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The Debunker and the True Believer -- 2 sides of the same coin

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posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 12:37 PM
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It's human nature in action.

A person has an experience that could be termed paranormal. For example, they see a metallic disc hovering over a field, then it shoots up straight, turns instantly at a 90 degree angle, then transforms into three different color light orbs -- which all vanish. And that's it. The experience is over.

A Debunker interviews the person while doing a paranormal study. The Debunker comes to the conclusion that person who had the experience saw either swamp gas or an atmospheric phenomenon.

A True Believer interviews the person wile doing a paranormal study. The True Believer comes to the conclusion that person either was being singled out for special communication by alien intelligences who want to help mankind or that person was being visited by his guardian angel and they likely have psychic powers.

So which one is right?

Neither, of course. Both are ridiculous.

The Debunker pretends to be a skeptic, but they are not functioning like a skeptic in any way. They are trying to explain it away because their nature compels them to so they may feel comfortable. It doesn't matter how disconnected and implausible their explanation is with regards to the reported experience -- they have put the world in order again, and all is explained. They can sleep at night.

The True Believer imagines they have the answers to the mystery, but they aren't providing any answers at all. They are just making up an elaborate story to fit it into their world view because it makes them feel comfortable. It doesn't matter how disconnected and implausible their explanation is with regards to the reported experience -- they have placed the experience into context with their beliefs. They can sleep at night.

And this is the basic conundrum anybody faces when dealing with Paranormal Studies. There is an army of Debunkers and an even larger army of True Believers when it comes to any area in the field. And very few real skeptics.

The Skeptic interviews the person while doing a paranormal study. They come to the conclusion that there isn't a conclusion (for now). The person truly believes they saw what they saw, and they aren't lying and there is no evidence that they are (or were) delusional, but that's it. There's no evidence, no way to verify it externally, and nothing that can be done to explain it or explain it away. It's uncomfortable, but it must be left to hang. And that's something the Debunker and the True Believer can't tolerate because of their natures.

So what is there to do with all these hanging cases when seriously studying the paranormal as a true skeptic?




posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 12:57 PM
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I think the issue at hand, truly is, belief.

A "debunker" doesn't believe something is real. This, in and of itself, is a belief.

A "believer" believes something is real. This too, naturally, is a belief.


My name here, zeroBelief, is in direct response to this entire debacle. There are very precious few things I personally believe in. And, I am all too aware that given time, all things change, including myself.

Therefore, I tend to take a stance of sitting back and watching. Observing. There is very little I throw out simply because it is attached to a name (although "Sorcha Faal" comes rather perilously close). Where it may not mean something to me today...who is to say that the gravitas of it's meaning may not come into play for five years? Ten years? Twenty?

Rather, I tend to take the idea of "all things in moderation" into play almost all the time.



posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 01:19 PM
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When it comes to things which are experienced by an individual, and cannot be replicated in a lab, it all comes down three things: Either you believe it was paranormal, you don't, or you're not sure.

I don't see it as black and white. Rather, given a large enough sample of people, it will run like a spectrum from one extreme to the other.

I have had what I believe to be paranormal experiences, as well as UFO sightings that were very detailed. Do I care what anybody else thinks? Not really. I'll leave it for the researchers, debunkers and believers to fight it out, because in the final analysis, only my reality matters to me. It's all subjective.



posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 02:10 PM
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If something happened, it happened and, if you look at many of the stories, the experiencer has no clue to what it was.

The Op's story describes very well what Sean Ryder saw, something Ryder has never forgotten, but he still calls it a 'UFO' throughout..he believes in what he saw, he doesn't need to have someone believe him, yet in all what he saw seems ridiculous in our current knowledge.



posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 03:54 PM
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zeroBelief

A "debunker" doesn't believe something is real. This, in and of itself, is a belief.

A "believer" believes something is real. This too, naturally, is a belief.


Good point, here's a relevant vid.






posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 06:05 PM
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Hey, that's a good video. Thanks for posting.



posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 06:12 PM
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I think its important to consider historical context: we have all made misjudgements at some time, made mistakes, bad calls. Even some of us have had beliefs which we no longer have, perhaps due to new information, a different world view, education etc. These experiences shape how we analyse new information; we are more critical, less prone to jumping to conclusions perhaps like we did before. Thus, we become a 'denier'.

On the flip side, we might see the believer as we once were, without the experiences which made us rush to judgement and before our bad calls had been identified as such.

I think its human nature, to not want to 'go backward', to revisit mistakes or to relearn things which we have progressed from.

I think the two are two sides of a coin and they both point toward our inherent curiosity and need to know the truth.



posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 06:44 PM
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I suspect the answer on both sides is simply to listen.

There isn't much issue being a 'good' researcher. It's fairly self sustaining when you're doing it right. The whole point is to not let your conclusions be influenced by popular opinion, wishful thinking, or denial. It's just not a very popular stand point and often uninteresting to observers.

