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Critical Thinking and the UFO Hypothesis II: Ignoring the Evidence

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posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by Imtor

[color=#01BDFE]
I am not addressing such like you, good example of the ones I mean is...


FYI. I don't know who "such like me" might be but your coloring of the text is near impossible to read.
.
Just trying to help.

Any way that I can.




posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 03:09 PM
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Another "evil skeptic" thread... your second volume, I see..

Should win you lots of S&F's from the true believers.

You have yet to define what you have so named "the UFO Hypothesis", but have nonetheless deployed your own arsenal of logical fallacies to fabricate a caricature of a skeptic - an opponent to your "critical thinker". Not surprisingly the "skeptic" is portrayed as logically and cognitively impaired while the "critical thinker" is a methodical seeker of "truth".

Can't wait for volume 3.



posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by Screwed
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)


This is a really erudite analogy. It not only accurately describes the psychology behind pseudo-skepticism, but it addresses the moral dilemma confronted by a person who has thoroughly and with intellectual honesty studied the strongest cases for the existence of UFOs and reached the conclusion that the data unambiguously suggests.

But I also think that, in some cases, the ignoring of the relevant evidence might not be for psychological reasons, but out of simple laziness. It takes a certain level of effort to actually 1) seek out the set of best UFO cases, and then 2) to actually study them while suspending judgement until a conclusion begins to emerge from the data. But people want results fast, and by simply taking a fleeting glance at the majority of (weak) UFO cases that are pandered about, they necessarily come to the conclusion that there's nothing to the subject.

The proponents of the existence of UFOs are at this point in history in the same boat as the proponents of the heliocentric view of the solar system prior to the Copernican Revolution. The data is there for anyone to assess, but some will choose to ignore it based on beliefs held with an almost religious fervor...or simple laziness. In either case, it's time for everyone to wake up from their dogmatic slumber.

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



posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by Foundryman
... What kills the UFO cause is all the fakery out there. Every single 'best' case always turns out to be fake.

This statement is far from accurate. There are many cases that have remained unexplained and basically inexplicable for 50 or 60 years, despite the best efforts of the best and most ambitious skeptics and debunkers. An educated skeptic should be aware of them. You'll often see even the most vocal skeptics groan and then scatter when such cases are mentioned, typically with a parting shot similar to this: "UFOlogists enjoy presenting cases that are decades old because they know there is little that can be added to what is already known." (That's from Tim Printy in his analysis of the RB-47 case (p.5), but similar statements from skeptics can be found all over....)

I'd suggest that the skeptics dislike discussion of certain of these older cases not for the above reason, but instead because those cases have resisted the best efforts of the best debunkers for decades, and are evidence of exactly what it is they need to deny: legitimate documentation and evidence (though not proof) of the presence of high-strangeness / high-credibility unknowns... i.e., "unknowns" in the Hynek / McDonald / Special Report 14 sense, where there IS enough corroborated information to identify the object (including sufficient viewing times, and / or multiple witnesses, radar-confirmation when "inversion layers" and anomalous propagation can be ruled out, etc.)... and yet we just don't know WHAT the object is.



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.


If to you the fall of that single photograph invalidates the mounds of other evidence pertaining to the Belgian wave, then wouldn't you have to wonder if you're actually being 'skeptical' in the true sense of that word?




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.


This is exactly what Brighter (the OP) is talking about. You just demonstrated some of his points flawlessly! You're basically saying "Since most UFO reports can ultimately be explained as hoaxes and misidentifications, they probably all can, and therefore I'll give no weight to any of the evidence and just avoid any piece-by-piece critical analysis of it altogether." That's NOT skepticism. Nor is it a higher or more refined evidentiary standard. What it IS is a form of denial and avoidance.

Just an FYI, but I've found that a reasonably good method of identifying those likely caught in that closed loop of flawed reasoning is to look for one of the following:

A) statements by the skeptic such as "I'd believe it only if I saw it myself" coupled with the ridicule of other people who have seen it for themselves, even if those other people are obviously intelligent, credentialed, and have much to lose by reporting;
--or--
B) statements by the skeptic such as "I'd believe it only if I saw it myself" coupled with the unwarranted and automatic dismissal of any and all eye-witness testimony as "inherently" or "notoriously" unreliable.

These are a dead giveaway of biased and illogical thinking. After all, why would a true skeptic think himself an inherently better eye-witness than most others? Does his mere desire to cloak himself with the skeptic label somehow automatically propels him up through a few standard deviations on the standard normal curve characterizing eye-witness reliability?

I'd suggest that a 'skeptic' who'd only believe it if he saw it himself, and yet trusts no other person's reliability as an eye-witness, is already so far down the path of unreason that he shouldn't be thought of as a skeptic. He's actually stuck in a logical (or perhaps psychological) loop, and should be helped out of it.



posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 05:01 PM
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Originally posted by Foundryman

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.



If you think the best cases are always proven to be frauds then you obviously have not done much serious reading on the subject. And regarding the Belgian wave, you do know that there was much more to it than that single photograph, don't you?



posted on Aug, 2 2012 @ 05:13 PM
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Originally posted by draknoir2

You have yet to define what you have so named "the UFO Hypothesis


The term was discussed in the previous thread. The following is my interpretation of the term, which Brighter has endorsed as being a pretty accurate explanation of the UFO Hypothesis:




"UFO Hypothesis" is meant to denote the proposition that UFOs - objects bearing the characteristics described in the "unidentified" set of UFO reports - actually exist. In other words, people don't just claim they see 100-foot diameter disc-shaped objects hovering and silently taking off at incredible speeds; they actually do see them in some cases. The object is objectively there and actually exhibits the features attributed to it by the witness.

It would be contrasted, I guess, with the hypothesis that, whatever the witness (in this hypothetical scenario) thinks he saw, it must have been something other than what it appeared to be, and the 100-foot disc had no objective reality as a 100-foot disc.

The 'UFO Hypothesis' as it is being used in this thread specifically does not deal with "what" UFOs are, but rather "that" they are. Their actual nature and origin are not the salient points here, only their existence as real objects having certain characteristics. Neither a bird, a balloon nor a reflection is a UFO in this sense, even if it is unidentified. In a way, the UFOs the OP is talking about are identified - as members of a particular class of objects that exhibit certain characteristics. We don't know what, specifically, they are, other than to say they are objects that share a set of traits with other members of this class.

In trying to determine whether or not UFOs - as defined in this thread - actually exist, not merely by virtue of their being misidentified conventional objects, but as real objects actually possessing the physical characteristics attributed to them by witnesses, the question of their nature and origin (whether they are alien spacecraft, secret military craft or something else entirely) is a secondary consideration that is altogether irrelevant to the question of their existence or non-existence.




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



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