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The Skeptics Dilemma

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posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 06:43 AM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


Hi there,

Call it "daft" if you want, but you are far from convincing in your explanations.

Actually, in other words, your strategy is based on avoiding & escaping a "simple" question. I could use the same strategy about ghosts or 9/11 conspiracies :

"Just do a quick search on ATS buddy and you'll see I am right; ghosts exist, Bush was part of the 9/11 cover up, etc..."

That is just "cheap talk" if you ask me and most pro-ETH are cheap talkers & dreamers.

You might take it as an insult, I see it as not denying ignorance but embracing it.

If there was such solid & verifiable & testable evidence(s) (of ET visitations), you and others would show it to us. Is that what you are doing, I guess not, prove me wrong.


Cheers,
Europa




posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 06:54 AM
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Originally posted by yeti101
reply to post by Malcram
 


well i think thats a bit of a cop out. it tells me there is no 1 single piece of stand alone evidence to support the ETH.




There's probably no one stand-alone case that will convince you but there are a few when taken together lend credence to the theory. For me these would be the Lonnie Zamora sighting, the Antonio Villa Boas case, the Battle of LA, the Betty & Barney Hill abduction and the Travis Walton abduction.



we hear stories of craft doing these amazing manouvers. However im not aware of 1 single piece of footage showing a craft doing incredible manouvers. All the videos of lights in the sky show something moveing very normally. Its ashame.


You're right, it's frustrating that these manoeuvres are described but hardly ever captured. The nearest I've seen is on a video that has already been discussed on this thread. The witness described the object as shooting across the sky quicker than the eye could follow - of course he didn't manage to get this on video! However, if you watch the video from about 22:40 you can see the object make manouvres that are at the very least unusual. See what you think.



perhaps we are being visited but they are so diffirent so alien maybe even from another universe or dimesion that we are unable to interact or communicate with them. It would seem they dont want to communicate with us and theres not alot we can do except wait until they change their minds.


Excellent point. I think as well, that any contact with an intelligence such as the one we are positing would have to be seen in the light of a vastly superior culture interacting with a primitive one. They will have their own motivations which may simply be incomprehensible to us.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 07:04 AM
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Originally posted by Europa733
reply to post by Malcram
 


Hi there,

Call it "daft" if you want, but you are far from convincing in your explanations.

Actually, in other words, your strategy is based on avoiding & escaping a "simple" question. I could use the same strategy about ghosts or 9/11 conspiracies :

"Just do a quick search on ATS buddy and you'll see I am right; ghosts exist, Bush was part of the 9/11 cover up, etc..."

That is just "cheap talk" if you ask me and most pro-ETH are cheap talkers & dreamers.

You might take it as an insult, I see it as not denying ignorance but embracing it.

If there was such solid & verifiable & testable evidence(s) (of ET visitations), you and others would show it to us. Is that what you are doing, I guess not, prove me wrong. ;



Yes, I do call asking someone for ONE piece of evidence to 'convince' them 'daft', as you would admit in a second if it weren't for the fact that it is me saying it and it happens not to suit your argument. You know better. Especially so when their previous comment shows they have a closed mind to the evidence.

Did you even bother to read our exchange? We were talking at length about the scientific method and the protocols of the court system when dealing with witness testimony and how this relates to a fair approach to UFO evidence. Yeti raised objection after objected, which I responded to again and again, answering them all. Until, in the end, he switced the topic and said "Yeah but, the evidence isnt that strong for the ET hypothesis." and asked for ONE piece of evidence to "convince". What a crock. It was a diversion from the issue at hand, off topic, and a blatantly insincere question, not to mention being "daft" because it required ONE piece of evidence to "convince". The whole point of our discussion up to that silly diversion was that it takes a whole range of evidence to convince. You would be the FIRST to insist on that usually, wouldn't you? But not in this case, for obvious reasons.

And if you hadn't noticed, the topic of this thread is "The Skeptics Dilemma" not "Spoonfeed me one single piece of mindblowing fully convincing evidence, you believers, otherwise I say there is no proof!". If you want to start such a thread go a.. But don't throw a hissy fit because I won't go off topic and answer every daft diversionary request here.

