It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

On Debunkers

page: 2
7
<< 1    3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 11:43 AM
link   
reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Thank you for the response!


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.


I believe that if both sides give their opinion and reasoning for it, following logic and current understanding, both sides should easily be able to accept whatever appears most correct or possible, or suspend judgment until sufficient information is available.

I do not think the 'two sides', or any side in any topic, should ever revert to insults and rudeness. It gets the topic nowhere and lets us understand nothing more about it.

I have seen regular skeptics being called debunkers for no apparent reason, and that is the only thing I have a problem with.

Thanks again for the response! I basically agree with your points.




posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 11:45 AM
link   
reply to post by Hitotsumami
 


Hitotsumami, interesting thread and I think the distinction between debunkers and sceptics is an important one - here´s a relevant article listing differences between true open minded scepticism and close minded ignorant cynicism:



True skeptics / open-minded skeptics



*Has honest doubt and questions all beliefs, including their own

*Seeks the truth, considers it the highest aim

*Seeks open inquiry and investigation of both sides

*Is nonjudgmental, doesn't jump to rash conclusions

*Weighs evidence on all sides

*Asks exploratory questions about new things to try to understand them

*Acknowledges valid convincing evidence

*Possesses solid sharp common sense

*Is able to adapt and update their paradigms to new evidence







Pseudo-skeptics / closed-minded skeptics



*Automatically dismisses and denies all claims that contradict materialism and orthodoxy

*Is not interested in truth, evidence or facts, only in defending orthodoxy and the status quo

*Ignores anything that doesn't fit their a priori beliefs and assumptions

*Scoffs and ridicules their targets instead of providing solid arguments and giving honest consideration

*Has a know-it-all-attitude, never asks questions about things they don't understand, never admits that they don't know something

*Insists that everything unknown and unexplained must have a conventional materialistic explanation

*Is judgmental and quick to draw conclusions about things they know little or nothing about

*Uses semantics and word games with their own rules of logic to try to win arguments

*Is unable to adapt and update their paradigms to new evidence


Link




Kevin Randle also makes some good points below:




Cheers.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 11:53 AM
link   
reply to post by karl 12
 


Thank you very much for the information and links! I really appreciate it.

At this point I wish I could redo this thread as one about the differences between skeptic and debunker. My main problem is with those who placed the tag debunker upon what I usually see as a regular skeptic. Hopefully the edited section of my post will be enough instead of scrapping the entire thread!

Thanks again for responding



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 11:54 AM
link   
I must admit, I am sometimes guilty in bickering with some people on here. I consider myself a true believer, but I dislike people who are quick to jump to conclusions, eat any conspiracy theory for breakfast. But I always share my opposing views in a civil manner at first. Only when the person (usually the Original Poser) start posting condescending comments then I start to lose it as well. And it often times turn into a battle of bickering between the 2 of us.

People just need to relax and realize that any subject need opinions from all sides to help everyone understand it more.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 12:00 PM
link   
First, I'd like to compliment the OP and the various contributers for maintaining a remarkably focussed, insightful, and above all civilized thread on what is potentially a highly contentious thread. Next, I would like to share my own take on the difference between skepticism and "debunking," based on my own attitudes and experience. I am by inclination "skeptical," in that I do not take everything at face value and weigh what new information is presented against a variety of tests, eg; is it logical or self-contradictory? Does it harmonize with the established body of knowledge, or does it run contrary to it? Are the sources credible? Can it be confirmed by other sources? And so forth. If in the course of my own investigation of a claim I discover solid evidence of fraud, misrepresentation, fabrication or outright lies I switch from being merely skeptical to actively determined to cast light on an attempt to deceive the gullible: I become a "debunker," Are there alien civilizations? Probably, I don't have enough information to say one way or the other. Is a giant planet hiding behind the Sun? No, absolutely not, and I feel obligated to explain why people shouldn't waste money on DVDs that tell them there is, or lose any sleep worrying about it. I hope this sheds some light on the spectrum of skepticism.

(Aside to SkepticOverlord: Great new threads, daddy-o!
edit on 3-12-2010 by DJW001 because: Edit to correct typo.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 12:05 PM
link   

Originally posted by Hitotsumami
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.
Actually I think you were right to begin with before you changed your word usage. Let's look at the word debunker in Merriam-Webster:

www.merriam-webster.com...


