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Differences between Skeptic and Believer?

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Heh, I have a supreme love of Eddy Izzard, truly brilliant comedian. "Great Britain conquered a great percentage of the world through the clever use of flags..." heh!

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Don't we as believer/nonbeliever or skeptic/believer change our label and our approach and thinking depending on the subject matter?

I know believers who are very skeptical of say, western medicine.

I know skeptics who suddenly are not skeptical and defensive when it comes to say, western medicine.

Does this make us more alike than we realize? Something we can relate to in the "other"?

These labels (like most) just get a bit tricky for me as I think about them more:

I am not a believer in ghosts, but I believe in the possibility of alien space travel. Or, I used to believe in the existence of bigfoot, now I do not believe in the existence of bigfoot. Or, I don't believe in spirits but I am skeptical of western medicine, to the point I think it serves to help me stay an informed, not gullible, patient. I'm an atheist, but I refuse to wear torquoise because it brings me bad luck. Etc

Is there a bias as to what subjects are okay/acceptable to be skeptical about and thus earn you the label of skeptic? Therefore we end up with somewhat of "once a believer or skeptic always a believer or skeptic" as a way to identify not only others but ourselves? When in fact, if we thought about it, it isn't that black white but rather at the mercy of bias, as I suggested?

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Don't we as believer/nonbeliever or skeptic/believer change our label and our approach and thinking depending on the subject matter?

I know believers who are very skeptical of say, western medicine.

I know skeptics who suddenly are not skeptical and defensive when it comes to say, western medicine.

Does this make us more alike than we realize? Something we can relate to in the "other"?

These labels (like most) just get a bit tricky for me as I think about them more:

I am not a believer in ghosts, but I believe in the possibility of alien space travel. Or, I used to believe in the existence of bigfoot, now I do not believe in the existence of bigfoot. Or, I don't believe in spirits but I am skeptical of western medicine, to the point I think it serves to help me stay an informed, not gullible, patient. I'm an atheist, but I refuse to wear torquoise because it brings me bad luck. Etc

Is there a bias as to what subjects are okay/acceptable to be skeptical about and thus earn you the label of skeptic? Therefore we end up with somewhat of "once a believer or skeptic always a believer or skeptic" as a way to identify not only others but ourselves? When in fact, if we thought about it, it isn't that black white but rather at the mercy of bias, as I suggested?

much, much, much better than your previous post. :tu:

I think believers are from Mars, Skeptics are from Venus. You want proof? Just look at how often Venus are brought up by skeptics of UFO/ET.

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I'm not too happy about dichotomous pairs of labels like; believer/non-believer, or believer/skeptic. Labels are for cans (tins) and bottles, not for people. Although I could pass for a 'believer' in this group, I've approached many paranormal, flying saucer, and crop circle claims with considerable skepticism, and rejected quite a few. In any case, 'believer' sounds like someone with a religious position to defend. Although I concede that there can be a spiritual aspect to all of the above topics, The notion that something should be accepted without exposing it to the light of reason is very far from my intentions.

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I have always been a devout skeptic! I felt that anything that had to do with the paranormal and extraterrestrials was a stinking mound of horse ****. I also thought that anyone who believed in an afterlife was a complete moron. Well........now I'm the moron. Having experienced the afterlife in a series of deep meditative dreams, I can't say anything negative about those who believe in ANYTHING I thought was crazy.

Let me clear one thing up: While I never believed we had been visited by little green men, I was always 100% certain that life was plentiful in the universe. That's just pure, logical science. What's not logical is the supposition that they've traveled many millions of light years to reach this lousy world and never made the proverbial demand: "Take me to your leader!" And don't tell me they have, and it's all been a massive government cover-up. The government is way too stupid to keep anything like that under wraps.

One last thing: If or when we ARE visited, I hope they threaten to vaporize us if we don't ban the ownership of firearms. Now, I hope that doesn't get too many of you p***ed off!

