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Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies

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posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 12:49 PM
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reply to post by Heike
 





Nowhere in that definition is any requirement for a skeptic to investigate anything or arrive at any conclusions. Questioning the validity of something or maintaining a doubting attitude does not require investigation...

It is not the "job" of skeptics to do anything. Anyone is entitled to think whatever they want, with or without investigation. Everyone does not have a responsibility or "job" to investigate everything.


While at first this sounds quite reasonable on closer examination that is hardly the case.

Some people may be skeptical of things for which there is abundant evidence constituting proof and which are already generally accepted as fact. Some people may be "skeptical" of the idea of the earth being round rather than flat. Now, according to your criteria, they are legitimate skeptics and are not obliged to make any investigation to determine if the earth is actually round or not. They are fully entitled to fail to investigate the matter and remain ignorant "skeptics". I agree. Such people would be "skeptics", but they would also be morons.

Obviously, you are being pedantic and Indigo Child is indicating that for someone to be reasonably skeptical, thorough investigation of the evidence is necessary in order to establish if a skeptical stance is actually justified.

Why you would want to defend unreasonable skepticism - just as you complain at the exposure of pseudo-skepticism - is beyond me.


[edit on 25-3-2009 by Malcram]




posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
reply to post by Heike
 

I think your response is overly emotional and really has little to do with this thread. I am sorry that you have been attacked for having skeptical views on ET, but I have not participated in these attacks and will not be participating in these attacks in the future.


YOU LIE!!

Here are a few examples, direct quotes of yours from the other thread, where you did it to me:

Again I would like to reiterate how silly your demands are for physical evidence,


I could take your absolutist skeptic position and demand physical proof the Earth is round


I am afraid, as I argued initially, you are using a slippery slope fallacy here. It is invalid, sorry.


It is less reasonable because you are multiplying quantities unnecessarily.


Then you took some of MY statments from the other thread and twisted them into something unreasonable to make them your "fallacious arguments."


The purpose of this thread is simply to debunk common fallacious pseudoskeptical arguments,


The problem is, you have hardly presented any "common fallacious pseudoskeptical arguments." In fact, several of the ones you listed as "common" I've never seen anyone use.

P.S. I AM NOT A GUY. If you're so good with observation and logic and inference, one would think you might have noticed by now the picture of me as a little GIRL that is my current avatar.


[edit on 25-3-2009 by Heike]



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 01:07 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory

The pseudoskeptic vs. the skeptical person who accepts the ET hypothesis.

The pseudoskeptic is not truly skeptical they are really closed minded debunkers.


Thanks much for your help Plato. Earlier my definition of pseudoskeptic was challenged, but here you have just re-stated it for me. You are very clearly saying that anyone who does not accept the ET hypothesis is a pseudoskeptic and a closed minded debunker.




posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 01:12 PM
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reply to post by Heike
 




It is not the "job" of skeptics to do anything


Well, that depends on if the "skeptic" in question really is a skeptic or actually a pseudo-skeptic. If a skeptic suggests an alternative explanation for a particular phenomenon, they have made a claim, and are obliged to prove it. If they make such claims but do not prove them, they are pseudo-skeptics.



Since the true skeptic does not assert a claim, he has no burden to prove anything... But if a critic asserts that there is evidence for disproof, that he has a negative hypothesis --saying, for instance, that a seeming [UFO] was actually due to an artifact - he is making a claim and therefore also has to bear a burden of proof.

Sometimes, such negative claims by critics are also quite extraordinary--for example, that a UFO was actually a giant plasma...In such cases the negative claimant also may have to bear a heavier burden of proof than might normally be expected.

Critics who assert negative claims, but who mistakenly call themselves "skeptics," often act as though they have no burden of proof placed on them at all, though such a stance would be appropriate only for the agnostic or true skeptic. .A result of this is that many critics seem to feel it is only necessary to present a case for their counter-claims based upon plausibility rather than empirical evidence...If a critic asserts that the result was due to artifact X, that critic then has the burden of proof to demonstrate that artifact X can and probably did produce such results under such circumstances. - On Pseudo-Skepticism. A Commentary by Marcello Truzzi


Now ask yourself how common it is for so-called "skeptics" at ATS to do exactly what is described above.


