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Critical Thinking and the UFO Hypothesis II: Ignoring the Evidence

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posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 02:24 PM
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Critical Thinking and the UFO Hypothesis II: Ignoring the Evidence

When examining the strongest arguments for and against the best cases for the UFO Hypothesis, it becomes evident that the 'skeptics' are actually practicing a form of denial, whereas the proponents are engaging in proper skepticism. The form of denial I refer to here comes in the form of a steady application of the Fallacy of Incomplete Evidence. The fallacy of incomplete evidence involves selectively choosing only that evidence that conforms to a certain pre-ordained belief. The proper skepticism I refer to involves the withholding of assent until sufficient evidence is attained. In other words, one who consistently commits the fallacy of incomplete evidence is letting their beliefs dictate the relevant data, whereas a proper skeptic will let the data dictate their beliefs.

Recall that the fallacy of incomplete evidence is when someone focuses on some evidence, while ignoring the rest.

Skeptics often commit this logical fallacy when assessing the stronger UFO cases. If you carefully watch their replies, they will almost completely ignore the corroborating statements of witnesses, facts about simultaneous ground- and air- radar confirmation and similar evidence that also corroborates the witness testimonies, while drawing your attention to some other possible explanation and hyper-focusing on it, even if this explanation is comically at odds with the vast majority of the data.

(This same fallacy is committed when the best skeptics selectively choose which cases to focus on. By focusing on the weakest cases, they are guaranteeing an outcome that fits with their pre-determined conclusion, that the UFO Hypothesis is false.)

Now you might be wondering: How is it possible for someone to simply ignore evidence? In some rare cases, it could simply be the result of a cognitive defect, but the more likely explanation is psychological - some people have very strong beliefs about the world and how it 'must' be, and will do anything to defend said beliefs, even if it means intellectual dishonesty. Another explanation is cultural - some skeptics seem to place themselves within some ill-defined 'culture' of science, which we might call 'scientism,' which they take to involve certain beliefs about the world that they take as a priori true, such as that any and all phenomena are explainable in terms of the current scientific paradigm. Of course such beliefs are baseless and with no empirical foundation, yet such beliefs become the driving force of these skeptics. Scientism is quite unscientific indeed, as it not only involves the uncritical superimposing of beliefs onto the world, but in order to maintain those beliefs, involves on a consistent basis the committing of logical fallacies. Scientism is actually quite prevalent in the world today. And a final explanation could be that they are intentionally spreading disinformation.

As a result, what I have been referring to as "skeptics" are actually not skeptics. Far from practicing the careful, critical thinking of true skepticism, they are actually practicing a form of denial. Most of the self-proclaimed skeptics are not skeptics, but simple deniers with deeply held beliefs.

As a final thought, I'd like to point out that proponents of UFOs are also guilty of selectively choosing evidence, but that this is not the case (or at least not necessary) with the best cases for the UFO Hypothesis, as the evidence itself is sufficient. And in the last analysis, all anyone with a genuine interest in the truth of the matter should be interested in are the best cases, as it is to do nothing but waste time if we focus on the weak ones.

Again, this analysis refers to the defining characteristics of the best arguments both for and against the best cases for the UFO Hypothesis. I am not (nor should anyone else) be interested in the weak arguments, except to examine certain tendencies to make logical errors in the arguments of both proponents and skeptics alike.




posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 02:31 PM
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Then there are the 'debunkers' - the ones determined to prove whatever is fake, while ignoring/dismissing all the evidence to the contrary. And some of them have the audacity to claim they're being more 'scientific' than the rational and impartial skeptics. That kind of mindset actually rots whatever critical thinking skills they began with.

I would have given you two stars for that opening post, but the reptilian Illuminati slave masters controlling this forum won't let me.
edit on 1-8-2012 by XeroOne because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by Brighter
Now you might be wondering: How is it possible for someone to simply ignore evidence? In some rare cases, it could simply be the result of a cognitive defect, but the more likely explanation is psychological - some people have very strong beliefs about the world and how it 'must' be, and will do anything to defend said beliefs, even if it means intellectual dishonesty.

