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The Skeptics Dilemma

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posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 04:22 PM
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The trick here is that I believe in things that I can have physical evidence about. I also believe in abstract thoughts sometimes, which is why I believe there is alien life somewhere. There is nothing much you can do to convince scientific community but to get some physical evidence to back up your claims. Another option would be that aliens themselves show up at some point in time. Otherwise, not many are going to believe much of claims about ET.

What bothers me most is that people make claims of their society, culture, behaviour, charasteristics, intelligence and so on, while the ONLY thing you can know for certain is propably that they have atmospheric ships that look like a saucer.

You don't even know whether those are meant for planetary travel only, while their mothership is for space travel. You just don't know, your observation is from saucers that fly in atmosphere. That's all the info you have, and that's it. THe rest is speculation.

I know for certain that there is at least one story that is fabricated, as I know who wrote it. Of course, this time too, it was meant to look like they are warning us about something and as you might guess it included 2012 timeframe. Some believed it, which isn't that amazing as it was well written.

Now, I do believe in alien life and I think they propably have visited us. Other than that, it is pure speculation without evidence except eyewittness accounts.

I have no reason to believe in eyewittness accounts about conversations with these beings, nor do I believe goverments have pacts with them. I believe that goverment knows just as little as we do, that they have saucer shaped ships which may or may not be capable of space travel.

Yet, I do enjoy speculating about these things every once in a while. If however I ever start to actually believe that I know something about their culture, charasteristics or anything like that, I stop reading all this stuff as I have then PROOF that I have fallen into a belief that I have no proof about.

I don't think I'm perfect either, I do make mistakes in regard to my beliefs and sometimes believe things I have no proof about it. That is what it is to be a human, so I don't really care at all if somebody browses my 500 posts of skepticism and finds something. Its obviously there, we are all humans. I change my belief whenever I get proof about something. I have very very little thoughts that I would not change if proof is ever presented. One of those beliefs is that humans are capable to run a world without war. That is one belief I will blindly keep even if it is presented to me that it cannot be so. Yet, I am a skeptic.

To classify somebody under a single term, skeptic, is stuff that young people do. It is stupid to think that there will ever be any human being who can continuously keep some belief system in all possible situations encountered during his/her life. It just cannot be, humans are not perfect. That's a good thing, this world would be quite boring if humans were perfect already and systems of thoughts would never change and would always be the same in regards of mechanics. This is something you learn when you grow older and start to accept difference, without boasting it to be something that you should criticize everybody about.



[edit on 16/3/09 by rawsom]




posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 04:37 PM
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What's more, most skeptics have NOT made their mind about anything regarding subject of alien life. This is very important thing to understand, they have accepted that they do not know. This is the main big difference between those who have belief and those who are skeptics. Others have made up their mind, while others have accepted that there is a thing in universe they cannot know nothing about. That is, nothing for certain. I do love speculation, which is a great thing that human mind is capable of. In that, all roads are open until deduced not possible.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 05:03 PM
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Originally posted by rawsom
What's more, most skeptics have NOT made their mind about anything regarding subject of alien life. This is very important thing to understand, they have accepted that they do not know. This is the main big difference between those who have belief and those who are skeptics. Others have made up their mind, while others have accepted that there is a thing in universe they cannot know nothing about. That is, nothing for certain. I do love speculation, which is a great thing that human mind is capable of. In that, all roads are open until deduced not possible.


Hi Rawsom.

I have no idea about what 'most' skeptics think. I can say that, in my experience, many so-called skeptics seem to have their minds made up and firmly closed and do not bother to examine the evidence carefully or fairly. Many are happy to accept all sorts of things which they have not personally observed based on the testimony of others, and yet when it comes to the UFO issue they suddenly apply radically different standards, and so, avoid having to reach the conclusion which would be inevitable if they DID apply those same standards which are rightly applied to every other field of research. That is not real 'skepticism', that is 'Bogus Skepticism'.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 05:30 PM
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You have a serious misunderstanding of the nature of scientific evidence. There is just no compelling evidence of aliens anywhere, get over it.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram

Originally posted by rawsom
What's more, most skeptics have NOT made their mind about anything regarding subject of alien life. This is very important thing to understand, they have accepted that they do not know. This is the main big difference between those who have belief and those who are skeptics. Others have made up their mind, while others have accepted that there is a thing in universe they cannot know nothing about. That is, nothing for certain. I do love speculation, which is a great thing that human mind is capable of. In that, all roads are open until deduced not possible.


Hi Rawsom.

I have no idea about what 'most' skeptics think. I can say that, in my experience, many so-called skeptics seem to have their minds made up and firmly closed and do not bother to examine the evidence carefully or fairly. Many are happy to accept all sorts of things which they have not personally observed based on the testimony of others, and yet when it comes to the UFO issue they suddenly apply radically different standards, and so, avoid having to reach the conclusion which would be inevitable if they DID apply those same standards which are rightly applied to every other field of research. That is not real 'skepticism', that is 'Bogus Skepticism'.


