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Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies

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posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 02:16 PM
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**** chill out ****

Get this thread back on topic




posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 02:17 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 02:17 PM
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reply to post by mmiichael
 


Lets discuss the OPs Mike, not the supposed lack of merit of the topic or the supposed lack of merit of those who support it. Where do you want to start? Which of the logical fallacies listed in the OPs do you think should not be there and are actually legitimate arguments?
Or is it the application of the fallacies to the UFO debate you think was inaccurate, rather than the identification of fallacies?

[edit on 3-4-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 02:23 PM
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Originally posted by mmiichael
I wish now I'd ducked out of here earlier. Arguments on the existence of extraterrestrial visitations appealing to logic that are more like vanity projects have little interest for me.


Christian philosophers used the same methods to "prove" the existence of God before the 18th century. There is a confusion that hypothesis equates to evidence, i.e. "there is no logical objection to extraterrestrial life, therefore UFOs must be piloted by aliens." The OP is a combination of this fallacy along with strawman arguments and explaned-by-virtue-of-being-unexplained-fallcies; though long-winded it is a rather weak argument for extraterrestrial life or against skepticism (as pseudoskeptic and skeptic are used interchangably). It is an argument in support of principle rather than practice.



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex
or against skepticism (as pseudoskeptic and skeptic are used interchangably).


That's not true. They are, in fact, carefully differentiated. Skepticism and pseudo-skepticism are completely different. That has always been maintained. And again, this is another off topic commentary on the worthiness or otherwise of the thread rather than actually engaging with the points made. Engage with the arguments, don't just claim they are worthless. Anyone can stand at the sidelines and blow raspberries. What specifically is your problem with the logical fallacies in the OP. Pick one specifically and we can discuss it.

[edit on 3-4-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 03:13 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
reply to post by mmiichael
 


Lets discuss the OPs Mike, not the supposed lack of merit of the topic or the supposed lack of merit of those who support it. Where do you want to start? Which of the logical fallacies listed in the OPs do you think should not be there and are actually legitimate arguments?
Or is it the application of the fallacies to the UFO debate you think was inaccurate, rather than the identification of fallacies?

[edit on 3-4-2009 by Malcram]


I second that completely.

All future posts to this thread should be about the logical fallacies discussed in the OP. The posts can be about a refutation of my rebuttals or if you agree my rebuttals of the arguments are valid, but you think there are stronger variants of them, then please introduce them and we can discuss those.



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 03:58 PM
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Argument: If we accept ET UFO’s exist and is visiting us, then we may also have to accept goblins, big foot, loch ness monster and whatever to exists.


Okay. I have a problem with that one. Actually I have several problems with that one.

1. It's absurd. It is so illogical that no one would actually use it.
2. It is a misrepresentation of the actual argument.
3. It is designed to make the person supposedly using it look foolish.

Here is the actual argument:

The only scientific field(s) remotely similar to UFOology are cryptozoology, zoology, and biology. When considering what standards of evidence to apply to UFOology then, we should look at the standards used in those three fields.



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 04:10 PM
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Argument: There is no proof or evidence that ET exists. Yes, it is true that the SETI equation shows that the probability of ET is very likely, but this is not proof in and of itself, only a mathematical possibility. Therefore ETH is not a valid explanation.

Rebuttal: This is an invalid and logically contradictory argument. For the following reasons

1) There is significant evidence and proof that ET exists. It is the job of the skeptic to investigate this evidence and 'proof' and come to a judgement on it.
2) The probability of life on planets is 100%. This is not a mathematical possibility, but an empirical fact. Planet Earth is a planet and it is teeming with very diverse life, and it is commonly accepted by science that life appeared on this planet quickly after the Earth was born. It is an empirical fact that the phenomenon of life on planets is a part of our observable universe. Therefore there is no reason to speculate that life cannot be possible elsewhere.