OR maybe its because some people have strong beliefs about how the subject of UFOs has always been handled. Look its real easy, I'll make an example with words:

hoax, hoax, CGI, plane, trashcan lid, streetlamp, nothing at all, fake, fake, hoax, hoax, CGI, hoax, fake, CGI, just a pixel, fake, fake, hoax, CGI, that's a rock, fake, hoax, hoax, CGI, plane, plane, fake, fake, helicopter, fake, fake, fake, fake, CGI, fake, fake, total hoax, CGI, CGI, blurry pixels, fake, fake, another hoax, fake, CGI, a bird, fake, CGI, insects, fake, hoax, hoax, fake, CGI, jpg artifacts, fake, hoax, CGI, maybe real, hoax, fake, CGI, more jpg artifacts, bird, bird, fake, hoax, hoax, hoax, CGI, laughable, fake, hoax, CGI, streetlamp, airplane, hoax, CGI, fake, boat, plane, helicopter, fake, hoax, CGI, CGI, fake, hoax, plane, bird, two birds, fake, fake, fake

Sometimes you just choose to ignore it.



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 02:50 PM
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reply to post by Brighter
 


Brother or Sister, you have just described 80% of the most vocal people on this site. Whether it's the paranormal, UFO's or crooked politicians, the loud mouths here are gonna fight you tooth and nail to keep you from rattling their belief system.

You show them pics and they say it's photoshopped...you give them quotes and they claim that the person was taken out of context...you show them a video and they complain about coming from youtube etc.

Simply put, people think too highly of themselves to learn anything new or to consider alternative points of views.

The slogan here should be changed to Deny Opposing Views......that'd be more suitable, and that's a shame.



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 02:56 PM
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One of the more significant problems with UFO study over the past 50 years or more has been the tendency for investigators to ignore or downplay witness statements regarding what would be considered "paranormal" effects. These include feelings of telepathic communication, time dilation, or just a general feeling of reality distortion. For a serious investigator with a preconceived notion that UFOs are nuts-and-bolts spaceships controlled by creatures from another planet, any inclusion of witness accounts of weird effects would tend to push the encounter into the "kook" area, possibly making it subject to ridicule and mockery.

As a result, it's taken decades for people to come to an understanding that perhaps the aliens from other planets hypothesis is not the most fertile ground for study, and that the strangeness might be where the real answers are eventually found.



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 03:08 PM
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ATS has its share of terminal debunkers / psuedo sceptics to be sure.

As you pointed out, it just doesn't sit very well with their pre-packaged beliefs.
I liken it to trying to tell someone their spouse is cheating on them with their best friend.
If you've ever tried to do that then you know what I'm talking about.
It doesn't turn out at ALL how you'd think it would.

I live in a world and with a mindset where ALL truth is welcome.
No matter HOW disturbing it may be.
Not everyone has this mentality.
Alot of people THINK they have this mentality only to realise they don't later down the road.
Still others live their entire lives thinking they are open to ALL truth when nothing could be further from the truth.

I have learned to have a certian amount of compassion for these people.
The same kind of compassion YOU would have if you tried telling someone dear to you that their spouse is cheating on them with their best friend. They are going to cuss you out, "how dare you" "How could you" "why are you lying to me" "you are ruining my life". They will do anything and EVERYTHING they can to avoid coming to terms with reality for as long as they can because once they DO come to terms with it.... well....it will totally uproot all of their deeply held firmly planted beliefs and forever change the way they view the world.

So, you have compassion for them and understand how difficult it must be for them to come to terms with something so life changing. Yes, YOU were able to do it with style and grace but, it was still uncomfortable when you came to terms with this knowledge. Some of us react differently than others when faced with life altering information.

These people are in a very very deep form of denial and you kow what?
Deep down inside, WAAAY deep down inside.....They KNOW it!
They KNOW the truth. They will come to terms with it in their own time.
Until then, we try not to violate their free will to NOT know.
They deserve that much don't they?

Do you want to be the one who has to tell a child that mommy and daddy died in a car crash?
Would you want to interupt them playing in the sand box to tell them that?
Or would you give 'em just a few more minuites in the ol' sand box and let them have just a few more minutes
of their innocence because once you tell them, they will NEVER get it back.

