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UFO's and the right to be skeptical

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posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by TrueBrit
For instance , if a poster provides a picture with an unknown object on it, and asks , "What the crap is it?" then a skeptic has no reason to reply!!!

It has, if he/she as an opinion about it.

A sceptic is sceptic of conclusions, specially their own conclusions, but that doesn't mean that he/she cannot have an opinion. That opinion is based on what information he/she gathered through life and that he/she thinks can be applied to that specific case.


Further more, when someone tells you "This is what happened" and it takes what seems to be the whole ten thousand character limit in order to say it, then you can bet your butt that any request for more information will be met with confusion... something along the lines of "What the hell did I just write all that out for, if ignorant mooks arent even going to look at it !?".

That means nothing, a person can write 2,000 characters and do not supply all the information he/she has, it's possible (and common) that the person is not even aware that he/she has that information or it was thought as irrelevant.


In short , theres nothing wrong with skepticism as long as it waits its turn and pays attention... in all other cases it will be shot on sight.

Yes, but a sceptic can have opinions like anybody else, we are not robots.




posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 08:59 AM
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reply to post by ArMaP
 


Im talking about skepticism as an institution of course , wouldnt dream of getting on your case ArMaP specialy considering I value your wisdom when you share it with us. See to my mind you yourself are not a skeptic. You are merely a person who examines things deeply. And you arent biased in your musings as I expect skeptics to be. Most importantly you arent afraid of the gaps in your knowlege, and from what I understand you actively seek those gaps and fill them with as much as you can get hold of, being an inquisitive sort of a chap. Those qualities are specificaly NOT those of a traditional skeptic. Remember the whole flat earth theory? Skepticism kept us out of the loop for hundreds of years on that one!!!



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 09:38 AM
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Originally posted by TrueBrit
reply to post by ArMaP
 

...See to my mind you yourself are not a skeptic. You are merely a person who examines things deeply. And you arent biased in your musings as I expect skeptics to be. Most importantly you arent afraid of the gaps in your knowlege, and from what I understand you actively seek those gaps and fill them with as much as you can get hold of, being an inquisitive sort of a chap. Those qualities are specificaly NOT those of a traditional skeptic...

Then you need a new term to describe that type of skeptic that you dislike.

The word "skeptic" is not a dirty word, and should not have negative connotations. That word "skeptic" should be a positive term reserved to describe the positive type of skeptic you noted -- such as ArMap.
The negative type of skeptic you are describing is sometime called a "Pseudo-Skeptic"

Here's a good essay on "pseudo-skeptic" versus "skeptics" (or "true skeptics"):
Pseudo-Skepticism.
I agree with almost all, but not every word, of this essay -- however, I totally agree with the basic sentiment:



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 09:45 AM
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Originally posted by TrueBrit
For instance , if a poster provides a picture with an unknown object on it, and asks , "What the crap is it?" then a skeptic has no reason to reply!


The skeptic has every reason to reply, if they know what the object is or at least has an idea of what it may be.


Originally posted by TrueBrit
In short , theres nothing wrong with skepticism as long as it waits its turn and pays attention... in all other cases it will be shot on sight. Thank you for your time.


There is a trend among "true believers" to redefine skepticism, not through any desire to better find the truth, but to shut down any and all criticism of their beliefs. This post is no different.

[edit on 21-8-2010 by DoomsdayRex]



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 09:46 AM
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Originally posted by TrueBrit
Skepticism kept us out of the loop for hundreds of years on that one!!!


No it didn't.

It brought us up to speed on that one.

It's the believing without questioning that kept us out of that particular loop.

Seriously, do some research!

-m0r



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by TrueBrit
 


Thanks for your kind words.


To me, I am a sceptic, or at least I try to be.

A sceptic should not oppose any new theory, in the same way he/she should not use more than the available data to defend the old theories.

The people that remain fixed on old theories do that not because they are sceptics (if they were they would at least thought about the new theory instead of dismissing it) but for other reasons, either because they do not want things to change in their life, because they do not like new things, because they don't like (for any reason) one of the proponents of the new theory, etc.

A sceptic from the flat Earth times would thought of ways of knowing if the Earth is round or not (like Eratosthenes did) and would try to fit observations (like the fact that things at a distance start to disappear from bottom to top) with the two theories.

I think that part of the sceptic/believer problem is that each person has their own interpretation of what sceptic means, while everybody knows what a believer is.


I see it this way: a believer is (usually) a believer in just one subject, a sceptic is sceptic in all subjects.



