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On Debunkers

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posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 09:28 AM
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Edit: Please scroll down and read final section before responding.

Hello ATS. I usually don't bring this kind of thing up, but it really is starting to bother me. Lately on ATS, mostly in the Aliens and UFOs section, I see many people criticizing debunkers. This thread is being made to quickly show that I believe the "debunkers" on ATS are not a group of people who want to prove you wrong no matter what.

First, I'll quickly quote Wiki with the definition of Debunker:


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


I believe that this particular definition is a little harsh in regards to debunkers. Allow me to give my own definition, and you can judge if it is acceptable or not.

"A debunker is an individual who gives more possible, alternative explanations rather than less believable speculation."

To explain a bit further, I'll use an example. If someone posts a video of a light in the sky, a believer may claim that it is a UFO. Claiming it is a UFO (unidentified flying object, not alien related) is fine, since that's basically saying "I don't know what it is." That person is not making any particular claim. However, once a person gives a UFO further properties, as being government or alien in origin, then it can be questioned. A debunker may put forth that it's possibly a balloon.

Now, why is a balloon a more believable idea rather than an alien spacecraft? That should be common sense. We have indisputable proof that balloons exist and are let go to fly in the sky every day. We do not have that level of evidence to support aliens are flying around in our skies. Thus, if you choose to take a side, it is more appropriate to believe the one that is more possible rather than the other.

I also understand that many videos and photographs cannot be explained by 'real world' stuff, as in balloons, or lanterns, or helicopters. For these particular videos and photographs, I do not believe any particular person should apply properties and qualities to these sightings, such as claiming they are extra-terrestrial. The reason I do not believe this is a good explanation is that we literally do NOT know anything about those particular videos or photographs. In this kind of situation, I believe it is appropriate for one to speculate if they wish to, but not to make any extravagant claims. For myself, I would suspend judgment.

Now, I'm not saying all debunkers are good people. I can understand that some debunkers (if you can call them that) do have the sole purpose of saying that the other side is completely wrong and is an idiot. I do not take that stance, and I do not support those who respond to claims like that.

To end, I would just like to restate who I see debunkers. It is a very simple, and I believe understandable position. It is just a person who gives a more believable explanation for an event. This does not mean the more believable explanation is the actual explanation, but as I have shown, it is the most appropriate one to hold at the moment, if you choose to hold any explanation.

I hope this thread has helped the reputation of debunkers on ATS, and provided some light on the subject.

Thank you very much for reading.

---

EDIT:

After hearing some other members opinions and explanations with given examples, I now wish to restate my opinion and the problem I have.

I realize the difference between debunker and skeptic. In my above post, the term 'debunker' should be replaced with 'skeptic' and I think it would still mostly apply to what I see in ATS.

As to quote a later post by myself:


My main problem still remains with those associating skeptics with debunkers. I see this quite regularly. Just because someone states a light in the sky is probably a balloon rather than a spaceship, I don't think they should be labeled a debunker. Though that is what I see.


This thread has helped me understand the term better, and if anything, I hope to help others also differentiate the term debunker and skeptic.

Thanks you for reading!

edit on 3-12-2010 by Hitotsumami because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 09:51 AM
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You singularly fail to understand the term debunker is and always has been, a pejorative one that is used to classify a particular bunch of hard core fanatics who are happy to dream up the most ridiculous explanations, that often make the ET hypothesis looks mainstream, in order to attempt to confirm a wholly biased closed loop, belief system.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 09:55 AM
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reply to post by Hitotsumami
 


Nice post.

I think you are right I wouldn't consider myself a debunk-er cause I have no expertise, but I am a skeptic, If I see something that is truly unexplainable and "out-of-this-world" I would accept that idea wholly simply because it is the most logical answer.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 09:57 AM
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reply to post by FireMoon
 



You singularly fail to understand the term debunker is and always has been, a pejorative one that is used to classify a particular bunch of hard core fanatics who are happy to dream up the most ridiculous explanations, that often make the ET hypothesis looks mainstream, in order to attempt to confirm a wholly biased closed loop, belief system.


Thanks for the response!

I mentioned in my thread the people who are like that. I do not believe the term debunker should apply to those kinds of people. I see 'debunker' as a more positive term. Also, most 'debunkers' I see on ATS do not seem to be what you say they are in your quote. If there should be a separate term to categorize what I state in my post, what should that term be?