[edit on 25-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 01:16 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
reply to [url=http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread448905/
Obviously, you are being pedantic and Indigo Child is indicating that for someone to be reasonably skeptical, thorough investigation of the evidence in order to establish if a skeptical stance is actually justified.


Really? So no one should say they don't believe in ghosts until they've "adequately" investigated ghost sightings and evidence?

No one should say they don't believe in Santa Claus until after they've gone to the North Pole to make sure he isn't there?

No one should refuse to believe in the "Mongolian Death Worm" until they've gone to Mongolia and investigated its existence?

And certainly no one should say they don't believe in Nessie unless they've investigated all the evidence. Right?

You've just taken away the basic right of anyone and everyone to say "I doubt that" or "I don't believe in that" unless they have first conducted a "thorough examination of the evidence."

Who's being unreasonable?

 

edit to respond to your subsequent post.

As I said, what happened to a person's basic right to say "I don't believe that." or "I doubt that"?

If I say "I doubt that," I now have a burden of proof to disprove it? I don't think so. If you want me to accept it, it's still your burden of proof. Otherwise I'm quite content in my doubt and have no obligation to you at all.

In order for me to be able to say I don't believe something, I do not have to prove to you - or anyone - why I don't believe it.

As I said way back up there someplace, two (or more) people can look at the same evidence and legitimately arrive at different conclusions. That does not make either one of them a bogus or pseudo anything, or necssarily wrong until there is proof for a hypothesis. And then, they might BOTH be wrong!


[edit on 25-3-2009 by Heike]

[edit on 25-3-2009 by Heike]



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 01:22 PM
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reply to post by Heike
 





Earlier my definition of pseudoskeptic was challenged, but here you have just re-stated it for me. You are very clearly saying that anyone who does not accept the ET hypothesis is a pseudoskeptic and a closed minded debunker.


Disingenuous.

Platosallegory was saying that this debate is between pseudo-skeptics and skeptical people who happen to accept the ET hypothesis. He didn't say that people who didn't accept the ETH were all pseudo-skeptics. IF you overheard someone say that a war was between "cowboys and indians" would you assume and insist you must be one or the other just because you had wandered into the middle of the battle? LOL You serially misreprepresent what people say Heike.

Platosallegory's point was that 'believers' was a misleading term because they don't just believe anything. Many are generally skeptical people who feel that there is evidence that constitutes proof of the ETH. His 'beef' - and this thread - is regarding pseudo-skepticism, which is revealed by it's fallacies, not legitimate skepticism.

[edit on 25-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by Heike
Really? So no one should say they don't believe in ghosts until they've "adequately" investigated ghost sightings and evidence?

No one should say they don't believe in Santa Claus until after they've gone to the North Pole to make sure he isn't there?

No one should refuse to believe in the "Mongolian Death Worm" until they've gone to Mongolia and investigated its existence?

And certainly no one should say they don't believe in Nessie unless they've investigated all the evidence. Right?

You've just taken away the basic right of anyone and everyone to say "I doubt that" or "I don't believe in that" unless they have first conducted a "thorough examination of the evidence."

Who's being unreasonable?


You are. I'm not taking away anyone's right to do anything. However "skepticism" has a fixed definition and someone disbelieving anything without full investigation - saying something is not true rather than 'so far unproven' - is not a skeptic! A skeptic retains an open mind. A skeptic suspends judgement pending evidence. A skeptic does not disbelieve pending evidence. That is not my opinion. It's a fact. You posted a dictionary definition of 'skeptic' earlier but evidently you didn't pay much attention to it as the position you advocate here is not skepticism but, quite literally, pseudo-skepticism.


[edit on 25-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 01:30 PM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 



"Irrefutable evidence" meaning that lifeforms which can exist within Earth's atmosphere require organic matter, which is usually carbon together with some sort of liquid compound. Either we can all agree about this, or we can all disagree. Nobody has picked up an ET off the ground and tested it for the existence of such organic matter. Additionally, there is no body of knowledge to explain the dynamics of a typical UFO, or even how UFOs fly.

So, basically, you are saying that it's possible for ETs to exist. This contradicts your statement that it's not necessary for them to exist.

Whether or not "pseudoskeptical" arguments are valid, they seem to be congruent with evidence supported by existing science.



