Pseudoskeptics and Disinformants on ATS

page: 21
70
<< 18  19  20    22  23  24 >>

log in

join

posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 10:33 AM
link   

Originally posted by BlueRaja

So how do you distinguish a pseudoskeptic from someone merely pointing out something they feel is ridiculous?


Very easy. Check out the ones who sometimes ridicule, and then the ones who always ridicule (we know who they are), and you have your answer.




posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 10:36 AM
link   

Originally posted by BlueRaja
So how do you distinguish a pseudoskeptic from someone merely pointing out something they feel is ridiculous?


There are some supposed rules for "distinguishing" between skeptics and pseudoskeptics, but they are so vague that the distinction is arbitrary; anyone can be accused of being a "pseudoskeptic" and dismissed if you do not like them or feel their arguments are too strong. Look at this accusation against Catherder earlier in the thread.



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 10:46 AM
link   
Oh dear! It seems that if you ask a poster who makes outrageous claiims for a modicum of evidence you are now about to be labelled a pseudosceptic. . . That's just plain stupid. If I come across a post saying, for instance, that the world is flat or Tony Blair is a clone I believe I have the right as an ATS member to politely ask for proof, and if none is forthcoming, to speak my mind and give my point of view. If that makes me a pseudosceptic then I'll gladly wear the badge with pride.



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 10:50 AM
link   
I made my first reply after reading the first few lines of the OP.

Then I went back and read the whole thing, word for word. I can hardly believe that this sort of vitriol is coming from a member of the staff. I understand that the Mods here aren't held to any particular high standards, and are fully free to air their views on a subject just as any other ATSer is.

What on earth is wrong with having a dissenting opinion? Should a skeptic here be fearful of being attacked as a so-called 'pseudoskeptic', or paid disinformation agent? Not only do I find the notion completely ludicrous, but I also find it rather offensive.

I'm willing to say with some measure of certainty that there is no government attempt to infiltrate Above Top Secret, there are by this site's very TOS no discussions of illegal acts or things of that nature. I'm sure, or at least I hope, that the government internet sleuth types are monitoring hate sites like Stormfront or Islamist message boards.

But then again, Government stupidity knows no bounds. So maybe there is a super secret squadron of pseudoskeptics. I wonder if they get a kick out of some of the insanity posted here the same way I do?

Listen, I have an open mind. I like to think I'm a very open minded person. But I'm also a person with a strong sense of reality. I come to ATS because I like it, there's a lot of excellent threads dealing with all sorts of subjects. The people here are intelligent and the posts are well thought out.

Please don't start a witch hunt over skeptics, otherwise they'll be drove away and ATS would be less because of it.



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 10:54 AM
link   

Originally posted by Mintwithahole.
Oh dear! It seems that if you ask a poster who makes outrageous claiims for a modicum of evidence you are now about to be labelled a pseudosceptic...


See, skeptics are not allowed to have an opinion or draw conclusions. Only believers are allowed to do that.

This is nothing but an effort to both dictate what constitutes skepticism so that no one may express a skeptical view, and those who do can be intimidated into silence with accusations of "pseudoskeptic" and "disinformation agent."



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 10:58 AM
link   

Originally posted by SaviorComplex

Originally posted by Mintwithahole.
Oh dear! It seems that if you ask a poster who makes outrageous claiims for a modicum of evidence you are now about to be labelled a pseudosceptic...


See, skeptics are not allowed to have an opinion or draw conclusions. Only believers are allowed to do that.

This is nothing but an effort to both dictate what constitutes skepticism so that no one may express a skeptical view, and those who do can be intimidated into silence with accusations of "pseudoskeptic" and "disinformation agent."


Perhaps someone should start a thread about some of the outrageous nonsense that has been posted on ATS, and those who posted it! How about, The Top Ten Ridiculous Claims And Theories Made On ATS. Us pseudosceptics would have a field day.



posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 11:09 AM
link   

Originally posted by Monger
Then I went back and read the whole thing, word for word. I can hardly believe that this sort of vitriol is coming from a member of the staff...


To be fair, Skyfloating was not yet a moderator when he created this thread.


