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Ecto76

Question for Skeptics!

110 posts in this topic

I agree with pretty much all the sentiment expressed here, from the explanations of what most people go through that compels them to post on a paranormal site, from a skeptical point of view, but also that while it is easy to want to pigeonhole people and views into "skeptic" and "believer", except for simplicity's sake, there is so much more depth to both, and you can't paint with that wide a brush in reality.

I think the reason "skeptics" post here is really, the same reason believers do, from an underlying motive point-of-view. Both want to share and learn and help others learn. I post, for example, alternate explanations or things that someone should take into consideration when they report seeing figures or hearing things when they wake up from being asleep, because it keeps people from reinventing the wheel and puts them right on track to sort their experiences, realizing they could either be mundane misidentified ones, or they can reply with information that defies those types of explanations, and I myself learn something, new reals or experiences, that I then need to look into further. It is a checks and balances situation, where we keep each other, and ourselves, "honest", and informed, by providing what we know, to others, and having them respond in kind, with hopefully both (all) of us learning something new, or even just that our idea is confirmed, or not, all of which are valid and useful results.

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There's only 1 real "skeptic" in this topic. So if you want an answer from a real skeptic, you should only listen to Nibs.

The real definition of being skeptic is to inquire or to find out. The rest who thinks they are "skeptics" are just more akin to cynicism.

A little scenario.

Person 1: I have just seen a ghost!

The skeptic: Okay! Where and when.

Person 1: Yesterday in the woods.

The skeptic: Okay, let's see if we can find any evidence.

---------

Person 1: I have just seen a ghost!

The cynic: No you haven't, do you have any evidence to back up that claim?

Bottom line, real skeptics reply because they want to find out. The cynic reply because they want to show you, that you are wrong.

:D

you don't have to travel the world to inquire and find out. you can sit in the library or perhaps make some calls. that is also inquiring and finding out. hey, you could even come to forums online to inquire and find out. i do...

yes there is a difference between a skeptic and a cynic.

a skeptic wants to get at the truth, the reality of a thing.

a cynic just wants to cast doubt. not really interested in what is being discussed, just wanting to be contrary to it.

by that definition, there are not that many cynics on these boards. mostly just weary skeptics, reading the same fantasies over and over.

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You probably think I am being sarcastic, but in your own post you mentioned collecting great evidence over the years. I am sincerely interested in at least hearing about your findings.

Again it's the reason I read these threads, the "what if" one day I log on and there is a post about some experiences with some decent evidence, something not even 100% concrete, but something that stands against the typical scrutiny we skeptics normally throw at it.

I like truly unexplainable stories that can be theorized about but not truly disproven. Like the IRAN UFO incident, (even hazzard is interested in that one hehe) and the the real life Entity case that Sakari introduced me to.

So, please feel free to share some of the overwhelming evidence you have collected that led you to know that the paranormal is real.

Thanks!

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i am a true believer ,

wel i think we all just want 1 thing...

skeptic = listen to me i am right !

believer = no you listen to me i am right. !

so lets declare war ! on who is right or wrong. ! ah wait the war is alrdy going on .. :D

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i am a true believer ,

wel i think we all just want 1 thing...

skeptic = listen to me i am right !

believer = no you listen to me i am right. !

so lets declare war ! on who is right or wrong. ! ah wait the war is alrdy going on .. :D

Lol, I think it's time for the war to stop. Points, thoughts, facts, and feelings tossed back and forth without so much ego, or us vs. them getting in the way. Maybe I'm just a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

Well, I am, but only in screen name. :lol:

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I second that Only! :yes:

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So Ecto you aren't going to share anything about the overwhelming evidence you've collected over the years that made you a beleiver? :cry:

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Sent you a PM CakeorDeath... I'm all ears to hear any alternatives if you have any. :tu:

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Sent you a PM CakeorDeath... I'm all ears to hear any alternatives if you have any. :tu:

Yes, that's how a discussion forum should work... :rolleyes:

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Ecto. Not want to share them with all of us?

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Chriz does that mean I get a little respect? lol... :tu:

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_Only, you're so welcome. I hope I can predict something else for you!

For those of you who say advising someone to visit a psychiatrist is insulting, you are wrong. I refer to a thread or two that was closed recently by the board owner Saru who suggested just that to the OP as it was obvious the OP was mentally unstable. Also there is no shame in mental illness and it doesn't mean that you see ghosts. It's no different than having cancer or diabetes. It's a disease. OCD or bi-polar illness (I have both) shouldn't come into play unless someone recognizes the symptoms and suggests psychiatry and it shouldn't offend anyone.

