The Skeptics Dilemma

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posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 10:50 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
I expressed a suspicion in the form of a question


Don't play semantic games. We are far too smart for that and don't fall easily for them.


Originally posted by Malcram
As I said, I'm still suspicious. Strongly suspicious. Whose cause did spiritualevolutions appearance serve?


He didn't serve anyone, because no one takes him seriously. Skeptic and believer alike cannot stand the guy. It's a race to see who can hit the alert button fastest.

And you will learn quickly while you are here, only the most immature or closed-minded members cast everything in the light of believer-vs-skeptic. There are no sides here. We're all looking for the same thing.


Originally posted by Malcram
Are you trying to pull rank on me SC?


No, just telling you since you have not been here long enough to know about his shenanigans.


Originally posted by Malcram
And you don't know that Spiritualevolution isn't my "sockpuppet", I suppose, just as you don't know that he's not a skeptic intent on undermining the debate.


There is no reason to believe that, in either case. As such, there is no reason to accuse one side or another of orchestrating his rants.


Originally posted by Malcram
If so, he needn't have bothered, as ever since your...sermon, this whole discussion has become steadily more immature and pointless.


How is stating my opinion on a certain subject immature? It certainly cannot be any more immature than accusing people of using sock-puppets, without a single shred of evidence.




posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 10:57 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
Excellent. If that really is your only concern SC, then I'm sure over the next few days we can hammer out a razor sharp definition of 'Bogus Skepticism" that we can all agree on. Then we can see where it applies. What say you?


We have no need for such labels. Ultimately, such labels are crutches because it places the focus on the personality instead of the argument. Worry about what the particular arguments are at the time the arguments are being made, not the person making the argument.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 10:59 PM
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reply to post by spitefulgod
 


You know what gets tireing. To see when people make claims of CGI and photoshop work, or just plain fake. Pretty soon its gonna get to a point where people are gonna be saying, "its homemade"

People are skeptic because either they dont want to believe, they dont care, they are babied by the media or because they just love to be on the contrary. And all of this is acceptable and ok! But i dont understand why they demand proof but can't gather up their own evidence to support their claim.


Peace!



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 11:03 PM
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reply to post by SaviorComplex
 



Well doesnt the person argueing in time shape the actual argument itself. Depending on the persons personality her/she will argue their points.
A negative person will more than likely argue negatively and or addd false information. i.e. lieing.

I hope you understand what exactly im trying to say, a little difficult to put together.


Peace!



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 11:31 PM
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Originally posted by spitefulgod
Where is the evidence that can be taken to a wide scientific audiences and proved as extra terrestrial.... there is none, just a load of "look at me"s and a few trivial "could be this or that" pictures.

Sure they could be here and the government could be doing one hell of a job to cover it up, but from what I've seen on this site and others. The images and videos seem to have the same following as the paranormal images.. flying orbs, cgi hoaxes and "eyewitness" accounts.

When I see something I'll believe.


But if only you see if then you are just what you are talking about. Then you have no proof of it.

If you finally do see it lets say tomorrow or something and then you tell us that " ok i used to not believe but then i finally saw it" What are we supposed to do, believe you now because you " finally " saw it.

You would now be on the opposite end of your argument which the day before you were so sure about.??

It just doesn't make sense that way.

You can't say that eye-witness accounts are not evidence and then say you would only believe it if you had a first hand " eye-witness" account.

Do you guys/girls get what I'm saying?

[edit on 16-3-2009 by LucidDreamer85]

[edit on 16-3-2009 by LucidDreamer85]



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 11:35 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex




Don't play semantic games. We are far too smart for that and don't fall easily for them.


"We", are you playing to the gallery again SC? Semantics is the study of linguistics as it relates to meaning. My language perfectly conveyed my meaning, which was strong suspicion. But you go ahead and tout your little lie, since you are so attached to it. Don't let the fact's get in the your way. In any case. your accusation is rather rich SC as you appear to have bet most of your argument here on the hope that people will fall for semantic games. Speaking of which..



