In defence of space aliens

Discussion in 'UFOs, Ghosts and Monsters' started by Magical Realist, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    OK, in crayons then:

    Don't post on science forums until you have learned grade school critical thinking skills.
     
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  3. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Is that another made up rule? Since when are you the rule-maker for Sci Forums?
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    You are expected to exercise critical thinking skills. It's in the site rules. Please review them.

    It's up to you to learn up if you missed it in grade school.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
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  7. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    You have no idea what critical thinking is. It's just a made up term for thinking and believing like I think and believe.

    “Most people do not have a problem with you thinking for yourself, as long as your conclusions are the same as or at least compatible with their beliefs.”
    ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    And that misapprehension is why you are 60 infractions deep.
    Facebook will suit you better.

    We're done here.
     
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    You really are desperate to get rid of me aren't you? You really should ask yourself why...
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    To iterate, lest you think that's actually true:
     
  11. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 71 years old Valued Senior Member

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    The green light which lit up a helicopter with 4 people on board and apparently caused it to shift position at a speed which would have killed those 4 people, but didn't

    Never did get any response, analysis, discussion, critical thinking, etc etc from you about that event

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  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    There was a time when I didn't post to you because of your trolling. As for that particular case, I remember discussing it thoroughly with several posters here. It stands as one the most compelling ufo/military encounters ever reported.
     
  13. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 71 years old Valued Senior Member

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    Strange never did get reported or warned about such activity

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  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I don't report trolling as some of the biggest offenders of that offense in this forum are the moderators themselves.
     
  15. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    As I said earlier, MR (and Q-reeus) sometimes propose their own hypotheses as to what some of the things seen in the sky might be. I don't recall them ever announcing that they actually know that their ideas are the correct explanations. If they did, I would have to disagree with them. They seem to me to just be speculations that seem to have the advantage of addressing some perplexing aspects of the phenomena under discussion. I don't see anything wrong with proposing hypotheses, provided that it's clear that they are speculative.

    That's precisely what the self-styled "skeptics" are doing, after all. For example, they imagine that the tic-tacs might have been cavorting whales, flights of birds, poorly performing equipment, operator errors, misperceptions... all without any knowledge that the events were attributable to any of those things. Just somebody's speculation that they might have been. With little or no explanation of how all of these various faults, each with very different etiologies, all came together and cohered so as to form the false perception of a UAP. And that kind of speculation somehow turns into an assertion (in places like Skeptical Inquirer or on Mick West's Metabunk website) that the original observation has been thoroughly "debunked". But again, I don't see anything wrong with "skeptics" proposing their own hypotheses (as long as it's kept in mind that they are merely their personal opinion, speculative hypotheses and not some kind of final truth on the matter).

    Once again, I think that the most intelligent course to take is to simply say Something seems to have been happening and we don't know what it was. Simple, defensible, doesn't get out ahead of the evidence. Premature leaps in either direction (It's just familiar things in unfamiliar configuration!! It's paranormal or extraterrestrial!!) are simply that, speculative leaps at this early point. In my opinion that kind of premature speculation has very little persuasive force.

    Though I have to admit that as I said in my response to Sarkus, my feeling that we understand far less about the reality around us than most people would like to admit, makes me feel affinity to those who want to think (with some justification) that there might well be new and interesting phenomena showing themselves in some of these cases. But my own pre-existing worldview (monist and metaphysically naturalist in a very broad sense) makes me shy away from many of the things Q-reeus and MR say. That's where I'm coming from. I'm not prepared to completely endorse either side in this little war. But I most decidedly want to promote intelligent open-minded discussion. (It's like spitting into the wind here on Sciforums.)

    Where I think that this thread goes off the rails over and over is the abuse and invective with which other people's ideas are attacked. People who disagree are not only dismissed as being wrong (often with little justification for that dismissal), not only are they charaterized as being intellectually inferior and logically deficient, they are also being condemned in some moral sense. (Everything in our day and age has been moralized.) So we have the very peculiar concept of "woo", which apparently doesn't just mean ideas that we personally disagree with, or even ideas that are wrong in some more objective sense, but some kind of moral evil that must be driven from the face of the earth. (Video game first-person-shooter epistemology.) We never get an explanation for the underlying authoritarian impulse, for why it's so important that everyone think alike.

    There's lots of talk these days about "diversity" making us stronger somehow (that's never explained) but if there's any underlying truth to it, then I'd say that intellectual diversity is the most important kind of diversity of them all. The openness to a range of different opinions about things. Today's intellectually intolerant climate is very reminiscent of the old religious missionary impulse and may have similar psychological origins. I suppose that's because these positions that people are taking are based not on intelligent open-minded examination of the available evidence, but rather in defense of their already-entrenched worldviews. That's what this thread seems to me to be about. It's why people seem to be so emotionally wound up by the fact that there are people here who don't think precisely as they do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
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  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    The argument against something because it is "woo" seems to me fundamentally tied to the fallacy of incredulity. That something seems so mysterious or unexplainable to you that it can't possibly be true. Afterall, who has ever heard of an unexplained phenomena? It must therefore be woo.