One that comes to mind is skeptic. Would that be a better term to apply to my post? If we use skeptic in the place of debunker in my post, it doesn't change much at all. Those who act the way I do, as described in my first post, would still be called debunkers.

Thanks again for your response!



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 10:00 AM
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reply to post by Hitotsumami
 


Very astute post.

The trouble is, however, it seems that the lunatics have taken over the asylum so be prepared to be accused of being a government paid disinfo agent!



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 10:03 AM
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reply to post by torsion
 


It's that sort of asinine and cheap remark that proves my very point.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 10:05 AM
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Originally posted by MechEng09
reply to post by Hitotsumami
 


Nice post.

I think you are right I wouldn't consider myself a debunk-er cause I have no expertise, but I am a skeptic, If I see something that is truly unexplainable and "out-of-this-world" I would accept that idea wholly simply because it is the most logical answer.


Thank you for the response!

I do not quite think that one should say it's alien just because it's unexplainable. As I have said in my post, if we don't know anything about the object, if we wish to keep intellectual honesty, we can't say anything about the object. Of course, I also said it's okay to speculate on what it could be, as long as one doesn't claim it is anything certain.

I understand your point in saying the 'out of this world' claim is the most logical. However, I do not know if most claims of objects would fall into this category. In my opinion, more worldly origins would be more logical, or perhaps weather anomaly would be more probably. I'm not sure how one would go about discovering what could used to show that one unknowable is more likely than another.

As I said, my own opinion on things that truly cannot be explained would be to suspend judgment.

I'm very sorry if I did not get the point of your post, and if I didn't, if you could explain further that would be very helpful!

Thanks again for responding



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by torsion
reply to post by Hitotsumami
 


Very astute post.

The trouble is, however, it seems that the lunatics have taken over the asylum so be prepared to be accused of being a government paid disinfo agent!



Thank you for the response!

I would hope people wouldn't take that stance, and I do not believe most would. I have nothing against UFOs having alien or other more mysterious origin, I just have something against the reasoning some people use.

Thanks again for the response


Originally posted by FireMoon
reply to post by torsion
 


It's that sort of asinine and cheap remark that proves my very point.


Could you explain further on how another member's post supports your point in response to my own post? I'm not sure I quite understand. Also, I responded to your post, so I don't know if you plan to respond (or are doing so now). Perhaps we can solve the issues better through that.

I'm sorry if I posted too soon and you were in the process of responding, or if you just wish not too. If I didn't get the point of your post, I'm very sorry, and I'm willing to respond in a more accurate way if you have the time to explain further.

Thanks for responding!



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 10:16 AM
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reply to post by Hitotsumami
 


It's simple and i would ask you do this for yourself don't take my word for it. Read a few threads on people reporting strange lights in the sky then read Skeptic Overlord's thread and ask yourself why a whole rake of people who are normally all over these threads shouting the odds were nowhere to be seen on Skeptic Overlord's thread.?

That will tell you just about everything you need to know as to the difference between skeptic and debunker. Torsion, I;'d guess, is just peeved they and a few of their cohorts, have had their wings clipped by the mods for over stepping the line once too often for acting in a high handed, belligerent and ignorant manner towards people who are, often, just asking a genuine question and don;t have the background many of us do in this field. That is exactly what debunkers want, people to be so intimidated they don't offer up their evidence.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by FireMoon
reply to post by Hitotsumami
 


It's simple and i would ask you do this for yourself don't take my word for it. Read a few threads on people reporting strange lights in the sky then read Skeptic Overlord's thread and ask yourself why a whole rake of people who are normally all over these threads shouting the odds were nowhere to be seen on Skeptic Overlord's thread.?

That will tell you just about everything you need to know as to the difference between skeptic and debunker. Torsion, I;'d guess, is just peeved they and a few of their cohorts, have had their wings clipped by the mods for over stepping the line once too often for acting in a high handed, belligerent and ignorant manner towards people who are, often, just asking a genuine question and don;t have the background many of us do in this field. That is exactly what debunkers want, people to be so intimidated they don't offer up their evidence.


Thank you for the response! I shall try to locate the mentioned threads soon and come back with a proper response in accordance with that.


That will tell you just about everything you need to know as to the difference between skeptic and debunker.


So you do believe that my post more accurately should replace the word 'debunker' with 'skeptic'? I believe this is probably the correct term. However, as I have stated, Those who state 'skeptical' things are STILL called debunkers, most of the time. It kind of blurred the line between the two from my own point of view. That is more or less what I had a problem with.

But yes, I'll try to find the threads you mentioned and respond back to you soon after I read over them.

