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The Skeptics Dilemma

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posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:56 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.

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.


Hi Akelepos.

I basically agree with what you said. I can't speak for all others but my comments here were mainly with reference to 'bogus skepticism' or 'pseudo skepticism' and I think a lot of people get upset with that term, perhaps because they think it implies that skepticism is 'bogus', which of course, it doesn't. It doesn't mean that at all. Rather, it refers to a mode of argument which is not skepticism at all.

I don't happen to agree with the skeptics position with regard to the ET/UFO debate, although I agree that a lot of elements are unknown. However, just because I disagree doesn't mean I have a problem with legitimate skepticism (as some pseudo-skeptics love to claim). What I have a problem with - what every right thinking person should have a problem with - is "bogus skepticism" (or pseudo-skepticism), which is actually non-skeptic position - cynicism or denialism - masquerading as legitimate skepticism. I happen to think that there are a number at ATS who falsely present themselves as "skeptics" but who actually present arguments solidly rooted in fallacy ridden "bogus skepticism". Therefore, the "bogus skeptics" at ATS got angry when "bogus skepticism" was identified and challenged AND even some legitimate skeptics became upset perhaps because the assumed that talk of "bogus skepticism" was an attack on skepticism and skeptics. Not at all. In fact, "bogus skepticism" should be as much an insult to legitimate skeptics as it should to so called 'believers', as it pollutes their argument as well as muddies the debate for all of us.

I think that when some believers use the word "skeptic", they are actually referring to "pseudoskeptics" and their arguments. They probably should be more careful to clearly distinguish between the two. That said, the whole point of 'pseudo-skepticism' is that it pretends to be legitimate skepticism, hence there can be some confusion.




posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by TrueBrit
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.

platosallegory & malcram are on a campaign against skeptics. They think it's a political thing. When reason fails, throw mud at the opposition.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 12:11 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
What I have a problem with - what every right thinking person should have a problem with - is "bogus skepticism" (or pseudo-skepticism), which is actually non-skeptic position - cynicism or denialism - masquerading as legitimate skepticism.

It's like having a problem with some believers, who are actually pseudo-believers because they're not entirely irrational. Why do you have a "problem"? There are unreasonable people everywhere, not only within skeptics ranks you know. SaviorComplex was perfectly right in saying it's obvious that your accusations are actually meant to discredit skeptics as a whole.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by RedCairo
Honestly, you seem as biased and extreme as anything on the other side.


How is pointing out both the flaws and motivation of people such as Malcram and Polomontana/PlatosAllegory bias and extremism? I have no problem with believers-in-general. You will find I am friends with many of them here. And I want the things they believe in to be real. It is individuals such as Malcram and Polomontana/PlatosAllegory I have a problem with. They are not concerned with proving their claims rather shouting down anyone who may disagree.


Originally posted by RedCairo
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...


But the problem here is to people such as Malcram and Polomontana/PlatosAllegory, there are no "genuine skeptics." Anyone and everyone who disagrees with them is a "bogus skeptic," even while they employ the very tactics they attack skeptics for.



[edit on 19-3-2009 by SaviorComplex]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by Europa733
Hi again,

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


Hi Europa.

Come on E, the diversion was an off topic, insincere question, that makes no sense within the framework it was asked. You are a scientist aren't you? (I thought I saw you say that, forgive me if I misread) Certainly you have a very good scientific knowledge. So you know challenging someone to "convince" them of something with ONE piece of evidence is pretty ridiculous. It's asking us to do something you spend the rest of the time telling us we shouldn't do LOL, insisting there must be a whole range of evidence of all types before anyone can legitimately say they are "convinced".




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.


I think the evidence does that, but it certainly won't be accomplished by ONE piece of evidence LOL.




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. 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.


Well, we've discussed the issue of protocols and how they need to be designed to fit the phenomenon. I agree it's difficult and complex. I just don't see the will being there, at present, to press forward with it and find solutions. But I don't necessarily agree that the legal system is different to a scientific approach because they are both expressions of the scientific method, just applied to different arenas. As I said, the UFO investigation is different again to both, because it involved the investigation of different phenomena, and yet it is also very similar in many ways because the way the phenomena presents itself is often through eyewitnesses. Where the evidence the phenomena presents is similar to the evidence that arises in those other manifestations of the scientific method, including the Legal System, then we can learn from their protocols of investigating similar types of evidence. But as I said, I just don't think there is the will to do so, as yet.




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.


Not according to the protocols we are presently insisting be used, agreed.




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.


Well like you can't speak for all skeptics, I can't speak for all believers. But as I said in my last post, I don't really have a problem with legitimate skepticism, I just wish more professed skeptics would actually use it. And I suspect that when some believers attack "skeptics" they actually mean "bogus" or "pseudo-skeptics", and they should be more clear about that. If I have been unclear about that before then that was an error, but I have tried to make the distinction clear.