[edit on 19-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 09:50 AM
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Hi again,


I do not see any diversion here, this topic is about skepticism and it's supposed dilemna.

You guys also wonder why we may be skeptic about the ETH, well the answer is almost simple, nobody can come up with solid evidence to elevate the ETH as the #1 hypothesis.

Why ? I'll say it again, one of the reasons is because there's no protocole specially developped for this kind of studies & research within the ufo field. Ufology is limited and part of the reason is because ufologists (and even ufo-skeptics at times) do not understand that studying cases does not offer sufficient if any at all "scientific guarantees" to take the matter further and to gather data to support the ETH before it can be tested...

Now, like someone said it before, there's quiet a difference between what could be considered as evidence in a court of law as opposed to the scientific approach regarding evidence & the subject of ET visitations. There even might big a huge gap in between the two considering the complexity of such a type of research.

It's like if Einstein's theory of relativity was presented in a court of law before a consensus was reached, it would be silly.

I do not want to sound like someone who represents skeptics, that would also be silly, unrealistic and not humble but from my own experience, skeptics do not say UFOs do not exist (UFO => Unidentified not ET) but rather, there's nothing solid & testable pointing in this perticular direction (ET origin) yet.

But maybe the true problem is that pro-ETH try to bring skeptics down, because that is their only way to try to "prove" themselves first and others that they are right and that they are the guardians of the temple of truth.

Cheers,
Europa



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 10:26 AM
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reply to post by Malcram
 

Your basic assumption that skeptics are somehow dishonest because we require actual evidence of aliens is flawed. It is based on the analogy with a court of law. Despite your beliefs, anecdotal evidence is all we have, and it is not admissible in a court of law (in the US), unless it meets the Daubert Standard.


Anecdotal evidence is often unscientific or pseudoscientific because various forms of cognitive bias may affect the collection or presentation of evidence. For instance, someone who claims to have had an encounter with a supernatural being or alien may present a very vivid story, but this is not falsifiable. This phenomenon can also happen to large groups of people through subjective validation.

Source: Anecdotal evidence and faulty logic

An accumulation of anecdotal evidence is not better than a single one. One million times 0 is 0 however you want it to be 1. You can't build a good argument on shaky foundations.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 10:32 AM
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In case the previous post is not clear enough, Daubert standard requires
1. Empirical testing: the theory or technique must be falsifiable, refutable, and testable.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 10:36 AM
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Nablator, your argument though technicaly valid , is flawed . Requiring this sort of proof of something is all very well , but it is not reasonable to ask this of Joe "I saw some wierd sh--" Public , because he would have to prove it in this method with every government agency inclusive of the nasty ones (CIA), GUNNING FOR HIS FACE ! Not reasonable.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by TrueBrit
Nablator, your argument though technicaly valid , is flawed . Requiring this sort of proof of something is all very well , but it is not reasonable to ask this of Joe "I saw some wierd sh--" Public , because he would have to prove it in this method with every government agency inclusive of the nasty ones (CIA), GUNNING FOR HIS FACE ! Not reasonable.


I'm talking of a rhetorical court of course, with a rhetorical case, (unless someone wants to sue aliens for some reason). A single case would be enough, not all cases need to be documented and proved. Malcram's insistence on not focusing on individual cases is a thinly disguised attempt to hide the fact that no case is good enough to stand in court on its own merit.

My demonstration shows that it is not possible to reach the level of evidence required by a court of law, let alone a higher level. Therefore Marlcram's accusations of "applying a double standard" and "requiring more evidence than a court of law" is moot.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:06 AM
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Seriously, in a forum of people who are adults or close to it, I see no reason why when it comes to ET/Encounter -style threads, people can't stick to the focus, which would solve a lot of the issues here.

I think the OP is right that often discussion threads about experience get all kinds of 'false-debunking', that is to say, that as many people with personal problems use the role of skeptic to argue, as there are people with personal problems who use the role of abductee to argue LOL -- it goes both ways.