And I agree with everything the sensible ppl have said so far that if you want a board full of believers, just go start one somewhere and QYB. Not everyone makes things up, they truly believe what they experienced was paranormal. What is frustrating is when a 'skeptic' (don't really like that label) presents logical explanations and the person refuses to consider what is said.

Pic time to lighten mood:

eddie_md.jpg

Above is for CakeorDeath

This is for Jgirl:

yeaahh.gif

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To be honest... I would prefer someone with a PHD or is in the medical profession tell me I am nuts then someone I don't know from a hole in the wall!? :rofl:

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_Only, you're so welcome. I hope I can predict something else for you!

For those of you who say advising someone to visit a psychiatrist is insulting, you are wrong. I refer to a thread or two that was closed recently by the board owner Saru who suggested just that to the OP as it was obvious the OP was mentally unstable. Also there is no shame in mental illness and it doesn't mean that you see ghosts. It's no different than having cancer or diabetes. It's a disease. OCD or bi-polar illness (I have both) shouldn't come into play unless someone recognizes the symptoms and suggests psychiatry and it shouldn't offend anyone.

And I agree with everything the sensible ppl have said so far that if you want a board full of believers, just go start one somewhere and QYB. Not everyone makes things up, they truly believe what they experienced was paranormal. What is frustrating is when a 'skeptic' (don't really like that label) presents logical explanations and the person refuses to consider what is said.

Pic time to lighten mood:

eddie_md.jpg

Above is for CakeorDeath

This is for Jgirl:

yeaahh.gif

I think you have take into account the context of the post to see whether or not the suggestions of a psychiatrist is meant as an insult or not. :)

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Posted (edited)

Besides sceptics, cynics, and believers, there are also people like me who are interested in talking with those who have had a similar experiences. If in the course of having this conversation, someone demands proof or evidence, are we obligated to provide it or change the intent of the conversation from sharing experiences to providing validation for it? I think not. We're not here to convince anyone of the truth of our experiences, nor are we stupid, as other posters have suggested, nor gullible, nor crazy, nor suffer from lack of discernment. While we trust our own experiences, what our senses tell us, we don't believe every story that's posted. If it's similar to ours, we're interested enough to have a conversation, an exchange of information. By doing so, we gain information that helps us determine the believability factor.

If we limit the conversation to just believers and sceptics, are we not excluding the vast ground between the two where most of us dwell?

Edited by Beany

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To be honest... I would prefer someone with a PHD or is in the medical profession tell me I am nuts then someone I don't know from a hole in the wall!? :rofl:

Suggesting someone be checked by a medical professional does not constitute calling you nuts. Once again I refer to Saru closing a couple of threads recently based on his opinion of that and Saru isn't a Phd or in the medical profession.

I think you have take into account the context of the post to see whether or not the suggestions of a psychiatrist is meant as an insult or not. :)

I agree totally.

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Posted (edited)

To be honest... I would prefer someone with a PHD or is in the medical profession tell me I am nuts then someone I don't know from a hole in the wall!? :rofl:

Touche'

I would prefer people without PHD's not tell people that they have spooks or demons running around, when they very well could have a medical issue.

And / Or replace " PHD's " with " contractor / electrical / etc. "........and " medical issue " with " structural / electrical / pest / etc. "

Complete amateurs ( calling themselves paranormal experts ) telling people they have a " haunting " ( a completeley un -proven myth ) when they could and do have a problem that could be fixed by a " expert " is ignorant, and could also be very dangerous.

Edited by Sakari
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You can take this any way you want... but. My question to "skeptics" is if you do not believe in the Paranormal or Ghosts why do you reply to posts that discuss the subject? I hope the intention is for good intentions and not to mess with people's heads because that's just plain wrong. People are entitled to their opinions and beliefs. Not everyone lies or makes up stories. Not everyone is perfect and not everyone is right. I'd like to think when it comes to the Paranormal that the possibilities are unlimited. I think its a good topic!? :innocent:

For one ( I used to be a believer ) to help educate people with REAL infromation......I.E.

Ok, I am tired of people learning about EMF's from paranormal teams, and TAPS.....

The " EMF's can make you sick, hallucinate, etc. ".........

Please take the time to read these links.....This is factual information on EMF's, what they are, why they are here, etc,etc,etc.........People used to think they caused cancer.

Anyway, talk to electricians about EMF's, not ghost hunters.......We are all exposed to it in various amounts 24/7.

