Skeptics and Believers dont exist

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posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 05:25 AM
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To the hundreds of people at this website who call themselves "A Skeptic" or "A Believer":

You dont exist.

To believe in something and To be skeptical of something...those exist. But there is no such thing as "A" Skeptic or "A" Believer. These are artificial constructs, colloquialisms of modern tongue.

Sometimes we are skeptical of something, other times we believe something. Put differently:

I am skeptical of the notion that "UFOs are only misinterpreted natural phenomena".

I am skeptical of the notion that "UFOs are only in your Imagination"

Does that make me "a Skeptic"?

"No!" say those who call themselves Skeptics.
Why not? Because they narrowly define it as only being skeptical of certain things ("claims of the paranormal"). Their definition does not include being skeptical of so-called official-stories, official-versions or mainstream explanations.

Likewise...

"I believe that the earth revolves around the sun"

Does that make me "A Believer?". No. Because those who call themselves "Believers" here have narrowly defined it to mean the belief in certain things.

Now those "Skeptics" will say: "Yes, but the earth revolving around the Sun is a FACT."

Which leads me to the next statement of this post:

Meant to battle Believer-Cults, "Skepticism" is now a modern-day cult itself

Skepticism was originally meant to counteract superstition, cultism and craziness, con-artists and the bigotry of the religious Inquisition. On this site it is meant to battle baseless craziness...such as calling everything that disagrees with ones opinion "disinfo", "false flag operation", "shill", "conspiracy".

Ironic how, to a select few, it has turned into a cult of its own.

The cult is built around the bizarre notion that Reality is only that which has been measured, peer-reviewed, approved by University Institutions and a limited amount of Journals. This attitude did and does help to build some kind of consensus-mass-reality (as opposed to a world of uncertainty and chaos), but problems start to arise when undiscerning and undeveloped minds start making a dogma out of it. Then you get all kinds of self-proclaimed "Skeptics" walking around shoving their narrow views down others throats:


1. If you set out to prove something wrong (cognitive bias) it will most often result in having your preconceptions confirmed ("getting to be right") rather than learning anything new or finding the truth of something.

2. To be primarily occupied with what has been established as true and factual up to now, obviously blocks you from looking into the future, into the unknown, engaging in speculation on what may be discovered at a later date. To stifle speculation creates dullards, not visionaries.

3. To define your own version of things as fact and declare others experiences as "nonsense" blocks out entire universes of possibility. The truth is that yesterdays facts are todays myths. History has shown that there is no such thing as a fixed and irrefutable "fact". ("We cant fly" was a "hard fact" only 150 years ago). So there IS a higher level of truth than unmoving scientific facts, namely *change*.

The Cult of Skepticism, which has turned into somewhat of a mass-epidemic uses some of the following cult-slogans:

"Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence"

Extraorinary for who? To me there is nothing extraordinary about the possibility of extraterrestrial life. The notion is natural to me since birth.

Just because the 8 oclock news didn't mention it does not mean that its extraordinary. This slogan is an attempt to force one into the hive-mind of mass-consensus-thinking.

"The most simple Explanation is the most Likely"

Yes.. And when I see a flying saucer the most simple explanation is "Its a silver flying disc" and not "Its a hallucination".

"It hasn't been proven, so lets disregard it"

This Slogan is an attempt to suppress peoples desire to look at the new and unfamiliar and instead stay fixed on the mass-consensus.

It is also based on the false belief that personal experience does not amount to anything and that just because you cant see proof "proof does not exist".

(The list of slogans they parrot is much longer but I´ll leave it at these three famous examples)

_________________________________________________

You are not a Skeptic or a Believer. You are a Human Being.

"Believers" usually go into a topic or discussion wanting to prove something right
"Skeptics" usually go into a topic or discussion wanting to prove something wrong.

Neither approach is destined to reveal deeper truths on anything. The only approach that will yield satisfactory results is openness...being aware or observant of something without any agenda to either prove or disprove anything at all. And this is where the magic of learning starts. This is also why we often learn the most from people who disagree with us.

Feeling the urge to either prove or disprove something immediately distorts perception and allows the viewer to mainly notice that which agrees with his preconceptions. Once the urge of finding the truth of something is stronger than the urge to be right and making others wrong, one will neither be a "Believer" nor a "Skeptic" but simply a human being who remains open, is unattached to any specific outcome and enjoys observing, considering, processing and communicating various events, thinking more in terms of likely and less likely rather than true and false.

The good news is that most people are like this...naturally.

All the scientists I know personally are not "disinfo agents"
All the religious people I know personally are not "bigots"
All the UFOlogists I know personally are not "True Believers"
And so forth.


"Skeptics" will much more likely be convinced of your Mystery-Case if you treat them nicely and dont presuppose that they are stupid.

"Believers" will much more likely be convinced of your Down-to-Earth-Case if you treat them nicely and dont presuppose that they are stupid.

And thats what this artificial "Skeptics vs. Believers" Internet-War comes down to: Two artificial sides labeling each other as ignorant, stupid, misinformed, blind.

