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Stop bashing us skeptics/debunkers and learn to think logically and with reason!

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posted on Oct, 25 2009 @ 03:27 AM
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Originally posted by Skeptical Ed
You need to learn what a belief system is before you can comment about belief systems. Here is an example: You've never put your hand on a lit stove burner but you've been told by those who have that it burns like hell. You believe them. Then, one day you put your hand on a lit stove burner either on purpose or accidentally. You find out that it burns like hell. Before you had the experience you believed. After you had the experience you were no longer a believer, you became a knower.
[edit on 23-10-2009 by Skeptical Ed]


Many philosophers would disagree with the idea that you can truly 'know' anything (except maybe cogito ergo sum) but I am willing to accept your definition of knowledge for the sake of argument.

This does lead to an interesting paradox in the case of UFO experiencers. Many people who experience UFOs and/or alien abduction say that previously they didn't believe in them, had no knowledge of them, assumed people who saw them were whackjobs etc. However, once they have had such an experience they pass into your definition of 'knowledge' that is they go from a state of non-belief straight into knowledge, bypassing belief altogether.

However, by your strict rules of disallowing belief based on testimony of others there is no mechanism by which they can convince others that what they experienced is the truth.

The 'Believers' are then people who listen to their anecdotal evidence and decide that they are telling the truth.

However, is this such an awful thing to do?

During normal everyday life each of us does exactly this, Skeptic and Believer (and Skeptical-Believers) alike. When I get home from work and I listen to my wife tell me about her day I do not dismiss her stories, I don't call her a liar or insane, I don't tell her she has mispercieved, I don't tell her she has been the subject of a hoax. I assume that she is telling the truth.

When someone claims to see something extraordinary, sure the burden of proof increases from a scientific point of view but most people do not run their lives on a purely scientific basis (especially if they wish to remain married). The frustration of the experiencer is that suddenly they go from the normal situation where people automatically believe what they say to suddenly finding that people automatically assume they are a liar or insane.

The Skeptical Methodology dismisses Witness Testimony


It is because of the importance of the high quality of evidence required to support claims that one of the most popular forms of general evidence, personal testimony (or anecdote), is not accepted as being satisfactory to support a claim. Psychologists have identified many cognitive errors (of reasoning, perception, memory, etc.) that we all possess which means that we can form many incorrect conclusions about things no matter how sincerely we may believe them.


which is fine as far as obtaining ultimate scientific proof is concerned. However, just as there are believers who accept any evidence at all there are Skeptics who take the rejection of testimony above to the extreme whereby they don't just use it as a methodology for obtaining truth but state that such testimony can tell us absolutely nothing .That is, because witness testimony can be mispercieved, where a person describes seeing a ufo then it must be the case that they did mispercieve.

The proper Skeptical response is simply to say that the testimony is not enough to come to a conclusion. However, some Skeptics go further and claim that because the report goes against the current state of knowledge it must, ipso facto, be false (see the section on denial in the above link). They then make the assumption that the witness has at best mispercieved or at worst is a liar or insane when in fact no such conclusion can logically be made without further evidence.

There are also the instances where such testimony is supported by other physical evidence. In these cases it should be ok to accept the testimony, at the very least, as an indicator, if not as corroborating evidence. Imagine a case where a witness describes a landed saucer and after the event, impressions are found in the ground. Many reasonable people will take the report together with the physical traces and allow the possibility that the event happened as stated and allow for the possibility that our current knowledge is incomplete (this would be my position).

However, there are Skeptics who will say that the witness testimony must be thrown out regardless of any supporting evidence to its veracity. All we are then left with is some holes in the ground. At this point the Skeptic can turn around and say there is no evidence of anything extraordinary as current knowledge allows for holes in the ground. To someone like myself this seems like a cheap trick so that the possible implications of the report can be safely ignored - a way of burying one's head in the sand if you like.

Unscientific I may be but I cannot take that position, it is so contrary to my everyday experience. Call me illogical or insane if you must.

The other frustration I experience is when Skeptics take current knowledge as the sole arbiter of what is true. That is the Skeptic will not just reject testimony because it is unreliable, they reject it because it does not match with current knowledge. They do not allow for current knowledge to be wrong.

As for the accounts on this forum, as far as I am aware this is not a scientific or Skeptics forum.


This forum is dedicated to the discussion of historic and contemporary events related to extraterrestrial encounters, UFO sightings, and speculation about related subjects. Discussion topics and follow-up responses in this forum will likely tend to lean in favor of the existence of extraterrestrials and the related conspiracies, scandals, and cover-ups. Members who would seek to refute such theories should be mindful of AboveTopSecret.com\'s tradition of supporting the examination of the \"extraterrestrial phenomenon\" on the related conspiracy theories, cover-ups, and scandals.


