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I'm Coming Clean on Fictional ET's

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posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 08:28 AM
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I've said it once, twice, three, four times... and it seems like it needs to be said again...

www.abovetopsecret.com...
---------- saying it again ----------

The subject of UFO's, extraterrestrials, visitations, and related abduction experiences can be complex and passionate, spanning the spectrum from outright amateurish hoax, to inexplicable events that leave us in awe.

Combine that with a similar spectrum of interested people that range from religious-like believers to hardened skeptics and the subject has been extremely volatile for over 50 years.

And then... to make matters worse, we have "experienced" camps of UFOlogists constantly hoaxing each other with public "feuds" and credible sounding hoaxes.

And to further fuel to chaos of this field, people with potentially interesting experiences all too often embellish important points in an attempt to gain attention.

It's a maddening topic a best... and it seems like "best" moments can be few and far between.


Skepticism is important in all factors of this and other "conspiracy-like" topics. If we're to determine what stories may be true, we must apply critical thought, detailed analysis, more critical thought, and a healthy dose of what may seem harsh examination.


The truth is important. It can survive scrutiny. It can tolerate skepticism. It can recover from harsh questions.


However, AboveTopSecret.com does not tolerate impolite, rude, crass, and demeaning contributions from our members, no matter what the topic. If any of us are unable to provide the all important skeptical side of an analysis without maintaining respect and decorum, then we should not participate.


There are people who are coping with trying to explain a difficult experience within these topics. Google searches will undoubtedly lead them here. It would be a shame if a few people who are unable to control their rhetoric end up driving someone away who has an important contribution.

If this means being polite to a few people with hoaxes, delusions, or mundane experiences, then buck up and deal with it. It's worth it. The value of helping a genuine soul with a genuine experience far outweighs the pleasure you derive from flaming a hoaxer.


Certainly, we do not, nor should we ever, suffer the likes of hoaxers and pranksters. But this is AboveTopSecret.com damn it... we're supposed to be doing it better here... we're supposed to be setting the standard.


I can be polite to 1,000 people posting improbable stories if it means I find 1 that is probable. Can you?


---------- done saying it again (for now) ----------



I personally don't care about the validity of Sleeper's story. I personally care very much that people who believe they've had extraordinary experiences be provided an open environment in which to share them.

It's fare more important to enable and encourage the sharing of experiences than it is to derive enjoyment from "tearing apart" shared experiences you believe are disingenuous. Politely question: yes. Respectfully disagree: yes. Examine discrepancies: yes. Insult & deride: no.




posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 10:32 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
I've said it once, twice, three, four times... and it seems like it needs to be said again...


Did someone deride anyone in here? I thought the point of this particular thread (at least the reason I created it) was to examine where the line is drawn in the sand - where we define "interesting story" vs. "promotional hoax"?



The truth is important. It can survive scrutiny. It can tolerate skepticism. It can recover from harsh questions.


Amen to that.



However, AboveTopSecret.com does not tolerate impolite, rude, crass, and demeaning contributions from our members, no matter what the topic. If any of us are unable to provide the all important skeptical side of an analysis without maintaining respect and decorum, then we should not participate.


I don't know if any of that is directed toward me....if it is I'll look back to try to determine where I've been impolite or disrespectful. Off the top of my head I believe the closest I might have come to being impolite is in observing that that particular story holds many parallels in plot to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In particular the first book in the series.

But I think I finally understand - it appears a new direction of ATS is to try to tone down the sarcasm that was inherent in many of the skeptic's comments and responses toward anyone with new and even possibly questionable information. I applaud that. I always felt (during the whole Serpo hoax...remember that one?) - when the lights went out - that the skeptics had beaten that darn thing into the ground about 6 feet (including you.) And I noticed the tone throughout in other posts with any outrageous claims - the same kind of sarcasm, ad-hominem attacks, and impoliteness. So I agree completely and I'm glad to see ATS is working to reverse that. Removing the heavy-handedness many of the believers felt. That's great.

