Skeptics have already made their minds up about UAPs

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

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Clearly not. But you know this already. I assume you were aiming for a rhetorical flourish there, for the audience.

    If you feel insulted when I call out your Big Lie, there's a simple solution for that: stop telling the lie. Come on, this isn't hard.
    I wasn't contradicting myself, Yazata. I was being flippant. After all, it's hardly the first time I have walked you through this point about skeptical attitudes and assumptions, is it? If it makes you more comfortable, just substitute the more neutral word "claims" for the word "woo" in that sentence. There's no prejudgement involved. Not on new claims, anyway. Repeats of previously-debunked claims get different treatment, as they should.

    I wouldn't start patting yourself on the back for catching me out as a hypocrite just yet.
    I take no issue with "philosophical skepticism", so let's put that to one side.

    As for the rest, I'm afraid you're not making a very strong case.

    Consider first the alleged "desire to suppress". One might speculate on how you deduced that this is a typical desire of the "movement skeptic" (your label). But let's run with you assumption for a moment and ask: how is this project going for the movement skeptics? Is the skeptical movement successfully suppressing the UFO Believer movement? I would say that, all things considered, the UFO believers are doing pretty well at getting their beliefs out there in the public space. In fact, they tend to get a lot more airtime than these "movement skeptics" you are so critical of. Do you agree? So, the project of suppression is not going too well. Maybe the movement skeptics just aren't very good tyrants. What do you think?

    The same goes for "silencing" eruptions of woo, of course. I think you'll have a hard time finding any UFO believers who will claim they have been silenced by the skeptical movement. Please let me know if you do manage to find any.

    Then we have "discredit". Suppose we consider a hypothetical situation in which UFO believer A reports a UFO and claims it is an alien spaceship. Then, let us suppose, movement skeptic B uses the provided evidence to "debunk" the report, showing that, in fact, the reported "UAP" was a regular ('mundane') weather balloon. It seems, in this hypothetical example, that skeptic B has "discredited" believer A's claim. Do you agree?

    Now, is this a bad thing? Has skeptic B not revealed a truth that was previously not universally recognised, regarding believer A's claim? Are we to value the truth over lies/errors?

    Suppose, again, that we run with your claim that it is, in addition, skeptic B's fervent desire to "discredit" believer A's claims. Does this matter? What's true is true and what's false is false, regardless of anybody's motive for telling the truth or telling lies. B has exposed a truth. A told a lie, or maybe A just made an innocent mistake. Either way, regardless of B's motives in "debunking" A's claim, the truth has become known and easily accessible, whereas previously it was not. Is this not a good thing?

    Is it, perhaps, more important to you that believer A feels comfortable in his mistaken beliefs than it is for the truth to be told, because skeptic B's bad motives are more important to quash than A's errors and/or lies? I would like to know what you think about this.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2023
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    That's all very admirable of you. No doubt the CSICOP members (actually, it's just "CSI" now, officially) would applaud your skepticism of their judgments and their scientism. It would be hypocritical of them not to apply the same level of skepticism to their own claims and opinions as they do to the claims and opinions of others.

    Being skeptical of their judgments is one thing, though. But it sounds like you go further than that and disagree with their judgments. I'm interested in that. There must be, for instance, something that these excreble CSICOP people believe is "woo" which you, Yazata, don't believe is "woo". Can we talk about that, then? What thing is woo for them, but not for you? And, more importantly, tell me why it's not woo.
    I don't think you've looked very hard, then.

    I would put myself forward as an example of the kind of thing you're alleging. Consider myself in relation to MR, say. Have I ever agreed with anything MR has said? Have I ever admitted I might be wrong? Have I ever backed off or agreed to disagree? I'd say that I have done all of those things. Moreover, Yazata, words like "never" and "ever" are setting yourself up for failure, because there only needs to be one counterexample to disprove your claim.

    On the other hand, I'm willing to grant you a moment of flippant hyperbole, if you're willing to grant me one too, from time to time. What do you say?
    What exactly is your idea of an impossibly high standard when it comes to evidence for UFOs?

