UFO dissertation research‏

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posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 08:24 AM
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Hi Guys,

Several months ago I took part in a UFO dissertation research‏ survey, hosted by Andrew Hodrien, Brother of Dave Hodrien, Chairman of BUFOG (Birmingham UFO Group).

Andrew Hodrien studies psychology at Northhampton University, and this study was a module to help him gain his Degree.

The aim of the study was to see how Believers in the UFO Phenomina and Skeptics of the UFO Phenomina vary in processing infomation and who's views were more likely to be biased.

Here is his own description of the survey:

**********************************************************************************************************************************

Welcome to the study! I am a final year undergraduate Psychology student and this research is for my dissertation, so thank you for offering to take part. This is a study investigating individual differences, particularly in UFO belief or scepticism, and how judgements are affected by new information.

There will be 2 main parts to this study –

1) Four questionnaires on individual differences in attitudes to UFO phenomena, ambiguity, paranormal phenomena, and control over life events.

2) Three tasks, each simply involving making a judgement between two alternatives based on new information.

It should be noted this study is about how people respond to new information, not testing IQ or cognitive ability. The individual questionnaires and tasks are relatively short, and in total it may take between 20-30 minutes to complete (you will need to complete the survey in one go as cannot exit and return to it). It is important to know that there are no right or wrong answers, so please feel free to answer all questions honestly.

Your participation will form part of a new study which may provide important findings for the relatively under-researched area of UFO beliefs. Thank you

**********************************************************************************************************************************
*SNIP*

**********************************************************************************************************************************

Here is one of Andrews correspondances to me, so you can get an idea of how sincere and dedicated he is to the subject:

Hi Sinead,

Thanks very much and glad you found it interesting. Sadly because I'm currently in the most busiest period of my whole degree (and I think my entire life!) I've not been able to discuss things with participants about their viewpoints (or mine - as some have asked me directly) as much as I would have liked. So for most of them I'm having to respond once things have calmed down and I get a breather as juggling so much right now. I only have 3 months to go though.

However, I did briefly want to respond to what you said. I'm happy you thought it was for a worthy cause, which in my eyes it is. Although, I've sadly faced some backlash from some of the UFO community (not generally, but one specific email list) which turned into a big debate and was hard for me to take as it all got a bit personal. That is a story in itself though haha, and I unfortunately didn't get to resolve it properly yet. In a nutshell it came down to very real issues around applying research to this area, combined with most of those issues (whilst still being relevant) not being relevant for my study, and blown out of proportion from complete misunderstandings of what I'm actually doing or the place I'm coming from. This issue is something I'm passionate about, and ironically I'm giving a lecture on it this summer at the group I'm in with Dave, Bufog.

I was facing a number of issues at the time so I probably took it to heart a bit too much, but it was really my first taste of backlash in response to research, and I haven't even graduated yet! Of course as a student we aren't expected to have to deal with such things, but for me this is a more personal thing because I've spent 20 years studying Ufology, but also psychology in the last 5 and I'm (hopefully) beginning a journey of combining psychology and ufology, with an open-minded (largely absent from previous psy research, particularly in the contactee/abductee phenomenon) viewpoint and in ways that have not been studied before. So it wasn't exactly the best of starts haha. However, these people critcising it don't really know the details on what I've intended from my study. When someone mentioned to them that I'm from Bufog and brother of Dave, they just bluntly discarded that as irrelevant. I truly hope not everyone will feel that way, as I'm well aware of the negative stereotype that psychology as a discipline has created for studying ufology (or rather largely by a limited but vocal group of researchers).

What you said about there is no way to convince people that what you saw was genuine (at least in terms of it being something paranormal - I'd like to hear more about that please) is exactly what I'm interested in exploring. It is measured subtly in my study but I'm hoping to tap into that. In reality, my study is more about the nature of scepticism, with the focus being on sceptics for a change. Taking the reality of UFOs to one side, I'm fascinated with so many things in relation to how we form our viewpoint, how much we challenge it, and how it can interact with other things. The main thing I've realised from exploring my study's background is how complex UFO belief (or scepticism) actually is. - which is great, as allows scope for many research projects hehe.

