Skeptics have already made their minds up about UAPs

Discussion in 'Conspiracies' started by Yazata, Sep 1, 2023.

  1. foghorn Valued Senior Member

    I notice you haven't shown evidence. That's fine by me too.

    NASA seems to agree with Mick's possible explanation for "Go Fast".
    Here's Mick West 4 years ago and NASA only 6 months ago.

    Mick first video then NASA.

    NASA meeting, for "Go Fast" Start at time mark 2:28:25

    NASA meeting, for "Go Fast" Start at time mark 2:28:25

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2023
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Wow you are COMPLETELY missing the point of his post.

    But I have a feeling you will do exactly the same thing again the next time around, never taking the time to think about how you hate it when other people do the same thing.
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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Yes. Assuming that we are talking about organized movement skeptics, and not skeptics in the broader sense, I think that generally speaking that's true. (Exceptions can probably be found.)

    They may not have ruled out the bare possibility that UFOs might be something new and interesting, but they tend not only to weight that possibility so low that they dismiss it in practice, but they also relentlessly attack those who might weight it more highly and any evidence that might motivate anyone to do so. They wear their contempt on their sleeve. They tend to barge into any conversation about UFOs with the assumption that anyone who argues that UFOs might be interesting or even important must therefore be committing elementary errors in reasoning that it's their mission to put right.

    I'm reminded of the kind of atheist who insists that they don't actually dismiss the possibility of God existing, and then proceed full-bore to attack anyone who takes divinity seriously.

    Not all skeptics. (I'm a skeptic myself as should be evident from my epistemological fallibilism.) And I would prefer to describe the kind of movement skeptics I oppose not as dishonest per se, but more as lacking self awareness. They believe that they are arguing for the truth (and for proper reason more broadly). They are entirely honest about that.

    Again, not all skeptics. But I think that the point is a good one. If all phenomena must (for some unknown reason) be reducible to what is already known and understood, then possibility of learning anything new that doesn't reduce so easily would seem to have been grievously reduced.

    These threads are filled with little besides that. Whenever a sighting report is presented, it's immediately attacked (typically with anger). There's little or no consideration of what might be implied if the sighting report was taken at face value, as veridicial.

    I wouldn't say that. I think that they perceive their "skeptical" position as the high-road to truth. I'm less convinced that it is. That's where our disagreement lies, I guess.

    I'm not sure that I would agree with MR's "99+% of cases" (assuming he ever said that), but I agree with MR's point that broadly speaking, human perception IS reliable. We successfully rely on it every day of our lives. Not only that, but empirical science depends on it as well. It's what evidence is all about. It's what empirical means.

    They don't ruin the fun of participating on Sciforums by principled disagreement. That's fine and it's welcome. What ruins the fun of participation on this board is the non-stop insults, caricature and ridicule, along with moral accusations about integrity and honesty. It's all the ad-hominem stuff they resort to when they start losing arguments or sense their certainties being challenged. It's childish and it ruins Sciforums.

    I'm not sure if they are afraid or not and don't recall ever saying that. I think that their reaction is typically more towards the 'fight' side of the 'fight or flight' response to perceived challenge.

    I don't recall ever calling them stupid either. I do think that they love to talk about evidence, reasoning and critical thinking. (All areas where they imagine themselves superior to those they perceive as proponents of "woo".) And as I've said before, it's the philosophical issues in these discussions that interest me the most. So I've been known to disagree with them at some of those points.

    I don't recall saying that either. It isn't science that I argue with, but rather the self-appointed defenders of what often appears to me to be scientism. Few of whom are scientists themselves.

    I have said that as a human activity and construct, scientific understanding has no choice but to try to conceptualize the new in terms of concepts that they have inherited from the past. Which might put today's science at a disadvantage when trying to understand things that (purely hypothetically) don't conform to those concepts.

    Just imagine a medieval scholar trying to understand a helicopter. Can scholars today really be certain that they wouldn't be in the exact same position as that medieval scholar when confronted with something new and totally unexpected?