My opponent may argue that it is possible that life only formed on planet Earth and nowhere else. They may even point out that sample size I have of life in the universe is only one instance and this is not enough to make a generalization.

Rebuttal: This is an argument from possibility fallacy. It is possible that Earth is the only planet that has life, but it is also possible that that Earth is not the only planet that has life. Mere possibility is not enough to make a case.


for vs against..

the thread AND NOT NOT THE POSTER.. im talking about befor i get wacked again for more points..

false argument number one :There is no proof or evidence that ET exists. Yes, it is true that the SETI equation

there is no seti eqaution.. the only radiscoptric equation is infact due to the drake eqaution.. move along..

probability

wrong again

, but this is not proof in and of itself, only a mathematical possibility

btw the way this is me arugin the case against the thread not the poster.. /me rolls eyes

My opponent may argue that it is possible that life only formed on planet Earth and nowhere else.

they dont infact argue it they infact state it as a fact untill we know the TRUTH...


There is significant evidence and proof that ET exists

I will agree with this statement based on my own opinon.

It is the job of the skeptic to investigate this evidence and 'proof' and come to a judgement on it.

No you see this is the fail.. its not his job to prove you are right is it?

its infact your job to prove him wrong.. or atleast shead some light on the matter..

The probability of life on planets is 100%. This is not a mathematical possibility, but an empirical fact.

this would not even be logical.. in the first case so what made you use this as a form of an arugment??

My opponent may argue that it is possible that life only formed on planet Earth and nowhere else. They may even point out that sample size I have of life in the universe is only one instance and this is not enough to make a generalization.


your oppent in this case would be the pskeptic,

when you infact look at this statement in detail it makes a pkeptic sily.. why?

well its based on opinions for a start not evidence as you are using hyperthetical sonarios to make an argument?

If i said aliens do not come from other planets as you postulated in relation to ones argument as stated..

and your rebutled would infact be " they come from other dimentions"

what is the evidence here?? NONE why? because its still a quesiton and not a fact..

You say probibilty when that in itself is based on assumption ans statistics

like playing dice..

Now..

In that respsct a pkseptic is very much a controdiction in terms not so much becuase one can not even logicaly work out what it is but in itself is a description of a flasehood that one is acting in a flase nature to willing obstruct or conflict with the others argument..

aliens may be real.. and most evidence shows this. "in ones opinion" but i could and do make the counter claim that is this

God
Creation
question
Lack of understanding
No life on other planets as we understand "yet"
Time dimentions
quontum physics "that i infact study"

Now you tell me who or what a pseudoskeptic is based on your argument

the possiblity is infact you are compleatly wrong based on the very questions you based the argument around.

funny dont you think?



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 05:52 PM
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Originally posted by Heike

Argument: If we accept ET UFO’s exist and is visiting us, then we may also have to accept goblins, big foot, loch ness monster and whatever to exists.


Okay. I have a problem with that one. Actually I have several problems with that one.

1. It's absurd. It is so illogical that no one would actually use it.
2. It is a misrepresentation of the actual argument.
3. It is designed to make the person supposedly using it look foolish.


I agree it's absurd Heike. So if I provide you with the evidence that a strikingly similar thing which matches the above for absurdity was said very recently at ATS, are you prepared to honestly concede that this is a valid example of a type of fallacy that Indigo included, inspired by ATS posts, although he had to change the wording? I will happily provide the evidence via U2U - for the reasons I expressed to you earlier - but I'd appreciate your response here if you are satisfied with the evidence. So that we can see the your point has been addressed and move on.

My sending it to you privately of course gives you great latitude here, which I know some members might not use honorably, but I am hopeful that you will accept the evidence and honestly acknowledge your point as answered. After all, it's no bad reflection on you that some members might use 'absurd' fallacies in denial of the ETH that you would have trouble accepting any reasonable person could use.

Finally, I imagine the reason that Indigo did not quote the post word for word - although I'm fairly certain he had it in mind when he composed that example in the OP, I know I did when I read it - is the same reason I wish to U2U you the evidence, which you already understand.