If I could freely do what I want in this world I would pursue this as a research focus. Sadly with the way things are I will have to see what I can get away with, in terms of time and being careful regarding how such studies are seen in the mainstream areas related to the research career I'm hoping to enter. Which is consciousness, and personally, all of this is relevant. In fact more relevant than a lot of the usual experiences humans have!

Sorry, getting carried away. You can see why I've not been able to reply to many people's emails yet in terms of discussing "beliefs" (I really should totally stop using that word as a casual term - as it is this which got me into the trouble in the first place!) about the subject. The only other project I have currently is I'm doing research into Remote Viewing. Which is research job at my University and is ongoing. Had an experiment in that today actually. So let me know if that interests you.

Thanks for the positivity - that is something I need a lot of lately!

**********************************************************************************************************************************

Here's an email from Dave to me when i asked him how his brothers survey went:

Hi Sinead, My brother's survey went great! He has now released an official paper on his findings, for which he got a 1st in his degree. He found many interesting things, but overall he found that UFO believers are no more prone to fantasy or making stuff up than sceptics, and that sceptics tend to be biased towards their views, where as believers will logically check the evidence for and against. Interesting results I'm sure you'll agree! In August he is coming to give a talk at BUFOG on his findings, if you can make it.

 

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edit on July 30th 2012 by greeneyedleo because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 08:28 AM
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Continued:

Hi Sinead, You know the next meeting is tomorrow eve yeah? I'll ask my bro and see if he can send you a copy or a link to it. He's at the meet tomorrow if you want to speak directly, or in August he's coming to give a talk at the group. Dave

So I thought I would let you guys know, Ill be attending the Lecture in August, and if I have Andrews permission, ill take notes, and present the details of his findings and research.

Incedently, Daves also attending a lecture with Lloyd Pye in the next month in regards to the Starchild Skull.

Thats an exclusive meeting, but Daves holding his Monthly BUFOG meeting to reley the same infomation to us.

If i can attend that lecture, ill be sure to report back


(By the way, this is for they guy that accused me of making up this study lol)



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 08:34 AM
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reply to post by Sinny
 


Sorry i miss it
Sound prety interesting



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 09:11 AM
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I can't get past the consent form to view the questions. Seems you have to have a special number, as a password, to view the questions



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 09:30 AM
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reply to post by trysts
 


sorry about that, try this

AH171

that was my code, hope im not doing anything illegal aha.

if that fails and your still interested ill print screen the survey pages.

I personally think its about time studies were made into peoples set belief systems into the subject.



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 09:53 AM
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reply to post by Sinny
 


I did three pages of questions. It's pretty interesting, though I don't have a clue how he's going to judge everyone's results. Thanks, Sinny



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 10:14 AM
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reply to post by Sinny
 


It said it expired on 29/02/2012 however out of interest I completed anyway. (:

Was very relatable and pretty interesting, basically involving how much judgement an individual needs before coming to a conclusion and how strong that conclusion is.

Best of luck to him.
edit on 30-7-2012 by wackers90 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 11:25 AM
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I'd be interested in hearing his conclusion once he completes the paper!

Btw, perhaps you should remove personal content/remarks, that is best practice on the web imo.


edit on 30-7-2012 by ScientificUAPer because: typo



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 11:33 AM
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reply to post by ScientificUAPer
 


Did actually want the content, but its says i've surpassed the 4 hour edit limit (which i have not)

ill have to ask the Mods.



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by Sinny

Hi Sinead, My brother's survey went great! He has now released an official paper on his findings, for which he got a 1st in his degree. He found many interesting things, but overall he found that UFO believers are no more prone to fantasy or making stuff up than sceptics, and that sceptics tend to be biased towards their views, where as believers will logically check the evidence for and against. Interesting results I'm sure you'll agree! In August he is coming to give a talk at BUFOG on his findings, if you can make it.