But - as the Serpo hoax proved....there's always the danger of going too far in the other direction... to become a little too heavy-handed toward the skeptics. I'm not saying that's the case here - but I'm sure you agree that it's a fine balancing act, and there's always the danger of going too far in either direction. As you said - true claims should withstand polite scrutiny...absolutely. But we need that polite scrutiny...those who offer up such examination should be attacked no more than the person presenting the outrageous claim should. Don't you agree?



Certainly, we do not, nor should we ever, suffer the likes of hoaxers and pranksters. But this is AboveTopSecret.com damn it... we're supposed to be doing it better here... we're supposed to be setting the standard.


I can be polite to 1,000 people posting improbable stories if it means I find 1 that is probable. Can you?


Absolutely - I couldn't agree more. I still feel like ATS is another home away from home - and what made it feel that way was the motto - "deny ignorance"...I sincerely hope that motto never goes away. It's a central reason I believe so many within the mainstream come to ATS, rather than other "entertainment" sites that do nothing more than promote commercial ufology. ATS is above that.



I personally don't care about the validity of Sleeper's story. I personally care very much that people who believe they've had extraordinary experiences be provided an open environment in which to share them.


Okay...well I do see a point of disagreement here - but that's fine. I do care about the validity of a story if it is even *partially* claimed to contain truth. Remember the 90% disinfo, 10% game? We've been down that road before haven't we?



Politely question: yes. Respectfully disagree: yes. Examine discrepancies: yes. Insult & deride: no.


I think I understand the paradigm-shift that has taken place here on ATS a little better now. I believe I might not have kept up with recent announcements as well as I should have, or my confusion about the change of tone around here wouldn't have been so profound. It finally makes sense now. And as far as I'm concerned, it is true...let sleeper, Bill Ryan, Victor Martinez, Paul McGovern, Gene Lakes, Rick Doty, John Lear, Dan Burisch, Lazar, Duncan O'Finian, Mr. X and whoever else comes down the line next.....tell their stories without the constant rude and annoying demands for "evidence". Absolutely.

But I do appreciate that you will still allow us to examine the discrepancies, politely question, and respectfully disagree.

Respectfully,
-Ry



[edit on 8-2-2007 by rdube02]



posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by fooffstarr
That is exactly what I've been trying to say ever since i arrived here. I even started a topic on it months ago.

The UFO community comes with a stigma these days. One of tin hats, dimly-lit rooms with Star-trek posters lining the walls, mental instability and hoaxes. It has become something of an automatic reaction in peoples minds, a conditioning if you will, to regard anyone interested in UFOlogy as an eccentric crackpot.


You have voted fooffstarr for the Way Above Top Secret award.

Thank you. Thank you for saying this. I cringe every time that I see ufology derided, as the media seems to enjoy doing. Remember the press conference after the Phoenix lights with the alien? Remember a couple of weeks ago on the Charlotte, NC thread where the article ended with something like "And there were no reports of green men with ray guns"? Why do we sit here and let ourselves be insulted? Most of us have degrees, we're not idiots, and we're just trying to find answers. Does that warrant the insults that the media delivers on us day in and day out?

I discussed something quite similar in this post and in my blog, which is linked through my signature, so I won't go into the specifics of my opinions, but I hope people read them and think about them. I hope that people forgive what may seem like shameless self-promotion, but it is a subject of great importance to me, and I want to cultivate its serious consideration.


I think that the vast majority of those in the field are far from that. Most are simply curious as to what these objects are. Open minded, fair skeptics, fair believers. They make up the core of the community. It is, however, not the part of the community the general public and media cares about. They still treat all of us as the stereotype they created a long time ago.

If we ever want to change that stereotype, we HAVE TO weed out the stories, hoaxes, attention seekers and mentally ill from our community and lay a basis in fact. Disregard and debunk the hoaxes, analyze every image and video to the last pixel. Discussions should be focused on theorizing on the evidence we find is genuine, discussing the validity of other presented evidence, and debunking it if need be, not focused on fanciful stories of alien adventures or abductions.

I am in favor of a schism myself. It most likely sounds very harsh. But if you are going to bring in the greater public into a common cause, first, how can they effectively understand our position when there is such an overwhelming dissonance in the community? Second, don't the paradigms expressed in such stories naturally offend and put off some of our potentially greatest allies? There is no proof that such stories are true, although they may very well be. But it is insulting to anyone to tell them to embrace such a world-shattering view without evidence.

