so stupid...



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 05:25 PM
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More important than the reality vs. delusion debate is the fact that this thread is giving sleeper more attention, and that is a travesty in itself.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 05:51 PM
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Originally posted by rdube02
What makes your reality and my reality true? And what defines which parts of our individual realities are not true - but pure delusion...or for those of us who are a little more capable of differentiating reality from make-believe....fiction?


That's a very very difficult question. More difficult then you are probabily aware.

Had you ever have a dream so real that you couldn't tell you are dreaming? I don't mean the blurry unclear ones. I mean the one were you are awake or at least blieve you are awake like in day because there is no recogniceable difference for you.

How could you tell it was a dream and not reality?? The answer is you couldn't!! It was all real for you and if you never woke up (hypotetical) this had been the whole and real reality for you.
You can tell it was a dream at the point when you woke up. Not before.

(There is only one exceptiona and this is exception is when you are skilled to discover that you are dreaming within a dream, keyword lucid dreaming and also then you still have dreams where you are unable to discover them as dream before you ever wake up).

That's the dilema we are in. Our reality can as well be a state of dream we are unable to recognise before we 'woke up' and see it from an outside view.

And that's the dilemma I see with sleepers story also.
Even if he made an experience like in his blog which is alone already doubtfull the way it is presented, the experience he made might be everything than real. I personel see a lot of hints that he has been in an alternated reality or induced dream to name it from the point he 'meet' milton than in a day reality state. (But I bet it was absolutly real for him.)
That makes the question if anything was real that happen from that point poitnless, only the inducing source knows.
Ops..hope I haven't lost you here.

Ok let me say it more clear:
Isn't his story character Milton a very manipulative figure?


Where should we draw the line?
I think this is a very personel thing where someone draws a line.
How you want to generalisize it? For many you will draw the line wrong anyway where you draw it.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 06:12 PM
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I visited sleeper's thread long enough to get the gist of things (there will be no evidence forthcoming) and haven't returned.

I personally spend time here on the ATS Aliens & UFOs forum for one reason: to maybe, maybe, maybe find evidence-backed proof of alien visitations to earth.

Even so, the description of this forum on the board home page is "Extraterrestrial and UFO theories and coverups" (emphasis mine) there's not even a mention of "evidence" - so sleeper's thread by definition is as valid as any other UFO-related contribution here.

(I do think the metaphysical/theoretical/intangible approaches are absolutely important and valuable. I'm just not personally interested in it that aspect of Ufology right now.)

However I do really wish ATS would separate or clearly mark ostensibly abstract UFO discussion threads from the ones that are created to discuss evidence. I think it would be less confusing to newcomers, and help all members quickly see what type of information a thread contains... at the very least...

That's my 2¢.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 06:12 PM
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You have voted rdube02 for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.


... Finally someone puts into words what I've been thinking. Thank you for the post and i apologize for not adding anything more to the discussion... simply because you've covered all I'd want to say!



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 06:41 PM
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Originally posted by fooffstarr



You have voted rdube02 for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.


... Finally someone puts into words what I've been thinking. Thank you for the post and i apologize for not adding anything more to the discussion... simply because you've covered all I'd want to say!


ditto that.

If sleeper just said that his story was in fact that, a story, or a theory, or a mix of truth and fiction, well, that wouldn't bother me at all. But when you tote these stories as facts without providing any evidence, how are you any more right than the people that say THEY speak for the aliens and what they have experienced is the way it happens even if its in contradiction to his story, or the people that say they have spoken to Jesus or Allah or the reptile lord, or the almighty alien lord Yahweh. There is no telling where truth ends and fiction begins.

Be careful of believing people just because you like the sound of what they're saying, or because parts of it are similar to things you have experienced, because some may be true and other parts completely untrue, and there are so many theories on the internet one can easily fit a couple popular ones into a single story without having lived them at all. The rest of sleepers posts are somewhat angry and very biased politically, he sounds like he might be just a wee bit off the extreme end of things. There are saner people to believe without evidence than this guy if thats what you're looking for.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 06:53 PM
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This is a PERSONAL Opinion ( I want to make this clear before I go on any further)

My hypothesis is that reality is a shared experience, a commonality, if I walk, and you also walk, we have a shared reality, walking, but if I see a frequency of light, and say this light is “blue” that is the “color” my MIND perceives for that frequency, we share the reality that “color has frequency” but the actual color perceived may not but shared. What we see as “reality” is the common consensus, nothing more, the “details” of what is real is different as finger prints

Hence my signature



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 07:06 PM
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This thread will NOT become a "bash sleeper" event, if it continues this thread will be shut down.


We don't do that sort of thing at ATS. The fact his "personal experinece, story, mythology, utter bag of grapes" (or whatever you want to label it as) garners attention is NO REASON to break the T.A.C. of this site and it won't be tolerated.

There is already a "Is sleeper genuine" thread and I suggest (STRONGLY) that anyone who desires to delve into that question do so in that thread.

Carry on...

Springer...



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 07:15 PM
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I think the 'Is sleeper genuine thread' was shut down by Majic.

People are just giving honest opinions and I think the OP has a very valid point and poses some interesting questions and im enjoying reading other peoples perspectives on reality/delusions thus far. But of course its nice to keep it civil
.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 07:24 PM
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Originally posted by StrangeVision
I think the 'Is sleeper genuine thread' was shut down by Majic.


That's right it was - but Majic said that it was only because sleeper was being discussed, and not the topic of his thread - so I'm assuming if we can stick to discussing reality vs. delusion (and how we individually define that) - we should be cool.

Avoid personal attacks against the individual and let's discuss the other side of the coin. There's no reason Fair Skeptics can't have an area to discuss the same issues that are being discussed there - without being attacked for being too "cynical" for demanding evidence.

By the way - the issue here isn't that that kind of thread garners attention...the issue is that there are so many people willing to accept an alternate reality, and discuss it as an absolute truth, without any kind of supporting evidence.

It's like walking around in a strange Wonderland with Alice and everyone grinning like the Chesire cat and acting like everything is just perfectly normal. It's strange...and I just thought it would be fascinating to analyze that "strange" factor - and certain people's acceptance of it.

-Ry

[edit on 7-2-2007 by rdube02]



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