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Why to prove anyone wrong? (Psychology behind "debunking" or something like that)

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posted on Nov, 22 2010 @ 12:19 PM
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reply to post by TWILITE22
 


That's a good attitude in my opinion. We should anyways be careful if we wish to change someone's mind, because what we were wrong? We were lying, we lead someone astray...

-v




posted on Nov, 22 2010 @ 12:21 PM
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reply to post by v01i0
 


Good question. If I didn't care about evidence or proof, I would just stick to reading fiction. As for evidence/proof being manipulated, sure that can happen. I would like to see evidence that can't be altered. Not sure what that would be....However if someone doesn't even TRY to come up with backing of their story, it just feels like someone who is full of S$$T telling me things to impress me. Why come on here and make up a story? To get attention? To see how people react?



posted on Nov, 22 2010 @ 12:23 PM
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reply to post by v01i0
 



And why do you care about evidence? Evidence can be falsified, manipulated, taken out of context, bend, turn and twisted.. I mean, if you know they are wrong, why to bother?


Without evidence all you have is opinion and belief. Evidence can be falsified, but a critical approach can detect the fraud. That is the essence "debunking."
'



posted on Nov, 22 2010 @ 12:32 PM
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reply to post by amc621
 


I think some of them are there just for pranking purposes. Once they have posted their "great spaghetti monster" -story, they just relax and laugh for the comments regarding their posts. And they propably won't even ever reply you post. Some are there, as said, for disinformation and some other strange purposes which require intentional misleading. Some one are just plain believers who imagine they posess the truth and are kinda honestly preaching, yet about false message.

I am not saying it is wrong to ask for evidence, not at all. In certain circumstances evidence is needed for action, otherwise there is no motivation.

I think I just reflected my own attitude in my 1st post to you, which is that I rarely even bother with out there theories, if they are conflicting my world view. I let those people who come preaching and fail to provide other relevant info to live in their fantasies (or whatever purpose they may be preaching). I guess I sometimes read them in entertaining purposes, mainly reflecting their motivations behind those posts.

-v



posted on Nov, 22 2010 @ 12:37 PM
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reply to post by DJW001
 


Yes. But even with the evidence - unless it is empirical evidence based on experience - you have only evidence based opinion. It may be well formed, but it is still an opinion.

Considering the original topic, I rather lead kind of agnostic attitude towards everything. By default I believe nothing that has no relevance in my life and things that are relevant, I try to confirm by empirical methods, not by "evidence", like papers, documents, youtube videos (lol), and websites or whatever. In the end, empirical method is the only way to prove things ultimately wrong or right. If I cite papers or documents, I cite them because I have found them to be in accordance with my experiences, that's mainly because usually they are more coherent in explaining the phenomena.

-v
edit on 22-11-2010 by v01i0 because: 5351



posted on Nov, 22 2010 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by v01i0
 


I would offer here the old philosophical position of "how can you prove what is true and false?"

Consider typical legal standards and evidentiary rules. As "tight" as most people like to consider "evidence in a court of law" there is no such thing as proof positive. O. J. Simpson, for example. The evidence at hand objectively suggests that the man was guilty, but the jurors decided otherwise. A guilty or not guilty verdict is as fungible as the opinions of the jurors hearing the case and the whim of the presiding judge in issuing instructions for deliberation.

Another example: the phenomenon of paradigm changes in scientific fields. The geocentric vs heliocentric earth theories...the former was poven with "evidence" for centuries before it was knocked on its butt.

And let's face it. We talk here on ATS about things that can never be proven (or proven false) no matter how much evidence is presented. The so-called "webbot" threads are a good example...the supporters' evidence is our coincidence. What about the existence of ghosts? Or flying saucers from another planet? Or the existence of another shooter on the grassy knoll?

Most debunkers debunk because 1) it is easy to do; 2) It's a good & safe way to be angry and contrary.



posted on Nov, 22 2010 @ 04:34 PM
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I would say a combination of all three would apply to most ''debunkers'', although I dislike that term.


I think the problem for those who tend to hold a more logical or scientific view, is that this viewpoint is equally based upon belief.