This actually confirms what I have concluded from careful observation of the thought-processes of believers as opposed to skeptics. The believers tend to have more advanced critical thinking skills and have a tendency to let the data determine the conclusion, as opposed to letting a preconceived conclusion (UFOs do not exist) determine the data. You will often find UFO skeptics exhibiting this by having a momentary case of 'selective attention' with regards to the evidence, where they simply ignore large portions of evidence, and then focus on this new data set, essentially re-writing history in order for it to conveniently fit their preconceived idea that UFOs do not exist.

This tendency of skeptics to look at a UFO case, and to only choose to acknowledge that evidence that supports their claims, is actually a fundamental logical fallacy called the Fallacy of Incomplete Evidence. It is one of the primary marks of unscientific, subjective thinking, where the world magically becomes whatever you want it to be, because you only choose to acknowledge that evidence that conforms to your preconceived world-view.



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by Sinny
reply to post by trysts
 


sorry about that, try this

AH171

that was my code, hope im not doing anything illegal aha.

if that fails and your still interested ill print screen the survey pages.

I personally think its about time studies were made into peoples set belief systems into the subject.


"He found many interesting things, but overall he found that UFO believers are no more prone to fantasy or making stuff up than sceptics, and that sceptics tend to be biased towards their views, where as believers will logically check the evidence for and against. "

Isn't that an oxymoron? It's certainly not typical of 'believers' on ATS if they gave honest answers.



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by Brighter

Originally posted by Sinny

Hi Sinead, My brother's survey went great! He has now released an official paper on his findings, for which he got a 1st in his degree. He found many interesting things, but overall he found that UFO believers are no more prone to fantasy or making stuff up than sceptics, and that sceptics tend to be biased towards their views, where as believers will logically check the evidence for and against. Interesting results I'm sure you'll agree! In August he is coming to give a talk at BUFOG on his findings, if you can make it.



This actually confirms what I have concluded from careful observation of the thought-processes of believers as opposed to skeptics. The believers tend to have more advanced critical thinking skills and have a tendency to let the data determine the conclusion, as opposed to letting a preconceived conclusion (UFOs do not exist) determine the data. You will often find UFO skeptics exhibiting this by having a momentary case of 'selective attention' with regards to the evidence, where they simply ignore large portions of evidence, and then focus on this new data set, essentially re-writing history in order for it to conveniently fit their preconceived idea that UFOs do not exist.

This tendency of skeptics to look at a UFO case, and to only choose to acknowledge that evidence that supports their claims, is actually a fundamental logical fallacy called the Fallacy of Incomplete Evidence. It is one of the primary marks of unscientific, subjective thinking, where the world magically becomes whatever you want it to be, because you only choose to acknowledge that evidence that conforms to your preconceived world-view.


With your last couple of sentences, have you seen the threads stating that a UFO was above the Olympic opening when it was a blimp? Who is making things conform to their preconcieved world view there?

All you seem to be stating is if peoples world view doesn't match your own then they are wrong, whereas you are right - and basically there are people on either side of any arguement that would think the same.
edit on 30-7-2012 by something wicked because: typo



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by something wicked

Originally posted by Brighter

Originally posted by Sinny

Hi Sinead, My brother's survey went great! He has now released an official paper on his findings, for which he got a 1st in his degree. He found many interesting things, but overall he found that UFO believers are no more prone to fantasy or making stuff up than sceptics, and that sceptics tend to be biased towards their views, where as believers will logically check the evidence for and against. Interesting results I'm sure you'll agree! In August he is coming to give a talk at BUFOG on his findings, if you can make it.



This actually confirms what I have concluded from careful observation of the thought-processes of believers as opposed to skeptics. The believers tend to have more advanced critical thinking skills and have a tendency to let the data determine the conclusion, as opposed to letting a preconceived conclusion (UFOs do not exist) determine the data. You will often find UFO skeptics exhibiting this by having a momentary case of 'selective attention' with regards to the evidence, where they simply ignore large portions of evidence, and then focus on this new data set, essentially re-writing history in order for it to conveniently fit their preconceived idea that UFOs do not exist.

