Critical Thinking and the UFO Hypothesis III: Ad Hominem Arguments

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posted on May, 18 2013 @ 08:06 AM
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reply to post by ZetaRediculian
 


Good points, etc, but would you fix the Mark Twain quote in your signature? It's driving us Mark Twain lovin' compulsive/obsessives crazy!

If I'm wrong, then sorry, but I think you left out an "in" regarding the dog...

Back to weirdness...




posted on May, 18 2013 @ 08:18 AM
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reply to post by Baddogma
 


Done. I definitely have some weird dyslexic thing where I can't see certain words in a sentence.



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 08:53 AM
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Originally posted by AthlonSavage
reply to post by WilliamOckham
 

Dude it not worth replying in detail to post as the underone of your reply is quite clear mocking people who claim to have had Ufo experiences. Your post is a good example of the Ad Hominem Arguments. Btw Skeptics show me proof Aliens/Ufos cant be here, create a thread titled this and lets have it out, we have all the time in the world to debate it bring it on.


Please re-read what you wrote. Even the first word is an ad hominem attack in itself. It is a disrespectful term, which of course may be used in jest - and was used at the beginning and end of almost every sentence by hippies in the 1960's - but nowadays certainly should not be the start of any serious reply to something you disagree with. It does not invite your adversary to read on, merely says that you are uncertain and at a loss which arguments you might use to dispute what he writes.

I also disagree with you that he 'mocks' people. He took time to write what he did, thought it through, gave arguments. You may disagree, and are encouraged to say so, but please provide some arguments, instead of merely stating your opinion. You clearly have not thought this trough and simply give us your gut feeling. Not a nice one either. Subsequently you then ask 'the skeptics' to provide a proof of a negative - which is impossible. Nobody can.

Given your post I believe you believe UFO's exist. You suggest a battle - there is none. This is not a fight, it is a quest for truth (at best). Give me facts, give me arguments. Opinions are fine, but not enough.
edit on 18-5-2013 by ForteanOrg because: small spelling errors.



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 09:10 AM
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Originally posted by Brighter
It’s become common practice for the serial debunkers to employ ad hominem arguments on these forums. [...] An example would be: “So-and-so is lying about having seen a U.F.O. because they receive money from writing books, giving talks, producing documentaries, etc.” (I’m sure you’ve seen this one before.)


Even better; I've written things that are similar to that about the latest 'hearing' as organisated by Basset et al.
I have stated, and will state this again, right now, that there are people - many - that are not working towards disclosure at all but are just mining money from the gullible, and Greer and Basset are my prime suspects.
The arguments I gave are clear, Il believe, and are not being disputed: Basset said himself he had gotten a million from 'investors', sells the hearings instead of making their contents public and there was nothing produced during these hearings that was not known yet.

I agree with you that 'ad hominem' attacks should be avoided - though every now and then people are just people and have emotions that spill over, so be it. But be careful with those examples, as it is not always true that people that say that 'person X lies' and also 'person X earns money from his lies' are into 'ad hominem' attacks. Sometimes they simply are correct: X does lie and earns money from it. As long as it is underpinned with reasonable arguments, there is nothing wrong with it, IMO.



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 09:14 AM
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Originally posted by Kang69

Anyway answer me this...

Why do UFO's have headlights on them? Afraid of hitting bambi?


FAA regulations.



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 09:33 AM
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Originally posted by AthlonSavage
[Your post is a good example of the Ad Hominem Arguments. Btw Skeptics show me proof Aliens/Ufos cant be here, create a thread titled this and lets have it out, we have all the time in the world to debate it bring it on.



And your post is a perfect example of the BOP fallacy employed by the OP and others of the same ilk. It's no wonder they find scrutiny of their claims so unpalatable and frustrating to the point that they must resort to thread after thread (after thread) of ad hominem rants against those with the audacity to question their deeply held beliefs (in the guise of established scientific theory).
edit on 18-5-2013 by draknoir2 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by draknoir2

Originally posted by Kang69

Anyway answer me this...

Why do UFO's have headlights on them? Afraid of hitting bambi?


FAA regulations.

That ones going to get added to the list dude. Keep it up and more will get added.



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by Blaine91555
reply to post by BullwinkleKicksButt
 

The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


Actually all opinions are allowed here no matter who agrees and they do not violate any rules.

What's not allowed is Ad Hominem attacks from either side of any argument. That's part of what makes ATS stand out.



