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A Case Study of Skepticism in Ufology

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posted on May, 9 2008 @ 03:36 PM
There's 2 types of skeptics out there. There are ones who use skepticism to get to the truth and the others who use skepticism to back their pre-existing belief system.

Most skeptics fall into the second category. Every video and pic that's posted you can be assured that they will be yelling fake, weather balloon, or CGI soon after the thread is made.

Here's a hypothetical case study of this kind of skeptic that illustrates their backwards logic when it comes to Ufology.

Say you have a person who just got released from a mental institution and a Pilot and they both have a U.F.O. sighting.The pseudoskeptic will say one is a mental case and the other is just a confused Pilot. This to them is evidence enough because it fits what they already believe.

John Mack, Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, made this interesting observation in an interview.

Q. How do you test the reliability of these claims?

A. I do a careful psychological evaluation of their mental states, take their psychological history — the standard clinical exam and, in some early cases, batteries of psychological testing. I will get character witnesses to assess whether they embellish the truth. And there is something more, which I'm still struggling with. It is feeling that a person is speaking as if they've been there — this comes from body language, the look in their eye, from having no other agenda. I'm working to better define this.

This is what the true freethinker will do.

You ask the mental patients family and friends does he usually make these things up and if the answer is yes then you give less weight to his account vs. the Pilots account. Not so with the pseudoskeptic. They are both equally wrong in there eyes and they have come to this conclusion before any investigation.

Next you ask the Pilots family and friends does he make these things up and you build a character profile.

You then try to exclude other things that it could be.

Then you take his account as opposed to other similar accounts and look into there explanations if there is any.

At the end of the day you can guage through reason wether his story is true or more likely to be false. The pseudoskeptic says you can't come to a conclusion and we have to keep the case open until they find an explanation that suits their pre-existing belief. This is truly silly.

Through reason we can say it's an 80% chance that he saw a U.F.O. that couldn't be identified because it wasn't from this planet. You have to take his eyewitness testimony into account with all the direct and circumstantial evidence that supports Ufology.

Direct Evidence - Eyewitness accounts from pilots, police officers, military, high ranking government officials and more. Also abduction cases.

Circumstantial Evidence - Cave paintings, ancient manuscripts, paintings, pictures and video.

So you can say the Pilot saw a U.F.O. with extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional origins beyond any reasonable doubt.

The pseudoskeptic will say it has to remain open because these explanations don't fit their pre-existing belief system and worldview. This is not freethinking but being closed minded.

We are human beings and have the faculty to come to a reasonable conclusion based on the evidence. You can say it's an 80% chance that the Pilot saw a U.F.O. that didn't originate from this planet. This will also leave room for any reasonable explanation that may come up in the future.

posted on May, 9 2008 @ 04:11 PM
Yes, good that you educate on this distinction betweek Skeptics and Pseudoskeptics. The skeptic wants the truth. The Pseudoskeptic is a contrarian stiff masking as "intelligent".

posted on May, 9 2008 @ 04:42 PM
So skeptic is someone who believes in "trustworthy" versions of UFO - and this automatically somehow means alien lifeforms? And pseudoskeptics are everyone who is not convinced by abundance of proofs, as you put it?
Well , then i am pseudoskeptic - and here are the reasons if you are interested to listen to my backward logic:
UFO means unidentified object, not necessary alien in origin. Since there are numerous sightings some of them have to be trustworthy. Since i cannot think of - and so far heard no explanation which explains why life forms from other, very distant places come to this spot out of all infinite universe. On the other hand - it seems logically to me to use aliens as means to hide secret military projects. Magicians usually draw attention of the public to one hand ,while other does the trick.
On the other hand, if aliens came here and wanted contact with general population, no force on Earth could interfere due to huge technology gap.
However it is my pre-existing belief system.

posted on May, 9 2008 @ 04:56 PM
I think you missed a very obvious issue.
What about people like me, that after many, many, many, near countless times of "approaching" ufo stories with the analytical scrutiny that is appropriate for an "open mind", we are just too damn tired to treat each case all scientific like, in fact, I get pissed when a hoaxster steals my valuable time, (one of their many purposes I imagine)
....So, sorry, I need to make some quick, informed through experience, value assessments before I waste my time.
...remember Cheech and Chong? That skit where they walk by the dog crap but want to make sure it is, so they smell it, touch it, taste it, and then are happy that they didn't step in it.
Well, I'm done tasting every dog turd I come across, I don't have to go through that analysis anymore, I can see the smoking pile from 100 feet away now.

[edit on 9-5-2008 by Res Ipsa]

posted on May, 9 2008 @ 05:14 PM
Guilty as charged.
I have seen things I cannot identify, ergo, UFO believer.
I'm not ready to believe in Pleidians(sic) or whatever, making friends with humans on an individual basis.= pseudo-skeptic. That doesn't fall into my beliefs.
Most things shown or discussed in these threads are readily identifiable if one would just take a deep breath and realize everything that is a UFO at one instance, once explained, is of terrestrial origin.=skeptic. The whatevers can't poosibly be so ignorant as to crash into each other, see some Roswell explanations, after A) going trans-dimensional
B) knowing how to skip through time
C) traverse wormholes
D) figured out FTL travel
E) make up your own
I do think that the great majority of theories/beliefs presented here are worthwhile.
My own approach is to take a little something from each and build a sort of database from which I draw my own conclusions.
All that being said, S&F for you as I think this should be out in the open among the ATS members, so maybe we can all know a little about where each of us are coming from.

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