Therefore it is entirely acceptable that people be allowed to relate their experience and it is perfectly acceptable that people are allowed to make the choice to believe their testimony.




posted on Oct, 25 2009 @ 10:15 PM
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Originally posted by sphinx551
Just try to debunk this picture:



I do not think you can.


Excellent post supporting the OP!

A picture without notation nor explanation nor proof of origin. Yep, that's exactly the sort of rubbish that the naive folk here will accept without question.

A very poorly processed and presented image, I might add. When will someone buy these hopeless image takers:

- a decent camera (and tripod)
- tripod
- a photography course
- a post-processing course

and.. a clue about what might best be termed 'the scientific method'?

Yes, the first post seems a bit trollish, but it seems the shoe fits in many cases....


PS - I would have debunked it if you had provided context and references, and if it was *bunk*. What makes *you* think it is bunk?



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 01:23 AM
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reply to post by MarrsAttax
 


As much as I would like to, I can't reply to every point you made but I'll just include a couple of your comments.

"Many philosophers would disagree with the idea that you can truly 'know' anything (except maybe cogito ergo sum) ..."

My philosophy is that what I experience is what's real to me. I think, therefore I am is just the beginning.

"This does lead to an interesting paradox in the case of UFO experiencers. Many people who experience UFOs and/or alien abduction say that previously they didn't believe in them, had no knowledge of them, assumed people who saw them were whackjobs etc. However, once they have had such an experience they pass into your definition of 'knowledge' that is they go from a state of non-belief straight into knowledge, bypassing belief altogether."

Except, as I've found out in the world and, especially in forums such as this one, that the majority of humans are believers so they don't go from a state of non-belief straight into knowledge. It is rare to find non-believers. I am a non-believer. Since I know what creates beliefs, I don't have a belief system. If you look at all of my correspondence on this forum you will never find me saying "I believe." Before I had my first UFO sighting, I was just curious about what people were reporting that they were seeing. All of the photos and films that I saw since 1957 just made me curious, never a belief about their reality and I didn't doubt those that were seeing 'em.

"However, by your strict rules of disallowing belief based on testimony of others there is no mechanism by which they can convince others that what they experienced is the truth."

Having known humans for 71 years I can safely say that there is no mechanism by which they can convince others that what they experienced is the truth. However, humans being normally believers, they will believe whatever may be told them. Why should they doubt? They are not normally skeptics, that's why. A skeptic is a different animal and like we know there are pets and there are wild animals you wouldn't go near. I don't go near alien abduction reports for since I got involved with the subject of UFOs I know how alien abduction reports got started and they had nothing to do with actual experiences. When Whitley Strieber's book "COMMUNION" came out with the "alien's" face on the cover, that's all that the fantasy-prone needed to cement their suspicions.

"The 'Believers' are then people who listen to their anecdotal evidence and decide that they are telling the truth."

There's a sympathetic resonance. The believers do not require evidence, they accept readily. If a believer was to find out later that they had been lied to, that the event really didn't happen as they were told, they don't become skeptics all of a sudden. They keep on believing. When a skeptic is told something and the teller supplies evidence that satisfies the skeptic's logic, common sense and reason, the skeptic then accepts what
has been offered as truth. But not all skeptics are mentally adept at exercising logic...

"However, is this such an awful thing to do?" It is not such an awful thing to believe since it is normal for most everyone. But the believer is not on the same mental level as a skeptic and the skeptic will tell the believer why he doesn't believe, what is lacking. The skeptic may tell the believer to not be so gullible.

But we're really talking about circumstances that are out of the ordinary. One can go through life without ever having problems with believers or believers having problems with skeptics. It's when subjects such as alleged alien abductions come up that we "tangle" but only if the skeptic is knowledgeable about the subject. If the skeptic is not knowledgeable, then it's an empty argument.


[edit on 26-10-2009 by Skeptical Ed]



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 03:59 AM
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reply to post by Skeptical Ed
 


Hi Skeptical_Ed

Thank you for your considered response. I can see that perhaps I was quick to judge you based on the OP. It just seemed like you were trying to start a fight.

I know exactly where you are coming from and I think you can see where I am coming from now. Skepticism is a good tool to use but I think you may be expecting to much from what is after all not a scientific forum.