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


And you're not playing with words? I beg to differ.

"I don't believe in that" or "I doubt that" is not the same as disbelief in the sense of "No, that can't be" or "that isn't true."

My point was, you and I and everyone else disbelieve in all sorts of things that we've never once investigated for ourselves, but someone we trust told us "that's not real" and we accepted it.

So your claim that anyone who chooses to doubt the ETI hypothesis must first conduct a thorough investigation of all the UFO and ET evidence before they can have that opinion is unreasonable.



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by Heike

My point was, you and I and everyone else disbelieve in all sorts of things that we've never once investigated for ourselves, but someone we trust told us "that's not real" and we accepted it.


Speak for yourself.



So your claim that anyone who chooses to doubt the ETI hypothesis must first conduct a thorough investigation of all the UFO and ET evidence before they can have that opinion is unreasonable.


Now who's playing with words? I never made that "claim". People can doubt whatever they like. But if they actively claim something is "not true" they are not legitimately skeptical, and if they don't bother investigating something they take a skeptical stance towards they are unreasonably skeptical. A perfectly open mind would be the more reasonable, and truly skeptical, position. You can hold any opinion you like. But you can't claim the title "skeptic" if you don't abide by it's definition. To do so would make you a pseudo-skeptic.


[edit on 25-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 01:48 PM
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No.

skep⋅tic
   /ˈskɛptɪk/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [skep-tik] Show IPA
–noun
1. a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.
2. a person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements, or the character of others.


Nowhere in that definition is any requirement for a skeptic to investigate anything or arrive at any conclusions. Questioning the validity of something or maintaining a doubting attitude does not require investigation.


This is a proof by definition fallacy. The definition of the word skeptic as I used it is specific and refers to professional skeptics, who do investigate cases. I made a distinction between a professional skeptic and a pseudoskeptic, where a skeptic is one who investigates and a pseudoskeptic is simply one who doubts.

The act of questiontining the validity of something is an investigative act. You cannot evaluate something without first analysing the avaiable data.


No, there isn't. There is quite a bit of evidence that UFOs exist, but none of it (except contactee/abduction stories) points specifically to an ET explanation.


There is also significant evidence for ET as well. You are going against facts by claiming this evidence does not exist. I suggest you go to ufoevidence.com and read all the evidence that is available on UFO's and ET.



No, it isn't. It is the job of the person who has a claim to prove it.


In the case of a ET phenomena witness, they have no need to prove their claims, because to them they are self-proof and unproblematic. To the debunker who attempts to disprove their claims, they have to investigate their claims and explain it with a hypothesis that is consistet with the available data.

The debunker cannot just come up with any random explanation, their explanation has to fit the available data, so the debunker also carries a burden of proof. Are you asserting the debunker has no burden of proof? If you are, then your position is only an emotional and dogmatic one and can be rejected as invalid. You do strike me as a very emotional person by the way.



No. The probability of life on THIS planet is 100%. The probability of life on at least one planet is 100%, the one being this one. The probability of life on any other planet is less than 100%.


I have already answered this debate. I am obviously aware that the argument that life on other planets is induction, but such an argument is valid because our only way of forming knowledge of our observable universe is induction. In our observable universe life on planets is a known phenomenon, and there is no reason to believe it does not occur elsewhere in the universe. As demonstrated earlier the argument from possibility is fallacious. To say "Well, we only have evidence of life on this planet, how do we know it does not exist on others" is like the existence of other minds argument I already compared it to, or like saying "There is no gravity on Jupiter, we have only observed gravity on Earth and the moon, not Jupiter"

The problem with induction is that nothing can be concluded, but nonetheless we have to use induction all the time. If not we would be in perpetual doubt over absolutely everything - "Should I jump of this high building, I know that all objects in the past fell, but perhaps when I jump I won't fall" This is what I call stupid skepticism.

So anything we can know is through induction, and through induction we must build a comprehensible universe.


A terrible analogy. There are hundreds of people around you who communicate with you and claim they have a mind. Since you have a mind, and they say they do, it is reasonable to believe that they do, also.


Not so terrible in Philosophy or for Betrand Russel. The claim that "I have a mind" is not the same as the proof that I have a mind. I have absolutely no evidence that you are an independent mind, I only induce that you are.