As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.


I respectfully beg to disagree. Ad Hominem is allowed on here every day. In reference to the Aliens and UFOS forum unless you're IsaacKoi and filling your threads with 55 posts of irrefutable awesome odds are you're going to be ridiculed, made fun of, and painted with various shades of tin foil. That forum used to be the jewel of this site. You could have theoretical discussions about out of this world ideas and while there may have been the odd person here and there pointing and laughing it wasn't enough to stifle discussion. Still to this day it has the most topics other than BAN. Now it's a wasteland and almost every new thread devolves within pages.

What makes ATS stand out these days, like a sore thumb, are hyper-partisan political threads where words like "liberal" and "republican" are sneered like ad hominems by people who think they know what they're talking about, Islamaphobia, doom porn, and rants.

Not to be totally negative in my assessment I will say that I do enjoy the way current events are picked up here almost instantly, and how our membership can investigate an event remotely with such a fine toothed comb. That's cool.



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 11:27 AM
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reply to post by draknoir2
 


You mad bro? There is a giant difference between "questioning" and ridicule. You haven't learned it yet.



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 12:46 PM
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Originally posted by Malynn
reply to post by draknoir2
 


You mad bro? There is a giant difference between "questioning" and ridicule. You haven't learned it yet.


Not in the least, "Bro".

I think "amused" would be the best description.

And I know the difference between questioning and ridicule, which just so happens to be the purpose of the OP's thread... and the other two in his signature.



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 02:30 PM
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reply to post by karl 12
 


Thanks for another thoughtful and informative post, karl.

I do like that letter by Dr. Peter Sturrock, "Do Your Homework Before Entering UFO Fray".

Here are his recommendations:



1. Either stay away completely or do your homework first. This is a very complex subject, and "doing your homework" will not be quick, easy or painless.


2. Do not imagine that training in physics provides you with any relevant credentials that enable you to pontificate on the problem. Expertise in forensic science would be another matter.


3. Read the Condon report from cover to cover preferably from back to front so that you can better judge the extent to which Condon's conclusions and recommendations follow from the work of his staff. (E.U. Condon, D.S. Gillmor, Scientific Study of UFOs, Bantam Books, 1969)


4. Learn something about the history of the subject. An excellent summary of the early days of the controversy can be found in The UFO Controversy in America by D.M. Jacobs (Indiana University Press, 1975).


5. You might also wish to learn what a nongovernmental scientific review panel had to say about the subject by perusing my own book, The UFO Enigma: A New Review of the Physical Evidence (Warner Books, 1999).


6. Finally, bear in mind that although most scientists treat this subject as a joke, the public does not, and we would do well to treat their concerns with respect.

APS Physics



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 03:50 PM
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reply to post by ForteanOrg
 



Originally posted by ForteanOrg
I have stated, and will state this again, right now, that there are people - many - that are not working towards disclosure at all but are just mining money


I understand what you’re trying to say.

But here’s the problem with your argument – you’re making the assumption that you can’t both accept money and work towards disclosure at the same time.

I gave a clear counterexample to this in my original post. It’s tantamount to saying that a doctor can’t both accept large sums of money and work towards healing people at the same time.

So that’s one problem with the argument.

The other, equally important problem is that, as an ad hominem attack, it moves the conversation away from the actual, relevant issue. The relevant issue in the Disclosure Project involves the witness testimony accounts for the reality of UFOs.

It also runs the risk of people assuming that, because someone received money to produce and organize the event (and why shouldn’t they?), that this somehow discredits the witness testimony. But that would be to accidentally combine two separate issues. But this is, I’m sure, the intention of some individuals who make these arguments, even though it’s as plain as day that it involves a false inference.

For those reasons I would also take issue with your arguments against Basset’s Citizen Hearing on Disclosure. It’s confusing two separate issues. Witness testimony stands independently of the organizers’ having received money to fund the event.

edit on 18-5-2013 by Brighter because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 05:44 PM
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reply to post by ZetaRediculian
 


Almost every video I've seen of a "UFO" there's lights on them. Why would UFO's announce themselves to everyone? Seriously? Traveling thousands of light years to go abduct some cows for "DNA research" and then they forgot to turn off the lights?

This reminds me of Bill Hicks, maybe these ARE hillbilly aliens, there too stupid and drunk to remember they're on a different planet.

Furthermore, we already have thermal and night vision on Earth, I bet an alien species would have no problem coming up with the same thing, so would would they need lights?

