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Grey Matter


Skepticism or Debunkery?

Skepticism: Doctrine that a certainty of knowledge cannot be attained.

I started thinking about this after participating in the thread "unwarranted skepticism" at BoA's usofe forum.

It seemed obvious to me that the person who started the thread actually was referring to debunkers and not true skeptics. To others, that was not obvious and that is what caused some confusion. There is a good reason for the confusion: debunkers do not refer to themselves as such, but rather as skeptics.

They are not skeptics, but they do confuse people by pretending to be.

They do not have the doctrine that certainty of knowledge cannot be attained. They may say they do, but they have an absolute certainty that unidentified flying objects are NOT beings from space or anywhere else, except perhaps humans flying around in secret US technology.

Once someone totally rules out a possibility that has not been proven false, they go from being a skeptic to being a debunker. A true skeptic would say that he or she feels it is far more likely that UFOs are not space beings, but they would not totally and adamantly argue UFOs are absolutely not space beings or other unknown beings.

I don't like zealots of either side, the debunkers or those who are sure every strange light in the sky is piloted by little green or grey men.

There is something, though, that makes debunkers far more annoying to me and that is that they cloak themselves in skepticism and in science. Many of them being neither skeptic nor scientist. Whereas the "true believers" are thought, by many, to be crazy and pretty much ignored in most serious discussions, debunkers are not.

James McGaha on Larry King is a perfect example of a debunker. It doesn't matter how many people witnessed a huge craft flying over their Phoenix homes in 1997, because they aren't trained observers and, therefore, did not see what they thought they saw. Pilots and military officers also aren't trained observers. Who are the trained UFO observers? Obviously there is no such thing, but it lets McGaha dismiss every report for lack of a trained observer.

That is a true debunker. Totally dismissing the fact that dozens of people saw the same thing, which is not at all a scientific technique. What if the police and military would only take statements from witnesses that were trained observers?

There is another way to tell someone is a debunker rather than a skeptic. Debunkers will spend endless amounts of time and energy arguing that there are no aliens or anything esoteric. To a true skeptic such arguments would be pointless since certainty can't be attained. I am not saying skeptics don't present evidence that is contrary to a belief in aliens, that argues that the chance of it being something else is far more likely than alien beings, but they rarely, unless there is absolute proof, would argue that their theory is the only thing it could be.

In most cases absolute proof of what went on does not exist. So to argue either side to the exclusion of all else is ridiculous.

If you have already made up your mind that alien beings do not exist, or that every strange light in the sky is piloted by space beings you are not skeptical or open minded. Quit pretending to be.

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