There's nothing to say that the scientific methodology and the axioms that it's based upon are correct ( other than your own trust in them ), so to hold the view that scientific evidence is any more valid than another kind is entirely down to personal opinion.

And I speak as someone who generally favours the logical and empirical view on matters.

The problem is that just because one person believes in a scientific or logical approach, then that doesn't mean that the person that they are debating with also follows the methods and rules associated with these.

Scientific evidence is only relevant if the other person is open to accepting these terms.


People also talk about ''facts'' as if they are objective, when in fact they are entirely subjective.

If I don't believe that the planet Jupiter exists, then how can its existence be a ''fact'' ? It's non-existence would be equally as factual to me, as someone who believes that it does exist.

And this is what it all boils down to: There is no such thing as collective evidence or facts, there is just one person's beliefs and disbeliefs, and we are all in the same boat on that one.


I think this is why they tend to fall into all 3 brackets:

1. They realise that their beliefs have no external validation, and when they see any new ''evidence'' that may contradict their viewpoint on a subject matter, then they are thrown into a malaise of self-doubt about their entire world-view.

Remember that if you have a set of rules that you use and follow to understand the world around you, then if just one of these rules is thrown into doubt, then the entire set of rules, by extension, are also thrown into doubt.


2. They genuinely believe that their approach is the correct one, and are trying to make other people see the world the way that they do.

This is probably the most common reason for all of us who post on ATS.


3. I think this is related to 1 and 2. By arguing your views and achieving some kind of confirmation in your mind that you're correct, then that reaffirms the position that the beliefs you hold are correct and also lessens any inherent self-doubt surrounding them.



posted on Nov, 22 2010 @ 06:13 PM
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reply to post by Sherlock Holmes
 



I think the problem for those who tend to hold a more logical or scientific view, is that this viewpoint is equally based upon belief.


The metaphysical foundations of the epistemology of the scientific method have long been mooted. The reason why people choose to describe it is ultimately pragmatic: it works. People use the venturi effect to design airplanes. To the best of my knowledge, there are no vehicles that operate on faith or psychic power.


There's nothing to say that the scientific methodology and the axioms that it's based upon are correct ( other than your own trust in them ), so to hold the view that scientific evidence is any more valid than another kind is entirely down to personal opinion.


Certain methodologies are more appropriate than others in different domains. You cannot scientifically "prove" that Jesus loves you, but a biblical scholar can use appropriate techniques to support this statement in the context of theology. You cannot use logic to deduce whether the girl you have a crush on reciprocates your feelings. In other domains, however, logic and the scientific method are vastly superior to intuition or revelation.


The problem is that just because one person believes in a scientific or logical approach, then that doesn't mean that the person that they are debating with also follows the methods and rules associated with these.


A source of mutual frustration. People need to be open minded and realize what domain of knowledge is appropriate.



Scientific evidence is only relevant if the other person is open to accepting these terms.


Scientific evidence is the only evidence relevant in some domains. I respect Judeo-Christian mythology for the insights it can provide into human nature, and the value many people find in religious traditions for personal growth and community well being. That does not mean that the Universe was created in seven days. People need to respect the limits of their methodologies.


People also talk about ''facts'' as if they are objective, when in fact they are entirely subjective.


That is not entirely true, but tales us into abidharma, which is beyond the scope of this thread.


If I don't believe that the planet Jupiter exists, then how can its existence be a ''fact'' ? It's non-existence would be equally as factual to me, as someone who believes that it does exist.


Jupiter exists whether you believe in it or not, just as magic pixies may exist even if I have concluded that there is no evidence that they exist.


And this is what it all boils down to: There is no such thing as collective evidence or facts, there is just one person's beliefs and disbeliefs, and we are all in the same boat on that one.


Incorrect. There is a vast amount of information that has been collected over the centuries. The trick is to apply the proper tools for the different domains.


I think this is why they tend to fall into all 3 brackets:

1. They realise that their beliefs have no external validation, and when they see any new ''evidence'' that may contradict their viewpoint on a subject matter, then they are thrown into a malaise of self-doubt about their entire world-view.