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much, much, much better than your previous post. :tu:

I think believers are from Mars, Skeptics are from Venus. You want proof? Just look at how often Venus are brought up by skeptics of UFO/ET.

Crieky Moses, now you have skeptics and debunkers mixed up!

Edited by psyche101

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A lot of people on forums such as these claiming to be debunkers or skeptics are just doing anti-alien PR. The gist of their post is they have a problem with aliens. If there was nothing alien to UFOs then a person would waste their time on it. A lot these people seems clueless about close encounter cases, alien abduction cases, and UFOs in general.

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The "proper" definition of the Skeptic, I think, should be that one does not necessarily take anything at anyone's word, but considers it for themselves and comes to a completely objective conclusion. That's entirely admirable, and is of course a principle that should be applied when watching or reading the News and the pronouncements of Politicians, every bit as much as to claims of the Paranormal. However, so often (particularly regarding the Paranormal) people can so easily adopt an attitude of automatic, kneejerk cynicism which makes them instantly deny anything at all that anyone claims to have witnessed, and reach for one of the all-purpose off-the-shelf Rational explanations; we all know the kinds: (for UFOs) Secret Military Aircraft; Ballons; Flares; or, they'll simply tell people that they're lying (not even that it may have been a misperception of something, they'll deny flatly that the person ever actually experienced anything at all. I'm afraid that's not sckepticism, and it demeans proper skepticism by calling it so. I very much think that skepticism should be applied just as much to "rational" explanations, and their probability should be weighed just as much as claims of the Extraordinary, and not just say "well, we know that [for example] Secret Aircrafte xist, so that's more probable, and I'm going to completely ignore any objections there may be to that as an explanation".

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A lot of people on forums such as these claiming to be debunkers or skeptics are just doing anti-alien PR. The gist of their post is they have a problem with aliens. If there was nothing alien to UFOs then a person would waste their time on it. A lot these people seems clueless about close encounter cases, alien abduction cases, and UFOs in general.

No a lot of people on forums such as us are not anti alien PR.. you would find the majority of us would love if aliens actually visited us.. we just live in reality not fantasy..

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Ya I'm pretty only Hazzard would be bummed if they showed up. (Just teasing) I actually think anyone spending anytime reading sites like this, certainly wants there to be some sort of discovery, regardless of the likelyhood.

I wish I would wake up click on CNN and see some breaking news about some Virgina woodsmen capturing a bigfoot hehe and opening a petting zoo.

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Crieky Moses, now you have skeptics and debunkers mixed up!

Skeptic, Debunker or BS Pusher. I don't care what anyone calling themselves. Anyone that bring up Venus as some sort of explanation for UFO deserves to be slap silly.

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Differences between Skeptic and Believer?

Skeptics ask questions. Believers don't ! :yes:

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Skepticism is good, but it can rise to the level of cynicism. That's why I use the words, "believer" and "debunker", to characterize extremists at opposite ends of the pole. Believers require no proof. Debunkers require no proof. Their opinions already are formed, and no evidence will change them. Skeptics, on the other hand, will accept a given claim if it's bolstered by reliable facts and/or reliable testimony. The extremists, at both ends of the pole, probably share the same psychological traits that manifest in different ways. It's fruitless to debate them.

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Differences between Skeptic and Believer?

Skeptics ask questions. Believers don't ! :yes:

Asking questions is good. Kneejerk denying everything, and openly calling people who claim to have experienced something liars, is, however, not so.

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Keep looking is even better ! A Skeptic will at least Keep Looking ! ANd some day we just may find one !THats a Believer !

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An aspect of this which does not seem to have been mentioned may be covered in a book called Willful Blindness by Margaret Heffernan.