A schism would allow a New Ufology to grow, to build a scientific image. It could them more effectively allay with political and academic leaders to help figure out what is going on. It would require active criticism of opinions not based on reasoned research, and maybe that's not right, maybe that's disrespectful, but as I am fond of saying, we're going down the path we are today and have never been farther from disclosure.


I know this is quite a rant, and to save myself from getting the ban, this isn't directed directly at Sleeper (who seems to have an immunity around here), it is directed at the entirety of the UFO community.

[edit on 7-2-2007 by fooffstarr]

I don't disrespect what anyone believes, but let's let the science go its own way, and let the believers find the answers that they seek on their own. This is the solution for ufology, not for this forum, which has goals separate from what ufology, if it wants to make it anywhere, has.

Edit: I have avoided the "Coming Clean on Extraterrestrials" room since i started here because it was already a behemoth of a thread when I joined three weeks ago. I just went back and started looking through the thread, and was horrified by the near-sycophantic and unquestioning acceptance of the claims going on in there, and the wholesale derision of those asking for evidence. I think it is symptomatic of the unfortunate coupling of science, religion, and new-age thought that characterizes ufology right now.

[edit on 2/8/2007 by Togetic]



posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by rdube02
I would never deny those who want to have fun with flights of fancy and tall tales a thread to do that in. But those who like to pull out the magnifying glass and the microscope should not be denied a place to have discussion either.


I'm not so certain that it is all 'flights of fancy or tall tales' that we deal with here. We can only hope that the membership can aid us in our attempt to seperate the 'wheat from the chaff' as a thread develops.

As a seeker of knowledge, and more importantly, being desirous of understanding these issues myself, I honestly agree with you in the above statement and I have no quarrel with those who would ask the hard questions, no matter which forum they are in, since that is the function of ATS as I see it... to get at the truth.

But what is to be the initial venue of the discussions? Aliens and UFO's or Paranormal? It seems to me that if someone has an experience which involves demons or angels, then it is off to the religious forum. If it is perceived by the OP that they are spirits, then Paranormal is the place for it. But, if the OP is certain that they are 'aliens', then the proper forum is this one.

IMO, it is how the OP 'sees' it and how the thread develops which is the important qualifier as to its eventual place on the board.

In that regard, I have often been driven to attempts at forming a 'template' by which we would be able to discern what belongs in Paranormal or Religion forums and which should be allowed to stay here. As a matter of fact, ever since becoming a moderator in Aliens and UFO's, it has been the important question and the most difficult one to come to terms with.

It's not been worked on without a great deal of input from Springer and the rest of the staff here as well... and I have also put the question to the membership a couple of times in threads I started and even through numerous U2U's.

In that you might help us solve this, I am hoping you might respond to this post. and give us an opinion on how to seperate these two solitudes of abduction stories.

(Think Betty and Barney Hill)



posted on Feb, 8 2007 @ 07:37 PM
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So what? Why are you so opposed to an individual expressing a belief that you dont agree with?
Some people take up a cause, not because they believe in a particular cause but because of the attention they get.
Some people use kids, (think of the children) some people use animal rights (oh those poor cows) and some people on here use people that believe in aliens etc. (those poor deluded fools)
These people dont need saving, theyre not victims. Theyre all most likely adults and they believe what they want to believe.
You have every right in the world to disagree with what anyone on here says about anything you want, thats the reason you should be using for your rants against sleeper.
Im not trying to flame you or be an ass to you, its just that i believe that you are doing exactly what you blame sleeper of doing, which is trying to force your beliefs or disbeliefs on others.
Everything needs balance, any story of this magnitude SHOULD be questioned and scrutinized. I commend you for what youre doing but i dont agree with how youre doing it.


Originally posted by rdube02

Originally posted by StrangeVision
I think the 'Is sleeper genuine thread' was shut down by Majic.


T
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.


[edit on 7-2-2007 by rdube02]



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 04:55 AM
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I don't have a problem saying I don't like the Sleeper thread. It does not belong where it is, end of story.