I agree with you when you say not all Skeptics are adept at using logic. Of course it's simply a methodology so perhaps it would make more sense for people to say they approach subjects in a skeptical manner rather than labelling themselves a Skeptics. After all, it's highly unlikely that anyone could adhere to that strict methodology all the time - scientists and Skeptics are people too and subject to the same psychological drives as anyone else.

I think it would be useful for people (skeptics and believers) to question their own motivations every once in a while as these can often get in the way of a search for truth. For instance I readily acknowledge the 'need' within me for aliens to be real, which I think stems from wanting something magical in what otherwise tends to be a mundane existence as well as the wish to be able to say "Aha! I told you so!" to people who naysay
. I think a lot of believers also have these motivations but skeptics as well I think will sometimes be motivated by desires they may not wish to acknowledge openly. And I think everyone likes to be 'right' especially on the internet



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 08:43 AM
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Originally posted by bsbray11
reply to post by xelamental
 


I'm going to have to second the guy who said the video is trash. It hardly takes a balanced perspective. Instead, it seems to take status-quo science as a religion. As mentioned earlier, skeptics have been just as stupid as anyone else historically, arguing so heavily against Copernicus that the Sun revolves around the Earth, etc. Classifying anything non-scientific as "supernatural" is showing immediate bias towards phenomena that are not already scientifically-established.


Umm. Yeah. That's the point of being able to discern real from not. If someone comes up with a new theory, do you think we should just accept it? Or wait until there is a large body of supporting evidence?
What if there is a large body of evidence already showing it's class of model isn't repeatable (psi/homeopathy etc).

If you immediately jump to "wow" without going past "wait a second", to me that's the definition of stupidity. I'll reserve my wow's for phenomena that are bring the evidence with them. This is the *only* sane way to view the world, lest you believe that the flying spaghetti monster is real!

--- Edit:

This isn't to say that we shouldn't be investigating things like psi/homeopathy/chiropractors etc. We definitely should, and I'd love to one day myself. But if someone makes a claim, it should be tested. I'm also a skeptic of the flu vaccine's effectiveness, and much of epidemiological science in general that has little evidence base behind it.

[edit on 26-10-2009 by xelamental]



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 09:10 AM
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reply to post by Skeptical Ed
 


I am a person who believes that there is some form of other life out there, whether its microbacterial or a fully developed species capable of time travel i have no idea....allthough i would lean towards: If we find just one type of living organism, that means there must be more right? Of course, this is just my opinion, not based in fact.


To you, a UFO did crash in Roswell
Can you prove one didnt? If a UFO did crash, doesnt mean there were aliens in it....just that a UFO crashed there....see the difference?

To you, millions of humans have been abducted by aliens

Nope, not me - havent seen any evidence/hasnt happened to me - not something i attribute to the credible side of ufology


To you, there's a variety of aliens from greys to reptilians to Nordic to...

Again, no. I have no idea what types there would be, or how many there would be. And who gave them these names? Us? Well, then i agree with you, we arent helping ourselves in that particular sense...how can we give them names like this when we dont have any proof they exist right now?


To you, the U.S. Gov't (and other governments) has UFO secrets that are going to be "disclosed" (yeah!).


They have ufo related documents that are going to be released, multiple countries have already started...are you attaching UFO to aliens? you do know that UFO means unidentified flying object dont you? Doesn't always mean aliens....


Basically, if something is presented as alien, i willl look at it with a skeptical but open mind, as there is a lot of cr*p being given out at present, with no facts to back it up...but being generalised by people like yourself without taking the time to find out what their personal beliefs are, is very narrow minded imo

im agreeing with you on one part - some of the 'believers' on here arent helpin the cause and wont accept hard fact refuting their case because they just want to believe - im not one of them




posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 06:58 PM
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MarrsAttax, Skeptical Ed, & Darkside Agent,
Everyone brings up some really interesting points. What I can't understand is why the ufo community dismisses science, but they are willing to accept testimonials from hypnosis?

Would not the believers want science to be used, so that credibility can be given to certain cases?

My philosophy is, "If you can't see it, smell it, taste it, or touch it, it does not really exist."

Why do some of the believers embrace the metaphysical over the physical?

Proving the existence of aliens is trying to prove the physical, but some are trying to turn this movement into a religion.

UFO cases should be tested with scientific tools, which ultimately prove and disprove cases. Why do some refuse the use of scientific methods?

When I read an abduction case, I can't help but to believe they are trying to sell a religious experience.


Originally posted by Skeptical Ed You notice that not one world leader has ever claimed to have been abducted least of all even visited without being abducted.

I love this line. It speaks to the obvious, and so many people miss this point.

If you are going to abduct people to enforce power, (and can do it with the advanced technologies that the UFO mythology claims), you would grab those in power to send a message of fear.

