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Why is the skeptics OPINION given any weight?

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posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 10:26 AM
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reply to post by Quaesitor
 

Thanks... I'm reading your response...


Certainly.
My definition of a true skeptic is someone who doesn't automatically reject unusual claims, but doesn't accept them on faith. Someone who is willing to look at the evidence, be receptive to new theories and new arguments, but remains impartial by not letting his beliefs interfere with his position or conclusion, particularly when there isn't enough evidence to reach one.



True skeptics, in my opinion, believe the best way to deal with unusual or unknown phenomena is to subject them to scientific investigation.
... which demands evidence, right?


A true skeptic will never say there aren't any aliens visiting us, nor will he say he knows UFOs are alien in origin when there isn't any scientifically verifiable evidence to support such a position.


From what I get, the true skeptic is looking for evidence. I guess that's a little more open than a denialist would be...

But do you think that all unexplained phenomena can be scrutinzed like that? Unexplained phenomena is unexplained mostly because they are on a different plane of existence. They cannot be put into a beaker or test tube- to be shaken and measured. Therefore I would have to say for the two-tiered thread system, that 'true skeptics' would have to be catagorized with the outright denialists and pseudo-skeptics, because they will never be satisfied. Their methods of proof are incompatible with the subject-matter.



edit on 25/8/2012 by MarkJS because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 10:28 AM
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A very prominent member on ATS once made this post...


People still misunderstand the "Skeptic" part of my site name.

It means I'm skeptical of what we've been told... not that I'm skeptical of alternative topics.


Seems appropriate for this thread.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 10:32 AM
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reply to post by MarkJS
 


Actually, ATS does have a forum that in a way limits the discussion, and is based upon the input from people, but limits that input.

It's called the Debate Forum.

As for the rest of this site:

When someone creates a thread wanting to discuss something, or present something, the construction of the OP is very important. If the OP is very well thought out, presents their material in a clear manner, it goes a long ways in helping their debate (if there is one).

A good example of someone on here that does that is Slayer69. He brings forth threads that are very well written in the OP. Some of them question things, and he always leaves wiggle room by not declaring absolutes, and he is also genuine in wanting to read other people's opinions.

Does that keep people from coming into his thread and cluttering it up with off topic remarks? No it doesn't. Does it keep people from coming in and simply attacking him? No, again it doesn't.

However, that's what the "Alert" button is for. Anyone can use it, if if they have not subscribed or posted in a thread, to get the forum moderator's attention, and ask for certain posts (or even an entire thread) to be looked at. I've used it many times in threads that I'm reading, but not participating in (people who post vulgar language, insulting remarks, name calling, or posts that are just completely off topic and have no business being in the thread, I've alerted the mods many times, even though I have not put in a single post. Most times they take care of it. Other times, they don't agree with my opinion about it, and that's just fine too).

I think your idea has some merit, and it sounds interesting. But I also think, in my opinion, that it would detract from these boards. People should be allowed to voice their opinions without having to get approval of that opinion. If that opinion is actually just an insulting attack, or a completely off topic post, there are ways to take care of that (but people need to actually do it, and the mods have said that they really do need people to click on that alert button as they can't be everywhere all the time).

Threads do drift on to a tangent. Nature of the beast. But this is not always a bad thing, as the topic that is a tangent from the OP can inspire new threads and new discussions. Again, that type of drift can be corrected by simply alerting the mods, and asking them to come in and give a polite reminder to go back on topic.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 10:36 AM
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reply to post by MarkJS
 



But do you think that all unexplained phenomena can be scrutinzed like that? Unexplained phenomena is unexplained mostly because they are on a different plane of existence. They cannot be put into a beaker or test tube- to be shaken and measured. Therefore I would have to say for the two-tiered thread system, that 'true skeptics' would have to be catagorized with the outright denialists and pseudo-skeptics, because they will never be satisfied. Their methods of proof are incompatible with the subject-matter.


This statement reveals your un-examined assumptions about certain subject matters. It is true that an individual's experience cannot be put into a test tube or physically weighed, but this does not mean that they are on another plane. The subjective experiences can be put into context, and the context analyzed objectively. It is true that different types of knowledge can require different methodologies, and understanding highly subjective experiences can require the application of psychology.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 10:49 AM
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reply to post by eriktheawful
 



However, that's what the "Alert" button is for. Anyone can use it, if if they have not subscribed or posted in a thread, to get the forum moderator's attention, and ask for certain posts (or even an entire thread) to be looked at. I've used it many times in threads that I'm reading, but not participating in (people who post vulgar language, insulting remarks, name calling, or posts that are just completely off topic and have no business being in the thread, I've alerted the mods many times, even though I have not put in a single post. Most times they take care of it. Other times, they don't agree with my opinion about it, and that's just fine too).