I've poked around there and in MY opinion it resembles something of a false profit story. Fortune teller or gypsy, or maybe he is going for the false profit gig that is talked about in the Bible, who knows. Either or it's no worries, I just choose to spend my time elswhere on this board. I like this post here because people are actually talking about the Sleeper thread, and for the most part, everyone on this thread has a pretty good head on their shoulders.

As far as the mods saying don't say this or that, I'm wondering if even they themselves visit that thread anymore. It's turned into a giant "Dear Abby" or "Ask Ann Landers" type thread. To me, again in my humble opinion, it makes this board look like a joke. I'm not saying there is not a place for his story, but on the front page of "Aliens and UFOs" where we are all trying to post facts, news, pictures etc?

I guess what scares me the most is this guy actually has an audience! He lost me somewhere between the Alien bowling and sex in the saucer chapter ;-)



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 08:27 AM
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Originally posted by knows_but_doesnt
It's turned into a giant "Dear Abby" or "Ask Ann Landers" type thread. To me, again in my humble opinion, it makes this board look like a joke. I'm not saying there is not a place for his story, but on the front page of "Aliens and UFOs" where we are all trying to post facts, news, pictures etc?


Yes precisely...although I don't know if it makes this board a joke. I mean S.O. above makes it clear that they want to allow everyone who has any experience to provide it here without ridicule. Prior to this - there was certainly a lot of ridicule to anyone who dared claim anything strange happened to them. About 20 people jumped on them demanding evidence very rudely. So I applaud the mods and owners in their effort to soften the skeptics a little toward those people.

But the point you've made above is the crux - on the front page where we are all trying to post (or read) facts, news, pictures etc... But that is assuming that this site is about facts & corroborated news, or is it a collection point for any and all stories and claims - sans evidence? Or both? Any answer to that question is perfectly fine. However in the case where it has become a collection point - for example a person anonymously comes on here and starts streaming information regarding an Alien/Exchange program - however provides no evidence to back the claim. Are we now allowing such uncorroborated claims to be printed in an area that was previously acclaimed as a place on the internet where hoaxes and stories from conmen have a very short shelf life?

I don't know - either way is cool with me. It's certainly entertaining to listen to such claims and imagine "what if" it could be true. But everyone, in incorporating corroborated and evidenced claims into what is "real" in our everyday lives, and if we're going to remain open minded enough to incorporate fringe ideas into our reality - we need to only incorporate those things that are backed by at least some degree of supporting evidence...otherwise we all run the risk of incorporating fiction into our realities - otherwise called delusion.



I guess what scares me the most is this guy actually has an audience! He lost me somewhere between the Alien bowling and sex in the saucer chapter ;-)


That doesn't really scare me - only because there are plenty of places online that do that. Jerry Pippen's show as one...Coast 2 Coast somewhat...everyone knows the claims there may or may not be corroborated or tested in any scientific manner. They are presented for entertainment value. And everyone accepts that. Or when we read an article by George Knapp - we know every aspect of the case has been properly analyzed and examined, and you can take that to the bank. My only question (and there's no wrong answer) - is...is that what ATS is aiming for as well? An entertainment venue, as apposed to a collaborative scientific sort of community of researchers? Again - there's no wrong answer. But it would allow people to better gauge how they read and analyse (and respond) to the information posted here.

Cheers,
-Ry




[edit on 9-2-2007 by rdube02]



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 09:42 AM
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I agree that a new person coming to a forum like this would run fast when they see some of the stranger stories of abductions here.

I kinda wish there was a separate section of the site for "fanciful" stories clearly labeled as such.



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 10:30 AM
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Originally posted by MiahX

I kinda wish there was a separate section of the site for "fanciful" stories clearly labeled as such.


There is such a section... it's called the Short Stories Discussion Forum. and any stories clearly marked as "fanciful" can have a home there.

In fact, I would sincerely welcome some more creative writing there.

Now, as to the stories in Aliens and UFO's... how are we to find out which are truely believed by the author and which are deliberately 'made up' without first asking the difficult questions which may come up as the thread develops?

We can't put the cart before the horse, can we?



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 10:42 AM
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Originally posted by MiahX
I agree that a new person coming to a forum like this would run fast when they see some of the stranger stories of abductions here.

