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The Skeptics Dilemma

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posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex

Originally posted by iwantobelieve
Can we ever approach this subject objectively? How do we know when we are? I think the skeptic's dilemma is just this. To call a skeptic...close minded is counter-productive.


And hypocritical. Some want to take the skeptic to task for having an opinion or not being open-minded when they themselves already have their mind made up. The problem is not that the skeptic is not open-minded enough but rather they do not agree with the person making the accusation.


You just nailed it. The "truth" is finaly exposed.


Great synthesis.


Cheers,
Europa




posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:12 PM
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The problem is the skeptic does not want to weigh these things within reason. They want all possibilities to have an equal probability of being true.

They want these things to remain unexplain and unidentified forever. We can come to a conclusion on these things based on reason and evidence. We do it all the time in all walks of life.

I asked the skeptics 3 times now and I will try a four time.

Can extra-terrestrials or extra-dimensional beings be the most likely explanation for abduction cases, mass sightings, trace evidence, eyewitness accounts, pictures and video?

If no, please explain why.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by Europa733

Originally posted by SaviorComplex

Originally posted by iwantobelieve
Can we ever approach this subject objectively? How do we know when we are? I think the skeptic's dilemma is just this. To call a skeptic...close minded is counter-productive.


And hypocritical. Some want to take the skeptic to task for having an opinion or not being open-minded when they themselves already have their mind made up. The problem is not that the skeptic is not open-minded enough but rather they do not agree with the person making the accusation.


You just nailed it. The "truth" is finaly exposed.


Great synthesis.


Cheers,
Europa


yes he did nail it.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:16 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory


Can extra-terrestrials or extra-dimensional beings be the most likely explanation for abduction cases, mass sightings, trace evidence, eyewitness accounts, pictures and video?

If no, please explain why.


you set yourself up for a real flaming,

you ask about alien abductions

sightings

pics and vids


Anyone will believe those if we can agree on the possibility of alien life

Stick to the basics first

Is it possible for another life force to exist ??



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by Seany

Originally posted by platosallegory


Can extra-terrestrials or extra-dimensional beings be the most likely explanation for abduction cases, mass sightings, trace evidence, eyewitness accounts, pictures and video?

If no, please explain why.


you set yourself up for a real flaming,

you ask about alien abductions

sightings

pics and vids


Anyone will believe those if we can agree on the possibility of alien life

Stick to the basics first

Is it possible for another life force to exist ??


I see you avoided the question.

Will skeptics please answer the question.

Can extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings be the most likely explanation for mass sightings, abduction cases, trace evidence, pictures, video and more?

If no, please explain why?



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex

Originally posted by iwantobelieve
Can we ever approach this subject objectively? How do we know when we are? I think the skeptic's dilemma is just this. To call a skeptic...close minded is counter-productive.


And hypocritical. Some want to take the skeptic to task for having an opinion or not being open-minded when they themselves already have their mind made up. The problem is not that the skeptic is not open-minded enough but rather they do not agree with the person making the accusation.


This is just a classic diversion.

Nobody cares if a skeptic has an opinion and I have debated many skeptics who can defend their position without getting upset because people are questioning their opinion and logic.

You are upset because the logic of the skeptic is being questioned and you should be upset because when it comes to pseudo and bogus skeptics it's usually backwards logic.

You can't throw out this nonsense and then get upset when it's questioned.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:27 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
Can extra-terrestrials or extra-dimensional beings be the most likely explanation for abduction cases, mass sightings, trace evidence, eyewitness accounts, pictures and video?


No. Because they have not been shown to exist, and therefore are not a very likely explanation for anything. There is no likely explanation for authentic instances of the things you mention. They are unknown.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:28 PM
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reply to post by Nohup
 


I tried to tell him, argue the existence first, then you can decide what they ate for lunch



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:32 PM
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reply to post by SaviorComplex
 




Originally posted by Malcram
You attack our supposed motivations rather than the definition of 'Bogus Skepticism' itself. That is ad hominem.