    Is it, for example, too much to ask for a few decent photographs of some UFOs - you know, ones that aren't out of focus or bereft of any detail of the object, that kind of thing? What about accurate recording of details of when and where the sighting happened; too much to ask? Too much to ask for multiple independent corroborations of the sighting? Too much to ask for any reproducibility?

    What area of science would accept the sort of poor data that is par for the course in UFO sightings? Would science accept "DNA is a double helix. Here, I took a photograph of some DNA that proves it! Yes, it's a bit blurry, and you can't actually see the helical structure in the photo, but it's definitely there, I assure you. My friend Fred has another photo just like this one. Also, I heard that a science lab in China took some photos like this once, and they told me that yes, DNA is definitely a double helix. So, it must be true!"

    On the broader question of "what evidence would a skeptic accept?", that's not a particularly hard question, Yazata. The answer is: skeptics would accept the sort of evidence that you would demand before you would accept the existence of virtually anything else. There's a reason you don't believe in Bigfoot, but you do believe in the New York Yankees. Maybe think about that for a while.

    People who are unconvinced of something can become convinced. It happens all the time. All they need is to be presented with (or to find for themselves) something that convinces them. What convinces skeptics is convincing evidence. Anecdotes and fuzzy photos of lights in the sky is probably not going to convince a skeptic that alien spaceships are visiting, even though such things are obviously enough to convince somebody like MR. That's because MR is open to become convinced without evidence. Or, rather, he has already become convinced for reasons that have very little to do with the strength of the evidence.
    Your tolerance for clowns might be higher than mine. But even if that is the case, I don't think this claim of yours is accurate. You constantly give MR a free pass. Don't you think it's time you started to acknowledge that MR is a grown-up adult man who really ought to be able to take some responsibility for his own behaviour? Why do you let him hide in your skirts, metaphorically speaking?
    Ooh. Snarky!

    But apparently, it's me who is the angry one here.

    Previously, I would have thought you would be above telling silly lies just to try to insult me, but this is where you've got yourself to now. It's a real shame, Yazata. I guess it seems worthwhile to you? Look at what you're sacrificing. Is it worth it?
    I think I have already covered the Big Lie thing about prejudging woo - much more than ought to be necessary.

    I don't know where you got the thing about my presuming who is and isn't skilled at "rational thought". I don't believe I have made any statements about any such thing. Nor have I made any claims about "rational thought" leading inexorably to skepticism (of either brand).

    So, I end this with a shrug of puzzlement. Maybe this was just another attempted insult from you (?)
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2023
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Magical Realist:
    You haven't been paying attention.

    You have posted countless UAP accounts here that I haven't commented on at all, let alone tried to debunk. On occasion, I have delved into trying to make some useful progress towards getting to the bottom of one or other of the countless accounts you cut and paste to here. This is something you have never attempted to do, I might add, except for a few places where you started with such a blatantly obvious error that you thought you ought to post a retraction before you made yourself look stupider than usual.

    My main interest in this thread does not lie in examining or "trying to debunk" particular UAP reports. Rather, it lies in trying to educate people in the best ways to approach such investigations, whether or not they end up "debunking" or confirming something in the end. Of course, when it comes to you, this is a failed project of mine, because you've proven yourself mostly immune to education.
    Like I said, you haven't been paying attention - not to any of the right things, anyway.

    If, instead of just TL;DRing all my posts, you had taken some time to read them and then - god forbid - actually think about the content, you might not be stuck in the state you're in.