False. If they have applied the proper tools they can be confident in their conclusions while remaining open-minded should further evidence present itself.


Remember that if you have a set of rules that you use and follow to understand the world around you, then if just one of these rules is thrown into doubt, then the entire set of rules, by extension, are also thrown into doubt.


Not necessarily. Mathematicians had no difficulty accepting non-Euclidean geometry, which has proven useful in physics. In any event, doubt is one of the cornerstones of skepticism. It is the opposite of blind faith.


2. They genuinely believe that their approach is the correct one, and are trying to make other people see the world the way that they do.

This is probably the most common reason for all of us who post on ATS.


Partially true. Obviously, they believe that their approach is correct. Whether or not they can educate others is an entirely different question.


3. I think this is related to 1 and 2. By arguing your views and achieving some kind of confirmation in your mind that you're correct, then that reaffirms the position that the beliefs you hold are correct and also lessens any inherent self-doubt surrounding them.


I suggest you look up the psychological process called "projection." It is usually the believers who are looking for affirmation and validation. At least skeptics are capable of saying "I have no idea what that is," or "I suppose it could be a ghost/alien/etc. but I find it unlikely."



posted on Nov, 22 2010 @ 08:37 PM
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Originally posted by DJW001
The metaphysical foundations of the epistemology of the scientific method have long been mooted. The reason why people choose to describe it is ultimately pragmatic: it works. People use the venturi effect to design airplanes. To the best of my knowledge, there are no vehicles that operate on faith or psychic power.


It's been more than just mooted, it's been unanswerably questioned at its most fundamental level.

It's fallacious and contradictory to suggest that ''it works'', because there are examples of people effectively utilising findings and information that were first realised through experiments conducted within the confines of the scientific method.

''there are no vehicles that operate on faith or psychic power''.

That's a terribly bad attempt at justifying your way of seeking the ''truth''.


I would personally like you to show me a compelling case that supports the method that you base your beliefs upon, and that your belief is ''correct''.


Originally posted by DJW001
Certain methodologies are more appropriate than others in different domains. You cannot scientifically "prove" that Jesus loves you, but a biblical scholar can use appropriate techniques to support this statement in the context of theology. You cannot use logic to deduce whether the girl you have a crush on reciprocates your feelings. In other domains, however, logic and the scientific method are vastly superior to intuition or revelation.


The validity and appropriateness of a methodology entirely comes down to the beliefs of the person that is using the methodology to validate their subjective thought process.


'' In other domains, however, logic and the scientific method are vastly superior to intuition or revelation.''

Have you got a source for this bizarre claim, or is it - as I expect - a personal belief that only you can validate ?


How can logic or science be demonstrably ''correct'', when the entire basis of these processes are founded upon a ''self-evident'' rulebook of logic and methods that are man-made, and adopting these set of rules, irreparably violates and contradicts the fundamental axioms that are employed within these supposed set of ''rules'' !


Originally posted by DJW001
A source of mutual frustration. People need to be open minded and realize what domain of knowledge is appropriate.


I agree that people need to be open-minded.

I disagree that there is a ''domain of knowledge'' that is applicable in certain situations.

Once again,''knowledge'' is subjective, and there is no possible way that you can prove that your way of seeking knowledge is any better than someone else who attains knowledge through reading tea-leaves.


Originally posted by DJW001
Scientific evidence is the only evidence relevant in some domains. I respect Judeo-Christian mythology for the insights it can provide into human nature, and the value many people find in religious traditions for personal growth and community well being. That does not mean that the Universe was created in seven days. People need to respect the limits of their methodologies.


I think that you're missing the point.

''Scientific evidence'' throughout any domain, is only ''evidence'' to the person who holds the belief in the scientific method.

You may think that it's the best way to understand the world around us in relevant circumstances, but obviously the only validity in your belief comes from circular mental processes from within your ..


Originally posted by DJW001
That is not entirely true, but tales us into abidharma, which is beyond the scope of this thread.


No, it is entirely true.

Facts are subjective, whichever way somebody may wish to spin it.


Originally posted by DJW001
Jupiter exists whether you believe in it or not, just as magic pixies may exist even if I have concluded that there is no evidence that they exist.