You can? Have any other planets contacted you and claimed that they, too, have life? If not, the analogy fails.


No, because I don't need perception alone to form conclusions. I also use inference(reason and logic) which is what distinguishes me from animals and unthinking humans.


Since we are not dealing with absolutes, but likelihoods and probabilities, it is reasonable to say that the probability of things we think of as "unbelievable" is much lower than things we do find believable.


Probability is not a valid argument. It is improbable that somebody wins the lottery or is struck by lightening, but it happens.


However, this theory has been around for a while and it hasn't been disproven, either. It therefore makes FTL somewhat less likely to be a reality. Probabilities, remember?


Something can only be disproven if it already claims to be proven. No scientific theories are proven or claim to be proven.


They are? Please provide your reasoning for this statement.


It's pretty obvious really: They are from other planets and more advanced.
We have NO observation of their culture, history, religion and science. They are unobservable.



How did you conclude that they are not within the observable universe?


This is another proof by definition fallacy. I did not used Hubbles definition of an observable universe, but a philosophical definition of a universe that is beyond our observation.



No. If I perform experiment/action A hundreds or thousands of times and the result is always B, I can make the scientific observation that A causes B. In fact, some scientific theories and hypotheses are all about determining causes rather than effects.


You are commiting a causal fallacy. If A causes B, then what causes A? All observables are effects, not causes. There is no such thing as a simple causal chain, all causal chains are complex: B causes C, A causes B etc


There is no reason to believe that they can, either. We have no theories or knowledge to suggest that such a thing is possible, which makes it less probable than things we know ARE possible.


You said it, there is no theory of ours that suggests it is possible. But as I have said many times before, none of our theories are complete and thus cannot generalise beyond. It sounds like you are in denial of the limitations of science, an almost religious sentiment.



No one is asking for this. You have twisted the request for observable scientific evidence into this statement to make it seem unreasonable. No one expects ET DNA to be delivered to their home. But where are the pictures? The lab test reports? The corroborating reports from other scientists who also examined the evidence?



Such evidence allegedly exists but we must accept it as proof? That doesn't make sense at all. There are also claims that physical evidence of Bigfoot has been found, examined and tested by scientists. Will you also agree to accept these claims as proof that Bigfoot exists? If not, then you are the one being duplicitous.


Look at the above quotes again and it will become apparent who is being duplicitous. The the former you asking me where is the scientific evidence, and in the latter you are saying that the available scientific evidence is not proof.



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.


Who said this? Where? I have never, ever heard anyone say this.


You alluded to it in your previous quote by bringing up the example of Big Foot. Apparently if I accept scientific evidence on UFO, I must also accept scientific evidence on Big foot? Then you go onto to say UFO's share characteristics with other paranormal thing(spirits etc). You are commiting the slippery slope fallacy even while denying you are, hilarious!



No, it isn't. The skeptic doesn't have a job nor any responsibilities. It is the responsibility of the person who wants the skeptic to believe to prove it to them. No one is required to do any certain amount of investigation of something before saying "I doubt that."


Then you have no point or purpose in this thread. You are just a doubter, while this thread is a critical discussion on pseudoskeptical arguments and the fallacies they commit. It does not take special effort to doubt, anybody can doubt, you just say, "No" doubting does not contribute anything. Perhaps this is the wrong thread for you.


If a child says "there is a monster under my bed," do you really need to investigate before saying, "No, I don't think there is."?


Some children recount past life memories to their parents. The parents initially doubt them, and then some parents investigate them and realise it produces more data that supports their claims. So yes, even something as little as "Monster under my bed" is to be investigated.


None of my team would say anything like what you are suggesting here. But that's because .. you made it up and it's not real, nor even any kind of reasonable approximation of real.


How do you do your investigations from an armchair? You give me the impression of a very lazy investigaor with your assertions that you have no responsibility to investigate a claim to judge it.

Another strawman: I never said that skeptics produce questions like in my example, I was giving an example of a pseudoskeptical investigation.

A list of fallacies you have used so far:

Strawman fallacy
Argument from possibility fallacy
Slippery slope fallacy
Proof by definition fallacy

It is ironic you are defending fallacious pseudoskeptical arguments with fallacies


[edit on 25-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 02:18 PM
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YOU LIE!!