This tendency of skeptics to look at a UFO case, and to only choose to acknowledge that evidence that supports their claims, is actually a fundamental logical fallacy called the Fallacy of Incomplete Evidence. It is one of the primary marks of unscientific, subjective thinking, where the world magically becomes whatever you want it to be, because you only choose to acknowledge that evidence that conforms to your preconceived world-view.


With your last couple of sentences, have you seen the threads stating that a UFO was above the Olympic opening when it was a blimp? Who is making things conform to their preconcieved world view there?

All you seem to be stating is if peoples world view doesn't match your own then they are wrong, whereas you are right - and basically there are people on either side of any arguement that would think the same.
edit on 30-7-2012 by something wicked because: typo



I was referring to a comparison between quality UFO skeptics versus quality UFO believers. There will always be poor cases presented from both sides, but you have to ignore those if you are at all interested in the truth of the matter. You have to focus on the best arguments for and against the UFO hypothesis.

So in a limited sense I agree with you - there are many examples of embarrassingly poor pro-UFO cases, just as there are many cases of embarrassingly poor attempts at UFO debunking. Part of attaining an objectively valid viewpoint on this subject is being able to sift through the nonsense and to focus on the quality reports, in addition to focusing on the best counter-arguments. But what I am saying is that, when you look at the best UFO cases and compare them with the best attempts at debunking, you will find that the skeptics often ignore large portions of the evidence, which (aside from a cognitive defect) can only be explained by their attempting to alter the data to conform to a preconceived notion (that UFOs do not exist). On the other hand, with the best cases, you cannot say the same about the UFO believers, as the data taken as a whole clearly implies (to the unbiased mind) the existence of UFOs, which is to say that the UFO believers in these cases are letting the data dictate the conclusion. In other words, from my experience at least, the best UFO skeptics tend to bring to an investigation preconceived beliefs about the world that cause them to alter the data to conform to their beliefs, whereas, with the best UFO believers (who almost invariably were once skeptics, but their critical thinking skills moved them forward), you have a tendency to let the data dictate the conclusions, which is that UFOs exist. In other words, they don't let a preconceived belief dictate the data, but let the data lead to a belief.



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 02:35 PM
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Originally posted by Brighter

Originally posted by Sinny

Hi Sinead, My brother's survey went great! He has now released an official paper on his findings, for which he got a 1st in his degree. He found many interesting things, but overall he found that UFO believers are no more prone to fantasy or making stuff up than sceptics, and that sceptics tend to be biased towards their views, where as believers will logically check the evidence for and against. Interesting results I'm sure you'll agree! In August he is coming to give a talk at BUFOG on his findings, if you can make it.



This actually confirms what I have concluded from careful observation of the thought-processes of believers as opposed to skeptics. The believers tend to have more advanced critical thinking skills and have a tendency to let the data determine the conclusion, as opposed to letting a preconceived conclusion (UFOs do not exist) determine the data. You will often find UFO skeptics exhibiting this by having a momentary case of 'selective attention' with regards to the evidence, where they simply ignore large portions of evidence, and then focus on this new data set, essentially re-writing history in order for it to conveniently fit their preconceived idea that UFOs do not exist.

This tendency of skeptics to look at a UFO case, and to only choose to acknowledge that evidence that supports their claims, is actually a fundamental logical fallacy called the Fallacy of Incomplete Evidence. It is one of the primary marks of unscientific, subjective thinking, where the world magically becomes whatever you want it to be, because you only choose to acknowledge that evidence that conforms to your preconceived world-view.