And you will learn quickly while you are here, only the most immature or closed-minded members cast everything in the light of believer-vs-skeptic. There are no sides here. We're all looking for the same thing.


Sagely comments. However, I have already noticed a definite believer vs skeptic attitude expressed in comments of yours, such as:



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.


But most notably in your fellow skeptic Nablator's comments, such as:



Using logic and common sense against believers is useless, you can't convince those who already made up their mind. Believers are close minded.




There are so many incompetent thinkers, so many irrational believers.




Believers don't want to think rationally and discuss facts. They already know everything.


Frankly, this thread has shown extremely entrenched "sides" among a number of long time members, IMO, yourself included.




There is no reason to believe that, in either case. As such, there is no reason to accuse one side or another of orchestrating his rants.


Indeed. I did not. But perhaps there is good reason to be suspicious.




We have no need for such labels. Ultimately, such labels are crutches because it places the focus on the personality instead of the argument. Worry about what the particular arguments are at the time the arguments are being made, not the person making the argument.


I think we have every need. Bogus Skepticism is rife here, IMO. The label already exists. I see no reason to exclude it from ATS. It just needs polished to meet your standards of specificity. It certainly does not place any emphasis on the personality, not any more than 'skeptic' does. It is by observing the arguments alone that the classification of "Bogus Skepticism" is arrived at! And again, given your previous rant on the supposed evil motives of those who merely raise the subject of 'Bogus Skepticism", your concern regarding a possible ad hominem application rings rather hollow.

Anyway, I too, have to go. Bye for now SC.


[edit on 16-3-2009 by Malcram]

[edit on 17-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 11:39 PM
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There are times when I am guilty of this certain behaviour as well, but it doesn't mean that things wouldn't go better if everybody just understood a SINGLE fallacy. Here it is:

Argumentum ad hominem.

Link to wikipedia includes description in easyly understandable format. Here's an excerpt:


An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the man", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the source making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim.

The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject.


SaviourComplex and others have been saying this all along, and I tend to agree with them in that it is wrong to use this kind of tactics.

There are other fallcies but this single fallacy alone cloud make ATS a better place for everybody. T&C includes a lot that has to do with this single fallacy alone, and in my opinion if we could live in a perfect world, such parts of T&C would not even be needed.

Believers should realize that they need skeptics to point out some of the hoaxes, and skeptics should realize that they need believers to ever change the matter of things if alien life exists.


[edit on 16/3/09 by rawsom]



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 11:53 PM
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Originally posted by WitnessFromAfar
I did not fail to answer his question though. I'm sorry if my answer disappointed you, but at least it was an intellectually honest answer.

I agree with everything you said. I'm good at agreeing with people. I agree about good estimations made by respected scientists. They know what they're talking about, and I don't have a problem with accepting their estimates as the best possible today. However, do not underestimate the ability of scientists to speculate and state their informed opinion. Exobiologists are trying to guess what alien life forms may be like. It's all guesswork. Quality guesswork, but often wild guesswork, because data is not available, and making judgments for the whole universe from only one sample, Earth, is impossible. Planetary systems' science is in its infancy too. New exoplanets are discovered every year where they shouldn't be according to the theories of the previous year.


Tell that to Stephen Hawking and Frank Drake
I would respectfully disagree with you here, and say that formula like the Drake equations are not wild guesses at all, but merely tools for prediction based upon observed evidence. There's a big field between those goalposts. Making a Scientific Guess is not the same as making a wild guess, or expressing an opinion as fact.

I don't get your point. The formula is no the problem, estimating the values of the probabilities in it is the problem. Drake's equation does not help making a good estimate. Not even a good upper or lower bound. It's completely useless. By multiplying unknown probabilities you get an unknown value.


Also, I'm not trying to convince him of anything. I'm trying to address his points with rational critical thinking, applying the Scientific Method.