Instead, how about questioning everything, including oneself.

[edit on 16-4-2009 by Skyfloating]




posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 05:49 AM
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As for discussion: If you think you are "A Believer" or "A Skeptic" feel free to challenge what was said here.



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 05:53 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


"Why not? Because they narrowly define it as only being skeptical of certain things ("claims of the paranormal"). Their definition does not include being skeptical of so-called official-stories, official-versions or mainstream explanations."

That may be your view of the skeptics, but it's not based in reality, just a desire to avoid the critical analysis that skeptics require. (And very seldom get.)



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 06:01 AM
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So since Im skeptical of those explanations for UFOs...would that make me a Skeptic?

And do you think you are "A Skeptic"?

[edit on 16-4-2009 by Skyfloating]



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 06:17 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


You can't just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. If you want to be a skeptic, you have to understand what being skeptical means.

To me, it means being ready to question anything, to remain in a state of doubt until you're satisfied that the information is valid, and take the information as valid only after it has been show to be accurate and not biased. You should apply the S-N-I protocol to evidence.



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 06:23 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 
Since I've been hooked on ATS I'll admit that these 'skeptic', 'unbeliever' tags unsettle me. Before ATS, I didn't know they were pejoratives. People blather on about 'thinking out the box' and then put themselves and everyone else into one of these two boxes. I don't think it helps discussion as we learn to spot the people that define themselves clearly and expectation creeps in. It's intrinsically divisive.

All this independent thinking and we still fall into neat little groups of us versus them



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 06:24 AM
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Originally posted by Gawdzilla
You can't just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. If you want to be a skeptic, you have to understand what being skeptical means.


I know what being skeptical means. I`ve been skeptical of official explanations toward UFOs. I`ve been skeptical of your posts here at ATS.




To me, it means being ready to question anything, to remain in a state of doubt


How about a state of neither doubt nor belief...




until you're satisfied that the information is valid, and take the information as valid only after it has been show to be accurate and not biased. You should apply the S-N-I protocol to evidence.


In my opinion those who call themselves "Skeptics" and come from a state of doubt are biased. The only form of non-bias is having no preconceived approach or rule at all.

But if you want to remain in a state of doubt...what happened to placing that doubt on yourself first? Or: Why does Skepticism not entail being skeptical of Skepticism itself?



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 06:25 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Indeed "Us vs. Them". And you also notice how this does not exist in real-life. Its become somewhat of a cliche on Internet-Boards like this.



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 06:26 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


"Before ATS, I didn't know they were pejoratives."

They're not pejoratives, except to a distinct subset of society.
I mean, being skeptical is part of watching the boob tube! You see some absurd claim in a commercial, like those ridiculous pads that are supposed to some how leech toxins out of the body, and you roll your eyes and say "what kind of garbage is that?"



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 06:37 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Jolly fine thread - I've always thought this quote sums it up quite well:


"I propose that true skepticism is called for today: neither the gullible acceptance of true belief nor the closed-minded rejection of the scoffer masquerading as the skeptic.
One should be skeptical of both the believers and the scoffers. The negative claims of pseudo-skeptics who offer facile explanations must themselves be subject to criticism. If a competent witness reports having seen something tens of degrees of arc in size (as happens) and the scoffer -- who of course was not there -- offers Venus or a high altitude weather balloon as an explanation, the requirement of extraordinary proof for an extraordinary claim falls on the proffered negative claim as well. That kind of approach is also pseudo-science. Moreover just being a scientist confers neither necessary expertise nor sufficient knowledge.
Any scientist who has not read a few serious books and articles presenting actual UFO evidence should out of intellectual honesty refrain from making scientific pronouncements. To look at the evidence and go away unconvinced is one thing. To not look at the evidence and be convinced against it nonetheless is another. That is not science."
Bernard Haisch, astrophysicist.

Cheers.



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 06:38 AM
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Gawdzilla:

"To be skeptical" is a great thing. Otherwise I'd purchase anything home-order TV offers. I´d jump out of window believing I can fly.

But please do answer the questions posed above. Im curious.



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 06:46 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
Gawdzilla:

"To be skeptical" is a great thing. Otherwise I'd purchase anything home-order TV offers. I´d jump out of window believing I can fly.

But please do answer the questions posed above. Im curious.


You mean this?

"Extraorinary for who? To me there is nothing extraordinary about the possibility of extraterrestrial life. The notion is natural to me since birth. "

First, if you go into making up your own definitions or claiming special circumstances then communication just plain stops. c.f. Bill Clinton. If the claim is not extraordinary, then you should explain how aliens on Earth are an ordinary event. If you mean the possibility of extraterrestrial life elsewhere is likely, then explain how you reached that conclusion. If the explanations are satisfactory (i.e., based in solid science) then fine, you're good to go. However, please note that the work done by astrophysicists is, IMHO, extraordinary. Extraordinarily hard, extraordinarily well grounded work. So they've met the Sagan challenge.



