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Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

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Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  ***** on Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:38 pm

http://www.skepticforum.com/


http://www.rationalskepticism.org/paranormal/

I'm just curious if any of those here skeptical of the paranormal, have joined any forums such as these? I thought it might help those confused about your presence on BF and other paranormal forums, if some of the more skeptical, or ardently skeptical could explain why these forums are less attractive to post opinions in. Is disagreement and debate actually what is sought when joining? What do you feel you gain from membership here and elsewhere? I truly would like to know, and am asking as nicely as I know how. It truly interests me, people's motivations, and I welcome a better understanding of what brings you here.

If debate is what's enjoyed, or BF topic is a source of enjoyment, can you explain further, because I don't understand why one would waste so much time discussing something they deem fantasy, or myth? Why is the topic enjoyable, unless you actually believe what proponent's believe and have experienced? And if that's the case, are you really a skeptic at all, or hiding behind the established viewpoint for comfort? If debate is what is sought, are you a member here??.....

http://www.paranormalunderground.net/forum/forum/19-paranormal-debate/

It seems that those who find proponents close minded, religious, irrational, etc.. would find these forums much more enjoyable. Outside of a desire to debate proponents, can some of our skeptics describe what draws them to paranormal forums and keeps them there? Ideally we'd all understand each other a little better, and quite possibly enjoy one another more, if we could understand the motivation of the ardently skeptical to join and remain on this forum, and others like it.

Sometimes proponents get the impression the motivations are negative, in the sense that it is much easier to argue from authority(i.e. scientific establishment's non acceptance of BF, and other paranormal phenomenon). Often they think the pseudo-skeptical are only here for that reason. I think a discussion on these lines would help answer questions for those critical of your presence here, and those that assume you are only here to critique, debate, and contradict as a support mechanism for a desire to feel superior.

For our most skeptical membership: What elements of Sasquatch evidence have you found impressive?

It would be refreshing for those that claim themselves openly skeptical, to describe an element of evidence, or a report, something that has made them consider the likelihood of BF's existence. Often the only posts proponents see are the questioning, or critical posts, and it brings into question the motivations for actually being on such a forum to begin with? Is it to pick and choose easy targets for derision, and critique, or is to truly evaluate the Sasquatch, and it's existence from a skeptical stance.

All comments welcome....let's try to understand each other a little better...... Very Happy

Please reply Skeptics


Last edited by NobleSavage on Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:00 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Woodwose on Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:50 pm

I'd honestly be in interested in hearing some answers to this question, as I can't fathom why anyone would engage with a BF forum if they think the phenomenon is complete bunk.

It's not as if we are talking about psychics who can actually cause some harm by peddling their beliefs.

I suppose there must be individuals who get off on causing trouble (see the comments section of the blog), or those that see themselves as bastions of reason, but I fail to see how that can be seen as anything but a waste of time with no redeeming benefit.
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Interesting indeed...

Post  ***** on Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:14 pm

Woodwose wrote:I'd honestly be in interested in hearing some answers to this question, as I can't fathom why anyone would engage with a BF forum if they think the phenomenon is complete bunk.

It's not as if we are talking about psychics who can actually cause some harm by peddling their beliefs.

I suppose there must be individuals who get off on causing trouble (see the comments section of the blog), or those that see themselves as bastions of reason, but I fail to see how that can be seen as anything but a waste of time with no redeeming benefit.

Thanks Woodwose, it's interesting indeed. I'm truly puzzled, and thus very interested in the motivations of those described above.


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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Woodwose on Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:26 pm

I do however have to say that I wonder how many sceptics are misinterpreted as being debunkers or jrefers.

That isn't a dig at you or this thread (I think you have asked a very pertinent question). It's just that in my experience it is very common for anyone who offers a critical opinion to be tarred as a debunker. I deliberately used the term debunker as I think 'sceptic' is often misused and scepticism is somewhat misunderstood.
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Not at all...thanks for pointing that out..