You're not critical enough.
I'm worried about you becoming religious about some subjects like Drake's equation and the "Battle of LA". Believing NASA, or any scientist out of authority is not critical thinking. Agreeing with estimates of the probabilities in Drake's equation is not the same as accepting the result of the multiplication as scientific truth. It's an estimate, a good one maybe, maybe not, but nothing more. Even if we knew a lower bound for certain (we don't), it would not prove the existence of ET life in our Galaxy. A probability is not a certainty. And an estimated probability with unknown error margin is so uncertain that I don't understand why you're giving any credit to such a weak argument, three steps away from anything solid. Drake's equation has no value other than showing the extent of our ignorance.


Nice to see you again old friend! Any new findings on the STS footage?

I don't want to discuss it every again! The way NASA videos are promoted in every thread (even this one) as proof of something is painful to watch. I'm not open minded at all about stupid disks floating in the camera's view.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 11:54 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex
.... (or your favorite non-human-intelligence) ...


My closest encounter with non-human intelligence was my ex-wife. She was intelligent enough, but man... what a reptile.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 11:59 PM
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Before I go. I just found this article called The Objectivity of Science - Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Skepticism. by Rochus Boerner

This might help define things a little more clearly. The seven signs listed (minus the cited examples) are:

1. The Skeptic has reached her skeptical opinion not after careful research and examination of the claim, but simply based on media reports and other forms of second-hand knowledge.

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

3. The Pseudoskeptical Catch-22: "unconventional claims have to be proved before they can be investigated!" This way, of course, they will never be investigated or proved.

4. Evidence of refutal is anecdotal or otherwise scientifically worthless. Pseudoskeptics tend to accept conventional "explanations" for unconventional phenomena very easily, no matter how weak, contrived or far-fetched.

5. The Skeptic rejects a discovery or invention merely because it has been believed for a long time that such a thing as the claimed discovery or invention is impossible.

6. The Skeptic claims that the claimed effect contradicts the "laws of nature" (and therefore has to be wrong, since the Skeptic and the scientific community he presumes to represent have of course already complete knowledge of the laws of nature).

7. The Skeptic believes in scientific mob rule. "In Science, the Majority Consensus is Always Right".

[edit on 17-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:03 AM
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We should compile a database of "marginal evidence", that which is of the highest quality, regardless of its criticism from skeptics. This would allow us to analyze the data more accurately, and systematically disregard those that have been proven hoaxes and debunked.

[edit on 17-3-2009 by cognoscente]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:04 AM
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reply to post by cognoscente
 


Excellent idea. I have been thinking about this too.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:59 AM
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Firstly, to deal with the "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" BS...

You can't prove any hypothesis. Since Karl Poppers Logic of Scientific Discovery back in the sixties, it's been fairly well established that all you can do is disprove hypotheses. Corroborative evidence is fine and dandy, but only a piece of evidence that blows a theory out of the water has any real meaning.

But most importantly, the statement "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" contains not merely one, but two logical flaws. To start with, it's a thinly-disguised argument from personal incredulity combined (because the guy who originally coined this wonderful handy phrase was Carl Sagain) with an appeal to authority.

There's a lot of guff about skeptics. Most of them are pseudoskeptics and need to be beaten with hammers and left bleeding in the moonlight, as the late great George Carlin would say. There's some worthwhile stuff on the subject on this thread.

Pseuodoskeptics and their shenanigans is kind of an interest of mine and I posted this thread about their disinfo on the Global Consciousness Project. Some might find it of interest.

I've also recently been looking at this interview with John Lear and around 4.40 he says some interesting things...



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 03:31 AM
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The reality of it all is that its going to take a mass landing to finally offer the proof certain people are looking for (or official disclosure). There is nothing wrong with this, we are all here to learn. Not one of us is better than anyone else.

I agree with Savior, all the labeling does none of us any good in the pursuit of truth. People are free and able to think however they want. Do not make it about the person but what there message is, everything else is tinsel on the tree.