Let them bury their heads in the sand for just a few more minutes. It won't be long now, and ALL will be known.


edit: thanks for bringing up a well needed discussion.



edit on 1-8-2012 by Screwed because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 03:13 PM
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reply to post by Brighter
 


Huhhh, Are YOU my Brother?

LOL!

He and I 'just' had this conversation a couple weeks ago!

Amazing.

Now I would like to hear what you have to say about the proponents or blind faith believers.



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 03:27 PM
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Thinking critically, and thinking creatively, are not the same. Most of those that believe UFOs are extraterrestrial spaceships think creatively, not critically.

See ya,
Milt



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 03:44 PM
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reply to post by Screwed
 


Good post and bang on the money.I have often thought that the real truth comes from those sources that are in a POSITION to know be that from a scientific or military intelligence.So who do we listen too when it comes to scientific or military intelligence sources offering their views after investigation's. That there were blue book unknowns and cases were there where "force fit debunking" by the USAF in lots of cases from "blue book" is a massive red flag to,me.The late Dr James E MacDonald was no ordinary UFO investigator and his scientific investigatory conclusions from the cases he studied cannot be excluded by those arguing for EVERY UFO case to be given the stamp of the source of the mundane,natural or wrong identification of a natural object.To ignore people like Dr MacDonald is to ignore the source of the problem that ignoring or dismissing the ET source is entirely wrong.
edit on 15/07/2010 by K-PAX-PROT because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 04:14 PM
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Originally posted by Brighter

(This same fallacy is committed when the best skeptics selectively choose which cases to focus on. By focusing on the weakest cases, they are guaranteeing an outcome that fits with their pre-determined conclusion, that the UFO Hypothesis is false.)


Many times, these weak cases were considered strong cases by UFO proponents until the skeptics took a look at them



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by Blue Shift
One of the more significant problems with UFO study over the past 50 years or more has been the tendency for investigators to ignore or downplay witness statements regarding what would be considered "paranormal" effects. These include feelings of telepathic communication, time dilation, or just a general feeling of reality distortion. For a serious investigator with a preconceived notion that UFOs are nuts-and-bolts spaceships controlled by creatures from another planet, any inclusion of witness accounts of weird effects would tend to push the encounter into the "kook" area, possibly making it subject to ridicule and mockery.

As a result, it's taken decades for people to come to an understanding that perhaps the aliens from other planets hypothesis is not the most fertile ground for study, and that the strangeness might be where the real answers are eventually found.


UFO investigators using classical science techniques, you would think these two would be strange bedfellows.

Regardless of what is unearthed using these materialistic science for proofs, until the so-called [para]normal - quantum realities included - are factored into the discovery equations, we'll still be hearing about Roswell and Rendelsham in the same breath as Dean and Jerry and James Dean.



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 05:06 PM
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Recall that the fallacy of incomplete evidence is when someone focuses on some evidence, while ignoring the rest.


The problem with the non skeptics is they focus on small bits of evidence and then try to overlook the fact that other evidence is not always there / does not back up what they think they are seeing.

Remember the story of the blind men and the elephant.


Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, "Hey, there is an elephant in the village today."

They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, "Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway." All of them went where the elephant was. Everyone of them touched the elephant.

"Hey, the elephant is a pillar," said the first man who touched his leg.

"Oh, no! it is like a rope," said the second man who touched the tail.

"Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree," said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.

"It is like a big hand fan" said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.

"It is like a huge wall," said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.

"It is like a solid pipe," Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.

They began to argue about the elephant and everyone of them insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, "What is the matter?" They said, "We cannot agree to what the elephant is like." Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, "All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all those features what you all said."


If we ever see a real visiting alien then all the bits of evidence will add up to prove the case. At the moment all we ever see is tiny bits of evidence that MAY prove something if we had more corroborating evidence to back it up.