    I suspect that there's a closure principle in human evolutionary cognition that tends to shut out or fill in the unknown. In daily life we need to act on what we do know, we can't stand frozen in the face of what we don't know. So people at all periods of history appear to have believed that they had everything more or less figured out, except perhaps for some loose ends. I expect that paleolithic hunter/gatherers telling stories around their campfires believed it too. It's where I'd guess that myth and religion come from. And I'm not convinced that we've outgrown it now that science has become our belief system. We still tend to fill in or otherwise ignore the ever-present gaps.

    There's certainly a history of that here on this board. It's the point of my consilience argument. While it might be reasonably easy to invent hypotheses that account for one particular aspect of a sighting, it will be much harder to invent a hypothesis that accounts for all of them. In the tic-tac instance, cavorting whales might account for observations of water turbulence. But would cavorting whales also account for visual, photographic and radar sightings of objects seemingly performing like no known aircraft?

    I think that the bias is clear. Everyone has biases. I do, MR does, and our "skeptics" do as well (as much as they insist on denying it). It comes with being human.

    Lying is intentionally saying something that is known to be untrue. I'm more inclined to think that our "skeptics" are saying what they believe to be be true, regardless of how much I disagree.

    And equally, I am saying what I believe to be true, regardless of how much JamesR or Dave disagree.

    So what we have here is simply a garden-variety difference of opinion.

    Hence none of us is lying. Obviously any of us might be mistaken though.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2023
    C C and Magical Realist like this.
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  7. foghorn Valued Senior Member

    Yazata does talk about the skeptics on this site having fixed views as to what is possible when it comes to uaps.
    And people here have told him numerous times that’s not true, but Yazata continues to use it.

    Hence the " Big Lie" thing.
    Yazata in uap thread defending MR (He). Yazata states "people here" :
    Yazata in uap thread saying Mick West and James R have an idee fixe ( fixed idea):
    Yazata talking about skeptics in the thread thinking ufo/uap means alien spaceship.
  8. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    What Yazata is getting at though, I’ve observed as well. If you scroll back to James’ responses to me from yesterday, he feels the need to insert “little green men” into the discussion, as if that’s the only route we can explore when it comes to UAP’s. As if I’m wanting to bring space aliens into the discussion, and I’m not. He does that often at least in response to me, when we’re discussing MR’s “motivations”. It’s like I have to defend a position that I don’t hold.

    All of this to say though, I’m not sure if it’s been made clear in these ongoing threads if skeptics are open minded to the possibility of space aliens existing, but dismiss the idea of them visiting Earth?

    I don’t believe they’re visiting Earth, because it doesn’t seem possible, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe they might exist, in a broader sense.

    That said, Yazata points out in his recent post today that we all could be easily mistaken, that doesn’t make anyone a liar, per se. “Yazata’s Big Mistake?” That is more diplomatic, at least. lol

    In my opinion, not every thread discussion, post and rebuttal need to be “gotcha” moments. After a while, the conversations feel like sparring and not healthy, albeit spirited, debate.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2023
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  9. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Even if that interpretative presupposition or guiding preference is present, such usually turns out to be the thought orientation to take for explaining or identifying anything that can eventually be explained or identified.

    Akin to methodological naturalism (MN), although proposals like "space aliens" can in theory be outputted by a natural world.

    So more like a "methodological mundanity [ordinary]" working bias instead of MN, of assuming that extraordinary possibilities that haven't been validated yet are low on the totem pole of things to consider first.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2023
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I totally agree with this and have stated as much even at the risk of being labeled a liar. Skeptics here demonstrate this every time they assert it is more probable that the uap be something mundane than some new and exotic phenomenon. In essence they are justifying their assumption that the uap is de facto a mundane object. Hence the prospect that it is non-mundane is denied from the outset and from henceforth mocked as something too ridiculous to even consider. ("woo", "little green men", "fairies")
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2023
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  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    I notice that MR has backed away from the initial lie that skeptics think UAPs "must" be something mundane, and has come to terms with the more sane "probable".

    A wise choice on his part.

    Since MR likes to use examples of how we think and perceive in everday life to apply to unusual circumstances, let's take a page out of his book.

    Our lives would be paralytic and catatonic if everytime we came around a corner on the street and did not immediately assume that the object coming at us in the opposing lane was an automobile rather than a spacecraft from another dimension. Since, after all, the former scenario is ... rather more probable.