I'm a "believer" through my experiences, but there is no need to expect everyone else to jump on board. Only ego needs that.

The only thing I could add to this discussion is that you will not receive anything you are not yet ready for. One may not understand that when it happens though however.

Keep your heads on straight, and your hearts open. That's what we really need right now.





[edit on 17-3-2009 by Asmus]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 04:14 AM
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The only things witnesses give us...is that they do not know what they saw. As for military personal not knowing...fact of the matter is this...maybe they did not have the clearance to see what thier government was doing. It does not tell us it is alien. Skpetic and debunkers are 2 different things..I am a skeptic...I have an open mind and am willing to come to a logical conclusion when the evidence is there to back it up. I am not a debunker...someone who's mission in life is to prove, no matter how ridiculous thier theories, are that it is normal. The believers are the exactly like the debunkers...they have a closed mind when it comes to this subject and will believe nothing else could possibly be the answer.

[edit on 17-3-2009 by riggs2099]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 04:29 AM
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No one reasonable denies the possibility of other intelligent life forms in the universe.

It's possible they even cohabit this planet but with our limited senses and comprehension we cannot recognize them. A complex sentient algorithm that replicates virally and travels thorugh the Internet may be reading as I type and absorbing the knowledge.

Information exchange has become a form of commerce. Pseudodocumentary style science fictional stories of ships in the atmosphere, abductions, secret government technology exchanges, wars between alien types, have enormous appeal to the inner fantasy life of millions.

Conversely, its hard to can't sell many books, set up websites, have Youtube videos, etc - that demonstrate there is no evidence intelligent life on earth aside from us folks.

A book titled PROOF OF UFOs colud easily sell 100,000 copies. One with the title LACK OF PROOF OF UFOs would struggle to sell 1000.

I read a lot of UFO books growing up. I still remember many of the photographs. I’ve discovered since that some of the cases proved to be hoaxes and some of the pictures doctored.

I was convinced solid proof was about to come forth. That was decades ago. Now my questions are more probing.

Tens of thousands of people on all continents have been looking for evidence and taking photos and videos on much better equipment. But I keep hearing increasingly convoluted explanations why the proof, the solid evidence is still forthcoming. In my personal life, an endless series of explanations and excuses why something has not materialized makes me reach an inevitable conclusion.

I'm skeptical of the unsorted masses of evidence I’ve seen so far, and yes, of many of the people providing it. If the unambiguous proof is there, I'd say it would have been assembled and put into a conclusive presentation by now. The world and the media is starved and willing to pay for interesting news, and contact with an unknown other intelligence would be the biggest event in recorded history.

From my many readings and contacts, I conclude that a lot of UFO researchers and investigators are quietly frustrated. When in a group, their response is to blame the government, the skeptics, whoever they can fault for not having the cathartic substantiation they crave.

I'm sure there are a lot of intelligent reasonable people at a conspiracy site like this, that are fully convinced there is alien intelligent life that has been intercepting with us.

But when I see what I consider unprovoked attacks on people who just say "Show me, and I'll believe you”, I can’t help but feel there are must be a reason for them feeling so defensive.

The reaction is reminiscent of religious differences. People have fought wars over issues such as whether Jesus Christ was the Son of God, whether Mohammed's nephew is a descendent Prophet, etc. The deeply relicgious attack agnostics. Creationists feel a need to demonstrate to anyong the Evolution is just a theory.

There is a need for many to hold on to a cherished belief. Even in the face of little or no substantiation. It’s called denial.

I am readily prepared to accept that there are other forms of advanced intelligence. But the current purveyors of the evidence haven’t convinced me. Removing the wishful thinking and imagination components, what they have presented so far doesn’t add up for me.


Mike F



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 05:09 AM
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There's only one way to study the possibility of ET visitations (probes, crafts, artefacts)

This kind of research is called SETV, SETA, S3ETI, ufology is not part of this kind of research so it is normal to be skeptic because Ufology is not a science but a hobby.

