If youou start your argument by dismissing any other hypothesis, yes. Objectively other hypothesis are just as good.
I am not rejecting any hypthesis. One should not begin any investigation with any prejudices, so I leave all hypothesis and possibilities open.
Some hypothesis, however, are an unnecessary multiplcation of quantites, such as underwater civilisations as mentioned earlier by the other guy. This
is on the same level as saying cartoon universe. Yes, both are logical possibilities, but merely argument from possibility is not enough.
It maybe that a UFO that we explain as ET UFO is actually from an underwater civilisation, but still we are going to have use an explanation that can
best explain all available data and which is rational.
There is nothing irrational about ET, because the the probability of life occuring in the universe is 100%. There is life on Earth, loads of it, and
it appeared immediately on Earth. This means life on planets is a known phenomenon of the universe. To say life on planets exists is not an argument
from possibility, but an empirical observation. Yes, you could turn around and say to me, "But how do you know life on other planets exist, all you
have is one sample, and you cannot generalise from one sample" This is as silly as asking, "Well how can I know that others have minds, all I have
is one sample of mind" its stupid skepticism and pointless.
If we go down that slippery slope we might as well conclude we cannot ever know anything and become vegetables. We do know things, even if what we
know is only a temporal truth. I cannot say for certain what a UFO is and making any kind of positive claim is not tenable. However, what I can do is
form a hypothesis that is the most likely explanation for the UFO and all the data available.
I will reiterate again for some UFO's the only explanation that works is ETH. Such as the LA one I discussed earlier, which you have interestingly
gone quiet on.
Wrong premise, no logic, wrong conclusion. Did you read what I wrote?
Yes I did, and obviously I rejected it because the argument was not sound.
If you think my logic is flawed, then please point out the flaws and the offending premise.
No. To not ask questions and believe everything without critical analysis is a silly attitude. Even believing your own eyes is stupid. (You've
never heard of an optical illusion I suppose.) A football field size and metallic shine mean nothing without a careful examination. Birds & bugs look
metallic too. Size and distance are nearly impossible to estimate with unknown objects. This uncritical attitude is what separates gullible people
from the rest. If you want to believe blindly, go ahead, but don't say it's logical.
I am not certainly saying one should not ask questions about the data. Indeed its the skeptics job to ask questions, "Where did you see it, how far
was it from you, were you under any alocholic influence at the time, was there anyone around" Of course these questions have to be asked. The Skeptic
needs to ask as many questions as possible to collect as much data as possible. The problem comes when the skeptic does not listen to the answers, but
actually influences the answers with leading questions, rhetoric and debunking attempt. I will give an example:
UFO witness: I saw it as clear as I can see you right now. It was metallic, it was emitting a bright orange glow and it hovered right above me on the
road. You know like that film Independence day, the mothership just hovers above. It was just like that. It wasn't only me who saw it, but my
girlfriend as well.
I am not lying I swear. I never beleived in this stuff before, but I guess seeing is believing.
Skeptic: You said it was on the road, how do you know that it was not just the headlight of a car or truck?
UFO witness: Dude, I know what the headlight of a car or truck looks like. I've been driving on the road for 20 years. This was not headlight.
Skeptic: How can you be sure. If you were the road and a very bright headline shines in your face, it is hard to see anything clearly and then its
easy to imagine that there is something large in front of you. Are you telling me it is impossible that you are not mistaken?
UFO witness: No, I am not saying that. Its always possible that one can be mistaken, but is it possible that both me and my girlfriend are
Skeptic: Yes, loads of people may all agree they see a ghost, only to later find out it was a lighthouse. Shared delusions are possible.
UFO witness: Look, I see what you are saying, but I believe 100% that I saw a UFO. I have never had an experience like this ever in my entire life.
Skeptic: Then you agree it is just a belief you saw the UFO. Then my job is done. Case dismissed.
The dialogue above is inspired slightly by the movie contact, when Jodie Foster in the end has to admit to the skeptics that as a scientist it is
possible that she did not experience her journey. The tactics employed by the skeptic above are similar to tactics lawyers use in court rooms. It is
not scientific at all and nor is it ethical. It is a bastardization of scientific research.
Let us look at the problems in the skeptics dialogue with the UFO witness:
1. The skeptic is overtly influencing the UFO witness and asking him leading questions
2. The skeptic is using arguments from possibility to negative the UFO witness experience - "It is possible you saw a headlight" it is also possible
that he did not see a headlight, but a UFO. Therefore it is an invalid argument.
3. The Skeptic is not listening to the UFO witness, everything the witness says is explained away using argument from possibility - "My girlfriend
also saw it" - "But it is possible it was a shared delusion"
These tactics are all fallacies and rhetoric, but regularly used by pseudoskeptics to dismiss everything they don't like. Pilot testimonies - "It is
possible that the pilot was dreaming", Radar reports - "It is possible the equipment malfunctioned" Ancient UFO paintings, "Post-hoc reading"
I would like to alert the "believers" to these common fallacies used frequently by many so-called skeptics on this forum. Namely:
1: Slippery Slope Fallacy
2: Argument from possibility fallacy
Other fallacies you should keep an eye out for: appeal to authority fallacy(not peer reviewed etc) and adhominem and strawman fallacy.
[edit on 24-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]