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Definitions of "skeptic" and "debunk" for believers.

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posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 08:20 PM
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I'm a skeptic and a debunker. Being so is a natural stance. Being the opposite, or a believer, shows that the mind is not being used 100% but has been altered to accept without questioning. This "alteration" is usually due to mental conditioning which restricts free thought (religion is a good example of this). Just as we are all born atheists, that is without religious beliefs because beliefs are the result of mental conditioning, we should all strive to be skeptics. However, there is no doubt that this is an impossibility because almost every child's mind is conditioned to hold beliefs that are, usually, detrimental to clear thinking. Believers cannot use common sense, logic and reason as that is the realm of clear thinking or, being skeptical. Whether you agree with this assumption on my part, after a certain amount of education into mental conditioning and its results, or not is your choice.

On ATS, the majority of members are believers and they resent a skeptic's POV because the believers' world view is "colored" by the beliefs that they hold and a skeptic is simply trying to say, "No, the world is not your color it's a different color." However, some (close-minded) skeptics' color is also not the correct color. The correct color is defined by a simple rule: make a claim and offer irrefutable evidence to support the claim. Otherwise, the claim can be challenged by some individuals who use common sense, logic and reason. These individuals are labeled skeptics and, as I've found out, they're not popular and are usually "attacked" with much unfriendliness and "threats." Some of these threatening individuals place themselves in a position of "self-assigned authority" trying to control board content while at the same time violating their "tenets."

I tried to advise the ATS Administrators that the following motto should be accepted and enforced since ATS is a public forum:
""If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky

I'm not in charge of ATS therefore I cannot control the content of the forums. But I think that I have the right to express my POV without constantly being attacked by those who think they control the Aliens and UFOs forum. I've never been warned by Mods nor the Administrators about my POV because all I've done is disagree with some posts.

Members have choices: don't get involved with a post you disagree with if you're not going to be amicable; use the "ignore this user" choice.

And for those who continue to feel hostile towards skeptics because they do not understand what a skeptic is, here are some web definitions and I've also included definitions of debunk for the same purpose.


(n) skeptic, sceptic, doubter (someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs)

incredulity, disbelief, skepticism, mental rejection (doubt about the truth of something)

skepticism - The practice or philosophy of being a skeptic; A studied attitude of questioning and doubt; The doctrine that absolute knowledge is not possible; A methodology that starts from doubt and aims to acquire certainty;

skeptical - Having, or expressing doubt; questioning;
---------------------------
debunk - expose while ridiculing; especially of pretentious or false claims and ideas; "The physicist debunked the psychic's claims"

A debunker is an individual who discredits and exposes claims as being false, exaggerated or pretentious. ...

To discredit, or expose to ridicule the falsehood or the exaggerated claims of something

debunking - The act of showing something to be false (or bunkum)




posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 08:32 PM
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Indeed.

Each time I have been called a 'debunker' it has made me lift an eyebrow. Oft times it has been while saying things like "But this paragraph-in the evidence YOU supplied says..". Apparently many think that attacking bogus information makes one a pariah of some sort to be labeled as a 'debunker'.



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 08:34 PM
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reply to post by lordtyp0
 

You ain't nobody until you've been called a disinfo agent. That's when you know you've hit the big time.



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 08:35 PM
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Tell you what Ed,

If you can wrap your head around, and explain, either one of the statements in my sig, I'll believe whatever you have to say and consider myself as the one with the closed mind.

If I ever meet an alien though, I'll do my darndest to introduce em to you.


Peace



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 08:46 PM
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I'm a debunker and a believer so I get crap from both sides. All I want are two pictures. One of swamp gas reflecting light and one of a reptilian.



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 08:46 PM
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[edit on 29-9-2009 by zaiger]



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 08:52 PM
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The simple answer is to simply look at the facts and available evidence and come to the most unbiased conclusion you can. I have been called a "debunker" and a "pseudobeleiver"...BUT all I do is look at the probability distribution that is present within the many ufology cases.



This is the ONLY logical way to go, nothing else matters, simply look at the evidence and make conclusions based on the logical and unbiased interpretation of said evidence, rather it be concrete, circumstantial, or perrihprial.

