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Skeptical Discussion & Resources

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Hey it's about time we had a forum section dedicated to our skeptical friends out there who keep us on our toes. All friendly and constructive comments, suggestions, and links to resources are welcome 🛸
 
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Schuyler

Misanthrope
I've been hanging around here a couple of years now. I had previously been on ATS, Amerikon, Mufon, and a couple other forums. When I stumbled across the Paracast I wound up leaving the other forums for various reasons. I won't criticize these forums directly except to say that I developed 'issues' with them. Enough said.

But compared to where I was in my thinking on paranormal subjects (a lifelong interest and I'm 60) and where I am now, I would have to say that I have grown more skeptical rather than less skeptical. I'm not saying I'll ever get to the point of Jose, because I do think there is something to these subjects, it's just that I now usually come into a new thread or subject thinking, This is BS until proven otherwise rather than taking each at face value until proven BS.

I was wondering what you all think about this, hence a minor poll.
 

Angel of Ioren

Friendly Skeptic
I started listening to the Paracast because I find the paranormal interesting, but I am EXTREMELY skeptical about this type of stuff. After almost a year of listening to tons of Paracast episodes, I am less skeptical about some things, but I still tend to look for more conventional explanations.
I guess you can place me somewhere between James Fox and Bill Nye, if that makes any sense at all.
 

aNorthernSoul

Professional Breather
I think I haven't changed that much. I am open minded, and am fine to listen to something all the way through even if I'm fairly confident that what is being said is hogwash. That being said, I appreciate the fact that the Paracast challenges people rather than just provides another platform to dictate the interviewee's theories... as I think a lot can be learned using this method.
 

TClaeys

Skilled Investigator
The thing is, with all this paranormal stuff, there is no good starting out point. You just start listening and reading without much concern for dishonesty, hoaxes, credibility, and so on. It's such a convoluted and complex mix of people that delving into topics such as these can be both overwhelming and confusing. I would guess that even David and Gene have both learned to be more skeptical when approaching guests with certain claims.

We have seen people like Sean Morton or even Greer come on and for a brief period, put on a show. It really takes some back research to get a handle on what these people are about. I've found for myself that it is a tricky subject and because of the Paracast I've certainly become more skeptical, even jaded. I think the phenomenon of UFO's is a real one. What it represents or really is?? ..... still working on figuring that out.
 

DavidRavenMoon

anonymous anomalous
I had been out of the loop with UFO related topics, so when I started hearing some stuff on other podcasts, I wondered what the heck they were talking about. I'm very open minded, and studied this topic, as well as the paranormal in general, since I was young.

What I like about the Paracast is they do a lot of discussion on the field in general, so now I see that a lot of the stuff that was new to be that I thought was questionable, was indeed questionable.

I've been an agnostic on the topic for a long time though. I stopped thinking it had to be the ETH like 30 years ago, and then started reading Jacques Vallée's work, and others like that.

I think I've really been a Fortian... ever since reading Book of the Damned back in the early 70's. I really like the weird stuff best.
 

CapnG

Devil's Advocate
Generally I would say more skeptical in-so-much-as I am less likely to either accept given explanations at face value or deny them outright, I'm now much more prone to saying "maybe".
 

skunkape

Paranormal Maven
I'm now much more prone to saying "maybe".
"Maybe" is a wonderful word. It would, in most probability, kick "Is's" ass any day.
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DavidRavenMoon

anonymous anomalous
Generally I would say more skeptical in-so-much-as I am less likely to either accept given explanations at face value or deny them outright, I'm now much more prone to saying "maybe".

That's the thing. Forget the explanations. We don't have any.

I prefer to just listen to the stories and the research done about the stories.

But we do have many more puzzle pieces. I think sometimes little details are overlooked when people come up with explanations about what this is all about. It's those small odd things that count. You start to see a pattern forming.

It all seems terribly symbolic to me.
 

Hoffmeister

There is no spoon
More skeptical.... I can't say it is because of the paracast... it might be partly to do with this but the more I hear about the UFO phenomenon, the more skeptical I become.
To me now, I believe that there are beings coming here from other planets, but i believe it is quite rare, and there are only a few cases (not including roswell I might add) that I find even remotely compelling. Those few cases, and the mass of military reports as a whole have convinced me that there is to an extent "something going on up there".

These cases, logic, and the fermi paradox combined have led me to these conclusions, but I dont really have much belief in contactees, abductees, and repeat experiencers. Not saying they are lying neccesarily, or making it up.... just that my brain doesnt allow me to think that these events are actually happening.
Billions of people go through their lives without seeing a true UFO once, for someone to see a real one twice is like winning the lottery twice.... very high odds.

Despite this, I always remain to be convinced otherwise and love the paracast for the discussion it presents
 

tyder001

Paranormal Adept
About the same. I have my reasons for believing and even hoping that there is more to life than our 70 or so years on the planet. Still I'm not a true believer. I'm skeptical but not in the james randi scientism sense of the word. I have an interest in u.f.o.'s but I don't really think they are nuts and bolts type. I have an interest in reincarnation and think Ian Stevenson was absolutely under-rated as a researcher. I think we do go on after this life but I don't know for sure. I have seen lights in the sky but contrary to what jimmy randi and mickie shumer (Or however ya spell his name)might say I don't automatically jump to the conclusion they are of another world. Matter of fact my first response is they are a natural occurance. (sorry bout the spelling today but I tried to get this all in and I gotta go.) Anyway, thanks Gene and David I really do appreciate your show. I would love to see David take on james randi. After all it's not just the religious fundies that are illogical. :cool:
 

Darkly Brooding

Skilled Investigator
While I can't say I'm much more skeptical on subject matter, I am much more skeptical of some individuals involved in various research, and I think the Paracast is brilliant for taking alot of the researchers to task, or exposing dubious motivations of certain individuals, that I may not have otherwise been aware of.