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 06:57 AM
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reply to post by Gawdzilla
 


Actually, Gawdzilla, you don't meet the criteria for being a true "skeptic". Not even close. That would be fairly simple to demonstrate using quotes from your own posts at ATS alongside the established definitions of "skeptic", "skepticism" and "pseudo-skepticism". I'm happy to do this for you if you wish?


It also might serve to more clearly define the terms used in the O.P. It's easy to call oneself a "skeptic", it's quite another thing to meet the criteria for legitimate skepticism, and that is quite a rare thing at ATS.

At the very least it might be good to clarify exactly what a skeptic is, in this thread, because it's quite a misunderstood and misused term.

[edit on 16-4-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 07:05 AM
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Originally posted by Malcram
reply to post by Gawdzilla
 


Actually, Gawdzilla, you don't meet the criteria for being a true "skeptic". Not even close. That would be fairly simple to demonstrate using quotes from your own posts at ATS alongside the established definitions of "skeptic", "skepticism" and "pseudo-skepticism". I'm happy to do this for you if you wish?

[edit on 16-4-2009 by Malcram]

You have your opinions, and you are welcome to them.



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 07:08 AM
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reply to post by Gawdzilla
 


You didn't answer the question. I'm not talking about my opinion. I'm talking about fact. I'm talking about simply placing your comments alongside the accepted definitions of "skepticism" (not 'my definitions', THE definitions) and letting the resultant gulf between them speak for itself. Do you wish me to do this? I gather not, judging by your response.

[edit on 16-4-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 07:12 AM
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Originally posted by Malcram
reply to post by Gawdzilla
 


You didn't answer the question. I'm not talking about my opinion. I'm talking about fact. I'm talking about simply placing your comments alongside the accepted definitions of "skepticism" (not 'my definitions', THE definitions) and letting the resultant gulf between them speak for itself. Do you wish me to do this? I gather not, judging by your response.

[edit on 16-4-2009 by Malcram]


You are under the impression that I care? About quote-mining? I have to say I'm skeptical about that.



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 07:17 AM
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Originally posted by Gawdzilla
reply to post by Skyfloating
 


You can't just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. If you want to be a skeptic, you have to understand what being skeptical means.

To me, it means being ready to question anything, to remain in a state of doubt until you're satisfied that the information is valid, and take the information as valid only after it has been show to be accurate and not biased. You should apply the S-N-I protocol to evidence.


Thats not being skeptical, thats being critical and rational. I think people are missing the point of the OP. It's grammatically incorrect to call yourself a skeptic, it's also incredibly stupid - as pointed out in the OP. A skeptic, if we take it in the true sense of the word, rather implies someone who is innately paranoid and untrusting of everything and anyone other than themselves, a very fruitless mindset not to mention monotonous.

A critical person, which is what most skeptics actually are, would never say they were a skeptic, they would'nt call themselves anything - they would just be critical thinkers. Which, I might add, are mainly for the purpose of solidifying and perfecting the "believers" ideas into solid systems and new paths, not for proving they are right in an attempt to dull life and stifle new ideas.

Skeptical people and open-minded dreamers are a team that, when correctly functioning, lead to massive breakthroughs. The dreamers looking to the future and the critical thinkers making the dreams more stable and viable. It's very difficult to be both a dreamer and a practical minded person. Having said this, you can easily see why it's totally pointless for the two to oppose each other but rather to work together for the common good.

This is why most companies have what you call a "dream-team" or a "think-tank". Not all their ideas make it through, most dont - but the ones that do are then stabilised and optimsed by the critical, practical minded.

Dreamers - aka - "believers" are the ones propelling civilisation forward, Critics - aka - "skeptics" are the ones making sure we aren't going in the wrong direction.



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 07:21 AM
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reply to post by mortalengine
 


"Thats not being skeptical, thats being critical and rational. I think people are missing the point of the OP. It's grammatically incorrect to call yourself a skeptic, it's also incredibly stupid - as pointed out in the OP. A skeptic, if we take it in the true sense of the word, rather implies someone who is innately paranoid and untrusting of everything and anyone other than themselves, a very fruitless mindset not to mention monotonous."

skeptikos means inquirer or investigator. So, I can see that the OP started off with a misconception and now we're haring off in some strange direction.

Really, people, bartleby.com is free if you have net access.



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 07:23 AM
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reply to post by Gawdzilla
 


Hmm, I thought so. If you present yourself as the posterboy and supposed defender of skepticism, as in this thread, then it would be important to actually be a "skeptic", which means to employ legitimate "skepticism". If you do not, you can expect people to point this out.

More generally, the OP is quite right (starred and flagged
), there really are no such creatures as fixed "believers" and "skeptics", and this issue is further clouded by the fact that there are relatively few true skeptics among those who claim that title - which has very clear definitions. It's rather like claiming the title Jedi - lot's of people use it on government forms asking for their 'religion', but that doesn't mean the force is actually with them, if you see what I mean.
This becomes abundantly evident once you familiarize yourself with the actual meaning of "skepticism" (and "pseudo-skepticism").


[edit on 16-4-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 07:26 AM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


Okay, you want to make up your own definitions, that's fine. It's also where communication ends. Have a nice day.





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