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Pseudoskeptics and Disinformants on ATS

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posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 09:12 AM
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A poignant quote from Richard Feynman:




The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty damn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress, we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty — some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain. Now, we scientists are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure, that it is possible to live and not know. But I don’t know whether everyone realizes this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us to question — to doubt — to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained.

-- "The Value of Science," address to the National Academy of Sciences (Autumn 1955)




posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 11:20 AM
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Hey everybody,

Just a friendly little reminder to stay on topic.

Thanks in advance
FredT, Moderator



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 12:45 PM
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reply to post by FredT
 


Was this in reference to my post about skepticism in historical texts? Cause the same principle holds. the OP and I have been threw this exact same problem on another thread where we were bombarded by pseudoskeptics who frequently did nothing more than drop one liners, or accuse us of having zits on our noses and therefore were unqualified to discuss the subject.

[edit on 23-1-2008 by undo]



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by IvanZana
Check out the Flight 93 thread.

I that thread it was proved that no plane crashed in Shanksville and not one debunker could offer any reality based proof that one did.

So in short Flight 93 was undebunkable, but if you check the 80 or so pages in the thread you can see the debunkers desperate attempts to derail or argue with people hoping to bury the great evidence presented on a page.


Dont get discouraged. Ignore them. THey are losing now and will from now on.

The truth always wins no matter how many lower life forms try to stop it.


I think this is as good of an answer as you can get.
You get a star.



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 08:30 PM
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reply to post by MrdDstrbr
 



Broad strokes you paint with there my friend.
I, personally am

not blinded by total contempt of any and all things mystical or spiritual should be able to understand

I consider myself a mystic.

But, I do not, and cannot believe in "sky brothers" that will come to "bring peace and galactic fellowship" to all mankind.Such a happy happy good good world is just something I am not seeing, but, neither I would like it noted do I see a dark evil Cthululian unverse either, could be my failure, or it could be that I am right. I am in no position to speak for beyond my perceptions.


That and well isn't it assumption to say their minds even operate in such a way telepathy between ours and theirs is even possible?
Given what we know about real alien life forms. Which is nil.


[edit on 23-1-2008 by WraothAscendant]



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 08:34 PM
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reply to post by undo
 


Only thing I was saying was that ALL historical texts should be treated with skepticism.
Not just the ones the mainstream accepts.
There is a certain conformity in non-comformity after all (just conforming to the opposite).



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 08:41 PM
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I have noticed some people and their heartless strategies to break someone down and make them feel like an idiot.
*cough* Byrd *ahem*



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 09:04 PM
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I have had numerous UFO sightings and witness with most of them.
i was going to post them but i read a thread and someone got attacked for their honest experience. I have chosen not to start threads now because i dont want someone to attack me over it because they don't believe me.



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by Khounur
 


Hey, sometimes its fun to let them attack you.
As long as you don't take it personal.
Which too many on this board does. (unfortunately that has be me at times too)




[edit on 23-1-2008 by WraothAscendant]



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 09:18 PM
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Another post slightly off topic from me, but when you are online, you can bash people with intellectual superiority, while in real life you would propably get your ass kicked for that :-)

Anyway, lets take a look at some simple case of UFO sighting. Say that a person aged 33 sees an UFO and comes here to report it. He is confident and certain that it was out of this world, as it did indeed do maneuvers impossible for our own aircrat. Say that his profession is amateur astronomer. Ok, so lets go on with our case.

He reports it, and these skeptics demand evidence of some sort. It becomes public knowledge that he indeed took pictures and agrees to show some of them to the public (on a board in ATS). What happens is that there's a little white dot of the size of a Sirius in our photo. Lets go on with our hypotethical story.

Somebody somewhere notices that these kind of things have been reported before, and also that one such compiler of reports is an ufologist of some authority. So, he comes to comment on a thread in a board (I will just say thread from now on) and says that somebody with credibility says the same [1].

Now we have begun to build our case. Another poster says that there are thousands and thousands of similar sightings and that much of them have not been proven false[2].

We are now in a state where lots of people agree with points one and two[3], and this argument is born: This guy X, who is an amateur astronomer has seen an UFO and claims it is not any natural occurence or a man-made plane either. Sources with credibility have reported similar cases, which makes it possible that this is also a sighting that should be viewed as true. Also, there are thousands and thousands of these sightings so there must be something real into them.