I kinda wish there was a separate section of the site for "fanciful" stories clearly labeled as such.


Why would someone who is looking for information on UFOs "run fast" when they came accross something "strange"?!


What part of the UFO phenom ISN'T "strange"?!


Also, why would they run from pixels on a screen when all they have to do is move onto a thread they think is more likely to cover what they are looking for?

This mentality confuses me.

This is a forum dedicated to UFOS and ALIENS, NOT mainstream headline news.


edit to add: Why do you all keep mentioning "the front page of the UFO forum"?

There is no "front page" in this or anyother forum, when ever a thread gets a new post it moves it to the top of page one of the thread index for the forum.

As long as Members keep posting on the thread it will stay on "page one" (of over two hundred pages) not the "front page", there is no "front page".


With over 10,000 threads and 200,000 posts in this forum alone there has to be a way to index it all and keep what people are currently talking about easy to find.

Springer...

[edit on 2-9-2007 by Springer]



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 10:56 AM
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in my opinion, theres 2 sides to ufology.

the prudent sci-fact/sci-fi enthusiest that draw people to explore certain possibilities. with an open mind towards the pros and cons of whats in front of their eyes. logical, and adequet for a people who live life as it is. up and down...left and right.

then the faithful spirtualist/metaphyical enthusiest that draw people to explore certain possibilities. with an open mind of possibilities that can't be seen by the eye. or more so, beyond our world. adequet for a people who seek more than up and down..left and right.

theres a medium to it all. but, its rare. and often find themselves conflicted on subjects.

just my opinion.

[edit on 9-2-2007 by waffleprime]



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by Springer
This is a forum dedicated to UFOS and ALIENS, NOT mainstream headline news.


Springer...


That's true! Absolutely. However I take UFO's and Aliens seriously enough to believe that the topic (and any related revelations) should be taken seriously enough so that some day it will be mainstream headline news.

The alternative is to treat it as a form of entertainment. In my humble opinion, that serves to lower the perception and public opinion of the subject matter. And as I've said - ATS is above that.

I hope you don't think I'm picking on you guys or that I have any sort of axe to grind here Springer. I know we run a little forum, but in my experience to this point - ATS has been the central source and repository online of good, solid information (and analytical expertise) in a fringe field. I just hate to see that solid "deny ignorance" reputation denigrate into an Entertainment venue like Pippen and folks. However if that is the direction the 3 Amigos see for ATS - heck, it's your forum that you've built with your blood, sweat, and tears so I would never attempt to tell you what to do.

I just humbly submit, that I've always loved ATS's motto - "deny ignorance" and everything that stood for (and I believe continues to stand for). This is the safe place on the internet where you could come to get the real story - the truth. And I hope it always remains that way.

With Respect,
-Ry



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 11:49 AM
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Sorry I just realized I didn't properly respond to masqua...my apologies. Excellent points brought up.


Originally posted by masqua

As a seeker of knowledge, and more importantly, being desirous of understanding these issues myself, I honestly agree with you in the above statement and I have no quarrel with those who would ask the hard questions, no matter which forum they are in, since that is the function of ATS as I see it... to get at the truth.


I agree...per my post above, the function of ATS has always been to get at the truth. I couldn't agree more.



But what is to be the initial venue of the discussions? Aliens and UFO's or Paranormal? It seems to me that if someone has an experience which involves demons or angels, then it is off to the religious forum. If it is perceived by the OP that they are spirits, then Paranormal is the place for it. But, if the OP is certain that they are 'aliens', then the proper forum is this one.


I agree to an extent, but I know when I have a story or issue I want to raise, I have the same confusion at first. But I try to gauge the percentage that story fits in each topic. For example when the Duncan O'Finian story popped up on the radar and I wanted to call ATS members attention to these claims, it could have been placed in several places - secret societies...aliens/ufos....military and government projects...etc. For that story, I'd say it was at least 80% about mkultra and related secret projects, which is why i chose the military projects forum. I posted his story...and then in the usual "deny ignorance" fashion...attempted to confirm the claims. It turned out (thanks in large part to the work of Mr. Knapp) that they appear likely to be fabricated due to an upcoming movie deal.