LOL.

No it doesn't !

If I believe that Jupiter doesn't exist, and you believe that it does, then please tell me how it's existence ( or not ) is arbitrated upon ?

You believe that Jupiter exists, which is why you want to dogmatically state that it actually does exist.

You have no more of a valid argument to support its existence than I do to support its non-existence.


Originally posted by DJW001
Incorrect. There is a vast amount of information that has been collected over the centuries. The trick is to apply the proper tools for the different domains.


Again, I think that you're missing the point.

The information that has been collected throughout the centuries, is only relevant ''information'' for those that want to adopt it.


Have you got anything to support this belief that information collected over the centuries, and beliefs formed from this information, somehow supersede any other method of viewing the state of the world today ?


Originally posted by DJW001
False. If they have applied the proper tools they can be confident in their conclusions while remaining open-minded should further evidence present itself.


Nice try, but no.

The ''proper tools'' that you mention, are the methods that you personally believe in.

This is circular reasoning.

They are not confident in their conclusions, because they know that their methodology is based upon unprovable and contradictory axioms.


Originally posted by DJW001
Not necessarily. Mathematicians had no difficulty accepting non-Euclidean geometry, which has proven useful in physics. In any event, doubt is one of the cornerstones of skepticism. It is the opposite of blind faith.


Have you got a source for your claim that ''mathematicians had no difficulty accepting non-Euclidean geometry'' ?

I find that claim to be a bit ambiguous.


Originally posted by DJW001
I suggest you look up the psychological process called "projection." It is usually the believers who are looking for affirmation and validation. At least skeptics are capable of saying "I have no idea what that is," or "I suppose it could be a ghost/alien/etc. but I find it unlikely."


Believers and debunkers tend to be two sides of the same coin.

Saying that something is ''unlikely'' is demonstrably illogical.



posted on Nov, 23 2010 @ 02:23 AM
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reply to post by v01i0
 

I just enjoy arguing with people and beating stupid ones over the ..



posted on Nov, 23 2010 @ 04:51 AM
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reply to post by MMPI2
 



Originally posted by MMPI2

Most debunkers debunk because 1) it is easy to do; 2) It's a good & safe way to be angry and contrary.


Yeah, and it is fun for some (same goes with hoaxers too).

The last words of your post made me laugh. I could imagine an angry teen sitting front of computer, face red just arguing for the sake of being contrary


-v



posted on Nov, 23 2010 @ 05:02 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I see, but why do you enjoy?

There gotta be some reason for the pleasure you get from it. It is allright if you don't want to share your reasons.

Personally I haven't been feeling any feelings lately on Internet discussions or otherwise. Maybe this impassion makes me a poor debater, dull to read and quite irrelevant poster, but it is allright. When younger, I was pondering conversations in the bed and thinking what to say on the next day, but nowadays I am able to switch the channel just like that. It's like a baby's attention span that can be turned of immediately


-v



posted on Nov, 23 2010 @ 05:07 AM
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reply to post by Sherlock Holmes
 


Rather than refute you point by point, I suggest you attempt the following real life experiment. If everything is a matter of belief, and all science is arbitrary, climb up on the roof and step off. Since gravity is merely a man-made construct, you will not fall. Correct?



posted on Nov, 23 2010 @ 08:36 AM
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reply to post by Sherlock Holmes
 


If you are reading this, you were wise enough not to conduct the above experiment. It was not an example of passive aggression, but a reminder of the grave dangers posed by irrational beliefs. We will return to this point later, as it cannot be over emphasized.


It's been more than just mooted, it's been unanswerably questioned at its most fundamental level.


Yes, it has been questioned, bur since the method demonstrably works, the question is moot.


It's fallacious and contradictory to suggest that ''it works'', because there are examples of people effectively utilising findings and information that were first realised through experiments conducted within the confines of the scientific method.


Why is it fallacious and contradictory? If it works, it works. There is nothing fallacious or contradictory in that statement.


''there are no vehicles that operate on faith or psychic power''.
That's a terribly bad attempt at justifying your way of seeking the ''truth''.


