Saturday, April 05, 2014

The Burden of Proof and True Believers

The cartoon above is apropos of a recent discussion on the UFO Updates Facebook page, where a woman made a couple of wild claims about other people that could well be actionable for libel unless she could show that they were true. When Robert Sheaffer and I both asked her for proof that would back up her otherwise wholly unsubstantiated claims, she offered what seems to be the standard response from true believers (which, I might add, you rarely if ever hear from a skeptic when he or she makes a point): "do your own research!" 

Robert and I both tired to inform her that this is not how it works, to which she replied with something along the lines of, "DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!" I don't know what she has said since, because I blocked her on Facebook at that point. 

The take-away from this is as follows: when one makes a claim it's up to them to provide the proof that backs it up (particularly when your claim is potentially libelous). But in the paranormal "field," particularly with the true believers, we far too often see the fundamentalist religious mindset at work. They make wild, outrageous claims, and then they duck and dodge responsibility through various ploys, the most annoying (to me, at least) being the "do your own research" line. 

It would be sad if it wasn't so pathetic. 

Paul Kimball

1 comment:

Bruce Duensing said...

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