It would seem that she proposes that humans in many walks of life have or develope the ability to ignore things that they do not wish to see or consider even when a simple objective assessment would suggest that these should be taken into account. This might be, or become, a subconscious reaction of which we may or may not be aware in our conscious minds but could lead to some very poor decision making ? ( Have not read the book yet)

If there is any truth in this a firm believer or skeptic might be unaware of the thought processes that may be leading to their taking a particular stance because some of the information is simply not getting through?

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As a general rule, someone telling me something outre happened to them, especially on an anonymous board, is underwhelming. Courtesy prevents me from implying they are lying or imagined it or whatever, so I tend to not pay them any attention and go on to other things. Maybe it really happened, but the chances are overwhelmingly otherwise.

Much the same applies to organizations organized around these things; the profits to be made are considerable, and the con artists are always going to have a better show and story than whatever may be real.

So skepticism is the natural and really only possible honest response. Its really too bad things are like this: I wonder what we miss because of all the frauds and kooks and airheads that are out there that give these phenomena a bad name.

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Fundamentally there's probably very little difference between believers & skeptics, other than skeptics need real irrefutable evidence & believers will make do with 'word of mouth' evidence.

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Believers have fun,Septics smell ! :td:

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This all reminds me of this.......

Edited by Sakari

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She was a Hottie once ! LoL ! Love it Sakari ! :tu:

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A lot of people on forums such as these claiming to be debunkers or skeptics are just doing anti-alien PR.

No, and nobody seems to run around claiming such, if it comes up in conversation, neither position tends to require clarification as such becomes self evident quite rapidly.

Anti Alien PR is just the believer in you. Gosh, needy phrases like that are like putting a floodlight on yourself. But a typical reaction to any real world assessment of the fanciful tales so many expect others to believe at face value.

The gist of their post is they have a problem with aliens.

You have terrible perception. The "gist" as you put it, is hardly a problem with Aliens. It is a problem with the wide eyed believers that think every light in the sky is an alien starship here to covertly make deals with the Government, It's a bit much really. Why are skeptics question avoided? Because it might make sense of the situation, and lets face it, some would rather never hear the truth.

There are two types of believer. One type is very respectable, and has the full support of the skeptical community, and is often quoted by skeptics.

If there was nothing alien to UFOs then a person would waste their time on it.

UFO does not = Alien. That's half the abovementioned problem.

A lot these people seems clueless about close encounter cases, alien abduction cases, and UFOs in general.

Clueless with regards to blind belief for sure. Heck you did not even know what a BEK was Mr Forefront of information. A skeptic had to inform you.

Edited by psyche101

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Skeptic, Debunker or BS Pusher. I don't care what anyone calling themselves. Anyone that bring up Venus as some sort of explanation for UFO deserves to be slap silly.

Yet there is one explanation in one thread here, that very much seems to describe Venus. Have you ever seen it? Venus I mean. It is quite spectacular, and at times seems to be more than a heavenly body. Even a telescope view I personally find rather fascinating.

I think you have three separate groups listed there, but I think it is the job of the woo woo crowd to push the idea that they are all one. Makes their job so much easier. Is it your opinion that every story should be taken at face value? How do you feel about the very fact that every UFO that has been explained to date has been explained in terrestrial terms?

Edited by psyche101

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The "proper" definition of the Skeptic, I think, should be that one does not necessarily take anything at anyone's word, but considers it for themselves and comes to a completely objective conclusion.

I would disagree with that, as a skeptic, my position is not to conclude a proposal, but to see the original claim in it's rawest form. Removal of all embellishment and personal interpretation to get the clearest picture available. Beyond that, many instances resolve themselves.

That's entirely admirable, and is of course a principle that should be applied when watching or reading the News and the pronouncements of Politicians, every bit as much as to claims of the Paranormal.

But it is regarded as an attack to have a think.