Originally posted by SaviourComplex
I have stated my position on the definition multiple times. You have ignored it as almost every step.


You have a very dishonest debating style SC. You did make ad hominem remarks regarding our motivations. Just because you claim to have stated your position regarding the definition as well doesn't negate the fact that also made ad hominem remarks.



Not according to your signature...


I don't deny that the phrase can also be adapted to apply to a person but this is generally the case as it's how our language works: skepticism is espoused by 'skeptics', belief by 'believers', and bogus skepticism is practiced by 'bogus skeptics', Why would you have a problem with that? But my focus throughout has been on the arguments themselves, on Bogus Skepticism. Which is why you will find I used the phrase "Bogus Skepticism", far more than I have used "Bogus Skeptics". In any case, I think an understanding of what Bogus Skepticism is and what it entails is very useful and I fully intend to make use of it at ATS where it applies. So, I suggest you get used to it.


Originally posted by Malcram.
That is ad hominem. Stop making accusations about what I supposedly secretly want and deal with the issue itself. You are attacking my motives, which you don't know.

Originally posted by SaviourComplex
You should look up the definition of "ad hominem," nothing of what I said falls under the criteria of an ad hominem attack, neither abusive, circumstantial or tu quoque.


As you wish.

According to the Skeptic's Dictionary (how appropriate):



ad hominem fallacy

Ad hominem is Latin for "to the man." The ad hominem fallacy occurs when one asserts that somebody's claim is wrong because of something about the person making the claim...One of the most frequent types of ad hominem attack is to attack the arguer's alleged motives.."

ad hom·i·nem (hm-nm, -nm)
adj.
Appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason: Debaters should avoid ad hominem arguments that question their opponents' motives. - TheFreeDictionary.com


Is that clear enough?



Stating I am against such labels because they promote lazy-thinking, used as a crutch to dismiss arguments, is not an ad hominem.


Sign. Again, more duplicity and liberal use of fallacy. I didn't say that was ad hominem However, attacking our motive for raising the issue of Bogus Skepticism, which you did, IS ad hominem.



Originally posted by Malcram
I assure you, if I think someone using "bogus skepticism" I will show very keen interest in their arguments, in order to demonstrate that they are employing bogus skepticism.

Originally posted by SaviourComplex
And here you prove my point. Instead of focusing on the the substance of their argument, you will focus on showing how they are a "bogus skeptic."


Not at all. It is by focusing on the substance and method of their argument that it will become apparent if they are employing bogus skepticism or not.

As I said, it's a done deal. I will continue to discuss bogus skepticism, what it means and it's hallmarks and to identify arguments that constitute bogus skepticism as such.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by Nohup

Originally posted by platosallegory
Can extra-terrestrials or extra-dimensional beings be the most likely explanation for abduction cases, mass sightings, trace evidence, eyewitness accounts, pictures and video?


No. Because they have not been shown to exist, and therefore are not a very likely explanation for anything. There is no likely explanation for authentic instances of the things you mention. They are unknown.


Thank you

This proves my point. Some skeptics do not consider extra-terrestrials or extra-dimensial beings a likely explanation for these things.

So of course most skeptics start with a priori about the existence of extra-terrestrial and extra-dimensional beings and there not seeking the truth.

There seeking to debunk everything because they start with the belief that these things don't exist.

Some skeptics try to mask this in being open minded because they realize this is an illogical position if your gonna say your a freethinker.

The fact is, alot of them hold this position and this is why they want all possibilities to share equal probability of being true. They don't want to weigh things within reason because they have already made up their minds that these things don't exist.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by platosallegory
 


You are 100% wrong my friend

I believe in ufo's

I dont believe in abductions though



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory


Can extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings be the most likely explanation for mass sightings, abduction cases, trace evidence, pictures, video and more?

If no, please explain why?


My belief is No. Why? Because I think plausable deniability has been introduced that (for example) could point to the various governments involvement. CIA, Black Projects, etc. There's just so many things that are never even discussed before it's labeled "Genuine" ET activity.