Or, if you want an entire species to change their habits, (so they don't kill themselves), you would abduct or contact those who can make a difference.

Or, if you want to let someone know that you come in peace, you would talk to those who have the ability to shoot off a missile.

Etc...

[edit on 26-10-2009 by Pathos]



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 07:27 PM
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Making broad sweeping generalizations about a group of people then trying to assert your world view as the authority isn't going to win you anything. I think you already figured that out though.



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 08:29 PM
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reply to post by antithesis.
 

I haven't seen too much of anything else that tells me otherwise. Unless you can provide some type of examples, I will stick to my formulated use of grammar. If you were paying attention to my post(s), you will notice I used the word "some" and phrases such as "not all".

Even though I visit these forums, my agenda is in search of 'truth'. I come here to find that 'one moment' where 'truth' is 'irrefutable'. Until such a day does arrive, I will approach this topic with serious skepticism.

I believe in Jesus Christ. If I were put into the position of trying to prove his existence, I would try to find 'irrefutable' and 'tangible' evidence. Since religion is a belief system based upon faith, I do not believe emotional experiences can be considered as a form of proof. I would never-ever come into a forum in an attempt to prove the existence of God. Even though there is proof within my life, I would never be able to convince others based upon my own emotional experiences. Its illogical.

If believers want to prove to me that aliens exists, (UFOs and Abductions), they are going to have to show me (and others) 'irrefutable' and 'tangible' evidence. Anything else is based upon subjective interpretation of evidence.

Bouncing lights = Subjective
All Media Testimonials = Subjective
Photographs = Subjective
Hypnosis Used as a Science = Subjective
Historical Art Pieces = Subjective


[edit on 26-10-2009 by Pathos]



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 10:21 PM
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reply to post by Pathos
 


Sorry (mainly for causing you to write that wall of text) that my post was misinterpreted, I was replying to OP.

In response to your post.

The one thing that isn't subjective however is sheer probability. Sheer probability overpowers all other subjective materials you've mentioned.

[edit on 27-10-2009 by antithesis.]



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 05:32 PM
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Originally posted by antithesis.
The one thing that isn't subjective however is sheer probability. Sheer probability overpowers all other subjective materials you've mentioned.

If we go by that type of philosophy, every time we flip the coin it will come up Earth. Since the majority of the aircraft and objects in orbit are man made, the prevalence for an Earthly based explanation is seriously higher. Everything else is either a meteor or something natural.

We still can't remove man from the equation.

I like where you are going though.


[edit on 28-10-2009 by Pathos]



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 05:44 PM
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Op, I agree with you completely. You see a disc flying around and what do people automatically think? Aliens!

Meanwhile the US government has projects which you will never know about, or comprehend because it is too good for you. Just before the end of WW2, the Nazi's were planning something massive. Why do you think the US government kept all those scientists?

So they could swap technology and build things which you can not grasp. The elite have had these technologies for sometime now, and that is where the money from black projects are going. You guys honestly think with all that research, the government would still be building things like the B2 Stealth Bomber? Lol. That is all I have to say.



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 05:48 PM
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What would skeptics think when the president of the United States officially discloses alien existence and brings a few real aliens along to the presentation/interview/event?



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 06:10 PM
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Originally posted by sphinx551
What would skeptics think when the president of the United States officially discloses alien existence and brings a few real aliens along to the presentation/interview/event?

'If' the United States government did acknowledge the existence of alien visitors, and provide the proof, that would open an entirely different paradigm to this subject. We would have something substantial to study. We would have real aliens to examine physically. Physical proof changes everything.

The only problem with your statement is the word 'when'. In order for anyone to use the word 'when'; in that type of statement, they would have to believe disclosure will actually take place under their expectations. If disclosure does not come in the form of an admission to the existence of aliens, but they provided an Earthly explanation, how do you think the believers would behave?


Originally posted by Equinox99
Op, I agree with you completely. You see a disc flying around and what do people automatically think? Aliens!

Meanwhile the US government has projects which you will never know about, or comprehend because it is too good for you. Just before the end of WW2, the Nazi's were planning something massive. Why do you think the US government kept all those scientists?

So they could swap technology and build things which you can not grasp. The elite have had these technologies for sometime now, and that is where the money from black projects are going. You guys honestly think with all that research, the government would still be building things like the B2 Stealth Bomber? Lol. That is all I have to say.

History Project UFOs The Real History (Parts 1 thru 6)
Clip 1: www.youtube.com...
Clip 2: www.youtube.com...
Clip 3: www.youtube.com...
Clip 4: www.youtube.com...
Clip 5: www.youtube.com...
Clip 6: www.youtube.com...

