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Originally posted by silver6ix
Many skeptics on this board mock some of the people who believe in alien craft for their rediculous ideas and cant grasp that their own position is no better. "its a bird" fine, prove its a bird, they wont because their brand of fact doesnt require proof, only the possiblity that it fits what they CHOOSE to believe. I see no use or value for that kind of skepticism myself.
Originally posted by Badgered1
Quote I will ask, though, why it is that many skeptics cannot offer valid arguement/evidence whilst "believers" tend to offer myriad supporting information? I guess, "Nuh-uh!" is good enough sometimes.
Originally posted by pedetemptim
BUT - dont we need the extremes from both points of view to get some middle ground??
Originally posted by maudeeb
What makes the UFO subject and it's civilian investigation unique in regards to comparisons with scientific efforts and research dollars spent on other theories is that we’re looking into something that is technically considered a matter of “national security”. IMHO that puts it into a research class of it’s own. Not only are we looking for something that’s elusive to begin with as a phenomena, but a phenomena that is extremely “protected” and sensitive to our government. It would be the same as trying to prove the existence of the atomic bomb during the development of the Manhattan project. I’m sure it was possible to connect the dots at the time but I doubt you’d live long enough to talk about it. Feel free to dispute, but I think this is a factor that needs to be considered.
It’s almost impossible to look into the UFO phenomena without encountering the government based “cover up” phenomena. Makes for a very sticky mess. Do you believe in ET’s ? Do you believe in Black Ops technology ? Do you believe in government conspiracies and cover ups ? Personally, from all the research and data I’ve seen it’s necessary to keep all these factors in mind.
Right now I have a mental picture of a bunch of children at a playground. Having drawn a big line down the middle in the sand, they are now dividing themselves up into two groups - the Skeptics and the Believers - so everyone knows which side they're on and who the "enemy" is.
I was hoping that people here might have outgrown that sort of thinking. That there would be room for the curious, open-minded person who wants to learn new things, add information from both sides of an issue and allow it to modify their existing beliefs - or not - and discuss, theorize, hypothesize, and debate (which in my opinion can be a form of thinking out loud while using more than one brain, kind of like a distributed computer network).
Hey, that's me! I'm in the middle, where do I go? I'm not a Skeptic because I've seen a UFO and I believe some eyewitness accounts and pictures I've seen and heard. But I'm not a Believer because I'm still not convinced where UFOs come from or who pilots them, and I won't accept every claim at face value. (For example, I'm still not convinced that our world leaders are reptilians). Am I going to get sand kicked in my face from both sides because I won't join either camp?
I don't believe there are two groups with a dividing line between them. I believe there is a continuum that stretches from people who believe nothing is real unless the mainstream scientists say it is to the people who've been to Alpha something-or-other with beautiful Nordic aliens who have the answers to all of our problems. Most of us are probably somewhere in the middle; why can't we see that in the big picture we have more in common than not?
How about picking a few specific cases and "investigating" them, or throwing together the bits and pieces of knowledge that each of us has and seeing if we can come up with a "big picture" that is coherent and makes sense?
The dictionary definitions of ignorance include:
"lack of knowledge, learning, information" and "The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed" and "the lack of knowledge or education." Ignorance can not be denied by fighting amongst ourselves, and it will never be corrected by accusations, insults, or hatred. The only cure for ignorance is information and knowledge. If you really want to deny ignorance, you must help others learn. And, if you didn't already know this, people don't learn very well when they're on the defensive or angry. Give them facts and information they didn't have before, stimulate them to think about things in different ways and see different points of view, that is denying ignorance. And you will never accomplish that with insults, accusations, derision, condescension. You will seldom accomplish it with sarcasm or irony (although good humor sometimes helps).
Have you ever heard of "divide and conquer?" As long as we are all fighting amongst ourselves, sniping back and forth across the invisible fence that we have erected to separate believers and skeptics, we will never find the truth or learn much.
As I see it, there are three camps (actually 4 but I don't have a good word for the 4th group).
1) Disbelievers, sometimes mistakenly called skeptics. These people are determined not to believe anything that hasn't been proved by conventional science or in a court of law. Their stance may be a result of fear, inherent narrow-mindedness, or a need to feel superior to those of us who would even consider believing such "garbage" as aliens, bigfoot, etc. It is useless to try to engage these people in discussion or debate, they will NOT be convinced and will only make fun of and insult the other groups.
2) Skeptics. These are people who simply know that they don't know what the truth is. They can be swayed by evidence, logic, and reasonable discussion. Their feet are firmly planted in the "real world" but their minds are open to new knowledge and other points of view. They are worthy opponents in debate and better allies when we seek to find the truth.