Why? Because there would be no videos of "UFO's" in the first place if they weren't lit up like a Christmas tree.

UFO'logy; backed up by witness testimonies and bright lights in the sky.

Awesome.



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 06:49 PM
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Originally posted by Kang69
reply to post by ZetaRediculian
 


Almost every video I've seen of a "UFO" there's lights on them. Why would UFO's announce themselves to everyone? Seriously? Traveling thousands of light years to go abduct some cows for "DNA research" and then they forgot to turn off the lights?

Maybe aliens are just plane stupid. I don't really know.



This reminds me of Bill Hicks, maybe these ARE hillbilly aliens, there too stupid and drunk to remember they're on a different planet.

Heh. I didn't read your whole post before I replied above. I think more likely retarded aliens. Are ad hominen attacks on aliens against the T&C? Hmmm...



Furthermore, we already have thermal and night vision on Earth, I bet an alien species would have no problem coming up with the same thing, so would would they need lights?

Why? Because there would be no videos of "UFO's" in the first place if they weren't lit up like a Christmas tree.

Maybe, maybe not. The issue I have with this line of reasoning is that it just invites endless speculation on something that most likely is nothing. If aliens are here, who knows how or what they think or even if they have anything that resembles thinking. Maybe imitating balloons, birds and airplanes is their version of being stealth. It's just endless. The "hypothetical alien" can do just about anything.

Anyway, My question is why would aliens come all the way here, be so stupid as to leave their lights on, but so brilliant as to leave nothing but ambiguous traces that they are here.

But why aliens? Would time travelers leave their lights on?



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 08:04 PM
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reply to post by ZetaRediculian
 


haha!

"ad hominem attacks against aliens".

Then you said before "Maybe aliens are just plane stupid"

Oh the hypocrisy. I wouldn't be surprised if your next comment consisted of saying im cherry picking. Anyway, this is really besides the point anyway.

"If aliens are here, who knows how or what they think or even if they have anything that resembles thinking. Maybe imitating balloons, birds and airplanes is their version of being stealth. It's just endless. The "hypothetical alien" can do just about anything. " from your post.

Imitating balloons and birds? Yeah get back to me with that one. Is there a "youtube" video of a UFO imitating a balloon or a bird? Is there a witness testimony about it?

And then finally you said "Anyway, My question is why would aliens come all the way here, be so stupid as to leave their lights on, but so brilliant as to leave nothing but ambiguous traces that they are here. "

Ambiguous traces? Ambiguous traces of WHAT exactly? I feel like I'm missing something with UFOlogy here. The only real "evidence" I see is witness testimonies, hilarious CGI videos, bright lights in the sky, and of course, ancient aliens on the HISTORY channel. haha! Ancient aliens is on the history channel for christsakes!

That made me laugh for days. And not because it's the "history channel" like it's actually supposed to be factual information, the fact that ancient aliens is on TV, well they're just making fun of UFO'rs right in front of there faces.



posted on May, 18 2013 @ 09:02 PM
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Originally posted by Kang69
reply to post by ZetaRediculian
 


haha!

"ad hominem attacks against aliens".

Then you said before "Maybe aliens are just plane stupid"

Oh the hypocrisy. I wouldn't be surprised if your next comment consisted of saying im cherry picking. Anyway, this is really besides the point anyway.

It's not hypocrisy. I just said something that was opposed to a statement I made earlier. I don't know about cherry picking,



Imitating balloons and birds? Yeah get back to me with that one. Is there a "youtube" video of a UFO imitating a balloon or a bird? Is there a witness testimony about it?

Yeah pretty much every youtube video.



Ambiguous traces? Ambiguous traces of WHAT exactly?

Really? There is all kinds of evidence that could be anything. What exactly, is anybody's guess. Is that ambiguous enough for you?


haha! Ancient aliens is on the history channel for christsakes!

That made me laugh for days. And not because it's the "history channel" like it's actually supposed to be factual information, the fact that ancient aliens is on TV, well they're just making fun of UFO'rs right in front of there faces.


Yeah, that is kind of funny.

edit on 18-5-2013 by ZetaRediculian because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 09:00 AM
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Originally posted by Brighter

I like how he starts off by giving the proper definition of skepticism. It's basically a version of Pyrrhonian Skepticism, the version of skepticism practiced by proper scientists.