I couldn't have worded it any better my self brighter
looking forward to seeing you around



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 03:02 PM
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Originally posted by Brighter

Originally posted by something wicked

Originally posted by Brighter

Originally posted by Sinny

Hi Sinead, My brother's survey went great! He has now released an official paper on his findings, for which he got a 1st in his degree. He found many interesting things, but overall he found that UFO believers are no more prone to fantasy or making stuff up than sceptics, and that sceptics tend to be biased towards their views, where as believers will logically check the evidence for and against. Interesting results I'm sure you'll agree! In August he is coming to give a talk at BUFOG on his findings, if you can make it.



This actually confirms what I have concluded from careful observation of the thought-processes of believers as opposed to skeptics. The believers tend to have more advanced critical thinking skills and have a tendency to let the data determine the conclusion, as opposed to letting a preconceived conclusion (UFOs do not exist) determine the data. You will often find UFO skeptics exhibiting this by having a momentary case of 'selective attention' with regards to the evidence, where they simply ignore large portions of evidence, and then focus on this new data set, essentially re-writing history in order for it to conveniently fit their preconceived idea that UFOs do not exist.

This tendency of skeptics to look at a UFO case, and to only choose to acknowledge that evidence that supports their claims, is actually a fundamental logical fallacy called the Fallacy of Incomplete Evidence. It is one of the primary marks of unscientific, subjective thinking, where the world magically becomes whatever you want it to be, because you only choose to acknowledge that evidence that conforms to your preconceived world-view.


With your last couple of sentences, have you seen the threads stating that a UFO was above the Olympic opening when it was a blimp? Who is making things conform to their preconcieved world view there?

All you seem to be stating is if peoples world view doesn't match your own then they are wrong, whereas you are right - and basically there are people on either side of any arguement that would think the same.
edit on 30-7-2012 by something wicked because: typo



I was referring to a comparison between quality UFO skeptics versus quality UFO believers. There will always be poor cases presented from both sides, but you have to ignore those if you are at all interested in the truth of the matter. You have to focus on the best arguments for and against the UFO hypothesis.

So in a limited sense I agree with you - there are many examples of embarrassingly poor pro-UFO cases, just as there are many cases of embarrassingly poor attempts at UFO debunking. Part of attaining an objectively valid viewpoint on this subject is being able to sift through the nonsense and to focus on the quality reports, in addition to focusing on the best counter-arguments. But what I am saying is that, when you look at the best UFO cases and compare them with the best attempts at debunking, you will find that the skeptics often ignore large portions of the evidence, which (aside from a cognitive defect) can only be explained by their attempting to alter the data to conform to a preconceived notion (that UFOs do not exist). On the other hand, with the best cases, you cannot say the same about the UFO believers, as the data taken as a whole clearly implies (to the unbiased mind) the existence of UFOs, which is to say that the UFO believers in these cases are letting the data dictate the conclusion. In other words, from my experience at least, the best UFO skeptics tend to bring to an investigation preconceived beliefs about the world that cause them to alter the data to conform to their beliefs, whereas, with the best UFO believers (who almost invariably were once skeptics, but their critical thinking skills moved them forward), you have a tendency to let the data dictate the conclusions, which is that UFOs exist. In other words, they don't let a preconceived belief dictate the data, but let the data lead to a belief.


I'm sorry, using ATS as an example, there is little evidence of too many unbiased minds among what you call 'believers'. You really are bending this to meet your own belief. Don't agree with me, that's fine, I understand. Please though provide me with evidence of where you think this is the case and I will happily look.

The word 'believer' in and of itself means someone who believes in a particular theory - it's kind of what it says on the tin. The word 'skeptic' means to question and not take at face value - have you perchance confused the two?



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 03:38 PM
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reply to post by Sinny
 


Hey Sinny, thanks for your comments.

I should add that I don't want to discourage skepticism, as hopefully we all approach any novel phenomenon, especially something as unconventional as the existence of UFOs, with a healthy dose of skepticism. But I would also hope that people practice an intellectually honest form of skepticism, as opposed to simple dogmatism.