In that you might help us solve this, I am hoping you might respond to this post. and give us an opinion on how to seperate these two solitudes of abduction stories.



As I mentioned above - I believe the solution lies in the percentage of each topic the story falls into. In one case - if an alien abduction is 98% spiritual encounter and the focus is a particular religion, I might choose religion. If it's mostly concerning the phenomenon of OOB experience, obviously that's what I'd choose... Where it all goes, I think, is just about anywhere.

I don't think a person should ever be penalized for making an outrageous statement, such as "last week I took a trip on the space ship with an alien friend." However, a claim that a story contains even partial truth, and no evidence to back any "truth" - is essentially the definition of a hoax.

Fron Encarta:


hoax [ hōks ]
noun (plural hoax·es)

Definition:

deception: an act intended to trick people into believing something is real when it is not.


We've seen before how the ownership of this forum have acted quickly to prevent such deception from taking place here - hard questions were asked, when the evidence failed to surface or take shape, the threads are shut down (and often the person was banned). Hoax was a four-letter word.

However (and here's the catch-22 for the owner of a business) - those who scientifically analyze outrageous claims don't draw much attention (or money). However, as you can see from the sleeper thread - outrageous claims themselves, do. So if you're in the business of research and truth, you go with blocking hoaxes and conducting proper analysis. If you're in the business of drawing a crowd and creating revenue and cash-flow...you go with the entertainment (aka. Pippen & co.)

Cheers,
-Ry

[edit on 9-2-2007 by rdube02]



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 01:29 PM
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Originally posted by rdube02
However, a claim that a story contains even partial truth, and no evidence to back any "truth" - is essentially the definition of a hoax.


I completely disagree. I can have a claim that is partially true (or even totally false) with no evidence to back it up, and it wouldn't necessarily be a hoax. I can have a claim with evidence out the yingyang and it be a complete hoax. The hoaxing IMO, requires two elements - something you know to be untrue and intent to pass it off as truth.

I can consider someone to be completely off base with what they're telling and still not think they're hoaxing. There's a thread floating around where someone posted a picture of a porn star and tried to pass it off as a picture he took of his girl friend. Fortunately, we have moderators who are familiar enough with the porn industry, and teen porn stars in particular, that it was uncovered. That was a hoax.

I think Serpo was a hoax. I think Titor was a hoax. Other things may not be "hoaxes" but that doesn't mean I believe them. There's a difference (to me) between someone relaying a story about their personal experiences which have no evidentiary support, and someone relaying a story they've "uncovered" or that was "disclosed" to them.

I have not been convinced that we were, or are currently, visited by extraterrestrial, ultraterrestrial, metaterrestrial, or interdimensional intelligences, or even that they exist.

I think something's going on. I just have no idea what.


Originally posted by rdube02
So if you're in the business of research and truth, you go with blocking hoaxes and conducting proper analysis. If you're in the business of drawing a crowd and creating revenue and cash-flow...you go with the entertainment (aka. Pippen & co.)


Maybe I'm wrong, but I think it's possible to do both. You make some valid points and I understand what you're saying, but I'm not so sure that the more ...um... speculative threads are doing a whole lot of collateral damage.

[Edit for typo]

But hey, what do I know?

[edit on 2/9/2007 by yeahright]



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by wellwhatnow
I read sleeper's thread and sleeper's blog and then thoroughly worked through this issue for myself. I reached a two-fold conclusion:

One) I don't think we should simply believe whatever someone says. It doesn't matter if a person says they own a dog or if they say they are carrying on intimate relations with aliens. Either statement, whether mundane or extraordinary, is suspect. This is the internet and people can say / be / do whatever they want without repercussion.

Two) It is completely unfair for me to demand proof of any claim made. There is no way that suitable proof could be provided for me through the medium of a discussion board. Pictures can be altered, documents can be faked, witnesses are unreliable. I can think of nothing that could possibly be presented at ATS that would really, truly, once and for all, absolutely prove any claim made.

Whether this person is in academia, in an Internet forum, or academia, it is appropriate to ask for proof. That provides the only metric for those of us with enough of an open mind to listen to what is being said.

