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"They're only in it for the money" - CHALLENGE TO THE SKEPTICS

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posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 12:19 AM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex
I just want to add the caveat that while Strieber has enriched himself, and I do think he would not be as well known today if not for his experience, I will not fault him for making money from his claims. He's an writer, he wrote a book, it's what they do.


Fair play, sir. That's also (apart from reasons already given) why I don't think he counts.

I have to admit I really don't know what the deal with Streiber is. He wrote "Majestic" and claimed insider testimony informed the book. There seem a number of possibilities:


  • he made the whole thing up from published sources
  • he was fed genuine info
  • he was fed disinfo


I think I'd lean towards the last of those three. Of course, if he was never a contactee in the first place, the book displays his unerring knack for bandwagon-jumping: he got on the abductee bandwagon at just the right time, and hopped on to the MJ-12 wagon when the first started to run out of steam.

I don't know, I wasn't there. All I can do is try to make sense of what I see.




posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 12:21 AM
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Originally posted by rich23
reply to post by dragonridr
 


This is proof that items are for sale. There's no proof that they have actually sold any, nor that the salespeople are even based in Roswell. More and better evidence please!

Besides which, it's a whole town, not an individual contactee. I mean, there are people who try to make money out of alien tourism, like the Little Ale'inn, but that's just the great American spirit of entrepreneurialism at work!



Well dont mean to correct the judge but Little A’Le’Inn is in Rachel, Nevada not Roswell, New Mexico And trust me spend a couple of days in Roswell just about everyone in town has seen a UFO was Abducted or there good friend was kinda weird actually.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 12:47 AM
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reply to post by dragonridr
 


No, although I haven't been there, I know the Ale'inn is on a road near Area 51, Nevada, not Roswell NM. I did see a documentary where a guy called Louis Theroux visited it and got embroiled in the local disputes. Hilarious. And it looked like the butt end of nowhere, frankly.

And I haven't been to Roswell either. So I can't possibly comment on your, ah, claims, although I dare say there may be something in them.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 02:16 AM
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Originally posted by Malcram
reply to post by SaviorComplex
 


Actually I hated Communion. I have rarely been so pleased to turn a last page. Unfortunately I have a bad habit of making myself finish books I start reading. So I'm not surprised that the movies were better than his books. I don't think I could bring myself to read anything else by Strieber.

Sorry, Whitley, if you're here.

(everyone's a critic).



I like your books Whitley!

Also, Whitley as a young boy met himself as an old man in the future (see The Secret School) and he wasn't doing so well - foraging for walnuts - so clearly long term he doesn't benefit financially


BTW good thread OP. I don't think its an attack on anyone here at ATS more a satire on the likes of James Randi who did something similar. I think the point that skeptics should take away from this is not to change your mind but to maybe understand the frustration that people who like to leave the question open feel when people like Randi use such methods. IMO Randi operates from a position of belief - he 'knows' all claims of the paranormal etc are fraud rather than taking an agnostic starting position.


Originally posted by Ellirium113

You must define "RICH". This game is can't be played if the rules are not known...otherwise the rules can change dynamically and become unfair to contestants.


Again I think that's part of the point the OP is trying to make



[edit on 29/3/2009 by MarrsAttax]

[edit on 29/3/2009 by MarrsAttax]



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 04:03 AM
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Let's not forget the most successful French contactee, Claude Vorhilon a.k.a. Raël. He was a sport journalist and singer before creating a cult and moving to Canada. The money goes to his foundation, not him, but he's free to spend it the way he likes. He doesn't have to pay taxes. Smart guy.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 04:07 AM
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reply to post by MarrsAttax
 


Hush, you'll give the game away.

Actually, I'm being much fairer and more honest than James Randi. Like I say, I'd like some proof.

Accusing someone of being a hoaxer and a scammer is actually quite a calumny and I've seen it done many times without any proof whatsoever. So if people are going to make such claims, they should be prepared to back them up.

So far, I've not had anything I've found convincing. The closest we got was Whitley Streiber, but he was already a successful author, so I'm not remotely convinced he wrote about being abducted to make money. There was a real chance people would turn around and say, oh yeah, that guy... he did a few ok books but then he turned into a nut and no-one ever heard of him again.