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 09:52 AM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


Fair point. Although I have to say , it seems to me that the vast majority of folks who pupport skepticism show traits of psuedo skepticism, and since possesion is apparantly nine tenths of the law, it must be said that skepticism is in fact populated in big way by the persons you described in the link you posted. It could therefore be said that the minority of genuine skeptics have to be reclassified due to thier original name being widely stolen by other less reputable persons.



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 09:56 AM
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Thanks for this,

I recently wrote two very unpopular threads both about UFO’s, one about abductions and one about crop circles. Other than answering any of the questions in the OP, all I got was “you’re a troll” and some angry U2U’s and Foe messages. Sadly one of them became so full of personal insults the mods had to shut it down and something like 30% of all posts were removed. Why? Because some members don’t like being challenged on their beliefs or told about the alternative views some might have.



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 09:58 AM
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Originally posted by TrueBrit
It could therefore be said that the minority of genuine skeptics have to be reclassified due to thier original name being widely stolen by other less reputable persons.


The ideal behind the label stands whether or not those who take that label as their own meet the criteria of that label.

For example you go by the name of Truebrit.

Do you have red hair and green eyes?

What language do you speak and what are its origins?

Where does your clothing get made?

See it's easy to claim to be something and then not actually have the ability to stand up to that claim.

A True Brit still exists - it's just that there are many who claim to be that don't fit the criteria.

Thankfully scepticism doesn't require borders or a certain physique, anyone can be one.

-m0r



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by Soylent Green Is People
I agree with almost all, but not every word, of this essay -- however, I totally agree with the basic sentiment:


I don't, at least not in the way it is wielded by the believers in the paranormal. It is a crutch for them, a way of dismissing criticism they do not like. Instead of defending a claim, they attack the critic as a "pseudo-skeptic". The discussion shifts, purposefully, from the claim to the critic's personality. It is long-winded Bulverism. Those using this crutch forget that even if someone is a "pseudo-skeptic", it does not automatically mean their arguments are wrong or that the claim is any more valid.

[edit on 21-8-2010 by DoomsdayRex]



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 10:12 AM
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This thread inspired me to review the meaning of the word: skeptical

Semantics…
The right to be skeptical includes these rights:
ATSers have the right to not believe ATS members’ claims & statements.
ATSers have the right to not trust ATS members’ claims & statements.
ATSers have the right to doubt ATS members’ claims & statements.
ATSers have the right to be incredulous towards ATS members’ claims & statements.
ATSers have the right to be leery of ATS members’ claims & statements.
ATSers have the right to question ATS members’ claims & statements.
ATSers have the right to be suspicious of ATS members’ claims & statements.

Suggestion that might make members ATS participation more positive:
Make a differentiation between claims, statements, sources, references, and the fellow members.

but you have the right to be skeptical of my suggestion.

We have the right to not believe, not trust, doubt, be incredulous, leery, question, and be suspicious of the claims and statements made, and less of our fellow ATS members character. it can be done with decorum and respect, i've seen it done with my own two eyes even!

there is where some members confuse the environment the majority of ATSers desire,

make the seperation between the member, and their information.
make the seperation between the member, and their opinion, and the source of it, thier environment.

and environments differ, ATSers are from all over the globe, from many nations.

So, by definition, the right to be skeptical is the right to remain uninformed (ignorant), I think. But, skepticism also means other things, as well, and has antonyms (near opposite meanings) that justifies the necessity of their/our presence and their contributions. (people are skeptical of different things) ATS would be duller without the skeptical questioning minds.

sometimes i get it stuck in my head that a word usually only means a few things, or that words don't have other ways to describe them.

so, in order to better contribute to this thread, i looked up the accepted meanings of skeptic, skeptical, and skepticism, and also (when available) provided what the thesaurus kicks back at us, too.

refresher (helps me):



Main Entry: skep•ti•cism
Pronunciation: \ˈskep-tə-ˌsi-zəm\
Function: noun
Date: 1646
1 : an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object
2 a : the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain b : the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics
3 : doubt concerning basic religious principles (as immortality, providence, and revelation)
synonyms see uncertainty
source: www.merriam-webster.com...
___________________________________________________________
Entry Word: skepticism
Function: noun
Meaning: a feeling or attitude that one does not know the truth, truthfulness, or trustworthiness of someone or something — see doubt
___________________________________________________________
Entry Word: skeptical
Function: adjective
Meaning: 1 inclined to doubt or question claims



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 10:20 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 10:34 AM
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Bottom line is this, sceptics are as much a part of this site as believers and they are absolutely crucial to this site, sceptics will not be going anywhere, they are here to stay, so accept it and stop bitching at them.