What skepticism is, to me (and I am by NO means a wearer of the label) is the interest in finding out what any given theory is NOT, before assessing what it IS.

Cuhail


[edit to add (for example)]

[edit on 3/17/2009 by Cuhail]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:39 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
I asked the skeptics 3 times now and I will try a four time.


Yes, the question was answered. I concurred and added some caveats.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

And in fact, you responded. However, you refuse to acknowledge that we answered the question because it was not the answer you wanted.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
This proves my point. Some skeptics do not consider extra-terrestrials or extra-dimensial beings a likely explanation for these things.

So of course most skeptics start with a priori about the existence of extra-terrestrial and extra-dimensional beings and there not seeking the truth.


So what? As long as the possibility is not discounted, it does not matter any skeptic does not think it is the most likely explanation. There is nothing wrong with that.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:42 PM
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I'm glad the skeptics are finally answering the question.

This shows that most people hijack skepticism and they are really closed minded debunkers.

You didn't even read the question.

I said Can?

You will not even allow for the possibility that extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings can be the most likely explanation for these things.

This proves my points beautifully!



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex

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.


Hi SC.

I disagree that the the definitions in that list are too loose to be of value. Bogus Skepticism is something recognized by Society at large and the scientific community. Why are you so adamant about keeping a phrase and a definition out of ATS that is commonly used and recognized elsewhere? Why should ATS be any different?

I completely agree that some of the criteria could also be applied to some 'true believers' but that is irrelevant in this discussion. Just because some believers use similar fallacies doesn't mean that that some skeptics don't also use them. Both should be challenged if they do so and their fallacious arguments identified - in this case they are identified as "bogus skepticism". This thread is about skeptics.

PS My signature, which you referred to earlier, is actually a quote by author Richard Wilson, which is why it is worded as it is. I just didn't have enough characters left to make that clear. If the use of the phrase "Bogus Skeptics" is somehow offensive to you then let me know and I will reword to speak of 'Bogus Skepticism"


[edit on 17-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:53 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


Here is what you miss; when motivation is relevant to the discussion it does not make discussing motivation an ad hominem attack. If motivation were not relevant, then yes it would be an ad hominem attack. And since my concern is how such labels as "bogus skeptic" will be used, it is very relevant to the discussion.



Sign. Again, more duplicity and liberal use of fallacy. I didn't say that was ad hominem However, attacking our motive for raising the issue of Bogus Skepticism, which you did, is ad hominem.


If anyone is employing fallacy, duplicity and dishonesty, it is you. First you call my concerns about how and why labels such as "bogus skeptic" will be used an ad hominem attack. Now you are saying it's not, while at the same time saying it is.

You're on ignore. This is pointless and ridiculous. If you wish to use labels so you can dismiss arguments instead of worrying about the merits of the argument itself, go right ahead.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:01 PM
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You're on ignore. This is pointless and ridiculous. If you wish to use labels so you can dismiss arguments instead of worrying about the merits of the argument itself, go right ahead.


I feel your pain here Savior. There are a couple of trolls here having fun with people - just put em on ignore and wait for a constructive post. You are just fueling the fire here. They know they are being vague and talking in circles - that is the point.

That being said - I have a question for skeptics: What do you think is the primary motivator(s) for a person to fabricate a UFO related story? Understanding people's motivation and even potential ET motivation is a primary component of believing one theory over another.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by nablator

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.


Well now of course you are right here Nablator. But predicting what extraterrestial life will look like is MUCH more 'wild guesswork' than predicting the existence of Alien life itself, for which we have a lot of the evidence already (such as the environment for life existing, etc).

My main point in this particular argument is that mainstream science predicts the existence of extraterrestrial life.

I know that you came into this debate a bit late (which has been going on for at least 3 threads now between Yeti and Savior and Malcram and I and others like Xtraeme and Nohup), but I would like to re-emphasize that that was my original point.

It seems like we've all accepted that point now, which I am satisfied with. People should be selective about which scientific arguments fit the observable evidence. I do not argue there at all.