Originally posted by Monger
What on earth is wrong with having a dissenting opinion? Should a skeptic here be fearful of being attacked as a so-called 'pseudoskeptic', or paid disinformation agent? Not only do I find the notion completely ludicrous, but I also find it rather offensive.


In this thread, Skyfloating accused skeptics of using sockpuppets, then when asked to back up the accusation, he accused me of spreading disinformation and said he did not have to back it up.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 05:49 AM
link   
reply to post by CallMeBlu
 


No CMB, the problem isn't his opinion. The problem s that this sort of thing right here can cause the proverbial witch hunt. We try to weed out dis-info agents so then anyone who flies in the face of the OP's 'wisdom' no matter how ridiculous it may seem is now labelled the agent, hence the wooden stakes and gasoline. I am not saying OP wishes that but this is how these things happen.

I find it incredible that people can spout whatever they want, truth or not, on a website that caters to skepticism and unbelievers, a site that yearns for truth and challenges wisdom at every turn, but when someone else wishes to challenge said OP and ask for a little concrete evidence, they are now agents.

-Kyo



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 06:45 AM
link   
Personally, If I were in a baselessly accusing mood, I'd accuse the kind of people who post unbelievably unintelligable, and, well, unbelievable blocks of text.

I mean, It's not the people mocking this site's posters that make the place look like a madhouse at times, it's the people posting threads that come off as ludicrous.

We got people arguing that nuclear weapons don't exist, people posting Youtube videos claiming that they prove various politicians are really reptilian shape-shifting aliens, we had people claiming an alien federation of light was going to show up in a giant UFO and fix all the world's problems, and that's just the start of it all. Unless all that was true, if the truth was really that wacky, it wouldn't stand out.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 07:01 AM
link   
reply to post by Skyfloating
 


I have noticed there are certain members that seem to doubt and attack lots of threads on a consitent basis.

There is also a report, about how the govt. has employed disinformation agents to be in forums to do just that.

I had started a thread about it awhile back.

From that thread:


Multiple programs are currently being rolled out by the Pentagon and its offshoot agencies such as DARPA, in a secret war with the internet that has been described as a $30 billion “electronic Manhattan Project“.

Such ongoing efforts to infiltrate the Internet and propagandize for the war on terror are well documented.

CENTCOM has programs underway to infiltrate blogs and message boards to ensure people, “have the opportunity to read positive stories,”presumably about how Iraq is a wonderful liberated democracy and the war on terror really is about protecting Americans from Al-CIAda.

In May 2008, it was revealed that the Pentagon was expanding “Information Operations” on the Internet with purposefully set up foreign news websites, designed to look like independent media sources but in reality carrying direct military propaganda



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 07:46 AM
link   
reply to post by questioningall
 


So if I think it's wacky that nukes don't exist and the video looks ridiculous to me and others, we are agents? This is what I am talking about. I am sure I am on that list of consistent doubters, or attackers as we are now branded. Some of the things posted, and I will not give examples, are simply ridiculous to myself and many others so we post and ask for some solid proof and it's an attack. I am sorry but that's BS.

-Kyo



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 09:48 AM
link   
I'll bet I'm on that disinformant list as well. If someone makes a bizarre claim or says something out of the ordinary is going to happen I think I have the right to question it and see if it has any basis in reality. What I see time and time again here on the hallowed pages of ATS is people making ridiculous claims and then attacking those who ask for proof. Wasn't it Carl Sagan who said extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof?



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 11:14 AM
link   
That's why I started this thread on agents..I am so tired of being called an Agent so frankly I may change my screen name to Agent Kyo

-Kyo



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 12:51 PM
link   

Originally posted by Mintwithahole.
Wasn't it Carl Sagan who said extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof?


Oh they hate Carl Sagan too.

But that is the very basis of scientific skepticism. They are confusing philosophical skepticism and scientific skepticism.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 04:20 PM
link   
I only discovered the word "pseudoskeptic" a little while ago and I'm so glad it's around to throw right back at those people who use the term "pseudoscience" to ridicule what they see as unwarranted claims.