Definition of DEBUNK
transitive verb
: to expose the sham or falseness of
— de·bunk·er noun

Examples of DEBUNK

1. The article debunks the notion that life exists on Mars.
2. The results of the study debunk his theory.
Basically what has happened here, is people have given you a different definition of debunker than the one in the dictionary. If you use the dictionary there's nothing wrong with being a skeptic or a debunker as debunker is actually defined in the dictionary (and not by a handful of opinions here).

For example, someone asks if 5 mysterious lights seen in New Jersey on a certain night are UFOs, and a debunker posts this video, it's more accurate to call them a debunker as opposed to a skeptic:

How We Staged The Morristown UFO Hoax - Part 2: The Launch www.youtube.com...

With evidence like that it's not just being skeptical, it's debunking and there's nothing perjorative about the use of that word as many here are trying to suggest should be the case. You can't accurately call posting that video being skeptical in my opinion. Debunking is a much better fit. And in that case debunking is not what many of the posters in this thread are claiming, it's not negative or lacking evidence at all.

Basically, they have a good idea to separate out the true skeptics from the people who just want to explain away things, but they are using the wrong word when they suggest debunker. A different word has been coined to describe the type of individual who explains away things without a good foundation: Pseudoskeptic.


The term pseudoskepticism was popularized and characterized by Marcello Truzzi in response to skeptics who, in his opinion, made negative claims without bearing the burden of proof of those claims.

"In science, the burden of proof falls upon the claimant; and the more extraordinary a claim, the heavier is the burden of proof demanded. The true skeptic takes an agnostic position, one that says the claim is not proved rather than disproved. He asserts that the claimant has not borne the burden of proof and that science must continue to build its cognitive map of reality without incorporating the extraordinary claim as a new "fact." Since the true skeptic does not assert a claim, he has no burden to prove anything. He just goes on using the established theories of "conventional science" as usual. But if a critic asserts that there is evidence for disproof, that he has a negative hypothesis—saying, for instance, that a seeming psi result was actually due to an artifact—he is making a claim and therefore also has to bear a burden of proof.

– Marcello Truzzi, On Pseudo-Skepticism:


www.debunkingskeptics.com...


Characteristics and Behaviors of PseudoSkeptics vs. True Skeptics
(See Karl_12's post above, edited out duplicate content)


So I have to object to this attempt to disparage debunkers, and say that using the word pseudoskeptic may be a better option to avoid giving a meaning to debunker which it really doesn't have.




edit on 3-12-2010 by Arbitrageur because: Karl_12 beat me to it, posted the reference while I was still typing, so I edited my reference out to refer to his.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 12:15 PM
link   
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Thank you very much for responding!


A different word has been coined to describe the type of individual who explains away things without a good foundation: Pseudoskeptic.


I have never heard of that term before, but it's pretty much really accurate for this thread! Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

I really don't mean to change my opinion so quickly and so frequently, but when new information is given to me, that's the only thing I can do.

Originally, I thought debunkers were the definition version that you gave, and I thought that nothing was wrong with being a debunker. Many members followed by posting the term debunker carried a lot of negative baggage along with it. Thus the reason I edited my post. However, now it seems that debunker is a word many people use mistakenly when in actuality they mean "pseudoskeptic".

I think that is a good summary, and contains my opinion as well!

I have to go to a quick example. When someone claims a light in the sky is more probably a balloon, I see many responses that particular person is a debunker. Now that I know more about the etymology of the terms, I know they ACTUALLY mean pseudoskeptic.

Either way, my original 'complaint' still holds true, in that this thread was mainly created to confront the problem of the people who claim regular skeptics (or debunkers) are pseudoskeptics (although they use the term debunker instead).

I hope this isn't getting confusing!

Thanks so much again for responding.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 12:31 PM
link   
Indeed, an enlightening thread, with some very insightful thoughts posted by all.

I suppose in my case, I would hopefully fall under the classification of "skeptic".

Generally open minded to the testimony of the case as presented.With the full intent of getting to the bottom of any potential cause of a particular phenomena. With an open mind.

In some cases, I have asked probing questions to further get a perception of perspective of the claim. Even after that, I sometimes truly have no
clue as to what the explanation could be. Lacking any sound explanation or reasonable theory to try to find a cause. The claim may by truly unexplainable and/or any further information to try to get closer to a cause has become unobtainium for one reason or another.

In those cases, I will not put forth a theory or try to explain it. Nor do I just pop up and say....Dam, thats weird...I have no idea what the hell that could have been.

So If, according to at least two of you here, I should. I am off to say so on Skeptic Overlords thread about his sighting.