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    I would've thought that any serious student of science would know better than that by now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
  17. foghorn Registered Senior Member

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    ↑'' I don't recall them ever announcing that they actually know that their ideas are the correct explanations.''↑
    That ↑ was only 20 days ago.
    Notice MR stresses the ''ARE'', there's no doubt for MR about what ufos are.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
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  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Why "unfortunately"? Admitting we don't know something is the first prerequisite to our learning more about it.

    The case isn't closed as far as I know.

    Hoax? Maybe, if the purpose of the "tic-tac" flap was to make potential enemies (China, Russia, whoever) worry that the US has lots of undisclosed technology up its sleeve.

    We might learn more and we might not.

    1. If the "tic-tacs" were some American cutting-edge technology "black program" (a program that officially doesn't exist) that was being tested against the radars and aircraft of a carrier battle group, then I doubt if we will hear a whole lot more. They might or might not be happy that this much leaked. Unhappy because it cast more light on the existence of their secret project than they might like, but happy because the very possibility of the US possessing breakthrough technology will have a deterrent effect on potential enemies like China.

    1a. If they want the existence of this hypothetical thing to remain totally secret, then I'd expect heavier security classifications for encounters and tougher penalties for anyone who makes the encounters public.

    1b. If they want to keep the technical details secret but want the possibility of these hypothetical things to leak to potential adversaries for deterrent effect, then I expect more tantalizing reports to leak.

    2. If the UAPs turn out to be something potentially more threatening (actual aircraft with breakthrough technology from some as-yet unknown foreign or more exotic source) then we will see the military go to a higher threat posture if the things reappear.

    3. If the UAPs turn out to be some as yet unknown natural phenomenon, we will probably see more attempts to study it whenever the things reappear. We would likely see efforts to collaborate with academia which would inevitably leak.

    4. If they judge that unknown things in the sky represent a danger to air traffic, even if it's just drones and aerial junk, we will see the FAA taking a lot more interest.

    5. And the "skeptics" might turn out to have been right (they can simultaneously be assholes and still be right) that nothing interesting was physically present.

    5a. A great deal might depend on whether all this was indeed a hoax designed to make potential adversaries worry that the US has devastating new technology up its sleeve, in which case tantalizing leaks about exotic encounters will continue as in 1b. above.

    5b. The Sciforums "skeptics" were right that anyone who took any of this seriously was intellectually inferior and logically deficient. In which case I'd expect a big "debunking" report and continuing ridicule and career damage for anyone making these kind of reports.

    The UAP task force hasn't been disbanded. It just released a preliminary assessment of their findings to that point because congress told them they had to. It's operating under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and makes use of the military's and the various intelligence agencies' assets and capabilities as the need arises.

    While they are unlikely to tell the public very much (these kind of people classify their own bowel movements) as I suggested above, we can probably discern a great deal about their thinking by how the military and civilian aviation agencies behave from here. Most of that won't be visible to the public, but some of it will be.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Yazata,

    (Did you read my posts #5396-8? If not, perhaps you should.)
    They are notoriously cagey about their ideas. To tell the truth, I think they are secretly aware that their "theories" about what the UFOs really are come across as a bit childishly ludicrous, when exposed to the light of day, so they prefer to keep them hidden in the background. From time to time, they haven't been able to restrain themselves, though, so we have some idea about what their beliefs are, in a general sense. Another observation I would make is that they probably don't want to solidify their own beliefs too much, because anything too specific becomes easier to debunk. There's a self-protection mechanism built into the way they think about the woo.