Here are a few examples, direct quotes of yours from the other thread, where you did it to me:


It appears your criteria for determining what is an attack on you is if somebody disagrees with you or points out gaps in your reasoning. OK.



The problem is, you have hardly presented any "common fallacious pseudoskeptical arguments." In fact, several of the ones you listed as "common" I've never seen anyone use.


Actually they are very common, maybe you should peruse the threads on ATS a bit deeper and look at Ufology discussions on other forums. I have been hearing these arguments for the past 10 years. If there is an argument you think is not covered, which is a much stronger objection to ETH, let us hear it or keep your silence.


P.S. I AM NOT A GUY. If you're so good with observation and logic and inference, one would think you might have noticed by now the picture of me as a little GIRL that is my current avatar.


I apologise, in your avatar I couldn't quite tell....

[edit on 25-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
..this debate is between pseudo-skeptics and skeptical people who happen to accept the ET hypothesis. He didn't say that people who didn't accept the ETH were all pseudo-skeptics.


Good point, I think pseudo-scepticism more refers to noisy cynics who
just pour derision and scorn onto the UFO subject (whilst doing absolutely nothing to educate themselves about it); reject the ET hypothesis
outright and generaly display a kind of lazy prejudice towards
objective,free enquiry.

I also think true,open minded scepticism is the opposite of this and very important.
Stephen Hawkings makes a good point:


"Of course it is possible that UFO's really do contain aliens as many people believe, and the government is hushing it up."

Stephen Hawking (world renowned astrophysicist) on C Span Television. Guest lecturer at the second Millennium Evening at the White House on March 6, 1998.

Cheers.


[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 02:38 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
The definition of the word Skeptic as I used it is specific and refers to professional skeptics, who do investigate cases. I made a distinction between a professional skeptic and a pseudoskeptic, where a skeptic is one who investigates and a pseudoskeptic is simply one who doubts.


So all of us here on ATS who have the audacity to not be convinced of the ETH are either pseudoskeptics or professional skeptics, depending on whether or not we've "adequately" investigated the evidence? I wasn't aware that any of us needed to be "professional" skeptics in order to post our opinions on ATS.

So, what do you call a person who HAS examined the evidence and isn't convinced? In other words, what do you call me when you aren't calling me other names?


There is also significant evidence for ET as well. You are going against facts by claiming this evidence does not exist. I suggest you go to ufoevidence.com and read all the evidence that is available on UFO's and ET.


This is YOUR OPINION. Nothing more, nothing less. I have been investigating UFOs by any and all methods available to me since I was 8 years old and I am not convinced that they are ET. I have read about all the cases you are telling me to read about and have been to all the sites you are suggesting I go to. I simply have arrived at a different conclusion from you, and apparently you can't tolerate that, or accept it.


To the debunker who attempts to disprove their claims, they have to investigate their claims and explain it with a hypothesis that is consistet with the available data.


Yeah, but we aren't talking about any specific case or investigation. Are we? If we are, I wasn't aware. Please tell me which specific case we're discussing the evidence for. Otherwise, your statement above is meaningless.


In our observable universe life on planets is a known phenomneon


No, no, no! You can't just keep extrapolating like that! It's not scientific. In our observable universe there is life on this planet and this planet only. That does not imply that any other planets have life, especially since some of the planets in our "observed universe" do NOT have life.


The problem with induction is that nothing can be concluded, but nonetheless we have to use induction all the time. If not we would be in perpetual doubt over absolutely everything - "Should I jump of this high building, I know that all objects in the past fell, but perhaps when I jump I won't fall"


You are really stretching now. As I've said before, that kind of induction is based on experience. My personal experience, and all the cumulative knowledge I have acquired from other sources tells me that I WILL fall if I jump off a high building. In NO way does that equate to "this one planet has life so other planets must have life also."


No, because I don't need perception alone to form conclusions. I also use inference(reason and logic) which is what distinguishes me from animals and unthinking humans.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. I say that I have a mind and I'm thinking with it. So does everyone you know. That is additional evidence for the existence of other minds that you do not have for the existence of life on other planets.
Therefore, the analogy does not work because the two situations aren't the same.


Probability is not a valid argument. It is improbable that somebody wins the lottery, but it happens.