[edit on 3-4-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 07:00 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child

Argument: There is no proof or evidence that ET exists. Yes, it is true that the SETI equation shows that the probability of ET is very likely, but this is not proof in and of itself, only a mathematical possibility. Therefore ETH is not a valid explanation.

Rebuttal: This is an invalid and logically contradictory argument. For the following reasons

1) There is significant evidence and proof that ET exists. It is the job of the skeptic to investigate this evidence and 'proof' and come to a judgement on it.

2) The probability of life on planets is 100%.


This is a probability fallacy. Mere probability is not sufficient to make a case, especially when it has been distorted to give the appearance of fact.


This is not a mathematical possibility, but an empirical fact. Planet Earth is a planet and it is teeming with very diverse life, and it is commonly accepted by science that life appeared on this planet quickly after the Earth was born. It is an empirical fact that the phenomenon of life on planets is a part of our observable universe. Therefore there is no reason to speculate that life cannot be possible elsewhere.

My opponent may argue that it is possible that life only formed on planet Earth and nowhere else. They may even point out that sample size I have of life in the universe is only one instance and this is not enough to make a generalization.

Rebuttal: This is an argument from possibility fallacy. It is possible that Earth is the only planet that has life, but it is also possible that that Earth is not the only planet that has life. Mere possibility is not enough to make a case.


This is an empirical fact fallacy. While there is empirical data to suggest there is life on Earth, there is absolutely no empirical data to support life on another planet. Yet.



...
In conclusion: ETH is a valid hypothesis and forms a part of our observable universe.


This is the validity fallacy. It just is ok.


Argument: It impossible for ET to travel here. The distances in space are astronomical, it would take thousands, if not millions of years to reach planet Earth even at the speed of light. But it is impossible to travel at the speed of light.

Rebuttal: This is an argument from incredulity. The opponent does not believe a ET would make a trip from their home planet to Earth because the time it would take to get here is perceived to be too long and so it is unbelievable that ET would try. Just because something seems unbelievable it does not mean it cannot happen. It is unbelievable that somebody would survive a fall from a very high building, but it does happen.

...

In conclusion: The argument that ET cannot get to Earth is invalid.


This is the motive assumption fallacy. All this way - to Earth?


Argument: It is completely absurd that that an advanced ET race would come here and fly around in our skies like drunk pilots, abduct humans, make crop circles and mutilate cows.

Rebuttal: This is again the fallacy of incredulity. If something seems unbelievable to us, it does not mean it does not happen. The behaviour of an alien race may seem strange to us, but then again behaviours of other cultures on our planet seem strange. Some cultures have rituals where the offspring kills their parents when they reach old age. That’s even stranger to me than some alien race doing any of the aforementioned.


This is the assumption fallacy. Mere assumptions are not sufficient in making a case.


Argument: If ET exists and are visiting us, why don’t they just reveal themselves? Why would they hide? Its illogical.


Rebuttal: But who says they are hiding? They maybe hiding from some, but it does not mean they are hiding from everyone. There are many people who claim they have encountered ET directly and many high-level witnesses in the government that have claimed contact has taken place. If their claims are true, ET is only hiding from some and not everyone.

Why would ET not reveal themselves? I am tempted to give the usual speculative explanation of an intergalactic prime directive, but I will desist. Instead the objection of the opponent can be dismissed like the previous argument. It is another argument from incredulity fallacy.


This is the maybe fallacy. Do not try making a case using 'maybe' - totally frowned upon, especially after last orders.


Argument: There is no scientific physical evidence of UFO‘s. No UFO samples. No ET DNA samples etc

Rebuttal: This is an impossible demand. If any of this evidence even existed, what are the chances that this evidence would be mailed to the opponents home address for their personal inspection? Highly unlikely. Most people will have to rely on the authority of scientific experts who have handled the evidence. As they cannot handle the evidence themselves, they will have to simply trust the scientists.