If one strays from that path then they are committing a fallacy. Another fallacy is to try and dictate what one would do if they had absolute control of this board, because on a large scale it prolly' works well as it is....


[edit on 9/29/2009 by jkrog08]



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by lordtyp0
 

You ain't nobody until you've been called a disinfo agent. That's when you know you've hit the big time.


Oh yes, been called that. Forgot about it though mostly because I am not completely certain what they are calling me



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 08:56 PM
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Your thread reminds me in some sense of something I wrote a while ago.

I disagree with lot of things you said, particularly with the extreme and absolute tone you use, but let me address one specifically. You explained and provided definitions for skeptic, skepticism and debunker, but you didn't explain what you mean by believer.

What exactly do you mean by believer? Is it someone that believes some UFOs are not just misidentifications, natural phenomena, secret projects and weather balloons? Or is it, that kind of person that I call doe-eyed believer, that believes anything without critically thinking? Those are two very different things.

I'm asking this because I think you can be a skeptic (use skepticism as a tool and approach) and still reach the conclusion that there is something more to UFOs than what the Government(s) publicly say there is.



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:03 PM
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Just a few points, everyone is born as an agnost, not an atheist. And a unbiased person is never a skeptic because skepticism implies bias to something not being true, skeptic is a side of the coin where believer is the other. So with that in mind you could say that a skeptic does not use 100% of its potential. Balance is the key in this case, acceptance that we at this point don't know squat even though we are making headway for sure.

A atheist is making assumptions
A Believer is making assumptions
A Skeptic is making assumptions

Everyone that has convictions based on what we think to know now is making assumptions, when you look at what we know about gravity or the underlying works of time you will see that we can measure the casuality based on some fixed values but we do not KNOW how those values come into existence.

The only way to get some objectivity into the discussion is when we let go of any bias and aknowledge the things we do not know, when you do that the discussion will break free and we will get into some furtile grounds where we can build on.

[edit on 29-9-2009 by Harman]



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:10 PM
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reply to post by Harman
 


I have to disagree with a couple items.
Most Atheists I know are so because they couldn't find non-anecdotal proof. They sort of said "There is no reason to believe in any religion, so I am not going to bother.".

It boils down to this regarding skepticism and atheism:

Requiring evidence is not a presumption. It is a statement of requirement. Believing is a presumption as "Belief" like "faith" denotes a willingness to accept regardless of tangible quantifiable evidence. "Faith" can best be described as acting as if true, regardless of contrary evidence.

Science certainly has many such presumptions, they however are variables that change as a theorum is modified. For example: I believe X will happen when I apply method Y.

They test, and if "X" does not happen, it changes.

This is nowhere close to the belief and faith presumptions of religion which seems to never change regardless of evidence. On the one hand you have Belief that is a vector representing what one thinks will happen. If it does not happen it is abandoned.

To directly compare it in such a way as you did with:

"
A atheist is making assumptions
A Believer is making assumptions
A Skeptic is making assumptions
"
Is problematic IMO.



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:12 PM
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Originally posted by lernmore
Tell you what Ed,

If you can wrap your head around, and explain, either one of the statements in my sig, I'll believe whatever you have to say and consider myself as the one with the closed mind.
---------------------------------------------------------------

Show me where the sky ends and I might believe you.


When you hit the ground. Anything up is "the sky".



Show me when time began, and I will...maybe.


When the first person began to count. Time was not a concept before that happened.


I know I'm not "Ed" and I don't think you have a closed mind but I just had to.



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:16 PM
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Originally posted by lernmore
Tell you what Ed,

If you can wrap your head around, and explain, either one of the statements in my sig, I'll believe whatever you have to say and consider myself as the one with the closed mind.

If I ever meet an alien though, I'll do my darndest to introduce em to you.


Peace


I'm very aware of your try-to-answer-this-but-I-know-you-cant "tactics"!


The sky ends on the horizon.
Time began with my birth.

What else you got? Are you my "disciple" now?



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:23 PM
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Originally posted by nerbot
When you hit the ground. Anything up is "the sky".


Doh! you got me....

Hey mods, can I have a little more room in my sig to clarify which end?