That said, I do get fed up with a lot of people on these boards posting all kinds of nonsense in an all-too-gullible "OMG" way. If you can't contribute something sensible to a discussion, then don't. If a discussion's too stupid to bother with, don't. I even started a thead because I was sick of people posting rubbish on here: which I'd define as making a claim, then giving a source for it which doesn't back up the claim at all. It's not rocket science. just don't read stuff in that isn't there, and if you are making a claim, back it up with something.

Truzzi himself is my kind of skeptic. In one article (which I'd love to link but my cursor is being a pain, plus, I'm lazy and half the people on these boards don't bother to read links anyway) he describes an attempt to render honest an attempt to rubbish the claims of Michel Gauquelin, who found some interesting statistical correlations to do with astrology and success in sport. He wanted to see if there was anything in it, but to do that you have to rule out, for example, sample bias. Others in the Skeptical Inquirer were trying to tear down Gauquelin's results but didn't care how they did it. Truzzi tried to point out mistakes they were making - accusing Gauquelin of making mistakes when he's actually calculated correctly - and was sidelined in favour of a more negative but less intellectually honest approach.

I'd identify two different kinds of "pseudoskeptics£" haunting these boards.

1) The paid disinformant

Usually but not invariably found on the 9/11 boards, these people pursue the party line and have clearly a lot of time and energy to put into rubbishing "conspiracy theorists". Often an impressive amount of effort goes into what they do. Why do they bother? Some, perhaps, through genuine conviction... but many, I think, for less genuine reasons.

Let's not forget that, for example, Philip Klass had ties to the CIA and was paid handsomely for what he did. I also find it suspicious that someone as unscrupulous and intellectually dishonest as James Randi is well funded by some mysterious and generous people.

2) The Boys Who Cry "Hoax"

i've seen people say photographs of alleged UFOs are "obviously" birds, or balloons, or clouds, or whatever. For whatever reason, posting a picture of a UFO seems to attract a particularly vicious crowd who don't often bother to marshal any arguments for their counter-claims. They are, did they but know it, literally just the flip side of those poor souls who just swallow any old nonsense without thinking because it makes them feel cool and important.

There are people out there who, quite rightly, point out obvious hoaxes and misidentifications, but they are usually very careful and reasonably polite about what they say. I've had my mind changed by arguments from this camp and even if their default position is a negative one, their arguments are sound and respectful to other posters. These are genuine skeptics and we need them.

I also believe that there are disinfo agents who try to make a whole field look foolish by posting ridiculous claims. And I think it's possible that some reasonable people allow themselves to get pushed into unreasonable positions which they then have to defend. Dumb. And intellectually dishonest. Still, that's people for you.

People often bandy about the Carl Sagan mantrum about "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof". He really should have known better. YOU CAN'T PROVE ANY SCIENTIFIC THEORY!

I'll say that again for the hard of thinking: YOU CAN'T PROVE ANY SCIENTIFIC THEORY!

All you can do is disprove a theory. No mountain of evidence ever proves a theory, it just defers the day that that theory just gets junked for a better one in light of new evidence.

So people who ask for "proof" are really and truly talking out of their behinds. All you can do is marshal evidence. If published evidence is anything to go by, and in the UFO field it's got to be a good starting point, then the evidence of a stark contrast between public debunking and covert action suggests to all but the most obstinate that the USG thinks UFOs are real and is covering it up. But getting "proof" from a few photos? Can't be done, don't waste your time.

Proof in a court of law only means you've persuaded a jury. Mathematical proof only means that you've got from starting point A to conclusion B by not evidently breaking the rules of maths. It doesn't tell you anything about anything other than our manipulation of symbols. Asking for "proof" of UFOs is simply ludicrous until the day our celestial masters reveal themselves in all their glory, which will be 2012 last I heard.

And we know how many scare deadlines have come and gone (one quite recently - oooh, crisis on the 21st!) without anything happening.

If I can make one point here, finally, it's this: the reality or otherwise of UFOs is not, as far as I'm concerned, a scientific quiestion. It's a historical one. This is particularly relevant to posting on ATS. It's so easy to hoax these days, and there are so many hoaxers out there, I now look at UFO videos largely for artistic merit. In a sense, I don't care whether something is real or not because I'd say it's pretty inescapable that the conflict between what the USG says publicly about UFOs and what it does secretively means there's a cover-up going on. Let alone the number of people who've come forward to Disclosure or Project Camelot.