Post  ***** on Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:33 pm

I appreciate your point Woodwose. I think it's unfair and divisive, for proponents to lump all skeptics together.

I should clarify and state that I'm referring specifically to the scoftics, or those that are not truly objective in their skepticism. There is an obvious predisposition in their posts, and they take a very obtuse and condescending stance.

I think we are all admirers, and followers of this phenomenon, some just require more hard evidence than others. My goal is to bring us all together, not divide and conquer. I truly want to understand these ardent scoftics motivations for being on the forum. If you never consider evidence or statements objectively, and are predisposed to hate the bulk of the membership here, I really don't see that value of your presence in this community, beyond self gratification.


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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Woodwose on Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:48 pm

Yes, I had assumed that's what you meant when talking about 'skeptics'.

I also greatly respect your motivation for starting this thread and your aims with regard to this forum community. I think it's a bit of an uphill battle as some world views differ so much that communication is almost impossible - that doesn't mean that you/we shouldn't try though.
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That's the idea...thanks for support...

Post  ***** on Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:57 pm

That's the idea here an open letter, which I've retitled to reflect my intentions more clearly...

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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Woodwose on Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:44 pm

Keep up the good work cheers
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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  dingo3497 on Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:19 pm

Still waiting,maybe they have not found this site yet. Some sites are filled with skeptics that offer nothing during a debate. It is ok to have an opinion, but let me have mine to without criticism.
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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Woodwose on Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:59 pm

dingo3497 wrote:t is ok to have an opinion, but let me have mine to without criticism.

That isn't how a debate works.

An opinion doesn't have any merit unless it can withstand criticism
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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  ***** on Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:11 pm

Woodwose wrote:
dingo3497 wrote:t is ok to have an opinion, but let me have mine to without criticism.

That isn't how a debate works.

An opinion doesn't have any merit unless it can withstand criticism

I think what Dingo means, is often what proponents experience in these different Bigfoot Forum Venues, is not only disagreement, or the stating of alternate opinion, but also derision and criticism for the proponent opinion altogether. It can be subtle via condescension or snobbish commentary, or it can be outright browbeating and interrogation. I'm still curious about their choice of a venue such as this to display such rhetoric, and the motivations behind that choice.

When Dingo said debate, I don't think he meant a formal debate with both parties' agreeing to a time and place to debate Bigfoot itself. It's just a dramatically different mindset. You see, many just come to these forums to conversate and relate on a subject that is a source of ridicule when brought up in our real worlds. Whereas, the skeptical or ardently skeptical seem to be here and in other venues for an altogether different set of reasons. One of which is debate itself, at least in my experience. Perhaps, proponents find that somewhat abrasive because the motivations differ so greatly for being here at all.

That's why I wanted to start this thread to better understand that reasoning. I'm obviously a proponent, having had experiences myself, and fully knowing personally the reality of this creature. I would like to better understand the motivations of the zealously skeptical, and what brings them to a venue such as this. I guess it strikes me as quite odd to target such a realm, where the very subject itself is still in the world of myth and legend. It just doesn't seem to be the typical stomping ground of those 'grounded' in the skeptical world of science. I just wonder why it holds their interest, beyond the desire to maintain some corrective posture or dominate those that may be at an intellectual disadvantage.

I hope to learn more, and better understand the mindset that brings them here.

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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Woodwose on Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:42 pm

I agree with pretty much everything you say.

However even when it comes to an informal debate you are dealing with a situation where the validity of an opinion rests on how well someone can make their case - or address criticism.

I imagine you agree, but we really need to hear from Dingo. He may be seriously suggesting that no opinion is beyond reproach.
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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Blondie1 on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:09 pm

Woodwose wrote:I agree with pretty much everything you say.

However even when it comes to an informal debate you are dealing with a situation where the validity of an opinion rests on how well someone can make their case - or address criticism.