Someone keeps telling me that I should not use these clips, but they do have an interesting story to tell. FYI - It backs your statement up.




[edit on 28-10-2009 by Pathos]



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 06:24 PM
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reply to post by Pathos
 

A lot of people would not handle it well.
Some other people would probably outraging and thinking how could the government do this to them others would probably laughing at the face of defeat.



[edit on 28-10-2009 by sphinx551]



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 06:26 PM
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Creating a counter bash thread to tackle a bash thread is even more ridiculous.

If you don't like the attitude someone gives to you. You can address such an attitude with said individual or you can ignore. You shouldn't make an issue out of it, because such is childish.



posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 10:17 PM
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Originally posted by sphinx551
What would skeptics think when the president of the United States officially discloses alien existence and brings a few real aliens along to the presentation/interview/event?


Skeptics are not a group so there is no spokesperson to answer your question. Each skeptic thinks differently dependent on how much they know about the subject.

Since we skeptics do agree on one thing and that is that evidence speaks volumes and hearsay does not, then if the president introduces aliens to the public, and the aliens somehow prove themselves to not be your average, 21st century human, then the weight shifts to possibly acceptable but there are other considerations.

Alien doesn't necessarily mean from outside the earth. Alien could be from another dimension which has more possibilities than from outer space. The evidence required to prove a being from outside the earth could not be provided to every skeptic so who is going to be selected? Robert Sheaffer? He is about the the only famous close-minded skeptic I've ever heard of. Convince him and the rest of us fall behind him like dominoes!

Even if said alien(s) jumped into a UFO (no longer a UFO!) parked on the White House's lawn and took off, how do we know they're going to another planet/galaxy/universe? Or they're just going to their home bases on the moon?


[edit on 28-10-2009 by Skeptical Ed]



posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 10:05 AM
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reply to post by sphinx551
 


Look if aliens were real and slowly exposed themselves overtime, our brains would get used to it and stop processing it as a threat. However, the government wants us to obviously think there is some sort of threat for a reason.

Maybe a "false flag attack". But why would our government do something like that? Maybe I am just thinking too much...or maybe I am thinking like the government.

What would be the best way to "unite" the people under one rule, or a new World order? An external attack in which we have to defend ourselves from. This would force the world to unite together and bring forth a new form of leadership. Headed by the corporations umbrella.

Many people don't know this nor shall they ever know this. Every leader for every country hates each other in front of cameras. When the doors are closed they are either friends, or they are forced to co-operate because they are in debt. False flag operation will happen because the elite have invested too much time and money for it not to work.

Do the research. They will prep you for aliens by showing it in the mainstream news(which is owned by the elite). Then slowly you will see them turn the aliens into hostile beings.



posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 07:29 PM
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Originally posted by sphinx551
reply to post by Pathos
 

A lot of people would not handle it well.
Some other people would probably outraging and thinking how could the government do this to them others would probably laughing at the face of defeat.

I'm hoping that the majority will laugh it off. Maybe it will allow us to focus on ourselves more, and how we can be the first to make contact on other worlds.

I'm also hoping that we find some type of life in our own solar system. Even though they have not arrived on Earth, that does not mean they are not out there. I don't think people understand how massive and wondrous our own solar system is in scale and possibilities.

I bought two dvd sets a few months back, and I thought I was going to fall out of my chair. When you learn the actual size and how many planets and moons are in our system alone, you begin to see how complex and awesome our existence is on Earth.

"The Planet"
'Universe: Season One"

Even though it wasn't mentioned on the dvd sets, I don't think many people know that we are surrounded by a massive meteor belt (in the path of Earth's orbit). It was one of many left behind from the initial Big Bang. You can see them in the NASA STS clips found on YouTube. People mistaken the objects shooting around and bouncing off of our atmosphere as being alien in nature. They are not.

We should all be blessed for living in an awesome and wondrous universe.

When I complete my existence here on Earth, I have plans on asking God to allow me to take a tour. If I can't do it in my lifetime, I might as well do it when I die of old age.

We shouldn't be asking ourselves 'do aliens visit Earth on a daily basis'. We should be asking, "How can humanity take it's first steps into the great unknown?"



posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 09:55 PM
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I think your the one that needs to do your reasearch.Skeptics are are great to have around.Its just the ones like you that dont bring up no reasonable debate what so ever (close minded idiots)Theres no telling how many trillions of planets that exit in the universe ,but where the only one that has life on it .This is just insane.(theres a reasonable debate)




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