    Trust me, MR. I always have an aim in mind when I make a long post. Mostly, I try to avoid rambling, but there can be a bit of that. Personally, I prefer to think of my rambles as interesting footnotes. You are not obliged to read anything I write, naturally. If my erudite and interesting style is not to your taste, you can always go and soak up some more mindless content from your youtube feed, for example. I'm sure the algorithm keeps you happy and oblivious.
    It might have something to do with your constant bumping of the thread with your next fuzzy photo etc. Then, there's stuff that could be said about attempts (successful or failed) at education. Then there's the fact that some people are interested in trying to solve mysteries. Then there's the pop culture aspect of the whole thing. Not to mention the connections to other forms of woo. And so on and so forth. No doubt somewhere in all that, there's an element of sheer bloodymindedness, too.
    There are lots of mysteries in my world, Magical Realist. I have lots of questions that I don't know the answers to. It's fine. I'm not phased by a lack of certainty or by an absence of easy, comfortable answers to fill the gaps in my knowledge. (Are you?)

    Most unsolved UFO cases are unsolved because sufficient evidence (or evidence of sufficient quality) is not available to enable a solution. Is it a problem if somebody reports a flying metallic sphere and there's insufficient evidence to identify it? Of course not. It just gets put in the (rather large) box labelled "Mysteries Yet to be Solved". In 5 days, or 10 years or 1000 years, that box might be opened and the case moved into the "Solved mysteries" box, if and when sufficient evidence becomes available and/or a new idea occurs to somebody as to how to solve the mystery. Or that might never happen. It's all good. It's okay not to know everything.

    The bigger problem lies in people pretending to know the answers when they don't. The claim that says "That metallic sphere is an alien spaceship", when there's insufficient evidence to enable a reasonable person to draw that conclusion, represents an error of some kind - an error in thinking, an error in false presumption, or some other error. It's a good thing to correct errors when they occur. It's a good thing to believe true things and to reject false things. You should try it some time.
    What do you imagine that scientists get paid to do all day, Magical Realist? Honestly, sometimes you come across as completely clueless. You own a microwave oven, right? Here's a thought: there was time when science didn't know about microwaves. What happened between then and now, I wonder...
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Okay, Magical Realist. If you really want to play things that way, we can do that. Just be aware that you're asking to play with a double-edged sword, there.

    Let's just make sure we're both clear on how this will work, hypothetically, if you want change. If I am to stop "flaming" you (which I would interpret as holding your feet to the fire for your inanities and silly exaggerated claims and your acting the fool), then you will also stop flaming everybody else here - myself included, naturally. Angry outbursts from you will be met with official warnings and possibly bans, from now on. There will be no more kid gloves or free passes for you.

    We can do this, if it's what you want. Alternatively, you and I can keep having these - dare I say it - freer discussions, in which each of us comments on the other's behaviours and perceived failings and applaudable traits, and I will continue to overlook some of your more excusable slips into anger, insult and flaming - particularly where I am your target.

    I'm happy either way. If you really want change, you can have it your way. Let me know.
    Not extradimensional ghosts any more, then? No time travel? Or are they still on the table as well?

    The problem with your new position, as you ought to be aware, is that you have zero evidence for anything being "piloted by non-human beings" (*), or being "remotely operated AI probes" (excluding any human-built remotely operated AI probes that might exist). So, it seems to me that you lack any good reasons for believing what you believe about UAPs. In that respect, that's where you've been since day 1 on UAPs; you're a man with firm beliefs held for no good reason.

    Since your beliefs about UAPs seem to float around from time to time, as the fancy takes you, I generally use the term "aliens" as a catchall term which you can take to encompass whatever woo you're currently invested in, regarding UAPs.

    If you ever have good evidence for non-human pilots and the like, please let me know. I am quite happy to revise my opinions in the light of actual evidence, as you know.
    Correct. You can only assert. What you should be doing is trying to find some evidence to back up your assertions. Or - better - stop making assertions before you have any evidence to support them.
    Who do you think you're fooling with that nonsense? Come on, don't be ridiculous. Stop clowning.