    Yes, most things even before they are identified are mundane. That is fact. It is fact on a sunny city street from an automolbile window, and it is fact in cloudy sky from an airraft cockpit.

    It is a sad, sad state of affairs that our local enthusiasts' bloody-headed insistence on seeing UAPs everywhere leads to this point where we have to actally state such truisms. Yet here we are.

    The working assumption of horses until proven to be zebras is how sane thought works, yes.

    Ah, now you're back to the indefensible assertions.

    A working assumption that it's more likely a horse than a zebra does not "deny" anything.

    All that happens is the enthusiasts claim "it's got to be a zebra!" and the skeptics say: "Why? do you see any stripes? Let's wait to see if there's stripes. It's possible it's zebras, but very unlikely. Show me some stripes and I'll take your pro-zebra-assertion seriously."

    And that - in a nutshell - is the entire enthusiast versus skeptic debate.

    Let me codify that.

    Ensthusiast: "I hear hoof beats. They don't sound normal to me. I bet it's a zebra."
    Skeptic: "Zebras are unlikely around these parts. Not to menton the fact that no zebra has ever been confirmed in this town. It is more likely a horse. We are, after all, in horse country."
    Ensthusiast: "You have already made up your mind that it's a horse. You are denying the possibility of zebras."
    Skeptic: "As you see, I 'deny' nothing. Have you seen any stripes? Let's wait until we see some stripes. I'm not convinced it's a zebra until I have good reason to think it's a zebra. As I have stated time and time again."

    Notice that I did not have to put any words into the mouths of enthusiasts or skeptics there. I have taken what enthusiasts have actually said, and what skeptics have actually said - and put no words in either mouths to make the point.

    That's called not lying.

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2023
  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Then it's not a "Big Lie" at all. It's the truth.
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    If it were true, you and Yazata wouldn't have to put words in the mouths of your opponents to make your point. You could just quote us.
    But you don't. Because no skeptic says the things you claim they do.
    billvon and James R like this.
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I wish I could double "like" post #530, because that nails the issue of the fundamental dishonesty in this discussion of both Magical Realist and Yazata.
    billvon likes this.
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Not many state their biased assumptions because it would discredit their reasoning. But assumptions that are being made are often still demonstrated in the course of argumentation. Such is the case here.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2023
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    You think? How about this, then:
    This is what Yazata thinks about "movement skeptics", in his own words.

    You ought to be aware that Yazata considers myself, DaveC and probably a bunch of other people here "movement skeptics" who are just as bad as that evil movement skeptic Mick West.

    Now, Yazata is entitled to his delusions. He's wrong to try to put down skeptics as some kind of misguided "movement", while trying to raise himself up onto some kind of pedestal as an example of what a "true skeptic" should be. But that is what it is.

    The reason I labelled this particular accusation Yazata's Big Lie is that certainly myself, and as far as I am aware all of the other skeptics here (Yazata's "movement skeptics") have directly and repeatedly told Yazata that we are open minded when it comes to examining UFO cases. We do not rule out the possibility that the next UFO report off the production line might turn out to be the Real Deal, with honest to goodness aliens or time travelling ghosts, or whatever.

    Yes, we rate the probability of that as low, which is the sane, reasonable thing to do in the circumstances. (See DaveC's horse/zebra analogy for an example of this kind of reasoning.) But it is mealy-mouthed for Yazata to go on to claim that we therefore "dismiss it in practice".

    Yazata is a liar because Yazata knows we do not prejudge UFO cases. He knows this because we have told him so directly and repeatedly. And if our word is not good enough for him, he also knows because he has seen how we approach the discussion of "new" UFO cases on this forum. We ask questions. We seek evidence. We run multiple hypotheses. We do not prejudge, but we don't keep our minds so open that our brains fall out. If the evidence doesn't support the claim that the UFO is aliens, then it doesn't support the claim and that's all there is to it, unless something better comes along.

    Nevertheless, Yazata continues to tell a knowing, deliberate and calculated lie about the people who are right here telling him the opposite. And he does it over and over again, shamelessly.

    Rather than taking responsibility for his own immoral actions, Yazata plays the victim, claiming that myself and others are "relentlessly attacking" him and wearing our contempt on our sleeves.