I don't need to justify any of the ways I seek truth. They produce results. They produce results whether I perform the experiments, make the observations or do the calculations or you perform the experiments, make the observations or do the calculations. This is what makes the scientific method proper for the domain of physical reality. It is objective. Other domains require other methodologies. Some domains are entirely subjective and the scientific method is completely inappropriate in these domains, as I explained previously. If you wish to demonstrate that some other, irrational methodology is appropriate in the domain of physical reality, you need to provide an example to prove your argument. Show me a psychic car or faith based computer.


I would personally like you to show me a compelling case that supports the method that you base your beliefs upon, and that your belief is ''correct''.


Two hundred years ago, people wondered why glass rods would attract little pieces of paper. At first they thought it was some sort of mysterious fluid. Further observations drew parallels with lightning. Over the years people communicated their observations and refined their theories. Through trial and error, they developed the scientific method, and these early experiments with glass rods eventually lead to the discovery of the electron. By understanding how electrons work it was possible to create electronic machines, like the computer you are reading this on. I could multiply examples, but either you accept the evidence of your own eyes, or you do not.


The validity and appropriateness of a methodology entirely comes down to the beliefs of the person that is using the methodology to validate their subjective thought process.


Try explaining that to the tax auditor when he catches you using "Non-Cartesian Accounting!"


'' In other domains, however, logic and the scientific method are vastly superior to intuition or revelation.''
Have you got a source for this bizarre claim, or is it - as I expect - a personal belief that only you can validate ?


What do you find bizarre about this observation? I am not claiming that the scientific method is appropriate across all domains, simply that anyone can see from their own personal experience that scientific methodologies produce better results across many domains. Please provide a specific example of something irrational or unscientific producing better results in the domain of physical reality. It is you who keep failing to validate your opinions.


How can logic or science be demonstrably ''correct'', when the entire basis of these processes are founded upon a ''self-evident'' rulebook of logic and methods that are man-made, and adopting these set of rules, irreparably violates and contradicts the fundamental axioms that are employed within these supposed set of ''rules'' !


It is demonstrably correct because it works. I can point to the computer you are looking at and say: "See that? That was produced by science, not belief." Demonstrated. How, exactly, does adopting a set of rules and axioms, all of which are derived from observation, "irreparably violate and contradict the fundamental axioms that are employed within these supposed set of ''rules''?" Please explain.


I agree that people need to be open-minded.


And yet it is people who reject the methodology appropriate to a given domain who are the most close minded. They have a given belief and refuse to consider any other alternative; hence, the rejection of evolution by religious fundamentalists and the refusal by believers in "channeling" to question the motivation and veracity of the beings they believe they are communicating with.


I disagree that there is a ''domain of knowledge'' that is applicable in certain situations.


Do you understand what I mean by "domain of knowledge?" The human experience has numerous dimensions to it. There are emotional, perceptual, physical and even spiritual realms. Each of these requires different modalities to understand. A "domain" is a category of thought or experience about which one can have knowledge. I use the word loosely, but I trust it makes intuitive sense. Not all methodologies are appropriate outside of their proper realm.


Once again,''knowledge'' is subjective, and there is no possible way that you can prove that your way of seeking knowledge is any better than someone else who attains knowledge through reading tea-leaves.


I have many ways of seeking knowledge. You are correct, however. Many close minded people would refuse to accept that some methods are better than others.


''Scientific evidence'' throughout any domain, is only ''evidence'' to the person who holds the belief in the scientific method.


Scientific evidence is evidence whether people choose to believe it or not. People may be close minded and reject it, but that is their own irrationality, not a flaw in the scientific method.


You may think that it's the best way to understand the world around us in relevant circumstances, but obviously the only validity in your belief comes from circular mental processes from within your ..


The value of scientific methodologies across the appropriate domains is based upon empirical proof. You are the one arguing in circles.


No, it is entirely true.
Facts are subjective, whichever way somebody may wish to spin it.


There is no difference between subject and object. They form a relationship. Everything is conditional. That's about as far as I need to go here.