And every day millions of people buy lottery tickets and don't win. So we know that the mathematical odds of someone winning are very low. So we can deduce that any one particular person who buys a lottery ticket will probably not win, and 99.999... % of the time we will be correct.

So why would probability not be a valid argument?


Something can only be disproven if it is already proven. No scientific theories are proven, or claim to be proven.


Semantics again, and weird semantics at that. I certainly can prove something to be NOT TRUE before it is proven to be true. In fact, most statements/theories/hypotheses etc. can only be true or not true, they can't be true AND not true.


It's pretty obvious really: They are from other planets and more advanced.


So you say and some others say. But that isn't knowledge or fact, it's a GUESS. An educated guess maybe, but a guess. You do not KNOW for a fact that they are from other planets or that they are more advanced than us.


We have observation of their culture, history, religion and science. They are unobservable.


Huh? You want to try again, because that doesn't even make any sense.


a philosophical definition of a universe that is beyond our observation.


Umm .. how can they be beyond our observation if they're HERE? So either they're not here, or they're unobservable. Take your pick, you can't have both.


The the former you asking me where is the scientific evidence, and in the latter you are saying that the available scientific evidence is not proof.


No. Let me simplify this for you a bit more.

Physical evidence exists for theory A.
Similar physical evidence exists for theory B.

IF you expect me to agree that theory A is true because of the physical evidence, then I have every reason to expect that you should agree that theory B is true based on similar evidence, whether they are related or not.

Theory A= ETH Theory B = Non-human hominid


You alluded to in your previous quote by bringing up the example of Big Foot. Apparently if I accept scientific evidence on UFO, I must also accept scientific evidence on big foot?


Oh come on, now. You're being deliberately obtuse here. It doesn't matter whether I plug in Bigfoot or any other thing you can think of. I just can't think of another similar hypothesis in question which isn't either paranormal or cryptozoological. If the evidence for A is supposed to be good enough for me, then the very similar evidence for B should be good enough for you. If not, then you're the one applying the double standard.


How do you do your investigations from an armchair? You give me the impression of a very lazy investigaor with your assertions that you have no responsibility to investigate a claim to judge it.


I thought you weren't going to indulge in personal attacks? You just did by calling me lazy, so you made a liar out of yourself again.

You are also twisting things around again. If I am investigating a claim, I will go out and thoroughly investigate it with everything at my disposal.

However, on ATS people are just members, and they should be allowed to say "I don't agree" or "I'm not convinced" or "I doubt that" without having to spend years of their life investigating all the cases first, and without being called names, belittled, and ridiculed.

Because THAT is really what this is all about. UFO "believers" want to be able to keep all the doubters and skeptics and people who will ask awkward questions out of their threads.

That will never happen on ATS, I predict, infer and deduce based on experience and observation. If you want to be able to discuss your ET theories in isolation with only other believers and no disagreement, you'll probably need to go somewhere other than ATS.


[edit on 25-3-2009 by Heike]



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
It appears your criteria for determining what is an attack on you is if somebody disagrees with you or points out gaps in your reasoning. OK.


so far you've called me silly, absolutist, unreasonable, closed-minded, and lazy. Sorry if you don't perceive those as derogatory, but I do.


I apologise, in your avatar I couldn't quite tell....


Baloney. I'd rather you be honest instead of snide, really. An apology in the form of an insult. Very cute. But it doesn't really fly because in the picture I'm obviously wearing a scalloped-collared dress that no one would put on a BOY, not to mention the hairstyle. Whatever.



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 02:58 PM
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reply to post by Heike
 





So all of us here on ATS who have the audacity to not be convinced of the ETH are either pseudoskeptics or professional skeptics, depending on whether or not we've "adequately" investigated the evidence? I wasn't aware that any of us needed to be "professional" skeptics in order to post our opinions on ATS.


You are misrepresenting what was said - again.

A pseudo-skeptic is someone who does not employ legitimate skepticism but claims the tile "skeptic". So you can hold whatever opinion you like, doubt whatever you like, based on whatever level of investigation you wish to make, and that's perfectly fine, but if you hold a position that does not abide by the clear definitions of "skepticism" - and yet call yourself a "skeptic" or falsely represent your position as "skepticism" - THEN you are a pseudo-skeptic and you can expect people to challenge you on that. What about this isn't clear? You can't call yourself a 'duck' if you don't quack! LOL

One last time, people can hold any position and any opinion - and good luck to them - but if they claim the title "skeptic" and the position "skepticism" then they are obliged to abide by it's clear definition.


