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The Skeptics Dilemma

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posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 05:21 PM
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reply to post by SaviorComplex
 


Complex, you protest to loudly.

Crying for mods is not neccessary in a message board debate.

You have changed throughout this thread like a chameleon.

Of course I have a hypothesis as to the origin of things like abduction cases, mass sightings, videos, trace evidence and more.

I never said it was proven when it comes to extra-dimensional or extra-terrestrial beings. I said it was the most likely answer within reason.

If you have other possibilities as to what's behind this non human intelligence that could be behind these things then present it and lets weigh it within reason.

This is my whole point.

This is how science works. This is how investigations work. You gather evidence and then form a hypothesis by weighing these things within reason.

You then look for ways to test and measure the hypothesis. Just because it's not proven doesn't stop you from being an advocate for the hypothesis. This occurs in all walks of life.

The pseudo or bogus skeptic wants these things proven first and this is illogical.




posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 05:27 PM
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Originally posted by RedCairo
That's a good essay. Mario was something of a friend of mine via email anyway, and a good man. But aside from a few overtly ridiculous and limited posts on this thread, do you honestly consider the majority of the debate -- which was mostly refusal to agree that ET/ED is "the MOST" likely explanation of anomalies -- constitutes pseudo-science? I do not believe that was quite what he was referring to.

Best,
PJ


Hi PJ.

There appear to be several tracks to this debate and I have not really been part of the one you refer to, largely because half of the people engaged in it have told me I am on ignore so they won't see my posts if I respond anyway LOLOL.

That said, I suspect that it is a very fine point which is causing contention and, being subtle, elusive and difficult to convey, platosallegory's point is repeatedy being missed - unless I misunderstand him too, which is distinctly possible LOL.

Platosallegory's point appears to be that ET's can be the most likely explanation. (It becomes confused because I also think he has stated that when the evidence is weighed, in many cases, it is evidently the most likely explanation. I tend to agree, but they are two different points, so we will stick to the first point, that it "can be")

The "opposition" however, seems prepared to offer the skeptical concession that it's "possible" that there are ET/UFO's, but - and here is where they possibly stray from legitimate skepticism IMO - they do not consider that to be a possible candidate for "most likely explanation" - or rather they consider it impossible that it could be the most likely explanation. But isn't the evidence supposed to dictate that?

Yet, this appears to be the stance they approach the discussion and the evidence with, having already decided that the ET explanation is probably the least likely explanation in every case, before the evidence is weighed to see which is, in fact, the most likely. I gather Platosallegory feels, and with reason IMO, that this constitutes bias and that the evidence should be approached withoutout a predetermined hierarchy of likelihood, with ET/UFO's at the very bottom. So he keeps repeating - and correctly IMO, when understood - that it "can be the most likely explanations, and asking "why can't it be the most likely?" The answer being, that they have already decided it is the least likely before examining the evidence. Does that make sense to you?

If you have a truly open and unbiased mind, when you approach the evidence with possible explanations in mind, every explanation, should, in a sense, be considered to be potentially "the most likely" - each one "can be the most likely" - because you should not have decided which is the most, or least likely, UNTIL you have examined all the evidence and weighed it thoroughly. This does not appear to be the approach of Saviour and the others challenging Platosallegory. I think it could be argued that they approach the evidence with bias, with a predetermined hierarchy of likelihood, with, literally, a pseudo-skepticism. But I may be wrong. Perhaps I have misread this particular debate seeing as was not that actively engaged in it. I hope it made sense. As I said it's a suble point, but crucial.

Anyway, that's my take. I may have misunderstood the positions of both sides LOL. If so, I'm suuuure they'll inform me of it in most vigorous terms where I went wrong (even if I'm right).



[edit on 19-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 05:29 PM
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Originally posted by Seany

Originally posted by SaviorComplex
I'm done.

People like PlatosAllegory and Malcram will think they have won the argument by browbeating the skeptics, not realizing it is not the same as proving their
argument.

