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# Why is the skeptics OPINION given any weight?

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posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 02:57 AM

Originally posted by neoholographic
reply to post by Druscilla

I'm not dodging.

I told you that I look at the totality of the available evidence. I would never look at a single case too reach this conclusion.

So I don't go over any steps or process on each case. I look at the totality of the available evidence to reach the conclusion that it's more likely that extraterrestrials exist and it's less likely that they don't exist.

You are indeed dodging and deflecting. You could have plead Drake's Equation ages ago, to which some would have countered with Fermi's Paradox. *Yawn* old argument.

The problem with what your saying is that we have a barrel full of apples.
It could be a barrel full of 100 apples, 1000 apples, or even a million apples.
According to you, by looking at this barrel of apples as a whole, there is at least ONE ORANGE in that barrel, if not several.

You may want to look at some logical fallacies HERE
Appealing to Probability seems to apply in your case, though if you scroll to the bottom you may find some others that apply to your arguments.

Anyway, in the apple situation, If we take each apple out of the barrel and examine it for it's apple-ness or orange-ness, we can then conclusively detail one by one each and every apple until we find this orange.
It's quite simple. You say you generalize a whole, but a whole is made of many individual parts where in none equal a fraction of orange-ness, then there's really no logical basis to claim there's an orange in the barrel.

What you seem to be failing to realize is; in a case by case approach where either
X=Y
or, X=0 where 0 is "unidentified"

A finding of X=0 leaves the door open for data that is currently unquantified/unidentified/unknown.
In other words, a finding of X=0 means that X still has the possibility of matching for Aliens, Time Travelers, Inter-dimensional beings, Gods, Angels, Demons, and/or any other unidentified fruit on the tree we have zero data to identify.

X=0 keeps a case open for new data, whatever that new data might be.
X=0 doesn't put a label on "Unidentified" because by labeling it anything otherwise would be giving it a known quantity, and as of yet, we have zero known quantities of Aliens, Gods, Angels, Demons, Time Travelers, Inter-dimensional beings, and other such.
X=0 doesn't rule out your Aliens.
X=0 does not verify your Aliens either.
It leaves the question open until we know, if ever, what Aliens, and/or any of the other unquantifiables are.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 04:12 AM
Appeal to authority.

However, yes, I would trust the word of a trained observer such as a cop/military personnel et al over someone from the street.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 04:34 AM
reply to post by neoholographic

I'm not dodging.

I told you that I look at the totality of the available evidence. I would never look at a single case too reach this conclusion.

So I don't go over any steps or process on each case. I look at the totality of the available evidence to reach the conclusion that it's more likely that extraterrestrials exist and it's less likely that they don't exist.

Perhaps you do not understand the question. What Dru is asking is this: Someone on ATS starts a thread titled: "What is this?" They go on to describe a brilliant flashing white light they saw in the West around sunset. What questions do you ask to determine whether or not it was piloted by extraterrestrials?

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 04:56 AM

Originally posted by JimOberg

Originally posted by Orkojoker

Originally posted by Quaesitor

For those who make no assumptions about the origin of UFOs, what the word means is "the observer was unable to identify an object he or she saw in the sky." Therefore saying "UFOs exist" means nothing, since we know there are objects in the sky (birds, planes, weather phenomena, etc) and not every person who has observed the object or phenomena has the knowledge or capacity to identify it.

There is another definition of UFO that I feel is more useful in moving the conversation forward. In addition to the object being unidentifiable by the witness, a "true" UFO remains unidentified after close scrutiny of the details of the report by competent investigators and after thorough consideration of all known conventional explanations.

Most reports can be reasonably attributed to misidentification by the witness(es) of known objects or phenomena. For some cases, a reasonable explanation has remained elusive despite detailed, articulate reports from stable, responsible people. Far from being "fuzzy lights in the sky", a number of these cases involve observations of structured objects of large angular size (meaning they take up a large part of the observers visual field) which appear to be very near the ground - and sometimes very near the witness and which behave in very unconventional ways.

There are many reports out there like this. I think a lot of people are unaware of that fact.

Yes, I agree that there is a residue of reports that resist all attempts to explain them in prosaic terms.

The central philosophical question is 'so what?'

Even phenomena accepted as entirely based on prosaic causes, when encountering the human perceptual and mnemonic processes, artificially create a residue of 'unsolvable' cases.

Proving UFO reports are DIFFERENT remains the unanswered challenge.