    There's a simple solution if Yazata does not want to be called a liar: stop telling the lie.

    The skeptics here are on the side of right and good, in this. We refer to what people say. We quote them. We take them at their word. Yazata and Magical Realist, on the other hand, impute motivations that they know we do not have. They guess at hidden motives and bad blood. They insinuate.

    Liars are contemptible. I can't respect a person who repeatedly and knowingly lies.

    I think it's a crying shame that Yazata has chosen to ruin his reputation here by making these false accusations. I can excuse much of what he writes on the basis that he has constructed a sort of caricature of what he calls the "movement skeptic" in his mind, which doesn't really match how skepticism is done. He has come to believe in his own caricature to such an extent that he can't see past it, even when a real-life skeptic is standing right in front of him. Part of the problem, I think, is his arrogance; I get the impression that he thinks he is on some kind of high ground above the skeptics, which given him a superior view of things.

    What I can't excuse is that he won't wake up even after being metaphorically slapped across the face and shown that his false characterisation does not apply in a number of specific instances that are right here in front of him, ready and willing to answer his questions and to help him adjust to reality.

    It's just plain rude to keep telling a lie about a person, and it's especially brazen to do so while the person in question is essentially standing right in front of you.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2023
  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    It was assigned by me, for reasons I have just explained to you, but which have been on the record in this thread for a long time before now.

    It is not a matter of simply disagreeing with him about UFOs. Relatively speaking, that disagreement is unimportant.

    Do you understand?
    But what you just said is, in a sense, the point of contention. Yazata is saying, explicitly and repeatedly, that his "movement skeptics" (a group that includes myself and DaveC) do not wonder what some of these UAPs actually are, because we have already decided they must be something "mundane". That is the lie.
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Both Yazata and MR have said that they do indeed believe the first (and most significant) bullet point in that list. I feel we must take their word on that.
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    You should stay out of this, especially if you're planning on adding some lies of your own.

    Nothing Yazata has said has been dismissed or "automatically invalidated". You know this.
    I can see a Godwin's law on the horizon.
    Yazata is a liar whose repeated lie is on the record.

    Once a liar does not mean always a liar. One can lie about some things and not others. I am not one for applying universal labels. I have been very specific.

    You are lying when you say that Yazata has not been listened to. He is the one who habitually ignores my posts, not the other way around. I get it. He doesn't like being called out. But there's a simple solution: just show some integrity. I'm certainly willing to forgive.
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    You're worried because I don't take UFO enthusiasts claims as seriously as you're like me to?

    Yes, I use terms like "little green men" from time to time to obliquely reference the more extravagant claims made by the tin foil hat brigade. (You're probably also put off by my using "tin foil hat brigade", because it's so disrespectful. But I think you have used it, too.)

    In part, yes, I'm having a bit of a dig at the more irrational arm of the UFO Believer community. Little green men is, of course, historically something that the forerunners of the current crop actually claimed.

    I try to make what I write interesting and engaging. I'm sure I'm not always successful in that. But, setting aside my particular choice of words, what is important is the message I'm trying to communicate. In that recent post where I referred to "little green men", it was in response to your comment on the importance of "official" entities like government and the military taking UFOs more seriously than they have in previous years. My point there was that all these official investigations will only change the status quo on UFOs if, in fact, they find good reasons to believe that some aliens (or time-travelling ghosts, or whatever) are actually visiting us.

    I think you understood my meaning the first time. I think that "little green men" was a harmless rhetorical flourish, there. You can't really complain that I didn't take you seriously, or the government investigations seriously. I have responded to you many times in detail. I have discussed the investigations many times, in detail.

    More generally, I think it's important to keep a sense of humour about things - it helps to recognise that we're not fighting over cattle stations here. This is, at bottom, just a discussion about a topic that we all find moderately engaging. People have different opinions. That's fine. We're all allowed to be wrong about things.
    Discussing MR's motivations and discussing your motivations are not the same thing.