I know this is not your assumption, but some might assume that asking for proof is inherently disrespectful. That is also incorrect, and based on the assumption that total respect for someone's beliefs requires that we not question them.


So, while I don't have to believe all of the claims made on the internet I also shouldn't bother to ask for proof since I couldn't possible be satisfied with anything submitted as proof. I can either read the astounding claims of others or chose not to read them. If I read them I have to just take them for what they are worth and use my own judgement concerning their possible validity. Neither agreeing nor arguing with the author will accomplish anything.

edited spelling as always

[edit on 2/7/07 by wellwhatnow]

I also must ask: at what point do such claims become fraud? And when does respect for beliefs and laibility on ATS's part begin? It is much like people suing myspace.com for their daughter going out and meeting up with a child molester. I know, especially in this forum, that it is impossible for the moderators--who do a great job--to look through every post and make sure that the statements are not crossing the line, whatever that line may be. The intent is that controversial content be thrown around here on a daily basis; but if someone becomes so smitten that they do something harmful to themselves or someone else in the outside world, physically or emotionally, would we or ATS be at fault for seeing it and not doing something? Probably not, but I think it is something to pay attention to.

But I think there is another way around it. Perhaps, to some degree, it falls to those of us who try to be "fair skeptics" to make sure that people don't get taken in by a legitimate scam? Perhaps, by asking our questions, and being respectful, we can help someone who might otherwise be taken in by something legitimately invidious to take a step back and not proceed so haphazardly? If so, then it becomes even more imperative that we ask for proof.



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 04:07 PM
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Originally posted by Togetic
But I think there is another way around it. Perhaps, to some degree, it falls to those of us who try to be "fair skeptics" to make sure that people don't get taken in by a legitimate scam? Perhaps, by asking our questions, and being respectful, we can help someone who might otherwise be taken in by something legitimately invidious to take a step back and not proceed so haphazardly? If so, then it becomes even more imperative that we ask for proof.

What is a legitimate scam? and what scam exactly is being discussed in this thread?

Where do all these false responsibilities come from? I'm sick and tired of not being able to enjoy whacky theories (however presented) because certain members have elevated themselves to a position of being able to judge for others and save them. Present a point or counter argument, sure...save me (or others)? Puuuulease!

On the basis of the thought processes presented here, I offer the following...

For the sake of balance, I will concede that a place to explore discrepancies in a story is just as necessary as the story itself.

However, also in the name of balance, I will demonstrate how easy it is to make a claim of something as fact when in reality, the poster has no way of proving their statement....


Originally posted by Rdube02
And yes - the mentally ill truly believe everyone else are the ones who are mentally ill.


The OP dodged my question of whether he stood by this but I present it here because under skeptic rules....I want evidence of this "fact" or at least have the right to ask. It is even compounded by using words like truly and everyone.

A claim has been made. Incorrect information has been presented as fact and used in a post to bolster the point. This statement is disinformation and may well affect susceptible readers whom I am now compelled to save from the falsehoods that another presents. All in the name of truth, you understand.

I respectfully post this in the spirit of a multi sided discussion. I have no desire to debate the opinions of the OP, they are his to have. I simply want to point out how fine the line is.



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 04:24 PM
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Originally posted by Prote
What is a legitimate scam? and what scam exactly is being discussed in this thread?

Beats the heck out of me. I'm positing this as a hypothetical.


Where do all these false responsibilities come from? I'm sick and tired of not being able to enjoy whacky theories (however presented) because certain members have elevated themselves to a position of being able to judge for others and save them. Present a point or counter argument, sure...save me (or others)? Puuuulease!

For the sake of balance, I will concede that a place to explore discrepancies in a story is just as necessary as the story itself.

I guess my point is, do we have an obligation to people who might be taken in by a pernicious influence if we have the power to do something about it? I sincerely don't know. I actually lean towards "no" because I think it's an impossible task and holding anyone to it is manifestly unreasonable. But I think the question is important and one that should be asked.



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 04:45 PM
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Originally posted by Togetic
I guess my point is, do we have an obligation to people who might be taken in by a pernicious influence if we have the power to do something about it? I sincerely don't know. I actually lean towards "no" because I think it's an impossible task and holding anyone to it is manifestly unreasonable. But I think the question is important and one that should be asked.

