Originally posted by WilliamOckham
First off, anyone who refers to people who use critical thinking and approach claims with logical skepticism as "debunkers", is showing their
obvious bias & disdain for truth.
I feel as though you've missed the entire point of my post. The point is that many debunkers make ad hominem
attacks. This would clearly
imply that they're *not* employing critical thinking, no?
I think many of them are good at giving a superficial semblance of critical thinking, but upon examination many of their explanations are woefully
inadequate, which leads them to employ ad hominem
attacks to bolster their position.
Originally posted by WilliamOckham
However, these same people choose to apply common sense and refuse to accept unreliable witness testimony or second or third person accounts of what
someone thinks they saw, as proof. And why on earth should they?
You're misunderstanding the relevant concepts just like the other poster.
The nature of the subject matter implies that we're dealing with degrees of evidence, not searching for 'proof'.
But once we're clear that evidence is the correct concept, then we have to admit that there are varying degrees of evidence - from the wholly
unreliable all the way to extremely reliable and everything in between.
There is unreliable evidence given by a single, intoxicated individual; there is pretty reliable evidence given by a single, sober individual; there
is good evidence given by a group of sober individuals; there is even better evidence given by multiple groups of individuals; and there is
overwhelming evidence given by multiple individuals and groups of individuals over a large span of time combined with physical trace evidence.
The more evidence that exists for something's existence, the more one is justified in their belief in it.
In fact, there seems to be a direct correlation between the level of education, thorough, objective and skeptical study of the UFO phenomenon, and the
justified belief that there really is something significant to the subject: the astrophysicist J. Allen Hynek, physicist Dr. Peter Sturrock and
physicist Dr. James E. McDonald. All of these individuals were thoroughly trained in scientific and skeptical methods and all of them reached the
same conclusion - that UFOs are real.
I'd recommend reading one of their books on the subject to see how a scientist approaches the subject.
Furthermore, the studies that have been done on the psychological fitness of those claiming to have seen UFOs overwhelmingly indicate that such
individuals are just as normal as the general population.
You also claim that "[c]redible and verifiable evidence is needed". And continue with: "[a]nything other than that is just hearsay and requires
This itself is a logical fallacy - black and white thinking. As I've pointed out, there are varying degrees of evidence for various phenomena and
therefore varying levels of justification for ones belief in those phenomena. This is reminiscent of your previous conceptual error and your
insistence on 'proof'.
What the opening post failed at realizing or tackling, is how erroneous it is to accept witness account as proof.
Humans are beings of bad perception who will experience and understand events differently than everyone else.
For every one case of mistaken perception, I can point out ten thousand cases of veridical perception.
The fact is that humans are very good at perceiving - in fact, that combined with our superior higher-order interpretive abilities are what ensured
that we evolved into the dominant species on Earth.
You also conveniently ignore the fact that many of these sightings are not by individuals, but by entire groups of individuals, all reporting roughly
the same object. There are also many cases of physical trace evidence.
Still no real proof of alien visitations to earth.
Again, you're confusing basic concepts. UFOs and aliens are not necessarily connected (although one could make that case).