If I believe that Jupiter doesn't exist, and you believe that it does, then please tell me how it's existence ( or not ) is arbitrated upon ?
You believe that Jupiter exists, which is why you want to dogmatically state that it actually does exist.
You have no more of a valid argument to support its existence than I do to support its non-existence.


If you walk into traffic wearing a blind-fold, would the cars not exist? If you cannot see the bus, would it not harm you because you don't believe it exists because you cannot see it? We know Jupiter exists because its existence is not only congruent with but necessary in the domain of knowledge of the physical universe. I can go outside (in about eight hours) and see it with my own eyes. It is not a question of belief. You, too, can go out at the appropriate time and see it, weather permitting. You can refuse to believe the evidence of your own eyes, but its a very poor way to acquire knowledge.


The information that has been collected throughout the centuries, is only relevant ''information'' for those that want to adopt it.


Sadly, I agree. People continue to ignore or misuse information. Nevertheless, people who ignore the "Law of Gravity" do so at their peril.


Have you got anything to support this belief that information collected over the centuries, and beliefs formed from this information, somehow supersede any other method of viewing the state of the world today ?


Again, I don't think you quite understand what I'm trying to say. Modern cartography is infinitely superior to Ptolemy's in the domain of geographic knowledge. Nevertheless, Mecca is still the center of the Earth in the domain of Islamic theology.


Nice try, but no.
The ''proper tools'' that you mention, are the methods that you personally believe in.
This is circular reasoning


The proper tools are the ones that obtain the best results in a given domain. It has nothing to do with belief. If you want to know how much money you have in your pocket, you count it. You do not ask a Ouija board or look at the leaves in your tea cup. You count it.. Mathematics is the proper tool in the domain of personal finance. Mathematics will not be able to resolve whether or not the object of your affection reciprocates your feelings. That requires other tools. This is not circular reasoning. It is pragmatic. Your belief that it is all a matter of belief is the circular argument.


They are not confident in their conclusions, because they know that their methodology is based upon unprovable and contradictory axioms.


False. Unlike people who base their opinions entirely upon belief, however, they are willing to change their conclusions when presented with evidence that they are in error.


Have you got a source for your claim that ''mathematicians had no difficulty accepting non-Euclidean geometry'' ?
I find that claim to be a bit ambiguous.


What is ambiguous about that statement? There was some resistance to non-euclidean geometry among more conservative mathematicians, of course, but once it proved itself useful in cosmology, it was readily accepted. Here's a source for you.


Saying that something is ''unlikely'' is demonstrably illogical.


Then please demonstrate.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that denialism is dangerous. Failure to use the right tools can get you killed. Don't jump off the roof because you don't believe in gravity. Don't step in front of a bus because you don't think it's real. And don't believe that the world is going to end tomorrow just because someone claims to be a prophet. Use the proper tools in each of these situations.



posted on Nov, 23 2010 @ 09:20 AM
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Has anyone heard of the term 'Healthy Scepticism'? There's a good reason it's called that.

Personally, I have a distaste for con artists, liars, fraudsters, predators and charlatans but I also have a passion for the truth, clarity and having the best possible understanding of the real world around me. To debunk something or to think critically is to shed light upon a certain topic. To see it for what it truly is. The results of which benefit everybody. After all, the truth is the most important aspect, regardless of how unpopular or inconvenient it may be for some. If something stands up against the rigours of critical thinking and scientific methodology, then there's a higher chance that your looking at the real deal.

We shouldn't really be assessing the psychology of the debunker, more so, the minds of the con artists, liars, fraudsters, predators and charlatans. After all, it's those people who have created the environment of distrust in the first place. This isn't really a chicken or egg scenario here. It's due to the machinations of those mentioned above that the sceptical thinker or debunker has become necessary in the first place.

So please, don't blame the sceptic or debunker next time. They are an answer to the problem. Not the cause!

IRM



posted on Nov, 24 2010 @ 04:02 AM
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reply to post by InfaRedMan
 


Healthy Skeptism


I know what you mean IRM. Though I am not attacking against skepticts in this thread - it's not attack against anyone.