There must be a fallacy in there somewhere.


Argument: If we accept ET UFO’s exist and is visiting us, then we may also have to accept goblins, big foot, loch ness monster and whatever to exists.

Rebuttal: This is a slippery slope fallacy. There is absolutely no premise that entails that if you accept ET’s existence you have to accept other paranormal claims. All different paranormal claims, just like any claim, is to be treated individually.





Argument: The UFO and ET reports by individuals are not necessarily true. They may claim a physical aircraft, but their data could be wrong. They could be lying, they could have misidentified something else for the UFO such as planet Venus, car headlights, swamp gas.

Rebuttal: Merely argument from possibility is not enough. Yes, all the above counter-hypothesis may be true, but they may be false as well. It is the job of the skeptic to investigate all the available data, eliminate all hypothesis that do not fit the data, and then come up with a hypothesis that explains the available data.


This is the argument fallacy. Do not argue back.



Where is that dude who was threatening to post a photocopy of his jacksy to chill the air?

I think we may need him soon...



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 07:12 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child


All future posts to this thread should be about the logical fallacies discussed in the OP. The posts can be about a refutation of my rebuttals or if you agree my rebuttals of the arguments are valid, but you think there are stronger variants of them, then please introduce them and we can discuss those.




I think Heike has supplied counterpoints that do exactly what you are asking for. They are dismissed summarily by your interpretations of what constitutes acceptable arguments.

So this just becomes increasingly circular. I see this thread becoming more an attention seeking display of an ability to throw out empirical terminology rather than an attempt to get closer to the crux of the matter - the existence of extraterrestrial intelligences operating in the vicinity of our planet and whether or not irrefutable evidence actually exists.

Though it may be taken as such, there is no a wish on my part to disparage you or anyone else. I am just giving a personal assessment of what I've seen here over the last few days.


Mike




[edit on 3-4-2009 by mmiichael]



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 09:57 PM
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The OP Arguments:

1. There is no proof or evidence that ET exists.

This is not an argument or a logical fallacy. There is no induction, deduction, or logic being used here. It's a statement of absence, and absence of evidence can not be proven. This gets no one anywhere.

2. It is impossible for ET to travel here.

This is, again, not an argument or logical fallacy. Proving that something is impossible is impossible. Wait a minute...


The actual fallacy to this might be:
Humans are not capable of interstellar travel.
Therefore, aliens are not capable of interstellar travel

This is a fallacy because we don't have the facts about the technology or capabilities of the hypothetical aliens. However, the fact that this is a fallacy does not validate the converse. In other words, just because "aliens are incapable of interstellar travel" is not a valid argument, we can't infer that they ARE capable of it, either.

3. It is completely absurd that that an advanced ET race would come here and fly around in our skies like drunk pilots, abduct humans, make crop circles and mutilate cows.

As stated, this is not a logical argument either.

It could possibly be stated as
I would not do this, so aliens wouldn't do this either. This fails for the same reason 2 did, we don't know anything about the reasoning or motivations of the hypothetical aliens.

However, we might be able to construct something like this:

Technology is dependent upon mathematics, science and logic.
Aliens who have superior technology probably have mathematics and logic.
That behavior is not logical.
Therefore aliens with superior technology would probably not behave like that.

Yes, I know you can poke a few holes in that and it probably wouldn't fly in PHD circles, but it's fairly reasonable for the average Joe.

4. If ET exists and are visiting us, why don’t they just reveal themselves? Why would they hide? Its illogical.

This is not an argument, it's a question!

Let's try:
When humans find uncontacted societies, they either leave them completely alone or contact them openly (missionaries, representatives, emissaries, etc.)
If the structures and principles of "civilization" are universal, aliens should act in a similar way.
Therefore, it doesn't make sense for aliens to be acting the way UFO's act.

I know, you can poke some holes in that one too. But if that doesn't work for you then the only thing left to say is that we have no idea how aliens would act so there's no point even discussing it. But if these guys are aliens they sure are weird by human standards.