But I hope everyone has seen what kind of people they are dealing with in PlatosAllegory and Malcram.


For what it is worth , no on I believe changed their minds on anything

or anybody , regardless of this thread


Don't be so sure. Reason and logic have a way of winning out in the end.

Am I trying to get people to accept my position? No

What I'm trying to do is to get people to see that it's illogical to hold of weighing the evidence and forming a hypothesis about the situation until things have been proven.

This doesn't apply to anty field of study and it shouldn't apply here.

We can keep these things unexplained and unidentified forever. That's the easy thing to do or you can build a hypothesis and weigh things within reason like we always do.

I was debating time travel. People had several possibilities about time travel in the past and people gave reasons as to why they thought their conclusion was the most likely explanation.

We do it all the time, why not with things like ufology and the paranormal?

[edit on 19-3-2009 by platosallegory]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 05:37 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 05:45 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.



Here's a couple of cases where eye-witness testimony coincided with physical,measurable evidence.

There have also been more than a few cases where witness testimony has been backed up with physical traces and/or radar.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 05:54 PM
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Originally posted by MarrsAttax
Here's a couple of cases where eye-witness testimony coincided with physical,measurable evidence.

There have also been more than a few cases where witness testimony has been backed up with physical traces and/or radar.


Yeah, I too was under the impression that there were in fact a fair number of cases where there were both multiple eyewitness sightings - such as pilots in different planes approaching from different direction and seeing the same object/s and ALSO one or more radar confirmations of the same object at the same time. Me simply saying this is not the "proof" some might be demanding I realize, but if it's true, then I'm sure the evidence is available for those who are interested and sincere and wish to confirm it for themselves.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 06:26 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


It's something that frustrates me more than anything else. I'm sick of hearing the phrase "there's no evidence" when this is clearly untrue. What is in question is not the existence of evidence but people's interpretation of that evidence.

However, for SaviorComplex to imply that UFO eye-witness testimony is unlike court testimony because it has no physical, measurable evidence is just plain wrong.

I mentioned five hard-core cases in a previous post which as a group included multiple witnesses, physical traces in the environment, credible witnesses and physical medical effects. I have just mentioned two more cases. But yet again we are being fed the myth that UFO witness testimony is simply hearsay with no other evidence to back it up.

I noted that my post citing the first 5 cases (as well as directing people to some IMO amazing & credible UFO footage) garnered precisely zero replies. Make of that what you will.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 06:28 PM
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reply to post by MarrsAttax
 


Thanks for the link.

Here's one about trace evidence cases ran by Ted R. Phillips who use to work with Dr. Hynek.

Over the past 38 years, specialized research into Close Encounters of the Second Kind has resulted in a wealth of reports in every major country of the world. CPTR files contain 3,189 trace/landing cases from 91 countries. I believe physical traces present us with the most direct approach to resolving the mystery of UFOs.

www.ufophysical.com...



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 06:39 PM
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Originally posted by MarrsAttax
reply to post by Malcram
 


It's something that frustrates me more than anything else. I'm sick of hearing the phrase "there's no evidence" when this is clearly untrue. What is in question is not the existence of evidence but people's interpretation of that evidence.

However, for SaviorComplex to imply that UFO eye-witness testimony is unlike court testimony because it has no physical, measurable evidence is just plain wrong.

I mentioned five hard-core cases in a previous post which as a group included multiple witnesses, physical traces in the environment, credible witnesses and physical medical effects. I have just mentioned two more cases. But yet again we are being fed the myth that UFO witness testimony is simply hearsay with no other evidence to back it up.

I noted that my post citing the first 5 cases (as well as directing people to some IMO amazing & credible UFO footage) garnered precisely zero replies. Make of that what you will.