It's not the possibility that there COULD be a wide variety of imagined and unimagined extraordinary stimuli behind some of them. That cannot be disproved.

The issue is -- MUST there be such stimuli? Is it more likely that there is not?

The question remains open, and so must our minds.

This is a very good example of the thought processes of a denier as opposed to those of a developed skeptic.

Orkojoker was clearly attempting to draw your attention to the strongest UFO cases, but instead of addressing the actual content of those cases, you rapidly change the subject and immediately go into abstract, 'philosophical' mode, making desperately vague comments about 'stimuli'.

The reason is that the core UFO cases clearly indicate the existence of these craft that can perform extraordinary flight maneuvers, and the deniers know it. And this bothers them. Immensely.

If anyone is in any doubt as to the existence of these craft, and is interested in cases in which hoaxes, misidentification and natural phenomena have all been ruled out, please look at the statistical analysis performed as a part of the U.S. Air Force commissioned Special Report #14 on data culled for Project Blue Book. This is the largest study ever performed on the world's UFO data, and its conclusions state that, after ruling out any possible prosaic explanations (misidentification, hoax, natural phenomenon, etc.), 21% of the cases still remained. And furthermore, the analysis showed that, the more reliable the evidence for the case, the more likely the case was to be one of these 21% of cases.

And now ask yourself: If these craft represent top-secret military craft, then why is the Air Force funding these enormously expensive studies trying to figure out what they are?

edit on 26-8-2012 by Brighter because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-8-2012 by Brighter because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 05:19 AM
reply to post by Brighter

The problem with your argument regarding natural phenomenon is that the length and breadth of natural phenomenon is still turning up new data. What was unexplained before may now, due new discoveries, be quite explainable if the proper sources are queried.
For instance: Red Sprites & Blue Jets (to name just a couple)

The next is the matter where it's more convenient at the top for sightings of Need-to-know projects to get tossed into the UFO bucket where also most Air Force personnel that receive/hear reports from the civilian/public sector reporting UFOs don't have Need-to-know clearance and couldn't quantify a report if they wanted to.

Your last statement:

And now ask yourself: If these craft represent top-secret military craft, then why is the Air Force funding these enormously expensive studies trying to figure out what they are?

Such is an Appeal to Incredulity. As you're so often fond of arguing debate-craft semantics and nomenclature, I hope you'll find the irony amusing. In answer to your statement, due to Need To Know and Compartmentalization, it wouldn't be the first or last time a government program resulted in the dog chasing it's own tail.

None of this rules out an X=0 situation, but, it necessarily narrows that 20% down to a smaller probability for X=0.

Additionally, these statistics vary depending on what data set or favorite document someone likes to cite.
Your citation, for instance gives this huge 20% Unknown variable, where another report like COMETA (1999) will narrow inexplicable events down to 5% or less.

Which report would you like to cherry pick for statistics? Isn't that pretty close to Confirmation Bias? How intellectually honest are you?

Whatever the case, there are still X=0 cases; unknowns.
What those unknowns are, as of yet, we don't know, and we may never know.

edit on 26-8-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 05:29 AM
When people compare their conclusion on the origin of UFOs to the multiverse, holographic and parallel universe theories it's obvious they have conceded their position is nothing more than an interesting possibility, but ultimately void of any factual proof. And it's perfectly fine to have that opinion, but it's intellectually dishonest to pretend it's something more than that.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 06:32 AM

Originally posted by Druscilla
reply to post by Brighter

The problem with your argument regarding natural phenomenon is that the length and breadth of natural phenomenon is still turning up new data. What was unexplained before may now, due new discoveries, be quite explainable if the proper sources are queried.
For instance: Red Sprites & Blue Jets (to name just a couple)

The next is the matter where it's more convenient at the top for sightings of Need-to-know projects to get tossed into the UFO bucket where also most Air Force personnel that receive/hear reports from the civilian/public sector reporting UFOs don't have Need-to-know clearance and couldn't quantify a report if they wanted to.

Your last statement:

And now ask yourself: If these craft represent top-secret military craft, then why is the Air Force funding these enormously expensive studies trying to figure out what they are?

Such is an Appeal to Incredulity. As you're so often fond of arguing debate-craft semantics and nomenclature, I hope you'll find the irony amusing. In answer to your statement, due to Need To Know and Compartmentalization, it wouldn't be the first or last time a government program resulted in the dog chasing it's own tail.