[edit on 19-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 12:34 PM
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Next time, make the title: Scoffers who pretend to be skeptics: how to recognize the behavior.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
I think when skeptics try to belittle eyewitness testimony, it's their weakest argument.


In each example you give of eyewitness testimony, there is a huge difference that sets them apart from eyewitness testimony of the UFO phenomenon. In each of those examples there is physical, measurable evidence to support the eye-witnesses testimony. In every single one of those cases, eyewitness testimony is not enough to make the case. If the eyewitness testimony does not fit the physical, the measurable, the quantifiable, then it is discarded.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex
...there are no "genuine skeptics." Anyone and everyone who disagrees with them is a "bogus skeptic," even while they employ the very tactics they attack skeptics for.


Perhaps I have unsufficient experience with everyone involved to see the larger context here. I was judging based on this particular thread alone, which did not seem unreasonable to me until all the arguing started.

Best,
PJ



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 12:48 PM
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reply to post by SaviorComplex
 


Complex just wants to say things in a vacuum and not have the arguments of the pseudo or bogus skeptic questioned.

If you don't want your arguments questioned then you should start a message board with one member.

Like I said there's threads about evidence of extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings and there's threads about the illogical arguments of closed minded debunkers. We can do both. We can talk and chew gum at the same time.

Why you complain because someone dare's to question the argument made by some under the mask of skepticism, is beyond me. Actually, it makes sense if you think we are talking about you.

Also, you continue to try and debate claims that I never made.

I never said that I was trying to prove anything to you or anyone else about extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings. Accept and believe what you want to believe.

I'm just debating the merits of the bogus and pseudo skeptic arguments when it comes to these things. Apparently you don't like it when your positions are questioned.

Sorry, that's what happens on a message board.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 12:52 PM
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Originally posted by RedCairo
I was judging based on this particular thread alone, which did not seem unreasonable to me until all the arguing started.


This thread should provide sufficient evidence. Take for example Platosallegory/Polomontana and some of the tactics he has used to make his argument. When he asked if we thought the ETH was the best explanation for UFOs and we all responded "no, but still a possibility," he said we were saying it wasn't a possibility at all. Any argument presented, any argument at all, is cast by him as being a "pseudoskeptic" or "bogus skeptic" argument. Notice he has also stopped using those terms and just refers to skeptics; to me this proves they are interchangable in his mind.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 12:57 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
If you don't want your arguments questioned then you should start a message board with one member.


I would recommend you do the same. Need we bring up your Bigfoot and UFO thread, Polomontana? I am not the one trying to silence the opposition.


Originally posted by platosallegory
Like I said there's threads about evidence of extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings and there's threads about the illogical arguments of closed minded debunkers.


You have yet to do that, at least under this sock-puppet guise, Polomontana. Thus far, you only contribution to this particular board is your effort to silence skeptics.


Originally posted by platosallegory
Why you complain because someone dare's to question the argument made by some under the mask of skepticism, is beyond me. Actually, it makes sense if you think we are talking about you.


I am not complaining about debating viewpoints. What I disagree with you is what you and Malcram are trying to do; that is instead of discussing the evidence or arguments, you want to make it possible to derail a thread by attacking the personality.

All you have done is attack the personality. You have not once discussed the validity of the argument.

And nice tactic...I can't disagree with your immature and arrogant tactics, unless I think you are attacking me. Kind of a spin on the "you don't have anything to worry about if you're not a criminal" type of logic.


Originally posted by platosallegory
Also, you continue to try and debate claims that I never made.


Show us where I am doing that.


Originally posted by platosallegory
I never said that I was trying to prove anything to you or anyone else about extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings.


Of course you aren't. I never said you were. I said you were trying to silence people who do not agree with you. There is a big difference.


Originally posted by platosallegory
I'm just debating the merits of the bogus and pseudo skeptic arguments when it comes to these things. Apparently you don't like it when your positions are questioned.


No, I do not like it when there are those think they can prove their views by virtue of intimidating, shouting-down, and silencing those who may disagree.


[edit on 19-3-2009 by SaviorComplex]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by nablator
It's like having a problem with some believers, who are actually pseudo-believers because they're not entirely irrational. Why do you have a "problem"? There are unreasonable people everywhere, not only within skeptics ranks you know.


I have already said that myself, Nablator, in this thread. There are ridiculous 'true believers' who employ similar tactics. But this thread is not about irrational believers, although I have zero problem with such a thread about them appearing. The reasons why I have a problem with "bogus skepticism" more so than "pseudo-believers" as you call them, is twofold.

1. Pretty much anyone can spot a UFO nut. LOL. Not so with those who employ "bogus skepticism", which is far more suble. Therefore I see it as more important to identify arguments that constitute bogus skepticism.