Conversely, it has opened my eyes to alot of genuinely great individuals & their research, that I perhaps may have not noticed or overlooked in the field.

I consider myself a decent judge of character upon meeting people in person and I very much trust my instincts there-rarely to be let down. That is not always possible when listening to interviews, or seeing videos of people who may have a well establish schtick to recount.

I find Gene & David do a commendable job of holding people accountable for their research, associations and conclusions, often offering first hand impressions, and seem to have similar criteria and instincts when providing detail of those impressions.

But the subject matter, not so much,...
 

Gareth

Nothin' to see here
This is BS until proven otherwise rather than taking each at face value until proven BS.

Exactly. Just the other day I was saying that when it comes to claims of being able to "summon UFOs at will" that people in cases like this are guilty until proven innocent.

Im absolutely more skeptical these days.
 

DavidRavenMoon

anonymous anomalous
...it's just that I now usually come into a new thread or subject thinking, This is BS until proven otherwise rather than taking each at face value until proven BS.

I think it changes on a case to case basis. I'm interested in people's personal experiences, and perceptions, but not wild claims, like they know the space brothers are doing so-and-so, and there are aliens eating people in an underground base. That's BS!

But even if it's a situation where someone is retelling what they might have been told by non human entities, I have to remember that much of that sounds like BS, even when the case looks really solid. There is sometimes a certain absurdity to it.

So what I do is just look at all these cases and not decide any which way. I don't have to, there is no real need to feel I'm obligated to make a judgement on something this broad. I think, "that's really weird," and "I don't know." But that's not counting the obvious hoaxes.

After a while you start to see patterns. Do they mean anything? I don't know, but I'm not going to dismiss them because there is no way to determine if it's a valid pattern. We don't have the criteria for that.

I'm at this forum because I had been seeking out first hand cases to hear about, from good researchers, because I started seeing a pattern with what other people have reported, and my own experiences, which had nothing to do with UFOs or "aliens", but still fit into that mold. I was told odd things and was shown more odd things. Then I'll read someone else having the exact same thing happen, and being told the same things.

So I can't automatically dismiss anything, when even amidst really ridiculous stories, something will be in there that I can personally relate with. I think some people really do have very strange things happen to them. I have a close friend who had a giant nose on the wall talk to her when she was younger. She said it wiggled up and down as it talked. But this same person did not believe an elderly couple she worked with as a massage therapist, when they told her they had been watching a disk land in their backyard over several nights, and a number of small beings would get out and walk around her yard! She certainly didn't make the story up, as she absolutely didn't believe in UFOs. And the elderly couple? She didn't know why they would make up such a story, and she thought they were, because she didn't believe it. What would be their motive? She said they were very sincere and concerned about what was going on. They felt they could talk to her.

So what can you make of this stuff? I just can't call it BS, because I know this woman. But I wont say that about everything, thats for sure.

I just think the most open mind, without coming to any conclusion, will allow us to get the most data in.
 

Xylo

Paranormal Adept
I would say I am more skeptical.

The one event that changed me was David's question to Jim Sparks..."So how did you go to the bathroom?" It broke the spell for me. I guess I was in awe before, and I forgot to put my feet back on the ground. I'm not saying that I don't believe that there are UFOs or abductions, I'm just skeptical of a good majority of what is put out there as truth by some of these "researchers."

The world is still a wonderful, mysterious place to me, and there is a great deal of "high strangeness" that I think is both plausible and credible. I'm just not going to be jumping on the "rods" bandwagon again.
 

mattdeacon

Skilled Investigator
I'd say I'm more skeptical. Mainly because I'd never heard interviews with some of the people I had read about pre Paracast. I think in my younger days I was more willing to believe in almost anything, but now I prefer to think a little harder. When you read a book about UFOs, you get some facts, but also the unadulterated point of view/opinion of the author, with little to balance it out. A case in point being Timothy Good. Having read most of his books, I was excited to download the episode where he was interviewed. Frankly, although I still admire him and the work he has done, he seems just a little too eager to believe, and consequently comes off a little nutty, and it's thanks to Gene and Dave that I have this more balanced view. Sure, he has been interviewed before, but I find the Paracast asks the harder questions. Shit, I even had a Greer/Disclosure banner on my website for a year or 2, then thankfully found out a little more due to the show.
To sum up, I'm more of a critical thinker than I used to be, but still find it hard to imagine that we live in a world where everything is explainable and the Paranormal doesn't exist.
Done.
 

Angel of Ioren

Friendly Skeptic
In reading the posts in this thread, I've noticed that people like myself that are really skeptical have become less skeptical, and those that leaned more toward believing have become more skeptical. I guess the discussions that take place here and on the show tend to balance people out.
 

inuk2600

Skilled Investigator
I was very gullible and built my paradigm around the first thing somebody told me without any critical thought. I can't say it was The Paracast alone that brought me out of my stupor, but it definitely helped in the process.
Now when I see a soft spot in somebody's claims or testimony, I'm not afraid to start punching it.
 

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