Now, our fine believer comes and shows us a history of sightings going back to even medeval times, and beyond, and says this is also a proof of some kind which makes the case stronger. 4.

The list of errors compiled by a skeptic (me):

1. appeal to authority. i.e., something must be true because somebody with authority says so.
2. appeal to ignorance. i.e., something must be true because it is not proven that it isn't.
3. appeal to popularity. i.e., something must be true because a lot of people say so.
4. arguments of age. i.e., something is true because it has always been.

This is just he surface, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. some of them include: equivocation, fallacies of evidence and causality, false dichotomy and so on and so on.

Is it no wonder that people criticize if even our very short and commonly occuring example shows this much illogicality?


[edit on 23/1/08 by rawsom]



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 09:33 PM
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reply to post by rawsom
 


Ah, but a great many skeptics are also just going in the opposite direction for their own reasons. Funny how alot of skeptics confuse "everything science says right now is true and anything that goes against it is wrong" rather than true skepticism.
***I would like to add also that I do not know you so I will not be pretending to know exactly what you are, just stating points.***
And each one of these errors have a flipside which is equally a error just on the opposite side of the spectrum. (It's my experience the middle ground is often correct, but I could be wrong.)


The list of errors compiled by a skeptic (me):

1. appeal to authority. i.e., something must be true because somebody with authority says so.
2. appeal to ignorance. i.e., something must be true because it is not proven that it isn't.
3. appeal to popularity. i.e., something must be true because a lot of people say so.
4. arguments of age. i.e., something is true because it has always been.


In the end.
Who is to say whats right?
We all seek to back up what we want to believe. Regardless of what we STATE as what we would like to believe.
All of us are guilty of it.






[edit on 23-1-2008 by WraothAscendant]



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by WraothAscendant
In the end.
Who is to say whats right?
We all seek to back up what we want to believe. Regardless of what we STATE as what we would like to believe.
All of us are guilty of it.


It is of course quite certain that if extraordinary things are someday proven to be true and some form of theory is created, all people who use illogical reasoning will be saying "I told you so". Everyone of us can believe in anything without any proof, but it doesn't qualify anybody in any way, if not in a way that belief and talk about it is keeping some subject alive until proven correct. It also doesn't make them right for the right reasons, although false deception drove those people to believe in those extraordinary things.

As to another part of your post, I do realize that science is pretty much just a metaphora of nature in one way or another. Some algorithm may simulate something nearly perfectly, but usually (as of today) not perfectly. This happens in almost every field of science. It means, of course, that science is merely approaching all subjects as they are, but that it takes a long, long time to get into perfect metaphora in a mathematical form. Currently there are lots of things that are accurate to a certain point, but after that no more.

We should remember that there are also things that we do know in today's world. The simplest of things, that usually explain great and important questions. We don't really question boiling point of water, do we? We know how impurities affect, how pressure affects, how x affects and so on. We know all things that should be taken into consideration. Right now, we are in a point where we know 100% about a lot of subjects, and can prove it, but at the same time we have a ton of theories in need of a review to change to something more accurate.

just my two cents.


[edit on 23/1/08 by rawsom]



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by rawsom
 


False pretenses does not a incorrect theory make.
You can make the right choice for the wrong reasons after all.


We know all things that should be taken into consideration.


I find that statement rather incongruent with your general patterns.
You dismiss what I think is entirely too easily.
After all a fool can speak with wisdom at times by accident.





[edit on 23-1-2008 by WraothAscendant]



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 10:07 AM
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Originally posted by WraothAscendant

You can make the right choice for the wrong reasons after all.


We know all things that should be taken into consideration.


I find that statement rather incongruent with your general patterns.
You dismiss what I think is entirely too easily.
After all a fool can speak with wisdom at times by accident.


I think I understand quite well what you are saying to us (me), but I also think that it is possible to deduce if there is something unknown to know in any subject we study. This can and in some cases will go wrong, I am not saying that we know everything about everything either. One such example is classical optics (it has not much to do with modern telescopes). There simply doesn't seem to be anything else into it but what is known today. It can of course happen, but I'd say that they are sure with quite some accuracy.