I imagine you agree, but we really need to hear from Dingo. He may be seriously suggesting that no opinion is beyond reproach.

Understood, but some may not be as articulate as others in expressing themselves?
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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  DPinkerton on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:29 pm

Woodwose wrote:That isn't how a debate works.

An opinion doesn't have any merit unless it can withstand criticism

It is possible to debate a topic without criticizing. You can make a point or counterpoint without criticizing the other individual, their beliefs (or lack thereof), or points being expressed.

To address the topic...some people enjoy a debate. Not to criticize others or even because they are particularly invested in the topic...but enjoy the mental exercise and broadening their own viewpoints by attempting to understand others.

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Some debate in inherent..

Post  ***** on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:37 pm

I'd say some debate is a part of any forum, including this one. It's a mindset I'm talking about. It's motivation. Why is one here to begin with? Is it to counterpoint, question, correct, or patronize? Or, is it to relate, envision, experience, and share? These are drastically different frames of mind. I think we all deserve consideration, but I'd like to understand first.

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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Woodwose on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:51 pm

Blondie1 wrote:Understood, but some may not be as articulate as others in expressing themselves?

Sure, but that's where it becomes important to ask questions.

All too often people begin arguments because they haven't bothered to ask questions and get stuck in a rut because they haven't clarified the grounds for their disagreement.
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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Blondie1 on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:53 pm

Woodwose wrote:
Blondie1 wrote:Understood, but some may not be as articulate as others in expressing themselves?

Sure, but that's where it becomes important to ask questions.

All too often people begin arguments because they haven't bothered to ask questions and get stuck in a rut because they haven't clarified the grounds for their disagreement.

That is true.
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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Woodwose on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:56 pm

DPinkerton wrote:It is possible to debate a topic without criticizing. You can make a point or counterpoint without criticizing the other individual, their beliefs (or lack thereof), or points being expressed.

The problem as I see it is that people mistake counter points with negative criticism.

You also need to understand the difference between a personal attack and pointing out a flaw in an argument.

but enjoy the mental exercise and broadening their own viewpoints by attempting to understand others.

Ideally that's what I enjoy about a good debate.
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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Blondie1 on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:00 pm

Ok this is a great place to discuss this,

What do the various posters here consider a personal attack?
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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Woodwose on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:01 pm

A constructive criticism involves saying "I think you might be wrong because...."
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love of debate..

Post  ***** on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:05 pm


"Ideally that's what I enjoy about a good debate."



Because I often assume, can you clarify this statement, and how it relates to your membership on the forum? Surprised

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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Woodwose on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:06 pm

Blondie1 wrote:Ok this is a great place to discuss this,

What do the various posters here consider a personal attack?

I think it depends on how much emotional investment you have in an idea.
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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Blondie1 on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:08 pm



I'd prefer not to use "I think you might be wrong" but to present it from "Have you considered this." or "This is how I see this or this is how I think".

- if someone tells me they think I might be wrong I immediately discount the remaining information because I've been insulted.

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Determined to keep this thread open..

Post  ***** on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:17 pm

Listen Up Gang...


I'm determined to keep this thread open. Anyone attempting to bait, goad, or incite flaming in this thread will be wasting their time. I will delete every post that is has an obvious intent to derail.

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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

Post  Woodwose on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:19 pm

NobleSavage wrote:
"Ideally that's what I enjoy about a good debate."



Because I often assume, can you clarify this statement, and how it relates to your membership on the forum? Surprised

No problem, I can often do the same thing.

This sort of follows on from another thread, but is not an attempt to carry on an existing disagreement.

Following the scientific method my opinions must be subject to falsification. Engaging with people on a forum like this will result in my engaging with differing (not necessarily opposing) opinions. So, as I engage with a discourse that tests my views I can be satisfied that my opinions hold some weight.
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Re: Open letter for ardent skeptics...believers want to know...what brings you here?

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