Thanks OP & the rest of you for a even-keeled discussion about this.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 12:33 PM
link   

Originally posted by Hitotsumami
Originally, I thought debunkers were the definition version that you gave, and I thought that nothing was wrong with being a debunker. Many members followed by posting the term debunker carried a lot of negative baggage along with it. Thus the reason I edited my post. However, now it seems that debunker is a word many people use mistakenly when in actuality they mean "pseudoskeptic".
That's my opinion, however I should add that you may not find the word "pseudoskeptic" in the dictionary, though both Karl_12 and I cited references to it, outside the dictionary. There may be some resultance to use it if it's not a "real word" yet, which I can understand. However I don't think the answer is to use the wrong word like "debunker" instead.

Maybe "debunker" does carry some negative baggage (obviously it does for some members of ATS with whom I respectfully disagree), but it really shouldn't, and I was pleased to see that Skeptic Overlord treated the word debunker properly, without the automatic negative connotation (referring to either debunkers or skeptics as a positive influence, as long as they don't go overboard into the pseudoskeptic area).

As for changing your opinion, that's something we can and should all do when it's appropriate, which reminds me of the quote from Keynes: "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" Maybe not a perfect fit here but you get the idea, there's nothing wrong with going where the facts take us.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 12:43 PM
link   
reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Skeptics are predisposed to discredit nontraditional explanations with the guns of tradition as their offensive. Debunkers make a case to discredit nontraditional explanations by any means possible. (valid or not)
Neither can seen the realities of the world in which we exist, because both have their heads buried in the sands of "inherited beliefs". The only thing separating the two from the "believers" is: undeniable evidence, incontrovertible conclusions, or a personal life altering experience. The hardest thing to get a skeptic or debunker to do is look at evidence objectionably.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 12:45 PM
link   
reply to post by Hitotsumami
 


Well yeah. I like the following formulation:

Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis

As pointed out by anynomous previous posters, debunkers and skeptics are important part of this board. If some people want one sided, biased 'cheering' over topics, they are ought to change their discussion board.

I have also written few threads about this very same issue.

Mainly I have concluded that many people who are zealously defending some mainstream dogma or judgement, are in fact acting out of fear.

Then again, some people are out there with honest purpose of finding out the truth.

Finally, while I may usually appear as a 'skeptic' about certain topics, I am that solely because I see that there are lot of alternative explanation, which may be more credible. Personally I try to avoid any dogma or belief and try to base my opinion on empiricism - that is a personal experience. Of course, there are some topics where results gained by empiricism are hard to achieve. For example, in some cases the evidence in buried in a such amount of secrecy or obscurity, that it is very hard to get any useful data...

-v
edit on 3-12-2010 by v01i0 because: 626



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 12:50 PM
link   
All debunkers are skeptics, but not all skeptics are debunkers.

Skeptics will provide alternate and often more reasonable explanations for events tend often fall back on known and proven phenomena. They don't necessarily intend to change anyones belief that the topic stems from extra-political, extra-terrestrial, para-normal, or any other speculated, assumed, unproven event, activity, or entity.

Debunkers are skeptics who are acting actively to disprove a claim or theory.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 12:58 PM
link   
reply to post by v01i0
 


I think I may have misstated my objection. I'm inclined to conclude that both debunkers and skeptics are in the same category as believers. Everyone of them, who, or you, is predisposed to believe in their comfort zone of tradition. We all want to explain things that we don't understand with things we think we know. Any person who can view existence and all things within it with an OPEN MIND is an objectionable observer. That individual will consider either and all, scientific, historically documented, and eye-witnessed accounts equally. He or she will find the truth before the rest of the faithful.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 12:59 PM
link   

Originally posted by RestingInPieces
All debunkers are skeptics, but not all skeptics are debunkers.

Skeptics will provide alternate and often more reasonable explanations for events tend often fall back on known and proven phenomena. They don't necessarily intend to change anyones belief that the topic stems from extra-political, extra-terrestrial, para-normal, or any other speculated, assumed, unproven event, activity, or entity.

Debunkers are skeptics who are acting actively to disprove a claim or theory.


Well stated



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 01:04 PM
link   
reply to post by Howtosurvive2012
 


I wasn't replying you but the OP.

Anyway I see your point. But I think there is no objective person. We all are conditioned to perceive the world and existence through our human capabilities. As I see it, the objectivity is where we should aim, but because of this conditioning, we cannot be objective as single persons, hence the objectivity is gained by collective effort (take the word of one insane for it)

I have written about this too. Because I am now feeling somewhat tired, I just link the thread.