    I honestly don't know what motivates MR. I have, at several times in the past, said that I would be fascinated to find out. I suspect that there's personal baggage in his past that has made him the way that he is. That's not a bad thing; we all have personal baggage. But I'd be interested to find out how somebody lands in a place where he so distrusts perceived authorities that he is willing to place blind trust in dubious alternative sources of supposed knowledge. On the other hand, maybe the explanation is much simpler. Maybe MR is just a troll winding us all up.

    I believe that I have only ever asked you to defend positions that you have taken. When I reply to you, I usually quote you. When I ask you questions, I refer to what you have written. I do not assume that you have hidden motives. I do not make assumptions about what you do or do not believe. If I don't know, and it is relevant to the discussion, I always ask.
    With respect, this has been covered over and over again: in this thread, in the UAP thread and elsewhere. Sometimes I wonder how much you actually read.

    All of the skeptics here, as far as I'm aware, are open to the possibility that space aliens exist. Speaking personally, I think it is likely that, somewhere else in the universe, there are intelligent aliens. At the same time, I am aware that we have no actual evidence of such, at present.

    It should not, at this stage, be necessary for me to repeat yet again that nobody here is "dismissing" the idea of aliens visiting earth, either. I'm not convinced there are any, because the sort of evidence that people say suggests such a conclusion is, in my opinion, extraordinarily weak and unpersuasive. I do not dismiss it. I evaluate it.

    I believe in the Eiffel Tower, for the same kinds of reasons that I don't believe aliens are visiting us. Some other people seem to apply different standards of evidence when it comes to aliens and the like, compared to the standards they apply to just about everything else in their daily lives.
    I agree with you, on that.
    It would be great if we could all have cordial conversations with honesty and mutual respect. Unfortunately, some people are less than honest. Some people are downright rude. Some people are probably here more for a fight than for the mutual exchange of ideas. I always try keep an open mind about people initially. But the more somebody posts here, the more you get to know them. Some people turn out to be liars or trolls. Some people turn out to be friendly, reasonable people. We get all kinds.
  21. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    It would be a zebra vs a horse scenario if it wasn't for the fact that the data on the uap was a factor in the description of it. But it was. The tic tac was seen maneuvering in ways and at speeds that defy aeronautical convention. It was seen hovering over some kind of churning platform on the sea's surface. And it had nothing suggesting it was anything mundane and was witnessed by multiple operators and sensors. If we infer it is a zebra it is because it shows traits of being something new and exotic. IOW the empirical data dictates the conclusions, not the biased assumption it is something mundane.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2023
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Magical Realist:
    Nice try, but dishonest. You just tried to pretend that something different was being discussed. Here's you, just a little bit earlier:
    Now, asserting that one thing is more probable than another, before we examine any evidence in the specific case, is what you were talking about before. It's why DaveC gave you the horse/zebra analogy.

    Faced with seeing something in the distance that you can't yet identify, you can't tell whether you're looking at a zebra or a horse. But, given that you know that zebras are practically unknown in them there hills, it is definitely more probable that you're looking at a horse than at a zebra.

    This is before you have any data that can enable you to make a positive ID, remember. You can certainly see something and maybe you can confirm that it's about the right size for a horse (or zebra) and that it has the right number of legs, but you can't make out any stripes (or lack thereof) through the mist.

    Nobody is making any assumption that it's going to turn out to be a horse. Yes, it's more likely that it's going to turn out to be a horse, as far as we can tell, using all the knowledge we already have at our disposal, but a probable outcome is not a certainty until it is observed.

    Of course, after we have obtained more evidence - which in the analogy might be a simple case of getting a closer look at the animal - then, to our astonishment, we might well discover that the previously-unidentified animal is, in fact, a zebra escaped from the town's zoo. But that doesn't mean we did something wrong in expecting the horse. Nobody said it definitely had to be a horse, at the start.

    You were dishonest - I assume deliberately - in your attempt to pretend that Dave's analogy was about making unwarranted assumptions about things when data to the contrary is available.

    Also, you told a lie when you pretended - again - that the tic tac was somehow measured as having extraordinary speeds or maneuverability. You know there are no such measurements.
  23. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    The assumption of what a uap most likely is without considering the data we have on it is totally useless. That's why I support data-driven conclusions, not specious and uninformed speculations of mere probabilities. You know...the actual science of it.

    “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
    ― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2023

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