    Don't forget, too, that regardless of how much they protest that they don't know what UFOs are, they are quite happy to spend most of their time insisting on what UFOs are not. First and foremost, UFOs aren't allowed to be anything "mundane". I've seen Magical Realist go (metaphorically) red in the face insisting that one of his UFO tales has not been debunked, even in the face of quite overwhelming evidence. Do you remember his song and dance tantrum about the Japanese ghost on the beach?
    Try to keep in mind what is being "debunked" by the skeptics. It is not the general idea that UFOs could be alien visitors. That idea is impossible to debunk and no skeptic worth his salt would attempt to do it. What is being debunked, case by case, are unsupportable claims that this particular UFO is an alien spaceship, or, more generally, that this particular UFO must be something other than a mundane object, a natural occurrence, a mistake in perception, etc. It is the continual over-reach by the True Believers that is being "debunked". The breathless wide-eyed credulity to any and every claim of the "paranormal". The foundationless belief that all UFO cases are "compelling" proof of whatever woo the Believer has already decided to believe is real.
    Skeptics tend to use scientific language and methodology. In science, there is almost never a "final truth" on any matter, so scientists typically couch their language in terms of levels of confidence, and so do skeptics. The conclusions that skeptics often come to, following an extensive investigation into a UFO sighting, is that the most probable explanation is such-and-such, from among the various possible explanations (which necessarily include all the "woo" explanations, by the way). Typically, the most difficult "paranormal" cases involve very poor data, or just a lack of relevant data points. That can mean that skeptics have to settle for listing possible explanations, without necessarily being able to determine that any one is the "most probable" from among competing possibilities. Lots of "hard" cases end up as "unsolved due to lack of sufficient evidence pointing towards one explanation". But that's just fine. It is only the True Believers who are constantly demanding (and claiming) absolute certainty. Because they already decided what the thing was (or, at the very least, what long list of things it couldn't possibly be) upon first hearing the story; no investigation required!
    It turns out, though, that a very large number of cases are actually amenable to investigation, which can turn up persuasive new evidence. True Believers tend to want to avoid such investigations, because they are afraid that the conclusions they jumped to at the start might be "debunked".
    Can you honestly say that you think MR's approach to UFOs - or any of the myriad other kinds of woo he believes in - is remotely open-minded or intelligent? He spends his life with his head stuck determinedly in the sand. As for Q-reeus, he goes into an incandescent rage when his beliefs are challenged, making nasty personal attacks on those whom he sees as threatening to prick his bubble.
    Some of the people you are talking about have been here for years. They are well known. After so much time observing them, the only viable explanations for their behaviours are (a) they really are too stupid to be able to think critically about their beliefs, or (b) they are intellectually dishonest interlocutors, willing to tell lies and to troll to protect their fragile positions and egos.

    Believe me, I sympathise with your view that it would be great if everybody would just play nice with one another and discuss things in an atmosphere of mutual respect yada yada yada. Those kinds of good intentions are embedded in our site posting guidelines. They are what we should always aim at. Unfortunately, though, there are plenty of people who don't want to play by those rules. After you spend a sufficiently long time interacting with somebody to learn that they are essentially a dishonest troll or an immature crybaby or similar, you are inevitably faced with a choice between several options, including: (1) just stop interacting with that person and let them go on their merry way looking for unwary new victims on which to ply their wares; (2) Take off the kid gloves and start trying to hold them responsible for their words and actions, like adults; (3) don't feed the trolls, but be sure to warn others who might be victimised by them or their propaganda; (4) exclude them from your community.

    Being a dishonest troll is a moral failing, and there's nothing wrong with morally condemning trolls in my book.
    The moral problem is not the woo itself, but with what people do with it. If the woo is just a private hobby - which it certainly can be for many people - then it only poses a threat to the believer in the false things. But when the woo is proselytised and (as it often is) monetised, that can and does cause measurable harms to other people - potentially to very large groups of people. Right now in the United States you have large groups of people pushing false conspiracy theories about Donald Trump and the illegitimacy of the current administration; that is actually an underrated threat to your democracy. Similarly, over the past year, the promotion of anti-vaccine woo has led directly to the deaths of tens of thousands of people. Don't kid yourself that this stuff is just harmless fun. Some of it is a moral evil, and we should condemn it.
     
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    How does my belief that ufos are in the every least an otherworldly phenomena constitute a threat to me? How does it endanger me to reject the debunkers' assumption that all ufos are merely mistaken mundane objects like flocks of birds or the planet Venus? What's at stake for you here, that you should put so much energy and effort to prove ufos aren't real? Your emotional and moralistic reaction to me and Qreeus is well nigh sanctimonious and is way in excess of what it should be. Why all the melodrama James? What do you think you are saving us from? If we don't agree with you, so what? Life goes on, and everybody is happy. Right?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
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  21. foghorn Registered Senior Member

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    My bold above. ''ALL''
    Your way (MR) is not to assume ufos are craft, but ''ARE'' craft with no assumption about it.
    Others here, like to look at the offered evidence before assuming they ''ARE'' are craft.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
  22. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not prepared to go that far, MR. 'Anomalous', perhaps. That's my chosen word. "Inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected." They are obviously that. But calling them "otherworldly", if taken literally, gets too far out in front of the evidence and just provides ammo to your critics. Calling them "craft" creates similar problems for you.

    I don't want to think of this as an either-or choice between just those two alternatives: otherworldly-craft or nothing-of-interest. To me the unknown is an unbounded set. We don't know how big it is (It contains most of the universe's facts and its deepest principles), we don't know where its outer limits are, and simply by definition we don't know what it contains (That's unknown). So there might be any number of possibilities making themselves felt that we haven't even thought of yet.

    People in general don't like it when others believe things that they don't believe. Just look at the history of religions for abundant evidence of that (or contemporary politics).

    And there's always been a psychological comfort in believing that one has reality all figured out, such that anything that at first seems surprising or anomalous can quickly be reduced to the familiar and assigned to an existing conceptual category. ('Oh, that's what it is!').

    What's more there's undoubtedly a psychological attraction to talking down to people, to setting them straight, to assuming the position of superiority in interpersonal relationships.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
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  23. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    So what? What do you think they are? Informed speculation is welcome with me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021

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