Just want some evidence, that's all.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 04:24 AM
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Circumstantial Ad Hominem

A Circumstantial ad Hominem is a fallacy in which one attempts to attack a claim by asserting that the person making the claim is making it simply out of self interest. In some cases, this fallacy involves substituting an attack on a person's circumstances (such as the person's religion, political affiliation, ethnic background, etc.). The fallacy has the following forms:

1. Person A makes claim X.
2. Person B asserts that A makes claim X because it is in A's interest to claim X.
3. Therefore claim X is false.

1. Person A makes claim X.
2. Person B makes an attack on A's circumstances.
3. Therefore X is false.

A Circumstantial ad Hominem is a fallacy because a person's interests and circumstances have no bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made. While a person's interests will provide them with motives to support certain claims, the claims stand or fall on their own. It is also the case that a person's circumstances (religion, political affiliation, etc.) do not affect the truth or falsity of the claim.

Neither side of this argument has yet provided very compelling evidence to their claims. Money could be a motivation, but so could many other factors This back and forth will get no one anywhere.


I do not believe little green men (or space lizards, whatever floats your boat) are flying around. It's a big assumption to go from "There are objects in our airspace that we cannot at this time identify" to "OMG Aliens are ruling the world behind a black curtain and taking people into their space ships!".



[edit on 29-3-2009 by HarlequinChevalier]



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 08:50 AM
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reply to post by Chadwickus
 


The problem is though, that beliefs are auto-deceptive. I've heard a good many people on ATS claim that one of the best ways to "call down" alien contact is by thinking or "calling" (praying?) to them. Supposedly they can read your brain waves. This isn't the case. What's most likely happening is that the believer is psyching their senses to experience something that does not exist.

It's the same reason that we've had thousands of different gods and religions over the years - and all of them claim their own miracles, revelations, and superhuman feats. Not because they're all true, but because faith itself is the cause of them being the only common bond. Indeed, you don't even need to actively believe, but rather just be exposed to such a belief system - and occasionally the subconscious will do the rest.

This doesn't account for all instances, mind you, but a decent percentage of them. Deliberate hoaxes are another portion. One might not get rich from their hoax, but if it's good enough, they'll get fame and remembrance - the satisfaction of duping the perceived gullibility of the paranormal community. Other's yet are in it to sell things.

It would be a strawman fallacy in itself to claim that skeptics say these contactees who start a merchandising line "just want to get rich". As said earlier in another post, the OP never laid down any framework for what he considers "rich". Regardless, whether or not you actually get "rich" is really a non-issue. It's easy money. People don't lie to you and tell you they're a lost prince of Nigeria in order to "Get Rich". They're just out for your money. Period. They don't care if it's five grand or five cents.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 09:25 AM
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Originally posted by HarlequinChevalier
Circumstantial Ad Hominem

A Circumstantial ad Hominem...has the following forms:

1. Person A makes claim X.
2. Person B asserts that A makes claim X because it is in A's interest to claim X.
3. Therefore claim X is false.

1. Person A makes claim X.
2. Person B makes an attack on A's circumstances.
3. Therefore X is false.


This is not, actually, what I'm arguing here, funnily enough. The first form quoted above may be a logical fallacy, but that doesn't mean it isn't correct to argue it. There are many, many circumstances in which people lie in their own interests, and governments are the worst when it comes to this. As an uncontroversial example, we have the burning of the Reichstag or the Gulf of Tonkin incident. A more controversial example would be 9/11 and the WMD claims. One of the most egregious examples of a successful sally of this argument (or fallacy, if you prefer) comes from Mandy Rice-Davies:


While giving evidence at the trial of Stephen Ward, charged with living off the immoral earnings of [Christine] Keeler and Rice-Davies, the latter made a quip for which she is now best remembered. When the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her, she replied, "Well, he would, wouldn't he?".


My point about this is simply (I'll say it again) that if people choose to make claims that someone's only in it for the money, they should have to provide evidence for this assertion. In Rice-Davies' case, it was her word against Lord Astor's, and the jury were left to make up their own minds. On internet forums, it's a little more complex, and bald assertion of the proposition works no better than me saying "look, ETs are real get over it LOL".

Just for the record, I loathe that word, "LOL".



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 09:37 AM
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Originally posted by Lasheic
reply to post by Chadwickus
 


The problem is though, that beliefs are auto-deceptive. I've heard a good many people on ATS claim that one of the best ways to "call down" alien contact is by thinking or "calling" (praying?) to them. Supposedly they can read your brain waves. This isn't the case.