    (*) ape astronauts, dogs driving cars etc. excepted.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2023
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    There's nothing exactly "freer" about posts that derail the thread and rant on about how terrible and stupid and clownish a particular poster is. If that's your idea of a "freer discussion" then you are sorely ignorant of the basics of internet etiquette as mandated by Sci Forums rules. Just apply the golden rule: would YOU like a conversation that always descends into flaming and name-calling and accusations of trolling and bullying with threats of infractions and banning? No? Then don't expect me to enjoy it either. You are a grown adult James. Act in accord with your own personal ethical standard if you have one. If you can't manage to do that, then don't expect me to respond to your schoolyard taunts with interesting and engaging posts.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2023
    Yazata likes this.
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Doing research that gets them funded by corporations and the government? To be honest, I won't be happy until they invent a silent leafblower. Seriously! How hard can that be? Corporations would make a fortune on it!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Last edited: Sep 9, 2023
    Yazata likes this.
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps you just go ahead and "post interesting and engaging posts" * for no other reason than because it is "in accord with your own personal ethical standard, if you have one". Tantamount to to 'taking the high road' and/or aspiring to 'be the bigger man'.

    * What makes them interesting and engaging, by SciFo definition, is "an ethos of respect for the scientific method, which demands critical analysis, clear thinking and evidence-based argument".
  11. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    NASA are doing exactly that, looking into UAPs and I cited the site in my post.
    You said you do not know what UAP are but say that they are "technology beyond human capabilities." That is claiming what they are isn't it? They could be something else.
    Skeptics do not make their minds up and leave it at that. Certainly not on this kind of an issue.
    I currently have a view but reports from NASA could change that.
  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I still don't know what kind of technology uaps are. Their flight behavior suggests some anti-gravity and even anti-inertial capability. They zip around with no wings or control surfaces at supersonic speed. They come to a standstill and change directions like ping pong balls. They appear and disappear in ways that seem to defy the laws of physics. They show no traces of heat exhaust or jet propulsion. And most accounts reveal they are totally silent. What do you think they are?
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2023
  13. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I don't need the scientific method to know what exists and what doesn't exist. Neither do you. Existing things, including uaps, reveal their being and their nature by being experienced and observed by humans. That's why the scientific method starts with observation--the fact that there is a new and strange phenomenon here that needs analysis and understanding. Assuming the phenomenon is only something that needs to be debunked as some known phenomenon is against the true spirit of science. We should always be open and eager to encounter new things, even if it disrupts all our theories of what can and can't be.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2023
  14. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    I don't know what they are. That is kind of the point.
    Have you ever seen a meteor shower?
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Yes, you do. Because without the scientific method, "God did it" is a perfectly acceptable explanation.

    Thunder? That's God making noise.
    Lightning? That's God showing his displeasure.

    Prove me wrong without using science.

    Yep. And conversely, saying "woah! Look at that thing GO! It can't be anything terrestrial or man-made; it must be aliens" is also against the scientific method.
    Pinball1970 likes this.
  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Noone said anything about positing God as an adequate explanation for a phenomenon. Simply regarding it as an unknown and unexplained is generally the best attitude to take until more knowledge is gained about it. See Aaron Rodgers' sighting:
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2023
  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Yes..Why do you ask that?
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member


    Misinterpretation of events is also a valid possibility.

    No visible wings or control surfaces apparent. We've been over this. Wings and propulsion on flying objects are not always visible.
    You've seen pics of airplanes with no visible wings.
    You've seen pics of other craft with no visible means of propulsion.

    A possible intepretation, but not the only one. There are valid interpretations of events that do not result in supersonic speeds. We've been over this.

    One possible interpretation of many. We've been over this.

    "Seem" is doing a lot of heavy lifting here.
    Things are not what they seem all the time and our world does not burn.

    Lots of human craft show no traces of heat exhaust or jet propulsion. We've been over this.

    "I didn't hear anything" is not the same is "are totally silent".
    Also, many human craft are totally silent. We've been over this.
    Certainly it is quite common for craft that normally make a lot of noise to not be audible under the right conditions. We've been over this.
  19. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    What did you think they were? The lights?
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Meteorites. What did you think they were?
  21. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    Meteorites. Did you work it out? How did you do that?
    How did you know what to call them?
    Why did you not think they were non human technology?
  22. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Because they are meteorites. I learned it all in science class. When did you learn it?
  23. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    I cannot remember. Can you see what I am getting at though?

Share This Page