5. Argument: There is no scientific physical evidence of UFO‘s. No UFO samples. No ET DNA samples etc

Again this is not an argument but a statement of absence. Refer to number 1.

Rebuttal: This is an impossible demand.

It is not an impossible demand. What is actually being requested is publicly verifiable evidence supported by the majority of trustworthy authorities.

For example, suppose a UFO crashes in the U.S. A large piece is recovered and turned over to scientists. It is photographed, analyzed, and tested. The test results are verified by NASA, the US military, the US government, and the majority of scientists who have reviewed the test and analysis results. Pictures of it are shown on TV and available on the internet. It is then placed on public display at MIT and there is news video of thousands of people going to look at it. This IS possible, and should have already happened if physical evidence is in the possession of any government, military, or scientific agency.

6. If we accept ET UFO’s exist and is visiting us, then we may also have to accept goblins, big foot, loch ness monster and whatever to exists.

This is a logical fallacy. There is no logical relationship between ETs and cryptids.

However, the argument usually presented is:

A. There is eyewitness testimony, photographic evidence, video evidence, audio evidence, and trace evidence (footprints and such) for the existence of a non-human hominid which has not been satisfactorily explained as anything other than a non-human hominid.

B. There is eyewitness testimony, photographic evidence, video evidence, radar evidence, and trace evidence (landing sites, radiation, etc.) for the existence of non-human flying objects which has not been satisfactorily explained as anything other than a non-human flying object.

If one accepts the evidence for B as adequate to validate the existence of non-human flying objects, then one should logically also accept the evidence for A as validating the existence of a non-human hominid.

The objection can be made that the evidence is not equivalent, but that is a subjective objection; only an objective, provable difference between A and B would render the argument fallacious. Of course we can argue the relative merits of footprints and bigfoot videos vs. landing sites and UFO videos all day long, but that doesn't actually make the argument a fallacy if there is a reasonable degree of equivalency between the two sets of evidence.

The UFO and ET reports by individuals are not necessarily true. They may claim a physical aircraft, but their data could be wrong. They could be lying, they could have misidentified something else for the UFO such as planet Venus, car headlights, swamp gas.

This is not a logical argument, it's a statement of possibility with some shadings of opinion. And, as it stands, it's correct. It is possible that they are not true. In fact, we know that some are not true because we have reports which have been proven to be hoaxes. However, this isn't proof of or evidence for anything either way, as it is also possible that the rest of them are true.

(Edited to fix some tags and spaces and stuff.)

[edit on 3-4-2009 by Heike]



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 10:05 PM
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Sigh.

More personal attacks and flame baiting. Even despite the mods requesting that the topic be discussed and not the person.

I give up on this thread. It's obvious that other than me and Malcram, nobody else actually wants a civil, intelligent and mature discussion. The only way they know is personal attacks. I see not even moderator requests were enough.

Malcram start your thread. This one is exhausted. If they spoil your thread too it will become clear to people they are trouble makers and perhaps action will be taken against them.

[edit on 3-4-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 10:09 PM
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reply to post by Heike
 


Sigh

They are not my arguments, they were the arguments that I was refuting. I asked you to refute my rebuttals.

This point was so obvious the fact I had to point it out to you means there is something very wrong. Geez what a waste of time on that post. It's tragically amusing.

[edit on 3-4-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 10:12 PM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


Say what? I have taken your arguments one by one and addressed them, just as you asked originally. How is this personal attacks or flame baiting?



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 10:13 PM
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reply to post by skibtz
 


That's it, you're going on my ignore list for being a troublemaker. If you find it difficult to have a civil discussion, perhaps you should leave ATS.



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 10:16 PM
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Originally posted by Heike
reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


Say what? I have taken your arguments one by one and addressed them, just as you asked originally. How is this personal attacks or flame baiting?