The Alert button is new I think... maybe not. It's a good option... but the purpose of a two-tiered thread system is not to block/censor anyone... but to channel their posts into the appropriate sub-venue. Moderator involvement would be called upon though... I'm sure... when people 'forget' to check off their posts as being on the opposing side (which doesn't automatically label them as being the bad guy).


I think your idea has some merit, and it sounds interesting. But I also think, in my opinion, that it would detract from these boards. People should be allowed to voice their opinions without having to get approval of that opinion.

The skeptics in the proposed two-tiered system would not need pre-approval... They would (as mentioned above) would just have to check their post as being opposing the OP. The software would take care of putting those types of posts into the appropriate level for that thread, for the reader's convenience.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by DJW001
reply to post by MarkJS
 



But do you think that all unexplained phenomena can be scrutinzed like that? Unexplained phenomena is unexplained mostly because they are on a different plane of existence. They cannot be put into a beaker or test tube- to be shaken and measured. Therefore I would have to say for the two-tiered thread system, that 'true skeptics' would have to be catagorized with the outright denialists and pseudo-skeptics, because they will never be satisfied. Their methods of proof are incompatible with the subject-matter.


This statement reveals your un-examined assumptions about certain subject matters. It is true that an individual's experience cannot be put into a test tube or physically weighed, but this does not mean that they are on another plane. The subjective experiences can be put into context, and the context analyzed objectively. It is true that different types of knowledge can require different methodologies, and understanding highly subjective experiences can require the application of psychology.


That can all be true.... and probably has validity. For the purposes of the two-tiered thread system however, if a poster is coming across as a guy in a white lab-coat.... i.e. someone who is perceived as a threat.... he should do so from the other - the pseudo-skeptics and denialists - side/level of the thread.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 10:59 AM
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reply to post by MarkJS
 



Why does every ATS thread have to be subject to opposing views? The way it's set up now, the foundation and premise makes the OPs vulnerable.... not protected or even overtly valued. 1. every OPs post is open to be attack. 2. Every OP can devolve into a debate (read: off-tangent discussion). Many times, instead of the ideas of the OP being built on, with new viewpoints to support and enhance it, the skeptic's posts tear down the thread. This is productive? This is a positive thing?


Are you seriously suggesting that ATS present an "all or nothing" system? That participants in a thread must agree 100% with the OP or register as "100% Opposed, Do Not Read?" This leaves absolutely no room for the nuance that leads to a genuinely productive thread. Say you had an OP that said that all aliens are benevolent. Would someone who believed that some are malevolent be forced to register as a skeptic, and his point of view should be ignored? How would that be productive?



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by MarkJS
 



That can all be true.... and probably has validity. For the purposes of the two-tiered thread system however, if a poster is coming across as a guy in a white lab-coat.... i.e. someone who is perceived as a threat.... he should do so from the other - the pseudo-skeptics and denialists - side/level of the thread.


How is approaching something scientifically a threat? And why do you dismiss anyone who does not agree with your personal opinion as a pseudo-skeptic or denialist?



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 11:05 AM
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reply to post by DJW001
 

Good question. No.. the poster themselves would not have to register like that.... Only the particular post(s), if opposed to the OP's views, would have to be checked appropriately. If the poster has a change of mind and swings accordance to the view of the OP.. then fine. No checking is asked for - for those post(s).

See link at the bottom of my sig. for more details on this proposal.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 11:08 AM
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How many times has this type of thread been recycled? Every few weeks the same thing is posted. Let's see some original threads instead of the same old debates about sceptics vs believers. Time to move past all this tedium. Sceptics and believers will never agree and it's pointless carrying it all on.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 11:16 AM
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reply to post by DJW001
 



How is approaching something scientifically a threat? And why do you dismiss anyone who does not agree with your personal opinion as a pseudo-skeptic or denialist?

If the person who posted the OP is feeling distracted from forward-discussion of the thread, and is forced into a position of having to verify stuff - scientifically, or to another person's standards- as to having to satisfy him/her intellectually... This would in essence detract from the progression of the main purpose of the thread... from the purpose that the OP started the thread in the first place.

Not that a person with the scientific approach is one.... But because of this, questions/posts like these would have to be categorized into the pseudo-skeptics and denialists side.


edit on 25/8/2012 by MarkJS because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 11:26 AM
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reply to post by Quaesitor
 


The skeptics keep talking out of both sides of their mouth. On one hand you want to try and appear open minded, in the next breathe you show that you have a closed mind.