Skeptics require a more complete picture that proves something beyond doubt while non-skeptics only need a small amount of evidence to prove what they think.


edit on 1-8-2012 by PhoenixOD because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 1 2012 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by Brighter
 


L
L you're giving the sceptiks and debunkers too much credit

it is a mistake to assume they are all blind
remember, some are only pretending to be blind
these will continue to move the goal posts when you're not looking
while denying they are doing so.

sort of like Brinkley from Heinlein's Lost Legacy:


“We have an exceptional opportunity to put such tales to practical test,” he told them. “The subject believes fully any statement made by the operator. I shall tell Miss Freeman that she is to exert her will power, and rise up off the floor. It is certain that she will believe that she can do it. Her will will be in an optimum condition to carry out the order, if it can be done. Miss Freeman!”
“Yes, Mr. Huxley.”
“Exert your will. Rise up in the air!”
Joan rose straight up into the air, some six feet— until her head nearly touched the high ceiling. —“How’m doin,’ pal?”—Swell, kid, you’re wowin ‘em. Look at ‘em stare!”
At that moment Brinkley burst into the room, rage in his eyes.
“Mr. Huxley, you have broken your word to me, and disgraced this university!” It was some ten minutes after the fiasco ending the demonstration. Huxley faced the president in Brinkley’s private office.
“I made you no promise. I have not disgraced the school,” Phil answered with equal pugnacity.
“You have indulged in cheap tricks of fake magic to bring your department into disrepute.”
“So I’m a faker, am I? You stiff-necked old fossil-explain this onel” Huxley levitated himself until he floated three feet above the rug.
“Explain what?” To Huxley’s amazement Brinckley seemed unaware that anything unusual was going on. He continued to stare at the point where Phils head had been. His manner showed nothing but a slight puzzlement and annoyance at Huxley’s apparently irrelevant remark.
Was it possible that the doddering old fool was so completely self-deluded that he could not observe anything that ran counter to his own preconceptions even when it happened directly under his eyes? Phil reached out with his mind and attempted to see what went on inside Brincldey’s head. He got one of the major surprises of his life. He expected to find the floundering mental processes of
66
near senility; he found cold calculation, keen ability, set in a matrix of pure evil that sickened him.
It was just a glimpse, then he was cast out with a wrench that numbed his brain. Brinckley had discovered his spying and thrown up his defences—the hard defences of a disciplined mind.
Phil dropped back to the floor, and left the room, without a word, nor a backward glance.
From THE WESTERN STUDENT, October 3rd:
PSYCH PROF FIRED FOR FRAUD
. . . students’ accounts varied, but all agreed that it had been a fine show. Fullback ‘Buzz’ Arnold told your reporter, “I hated to see it happen; Prof Huxley is a nice guy and he certainly put on a clever skit with some good deadpan acting. I could see how it was done, of course—it was the same the Great Arturo used in his turn at the Orpheum last spring. But I can see Doctor Brinckley’s viewpoint; you can’t permit monkey shines at a serious center of learning.”
President Brinckley gave the STUDENT the following official statement: “It is with real regret that I announce the termination of Mr. Huxley’s association with the institution—for the good of the University. Mr. Huxley had been repeatedly warned as to where his steps were leading him. He is a young man of considerable ability. Let us devoutly hope that this experience will serve as a lesson to him in whatever line of endeavor ...”
Coburn handed the paper back to Huxley. “You know what happened to me?” he inquired.
“Something new?”
“Invited to resign ... No publicity—just a gentle hint. My patients got well too fast; I’d quit using surgery, you know.”
“How perfectly stinking!” This from Joan.
“Well,’ Ben considered, “I don’t blame the medical director; Brinckley forced his hand. I guess we underrated the old cuss.”

quoted from Robert Heinlein's Lost Legacy
the moral authority of the author has been asserted



posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 12:51 AM
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reply to post by Brighter
 


What the heck is your point here? this is total brain rott!



posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 09:42 AM
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I think it's clear that some people do ignore the evidence available regarding this phenomenon, but I believe it is much more common for people to argue - both for and against the UFO Hypothesis - from a standpoint of ignorance of the evidence. The UFO phenomenon is one of those topics that almost everybody feels entitled to an opinion on regardless of whether or not they know anything about it. A quote from Bernard Haisch, aimed specifically toward his fellow scientists but applicable to the rest of us as well, is particularly apt to this discussion:


"Any scientist who has not read a few serious books and articles presenting actual UFO evidence should out of intellectual honesty refrain from making scientific pronouncements. To look at the evidence and go away unconvinced is one thing. To not look at the evidence and be convinced against it nonetheless is another. That is not science. Do your homework!"