[edit on 25-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 03:10 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


Then what, exactly, are we arguing about? I'm here steaming because every time I say that I don't think ETH is the most likely answer for UFOs, I get attacked by 4 or 5 different people and called pseudoskeptic, bogus skeptic, and all sorts of other names.

I've never claimed the title "skeptic" or said I was practicing "skepticism." I have in fact several times explicitly stated that I am NOT a skeptic. I merely posted in some threads to the effect that I didn't agree that ETH is the most likely hypothesis, that some others are just as likely in my opinion.

And I have a slew of u2u's from other people, yesterday and today, saying the same thing, they're tired of being mobbed and labeled just because they disagreed with the "of course they are aliens from another planet, it's the only reasonable explanation" position.

If you aren't going to LABEL me because I that I think UFOs may just as well be from this planet or from another dimension or universe as be from another planet, then we don't have a disagreement.

In fact, I'd much rather be amicably discussing the merits of various possible origins of ETs as be here defending my basic right to have my own opinions about ETs even if they're different from yours.



[edit on 25-3-2009 by Heike]



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 03:21 PM
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reply to post by Heike
 


LOL Well perhaps as I said earlier, this is a conflict between "cowboys and indians" and you just happened to wander into the middle of it presuming it was your fight. If you are neither then I too am not sure what you are here arguing about.

This thread discusses common fallacies employed by pseudo-skeptics. That doesn't mean that the same fallacies are not employed by people who don't claim the title "skeptic" or present their position as "skepticism". Perhaps that is where you will find relevance. If you confined yourself to a debate about the fallacies and their application to the UFO and ETH as I suggested, then perhaps the discussion would become clear to you. Rather you seem to be getting all in a lather about supposed "attacks" and "name-calling" which aren't in evidence in this thread and apparently wouldn't even be relevant to you anyway if they were - unless they were regarding use of fallacy.

When you don't know what the argument is about anymore Heike, perhaps it's time to bow out.





In fact, I'd much rather be amicably discussing the merits of various possible origins of ETs as be here defending my basic right to have my own opinions about ETs even if they're different from yours.


You didn't have to make that defense, you only thought you did because you wandered into a debate regarding pseudo-skepticism, all guns blazing, and somehow assumed it was an attack on you. That said, when you use fallacy, it will be challenged.

PS. I knew you were a girl. But I did have to take a second look and, BTW, men don't pay much attention to things like hair and collar styles, "scalloped" or otherwise, so the mistake is perhaps understanble LOL


[edit on 25-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 03:39 PM
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Let's try something different to avoid this quote war and the sheer verbiage they bring about.

1. You claim that I am denying the right to anybody to not believe in ETH, and if they do, they must be a pseudoskeptics

Nope, neither I or any of the other ETH proponents in this thread have said this, and we have clarified this for you on several occasions, but still your strawmans continue without let.

Everybody has the right to doubt. If I tell some person, "I saw a UFO", that person has the right to say, "I don't believe you" It is their right to doubt. It is not their right however to make a truth-claim about my claim, "You did not see a UFO, it was planet Venus" this is the difference between just doubting something and pseudoskepticism. The latter makes a truth claim, and as soon as that happens they become subject to reason and evidence.

There are other truth claims being made which I discussed in the OP - "ET does not exist", "ET cannot visit Earth", "It's unlikely that ET is here" all of these are truth claims. They can then be tested for validity. I have tested them for validity and demonstrated them to be invalid.

2. You claim that a skeptic does not have to investigate evidence, that they can judge evidence even without any investigation.

It is impossible to evaluate something without analysing evidence. Do you remember the classic essay point structure: Statement: Analysis: Evaluation. You make a statement, you analyse it, you evaluate it. If you evaluate a statement without sufficient analysis your evaluation becomes invalid.

This really is a basic standard in logic. You cannot evaluate something in the academic world without first analysing it. The difference between science and faith, is science analyses and then evaluates, while faith evaluates without analysis. Ironically, some of your statements seem to be of the latter type.