Here is the information, please read it so that next time you read claims, and reports, you will have knowledge about them, and will not be fooled.The National Institue of Environmental Health Sciences is your source, and is also the place who studies things that can effect our health.....I believe their studies, and research, and explanations should be sufficient, don't you?

http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=222978&hl=

And to answer the rest, try these : ( this question is and has been answered 100's of time here )

I want to thank all of the " skeptics " out there....For without you:

I would be sleeping with my light on.

I would be sleeping with a 9 MM under my pillow.

I would never sleep.

I would be spending my hard earned money at the Tarot Card reader.

I would be buying haunted items on ebay.

I would think the footage I saw from my dad's video was mothman and not from a movie.

I would think every thing in the sky was a alien attack.

I would think meteor's were a sign of the apocolypse.

I would believe Tom Biscardi.

I would believe Sylvia Brown.

I would believe Sylvanic exists.

I would believe the world is flat.

I would believe Doctors and Surgery are bad.

I would have cases on cases of bottled water left over from y2k.

I would be a bird hoarder.

I would never go in the forest.

I would never replace light bulbs.( waiting for the ghost to turn lights back on )

I would still think the michigan dogman footage is real.

I would think 9/11 was caused by the US Government.

I would have died from the brain tumor that was removed from my head by getting numerous exorcisms.

Ya , ya .....Some sarcasm.....My point is , if everyone believed everything they read and heard ,and were taught , we would be pretty ignorant wouldn't we?

If people did not question things , we would never know what they are , or how they work.we would be taken advantage of with :"snake oils ".

What a boring and sad world this would be if everyone agreed on these things...

Of course there are things out there that are " un-explained " , and without " skeptics " we would never get to the bottom of them.

Believe it or not , I have seen many topics on here where people were actually concerned about things , and with the help of healthy debate , and healthy education from people here , they actually thanked " skeptics " for finding out the cause.

So , Thank You Skeptics for helping to get answers on any given topic...... :yes:

And this topic as a reference also to your question :

A lot of people still think "skeptics" are this group of people standing in corners shaking their heads no , and waving their index fingers in the air.Some people think skeptics have not experienced things, and just refuse to believe anything because of this.In reality, I believe a lot of skeptics have experienced things, but do not jump to conclusions on it.

I am asking the skeptics here to share anything they may have experienced, and not asking for a debate on what they could have seen, nor a debate on skeptics vs believers.Maybe a way to show we also experience things, but we look at them in a different way, and find explanations.( not all of the time ).....................

http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=203763&st=0

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Skeptics are entitled to their own opinion and beliefs. Believers are entitled to their own opinion and beliefs. It does not make us crazy or irrational. I just ask if you plan to reply to a believer's post... do it to help them.

I have to admit there are not enough amateurs doing the right thing. This is because they are not being properly educated. I have learned from years of practice. I have learned the do's and don'ts. Sometimes I have learned the hard way. It takes hard work and dedication. You must research and research as much as you can.

Sakari... you are absolutely right when you talk about how we approach our clients with our analysis. You have to be extremely careful. A person's psychology can come into play. If you do not diagnose your case properly, you may scare them more. Therefore, you defeated the purpose of the initial investigation. I have dealt with hundreds of clients. Due to the many years I have been investigating, I know the differences to those who are reaching out, scared or just want to know about it etc; My main focus is always to help the mindset of the client. Not to prove or disprove their claims. Even though my methods are by disproving first. I think that should be the most important thing.

But my topic is not about what we should or not do. My topic is building the mutual respect between both skeptics and believers. There are different types of skeptics and believers. Be here to help someone, don't insult them. It is a touchy subject, kill it with kindness.

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Skeptics are entitled to their own opinion and beliefs. Believers are entitled to their own opinion and beliefs. It does not make us crazy or irrational. I just ask if you plan to reply to a believer's post... do it to help them.

I have to admit there are not enough amateurs doing the right thing. This is because they are not being properly educated. I have learned from years of practice. I have learned the do's and don'ts. Sometimes I have learned the hard way. It takes hard work and dedication. You must research and research as much as you can.

Sakari... you are absolutely right when you talk about how we approach our clients with our analysis. You have to be extremely careful. A person's psychology can come into play. If you do not diagnose your case properly, you may scare them more. Therefore, you defeated the purpose of the initial investigation. I have dealt with hundreds of clients. Due to the many years I have been investigating, I know the differences to those who are reaching out, scared or just want to know about it etc; My main focus is always to help the mindset of the client. Not to prove or disprove their claims. Even though my methods are by disproving first. I think that should be the most important thing.