Of course the evidence you presented was ignored. LOL It is first demanded: "Where is the proof, where is the evidence!" (this immediately followed by the proclamation: "there isn't any!"). Then, when it's provided...nothing. It's ignored. The issue is switched and the debate rumbles on. Five minutes later the same call will go out "Where is the proof, where is the evidence" ("there isn't any!"). And the same tired cycle begins again. It is the epitome of intellectual dishonesty. But hey, thats ATS! You gotta love it.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 07:06 PM
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One more point that we might sort of be missing here is that since we would all be dealing specious evidence for the existence of entities that we wish to pin a thing or two on..

we end up in the metaphysical position of dealing with either intangibles or seeming intangibles.

"Getting somewhere" in metaphysics is difficult.

"Grey Alien" has the same difficulty that "Pegasus" has.

We know what Pegasus is. We know what Grey Aliens are. But we have no thing to which the words refer.

So. At this juncture of who is causing what, without tangible evidence, we can honestly say this:

"X" is the most likely candidate for what is causing all this phenomena.

You may sustitute for X any word that fits the category of what we've been dealing with in the original question.

I have NOT typed this to invoke nonsense, you guys.

I just want you to know that with the above statement you may substitute for "X":

Thor
Inter stellar Visitors.
Grey Aliens
Nordics
Chupra Cabres
My imaginary Aunt Nancy.

And what will happen is that the truth value of the statement will not change.

Now, ... this may seem counter intuitive. But think about it for a little bit.

We know nothing about the 6 entities I mention. Oh Yeah! We "Know" who they're supposed to be minus my aunt nancy, but they all have the same status.

If you find out that Nancy's doing it... I WILL have a talk with her... LOL

So all I am really asking is for you is to look at the difficulty there is in discussing things that avoid proof.

[edit on 19-3-2009 by akalepos]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 07:20 PM
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Good Question,

The thing you leave out of the equation is reason and logic.

We are not talking about these things in a vacuum. There's trace evidence, eyewitness accounts, mass sightings, abduction cases, pictures, video and more.

We can use reason and logic to weigh the evidence as to what's most likely and what's less likely.

Eyewitness accounts or abduction cases didn't see your imaginary aunt Nancy.

Police officers, military, high ranking government officials didn't see Thor.

Just because we don't know the origin of these beings doesn't mean we can't build a hypothesis based on reason and the evidence.

X doesn't change only if you give any and every possibility equal probability of being true and reason and logic doesn't work that way.

It's only pushed by skeptics when it comes to things like the paranormal or ufology.

Reason is thrown out of the window.

I don't need to know parallel universes exist before I weigh the evidence within reason and come to a conclusion.

We do this in life everday, why can't we do it with ufology?

[edit on 19-3-2009 by platosallegory]


..............................................................................
[edit: removed unnecessary quote of entire previous post]
Quoting - Please review this link


[edit on 22-3-2009 by 12m8keall2c]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 07:26 PM
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reply to post by akalepos
 


Hi Akelepos.

Essentially I agree with what you are saying. However, if you think about it, the point you make can be applied to many things which society and the scientific community accepts as "true" or "fact", and yet they find a way past that problem. They do not refrain from reaching conclusions.

I'm not insisting they are right in doing so, just that they do. And yet when it comes to the UFO issue they are not prepared to follow this usual procedure. There is an inconsistency there.

Now in posting this next quote I am in no way suggesting you are a bogus skeptic LOL. Let me make that PERFECTLY clear right now. However this point is relevant to the double standard applied by Society to the UFO debate. It is from the "Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Skepticism by Rochus Boerner" and it is sign 2:

"Making uncontrolled criticisms. A criticism is uncontrolled if the same criticism could equally be applied to accepted science."

The point you raised could well be true, but it is also true of many things accepted by society and "accepted science". Now I'm sure you would also be happy to apply the point you made to "accepted science" also and acknowledge that it is a perhaps a "glitch" endemic to society.