I was talking about Michael and Skibitz post's above. Not yours. I am glad you responded, but did you actually respond to the arguments or my rebuttals. I am confused



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child

I was talking about Michael and Skibitz post's above. Not yours.


Okay. I apologize for the misunderstanding. I thought you were talking to me.


I am glad you responded, but did you actually respond to the arguments or my rebuttals. I am confused


Well, I read up on logical arguments and fallacies. Malcram said I wasn't being fair to you if I didn't even understand what the fallacies were. He convinced me that he had a point, so I looked them up and did some studying.

Those arguments aren't arguments. They don't have premises and propositions. There is no

All horses have 4 legs.
A Morgan is a kind of horse.
Therefore, all Morgans have 4 legs.

That's a logical argument, right?

Your OP statements are not arguments, so how can the rebuttals be refuted? Now I'm confused. Did you want me to make arguments that counter the rebuttals?

Those statements can not be validated so how can anything constructive be done with the rebuttals?

I did deal with one of your rebuttals, the one about physical evidence being an impossible demand. We can debate that one if you like.

Actually it's my understand that Malcram wants to come back tomorrow and discuss these fallacies with me. Is that okay?

[edit on 3-4-2009 by Heike]



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 10:39 PM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


im going to try to be on topic here and also state a fact.. jeez this is hard for me


That's it, you're going on my ignore list for being a troublemaker. If you find it difficult to have a civil discussion, perhaps you should leave ATS.

this comment you made to another poster is why im here to argue not against you for that is being silly and im more than aware of my own actions in this regard.. and the mods would back me in this.. But please take a moment to look carefully at what the thread is about, and infact what you are posting to others to view and debate.. i have tried my best to put forth a argument that you infact invited to do so..

But with a statement as this in relation to the very abjective you claim in your opeing remarks and "you did make the thread" so its based on opions and not facts as facts about opinons are left to ones own self correct? i have had 1316 points on this thread removed and added i had infact tried not to make it personal as i didnt see the point in doing so as its opinion based..

You are quick to say sigh and very quick to blame others but thats not the nature of the debate and infact your off topic not or others as if you was on topic then why would one claim to being attacked .. let me show you what i mean and how ilogical this is and how it leads to arguments.. and why it is i was banned in the first place on ATS for my OWN lack of humilty to others on this great website regardless of points.. and i do have a voice here and i dont need to insult you i just need to connect them dots you talk about so often so i shall do so...

when i first came onto this thread i wanted to understand the argument you was making.. i infact read every single page and have done so.. yes i can read!..

I did try to ask you a question and you said lets agree to dissagree after you accused me of insulting you when infact i never did insult you "and yes that was the same view as the mods" that you use in your own defence..

then infact when i was posting you put me on ignore and then began to post your own rebuttle.. against the pskeptics that you claim our out to get you.

this is very much on topic so please keep reading people..

Then i keep posting trying to show how infact the linkage with pskpetics and your own remarks "that i did use" in my own defence to prove my argument was infact turnd down as an insult and there for i was a troll?

I had to link You and the thread for that is the very nature of the word you are using in your argument "its not a fact its opinion" correct???

so let me point out one thing that is very on topic as all this post has been in showing incrimental evidence using your own words to infact prove the thread "word" wrong.

that is why you made this thread? or did you make it to prove a point were infact no evidence can be shown and that the word pskepic is infact a certen? when infact the word is an opinion?