2. I personally feel that the basic view that there are ET piloted craft in our skies and that this explains SOME UFO's is a fact grounded in sufficient evidence to constitute overwhelming proof. Therefore, no matter how daft some 'true believers' may be, and how much jazz and nonsense may be added by them to the issue, the core idea they propose, is, IMO, still true. Whereas, I obviously feel the skeptics are mistaken, and that the "bogus skeptics" are actually an active barrier to the truth becoming accepted (or even properly investigated). "Wild eyed true believers", as I have heard them called here, may be loons of the highest order, but they do not oppose a truth becoming known and accepted. And If they are wrong, you skeptics have no problem, because Society is paying them no attention anyway, except as entertainment. It's the skeptics whose position is institutionalized. Skeptics presently 'hold the field' of the world, and the "bogus skeptics" who rig the game.

So that's why I have a problem with "bogus-skepticism" more than irrational believers and why I feel it's more important to challenge it and expose it's fallacies.



SaviorComplex was perfectly right in saying it's obvious that your accusations are actually meant to discredit skeptics as a whole.


Nablator, you down't know my motives anymore than Saviour does, so that is as ad hominem a comment as his were. I've made myself clear regarding my attitude toward skeptics in my last post. But If you want to continue to sling mud and cast aspersions on my supposed motives, then go ahead, I can't stop you. Knock yourself out.

[edit on 19-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex

Originally posted by platosallegory
I think when skeptics try to belittle eyewitness testimony, it's their weakest argument.


In each example you give of eyewitness testimony, there is a huge difference that sets them apart from eyewitness testimony of the UFO phenomenon. In each of those examples there is physical, measurable evidence to support the eye-witnesses testimony. In every single one of those cases, eyewitness testimony is not enough to make the case. If the eyewitness testimony does not fit the physical, the measurable, the quantifiable, then it is discarded.


Nope, all of the cases that I mentioned have to start with eyewitness testimony and then people reach conclusions based on reason and the evidence and then things get tested.

What the skeptics want is the tested part before we weigh the evidence within reason. This is why when they throw out the scientific method, they don't know what they are talking about.

Sometimes it takes years to test these things because we don't have the technology or the funding but that doesn't stop people from reaching a conclusion because they weigh the evidence within reason.

For instance, David Deutsch and others have reached the conclusion that parallel universes exist even though they have never seen or measured a parallel universe.

Professor Seth Lloyd says the universe is a quantum computer and he somehow managed to reach this conclusion without being able to prove that the universe is a quantum computer.

We always weigh things within reason even if their not proven. This is my point as to why the bogus and pseudo skeptics argument is so illogical.

They constantly as for you to prove something. They want you to prove that extra-terrestrials or extra-dimensional beings exist before we can weigh the evidence within reason.

Nothing in life works that way but they want to make this illogical argument against things like ufology and then they complained when this argument is questioned.

[edit on 19-3-2009 by platosallegory]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 01:03 PM
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Originally posted by RedCairo
Next time, make the title: Scoffers who pretend to be skeptics: how to recognize the behavior.


I was thinking of that very thing



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 01:08 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
Nope, all of the cases that I mentioned have to start with eyewitness testimony and then people reach conclusions based on reason and the evidence and then things get tested.


Once again, you miss the case. But that is not surprising. In each of the examples you have there is measurable, quantifiable, physical evidence; this how they stand alone from the UFO phenomenon. For example, police will not arrest someone simply because someone else said they robbed a bank; the bank has to be shown to have been robbed and other factors have to place the subject at the bank at that time. This is far different than your eyewitness testimony in the run-of-the-mill UFO case.



Originally posted by platosallegory
What the skeptics want is the tested part before we weigh the evidence within reason.


As I mentioned earlier...he is no longer using terms such as "bogus skeptic" or "pseudoskeptic"; this proves they are interchangable in his mind. Polomontana/Platosallegory's problem is not "pseudoskeptics" or "bogus skeptics," but anyone who disagrees.


Originally posted by platosallegory
They constantly as for you to prove something. They want you to prove that extra-terrestrials or extra-dimensional beings exist before we can weigh the evidence within reason.


No, we are not asking this. We are not asking for these things to be proven before we can investigate, we are asking for evidence that points towards extraterrestrials. The two are not interchangable.

In fact, you are thus far the only person to engage in this behavior. Polomontana/Platosallegory; need we remind you of our Persinger discussion earlier? Once again proving your hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty.



[edit on 19-3-2009 by SaviorComplex]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 01:24 PM
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Hi All

I do think somewhere out there intelligent life exists but if it is intelligent it will avoid the earth because we would just bring it down to our level only joking


Proof: A UFO landing little green men jumping out and shown on tv.

Blurry images and videos ,speculation about objects shown in some of the shuttle videos etc thats not proof.