You said:


What's the problem with saying "we lack the evidence and right now we don't know what it was. Let's keep looking for data and evidence to hopefully, eventually, find an answer"?


There's a huge problem with saying this. It's not "we" that lack the evidence, it's "you" who lack the evidence. Again, the skeptic can't accept the others can reach a different conclusion than they can based on the evidence.

You then make a statement that shows a sense of insecurity in your skepticism. You say:


You are the one who is taking a leap of faith and saying "this person saw a UFO and we have ruled out all known explanations, therefore it must be aliens." You are the one who is reaching a conclusion that conforms to your belief system.


So now I have to be making a leap of faith to reach this conclusion? You sound as bad as the other guy.

I can't reach this conclusion based on evidence? We look at the available and reach conclusions all the time. Nobody has RULED OUT ALL KNOWN EXPLANATIONS. I and others just apply reason and logic to the available evidence and we include extraterrestials as a probable explanation for these things. Also, a known explanation is subjective based on your knowledge or lack thereof.

It's sad that in order to accept your own position, you have to try and define what other people can't know. Again, "we" don't lack the evidence, "you" do.

People come to conclusions based on the available evidence all the time. If more information occurs, then they weigh that new evidence also. Some Scientist have come to the conclusion that Parallel Universes exist, we live in a holographic universe and the Higgs exist based on the available evidence. We do this in courtrooms where the standard for guilt is beyond a reasonable doubt based on the available evidence. New evidence can always come along and this is why you have an appeals process. Jurors are asked to come to a conclusion based on the available evidence.

At the end of the day, a real skeptic is one that can accept others have reached a different conclusion than they have based on the available evidence. Nobody had to make a leap of faith and nobody just woke up one morning and said U.F.O.'s = Aliens.

For instance, I will study an abduction case or Close Encounter and I can come to the conclusion that one case is credible and another case isn't credible. Many skeptics have reached a conclusion before they even hear the case. The conclusion is there has to be an explanation that fits what they already believe.

The evidence will show that some "known" explanation can explain what has occurred or an "improbable" explanation can explain what occurred. The problem with most skeptics is they rule out the improbable before they even look at the evidence.

THIS IS A CLOSED MIND.


edit on 25-8-2012 by neoholographic because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 11:42 AM
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I think it is important to draw certain lines between the various people and groups which see fit to comment on a subject of this nature. To say that every person who exhibits a negative or disbelieving position when faced with a UFO report, ought to be summarily ignored, is no more valid than to suggest that every person who has seen a UFO was several days into a PCP trip, and utterly incapable of rational thought.

Both attitudes are biased, blind, and logically invalidate themselves by their display of total ignorance. There is also a very large difference between informed skepticism, such as that which is put forward by thinking, reasoning people, and the sort of outright disbelief, based on psuedo-religious enforced ignorance, or outright small mindedness, that you are actually refering to. Genuine skepticism is practiced by those who have examined the evidence, but have come to different conclusions than you or I might arrive at.

Since alien life has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, to exist at this time, with all the backing of scientific rigor to back up any such claim, it is ridiculous for either believers or skeptics to claim an upper hand in the debates that rage on the subject, and is evidence of a weakness in the argument of both camps, when exponents of either mindset advocate total dismissal of the others arguements.

I think that there are two things that might be benificial to the debate in general, that we can all, skeptics and believers alike, sign up to and stick to.

1) Treat people, and thier thinking with the respect it deserves. If someone is capable of sitting there for ten months, in a busted looking recreational vehicle, in the middle of some Christ forsaken dustbowl, looking into the heavens with a bloody great roof mounted telescope, then you have to respect thier determination, dedication, and resolve, EVEN if you believe they are bloody insane for doing it. Equally, one must respect the amount of factual research, data sifting and FOI requesting that researchers in both camps partake of.

2) If you have nothing constructive to add to a conversation, consider adding nothing to the conversation. Criticism is fine, but there is no way to make your point by antagonising or insulting other people. All that these things have ever achieved, is the muddying of already murky waters, and the driving of a wedge between people who are capable of rational, inspired, and intelligent thought and discourse.