Also, at least one of the site owners is a sceptic, what do the sceptic haters think about that then?

Just imagine if there was no sceptics here, would everything that was said be believed? Everything? Or would some believers be sceptical of certain things? See, really, everyone's a sceptic and everyone's a believer.



(Neformore, what you doing spelling 'sceptic' in American? Aren't you from Northern England?
)



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 10:41 AM
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reply to post by Hawkwind.
 


Please excuse my ignorance but what site owner is it that is the sceptic and how sceptical is he/she perceived to be?

I am not disagreeing with you i am just curious.



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 10:57 AM
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reply to post by Esoteric Teacher
 


You forgot one:

ATSers have the right to be treated respectfully, regardless of their opinions.




posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by DoomsdayRex
 

I somewhat agree with you inasmuch as that there certainly is more of an onus on the person making the extraordinary claim rather than on the "skeptic" who is suggesting other mundane explanations.

HOWEVER, that does not totally excuse the skeptic from presenting some evidence that their mundane explanations are not only possible -- but at least equally as likely as the extraordinary explanation.

That is, if a skeptic wants to offer up an alternative explanation for an event, that skeptic just can't throw out any old explanation, either. There needs to be evidence presented that shows the skeptics explanation is a plausible one.

An agnostic skeptic is a different story. A true agnostic skeptic who doesn't offer up an alternative explanation for a strange event, but rather says "I don't know what [for example] that light in the sky is, but there is no proof that it is an alien craft" doesn't have a burden of proof, because the agnostic skeptic isn't offering up an alternative explanation -- so there is no need for evidence.

It's enough for an agnostic skeptic to say "prove to me that light was an alien craft", and simply leave it as that. In that case, the person making the extraordinary claim has the whole burden f proof. It would not be valid for that person to tell the skeptic prove to me that it isn't an alien craft.



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 04:29 PM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


Nonsense!

Those who make these claims need to back them up other wise we'd all be looking for wee willy winkey.

I'll give you that proof of argument is required at each end of the spectrum but if you are claiming something then you better have something to show for it.

Lest I call you a complete flunk of nature - which I should if you do


-m0r



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 04:44 PM
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Originally posted by ArMaP
reply to post by Esoteric Teacher
 


You forgot one:

ATSers have the right to be treated respectfully, regardless of their opinions.



Absolutley correct ArMap, but i only used the words that the thesaurus said was synonymous with "skeptical" for those examples.

yes, we promote: treat fellow ATSers respectully.



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by m0r1arty
...Those who make these claims need to back them up other wise we'd all be looking for wee willy winkey.

I'll give you that proof of argument is required at each end of the spectrum but if you are claiming something then you better have something to show for it...

Yes. I said that in the first paragraph of my post:

...there certainly is more of an onus on the person making the extraordinary claim rather than on the "skeptic" who is suggesting other mundane explanations.



[edit on 8/21/2010 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on Aug, 21 2010 @ 06:00 PM
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Every thread here on ATS should have at least one skeptical mind adding to the discussion. Without it there is no middle ground where both sides have the opportunity to consider things they otherwise would not. There is usually no right and wrong in the Alien and UFO forum because proof has so far eluded us all with the exception of the odd hoax which serves as reference for future investigation. Kudos to those who persevere with their critical thinking and refusal to accept things as they are presented.

I think the true believers should be grateful to the skeptics here for providing a platform that helps us all think just that little bit more, and the skeptics should also be grateful to the believers for providing so much interesting brain food.

We need eachother, like it or not, and as long as we learn SOMETHING when we put our ATS heads on and remember to show respect, even to the craziest theories and evidence then we are doing what most of the unfortunates never get the chance to do.....deny ignorance.

Our own and others.

It's a great feeling to enlighten another or to feel enlightened and when faced with comments from a stubborn or rude member who refuses to do themselves a favour and just "think", I sometimes just want to shake my head and log off .

I always come back for more though.


Skeptical...lol. I don't even trust what's right in front of me sometimes and wonder if this is all a dream or just a big chemical reaction in some vast pot we've called "universe", but the bottom line for me is gut feelings and instinct first followed by logic and experience and then backed up with possibilities and eventually wishful thinking. The odd dash of completely insane seems to work wonders too. Somewhere in there will maybe be the/a truth.

If a believer can respect the possibility they could be wrong about something then they have no reason to disrespect a skeptic or their opinions and if skeptics can do the same for believers then we are happier here as ATSers because we're all on the same side and working toward the same goal....truth.

Some smart things have been said here by most who have posted, well done.

cheers.



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