God : THE CLOUDS PARTING a big hand appearing pointing down and a booming voice saying I DO ***KING EXIST THATS PROOF.

The Bible:A story book NOT PROOF.

You can see whats required REAL evidence not speculation!



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 01:25 PM
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No, we are not asking this. We are not asking for these things to be proven before we can investigate, we are asking for evidence that points towards extraterrestrials. The two are not interchangable.


Again you prove my point Complex,

If you think there's no evidence that extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings exist then of course your not open mined to the possibility that these things can be the most likely explanation for things like abduction cases, videos, pictures, eyewitness accounts, trace evidence, mass sightings and more.

This is why I asked the question earlier could they be the most likely explanation for these things and you and your fellow closed minded debunkers said no.

You want these things proven first so you don't have to weigh these things within reason and that way all possibilities have an equal probability of being true.

How can you exclude the possibility that extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings can be the most likely explanation for these things? That's a clear example of a closed minded debunker.

You can't even allow the possibility in a universe that where we just found liquid water on Mars and NASA has said they see signs of microbial life. They found bacteria in the earths atmosphere that's not from earth.

We don't know what constitutes dark matter/energy and it makes up 96% of the universe.

We have physicist talking about extra dimensions, the multiverse, braneworlds, parallel universes and more and:

YOU CAN'T EVEN ALLOW FOR THE POSSIBILITY THAT EXTRA-TERRESTRIALS OR EXTRA-DIMENSIONAL BEINGS CAN BE THE MOST LIKELY EXPLANATION FOR THESE THINGS?

Clearly, that's not an open minded skeptic but a bogus or pseudo skeptic that's really a closed minded debunker.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by wmd_2008
The Bible:A story book NOT PROOF.


No. The Bible is absolute 100% the Truth! No one can disprove anything in the Bible!

Just kidding! Wouldn't it be hysterical if I was like that, though?



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 01:50 PM
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reply to post by platosallegory
 


Hey, I'm on the fence. But, you defeat your arguement, in my opinion, where you use the phrase "MOST LIKELY, as in:


If you think there's no evidence that extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings exist then of course your not open mined to the possibility that these things can be the most likely explanation for things like abduction cases, videos, pictures, eyewitness accounts, trace evidence, mass sightings and more.



This is why I asked the question earlier could they be the most likely explanation for these things and you and your fellow closed minded debunkers said no.

(of course I said no. I don't think is has been established that it could be the MOST likely explaination)


YOU CAN'T EVEN ALLOW FOR THE POSSIBILITY THAT EXTRA-TERRESTRIALS OR EXTRA-DIMENSIONAL BEINGS CAN BE THE MOST LIKELY EXPLANATION FOR THESE THINGS?


I'm not a debunker, or, a skeptic, or, believer or any other "label" other than "reader". I suspect that ET life may be an explaination, but, not the most likely. There hasn't been the evidence to support the "Most Likely Explaination".
And to blindly believe that that the best evidence we've seen is indeed ET with no other explaination...or investigation...is, I think, irresponsable on the part of someone who wants to know, not just believe.

Skeptics just want to know. Not believe to know, know.

My $.02
Cuhail



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
If you think there's no evidence that extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings exist...


I never said that. Need I remind you of your own words?


Originally posted by platosallegory
Also, you continue to try and debate claims that I never made.


In fact, you are making a common fallacy; you are confusing being unconvinced of extraterrestrial visitation with a disbelief in extraterrestrials in totality. I would recommend you review all of the astrobiology threads I have started on this board.


Originally posted by platosallegory
This is why I asked the question earlier could they be the most likely explanation for these things and you and your fellow closed minded debunkers said no.


Not accepting it as the "most likely" explanation does not make us closed-minded. We accept that such things are a possible explanation. Only if we discounted the possibility in its entirety would we be closed-minded.


Originally posted by platosallegory
How can you exclude the possibility that extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings can be the most likely explanation for these things? That's a clear example of a closed minded debunker.


No, not at all. We think a myriad of other things better explain the UFO phenomenon. However, we remain open to the possibility that extraterrestrials drive the phenomenon.

Your problem is that we don't agree with you; that is hardly the hallmark of being "closed-minded."


Originally posted by platosallegory
They found bacteria in the earths atmosphere that's not from earth.


That is a total and complete falsehood. I know exactly the article you are talking about; there is no reason to assume those bacteria are from another planet. None. Whatsoever.


Originally posted by platosallegory
Clearly, that's not an open minded skeptic but a bogus or pseudo skeptic that's really a closed minded debunker.


Once again, disagreeing with you does not make us closed-minded. Only if we discounted the possibility would we "closed-minded," however, none of us have discounted the possibility.

[edit on 19-3-2009 by SaviorComplex]



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