My unfounded rationality is getting debunked by a skeptic!



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:31 PM
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Originally posted by lordtyp0
reply to post by Harman
 


I have to disagree with a couple items.
Most Atheists I know are so because they couldn't find non-anecdotal proof. They sort of said "There is no reason to believe in any religion, so I am not going to bother.".


A baby does not know the concept of religion so by definition they are agnostic, they do not know. How can anyone disbelieve anything they do not have knowledge of? When you have a concept of religion you can decide to be an atheist, theist, agnostic or gnostic. It's that simple.


It boils down to this regarding skepticism and atheism:

Requiring evidence is not a presumption. It is a statement of requirement. Believing is a presumption as "Belief" like "faith" denotes a willingness to accept regardless of tangible quantifiable evidence. "Faith" can best be described as acting as if true, regardless of contrary evidence.

Science certainly has many such presumptions, they however are variables that change as a theorum is modified. For example: I believe X will happen when I apply method Y.

They test, and if "X" does not happen, it changes.

This is nowhere close to the belief and faith presumptions of religion which seems to never change regardless of evidence. On the one hand you have Belief that is a vector representing what one thinks will happen. If it does not happen it is abandoned.

To directly compare it in such a way as you did with:

"
A atheist is making assumptions
A Believer is making assumptions
A Skeptic is making assumptions
"
Is problematic IMO.


But you decide what is evidence and what is not, wich institution you chose to believe, institutionalized science has a bunch of flaws mainly that even they have dogmas and authority. A top down flow of accepted facts. Granted, it gives more advances to humankind technologywise than say religion but it is still a controled institution wherefrom you can be outcast when you have a different viewpoint. A totally unbiased society would not accept this. There are more than a few Nobel price winning scientists that experienced skepticism on what later turned out to be true, just google it, it is not hard to find. A believer is closed off to some part of how things work but the same goes for sceptics. There are theories that are elated to facts without real evidence. Of course there are people that still think that the earth is 6000 years old and flat but science does have dogmas in place in the form of 'laws' that do not have to be laws or the law has loopholes, whatever. And not every scientist is a skeptic mind you, just admit that there are big gaps in our knowledge so you can accept new viepoints as an possibility, not as a truth but just a possibility, no commitment necessary

[edit on 29-9-2009 by Harman]



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:49 PM
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(Chop: removed for space)



But you decide what is evidence and what is not, wich institution you chose to believe, institutionalized science has a bunch of flaws mainly that even they have dogmas and authority. A top down flow of accepted facts. Granted, it gives more advances to humankind technologywise than say religion but it is still a controled institution wherefrom you can be outcast when you have a different viewpoint. A totally unbiased society would not accept this. There are more than a few Nobel price winning schientists that experienced skepticism on what later turned out to be true, just google it, it is not hard to find. A believer is closed off to some part of how things work but the same goes for sceptics. There are theories that are elated to facts without real evidence. Of course there are people that still think that the earth is 6000 years old and flat but science does have dogmas in place in the form of 'laws' that do not have to be laws or the law has loopholes, whatever. And not every scientist is a skeptic mind you, just admit that there are big gaps in our knowledge so you can accept new viepoints as an possibility, not as a truth but just a possibility, no commitment necessary

[edit on 29-9-2009 by Harman]


There are certain dogmas, this is true. But it is a meritocracy more than a dictatorship. In all the hard sciences that which is regarded as fact can be verified by anyone-presuming they have means such as a lab. Nobody contests the simple arithmetic of 1+1=2. I have never heard anyone profess that Alchemy be taught in school side by side with chemistry. Or flat-earth be taught with geology.

The reason being: Regardless of people believing them-they are not Theories. A Theory has been peer reviewed and attacked. Its findings have been replicated. Though the Theory can be missing a few items that allow anomalies in-the core is still repeatably correct.

Me saying I have a theory that there are dinosaurs living in the swamp near my house-is not a theory. It is an idea. If I try and prove it, then it graduates to a hypothesis. When I fail to prove that dinosaurs are there then I should be laughed at. The point of science is not to be inclusive. It is to be factual. To say the sciences are wrong in a broad stroke is a bit disingenuous or overtly vague as the field is not wrong. It just might have a couple bad hypotheticals that got headlines and discredited all. However finding those problems is where the glory lays. That is the "Eureka" moment that makes careers and cements names in history books.