Had never heard the term 'Pyrrhonian Skepticism' before mate but will certainly remember that one - that definition really is worth reposting again though and I suppose the more folks who attempt to practise it the better.



Skeptic - One who practices the method of suspended judgment, engages in rational and dispassionate reasoning as exemplified by the scientific method, shows willingness to consider alternative explanations without prejudice based on prior beliefs, and who seeks out evidence and carefully scrutinizes its validity


It's been said many times before but sometimes it really does feel like genuine, open minded skepticism has been 'hijacked' by certain individuals whose mindset and character traits are the exact opposite - below is an interesting description of poster boy UFO debunker Phillip Klass's 'methods of investigation' from astronomer Allan Hendry and maybe it really is the case that debunkers and true beleivers are two sides of the same coin.




..Hendry objected strongly to Klass's modus operandi, which Hendry argued was based on suppressed and distorted evidence, unscientific reasoning, ad hominem attacks, smear campaigns, character assassination, scientific bait and switch tactics, and seemingly refusing to evaluate evidence that conflicted with his preconceptions.

This is all part of the Klass method of, as Hendry puts it,"using a truncated version of the information available to him and shaping it to his own ends." There is no way of winning an argument with him because, even when presented with documented evidence of the incorrectness of his position, Klass seldom concedes he is wrong. Instead he holds fiercely to a position even when it is demonstrably at variance with the facts.


Talking of folks hiding behind the title of 'genuine skeptic' but being anything but I'd also say Bluebook's Major Hector Quintanilla deserves a mention as you really do have to be an absolute chump to accept some of his official UFO explanations.



Originally posted by Brighter

www.aps.org...

I do like that letter by Dr. Peter Sturrock, "Do Your Homework Before Entering UFO Fray".


So do I mate and kudos to Professor Sturrock for having the balls to post those recommendations - as an Emeritus Professor of Applied Physics at Stanford University I think it's fair to say he's got a lot to lose.

He also conducted some great work exposing how the Condon report's final summaries were 'variously misleading, false or inaccurate' and I'd not seen it before but there's an interesting newspaper article below about professional astronomers where he found that “out of 1,356 AAS members replying to a questionnaire, four-fifths feel that the UFO mystery ‘certainly, probably or possibly deserves scientific study'."


Astronomers Pressing For More Study Of UFO Riddle


I've also not read his book 'A Tale of Two Sciences: Memoirs of a Dissident Scientist' but was nodding my head about some of his comments in the excerpt page here -especially about 'non politically correct' science and how 'anomalies should be the lifeblood of science'.

Cheers.



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 09:06 AM
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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.


Can't speak for anyone else but I'd say there's definitely a distinction between genuine open minded skeptics and cynical closed minded pseudo-skeptics - this list below has done the rounds on ATS before (and I suppose it could apply to true beleivers as well) but I do think it makes some important differences.




True skeptics / open-minded skeptics


*Has honest doubt and questions all beliefs, including their own

*Seeks the truth, considers it the highest aim

*Seeks open inquiry and investigation of both sides

*Is nonjudgmental, doesn't jump to rash conclusions

*Weighs evidence on all sides

*Asks exploratory questions about new things to try to understand them

*Acknowledges valid convincing evidence

*Possesses solid sharp common sense

*Is able to adapt and update their paradigms to new evidence





Pseudo-skeptics / closed-minded skeptics


*Automatically dismisses and denies all claims that contradict materialism and orthodoxy

*Is not interested in truth, evidence or facts, only in defending orthodoxy and the status quo

*Ignores anything that doesn't fit their a priori beliefs and assumptions

*Scoffs and ridicules their targets instead of providing solid arguments and giving honest consideration

*Has a know-it-all-attitude, never asks questions about things they don't understand, never admits that they don't know something

*Insists that everything unknown and unexplained must have a conventional materialistic explanation

*Is judgmental and quick to draw conclusions about things they know little or nothing about

*Uses semantics and word games with their own rules of logic to try to win arguments

*Is unable to adapt and update their paradigms to new evidence


Link


Cheers.



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 09:38 AM
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reply to post by karl 12
 


I think the only true sceptics on this thread are yourself and Brighton, the rest just constantly prove that the OP is correct.



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by Blaine91555
 


Accusing someone of being a, liar, fraud, or charlatan, when the accused person has never been charged or found guilty of such claims, could be considered defamation of character.
So why does ATS constantly allow such comments to be posted on this forum?





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