But I also agree that any global categorization of critique or debate can constitute some kind of PC-ness where people are supposed to just agree with every bizarro claim and theory out there lest they be seen as hostile. As a personal politic, I'd usually rather see debate than silence, and for a discussion forum that's a big deal.

Of course, there are threads that are only addressing abusive scoffing -- not legit skepticism -- which I think this was intended to be.

Anyway, on discussion, it seems to me that:

There are threads about evidence and nuts&bolts UFOlogy.

There are threads about experience.

There are threads about theories.

It is not really appropriate for channeled alien wisdom(tm) to show up on threads about nuts&bolts UFOlogy IMO. Unless the aliens have given a CNN interview about why that mysterious red-orange pulsing globe is from Sirius, then I expect discussion about objectively-physical-UFOs to be along the lines of--wait for it--objectively physical evidence. Too many good conversations about this are interrupted by people raving about aliens and entities and the end of the world and that's not the place for it.

One reason some legit topics have a hard time being taken seriously is because just when you get some guy talking about the specific braiding and radiation levels in a crop circle, which is very interesting (and helps differentiate those made by known-people and those unknown), you get some other guy going on about the aliens and the nature spirits. Now I personally think it might be the latter but until there's something more than channelers or psychics saying so, I think the physical 'anomaly' of crop circles should be a physical anomaly discussion. If someone wants to start a thread specific to psychic or channeled insight into a physical anomaly, that's fine but different; but that's a different thread right up front. All threads 'evolve' but the original poster's context should be honored when possible.

If someone wants to tell everyone what the Zetas think in a group of people talking about radar reports, they're going to get pounced on and that's probably appropriate. People who are disinterested in, or see no relation in, 'encounter' reports have good reason for getting irked over that. It is the new age equivalent of attempting to discuss an archeological find, only to have someone show up and say (a real experience from my sunday school childhood) that any bones found over 4000 years old "were just put there by the devil to confuse you" LOL.

But in the same vein, it is not really appropriate for 'debunker-style skepticism' to show up on a thread about experience IMO. Experience is subjective by nature and has nothing to do with, nor is it remotely affected by the lack of, 'objective evidence' for any given thing. Debunking in that focus is trolling, period.

And theory should be open-ended, not closed doors, so it shouldn't apply either way there.

It is the problem psychology of a good chunk of the world that they want to go vent their insecurity and personal problems on others. Atheists go tell Christians what morons they all are and Christians go tell pagans how they're all going to hell and WTF is wrong with all these people, they have their own choice of forums and they can start and participate in their own threads and there is no legit reason, besides acting like a 12 year old, to harrass others.

If the thread is about that particular kind of debate that's one thing. But every thread does not need to be made into an argument over whether something exists. You know, there's no point in a forum on anomalies and enigmas if every attempt to discuss one ends up in a fight about whether it even exists to have a conversation about it (vs. whether anyone who thinks it does is hallucinating, lying or insane).

***

I have met and know several 'serious skeptics', some scientists some not. As Dr. Marcello Truzzi used to say (privately and publicly), scoffers are not skeptics. Completely different animals.

Probably the best reading EVER on pseudo-skepticism as a behavior is Dan Drasin's "Zen and the Art of Debunkery" which you can find a copy of here:
www.book-of-thoth.com...

Even has a whole section specific to UFOlogy. :-)

Best,
PJ



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:23 AM
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I think when skeptics try to belittle eyewitness testimony, it's their weakest argument.

Eyewitness testimony is used everyday in courts, police investigations, science and more. Eyewitness testimony can be different and we gather that testimony and weigh it within reason.

When police come to a car crash they may talk to 3 different eyewitnesses and then from the eyewitness testimony they write a report as to what happened based on the reason of the police officer who used the eyewitness accounts to come to their conclusion.

They even use heresay evidence in police investigations. If they go to a guy who is their informant and he hears something on the street about a crime they will follow that lead.

This happens all the time with investigative reporters, police investigations and science.

What do you think astronomers do? They look through the telescope and they find anomalies in the space. We have to trust their eyewitness accounts of these anomalies and then we find a scientific explanation for these things through reason and people will come to conclusion and the scientific community will debate these things until a theory is tested and shown to be correct.