Thanks for the response!
edit on 3-12-2010 by Hitotsumami because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 10:35 AM
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reply to post by FireMoon
 


I have read this thread in particular: www.abovetopsecret.com...

I did not realize it was by the person you were talking about in your post. I really don't pay attention to who is posting, but what the post contains.

Now, I would like to understand your point a little further.


Read a few threads on people reporting strange lights in the sky then read Skeptic Overlord's thread and ask yourself why a whole rake of people who are normally all over these threads shouting the odds were nowhere to be seen on Skeptic Overlord's thread.?


Are you saying that debunkers who are usually in most other threads don't show up in Skeptic Overlord's threads? I do not know the exact reason why debunkers would not also respond to this thread. One possible explanation I can think of is that story based claims usually do not have a 'real world' explanation. I talked about this in the first post. For things we cannot know anything about, it's better to claim nothing at all.

However, I think you mean to say that the reason 'debunkers' didn't appear in his thread was because debunkers want to scare people into not giving out evidence?


That is exactly what debunkers want, people to be so intimidated they don't offer up their evidence.


That is what it seems you are saying. If it is not, if you could rephrase or explain further, that would be very helpful. If it is what you saying, I do not quite know what to say. Many people who are called debunkers on the forums (that I've seen) are people who are just regular skeptics, but called debunkers anyway, thus the reasoning as to why I'm overlaying the two terms.

Thank you again for the response!



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 10:51 AM
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reply to post by Hitotsumami
 


In the world of UFOs, your definition fits a "skeptic" better than debunker.

Known UFO debunkers have caused it to be a derogatory term, because they insist that IF an explanation MAY explain something, it, by default IS the explanation. Example....Klass and crew on the Hill Abduction Case.

They claim that because an alien that barely fits the description of the Hills was featured on an episode of The Outer Limits TV show, it must be where they got the info, despite the Hills' claims of never watching the show or episode, or even genre...and in spite of other evidence.

So, because it COULD be an explanation, it IS? Debunkers INSIST that their explanation is the only correct one, and this is where it becomes derogatory.

The UFO community NEEDS skeptics to help separate the wheat from the chaff (and there is a LOT of chaff)...but Debunkers are not needed, nor a help to either side when it comes to truth.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
reply to post by Hitotsumami
 


In the world of UFOs, your definition fits a "skeptic" better than debunker.

Known UFO debunkers have caused it to be a derogatory term, because they insist that IF an explanation MAY explain something, it, by default IS the explanation. Example....Klass and crew on the Hill Abduction Case.

They claim that because an alien that barely fits the description of the Hills was featured on an episode of The Outer Limits TV show, it must be where they got the info, despite the Hills' claims of never watching the show or episode, or even genre...and in spite of other evidence.

So, because it COULD be an explanation, it IS? Debunkers INSIST that their explanation is the only correct one, and this is where it becomes derogatory.

The UFO community NEEDS skeptics to help separate the wheat from the chaff (and there is a LOT of chaff)...but Debunkers are not needed, nor a help to either side when it comes to truth.


Thank you for the response!

In my time reading ATS threads and such, the terms debunker and skeptic really start to overlap due to many members accusing skeptics to be debunkers just because they prefer a different explanation. This is why I grouped the two as being mainly the same thing. I did not know otherwise.

I was not aware that debunkers had reasoning like that. Thank you for helping me understand the difference and how it applies with ATS! I take back my first post. I wish to defend skeptics rather than what I now know about debunkers.

My main problem still remains with those associating skeptics with debunkers. I see this quite regularly. Just because someone states a light in the sky is probably a balloon rather than a spaceship, I don't think they should be labeled a debunker. Thought that is what I see.

Thanks again for responding! If you don't mind, I'll be editing my first post to better explain my new stance on the subject.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 11:08 AM
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De-bunkers is the completly wrong name to use. Skeptics should be the word you use to describe the people who actually take the time to look into cases, and don't go into it with their mind made up. De-bunkers are a different breed. They don't really care about ufo's being real or not. All they care about and love is the de-bunking, ridiculing etc

I put these people in the same boat as the hardcore believers, as they both run on their belief system.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 11:09 AM
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At what point is the line drawn, surely at some point a skeptic is going to accidently debunk something and then will be labelled a debunker. It doesn't matter how you label someone( which seems to be the standard pastime around here), if they are right they are right no matter what side of the platform they are standing on.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by Jay-morris
De-bunkers is the completly wrong name to use. Skeptics should be the word you use to describe the people who actually take the time to look into cases, and don't go into it with their mind made up. De-bunkers are a different breed. They don't really care about ufo's being real or not. All they care about and love is the de-bunking, ridiculing etc

I put these people in the same boat as the hardcore believers, as they both run on their belief system.


