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Believer vs Skeptic: A Black and White Issue?

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posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 07:57 PM
There's been some threads recently about the division between skeptics and believers, but is it really this simple? Are we really so primitive that we have to divide in the most simplest of forms? Where did the grey area go? No pun intended.

I'm a firm believer, but also a skeptic, the one does simply not exclude the other.

I have witnessed something for myself that I'm completely sure was not a conventional craft (I'm not even sure it was a craft, who knows). And I still ask questions about other cases because I want the real deal to be highlighted, but the fake ones dimmed. What I have witnessed is not the issue though.

We have lost the most basic building block of our community, which is democracy and thus our humanity. Audi alteram partem - hear the other side - is what I'm speaking of, the part of our meta-society (might be wrong english translation) that we do not subscribe to any longer, at least way to seldom. This is the grey area I'm talking about, and the world is not black and white on a majority of issues, including the part of UFOs.

I think that believers search for the definite unequivocal proof of UFOs to prove that what they saw was legitimate. While skeptics want to believe, not necessarily without a sighting of their own, that UFOs are real, but with definite proof.

My point is that; black and white issues are the paradox that might bring the UFO subject to a standstill. There has to be some wiggle room without one side dismissing the other without merit.

PS: I appologize if this thread is incoherent due to the language barrier, I was merely trying to finish a thought. I will try to specify and articulate the thread better at a later time - that is if there is any need for it.

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 08:04 PM
Black and white divisions are pretty much dominant IMO when they involve issues where worldviews collide. Just, for example, look at the atheist vs. religion debates. They get pretty nasty.

I don't think there is much you can do about it, seems to be human nature.

[edit on 12-7-2010 by jclmavg]

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 08:08 PM
I understand that you think the "skeptics" versus "believers" paradigm is slowing the field of UFO research. The basic reason is that said groups deviates from a pursuit of truth to an existential need to prove themselves right, or at least prove the other group wrong.

In truth, outside of those that have personal experience with UFOs/ETs (which is likely .1% of those that allege to have), we have no answer.

We should examine all new data with an open mind, without a vested interest in the outcome.


posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 08:30 PM
reply to post by Droogie

It seems to me to be a matter of subjective beliefs and expectations about the subject, then broadcast against the beliefs and expectations of all the other posters on this board.

Personally I'm a believer because there are certain specific cases that truly fascinate and baffle me (Battle of LA, DC '52, Shag Harbor), but that does not mean I don't require proofs or types of evidence in subsequent cases. Indeed, technology makes hoaxes even more prevalent today, so all the more reason to be meticulous in rounding up the data and facts for sightings.

But that's me. There are others who believe flat-out, and don't want to be bothered with proofs or evidence and would rather just spin out all kinds of speculation without some sort of factual grounding or foundation (using the so-called "hollow Moon" theory as a stepping stone to alien bases inside the Moon is one example of this sort of approach).

And that's fine too. But on this board there is both a vague sort of speculation that at times is akin to formulating a story arc for a work of fiction, and there are a lot of actual attempts to identify and classify sightings. Now both involve discussion of UFOs and aliens so both types of engagement belong here, but I think the two sub-genres, if I can call them that, naturally will attract two generally different crowds. Those who are predisposed to believe, and those who are predisposed to want proofs.

So you'll have one group eagerly building one speculation off the next, taking their ideas of Reptoid colonized hollow Moon bases to new heights. And you'll have another group poring over EXIF data and pointing out the possibility that the strange light in the photo could be an RC helo, a Chinese lantern or a chip in the windshield.

These two "personality types" will no doubt clash at times in various threads, and I'm sure members of each type feel like they're butting their head up against a brick wall when dealing with members of the "other side." No doubt members of each side decry members of the other with the same line: "we're here to deny ignorance!"

As long as we recognize that not everyone who has an interest in a certain topic has the same viewpoint on that topic--and as long as we continue to conduct ourselves appropriately and politely with one another--we can still enjoy this vibrant community and the wonderful information that's put in front of us daily.

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 03:35 PM
reply to post by Droogie

The problem with the term believer is that it connotates faith instead of using rational science to prove that extraterrestrials have visited our planet. I do think ufology needs to use the word theory more to describe itself. The problem is it is difficult to gather evidence as flying saucers do not follow the usual norm when it comes to scientific validation. No one can predict when a plane will crash, and the same goes to an extraterrestrial craft landing.