How many skeptics do you think goes behind every astronomer and questions them as to wether they have seen the anomaly in space?

How many skeptics have seen everything that every astronomer describes that he/she has seen in space?

Why are skeptics trusting these eyewitness accounts?

Of course we use eyewitness testimony everyday and for the skeptic to try and belittle eyewitness testimony because they want to make it seem less important when it comes to things like ufology and the paranormal makes no sense.

If a bank is robbed and the bank tellers identify the criminal, this is eyewitness testimony and do you think the judge is going to say release him because we can't use eyewitness testimony? LOL

In medicine, they even use anecdotal evidence in medical trials.

With ufology you have anecdotal, circumstantial, direct and scientific evidence.

You have abduction cases, pictures, video, trace evidence, mass sightings, eyewitness accounts from military, astronauts, police, high ranking government officials and more.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:26 AM
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If aliens were taken seriously by a court of law, this case would have a chance:
Suing for being abducted by aliens?


[edit on 2009-3-19 by nablator]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by nablator
it is not possible to reach the level of evidence required by a court of law, let alone a higher level.


Find me a court of law that allows astral observance, psychic insight, bilocation experiences, etc. as evidence and we'd be getting somewhere. ;-) What a court of law does allow is eyewitness testimony--and the more the better. That's one reason why group-data is often emphasized instead of personal data.

For that matter, that could be said even in an ordinary court issue like crime. You can find flaws in the testimony of good witnesses to a crime known to have occurred and on video no less. If there's only one, and if they were perhaps in an altered state at the time (which trauma often is anyway), and if they are anything less than a priest who is a nobel prize winner then invalidating them is not all that difficult for a good defense attorney. But if there's half a dozen witnesses (...or several million... from around the world... over time...) then invalidating that, regardless of some variance on details, is not so easy.

In fairness, one has to work with the data they've got. It is not the fault of the person who experiences something, that (a) they experience it alone, and/or (b) it doesn't usually fall into the 100% normal-and-physical spectrum. A genuine inquiry would seek to understand it further, regardless of those factors. If someone is uninterested or auto-dismisses anything with those factors, then there's no point in being involved on any thread talking about such things as there is nothing useful to add.

PJ



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:28 AM
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What has been posed here as a dilemma for skeptics, is no dilemma for a skeptic.

What keeps getting "added" is this emotional content stuff that has a tendency to get people wrapped around the axle.

The genuine skeptic should be telling you: "I just don't really know."

Statements contrary to that are not ones made by skeptics.

I can't believe that you guys have caught yourselves up in a 16 page reductio, and never noticed it.

You have set up a straw dog, called it a "skeptic", and then argued about THAT.

whoa... kinda strange.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
You have abduction cases, pictures, video, trace evidence, mass sightings, eyewitness accounts from military, astronauts, police, high ranking government officials and more.


I agree. Although in fairness, we do not actually have very much that directly ties 'mass sightings' and 'video' and 'pictures' (and radar, and sightings by official people etc.) into the 'abduction cases' for example. There are a few incidents that overlap a bit (like Walton's case) but not many.

So the 'assumption' that the UFO being tracked by 3 F-16's, is somehow related to why Jane is talking to little grey humanoids, is more assumption than anything at this point.

Best,
PJ



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by akalepos
What has been posed here as a dilemma for skeptics, is no dilemma for a skeptic.


The title has nothing to do with any dilemma skeptics face, but rather the dilemma skeptics pose for believers such as Polomontana/Platosallegory and Malcram. This dilemma is how to silence and shout-down any and all skeptics (read: anyone who does not agree with them), thinking silencing the opposition is the same as proving your argument.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:47 AM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex
The title has nothing to do with any dilemma skeptics face, but rather the dilemma skeptics pose for believers such as Polomontana/Platosallegory and Malcram. This dilemma is how to silence and shout-down any and all skeptics (read: anyone who does not agree with them), thinking silencing the opposition is the same as proving your argument.


Honestly, you seem as biased and extreme as anything on the other side.