I would have to say: There is no Pope in science who determines whether something is truth or not. When people explore it and it fails to return results, or is determined as a waste of time-it is simply discarded.

Your post hints at the whole ID/Evolution debacle. So to bring it a bit there: ID is not a theory-it is a hypothesis. Since it cannot be observed or in any way tangibly reproduced: It is not science. This does not automatigically make it false, it makes it Non-Scientific. It should be taught in philosophy. Not Bio. Darwin was all about speciation-not the origin of life. Not the origin of the Universe. Recently Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron spearheaded a release of Darwins book erroniously claiming he was in legue with the Nazi's, a woman hater, citing cosmology... All is bogus and irrelevant to the theory. It seems as though they lacked actual knowledge to attack the theory and instead appeal to emotions and outright lie. To juxtapose: This is like saying that Henry Ford was in league with Hitler because the Nazi's used cars. Or Tesla and Marconi were in bed with them because Radios were used.

The real point I am making is Science welcomes attacks on Theories. The faithful regard it as an act of war.



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:50 PM
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Oh Noooz is it that time of the week again? Yet another Debunker vs Believer thread?

OY....



Originally posted by zaiger
I'm a debunker and a believer so I get crap from both sides.


You are confused... you need help




All I want are two pictures. One of swamp gas reflecting light and one of a reptilian.



Here's one... in the Ottawa Museum



[edit on 29-9-2009 by zorgon]



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 09:51 PM
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Originally posted by converge
Your thread reminds me in some sense of something I wrote a while ago.

I disagree with lot of things you said, particularly with the extreme and absolute tone you use, but let me address one specifically. You explained and provided definitions for skeptic, skepticism and debunker, but you didn't explain what you mean by believer.

What exactly do you mean by believer? Is it someone that believes some UFOs are not just misidentifications, natural phenomena, secret projects and weather balloons? Or is it, that kind of person that I call doe-eyed believer, that believes anything without critically thinking? Those are two very different things.

I'm asking this because I think you can be a skeptic (use skepticism as a tool and approach) and still reach the conclusion that there is something more to UFOs than what the Government(s) publicly say there is.


Glad you asked, converge. I did explain what a believer is but I'll repeat it for you. A believer is one whose mind has been taken over by irrational thought. As an example, irrational thought is created by a religious family and as an impressionable child, you are told over and over that (and this is only an example) that Jesus is real and will be waiting for you in heaven when you die. You'll probably join members of your family who will have died before you. Religions require this kind of mind control. I don't know if you've ever been inside a church or temple but they're usually excellent venues for hypnosis: droning pastor, sermon reverberating in the high ceilings and reflective walls, etc. You cannot question or challenge this upbringing.

But even though the above might seem an extreme, the majority of humans were mentally-conditioned as children to mostly obey parents and figures of authority. It's a form of hypnosis and you go through life in a trance unless you snap out of it. Cult deprogrammers can best tell you how difficult it is to "snap out of it" as they've found out with cult victims.

Even if you weren't born into a religious family, you were still mentally-conditioned up to a point to accept without questioning. Now here come UFOs. You've never seen one but the media has blitzed your mind with all kinds of reports and, especially, that a lot of people have been abducted by aliens of all kinds from greys to reptilians to shape-shifters. There's books, magazines, movies, news reports, etc. You, being a trusting person, cannot reason why people would lie about such things so you become a believer and may think that a UFO really crashed near Roswell, some astronauts saw aliens on the moon, Whitley Strieber and Travis Walton were abducted, and on and on.

You are not interested in finding out the truth behind anything because the "evidence" for is overwhelming. Never mind that some individuals seem to be wrong in declaring that no one is being abducted, that no one has seen or had any interactions with alleged aliens. You wonder what's wrong with them. You don't wonder if there's something wrong with you!