3. You have repeatedly claimed that the extrapolation of life on Earth to life on other planets is unscientific.

The irony is, science itself extrapolates observations made on Earth to the universe. Science would tell you there is gravity on Jupiter, but how can it make this extrapolation, when the only place it has observed gravity is the Earth and the Moon? How do you extrapolate that a drug that works on 100 people, will work on the 101th person? You use induction to establish relationships of invaiable concomitance.

You claim that science is not basic induction by experience, which is called induction by enumeration. Some defenders of science claim it is hypothetico-deductive and not inductive. Unfortunately, this has been long since debunked. Science it still inductive, because it is based on observations and hypothesis which are non-demonstrative. That is, that the premises do not entail the conclusion, because the hypothesis is not conclusive, it is only a model which has been theorised to explain a phenomena, which is based on only a limited set of variables. As we do not know infinite variables, the discovery of another variable will falsify the previous model.

Science is subject to the principle of falsification, and constantly undergoes falsifications. Therefore science is an inductive means of knowing, not deductive, nothing it predicates is conclusive ever. The prediction of life on other planets from life on Earth is thus as valid as the prediction of gravity on Jupiter from gravity on Earth. This is impeccable logic, so be careful how you respond.


No. Let me simplify this for you a bit more.

Physical evidence exists for theory A.
Similar physical evidence exists for theory B.

IF you expect me to agree that theory A is true because of the physical evidence, then I have every reason to expect that you should agree that theory B is true based on similar evidence, whether they are related or not.

Theory A= ETH Theory B = Non-human hominid


That is exactly the point. In your first quote you demands physical evidence of ET(lab reports etc) from scientists. Then in the second quote you say that just because there is scientific evidence, it does not mean it is true. In that case the argument in the initial quote is invalid because of duplicity.

This is why I argued in the OP that all testimonial evidence is subject to whether one believes it or not. It makes no difference how many scientists say something, how many peer groups agree, it is still not proof and one has the choice to believe it or not believe it. Therefore, the absence of physical scientific evidence is the weakest argument of the pseudoskeptic, not the stongest. Because any kind of such evidence can be negated by doubt.

You obviously believe UFO's exist and that there they are non-human intelligence as I gleaned from your previous posts. But it sounds like you have a pet theory that is anti-ETH, and are very frustrated that most people do not consider your pet theory. This obviously is very personal for you.

[edit on 25-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 03:48 PM
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Anyone Who Debunked the OP read this plz

Ok so let me get this straight. On one end (the OP) you have a guy that says hey be skeptical but know wtf your talking about before you banter on. On the other end you have people trying to debunk someone who just wants you to be a reasonably intelligent human being by knowing the facts before you show the world you are a "moron". Does anyone else see a problem with this. Lets forget UFOs for a second here (just for the sake of my point).

You are going to build an internal combustion engine. you assemble the whole thing except you don't put in the water pump. You would have this part (lets call it evidence for the sake of the argument) just sitting there unused.

A Sceptic would get a book and read up on this missing part and then after establishing enough evidence that this part is necessary would put it in.

A psudo-skeptic would simply say i don't need this part there is no evidence that it is necessary and then start the vehicle. Just because the psudo-skeptic sees no evidence that the part is necessary does not mean the engine will not blow up (which it will without a doubt).

Back to UFO's. We have learned throughout our history there is always something new to learn. Take the newly discovered particle (March 18 2009) that put a monkey wrench into already accepted particle physics. So to use already known scientific theory in order to debunk the existence of a species that could be far far more advanced in the areas of quantum physics is absolutely Ludacris. There are a trillion other ways to travel here without breaking the laws of physics. Heck we already can accelerate a particle passed the speed of light without breaking the laws of physics.

For the sake of argument lets throw out all of that. Lets say light speed travel is impossible and so is quantum teleportation. We already know in the realm of already accepted physics that you can use gravity to bend space/time. We already know you can fold space to bring point B to point A and visa versa. So therefore your debunk is invalid since an already accepted means exists no matter how much you blind debunk.

I do agree that healthy skeptics base their responses through the preponderance of the evidence and that I can accept. But saying you should not know what you are talking about, is well, just plain stupid. Deny Ignorance for (*&$ sake!




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