Be aware that many of the more vocal "skeptics" on this site are not practicing skepticism, but are engaging in a deep form of intellectual dishonesty or even dogmatism. They hide behind a proclaimed scientific stance, which gives their views a superficial veneer of validity. Yet take a close look at their arguments, and it will be clear that they exhibit an astounding amount of logical fallacies.

The problem for a dogmatic skeptic is that the good data actually supports the existence of UFOs. In order for them to maintain their beliefs, they focus on the weak UFO cases, often on the hoaxes and obvious cases of misidentification. In other words, they are looking only at data that supports their beliefs, while ignoring the rest.



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 03:45 PM
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had a chat with the bufog guys at a UFO weekend in Pontefract a few years back..
real nice guys and gal.



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 03:47 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 05:10 PM
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Originally posted by Brighter

I was referring to a comparison between quality UFO skeptics versus quality UFO believers. There will always be poor cases presented from both sides, but you have to ignore those if you are at all interested in the truth of the matter. You have to focus on the best arguments for and against the UFO hypothesis.

So in a limited sense I agree with you - there are many examples of embarrassingly poor pro-UFO cases, just as there are many cases of embarrassingly poor attempts at UFO debunking. Part of attaining an objectively valid viewpoint on this subject is being able to sift through the nonsense and to focus on the quality reports, in addition to focusing on the best counter-arguments. But what I am saying is that, when you look at the best UFO cases and compare them with the best attempts at debunking, you will find that the skeptics often ignore large portions of the evidence, which (aside from a cognitive defect) can only be explained by their attempting to alter the data to conform to a preconceived notion (that UFOs do not exist). On the other hand, with the best cases, you cannot say the same about the UFO believers, as the data taken as a whole clearly implies (to the unbiased mind) the existence of UFOs, which is to say that the UFO believers in these cases are letting the data dictate the conclusion. In other words, from my experience at least, the best UFO skeptics tend to bring to an investigation preconceived beliefs about the world that cause them to alter the data to conform to their beliefs, whereas, with the best UFO believers (who almost invariably were once skeptics, but their critical thinking skills moved them forward), you have a tendency to let the data dictate the conclusions, which is that UFOs exist. In other words, they don't let a preconceived belief dictate the data, but let the data lead to a belief.




Originally posted by something wicked

I'm sorry, using ATS as an example, there is little evidence of too many unbiased minds among what you call 'believers'. You really are bending this to meet your own belief. Don't agree with me, that's fine, I understand. Please though provide me with evidence of where you think this is the case and I will happily look.




By focusing solely on the UFO research done on ATS, as you do here -

"using ATS as an example, there is little evidence of too many unbiased minds among what you call 'believers'."

- you are committing the same exact logical fallacy that I've been pointing to all along - the fallacy of incomplete evidence. You are intentionally focusing on a limited data set in order to draw certain conclusions regarding the quality of UFO researchers.

Furthermore, if you are assuming that I said that the good UFO research is on ATS, can you point to where I said that?


Originally posted by something wicked

The word 'believer' in and of itself means someone who believes in a particular theory - it's kind of what it says on the tin. The word 'skeptic' means to question and not take at face value - have you perchance confused the two?



Thanks for defining those words for me.

Actually, the word 'believer' is not simply "what it says on the tin". A believer is someone who holds a belief, and a belief can be justified, unjustified or neither (in such a case where the belief status has not yet been determined). So already there are three different types of believer, depending on the status of their belief - a believer who holds a justified belief, a believer who holds an unjustified belief, and a believer whose belief has not yet been determined to be either justified or unjustified. I was using the phrase "UFO believers" to refer to those who not only believe in the existence UFOs, but whose belief is also justified. This should have been clear by using basic contextual reading skills.

Furthermore, the terms 'believer' and 'skeptic' are not mutually exclusive, as your comments seem to imply. In fact, the ideal believer would hold a belief that is justified through employing skeptical analysis, in which case such a person is a 'believer' and a 'skeptic' at the same time.

If you go back and read my post with these ideas in mind, it should make a lot more sense to you.





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