None of this rules out an X=0 situation, but, it necessarily narrows that 20% down to a smaller probability for X=0.

Additionally, these statistics vary depending on what data set or favorite document someone likes to cite.
Your citation, for instance gives this huge 20% Unknown variable, where another report like COMETA (1999) will narrow inexplicable events down to 5% or less.

Which report would you like to cherry pick for statistics? Isn't that pretty close to Confirmation Bias? How intellectually honest are you?

Whatever the case, there are still X=0 cases; unknowns.
What those unknowns are, as of yet, we don't know, and we may never know.

edit on 26-8-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)

I'd like to point out that Druscilla has expressly stated in another thread that, not only do they not own a single book on UFOs, but they are against reading any of the UFO literature.

How's that for a confirmation bias?

This is, on a more serious note, intellectual dishonesty of the highest degree, and actually quite another perfect example of a denier as opposed to a true, objective, data-driven skeptic.

This is a good example in that it's indicative of another primary trait of the denier - sifting through the data and choosing to look only at what is convenient to prove the initial (unproven) biased opinion - in this case, that UFOs do not exist. Professing that, in order to study the UFO phenomenon correctly, one must not read any of the UFO literature (which Druscilla has expressly stated in another thread) is analogous to saying that, in order to study, say, evolution, one must make sure to never read any of the literature on evolution.

And notice again that, instead of addressing the actual data of any of the strongest UFO cases from Project Blue Book or elsewhere (I wonder why?), Druscilla simply points out that the COMETA report showed that 5% of the cases were utterly unexplainable in prosaic terms. However, you do realize that this 5% is statistically significant, correct? And these cases were so strong that the experts and scientists that performed this study concluded that the ETH was the only reasonable explanation to explain this 5%. Yes, the data from these cases were that strong. The report also accuses the U.S. government of covering up and suppressing the entire subject. But you didn't mention any of that. Confirmation bias? If you're going to site a study, site the actual conclusions, for instance the ones that state that UFOs are real, especially if you're going to site that study as evidence against the reality of UFOs. I'm not trying to be rude, but you're actually embarrassing yourself.

In other words, how can my leaving out the COMETA report be an example of confirmation bias and 'intellectual dishonesty' on my part, if that very report supports my hypothesis? But thanks for bringing it up. (Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.)

So, not only do you not read any of the UFO literature, you also clearly didn't read the COMETA report that you just sited. Again, this is a perfect example of psychological denial - the data doesn't matter by virtue of the very fact that it indicates a conclusion that the denier has already deemed is false.

edit on 26-8-2012 by Brighter because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-8-2012 by Brighter because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 06:52 AM

Originally posted by neoholographic
I have said time and again that being a skeptic is fine but using skepticism to mask your closed minded belief systems isn't fine.

Then please stop calling those people sceptics, as they are not and you keep on joining those fake sceptics with the real ones, making the real ones look like fake.

After all, it's the same as a generalization like "people that blindly believe that everything they do not know is extraterrestrial are dumb", associated to the general identification of "believers".

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 07:20 AM
because ..if thee were not skeptics...there would be little dowey eyed believer thinking every little light and every spec on camera is alien.

You are lucky we stepped in or else the common frisbee would be the perfect alien aircraft ..

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 07:44 AM
reply to post by Brighter

I'd like to point out that Druscilla has expressly stated in another thread that, not only do they not own a single book on UFOs, but they are against reading any of the UFO literature.

So what? If you have a strong case to make, why not make it? Your argument seems to boil down to: "I have read a lot of books about UFOs and now I believe they are extraterrestrial in origin." You have yet to explain why you have reached that conclusion.

You make a comparison to someone who has not read any books about evolution not believing in evolution. This is something of an evasion. I know that I am perfectly capable of explaining not only the theory, but how and why the theory came to be, in such a way that even someone who is uninformed would understand it. If they choose to reject the very concrete evidence of long periods of geological time, the continuity of taximorphic changes, the actual observations of environmental pressure leading to genetic selection, and so forth, one could argue that the person is close minded, rather than skeptical. You have presented no evidence, never mind a methodology for evaluating the evidence.

Jacques Vallee and J. Allen Hynek are perhaps the two most notable UFO researchers of all time. They have studied more reports between them, and submitted them to more rigorous analysis than probably all other researchers combined. Neither of them has advocated the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis. What evidence has your own research turned up that would contradict their conclusions?