That's it, you're going on my ignore list for being a troublemaker. If you find it difficult to have a civil discussion, perhaps you should leave ATS.


read this please one more time then go over my post.. and the reasons one states to be pskeptic in the first place...

its all linked via a methord

Your own opinion on a word.. vs others views you have about the opinion of a word..

and i did state befor you wanted to insult me about my wording and grammer that i may not be great at it but dont think i can not take your words and use them like a mathmacis because you infact will find im alot smarter than YOU assume..

so therefor YOU are what the threard is about and yes they are linked and i have to point that out

If you wish me to make further arguments im happy to do so based on the thread and not you as a person, but understand whatever thread you make regarding this topic is ilogical as its an opinion not a fact and will lead not only to arguments based on ones own idiolgy but infact cast you men and others in a light that seems very unfitting to a great website and forum that is ATS.

and im still waiting for my appology



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 11:21 PM
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OK I see what you have done. You have first argued why you think the original argument is not an argument and then provided a variant argument which you think is stronger. I did kind of say please introduce variant arguments separately. The arguments in the OP are also arguments made commonly by people. In fact one of then, "There is no evidence" was just made against me in another thread despite me producing pages of evidence, including peer-reviewed scientific evidence. These arguments are used and they are invalid and even you agree they are invalid. So there is no disagreement between us in whether the arguments used in the OP are pseudoskeptical fallacies.

I will now engage your varient arguments.



2. It is impossible for ET to travel here.

The actual fallacy to this might be:
Humans are not capable of interstellar travel.
Therefore, aliens are not capable of interstellar travel

This is a fallacy because we don't have the facts about the technology or capabilities of the hypothetical aliens. However, the fact that this is a fallacy does not validate the converse. In other words, just because "aliens are incapable of interstellar travel" is not a valid argument, we can't infer that they ARE capable of it, either.


You got it right the first time it is a fallacy. The converse that we cannot infer they are incapable of it either is invalid. I did actually cover this in my rebutal. As aliens belong to an unobservable universe with unobservable science and technology in which interstellar travel could be possible, none of our limits apply to them.

You may argue that just as I can generalise life from planets, likewise can generalise that if we cannot do interstellar travel, then so can't ET. This would be valid if not for the counter-observation that science is always being falsified. What was scientifically not possible in yesteryear, is possible today. Therefore, as our science is not complete, there is no reason to believe there will not be more falsifications. Therefore as ET is in an unobservable universe it means there can be no valid objection to ET doing interstellar travel because of the possibility that they have falsified our science.


3. It is completely absurd that that an advanced ET race would come here and fly around in our skies like drunk pilots, abduct humans, make crop circles and mutilate cows.

It could possibly be stated as
I would not do this, so aliens wouldn't do this either. This fails for the same reason 2 did, we don't know anything about the reasoning or motivations of the hypothetical aliens.

However, we might be able to construct something like this:

Technology is dependent upon mathematics, science and logic.
Aliens who have superior technology probably have mathematics and logic.
That behavior is not logical.
Therefore aliens with superior technology would probably not behave like that.

Yes, I know you can poke a few holes in that and it probably wouldn't fly in PHD circles, but it's fairly reasonable for the average Joe.


This is a false relationship of invariable conomitance. There is no relationship between behaviour and ones level of mathematical, scientific and logical knowledge. All behaviours: murdering, giving, stealing, ridiculing, laughing, crying, teaching, playing, singing are universal and timeless and are not affected by differences in knowledge. There can be no limitation on behaviour because observation shows us that behaviour is unlimited and free. Therefore one cannot delimit any ET behaviour.

Moreover none of the ET behaviour is inconsistent with humans. If ET abducts humans and does scientific tests and experiments on them; the human abducts animals and does scientific tests and experiments on them.


4. If ET exists and are visiting us, why don’t they just reveal themselves? Why would they hide? Its illogical.

This is not an argument, it's a question!

Let's try:
When humans find uncontacted societies, they either leave them completely alone or contact them openly (missionaries, representatives, emissaries, etc.)
If the structures and principles of "civilization" are universal, aliens should act in a similar way.
Therefore, it doesn't make sense for aliens to be acting the way UFO's act.

I know, you can poke some holes in that one too. But if that doesn't work for you then the only thing left to say is that we have no idea how aliens would act so there's no point even discussing it. But if these guys are aliens they sure are weird by human standards.


You get it right in the end, we cannot know how ET would behave and therefore it is not a valid objection . As there is no such thing as an absolute human standard and every individual is free in their behaviour, no limits can be applied to ET's behaviour, because they are also free.