I think the listening part comes when you just have to put someone's opinions to one side for a while and look at their actual evidence or points. Grist for the mill as they say.

Sometimes I feel 'good' sceptics are just the same as everyone else. Debunkers ignore believers opinions sometimes, believers don't listen to debunkers because you know, they're debunkers, and 'good' sceptics often just sit in the middle chastising everyone. It's just another form of superiority sometimes.

So ja, just freaking listen.



posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 06:45 PM
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Something I'd like to add to this...

I, too, have had "persona experiences". Not UFO's or aliens...but of the "paranormal" kind.

I know what I saw, or at least it has answered rather tough scrutiny on my part...both at the time it happened, and over the years since.

I'm not saying I specifically DO NOT believe in what I saw...rather...that I'm not about to classify it as having been "a real thing"....because, quite honestly, there were still far too many questions in my head. Too many things that I couldn't come to a complete answer about. Plus, all I have to rely on is my memory. Memories degrade, and our brain modifies them to make them more "unique"....more "fitting" to our ideals....

The way I see it, these things simply fall into the "I have no god d#$%@d idea what the hell just happened" file....am I saying I imagined it? No...just as much as I'm not saying Beelzabub offered me a contract that night, either.
And honestly, they've never happened again. Much of what I deal with in my career is detecting patterns...and then hunting them down to their source. This is something that has never availed itself to me, no patterns to work with. So that just leaves it even more in the zone of the "unknown/unknowable" to me....hence, no belief. But no "dis-belief", either. I am merely open to it, and rather, open to the possibility of more experiences with which to possibly establish a pattern...attempt to identify what happened...and develop further credible analysis to satisfy my own questions. That's all....


Does that make any sense?

edit on 15-1-2014 by zeroBelief because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 08:14 PM
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Makes sense to me.

I myself have had a series of premonition dreams over the years. Very clear series of events in them. A happens then B then C then D and then it's over. I wake up, go about my day, and at some point I'm somewhere and A happens, then B and I suddenly click in and realize my dream from the night before is playing out and I know what's going to happen next. And sure enough C happens and then D happens and then it's over. And it has always been with people I've never met, in places I've usually never been.

I know at that point that I had a paranormal experience. It happened. No belief is required at that point, because it happened. And there's nothing I can do about it, no way to explain the mechanism involved, and it is (frustratingly) of no use to me. If only it were a way to win a lottery or something, right?


When I relate these multiple premonition dreams to a debunker, they try and dismiss them as Déjà vu -- which is a completely different phenomenon! You don't dream events the night before you have a Déjà vu experience. You have Déjà vu when you find yourself in a situation and it seems very familiar and you can't put your finger on when and where. It's a common, relatively explainable phenomenon. But you don't have a premonition dream of a Déjà vu experience you're going to have the next day! They don't listen to that obvious distinction. The debunker just wants to explain it away because they don't believe it and it doesn't fit into their comfort zone world view.

That's another example of the debunker mindset vs. the genuine skeptic.
edit on 15-1-2014 by Saucerking because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 08:32 PM
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Perhaps focusing on belief (whether pro or con) is not the most productive way to understand the matter.

Perhaps applying the differences between objective and subjective would advance some matters further toward common understanding and greater usefulness.

When something is subjective, it is usually contained within the perceptual awareness of an individual. An experience, seeing something, hearing something, sensing something, etc. is therefore limited to one observer.

Real objectivity, on the other hand, can be demonstrated to any observer who is willing to see (hear, sense). The goal of science is to achieve maximum objectivity, and thus in our current culture, the objective is given a higher value than the subjective.

Real science cannot and does not pretend to be able to describe everything within the sphere of human experience. Anything that does is not science but scientism.

Both the objective and the subjective are spheres of human experience. 300 years or so have been spent focused on the objective; and the study of the subjective has been relegated to religion and some psychology.

In my opinion only, many matters within the realm of "the paranormal" are entirely subjective experiences. Of course, therefore, they can't always be measured, demonstrated, photographed, verified by experiment, etc. etc.

To my mind, it's like comparing apples and oranges, but denying that oranges exist.



posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 08:49 PM
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You don't need proof to believe.

Believing is in itself a function or a mechanism of the human makeup.

Humans cannot live without it.
edit on 15-1-2014 by bitsforbytes because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 09:12 PM
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Gryphon66
In my opinion only, many matters within the realm of "the paranormal" are entirely subjective experiences. Of course, therefore, they can't always be measured, demonstrated, photographed, verified by experiment, etc. etc.


An entirely subjective experience which by definition only exists in the mind of the subject? They are figments in the subject's mind, not a second party observable objective thing which can be analyzed outside of the experiencer?

Likely so with many matters. Not so with those worthy of attempting to fruitfully investigate.
edit on 15-1-2014 by Saucerking because: grammatical errors as always



posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 10:59 PM
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Saucerking

Gryphon66
In my opinion only, many matters within the realm of "the paranormal" are entirely subjective experiences. Of course, therefore, they can't always be measured, demonstrated, photographed, verified by experiment, etc. etc.