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 07:55 AM

Originally posted by neoholographic
I told you that I look at the totality of the available evidence. I would never look at a single case too reach this conclusion.

That's what I do, but I reach a different conclusion: there's not enough data to prefer an extraterrestrial explanation over most of other possible explanations.

In the end, until we all have real confirmation, these are just our opinions.

Edit: I only noticed after re-reading that I did not understood it at first, because what I do is to look at each case for it's own merits or demerits. Sorry for the confusion.

edit on 26/8/2012 by ArMaP because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 08:07 AM

Originally posted by DJW001
reply to post by Brighter

I'd like to point out that Druscilla has expressly stated in another thread that, not only do they not own a single book on UFOs, but they are against reading any of the UFO literature.

So what? If you have a strong case to make, why not make it? Your argument seems to boil down to: "I have read a lot of books about UFOs and now I believe they are extraterrestrial in origin." You have yet to explain why you have reached that conclusion.

You make a comparison to someone who has not read any books about evolution not believing in evolution. This is something of an evasion. I know that I am perfectly capable of explaining not only the theory, but how and why the theory came to be, in such a way that even someone who is uninformed would understand it. If they choose to reject the very concrete evidence of long periods of geological time, the continuity of taximorphic changes, the actual observations of environmental pressure leading to genetic selection, and so forth, one could argue that the person is close minded, rather than skeptical. You have presented no evidence, never mind a methodology for evaluating the evidence.

Jacques Vallee and J. Allen Hynek are perhaps the two most notable UFO researchers of all time. They have studied more reports between them, and submitted them to more rigorous analysis than probably all other researchers combined. Neither of them has advocated the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis. What evidence has your own research turned up that would contradict their conclusions?

It should be clear that the primary points of my posts were to address some salient points regarding the difference between a true skeptic as opposed to a denier.

I've also made very clear at least two of my primary sources for the conclusions that I've come to - Project Blue Book and Special Report #14. I'm not going to spoon feed those reports to anyone. They're there to thoroughly read and analyze by any intelligent, willing adult.

You're actually wrong about Vallee and Hynek: "Neither of them has advocated the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis." In fact, both of them did advocate it, but changed to even more bizarre hypotheses afterward. You can also look them up on your own.

I'm quite certain that UFOs exist as a class of aerial craft that perform almost unbelievable maneuvers. I'm less comfortable making further inferences regarding their origin, and I'm undecided between ETH, EDH and others, although at the very least, I think the terrestrial hypothesis is implausible.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 08:35 AM
DJW001, I agree with Brighter. Both Vallee and Hynek were, at one time or another, proponents of the ETH.

But regardless of what other theories they advocated after that, I think what's important to take away from their positions is that they never went back to claiming the phenomenon wasn't real or worthy of further scientific investigation.

I was hoping most of us could agree that something is going on, without assigning any origin to it, and take it from there, but, apparently, even the placeholder name we use to refer to the phenomenon is cause for strong disagreement.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 08:54 AM
reply to post by Brighter

Brighter we seem to think along the same lines. A terrestrial hypothesis is implausible as you say, I agree. Which leaves us with the elephant in the room.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 09:07 AM

Originally posted by Brighter

I'm quite certain that UFOs exist as a class of aerial craft that perform almost unbelievable maneuvers. I'm less comfortable making further inferences regarding their origin, and I'm undecided between ETH, EDH and others, although at the very least, I think the terrestrial hypothesis is implausible.

I have similar reservations about embracing any one particular theory as to the origins of these things, but I'm also convinced they exist objectively. The matter of "intelligent control" is one that is primary to this question in my opinion. If these objects are - as they certainly appear to be - intelligently controlled, then they are either controlled by our intelligence, or they are not. Logically, if the objects are intelligently controlled, but are not controlled by human intelligence, then they are controlled by a non-human intelligence. The incredible strangeness involved in many reports - not to mention the disparity between the reported behavior of the objects and our known technological capabilities throughout the 20th Century - makes the Human Intelligence Proposition, in my view, less likely to be true than the Non-Human Intelligence Proposition. This is understandably less clear to those who are unfamiliar with the literature on the subject and who are therefore unfamiliar with the reported (and repeated) characteristics of the objects/phenomena in question.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 09:13 AM

Originally posted by neoholographic
reply to post by Phage

Another question that shows how closed minded skeptics are.

Why can't I reach the conclusion that no conclusion can be reached based on the available evidence?