Great post.

It's just logic and reason. We always weigh things and reach conclusions if we don't fully understand it.

We couldn't have science without it.

The skeptics wants to hold off drawing a conclusion ad infinitum.

This way you can always say we don't know and that's because you don't weigh the evidence within reason. You want all possibilities to be equal so that you never have to come to a conclusion about these things.

This also allows you to equate the evidence within ufology to toothfaries and fairy tales. It's truly intellectually dishonest and this backwards logic only applies to things that go against a person's belief system like ufology or the paranormal.

If it was left up to the skeptic we would be looking for an explanation forever and we could never use the available evidence to reach a conclusion like we do in all walks of life.

When I say reach a conclusion it doesn't mean your not open to other evidence that may counter these things. It just means you are weighing the available evidence and this happens in are court system, scientific research and just about everything in between.

[edit on 16-3-2009 by platosallegory]



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 05:43 PM
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Originally posted by MarrsAttax
It may have been the case thirty years ago but now when I hear about parallel universes, time travel, extra dimensions being talked about by serious scientists why is it such a stretch to believe in the possibility of extraterrestrial/extradimensionals visiting earth?


There's a big difference between conjecture and having real evidence to prove something. And as much as scientists like to talk about all that stuff, they're still pretty shy of evidence.

I like the idea of time travel as much as anybody, and think it could fit a lot of the UFO evidence a hell of a lot better than creatures from other planets. That being said, time travel is at this point essentially nothing but a science fiction fantasy, with no good lab results to verify or even suggest a real possibility for it. And in its present unknown/conjectural state, it's a mighty poor thing to try and explain another unknown like UFOs.

You can believe whatever you want, though, if "I don't know" makes you too uncomfortable.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by nablator
You have a serious misunderstanding of the nature of scientific evidence. There is just no compelling evidence of aliens anywhere, get over it.


No I don't.

Yes there is.

No I won't.

Hey, I like your style of debate by proclamation! I might just stick with it from now on. It's easier than all that pesky thinking and reasoning.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 06:29 PM
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Threads such as these are pointless. They serve only to make a certain group of believers feel better about themselves. I refuse to participate in them other than to urge you to focus on the evidence not on how much you hate skeptics.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 06:31 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 

You have stated your opinion, I have stated mine.


... avoid having to reach the conclusion which would be inevitable if they DID apply those same standards which are rightly applied to every other field of research. That is not real 'skepticism', that is 'Bogus Skepticism'.

What conclusion? What are you talking about? ETs?


"Bogus skeptics cherry pick evidence on the basis of a pre-existing belief, seizing on data, however tenuous, that appears to support their position, while declaring themselves "skeptical" of any evidence, however compelling, that undermines it."

I know a few guys like that. They're as biased and illogical as some believers. Glad to hear you have nothing against real skeptics.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex
Threads such as these are pointless. They serve only to make a certain group of believers feel better about themselves. I refuse to participate in them other than to urge you to focus on the evidence not on how much you hate skeptics.


I think Malcram answered this question earlier.

We can do both. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. So we can examine the evidence while also pointing out how pseudo or bogus skepticism stands in the way of good evidence.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 06:48 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex
Threads such as these are pointless. They serve only to make a certain group of believers feel better about themselves. I refuse to participate in them other than to urge you to focus on the evidence not on how much you hate skeptics.


Not at all.

It's not about 'hating' skeptics SC. Nor is it's purpose about making "believers feel better about themselves". It's about identifying the flaws in the arguments skeptics use and learning to spot the 'bogus skeptics' hiding among the real skeptics who undermine rational and fair debate. That seems like a reasonable use of small portion of our time and energy, don't you think? And as I said, it's not like we can't focus on the evidence at the same time.

Any why the concern? There are countless threads of infinitely worse tone in which scorn is heaped on various 'believers' in the community and their groups and where the 'skeptics' line up to sneer at and attack them personally, rather than deal with the evidence they present.

I think your time might be better spent trying to police them.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
So we can examine the evidence while also pointing out how pseudo or bogus skepticism stands in the way of good evidence.


Discussions of "pseudo skepticism" and "bogus skepticism" are quite insidious. It is an attempt to marginalize every skeptic by redefining who is a skeptic and what a skeptic is allowed to do. It seeks to rob all skeptics of the ability to have opinions or draw conclusions by declaring that only believers have that luxury or right. In fact, they redefine the believers as the "true" skeptics, allowing them to dismiss anyone who holds an opposing viewpoint as a "false" skeptic. Instead of focusing on the argument, they focus on the person making it.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 07:00 PM
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reply to post by Nohup
 


'I don't know' works for me.

I hear what you're saying about time travel etc being more speculative at the moment. Of course, it wasn't that long ago that any scientist who gave the idea the time of day was seen as 'fringe' at best and 'crackpot' at worse. Now it seems as though it is slightly more respectable.