But my topic is not about what we should or not do. My topic is building the mutual respect between both skeptics and believers. There are different types of skeptics and believers. Be here to help someone, don't insult them. It is a touchy subject, kill it with kindness.

*shrug*

I follow the evidence. Actual, testable and verifiable evidence. While stories are interesting, I cannot accept them as evidence.

I also have to say that I will pop into interesting threads to discuss the "experience" and sometimes that discussion includes telling some one that they are not correct or that there is a simple explanation or that they misunderstand science.

I find that blindly believing is dangerous. Especially if this blind belief is held onto despite evidence to the contrary.

I cannot control how a person reacts to my statements. I do not intentionally bait but rising to "bait" or perceived bate is the responsibility of the person doing the rising.

It's easier to ignore trolls than having to respond. (yes, I have and probably will respond to some trolls but I only hold myself responsible).

Nibs

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In the end I investigate to help people, help the community and I have fun doing it. That's what it should be about!

There should be a boundary of mutual respect among both. As much as I ask skeptics to avoid hostility and give them the benefit of the doubt ( long as its rational ) I also ask believers to stay real, be simple and remain objective as well as listen to alternative options. :tu:

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Skeptics are entitled to their own opinion and beliefs. Believers are entitled to their own opinion and beliefs. It does not make us crazy or irrational. I just ask if you plan to reply to a believer's post... do it to help them.

I have to admit there are not enough amateurs doing the right thing. This is because they are not being properly educated. I have learned from years of practice. I have learned the do's and don'ts. Sometimes I have learned the hard way. It takes hard work and dedication. You must research and research as much as you can.

Sakari... you are absolutely right when you talk about how we approach our clients with our analysis. You have to be extremely careful. A person's psychology can come into play. If you do not diagnose your case properly, you may scare them more. Therefore, you defeated the purpose of the initial investigation. I have dealt with hundreds of clients. Due to the many years I have been investigating, I know the differences to those who are reaching out, scared or just want to know about it etc; My main focus is always to help the mindset of the client. Not to prove or disprove their claims. Even though my methods are by disproving first. I think that should be the most important thing.

But my topic is not about what we should or not do. My topic is building the mutual respect between both skeptics and believers. There are different types of skeptics and believers. Be here to help someone, don't insult them. It is a touchy subject, kill it with kindness.

Hi,

The problem with this issue, is that there is a fundamental difference in the way that the two "groups" think about issues. Believer use words like "opinion, beliefs, personal experiences, eyewitness accounts". Skeptics use words like "evidence, proof, probability, verifiable".

Skeptics posts in threads as a counterbalance to dogma and word of mouth authority. It is simply how a skeptics mind works. We hear something presented as fact, and instantly think, "Show me. Show me how you got to that conclusion, and how you ruled out any other options."

To a believer, nothing beyond what they have personally experienced is required to subscribe to a certain standard of criteria to make assertions of fact, regardless of what the empirical evidence may or may not suggest, as all such avenues are closed as being invalidated by the believers own understanding of events. Following this logic, there are many armchair authorities on the paranormal, because they can always fall back on the tried and true reasoning that because they believe and have had the personal experience, no external validation is necessary. This leads to people making all sorts of claims about mystical "truths".

It is when someting passes from the realm of discussion to authority that the believer finds themselves unable to argue the facts, because they don't deal in facts, they deal in beliefs. The other glaring issue is that beliefs are by their nature deeply held and personal. When anyone, skeptic or believer, has their deep seated persoanl beliefs challenged, it is only natural to become fiercely defensive, as most times, it is what we base our daily lives on. This makes it a personal issue from the start for the believer. There is no objectivity for a believer, because all issue are internal and personally held. When seeking external validation for an internally held belief, one finds there is no external validation to be found.

Last point I'll try to make from a skeptics POV, is that discussions can take on many facets. A discussion can start out as a story or a sharing of an experience, and grow and evolve naturally to the point where someone may eventually inquire as to how the original story teller came to their conclusions. This questions invariably leads to the questions of how one defines criteria for acceptance. If one tries to convince others to believe as they do, simply by authoratative statement "You can't question me because I was there and you weren't", or by using logical fallacies "Can you prove this didn't happen (i.e. asking one to prove a negative, which is impossible)", then it is no longer a discussion and has become a series of declarations of belief parading as fact. Regardless of support by other believers; it does not negate that no facts have been presented, simply observations and belief.

Both groups seek understanding, skeptics prefer to see what evidence supports or disproves a theory. Believers use dogma and mysticism. The two are diametrically opposed.