An entirely subjective experience which by definition only exists in the mind of the subject? They are figments in the subject's mind, not a second party observable objective thing which can be analyzed outside of the experiencer?

Likely so with many matters. Not so with those worthy of attempting to fruitfully investigate.
edit on 15-1-2014 by Saucerking because: grammatical errors as always


In terms of my proposition above, this definition of subjective is the equivalent of saying that "the orange doesn't exist."

That may or may not be true. My contention is that when the subjective is considered to be just as real as the objective, effective means to "fruitfully investigate" need to be developed ... rather than merely borrowing or retrofitting those appropriate to objective matters and then claiming that the subjective doesn't exist or "is all in the mind."
edit on 0Thu, 16 Jan 2014 00:03:22 -060014p122014166 by Gryphon66 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 12:29 PM
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If you can come up with a way to consider an apple on the table as being equal to an apple in the subject's mind in an experiment, I'm sure a lot of people would be interested. I would.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 04:43 PM
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Saucerking
If you can come up with a way to consider an apple on the table as being equal to an apple in the subject's mind in an experiment, I'm sure a lot of people would be interested. I would.


Can you imagine an apple? Do so.

What color is the apple?
How big is it?
Is it fresh, or does it have small dents, imperfections, or soft spots?
Is the skin shiny, or dull or a mixture of both?

Can you imagine that you pick the apple up in your right hand? Do so.

How much does the apple weigh, approximately?
Is it firm to the touch, pliable, squishy?

Can you imagine that you toss it up into the air, and catch it in the same hand. Do so.

Do you hear a sound when you caught the apple? Was it high pitched, or dull, or a little of both?

Can you imagine that you bring the apple to your mouth and take a bite of it? Do so.

Was there a loud crunch or a soft snap when you took your bite of the apple?

Is the bite you took cool or room temperature? Is the texture crisp or mealy?

Is the apple sweet to the taste or tart? Is it very juicy?

Think about all the impressions that you just had of your imaginary apple.

Now, go find an actual apple and do all the same things to it.

Notice how some elements are different and some almost the same (depending on your imagination ability.)?

.... I think it would work something like that



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 11:13 PM
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reply to post by Gryphon66
 


Okay, so they've got a good mental image/experience of an apple. Now how does this fit into an experiment?

The only thing I can think of is that they have some sort of brain wave recording or brain scan image of their state of mind while they concentrate on the mental image of an apple and eating the apple -- and that is compared with them actually experiencing and eating an apple. At least we would have some hard data that way.

Then we can create a video that replicates their paranormal experience as they've described it and compare the brain wave recording and/or brain scan image we get from them viewing the video with the recorded data we have when they were concentrating on remembering their paranormal experience.

As a control, we have them visualize something they've never seen or experienced and record the data, then present them with the experience either in a prepared video or even in real life and record the data and see how it compares.

I don't know how that would work, but it seems like we might get some information out of it. Does their paranormal experience compare well with the apple experience? Or is it more like the imagined experience?

Does anybody think there's anything to this for an experiment?



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 11:35 PM
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reply to post by Saucerking
 


IMO a debunker is one who represents a position, for a variety of insincere reasons, including being PAID to scoff at any position contrary to theirs...

A true believer is someone with sincere motives behind their position but are intellectually dishonest with themselves and that perpetuates their position.



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 12:23 AM
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coastlinekid
reply to post by Saucerking
 


IMO a debunker is one who represents a position, for a variety of insincere reasons, including being PAID to scoff at any position contrary to theirs...

A true believer is someone with sincere motives behind their position but are intellectually dishonest with themselves and that perpetuates their position.


I think that states it pretty well. I would only add that the debunker is also potentially being intellectually dishonest with themselves. There are many debunkers who are actually sincere in their motives and are deceiving themselves and don't even know it or will admit it to themselves. They are following their nature and forsaking their intellect for their nature.



posted on Jan, 17 2014 @ 05:34 AM
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Not to mention that the converse is also true ...



I think that states it pretty well. I would only add that the debunker believer is also potentially being intellectually dishonest with themselves. There are many debunkers believers who are actually sincere in their motives and are deceiving themselves and don't even know it or will admit it to themselves. They are following their nature and forsaking their intellect for their nature.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
On another note, thanks for your thoughtfulness in attempting to integrate my input into the schema that you're working on.


The subjective is not "bad" and the objective is not "good."
The subjective is not merely imaginary and the objective is not the only reality;
To the extent that these categorizations are absolutes, they are also false dichotomies; they are not mutually exclusive.

To put it another way, in context: debunkers are overly objective, believers are overly subjective.

Objective: observable by all or the many. Subjective: observable by a few or only one.

Is the paranormal more like gravity or more like love?



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