The world is a tough enough place to live in, without one group censoring another because thier veiws and arguments cause discomfort. The only organisation on the whole damned Earth, who could have been legitimate targets for such sanction were maybe the Nazi party, and as sanctions go, I think they got what they deserved. Other than that, free speech is just that. It is vitally important that everyone who has something of interest to say, or has a well formulated opinion on something, be allowed to share it, so that we might all benifit from it. It is the path to ruin to suggest that only the arguments or veiws which echo ones own are of any value.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 11:49 AM
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reply to post by MarkJS
 



If the person who posted the OP is feeling distracted from forward-discussion of the thread, and is forced into a position of having to verify stuff - scientifically, or to another person's standards- as to having to satisfy him/her intellectually... This would in essence detract from the progression of the main purpose of the thread... from the purpose that the OP started the thread in the first place.


But why even start a thread if you have not gathered as much evidence as possible, sifted through it and come to a defensible conclusion? How could a thread possibly progress if its only function were to affirm the OPs unsupported assertions? What would the real purpose of such a thread be?



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by DJW001
reply to post by MarkJS
 



If the person who posted the OP is feeling distracted from forward-discussion of the thread, and is forced into a position of having to verify stuff - scientifically, or to another person's standards- as to having to satisfy him/her intellectually... This would in essence detract from the progression of the main purpose of the thread... from the purpose that the OP started the thread in the first place.


But why even start a thread if you have not gathered as much evidence as possible, sifted through it and come to a defensible conclusion? How could a thread possibly progress if its only function were to affirm the OPs unsupported assertions? What would the real purpose of such a thread be?


The best answer I can give is... If the proposal of the two-tiered approach is adopted... you can read all the threads from the OPs perspective.. and see the progress of them and how related and somewhat-related ideas would develop in a non-threatening environment.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by neoholographic

The skeptics keep talking out of both sides of their mouth. On one hand you want to try and appear open minded, in the next breathe you show that you have a closed mind.

You said:


What's the problem with saying "we lack the evidence and right now we don't know what it was. Let's keep looking for data and evidence to hopefully, eventually, find an answer"?


There's a huge problem with saying this. It's not "we" that lack the evidence, it's "you" who lack the evidence. Again, the skeptic can't accept the others can reach a different conclusion than they can based on the evidence.


But evidence that is undeniable to some people may not really be undeniable evidence at all.

For example, let's say I had a picture of a blurred object in a forest, and I claimed it was undeniable evidence of forest elves, does that mean the picture REALLY IS evidence of forest elves? If I -- as the eyewitness and photographer -- thinks it IS undeniable evidence, does that make it so?


edit on 8/25/2012 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 12:14 PM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


apologies in advance...




posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 12:21 PM
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reply to post by MarkJS
 



The best answer I can give is... If the proposal of the two-tiered approach is adopted.


And yet you have to admit that you've had more lively posting in this thread (with well-known skeptics) than if it had been seven pages of your ideal:

Member 1 - 'I don't like skeptics. Do you?'
Member 2 - 'No me neither.'
Member 3 - 'Hey I don't like them either!'
Member 4 - 'Seconded!'
Member 5 - 'Skeptics suck!'
Member 6 - 'Stoopid skeptics tryin t'tell us what to think! Boo!'

Admit it immediately! You know it's true.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by neoholographic
There's a huge problem with saying this. It's not "we" that lack the evidence, it's "you" who lack the evidence. Again, the skeptic can't accept the others can reach a different conclusion than they can based on the evidence.

The "we" I alluded to is in the sense of our civilization's knowledge, otherwise known as science.

You don't have any scientifically verifiable evidence to sustain your position that UFOs have been proven as extraterrestrial in origin. I know you don't because otherwise this claim you make would be strongly accepted as a proven fact by the majority of people, like every other scientific fact, instead of a belief held by a small portion of the population.

As a skeptic what I'm interested in is in concrete data and evidence that live up to the standards of scientific inquiry and testing. And, respectfully, I suspect you have none.

And that's OK. Not everyone thinks the same way or require the same standard of evidence in order to reach a conclusion. For some, like myself, there's not even a need for there to be a conclusion or answer.

But what this means is that our discussion of this subject is pointless, since one party exclusively values scientifically verifiable evidence as means to determining an answer, and the other party is comfortable with eyewitness testimony and subjective interpretations.



posted on Aug, 25 2012 @ 12:29 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 
True... you got me there.


I didn't start this thread, but just presented my idea of the two-tiered thread idea. Why? Because skeptics have a voice.... and the proposal does not censor them, it just channels them to an appropriate place for each thread. People who want to counter OPs (of which I am one at times), can express/post all they want, and should not feel threatened. They may indeed have constructive things to say about the OP...and we should be able to read those.... i.e. both sides of the coin. It's just that the posts of the opposing sides would be organized better.
edit on 25/8/2012 by MarkJS because: added last sentences



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