However, so often (particularly regarding the Paranormal) people can so easily adopt an attitude of automatic, kneejerk cynicism which makes them instantly deny anything at all that anyone claims to have witnessed, and reach for one of the all-purpose off-the-shelf Rational explanations; we all know the kinds: (for UFOs) Secret Military Aircraft; Ballons; Flares; or, they'll simply tell people that they're lying (not even that it may have been a misperception of something, they'll deny flatly that the person ever actually experienced anything at all. I'm afraid that's not sckepticism, and it demeans proper skepticism by calling it so. I very much think that skepticism should be applied just as much to "rational" explanations, and their probability should be weighed just as much as claims of the Extraordinary, and not just say "well, we know that [for example] Secret Aircrafte xist, so that's more probable, and I'm going to completely ignore any objections there may be to that as an explanation".

Hang on, black ops, balloons and for that matter, swamp gas, do exist. ET is imagined to answer a conundrum, who has seen ET and can say "Yep, that's ET"? How is the answer of "Black Op's " in a case where Black Projects have been put forth as nominees not qualified? Some people can say yes I have seen black ops, and that could well explain that. Or we can have a look at records and say "this bit matches with this bit" ort not. That is not a cover all, that is applying rational thought to a conundrum. Imagining mother ships is not. Now I know you will take that personal, but it is an illustration, in cases where black ops are proposed, the type of engine being used, the performance characteristics - where known, locations of the experiments are entered into for geographical location, and prototype vehicles are analysed. And you reckon saying "ohh, a mother ship could do that" is a great deal better do you - honestly? It actually strikes me as hypocritical because it is just made up on the spot - ship to small? Well, lets make up a bigger one and put it in it! Would believers accept such flimsy excuses for Black ops? No! They want to know who was involved, dates, experiments, engines, prototypes etc etc on what is regarded a secret project that we lucky to even have a glimpse at to begin with. We know that the CIA encouraged UFO reports where projects like the U2 are concerned, hell our own people have actually done this, yet it is till not good enough? What is?, Ohh, that's right, a mother ship. Much better. Good God man.

Or hey, liars, they do not exist on the UFO field at all. Not to mention the CIA encouraged exactly that above. Forget that some of the most prominent claims of their time came directly from liars. Bob Lazar. Mier. Icke, Greer, Lier, Kimbler Wade hell, the list is plain ridiculous We have red handed liars, but hey, lets be PC and not consider this large contingent that has every right to lie about their "belief" and that we should not apply such labels, even though it is rife in the subject. And at times, plainer than the nose on one's face.

Instead, hey all believers, lets get together and purt rubbish on the skpetics, they use science to make us feel bad, so let's get 'em back and tell them we are onto this swamp gas and balloon story rubbish!

Yet as we know, the public themselves ousted themselves a UFO hero when they turned on Hynek and hammered him for his swamp gas explanation when in reality, it was perfectly valid, and came from the believers own best shot at ever getting any sort of an answer on this subject. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot. Hell, one thing ET could do without is his own fan club, even the cast of Star Trek has had enough fandom I believe. ET will be worn out before he arrives, and have people telling him what he is capable of when he arrives.

Any real and qualified objection is welcomed, as long as it has at least some structured thought. A brain fart is not really much use to anyone. But a little thought is too much to ask when fantasy is on the table it seems.

Edited by psyche101

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As a general rule, someone telling me something outre happened to them, especially on an anonymous board, is underwhelming. Courtesy prevents me from implying they are lying or imagined it or whatever, so I tend to not pay them any attention and go on to other things. Maybe it really happened, but the chances are overwhelmingly otherwise.

Much the same applies to organizations organized around these things; the profits to be made are considerable, and the con artists are always going to have a better show and story than whatever may be real.

So skepticism is the natural and really only possible honest response. Its really too bad things are like this: I wonder what we miss because of all the frauds and kooks and airheads that are out there that give these phenomena a bad name.

Well said Frank. Nice to have you around of late mate.

I could not agree more. Some people seem to think they have seen something that wil overturn the status quo, and then turn on everyone when they are asked honest, open questions. Seem too many personal threads just like that.

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