Thank you for the response! If you look at the first post again, I have now added an edited section where I explain my new stance. I now know the difference between the two terms, so I thank you for helping contribute to that!

I still have a problem however, and that is stated in the edited section of the first post. I shall quote a section of it here, in case you don't want to scroll up to see for yourself:


My main problem still remains with those associating skeptics with debunkers. I see this quite regularly. Just because someone states a light in the sky is probably a balloon rather than a spaceship, I don't think they should be labeled a debunker. Though that is what I see.


Thanks again for responding!



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by pazcat
At what point is the line drawn, surely at some point a skeptic is going to accidently debunk something and then will be labelled a debunker. It doesn't matter how you label someone( which seems to be the standard pastime around here), if they are right they are right no matter what side of the platform they are standing on.


Thanks for the response!

I think I should give my opinion on what the two terms mean (now that others have helped explain it to me). A skeptic provides alternative more possible explanations. A debunker does the same thing, but in addition that state their opinion as fact and disregards all other explanations as possible. At least that is how I'm understanding it. If this is wrong, I'd be happy to hear your opinion and understand better!

Anyway, back to your post. I pretty much agree with you. Who is right is right and who is wrong is wrong. However, I do not like how some members stick on negative tags to other members based on faulty reasoning.

Thanks again for the response!



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 11:16 AM
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reply to post by Hitotsumami
 


When you have been into the subject as long as i have, then you see the differences in these people easily. See, there are two sides to a coin. How about the stupid explanations de-bunkers put forth on some ufo cases. Its like their belief will not let them put their hands up and say "ok, i have no clue what this is" Now, this tells you alot about these people. It tells you how arragonat and ignorant they can be, that they are willing to throw stupid explanations, rather than say its an unknown.

De-bunkers is widly known in this field to be full of people who have no clue what they are talking about, and just come here to take the mick and try and be clever. They are completly different to skeptics in my book.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 11:24 AM
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Originally posted by Jay-morris
reply to post by Hitotsumami
 


When you have been into the subject as long as i have, then you see the differences in these people easily. See, there are two sides to a coin. How about the stupid explanations de-bunkers put forth on some ufo cases. Its like their belief will not let them put their hands up and say "ok, i have no clue what this is" Now, this tells you alot about these people. It tells you how arragonat and ignorant they can be, that they are willing to throw stupid explanations, rather than say its an unknown.

De-bunkers is widly known in this field to be full of people who have no clue what they are talking about, and just come here to take the mick and try and be clever. They are completly different to skeptics in my book.


I agree with you! I think it is also easy to see the difference. I also think, as I still hold in my original post, that cases or events that do not seem to have any known explanation should stay unknown, and no certainty claim should be made about them.

But yes. I agree that a difference should be easy to see. I do not think many members see the difference, however, since many place the term debunker on what appear in my opinion to be regular skeptics.

Thanks again for responding!



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 11:35 AM
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"Debunkers" and "skeptics" are sorely needed within every topic that appears on ATS. The primary problem we often encounter is that some in these "viewpoint groups" engage in over-zealous opposition to the point of being insulting, impertinent, and outright rude. And the often-seen result is that they become unconvinced their impudent behavior is unwarranted.

It's not just "Aliens and UFO" topics that have experienced an escalation of such behavior on ATS. 911 Conspiracies, Secret Societies, Conspiracies in Religion, etc. have all had their share of rude characters.

Which isn't to say that "true believers" are immune from such behavior, far from it. The 9/11 and Aliens & UFOs forums have both experienced an inordinate share of people with ridiculous ideas who portray an intensity of insulting hate toward anyone attempting to discredit their ideas.

However (and I'm sure I'll take some heat for this comment), in our experience of running ATS as an increasingly large and popular venue for the past seven years, rudeness from debunkers/skeptics are typically the catalyst for insolence from "true believers." Though responding to rudeness with rudeness is no excuse within the confines of ATS.


In the end, however, the mindset of "debunkers" and "skeptics" are important so as to assist in determining the relative merit of speculative topics. While pure speculation can be very productive in testing the upper limits of any given topic, is the skeptical analysis that helps us consider if those limits are headed in the right direction.



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