Right. But after asking, it is asked again...and again. I think you are right in thinking no. The reasons are...

Once someone has taken it upon themselves to warn someone else, wouldn't that then automatically obligate said person to follow the person they saved to ensure that they do not fall for other stories, scams, cults or whatever.

If you were my mother, father, brother, best friend, then you may feel justified in your warning. By all means shoot a warning anyway but if your warning is rejected, don't be surprised when the 2nd, 3rd and 4th warnings start to agitate those that are the object of the saving. This seems lost on some.

In addition, anyone who is susceptible to such psychological manipulation is going to be ensnared by someone or something at some point unless you lock the gullible ones up. But then, who judges the gullible?....no one, it is subjective so after the warning shot has been fired and not heeded, walk away with a shake of the head.

I view anything more than this as a direct result of ones insecurities. But what do I know, I'm gullible and probably mentally ill.



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 05:47 PM
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Exactly what ive been saying all along, not only in this thread but many others as well.
Scroll up to the middle of the page Prote and youll see my post which basically says this.
"why do people constantly take it upon themselves to "save" others from a post that HE believes is deceptive but the person he is trying to "save" believes it to be true?
These "heroes" claim that some posters try to manipulate the timid and easily led readers here.
However, during their "quests" to save people, these heroes are employing the same tactics that they accuse the posters of using lmao


Edited to clarify what i meant by "tactics" in the last sentence.
The tactics i speak of in that sentence, refers to how these heroes claim that some posters try to force their beliefs in aliens, ufo's or some conspiracy onto other people on here.
Now, i could be mistaken, i suppose i coudve overlooked a post by sleeper that made fun of a person or told him what a complete idiot he was IF they did not believe what he said.
Wait no, that wasnt sleeper that said anything like that, instead it was most likely one of these heroes that would say how stupid these people were.
Yea, according to these heroes, these people are to stupid to think for themselves, so thats when they come riding in on their white horse lmao




[edit on 9-2-2007 by Kr0n0s]



posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 10:41 PM
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Originally posted by ProteHowever, also in the name of balance, I will demonstrate how easy it is to make a claim of something as fact when in reality, the poster has no way of proving their statement....


Originally posted by Rdube02
And yes - the mentally ill truly believe everyone else are the ones who are mentally ill.


The OP dodged my question of whether he stood by this but I present it here because under skeptic rules....I want evidence of this "fact" or at least have the right to ask. It is even compounded by using words like truly and everyone.


Claiming I dodged the question is disingenuous. A couple posts up I responded to a question from someone who thought I was ignoring them, I wasn't - I try to respond to the relevant issue at hand. If you believe this point here is relevant, and demand I answer then of course I will.

I stand by it. However I also will say that it was poorly written in haste, but I do stand by it. And under skeptic rules, I will provide evidence of this fact.

Nami.org page on schitzophrenia


Positive Symptoms, or "psychotic" symptoms, include delusions and hallucinations because the patient has lost touch with reality in certain important ways. "Positive" as used here does not mean "good." Rather, it refers to having overt symptoms that should not be there. Delusions cause the patient to believe that people are reading their thoughts or plotting against them, that others are secretly monitoring and threatening them, or that they can control other people's minds. Hallucinations cause people to hear or see things that are not there.


There were two parts of my statement that were too hastily written. First of all I should have stated IMHO. The second part should not have been that they believe others are mentally ill - but that they believe the problem isn't with themselves, but with the people and the world around them. The meaning of the statement is essentially the same, and the point made, within the context of the original post, still stands.

Proof - symptoms of schitzophrenia. There are a multitude of other mental illnesses with the same symptoms. My statement didn't come from this evidence but from experiences I had within my own extended family - being very close to someone who suffered from schitzophrenia, but still, there is certainly evidence to support that statement.

Regardless, we could debate the validity of that statement until the cows come home, however that would lead the thread way off topic. The central point is there is at least good, solid, verifiable evidence that exists in which to debate.

-Ry



[edit on 9-2-2007 by rdube02]



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