That is your assumption.

I would refer you to the lecture by Professor Rupert Sheldrake referenced on this thread.

And note that he gets on well with skeptics who are prepared to look at his data, but not so well with those who don't.


What's most likely happening is that the believer is psyching their senses to experience something that does not exist.


This kind of assertion is dealt with nicely by Sheldrake and you'll note that he has plenty of empirical data to back up his claims.


Regardless, whether or not you actually get "rich" is really a non-issue. It's easy money.


Now there's another assertion that sounds like a fact, but when you look at it closely, it starts to look distinctly vaporous. I wouldn't say it was easy money. If I had a job writing novels and screenplays, like Whitley Streiber, I doubt I'd want to risk people thinking I was a nutter just to make more money. Travis Walton went through all sorts of stuff as a result of talking about his experiences.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 10:59 AM
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I don't really see the point of this thread, I think it's a strawman. I never see any of the sceptics I watch use that kind of logic, they are normally versed on all the logical fallacies. Sure there are plenty of pseudo-skeptics on a site like this who rely on weak arguments, but if you look at the sceptical movement in general, they won't use the money angle as a main attack.

The real sceptical movement attempts to use real logic and arguments, and if you do catch them in a logical fallacy, they will apologise, and try and construct a better argument. They are human too, and it's very easy to fall into fallacies.

I don't really mind an ad-hominem or two, as long as there are facts with it, sometimes its fun to call the true believers douchebags or the like while you debunk them.

Even an arch-sceptic like James Randi doesn't bother with the money angle very often, as he believes 98% of people making wild claims are just deluded, not deliberate frauds.

[edit on 29/3/2009 by RubberBaron]



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 02:01 PM
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reply to post by RubberBaron
 


However, if the thread had been called "They're only in it for the money" - CHALLENGE TO THE PSEUDO-SKEPTICS there may not have been too many takers for the challenge.

I agree with the O.P. that 'they're in it for the money' is a fairly common charge leveled at those who claim to have been abducted. I also agree with you that skeptics would be unlikely to make that kind of accusation.

So I don't think that this thread is a 'strawman' but perhaps more of a 'trojan horse'


And it's obviously meant to be a basically lighthearted thread.

[edit on 29-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 02:10 PM
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There are those of us who never go public with our contactee-experiences. We'd more likely loose than make money.

But even if we would, there is nothing wrong with taking money for books and public talks.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 03:33 PM
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To the mods - specifically Sauron:

I'd really like to know why this thread has been moved. It has been sitting quite happily in the Aliens and UFOs forum, which seemed to me like an entirely appropriate place for it. A couple of mods already referred to the thread. Why move it now?

No reason has been given. This is arbitrary and impolite.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 03:44 PM
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I had a funny experience today relating to this.

I was watching MonsterQuest on the History Channel. My son, seven years-old, stop playing with his toys, looks at the TV and quips, "They're only doing it for the money."



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 03:58 PM
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reply to post by rich23
 


Indeed. I have just spent ten minutes trying to find this thread


I don't get it either, the subject is obviously clearly related to the Alien and UFO board. Weird. And yes, a bit impolite.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 03:59 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex
I had a funny experience today relating to this.

I was watching MonsterQuest on the History Channel. My son, seven years-old, stop playing with his toys, looks at the TV and quips, "They're only doing it for the money."


Did you reply "You have done well, my young apprentice"?


[edit on 29-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 04:40 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex
I had a funny experience today relating to this.

I was watching MonsterQuest on the History Channel. My son, seven years-old, stop playing with his toys, looks at the TV and quips, "They're only doing it for the money."


Sound. He's catching on early, then.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 07:47 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
Did you reply "You have done well, my young apprentice"?



No, I told him they were doing it because they had a genuine interest in finding the animal.


Originally posted by rich23
Sound. He's catching on early, then.


He doesn't get that from me. He gets it from his mother. Which is quite odd' consider the fact she's a harpy you'd think she'd be more open to things like this.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 07:53 PM
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reply to post by SaviorComplex
 


You've got a cheek, I must say, coming on here and having a go at people for believing in aliens when you're actually married to a mythical beast!


I take it she doesn't post on ATS, then.



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