My problem is with the double standard of those who are happy to accept this "glitch" within "accepted science" (the herd mentality) and see no problem with it at all. In fact they will sometimes use phenomena for which the evidence is as tenuous or even more tenuous than the evidence for ET's - but yet accepted by science as "true" - to attempt to disprove the ET theory. Yet when it comes to assessing the ET/UFO issue, suddenly it is a big problem. The UFO evidence is expected to meet standards that they do not require the evidence for many other phenomena which they accept as "true" to meet. There is a double standard. (Sorry if I'm not being very clear. It's late here and my brain is shutting down LOL.)

But do you see what I'm getting at?

PS. My money is on Aunt Nancy.


[edit on 19-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 07:33 PM
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reply to post by akalepos
 


Hey Akelepos, I guess replies at ATS are rather like buses.
You wait an eternity for one and then two come along at once LOL



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 07:34 PM
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reply to post by Europa733
 


It is hard not to generalize, this is why I used the "We" but if you read carefully my message, I made it very clear why I did not agree with #4.


Of course it isn't which is why most people do it, weight of numbers and all that, or more precisely the logical fallacy of "argumentum ad populum".
Funny thing about generalizations is that the larger group you get the more blaringly false a generalization is proved to be. Which really goes to show one that though generalization is easy, generalizations are something to be avoided by anyone who wishes to stay factual particularly when speaking about masses of people.
And like I said I was not refering to all skeptics as you repeatedly seem to think I was. But there are those within that group called skeptics *of which you obviously count yourself a member* that blaringly fit under my #4. To claim otherwise is little more than self promotion.


Now, we could "play" with words and their definition but it is not really taking us anywhere, is it ?


Wasn't playing, was responding to your rather one sided attempt at providing facts by showing the whole picture that just happened to discredit your statement.


My point is very clear, we lack scientific data & facts & proofs that we are being visited, it is a constatation based on our scientific knowledge & observations, so yes you are right to some extent, "we" BELIEVE scientists..as opposed to "we" BELIEVE ufologists.


Too bad science itself is divided on the subject. But I don't expect you to acknowledge that fact. But it would behoove you to notice that science is not monolithic with just one message about anything.
And I restate what I said earlier, if we are in fact being visited by beings *I will not claim we are despite that fact I suspect we are, but if we are* it seems to me as quite logical that if they did not wish us to know for they were "visiting" they should have the technological ability to hide the fact they are here from us, at the very least mostly hide it. As I said, we are in no position to speak as to what is possible with technology maybe hudreds or thousands of years ahead of our own, I find it silly that people even suggest we would.


People who choose to be pro-ETH don't need empirical facts & data & proofs, they just cherry pick what they want then they call it evidence just as long as it fits into their "model theory".


Of course you would say that, but as I think I have pointed out, you do the same thing. Cherry pick I mean, the semantic argument I quashed earlier shows that if nothing else.


60 years of ufology already demonstrated that this does not take us anywhere, we could have had the same discussion 60 years ago.

Cheers,
Europa


Um. Look at history and how long we argued the factuality of certain things we consider fact and then get back to me. I think I smell another logical fallacy here as well.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 07:55 PM
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reply to post by MarrsAttax
 


However, the physical evidence doesn't really corroborate the claim of aliens. Yes you have radar data, landing marks, scorched grass, or what have you. But all of this really supports is the existence of UFOs, which I'm sure most skeptics will admit exist. That however isn't really what this debate is about what's driving the UFO phenomena. We can theorize all day as to what we think it is, and we can throw our support behind one theory or another, but at the end of the day no one can say they know 100% who is piloting UFOs, abducting people, mutilating cows, and everything else related to the phenomena. This is where the major difference between the skeptics and believers comes in. The believers claim to know what's driving the phenomena, however, as long as the evidence allows for other theories they can't be absolutely sure if what they believe is right. The skeptics on the other hand look at the evidence and realize that the evidence allows for multiple theories and as long as this is the case they refuse to throw their support behind one theory.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 08:00 PM
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If you just examine some of the evidence this will allow for multiple theories, but all of the evidence taken together - which is of course, what we are supposed to do - leads to the ET conclusion. You can't complete a puzzle if you don't put the pieces together. If you only look at one piece, or a few, sure you could imagine that they represented all sorts of things but bring them together, and a clear picture emerges. I find it interesting that so few (so-called) skeptics are willing to bring the pieces of evidence together. Instead, they will pick one up in isolation and say "Well that could be anything", then pick up another in isolation "Well, that could be anything" and so on. If a ten year old child did the same thing with a jigsaw we'd think he was a moron.