I am just asking a question, why to bother on energy and time consuming debate on Internet forums just to "prove" someone wrong in eyes of others? Throughout this thread, there has been some good reasons for the motivation of this kind of behaviour.

Of course, some people just enjoy the debate, while rest of the reasons varies from fear to fun.

-v



posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 01:32 PM
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I have a problem with trying to prove people wrong on subjects with valid truths.

people call me a know it all because when in a debate about something i always try to pull up information on the topic to prove my case....To me it seems like thats the way the world is. If someone is wrong about something and you know this for sure why not try to show them....in case they become involved in a debate with another about the same topic? I mean am i just a know it all? im not right all of the time but on subjects that i know i am how can i just say whatever and leave it be? Me and my wife got in an argument about Niagara falls being in New York. i told her that it was in both New York and Canada where she felt it was just in Canada. I tried to explain that Niagara falls was actually two water falls and those two make up what is called "Niagara Falls." Telling her that Niagara Falls American falls lies on Americas side in new york where as the horse shoe falls lies on the the province of Ontario Canada. She got made and called me a know it all. WTF



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 04:10 AM
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reply to post by gward4
 


Seems like some people are having issues when they're proven wrong. Maybe they thought that they were right and proved wrong is a mental blow that got their defenses up.

Then again, some people just appear as "know it all" because they have strong opinions, speak them out loud and often. My sister says that his man is this 'know it all' type. According to her, he has opinion on everything. Once she asked the meaning of a certain word from him, and the man answered, then she showed her with dictionary that his explanation wasn't accurate, it wasn't even on the right direction. The man got silenced.

Anyway, you are right about that correct information should be spread if somebody has obviously incorrect understanding about something. It is kind of good deed, presuming the one with false information is honestly looking for the correct info.

-v



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 05:52 AM
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Originally posted by v01i0
This question began to bother me when I reflected my own reasons for the need of "proving something".

Debating over and on the Internet can be quite exhausting and time-consuming, so there has to lie some motivating factor why to do so.

Hi v01i0.
You ask some interesting questions.
I think there are many motivating factors. Many people invest a lot of time and energy in threads, I believe people are passionate about their work and this can motivate people to "prove something" or even defend a position even though it has become an untenable position to hold.
Also, many people are extremely passionate about topics, with long histories of participation in topics and research in topic fields. I think many people are motivated by their experience, knowledge and "expertise" they have acquired in topics. I see a lot of long time members posting time and time again on threads that are incorrect or regurgitating false or mis-information or hoax material, material from known con artist and charlatans. I believe many member here are motivated to inform the ATS community of the nature of this material, that they themselves have learned from experience.


So let's begin with the possible reasons I managed scrape together in a hasty manner:

1) You feel your own understanding about the reality to be threatened. This means that you feel need to prove "out there" theories wrong, because they don't fit your view about the state of affairs and reality. Accepting "out there" theories would mean defeat and admission that you were wrong.

Quite Possible, for sure.
I have seen many people claim that an opposing opinion was merely driven by "fear" in order to support their own "reality".
I think this is weak. Whilst your question seems honest, the reality is, it does generalize any posters opinion and its content as merely being the value of the motivating factors, which you list in your question:

reality to be threatened.......because they don't fit your view about the state of affairs and reality..... defeat and admission that you were wrong.


I do not doubt though, that some people will be challenged by other peoples opinions. It happens to us all.


2) You feel need to share the truth you see, so that others see the same truth as well. You consider yourself obliged to enlighten people who has totally misunderstood the nature of reality - I guess this one is closest to my motivation, yet I often lose the motivation quite quickly

Unfortunately, this is an archetype of religion throughout the world.
Most cults and mainstream religions actual use this "need to share the truth" by fostering guilt in members in order for them to "tell the world" or "spread the word" to save people.
Another disturbing aspect is that people will assume a special relationship, ability, skill or "spiritual" authority that they use to present their opinion or beliefs, I think you will find these threads are the ones that often get the most posts and the most opinions over who is wrong or right. These posts, by there very nature, challenge the reality we all live in and so people will test these posters to the extreme, especially with threads that claim they "understand" the nature of existence better than "us" and are here to "inform" us about the true nature of our existence.
I like to post on these threads because, if someone is going present another version of reality to me, that by its nature will test me, then I am going to test their reality too!
Fair is fair.