I'm not dismissing your points, though, unless I do it accidentally. I'm trying to get some cumulative knowledge and diffefent perspectives on this thread. I believe it helps.

Btw I'm known about my style changing quite often, I just post whatever I feel is the right perspective, although I try to reason with logic when I do so. World is not black and white for me.



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 10:36 AM
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It is of course quite certain that if extraordinary things are someday proven to be true


1. A thing does not have to be proven true to still be true.
2. A thing that hasn't yet been proven true but is still true, is just as scientific if it's simply true, than if it's proven true. It's still a fact, regardless, and if facts are scientific, then so is the truth that hasn't been proven true.
3. Appealing to scentific authority (proven true) as your basis for not accepting something that hasn't been proven true, is not enough of a reason to be skeptical of the thing that hasn't been proven true. The only reason to be skeptical of it is if you know for a fact, personally, that it absolutely isn't true. Otherwise, you're not being scientific. Science starts where the questions begin. Science ends when the questions stop and the absolutes start flinging, wild and wooly

[edit on 24-1-2008 by undo]



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 10:47 AM
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For example, if I post this picture and say "I see something that looks artificial in this picture", I don't expect men of science to respond with "it's just rocks." Investigate the freakin' thing.
Occam's razor is dull as a piece of wet cardboard.




posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 11:18 AM
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Originally posted by undo
1. A thing does not have to be proven true to still be true.

I would have to say that is a true statement. But then, I also have to point out the flaw in the argument. It doesn't mean it's not false. Until proven true, a "thing" may be as likely to be false. And when people like me point out these types of flaws, hackles raise and we are denounced as skeptibunkers and close-minded.


2. A thing that hasn't yet been proven true but is still true, is just as scientific if it's simply true, than if it's proven true. It's still a fact, regardless, and if facts are scientific, then so is the truth that hasn't been proven true.


I may have to revisit the above quote....when I've unravelled it. Kinda' reminds me of Lewis Caroll....or myself when I'm trying to put something in text too fast.


3. Appealing to scentific authority (proven true) as your basis for not accepting something that hasn't been proven true, is not enough of a reason to be skeptical of the thing that hasn't been proven true.
quote truncated by MrPenny


So what is enough of a reason to be skeptical? If we can't be skeptical of something that's not "proven true"....what would you suggest? Simply turn all glassy-eyed and slack jawed?

I rarely see skeptics on these boards simply dismiss things out of hand, ( except myself...guilty as charged ), unless they are egregious examples of hoaxes, goofiness, or simple ignorance. I think most of them, like me, simply want some rigor applied to the critical thinking process.....sorely lacking here in many cases.



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 11:20 AM
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I would have to say that is a true statement. But then, I also have to point out the flaw in the argument. It doesn't mean it's not false. Until proven true, a "thing" may be as likely to be false. And when people like me point out these types of flaws, hackles raise and we are denounced as skeptibunkers and close-minded.


I agree but before you can determine if its true or false, you have to actually investigate it yourself, not quote line and paragraph of what's proven true as
your rationale for not even asking yourself any questions about it.



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by undo
For example, if I post this picture and say "I see something that looks artificial in this picture", I don't expect men of science to respond with "it's just rocks." Investigate the freakin' thing.
Occam's razor is dull as a piece of wet cardboard.



Ok, lets say the so called science people or the debunkers think its a rock and wont leave you a post to tell you that. And while they leave you in peace, only ignorant and easily convinced people tell you that "wow, this is def. a good find. I think its a 3km long fossil on the surface of mars"..

Where do you get from there? An entire thread of people just wanting it to be something. People with no experience with geology, science and common sense.

If you ask me, you need critical thinking to get to the truth.

What I'm trying to say, is that men of science or debunkers may have seen 1.000.000 of pictures like that and by experience knows what to make of it.

Btw: most post ends like this "Can anybody tell me what this is?" or "I dont know what to make of it, does anybody know?"

It doesn't say "Do investigation on this before you post. Your science education does not apply in this thread"


But thats just MHO



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by undo
you have to actually investigate it yourself


Alright. Let's use the photo you just posted as our "evidence". I see an odd shape. That's all I see. Now, what would you recommend as the next step in the "investigation"? What I want to know is....how do I "investigate" that image? What other sources are there that would help me conclude why that image looks like that?



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