The UFO subject, though is still a no-go area yet to my mind it is no more unlikely, given what we don't know about the universe.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 07:02 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
The skeptic wants to keep these things in the realm of possibility without weighing these things within reason so that all possibilities are given equal footing.

Equal? You must be joking. If we're talking about UFOs, first comes Venus, then the Moon, satellites, meteors, aircrafts, balloons, kites and many other prosaic explanations.


Let me ask the skeptics a question, can extraterrestrials or extra-dimensional beings be the most likely explanation for these things?

No.


If no, please explain why.

Simply because likelihood or probability of any hypothesis can only be measured by a) statistics, or b) eliminating any other hypothesis.

a) is not practical because counting delusional experiences in statistics (as there is no way to discriminate between real and imaginary) produces nothing valuable.

b) is possible for Sherlock Holmes but this is very different. There is no way to prove a very general negative assertion like "no time traveler will ever show up" or "no UFOs are piloted by ETs".



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 07:04 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
It's about identifying the flaws in the arguments skeptics use and learning to spot the 'bogus skeptics' hiding among the real skeptics who undermine rational and fair debate.


That is a fallacious argument. To those who are hunting the "bogus" or "pseudo" skeptic, it is a rare skeptic who escapes such labels.

Please, give us one example among those who are unconvinced of extraterrestrial visitation that you consider to be a "real skeptic."


Originally posted by Malcram
Any why the concern? There are countless threads of infinitely worse tone in which scorn is heaped on various 'believers' in the community...


Point them out. Point to the thread(s) where skeptics gather en mass to ridicule and mock believers; this particular activity is endemic only to the believers.

[edit on 16-3-2009 by SaviorComplex]



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 07:05 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex
Threads such as these are pointless. They serve only to make a certain group of believers feel better about themselves. I refuse to participate in them other than to urge you to focus on the evidence not on how much you hate skeptics.

Very well said, as always. This is my first and last participation in such a thread. I'll probably regret it tomorrow.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by SaviorComplex
 


You are actually making my point for me.

It's about weighing these things within reason. It's just like some skeptics are seeking the truth. They usually don't use things like Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy to try and debunk U.F.O.'s.

This is the difference between skeptics and pseudo or bogus skeptics and we can weigh these things within reason. This is exactly my point. We use reason to weigh things all the time but the skeptic doesn't want to do this when it comes to evidence within ufology because they want all possibilities to share equal footing and that's illogical.

Of course you want to marginalize an illogical argument. I have debated alot of skeptics who can make their case without resorting to "I want to debunk everything" mode.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 07:12 PM
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Originally posted by nablator
Equal? You must be joking. If we're talking about UFOs, first comes Venus, then the Moon, satellites, meteors, aircrafts, balloons, kites and many other prosaic explanations.


Exactly. We cannot discount the possibility, but we must rule out the mundane and follow Sagan's First Law.


Originally posted by nablator

Let me ask the skeptics a question, can extraterrestrials or extra-dimensional beings be the most likely explanation for these things?


No.


Again, right. However, we must add the caveat that such things are within the realm of possibility even if they are not the most probable.




Originally posted by nablator
There is no way to prove a very general negative assertion like "no time traveler will ever show up" or "no UFOs are piloted by ETs".


Again, right on. There is no Grand Unified Theory of Skepticism in regards to the UFO phenomenon. Each case must be examined on a case-by-case basis, because we could one day find the one case that shows extraterrestrials are indeed visiting the planet.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 07:12 PM
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reply to post by nablator
 


Hi Nablator.




You have stated your opinion, I have stated mine.


Not really, I presented an argument. There's a difference.




What conclusion? What are you talking about? ETs?


Yes, I'm saying that if the same standards and criteria were applied to the ET/UFO debate with regard to gathering and acknowledging the cumulative weight of high quality evidence as are applied in all other fields of investigation - such as legal, scientific etc. - then the inevitable conclusion would be that there are ET Piloted craft in our skies. That SOME UFO's must be ET piloted craft. This is only avoided by the judicious use of double standards and/or ignoring (willful or unsuspecting ignorance of) the full range and weight of evidence.



I know a few guys like that. They're as biased and illogical as some believers. Glad to hear you have nothing against real skeptics.


In my experience, there are quite a few 'Bogus Skeptics' who sincerely believe they are truly rational skeptics, simply because they are unaware of the degree to which their thinking process is compromised by their bias because, if it's fully institutionalized, as racism was at one time, then few will even identify it as bias.

I will say that I think it's impossible to be fully open-minded and fully aware of the complete range and weight of evidence and still remain a skeptic of the idea that SOME UFO's are ET piloted craft. Skeptical of the specific attending details, yes. But not of that basic idea. That said, no, I don't really have a 'problem' with 'real skeptics'. I just think there are fewer of them around than you do.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 07:18 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
 

We use reason to weigh things all the time but the skeptic doesn't want to do this when it comes to evidence within ufology because they want all possibilities to share equal footing and that's illogical.

Who is we? What equal footing? Where's your/their reasonable argumentation? Let's hear it. Or is this yet another pointless skeptic bashing thread?






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