UFOskeptic



posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 09:55 AM
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[color=#01BDFE]THE SCOFFER LINES:

I don't have access to secret documents regarding UFOs, therefore they do not exist, even those some who claim to have access have seen

There are no secret airplanes by the military because I've never seen any, and I've never seen any documents explaining their technology, therefore they do not exist (Sarcasm)

I cannot be sure there are any other documents about facilities but because I haven't seen them, they do not exist (Sarcasm)

I don't see a lot of things while some claim they have, since I haven't seen them, they do not exist (Sarcasm)
edit on 2-8-2012 by Imtor because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 10:02 AM
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I have to disagree with the idea that skeptics are biased toward "non-existence".

I am a skeptic. Why am I a skeptic? because for me, the evidence that I have watched, read or reviewed is not rock solid evidence. Pictures can be tampered with, video can be faked and anecdotal evidence, no matter how sincere the delivery may be, is just someone's story...true or false...it is not iron-clad scientific evidence.

I have never said I don't believe in intelligent life in the Universe. My personal opinion is that if there is, I see no reason it would make the effort to travel here. To me, that is arrogance on our part to think we are that important.

If someone would provide what I consider to be solid, scientific evidence, I would change my opinion. However, at this point in time, I am not convinced... but I have not closed the door on the possibility either.

I DO believe people are seeing and experiencing "something" but I have not (for me) been given ample evidence to label what that 'something" is yet.

Just my opinion though
edit on 2-8-2012 by Jeremiah65 because: punctuation ticks



posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 10:06 AM
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reply to post by Jeremiah65
 


[color=#01BDFE]
I am not addressing such like you, a good example of the ones I mean is... this one:
www.abovetopsecret.com...
However the definition for such isn't good enough, it should be more of (let's put some insults regarding stupidity) here

Pseudoskepticism does not mean doubting, I myself doubt in alien visitation, it means saying something doesn't exist:Facility, UFOs. aircraft and so on because you don't see any of that. When some real or not stories regarding the existence of such is around people who've been into secrecy, you should not exclude until proven a hoax, no one is saying 'Believe all!'

edit on 2-8-2012 by Imtor because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by Brighter
Critical Thinking and the UFO Hypothesis II: Ignoring the Evidence
When examining the strongest arguments for and against the best cases for the UFO Hypothesis, it becomes evident that the 'skeptics' are actually practicing a form of denial whereas the proponents are engaging in proper skepticism.


Way to go to bundle every skeptic in the same pile. I am skeptic about the ET as explanation to every stupid UFO image/video showed as evidence.

Proponents are engaging in proper skepticism? Are you kidding?

The so called "best cases" are best cases because skeptics tried to find the answer ruling out every other possible and mundane explanation but at the end the final result is just: it's unknown, period. Anything beyond that is just pure fantasy.

My conclusion: your post don't make much sense... You start bashing the 'skeptics' and than a little bash the believers so your post sounds neutral but at the core you don't deal with the "critical thinking and the evidence"... so what the point of your post?
edit on 2/8/12 by blackcube because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 01:07 PM
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Pffft cognitive defect, willful delusion, self-denial, upsetting my little world, bah on all of it.

I would love, LOVE, it if aliens were real. If aliens showed up then maybe, just maybe, the lines on our maps wouldn't be so damn important anymore. I'd LOVE to see a whole new area of science and exploration. I'd LOVE to witness the day the whole world changed.

What kills the UFO cause is all the fakery out there. Every single 'best' case always turns out to be fake. My favorite of the "absolute best evidence" was the Belgium Triangle. For YEARS I heard that it was authentic. There were "UFO experts" telling me that the distortion in the picture was caused by "electro-gravitic effects". It was analyzed, dissected, image enhanced and pronounced authentic. Except it wasn't.

This is why I maintain extreme skepticism regarding this topic. I can't trust your evidence. I can't trust your experts. So after you weed out the evidence provided by the woo-woos, the mis-identifiers and the fakers, there isn't much left to go on. The burden is on the UFO believers...I can't prove a negative.




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