If I were on a jury, I'd accept it as true. And that's really all that proof is.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 09:21 AM
link   
reply to post by rich23
 


People often bandy about the Carl Sagan mantrum about "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof". He really should have known better. YOU CAN'T PROVE ANY SCIENTIFIC THEORY!

I'll say that again for the hard of thinking: YOU CAN'T PROVE ANY SCIENTIFIC THEORY!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Absolute utter nonsense. You can prove a scientific theory by repeating the experiment and noting the outcome. If the outcome , the result, is the same time after time after time, then you've scientifically proven your point through controlled scientific experimentation! Science is nothing but repeatability. If I conduct an experiment and publish my findings, someone else should be able to do the same said experiment and come to the same conclusion. These are the very principles behind science- repeatability. . .
Of course there are those who dabble in theoretical science who, to quote the movie JFK, say they can prove that an elephant can hang from a cliff with it's tail tied to a daisy. But lets not go down that road.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 05:33 PM
link   
Newton's theory of gravitation worked for a while. Did it tell us everything about gravitation? No. Einstein's theory has worked for a while. Does it tell us everything about gravitation? No.

The whole point about theories is that they're just that - theories. They're stories we tell ourselves about the world. They're useful only in so far as they work.

You can repeat all the experiments necessary to demonstrate Newton's theories, but have you proved them? No.

The minute you do an experiment that demonstrates Einstein's theories working where Newton's don't, you've disproved Newton's theory. It doesn't mean you've proved Einstein's. It just means it works until you find a combination of circumstances where it doesn't.

The problem with pseudoskeptics is they get too attached to theories, and to authority. Reasonable skeptics understand that you can't get too attached to a theory, or ignore evidence that weakens it.

This notion was perhaps first fully adumbrated in Karl Popper's Logic of Scientific Discovery back in the sixties, I think. it's been fairly well accepted since then.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 05:49 PM
link   

Originally posted by rich23
The minute you do an experiment that demonstrates Einstein's theories working where Newton's don't, you've disproved Newton's theory. It doesn't mean you've proved Einstein's. It just means it works until you find a combination of circumstances where it doesn't.



What experiment has disproved Newton's laws?

Einstein's theories do not invalidate Newton. In the "normal" world Einstein's math gives the same results as Newton's. Einstein showed us the Newtonian limits and modified them in the very special circumstances of extreme velocities and extreme mass. Newton's laws work perfectly well for everyday use and they are much more manageable for the weird math impaired (like me).

[edit on 1/24/2009 by Phage]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 05:55 PM
link   
Pleasure to read your posts Rich23.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof". I hear this so often hear. Spoken like a mantra. A label put on anything slightly out of the ordinary or unfamiliar.

The presupposition here is that a particular thing is "extraordinary".

So the question arises: Extraordinary for who? Extraordinary in which context?

Having experienced several dozen "paranormal" events throughout my life, they are certainly not "extraordinary" for me.

Just because Joe Hicksville has lived in a village all his life, does not mean that cities dont exist.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 06:21 PM
link   

Originally posted by Mintwithahole.
I'll bet I'm on that disinformant list as well. If someone makes a bizarre claim or says something out of the ordinary is going to happen I think I have the right to question it and see if it has any basis in reality. What I see time and time again here on the hallowed pages of ATS is people making ridiculous claims and then attacking those who ask for proof. Wasn't it Carl Sagan who said extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof?


I'm thinking that you and a few others on here are misunderstanding the intent of the post. You guys are twisting it and turning it into something other that what it was intended to do. Sky was never saying that people making 'bizarre' claims with no proof and labeling those that oppose as disinfo agents were legit posters and threads. IF the post is bizarre then it deserves to be scrutinized by all.

What Sky is stating is that when people don't just question but do so without even trying to discuss the topic fairly. They attack and belittle with the sole intent to destroy a thread.





new topics
top topics
 
70
<< 18  19  20    22  23  24 >>

log in

join