Like Nablator said some skeptics have seen with their own eyes "incredible" things, I am one them but there's only one thing I trust, it is called the scientific method and since Ufology does not provide & produce & gather scientific facts & data, one have to remain skeptical about the ETH as presented by ufologists.

In my opinion, we should realize that the only thing ufology is able to do is to find prosaic explanations, these are it's limits.

To come up with an "extraordinary" hypothesis such as the ETH, you need facts & data gathered with rigorous protocoles that were developed for this perticular kind of research. Once again, this is the scientific method and it starts with an "O" as observation. Studying testimonies is not science and is not part of the "observation" process and that is what Ufology is all about, studying testimonies...

My point is that I am a skeptic but at the same time I think that there's a lack of serious
research in this field, so who said skeptics are not open minded ? People who say that are often wrong because many skeptics I know share my POV.

Another thing I want to mention, skeptics do not always agree with each other and there are all kinds of skeptics, some even do the same mistakes they criticize.
Now, if you want a "proof" about how open minded some skeptics are, well here you got one with the video I am providing.

Here is Michio Kaku and let me tell you that I totally agree with him and sometimes I totally disagree with famous US skeptics like Phil Plait, so please do not generalize while talking about skeptics, while on my side, I'll try not to generalize while talking about believers :

www.youtube.com...




Cheers,
Europa


[edit on 17-3-2009 by Europa733]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 06:55 AM
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Originally posted by Malcram

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.


But most notably in your fellow skeptic Nablator's comments, such as:

Frankly, this thread has shown extremely entrenched "sides" among a number of long time members, IMO, yourself included.


You missed the operative statement. I asked for evidence of skeptics gathering en mass. You will not see threads dedicated to attacking the evils of believers. One person is hardly "en mass," just as one can hardly point to our defense of skepticism in a thread dedicated to attacking skepticism as evidence of skeptics attacking believers. You could, but that would be rather hypocritical of you.


Originally posted by Malcram
Indeed. I did not. But perhaps there is good reason to be suspicious.


Need we go over your words again?


Originally posted by Malcram
I think we have every need. Bogus Skepticism is rife here, IMO.


You've been here all of a week. Hardly enough time to declare ATS rife with anything.


Originally posted by Malcram
The label already exists. I see no reason to exclude it from ATS...again, given your previous rant on the supposed evil motives of those who merely raise the subject of 'Bogus Skepticism", your concern regarding a possible ad hominem application rings rather hollow.


Explain how it is hollow? You have done nothing but dismiss it out of hand, saying by concerns are invalid by virtue of them existing. This makes no sense.

The fact you are so concerned about defining what skeptics are allowed to do is proof these concerns are not hollow, the fact you feel a need to apply the label to people proves it is not hollow. You do not want to worry about arguments, you want to dismiss a person based on a label. If you think someone is a bogus skeptic, you will not have to concern yourself with any of their arguments. Your behavior proves it is a concern; you have already accused* skeptics of trying to discredit believers, without a shred of proof. You are looking for anything and everything to discredit skeptics.

*Yes, when you use words like, "Did one of you guys really feel you had to pull that," it is an accusation. It is not a suspicion. It is an outright, blatant accusation than a skeptic was behind it.


[edit on 17-3-2009 by SaviorComplex]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 07:12 AM
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Originally posted by Malcram
This might help define things a little more clearly...


Not clear at all. Again, these are so loose and vague they can be applied to any person at any given moment at any given argument. Some of them are particularly insidious, designed to attack and dismiss a skeptic for even having a question or change the subject if a question is asked.

These same criticisms could just as easily be applied to believers.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 09:30 AM
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Oh by the way, before I forget, here is a document written by Massimo Teodorani
that I would consider as being part of the SETV initiative. I remember him saying that it would cost 1.000.000 € per AMS (Automatic Measurement Station) :

adsabs.harvard.edu...

SETV : Search for ET Visitation


Cheers,
Europa

[edit on 17-3-2009 by Europa733]





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