5. Argument: There is no scientific physical evidence of UFO‘s. No UFO samples. No ET DNA samples etc



Rebuttal: This is an impossible demand.

It is not an impossible demand. What is actually being requested is publicly verifiable evidence supported by the majority of trustworthy authorities.

For example, suppose a UFO crashes in the U.S. A large piece is recovered and turned over to scientists. It is photographed, analyzed, and tested. The test results are verified by NASA, the US military, the US government, and the majority of scientists who have reviewed the test and analysis results. Pictures of it are shown on TV and available on the internet. It is then placed on public display at MIT and there is news video of thousands of people going to look at it. This IS possible, and should have already happened if physical evidence is in the possession of any government, military, or scientific agency.


It is an impossible demand because physical evidence cannot be provided. It has to be in a testimonial form and testimony is subject to whether you believe it or not. So having scientific evidence will make no difference to the status quo. Again to give you the example of my recent debate. The person I was discussing with demanded scientific evidence which was peer-reviewed. I provided the evidence and they shifted their position, "It's fake, it's a hoax" basically because in the end they chose to believe what they want to despite pretending to want scientific evidence.


6. If we accept ET UFO’s exist and is visiting us, then we may also have to accept goblins, big foot, loch ness monster and whatever to exists.

However, the argument usually presented is:

A. There is eyewitness testimony, photographic evidence, video evidence, audio evidence, and trace evidence (footprints and such) for the existence of a non-human hominid which has not been satisfactorily explained as anything other than a non-human hominid.

B. There is eyewitness testimony, photographic evidence, video evidence, radar evidence, and trace evidence (landing sites, radiation, etc.) for the existence of non-human flying objects which has not been satisfactorily explained as anything other than a non-human flying object.

If one accepts the evidence for B as adequate to validate the existence of non-human flying objects, then one should logically also accept the evidence for A as validating the existence of a non-human hominid.

The objection can be made that the evidence is not equivalent, but that is a subjective objection; only an objective, provable difference between A and B would render the argument fallacious. Of course we can argue the relative merits of footprints and bigfoot videos vs. landing sites and UFO videos all day long, but that doesn't actually make the argument a fallacy if there is a reasonable degree of equivalency between the two sets of evidence.


The evidence for B only establishes the empirial premise. That's UFO's are real physical craft with unknown physics. This is enough to conclude they are non-human and then can be explained by the ETH.

The evidence for A does not establish anything. It may establish non-human hominids but could be an unknown ape-species and does not necessarily mean underground or underwater civilisation.

In either case of A or B they are individual cases and need to be treated on a case by case basis. If the evidence for A is equal to evidence to B then we must accept A. If the evidence for A is significantly less than B, then accepting B does not mean one accepts A.


The UFO and ET reports by individuals are not necessarily true. They may claim a physical aircraft, but their data could be wrong. They could be lying, they could have misidentified something else for the UFO such as planet Venus, car headlights, swamp gas.

This is not a logical argument, it's a statement of possibility with some shadings of opinion. And, as it stands, it's correct. It is possible that they are not true. In fact, we know that some are not true because we have reports which have been proven to be hoaxes. However, this isn't proof of or evidence for anything either way, as it is also possible that the rest of them are true.

[edit on 3-4-2009 by Heike]


Rathers it an argument from possibility fallacy. It is possible they might have seen a weather balloon does not establish anything. The real investigation is was what they saw a weather balloon. If the evidence shows such as in the case of the UFO over LA that there was a huge physical craft, that was shot at, intercepted for more than an hour and photographed and the skeptic instead rejects all this evidence to maintain it was a weather balloon then it is clearly a fallacy. They are not accepting the evidence at hand, rather they are selecting their evidence to fit their hypothesis. A real investigaor does not presume, but test diferent hypothesis to explain evidence.

[edit on 3-4-2009 by Indigo_Child]



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