How is it that I can speak the way I do? Why am I not one of the mentally-conditioned? Why not mentally-conditioned in reverse? I'll tell you about myself and I'm 71 so I can't carry on with a full explanation so I'll count my words. I was born into a catholic family but, fortunately, I don't remember seeing a bible in our house or having any member of the family pressure me with religion. I was "forced" to go to Sunday school but I usually went unaccompanied. I "enjoyed" going to Sunday school because those kids attending were given attendance coupons which could be exchanged for gifts! Never, and I mean never, did anything the priest said sank into my mind because it sounded like b.s. Jesus? God? Walking on water? Resurrected? You gotta be feces me!

As an adult I took interest in hypnosis and graduated at the top of my class with a well-known hypnotist. That led to my finding out about mental states and why people believe. I got into UFOlogy in 1957 and didn't see a UFO until the early 1980s and before that I didn't believe in UFOs, I just didn't know what people were experiencing although I did become quite savvy from reading everything and conductin research including a stint as a UFO field researcher and magazine editor, etc., etc. I'm probably the only person to be physically ejected from a UFO lecture, it made the local Los Angeles newspaper!

Then came the aliens in popular culture. Again, no experience, no knowledge just curiosity.

So to finally answer some of your above questions, a believer is a believer. A believer accepts without questioning because questioning brings enlightment which removes beliefs. Once a person experiences this belief removal, the consider continuing the questioning. So the majority of UFO believers have not had a personal experience but accept the tales told by others, a sympathetic resonance. And once you've had an experience, you are no longer a believer but a knower. Knowledge has replaced belief.

Some things just sound unbelievable but you have to take the steps to see if they are really as claimed or they are not. Not that many take the steps. UFOs, presently are unknowns. I don't accept anyone's version that they know about UFOs. I don't accept wishful thinking that any government knows more about UFOs than you do or could find out. I don't accept any reports of an government having UFOs in storage and doing reverse engineering. Why not? Because there is no evidence to support any of it.

Skepticism just means: I'm from Missouri, show me!



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 10:03 PM
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Originally posted by Harman
Just a few points, everyone is born as an agnost, not an atheist. And a unbiased person is never a skeptic because skepticism implies bias to something not being true, skeptic is a side of the coin where believer is the other. So with that in mind you could say that a skeptic does not use 100% of its potential. Balance is the key in this case, acceptance that we at this point don't know squat even though we are making headway for sure.

A atheist is making assumptions
A Believer is making assumptions
A Skeptic is making assumptions

Everyone that has convictions based on what we think to know now is making assumptions, when you look at what we know about gravity or the underlying works of time you will see that we can measure the casuality based on some fixed values but we do not KNOW how those values come into existence.

The only way to get some objectivity into the discussion is when we let go of any bias and aknowledge the things we do not know, when you do that the discussion will break free and we will get into some furtile grounds where we can build on.

[edit on 29-9-2009 by Harman]


I disagree. We are born atheists. Atheists are not mentally-conditioned to believe in anything associated with world religions. Skepticism comes afterwards as one wonders and questions leading to answers. An agnost is a fence sitter, not sure but still believing.

Skepticism has many levels and it depends on the person. I'm an open-minded skeptic who allows for possibilities but not outrageous claims that defy and violate known laws of nature. For example, I've always said that ghosts do not exist because I've never heard, read, or saw ghosts affecting atheists, it happens only to religious believers who think that just saying "Jesus" has any effect on the offending spirits. BUT, I'm aware that certain images that are not explainable in certain "haunted" locations can be recorded on video. But like with UFOs, I didn't believe in UFOs, I just didn't know about them from a personal experience. I don't want to have a ghostly experience! But since I haven't I don't "believe" in them. Until I know, I don't know.

A true skeptic doesn't make assumptions, a skeptic requests irrefutable evidence to claims in order to go from not knowing to knowing.



posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 10:11 PM
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Five Things You Should Keep In Mind Before Posting In The UFO Forum
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Skepticism: A Call to Arms
www.abovetopsecret.com...

I'm pretty tired of skeptics who are unable to think outside the box.
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Pseudoskeptics and Disinformants on ATS
www.abovetopsecret.com...

The Skeptics Dilemma
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies
www.abovetopsecret.com...



There was another great thread on definitions of psuedo skeptics to psuedo believers and everything between. I thiught it was by jkrog08 but can't seem to find it now



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