3) Believers. These folks may have had a personal experience, or been affected by a family member or trusted friend who had a personal experience. Or perhaps they are simply convinced by what they have seen, read and heard. They are not fools nor idiots, they simply require less evidence to believe something than some of the rest of us do. They provide a slightly different point of view which can sometimes be eye-opening to the true skeptic, and they can be very helpful when trying to consider the evidence from all angles. In debate or discussion it is difficult, but possible, to change their minds. They can sometimes be defensive and a bit prickly due to attacks from Disbelievers.
4) I don't have a name for this group, but they are the ones who believe everything without much question. The Annunaki are here, our world leaders are reptilians, Greys are breeding hybrids for some unknown and probably nefarious purpose, the Nordics are having intimate relations with Billy, and some of the people you think you know are probably some flavor of alien in disguise. They know what they know, and you will never convince them. From their point of view, you are the fool not they because you can not see what is "really" going on.
In my opinion, groups one and four can only be tolerated with polite, if distant, courtesy. There is no point in trying to discuss or debate with them, and doing so will only frustrate and annoy you. The rest of us, groups 2 and 3, often find ourselves lumped together, willy-nilly, with group 1 or group 4, and pressured into defending or aligning with them without consciously realizing it. This is counterproductive and pits us against each other when we should find more in common with each other and be working together to find the truth.
If you know that you don't have all the answers, if you believe that you don't yet have all the facts and that you aren't possessed of the ultimate truth, then you are like me whether you label yourself skeptic or believer. We are able to seriously consider another's point of view, able to evaluate evidence objectively and consider information from "experts" who have knowledge we don't, and are willing to be convinced when logic and evidence are sufficient. We have much more in common than not, and if we would put aside our externally imposed differences, respect each other's points of view as we wish our own to be respected, and forget about labels, we can work together to find out what's "really going on."
Let's take down the fence, accept the fence sitters as friends and allies, and see if collectively we can find the truth we are all seeking here on ATS.
The ones and fours .. well, I say politely ignore them. All they do is encourage divisiveness, mistrust, and disrespect. Yes, they are human too and entitled to their opinions and beliefs, but their closed minds will not aid us in our quest, and their rhetoric only distracts us from our investigation and discussions.
You're probably here because you "want to believe" right?
Do you think every skeptic is here just to tear you down for that?
Maybe some no-life jerk ones are - but I will bet you 99.997% of THE SKEPTICS on this board are here because on some level they also "want to" believe.
I mean come on - the Universe is this HUGE crazy-awesome place - do you honestly think anyone would really prefer we turn out to be the only ones around to wonder what we're doing in it?
Does anyone openly hope that interstellar travel is basically impossible because they like the idea of being stuck on this lonely rock forever??
Even the really cynical skeptics - they're still taking the time to read this board, must mean there's something about this subject that peaks their interest, right? Why would anyone waste their time following something they completely reject? I 100% don't believe in Unicorns. I spend 0% of my time on Unicorn message boards bashing others for their stupid Unicorn beliefs.
So please understand - everyone, SKEPTICS AND BELIEVERS, all on some level would probably like to believe the same thing.
Real skeptics are skeptical because they have to be. They understand how dangerous it is for anyone, including themselves, to believe in something simply because they want to. This is a particularly slippery slope when dealing with a subject as mysterious as UFOs:
When you do that - you begin to cherry-pick "facts". You irresponsibly jump to conclusions in the presence of something unexplainable. You become excited and quickly fill the gaps with your own beliefs rather than taking the time to evaluate all possible explanations. You begin to obfuscate the truth. And if you get carried away with it - that's when you make easy prey for all the hoaxers out there who recognize your desperate wanting and completely exploit it.
And in case you haven't noticed - all of these problems exist and make UFOlogy the big convoluted mess you see today. Nobody even needs to cover up the truth anymore because we've done it all for them
So please stop preaching to each other about keeping your faith, because it's irrelevant. There's nothing wrong with believing but in the end it's not going to make your aliens show up - it didn't work on the 14th and it hasn't done squat for the last 60+ years.
What we need in UFOlogy is NOT more "believers" - we need grounded, critical thinkers. We need people who lend credibility to the idea of believing while stopping short of irreversibly committing to the act itself.
If you truly have unwavering faith in UFOs then you shouldn't feel this constant need to validate your belief by having everyone else see things the way you do
If you really think the truth will one day come out then you don't need everyone else to think like you - you merely need to inspire them to think for themselves.
Please just think about this the next time you spend 10 pages arguing over some blurry Youtube video.