How does that question show Phage or any skeptic is closed-minded?
edit on 26-8-2012 by WingedBull because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 09:25 AM

Originally posted by Brighter

I'd like to point out that Druscilla has expressly stated in another thread that, not only do they not own a single book on UFOs, but they are against reading any of the UFO literature. ...

This is a good example in that it's indicative of another primary trait of the denier - sifting through the data and choosing to look only at what is convenient to prove the initial (unproven) biased opinion - in this case, that UFOs do not exist. ...

... I'm not trying to be rude, but you're actually embarrassing yourself.

In other words, how can my leaving out the COMETA report be an example of confirmation bias and 'intellectual dishonesty' on my part, if that very report supports my hypothesis? But thanks for bringing it up. (Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.) ...

So, not only do you not read any of the UFO literature, you also clearly didn't read the COMETA report that you just sited. Again, this is a perfect example of psychological denial - the data doesn't matter by virtue of the very fact that it indicates a conclusion that the denier has already deemed is false.

... And there you go, attacking a personality as opposed to the topic or topical points; as always.
*sigh*

I wonder what that's called?

On top of that, you call me a "denier" when in my previous post I explicitly state:

X=Y (X being unidentified, Y being know phenomenon)
or, X=0 where 0 is "unidentified"

A finding of X=0 leaves the door open for data that is currently unquantified/unidentified/unknown.
In other words, a finding of X=0 means that X still has the possibility of matching for Aliens, Time Travelers, Inter-dimensional beings, Gods, Angels, Demons, and/or any other unidentified fruit on the tree we have zero data to identify.

X=0 keeps a case open for new data, whatever that new data might be.
X=0 doesn't put a label on "Unidentified" because by labeling it anything otherwise would be giving it a known quantity, and as of yet, we have zero known quantities of Aliens, Gods, Angels, Demons, Time Travelers, Inter-dimensional beings, and other such.
X=0 doesn't rule out your Aliens.
X=0 does not verify your Aliens either.
It leaves the question open until we know, if ever, what Aliens, and/or any of the other unquantifiables are.

Further, were you as diligent in regard to one of your favorite "Druscilla doesn't own a single UFO book" attacks, which by the way is an extremely weak argument against any qualifications I may have for discussing this topic, you may find in several other threads examples where I claim I'm quite positive there's other sentient technologically advanced species elsewhere in the universe at large (as a matter of opinion).

Does that sound like a "Denier"?
No, it sounds more like you are picking convenient arguments in hopes of undermining a character, while ignoring others directly in front of you that hold greater relevance to the topic.

You've had ample time to find these things out, yet as zealous as you are about bringing up topics across threads and attacking a character instead of the topic and points given only in the thread currently under discussion, you fail to do anything other than confuse the argument and turn any debate into an instance of personal harassment without ever really addressing the real topic.

Further why would I need read COMETA when it clearly states the information I cited in the Wiki?
COMETA -wiki

The report concluded that about 5% of the UFO cases they studied were utterly inexplicable ...

And still, you cite the report more in favor of your argument with a higher inexplicable percentage of 21% where I simply cite another percentage from another report to illustrate your cherry picking of percentages.

As far as embarrassing; I'm sorry, but, that egg is all over you.
Please try again another time. So sad, poor thing.

edit on 26-8-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 09:25 AM

Originally posted by ArMaP
PS: I think that if you have used the expression "pseudo sceptics" when talking about people that present themselves as sceptics but are not, most of the confusion about what everybody was talking about could have been avoided.

For people like neoholographic/polomontana, there is no difference between pseudo-skeptics and skeptics, as we traditionally understand the word. They use pseudo-skeptic to mean anyone who does not agree with them. T

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 09:29 AM
There are so many dishonest skeptics with the paranormal and UFO subject it is sad.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 09:30 AM

Originally posted by Imtor
You want to be objective, skeptics ? Stay in the Middle of the Scales - Keep Equilibrium, don't move to the left or right, or your balance will be lost.

Absolute nonsense.

People like yourself and neoholographic/polomontana have a gross misunderstanding of what skepticism is. It is not, as you attempt to cast it, a demand one stay in the middle of a topic and stay undecided. On the contrary, skepticism demands you follow the evidence. If the evidence leads to a conclusion, skepticism does not tell you to ignore it. It demands you embrace that conclusion, until such time that better evidence is presented. If better evidence is presented and leads to a different conclusion, then skepticism demands you change your position.

Skepticism, despite your (often) gross misunderstanding, is not neutrality.

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