- Last Updated on Saturday, 26 January 2013 11:03
- Written by Keith Rowell
One of Oregon MUFON's missions is public education, and to understand UFOs, it is very important to understand what sources of UFO information you are using. Some sources promote real understanding and some do not. Oregon MUFON believes that UFO information coming from debunkers and extreme skeptics is not helpful in understanding UFOs. In fact, it is particularly destructive of a good understanding of UFOs. Thus, we focus some of this web site on the debunkers and extreme skeptics. You need to know your sources.
Controversy Means Emotion
The UFO has been controversial from the very beginning of its history. Controversial things naturally involve the emotions, and where there is an excess of emotion there is likely to be an excess of fuzzy thinking. Using your rational faculties tends to be somewhat more difficult when you are in the grip of passion. We all have the picture of the cool, calm scientist or scholar doing his or her work in quiet dedication in the laboratory or study. There is a reason for this picture. It is by and large accurate. Scientists and scholars can certainly be passionate, but when they are doing the work of rational analysis leading to understanding and new knowledge, they are not using their emotional side. They can get passionate in defending their work. But this is after the fact of rational analysis.
MUFON Dedicated to Rational Analysis of UFOs
MUFON and Oregon MUFON are dedicated to using rational analysis to understand the UFO. We seek to follow the norms of rational inquiry. We strive to understand the UFO with a dispassionate application of logic and reason to the information and evidence we develop. We strive to avoid logical fallacies in our reasoning. And we strive to treat the subject and the people associated with it with the respect they deserve as simply another part of human experience to be examined and explained if possible. We strive to be skeptical (because that is part of rational analysis and thinking), but not extremely skeptical and certainly never debunking.
Debunking Is Destructive
We avoid debunking because debunking means that you already have your mind made up about a subject. To the debunker, the subject is already understood and needs to be minimized, belittled, ridiculed, and even destroyed if possible. Obviously, MUFON is not out to debunk the subject it is trying to study by scientific and scholarly means.
Extreme Skepticism Is Not Helpful
Extreme skepticism leads to the dismissal of a subject before the subject has been adequately surveyed to see if it has any merit for further study. Extreme skepticism can be used as a protective mechanism so that certain subjects are never looked into. It implies a particularly pernicious form of prejudice. How can you know if a subject is unworthy of study if you do not spend enough time with the subject to take its measure? Extreme skepticism tends to prevent you from ever making this very important initial survey of a subject to evaluate its potential for worthiness of your attention.
Truth is impervious to attitude. It cares not what you think. It cares how you think. Truth just is. If you don't apply the norms of academic (or otherwise rational) thought, then the truth, as far as rational inquiry can know the truth, will forever elude you.
MUFON and Oregon MUFON reject debunking and extreme skepticism as having any value for promoting a true understanding of UFOs and related subjects.
See A Guide to Debunking and Extreme Skepticism for more on this important topic.