I hold the theory that we have been visited by extraterrestrials, and that there is way too much physical evidence and solid eyewitness accounts to chalk it all up as coincidences. What we should focus on is getting the proof, or the smoking gun case that will solve this mystery once and for all.

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 03:50 PM
reply to post by cagliostro

I don't think this could have been stated any better than this. I give you a star.

Since we really shouldn't post single line responses, I will add to this comment .

Believers seem to say "This photo looks like an alien spaceship so UFO's are real.

What is often referred to as skeptics say, "This photo looks like an alien spaceship but I want to check the photo to see if I could fake it, If I can show that it is fake, I will ignore it. If I cannot disprove it then it may be a spacecraft but I will wait until it is proven to be actual evidence.

You can argue between two beliefs all you want but you can not change someones mind. We should stop arguing and try to collect as much actual, undisputed evidence as possible.


posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 04:20 PM
Hey guys you need to see what happened in the The Dishonesty & Danger Inherent In The seeingUFOsPA Hoax thread today..

And I did not receive a single bloody star..
Only one have commented since I laid out the case for them.

You think I might be tired of being on ATS?

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 04:46 PM
People are pretty quick to place others in one camp or another. I consider myself 'capable of believing' but not considering it mandatory in individual cases. The dichotomy I see as having more of a problem is between ignorance and being informed. I was on ATS until a couple of years ago when I left. Coming back now I seem to detect an overall lack of knowledge about individual cases. I don't know where the old guys have gone, though I see Koi is still here.

For example, anyone who has studied the subject for awhile has come across Steven Greer, Stephen Bassett, and the whole Disclosure crowd's Cargo Cult. Just type in 'mothra' in the search box and you'll come across some very revealing older threads that show this whole issue to be fraught with fraud. The same can be said for Billy Meier. Once you have gone through a thorough discussion you see that the garbage can lid was made into a UFO, The evidence is overwhelming that this stuff is a fraud. We will always have Michael Horn claiming otherwise, but the field, as a whole, has moved past Meier just as it has, more or less, moved past the Caret drones.

There's a thread on the new Disclosure movie. I saw the trailer a few months back. I commented that one ought not put too much credence in the Disclosure Movement as many of the participants have been discredited. I was jumped upon and called "stupid" by the Really Smart Guys who obviously have no idea what they are talking about. They have obviously not studied the issue. They have not done their homework. Yet they consider themselves knowledgeable on these subjects.

Maybe an example from a different area will help. Yet another thread about a "ghost" caught on a security camera. It's a blurry blob in front of the camera. Immediately the speculation starts. "It's a ghiost." "No, it's a shadow person."

No, it's a bug on the camera lens. How do I know? Because I've seen this kind of thing before, participated in forum threads on this kind of thing before. Once you have seen this phenomenon and had it explained to you just how the "ghost" was created, you'll never be fooled by that again. People who have never seen it before will speculate wildly about what it is and, when someone like me comes along and says, "It's a bug!" they will scream wildly that it is I who don't know what I am talking about.

Now, that's an easy example. Lots of this stuff is more complex, but the most frustrating aspect is a lack of basic knowledge of people commenting on the subject. I know it will never happen, but sometimes I think passing a test on UFO knowledge ought to be a requirement before you can post on the subject. Something like the Official UFO Quiz, for example.

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 05:21 PM
I think of myself as a pseudo-believer. I rely on scientific evidence and personal experience. It just so happens that the scientific evidence I rely on is parapsychology, and the personal experience I rely on is paranormal. So I don't need faith, I have experience and evidence. Without faith as the bedrock of my paradigm, I don't "feel" like a "believer".

I don't have a problem with the believer-on-the-street who has no firsthand experience nor scientific evidence to back up his paradigm as long as his paradigm is internally consistent.

I don't have a problem with the skeptic-on-the-street, because we are all 'skeptical' of something, and skepticism is more of a method than a position. But I do have a problem with organized skepticism. For instance JREF, CSICOP, and other skeptic organizations. I think they try to wield skepticism as a single-edged sword that only cuts one way. But true skepticism is a double-edged sword that cuts both ways. So such activists are not really skeptics, imo. They are pseudo-skeptics.

[edit on 13-7-2010 by Student X]

[edit on 13-7-2010 by Student X]

posted on Jul, 13 2010 @ 07:02 PM
Since there are many many threads regarding the skeptic vs. believer debate, pl ease add your thoughts to one of the many existing threads: here.

Thank you.

[edit on July 13th 2010 by greeneyedleo]

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