[edit on 19-3-2009 by Malcram]


..............................................................................
[edit: removed unnecessary quote of entire previous post]
Quoting - Please review this link

[edit on 22-3-2009 by 12m8keall2c]



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 08:06 PM
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reply to post by platosallegory
 



You seem to be arguing back at me with things I have no argument with you about.

I agree with you that we are not talking about these things in a vacuum.

But the example you saw in the last post was an example of pure reason.
I think you sort of missed the point. Consult Quine if you want to.

When you use reason and especially logic to weigh the evidence that we sort have been alluding to in this thread., you sort of end up where I just placed it in the other post.

Just be careful that you don't engage in eristics.

There is nothing here to "win", only things to learn.

If we do not know the origin of either a being or an action (event) then we simply do not know the origin of the being or the event. All discussion contrary to that fact, is pure speculation and interpretation.

Many people have already related to you the problems and status of eyewitness accounts. I don't need to be redundant, as I'm sure you got it.

We all have so many "things" embedded in our brains and our conscious minds that it is true that in many cases this "stuff" rushes in to toform the perception about the impressions that present themselves to our receptors.

We alway seem to be quite sure of what it is we have seen almost no matter what. But sometimes we are wrong. The most profound experiences always resist our denials. But seeing or experiencing the "profound" thing does not prove... that we have interpreted it right.

It is worse when we take in eyewitness accounts. WE do not know at all, what it is they saw. They could have had a correct interpretation (they could be right), but their interpretation of what they saw may be incorrect (they could be wrong). We have no way of knowing which.

We accept the authority of leos, military, and others as some sort of truth stick. But tey could have a confusing interaction as well, no matter what they say about what they saw.

There is no "only if" in my example about "X". That's simply the way the real logic works. You missed that.

In order for us to have something to say that is meaningful, our sentences must be meaningful. If they are untrue, they are meaningful but improper.
If they are true, they are both meaningful and proper. If they are indeterminate, they are meaningless in a real sense.

So if we have a meaningless statement, and we substitute other meaningless subjects into the sentence then we still have a meaningless statement. REGARDLESS if the viewer knows at least that he did not see Thor.

He saw something and as I said else where, we should believe that he believes what he saw. But that is not truth for us no matter how much you want it to be so, it cannot obtain true.

For a good course on reason and logic, one ought to consult not only plato, but aristotle, Kant, Locke, Hume, and Quine to name a few.

I have no reason to lie to you, no agenda to steer you wrongly. So if ya wanna come at me, make sure it is a proper argument about the right subject.

If you do that, then we won't cross talk.

I am sorry that you did not recieve the light lesson about synthetic statements, or propositions. I didn't mean to be lofty about it, if that's what the problem was.

I have actually been strengthening your position, but you don't seem to see that yet.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 08:12 PM
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reply to post by platosallegory
 


If you "saw" the Phoenix lights, whether up close and personal or on the TV or on the net. I guarantee you that we do not see the same thing.



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 08:18 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


Actually... one might get a better grip on skepticism by studying what it is rather than what it is not at first...

Here's a good book:

The Original SKeptics: A Controversy
Myles Buryeat, hackett 1997

another:

The Skeptic Way Sextus Empiricus's Outlines of Pyrrhonism
Benson Mates, oxford 1996


hehehe hope that helps!
Scott



posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 08:21 PM
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Originally posted by MarrsAttax
reply to post by Malcram
 


It's something that frustrates me more than anything else. I'm sick of hearing the phrase "there's no evidence" when this is clearly untrue. What is in question is not the existence of evidence but people's interpretation of that evidence.


I'm with you on that!



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