It's when otherwise rational people represent the skeptic view (I consider myself a skeptic) as 'of course aliens don't exist, how stupid!', that I feel I must step in and defend true Scientific Skepticism, against clear Bogus Skepticism.

Also of note, this original debate began with CLEAR bogus skepticism being protrayed by ATS member C.H.U.D. Savior and Yeti (for the most part) have at least gone point for point in this debate, which is why I do my best to extend them the utmost respect even when I don't agree with them.



Originally posted by nablator

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.


I agree with what you are saying in general here, until you get to the word 'useless'. What it is, is the best formula we have, and as the data continues to come in, the formula is used to further refine our best guesses.

That's far from useless.

And eventually the data WILL be in
Completing the formula. It's evident even to those of the 'rare earth' persuasion, as Yeti pointed out earlier, that the Drake Equation (compiled with the data that HAS come in so far) makes a compelling argument for a lower end limit of about 10 tech civs per galaxy.

This is a valid Scientific prediction (not a fact, please understand that I know the difference, and am attempting to argue that case as well), that can then be tested against observed evidence (which is constantly being acquired).


Originally posted by nablator

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".


While I understand your point from the outside Nablator, I don't feel you've really read the BOLA thread, from your comment here. My thinking is far from religious, and I do not accept anything anyone says without supporting evidence. I've done actual experiments in that thread to test my hypothesis.

Please, just read it, and leave a comment there with your critiques when finished. If you can find a hypothesis I've missed, that allows the object in the BOLA case to be something terrestrial, PLEASE post that hypothesis, and I will gladly hold it up against the observed evidence in the case. This has always been my stance, from the first post to the last.

Please read the thread, and direct criticism (I welcome your criticism Nablator, you're very polite and very smart, and I want the case to be scrutinized by the smartest people on Earth!) The link is in my sig.


Originally posted by nablator
Believing NASA, or any scientist out of authority is not critical thinking.


Agreed fully, I always check the evidence, and as you've seen from time to time the evidence changes my hypothesis (when appropriate).


Originally posted by nablator
Agreeing with estimates of the probabilities in Drake's equation is not the same as accepting the result of the multiplication as scientific truth.


Absolutely agreed, however there IS weight to 'agreeing with estimates of the probabilities in Drake's equation'. That's why I cite the equation, it's mankind's best guess to date, and the variables are constantly being adapted with new evidence to give us a clearer answer.

This is very far from religion or belief. Thank you for illustrating the differences, and know that we are in total agreement on that point.


Originally posted by nablator
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.


You're right, but with the observed evidence humans have to date, it's our best guess. And that DOES count for something.

One thing you'll notice about true skeptics like myself and Nohup is that we're never afraid to admit that current human science does not have all of the answers.

But we must stand up for the Scientific Method. Even without certainties it isn't useless, it's the best method we've got.



Originally posted by nablator
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.


It is my sincere hope that I have been able to illustrate the value of Drake's equation here to you in my reply. If I have not, let me know and I'll try to explain it in a different way


I give it the credit that it's due, and that credit is for being the best formula we currently have to describe the probability of life in the universe.

I do not give it religious belief, or undue credit, but a certain amount of credit IS due.

I think we pretty much agree, I just wanted to make that clear.



Originally posted by nablator

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.


LOL, I understand!


-WFA



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:04 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
You will not even allow for the possibility that extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings can be the most likely explanation for these things.


Polomontana, you are employing a very dishonest argument and outright lies.

We did answer the question as you asked it. You did not ask if we thought it was a possibility, but rather the most likely. Your words:


Originally posted by platosallegory
Can extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings be the most likely explanation for mass sightings, abduction cases, trace evidence, pictures, video and more?


However, when we answered we do not think it is the most likely you accuse of discounting the possibility out of hand.

We answered the question here, and did not say we discounted the possibility, just that it was not the "most likely" explanation...
www.abovetopsecret.com...

And here, I restated that, saying we would not discount the possibility...
www.abovetopsecret.com...

I reiterated the point we do not discount the possibility.
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Please acknowledge that you have read this. And please acknowledge that we have not said these things are impossible.



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