3) You seek acceptance and/or confirmation for your own beliefs.

This is a big one, for all of us, whether we admit it or not. I will admit that I am probably in the minority in relation to my beliefs on many topics here, I would still like to think that others share my beliefs or accept my opinion.


For now I cannot imagine other reasons, but surely there are reasons as many as there are users - above may just be general lines, drawn from some observations.

I think you miss a major point and one that should be obvious. People may post an opinion, simply because they can. It may have nothing more behind a post other than the fact that a poster is a member of public forum which others are interacting with. The topic may not even interest them, but they can still post an reply on any topic, OP or post.
I think we see this a lot on ATS too, especially on really well flagged and starred threads that tend to attract attention. People may simply be drawn to these posts, and then post a reply because they have become engaged in a topic that is popular or contentious in the ATS community.
Another factor is Net anonymity, people can express any opinion on a wide range of topics.
I also think you miss the fact that People post their opinions to have them tested, that they invite or challenge ATS directly. I think this motivates posters too.
I also think many people try to incite responses by using inflammatory rhetoric or creating ridiculous claims, I think these are factors that motivate people.
We see these types of threads with evolution/creationism, religion and atheism, Political topics, I have seen many Jewish threads that are simply inflammatory, some topic about sexuality, Skeptics vs Believers, Truther and O/S defenders in 9/11 etc.
I think people are motivated to respond to some blatant ignorance that might just be trolling.
There are many, many reasons.


Besides of that, it sometimes feels like some people are there just to make you waste your energy in irrelevant debate. Maybe if we wouldn't be spending that much time arguing with each other, we could be more productive. Why just not accept the differences in opinions? So what if someone doesn't believe in ghost or another one believes in Akashic Records, or to be a god? So what if someone screams "inside job" and another one "hoax"?

I agree. You seem tired. Just apply that to yourself, mate. I think you need a break. I know how you feel. But, this is the nature of a public forum, it is a reflection of society. There is no Nirvana, or Utopian net forum where we all agree.
The thing is, people are here telling other people what "reality is", all the time, many times it is the OP itself that start an argument because it is specifically telling people they are wrong, and that the OP is right.
You need to remember that.
Just as there are people arguing that someone is wrong, there is someone telling us the planet is going to be destroyed, or the Government is about to instigate martial law, or a galactic space battle is under way just beyond our site or that they are "reincarnation" of the Fifth Palaiedian Masonic General from Siruis B with a message to save humanity or that a secret cabal of individuals are about to kill most of the population off.


I believe that there is a objective reality behind all personal ego subjectiviness, beyond the illusions created by thought. What if we just perceive the world as it appears to us? Without judgement, without fear and prejudices? Is it even possible? I think it is. I have tried, and many things appears in different light...

-v

I bet it does make things appear in a different light.
I think though, that if we just perceive the world as it appears to us, then we will have to consider who shows us the world, and who teaches what it means to perceive.
Because, this is essentially what we debate about here on ATS.

Very interesting OP.
S and F.



edit on 28/11/10 by atlasastro because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 11:30 AM
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Thank you for insightful post atlasastro!

I agree with you that there are many reasons that makes people to participate in debates. And yes, the motivation for "spreading the truth" is often present in post that are religiously or spiritually coloured. While I regard myself to be somewhat profane or mundane, I've often found myself to be guilty of this.

Challenging worldviews and beliefs offered by poster is of course a legimate thing to do. If one comes to the board "spreading the truth", one should also be prepared for defend his/her beliefs and also should be prepared to bring forth evidence supporting the claims.

Also, you are right. Maybe I am little bit tired for all this wrestle going on between various beliefs. And indeed I am taking a break from the debate. Instead of debating and trying to prove beliefs wrong or right, I try to focus more on a constructive discussion and inquiry of the matter at hand.

In the end I'd like to quote Epicurus (free translation by me):

"If you don't trust the evidence given by your senses (perception), you have no basis to judge as false even those of conceptions which you think are false."

-v




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