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Hi,

The problem with this issue, is that there is a fundamental difference in the way that the two "groups" think about issues. Believer use words like "opinion, beliefs, personal experiences, eyewitness accounts". Skeptics use words like "evidence, proof, probability, verifiable".

Skeptics posts in threads as a counterbalance to dogma and word of mouth authority. It is simply how a skeptics mind works. We hear something presented as fact, and instantly think, "Show me. Show me how you got to that conclusion, and how you ruled out any other options."

To a believer, nothing beyond what they have personally experienced is required to subscribe to a certain standard of criteria to make assertions of fact, regardless of what the empirical evidence may or may not suggest, as all such avenues are closed as being invalidated by the believers own understanding of events. Following this logic, there are many armchair authorities on the paranormal, because they can always fall back on the tried and true reasoning that because they believe and have had the personal experience, no external validation is necessary. This leads to people making all sorts of claims about mystical "truths".

It is when someting passes from the realm of discussion to authority that the believer finds themselves unable to argue the facts, because they don't deal in facts, they deal in beliefs. The other glaring issue is that beliefs are by their nature deeply held and personal. When anyone, skeptic or believer, has their deep seated persoanl beliefs challenged, it is only natural to become fiercely defensive, as most times, it is what we base our daily lives on. This makes it a personal issue from the start for the believer. There is no objectivity for a believer, because all issue are internal and personally held. When seeking external validation for an internally held belief, one finds there is no external validation to be found.

Last point I'll try to make from a skeptics POV, is that discussions can take on many facets. A discussion can start out as a story or a sharing of an experience, and grow and evolve naturally to the point where someone may eventually inquire as to how the original story teller came to their conclusions. This questions invariably leads to the questions of how one defines criteria for acceptance. If one tries to convince others to believe as they do, simply by authoratative statement "You can't question me because I was there and you weren't", or by using logical fallacies "Can you prove this didn't happen (i.e. asking one to prove a negative, which is impossible)", then it is no longer a discussion and has become a series of declarations of belief parading as fact. Regardless of support by other believers; it does not negate that no facts have been presented, simply observations and belief.

Both groups seek understanding, skeptics prefer to see what evidence supports or disproves a theory. Believers use dogma and mysticism. The two are diametrically opposed.

As I agree with mostly what you said and it was well said and explained! :)

However I do not agree with the term "Authority". No one has the "Authority". The only way I will accept authority is if a person had the credentials of a scientist making a factual statement.

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As I agree with mostly what you said and it was well said and explained! :)

However I do not agree with the term "Authority". No one has the "Authority". The only way I will accept authority is if a person had the credentials of a scientist making a factual statement.

Fair enough.

For clarification, by "authority" I mean someone making a statement of fact before addressing any type of mundane answer.

A classic example is a post which comes up nearly constantly where someone first claims to be skeptic, tells us a story that is easily explained by mundane events, asks for help, then proceeds to discount and deride any logical explanation based purely on what they "know". They usually read something like this...

DEMONHUNTER2012UFOSPIRITWARLORD said: "Hi all you folks! I am a skeptic by nature but this has me really freaked out! About two years ago I was sitting in my (parents) living room, and all of a sudden, my family dog stared at the corner of the room and growled! It really scared me and I was up all night because of all the strange noises! It never happened again until last night and I'm really freaked! What could it have been!?"

Naturally, a skeptic will say:

Pauly D: Umm, maybe it was a mouse?

Invariably the response comes back...

DEMONHUNTER2012UFOSPIRITWARLORD: YOU ******* IDIOT! I KNOW WHAT A MOUSE IS, DO YOU THINK I'M STUPID!? IF YOU DON"T BELIEVE IN GHOSTS WHY ARE YOU EVEN HERE!?

I know you think that I am being fecetious, I am not. This happens, all the time.

SO, this is what I mean by authority. We are asked to believe that this person is haunted by _______, even though they provide no evidence other than a simple story. We are supposed to take it on authority that everything they say is true, without this person ever having to back it up.

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The only way I will accept authority is if a person had the credentials of a scientist making a factual statement.

That then begs the question - are you qualified to perform these investigations? Can we see one of the investigations (feel free to remove all names and indentifiying information) so that we can consider that and also see if you are fulfilling your stated goals to 'help people, help the community and have fun doing it'?

I'm genuinely not trying to be difficult, but I have to observe that some of the 'investigations' I've seen presented here by others have made me shudder... As my Mum used to cliche, "it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.."

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