-v



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 01:19 PM
link   

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
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.


It's nice to see that ATS management realizes this. I've shied away from this board for the past couple of years for this very reason.

edit on 12/3/2010 by JustMe74 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 01:24 PM
link   
Every debunker or skeptic I have seen on this forum so far has been rude or a troll.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 01:34 PM
link   
reply to post by v01i0
 


That's the problem... We've been conditioned to be conditioned. View the world as if you've been reborn each and everyday with the acquired knowledge of the days before. Objectivity has been replaced with fads, commercials, and outspoken observationalists. You can't hear your own opinions when someone is telling you what to think 24/7. Referring to your thread... Reality is without a doubt a multi-reality existence. The reality you choose to recognize is unique to you and you alone. No two people who experience the same event, witness the same situation, or undergo the same experience, will ever recall that event the same. Who's experience was real; none, or all? If non, than you believe the outside observer decides the reality of the situation? Reality is subject to perception. Perception is subject to knowledge. The pursuit of knowledge is a never-ending journey. Most of us have chosen to stop walking. That's why most individuals cant be objectionable.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 02:29 PM
link   

Originally posted by Hitotsumami
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.


No, that's a pretty accurate description of what a debunker is, someone who sets out to prove something wrong.

Don't make the error of believing that a debunker simply follows Occam's razor, or the simplest explanation possible.

You brought up ufology as an example, let's roll with that.

A believer is a person who allows himself to be convinced that a UFO incident is real because he/she wants UFOs to be real. Credo quia absurdum

A debunker is a person who convinces him/herself that UFOs do not exist, therefore the UFO incident must be a mistake somehow. He/she is equally emotionally biased as the believer. Semper quia absurdum

A scientific-minded person will approach a UFO incident without preconceived opinions, then use the process of elimination in order to establish what the observation could not be, and then narrow it down to the remaining possible or only possible explanations.

You generally recognize the debunker or the believer, because that person will put his/her ego into the reasoning and defend it in absurdum.

The scientific-minded person will adapt his/her stand to what the results show, he/she will allow him/herself to change his/her mind if the facts tells so.

A lot of people believe themselves to be scientifically-minded skeptics, but once you start cherry-picking facts so that they'll suit your conviction, you've become a debunker or a believer.
edit on 3-12-2010 by Heliocentric because: Old pond... a frog jumps in water's sound.



posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 02:54 PM
link   
reply to post by Heliocentric
 


Thanks for the response! Lots of other things have been said in the thread, and now I have a different stance on things, so it's kind of difficult if your responding to my opening post, which isn't exactly what I agree with anymore.

I will attempt to respond to your post anyway.


A believer is a person who allows himself to be convinced that a UFO incident is real because he/she wants UFOs to be real. Credo quia absurdum


Hmm, I think I agree. However, a believer might be convinced not because they want to be, but because of an actual experience. I also think that a believer could change their mind on certain cases if proven otherwise. I don't see how it has to be so black and white.


A debunker is a person who convinces him/herself that UFOs do not exist, therefore the UFO incident must be a mistake somehow. He/she is equally emotionally biased as the believer. Semper quia absurdum


I'm not sure I agree. I thought a debunker is a person who debunks, attempts to show that a claim is false, or offers another more possible explanation. I also don't think a debunker is a debunker 100% of the time. Perhaps a particular case will prove to be unknowable, or absolutely true, and thus there is nothing to debunk.

I would now like to quote Arbitrageur:


A different word has been coined to describe the type of individual who explains away things without a good foundation: Pseudoskeptic.


I believe this better fits your definition of a debunker.


A scientific-minded person will approach a UFO incident without preconceived opinions, then use the method of exclusion in order to establish what the observation could not be, and then narrow it down to the remaining possible or only possible explanations.


Is the best way to figure out something to say what something is not based on evidence, or to say what something is based on the evidence? If I have a red cup, do I prove it is a red cup by showing it's not an elephant, a planet, a blade of grass, and so on? Or do I prove it is a red cup by demonstrating it is so by letting your sense observe it?

I don't think you should use exclusion (although it can be handy), but simply base things on what the observations lead to. If observations lead to something you can't explain, then it is just that, unexplainable. If it is unexplainable, no further claims should be made about it until more information is available. At least that is my opinion.

If I misunderstood, or you think I am wrong on my stance, I would be happy to hear your response and change my opinion based on future understanding!

Thank you again for responding.




top topics



 
7
<< 1    3 >>

log in

join