The initial post of this thread and those immediately following seemed to make it clear to me at least that the focus was not genuine skeptics (the title has a problem as a result) but people using 'the garb of skeptics' to apply inherently UNscientific principles to things with which they disagree.

I think, personally, that should be as much an annoyance for genuine skeptics as it is for anybody else.

I also think that the OP should have put 'skeptics' in quotations in the title to make it clear that genuine skeptics were not the target.

PJ



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by RedCairo

Originally posted by nablator
it is not possible to reach the level of evidence required by a court of law, let alone a higher level.


Find me a court of law that allows astral observance, psychic insight, bilocation experiences, etc. as evidence and we'd be getting somewhere. ;-) What a court of law does allow is eyewitness testimony--and the more the better. That's one reason why group-data is often emphasized instead of personal data.

For that matter, that could be said even in an ordinary court issue like crime. You can find flaws in the testimony of good witnesses to a crime known to have occurred and on video no less. If there's only one, and if they were perhaps in an altered state at the time (which trauma often is anyway), and if they are anything less than a priest who is a nobel prize winner then invalidating them is not all that difficult for a good defense attorney. But if there's half a dozen witnesses (...or several million... from around the world... over time...) then invalidating that, regardless of some variance on details, is not so easy.

In fairness, one has to work with the data they've got. It is not the fault of the person who experiences something, that (a) they experience it alone, and/or (b) it doesn't usually fall into the 100% normal-and-physical spectrum. A genuine inquiry would seek to understand it further, regardless of those factors. If someone is uninterested or auto-dismisses anything with those factors, then there's no point in being involved on any thread talking about such things as there is nothing useful to add.

PJ


Great points.

The skeptic tries to belittle eyewitness testimony when it comes to things within ufology.

They know that eyewitness accounts from police officers, military, astronauts, high ranking government officials and more would be weighed heavily within reason in any other circumstance.

So because they have to try and debunk things within ufology they have to be intellectually dishonest and belittle eyewitness testimony because they can't refute it.

It's like I said about astronomy. Why do skeptics accept the eyewitness accounts from astronomers about anomalies they see in space?

If 3 people see a criminal run from a murder after they have seen him shoot someone, do you think the Judge will say let him go because we can't use the three eyewitnesses who just identified him?

Why do you think they put "eyewitnesses" under witness protection programs?

So, the skeptic is very dishonest when they try and belitlle eyewitness accounts. They do it because of the underlying subject matter and this seperates an open minded skeptic who is agnostic and a bogus or pseudo skeptic who is really a closed minded debunker.

[edit on 19-3-2009 by platosallegory]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:49 AM
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Oh my god... this isnt a thread anymore, its a slanging match. If I wanted to be party to this I would be watching the Politics Channel on tv, and watching fat bloated idiots discussing issues they have no actual knowlege of .
Have an actual discussion , rather than a slanging match, you are doing the entire membership of this website a diservice with all this mudslinging.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:49 AM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
How many skeptics have seen everything that every astronomer describes that he/she has seen in space?

Many. The whole point of peer reviewed science is to submit any new claim to a skeptical filter.


Why are skeptics trusting these eyewitness accounts?

Because some discoveries have been validated by the scientific community, not one or two scientist (friends of the one making the claim). Note that not all science papers are validated. Some are not worth the paper they're written on.


If a bank is robbed and the bank tellers identify the criminal, this is eyewitness testimony and do you think the judge is going to say release him because we can't use eyewitness testimony? LOL

If there's a single witness, who can't remember anything without hypnosis or whose statements contradict every other witness, yes the judge will not believe them.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:50 AM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
So, the skeptic is very dishonest when they try and belitlle eyewitness accounts. They do it because of the underlying subject matter and this seperates an open minded skeptic who is agnostic and a bogus or pseudo skeptic who is really a closed minded debunker.


A genuine skeptic won't "belittle" anything. They will critically question those things they have genuine interest in, and ignore the rest.

Anybody belittling is a scoffer. You can't blame skeptics for the behavior of scoffers any more than you can blame people with anomalous experiences for the behavior of others who may be legitimately lying or insane.

IMO.
PJ



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