From: Amy Hebert <ahebert.nul> Date: Mon, 30 May 2005 21:19:41 -0500 Fwd Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 08:32:26 -0400 Subject: Re: National Or Cultural Impacts On UFO Research - >From: Stuart Miller <stuart.miller4.nul> >To: ufoupdates.nul >Date: Mon, 30 May 2005 14:14:33 +0100 (BST) >Subject: Re: National Or Cultural Impacts On UFO Research >>From: Amy Hebert <ahebert.nul> >>To: <ufoupdates.nul> >>Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 20:16:40 -0500 >>Subject: Re: National Or Cultural Impacts On UFO Research <snip> >>Perhaps it is more of a "mixed bag" or "all of the above". >>Charlatans and scholars exist in all cultures. Truth and lies >>are translated in all languages. Every culture exhibits media >>and personal bias; some obvious, some subtle. Ultimately, it >>all boils down to the individual and how willing each person > >is to become an informed consumer of information. Each >>citizen of every country must ask themselves, in all honesty, >>do they want to believe or do they want the truth. <snip> >An excellent analysis Amy, but I found myself muttering, after >reading the above paragraph, "So what?" >I acknowledge there was no trace of censure or judgement in your >observations and I'm not accusing you of such, but I would have >been grateful if you had taken your analysis further and >explained why so many on both sides of the "believing" fence >feel a religious zeal in trying to correct the beliefs of those >they feel are mistaken. To me, this is the height of supreme >arrogance - as if one can straighten out the misguided philosphy >of those perceived to be wrong and set them on the road to >righteousness, as laid down by "me" of course. We should leave >these people, from whatever perspective, alone. If we consider >them ignorant, then leave them alone in their ignorance. They >are happy where they are and let's face it, who really is to say >they are wrong? Why do people feel the need to promote their belief systems to others? That's a good question and one I have pondered many times. After reading your question to my 20 year old daughter (going on 80), I asked her why she thought people felt such a need to convince others their way of thinking is right and any other way of thinking is wrong (she was on the debate team in high school and spends much of her waking hours debating everything under the sun). To which she replied, "Because it makes it more true. The more that believe the way you do, the more right you feel. If less people share your beliefs, you feel afraid you might be wrong and begin to question your beliefs. When you question your beliefs, you have to search harder for the truth. It's easier to get others to agree with your way of thinking than it is to search for the truth and maybe change the way you think. When others agree with your point of view it makes you feel special." I doubt there are any easy or quick answers to this question because the need to believe is different from person to person. From a psychosocial point of view, which is like zooming out from individual to group behaviors, there are similar patterns or traits that appear to correlate with belief needs observed in religions, cults as well as sociopolitical arenas across all cultures. Far beyond the UFO community, the need to believe and convert others appears to be an inherent aspect of human nature. So much so, it is one characteristic used by science to distinguish humans from animals. In reference to the need to convert others to one's way of thinking, this too is more complex than we have time or space to cover in this or subsequent posts. But let me ask you this, if people stopped debating issues, what would we learn? What would the world be like today if Hitler was allowed to continue promoting his belief that all Jews should be exterminated? Should he have just been left alone in his ignorance (or stupidity) and allowed to carry on with his philosophies? If he was happy, why interfere? What about the Heaven's Gate cult (I studied this group and have an extensive file on them including original video footage I took with their permission)? Your perspective of leaving them alone in their ignorance appears to have been exactly what happened... with disastrous consequences. At what point do we call it ignorance (lack of knowledge) or stupidity (lack of intelligence)? Ignorance is merely a lack of knowledge or being uninformed while stupidity is unable or unwilling to recognize information regardless of the content. People who believe out of ignorance merely lack adequate and valid information. People who continue to believe despite the evidence/information are either incapable or unwilling to use logic and reason. People who believe something due to lack of information often recognize truth when they finally see it. Those unable or unwilling to change their beliefs remain myopic and conflicted because, subconsciously, they know truth is just beyond their grasp. Do you believe something because it's true or is it true because you believe it? If you were wrong in your beliefs but happy, would you prefer to be left alone or would you still want the truth? >The real giveaways for me are the constant jibes, from both >sides. John's closing comment about reports, "not telling >ufologists what they want to hear" speaks volumes. I have no >idea if there was a "side" to James Smith's original post but it >struck me as a rather lame attempt to show that he was more open >minded than he is accused of being. The hardest part of searching for valid information on this or any list, is sorting the bull from the bullshi#. With all the chest thumping, snorting and vocalizations, it sometimes seems more like a jungle than a discussion forum (IMO). I'm not sure if this is due to an overabundance of testosterone or a lack of adequate progesterone but the smell of piss and antlers has reduced many amazing discussions to a substance not unlike used kitty litter (UFO community = 56% men, 44% women, Brenda Denzler, The Lure Of The Edge, University of California Press, 2001). What I don't understand is why some people are allowed to destroy healthy and productive discussions with their inane input while others would be swiftly banned for similar transgressions. There are those who maintain the status quo and those who challenge - and never clear which side is which. I often wonder if this is due to natural selection or planned erranthood. ;> >And somewhat belatedly, I would agree with John Velez's >orgiginal accusation levelled at Kyle King that there is an >element of racism in much of North America's responses to south >of the border UFO reports, and I detect the same strand in James >Smith's comments too. It is something that our South American >colleagues seem to put up with, with remarkable patience, but I >guess they're used to it. I disagree, Stuart. Instead of listening to Mr. King and discussing the issues at hand, he was attacked, berated and accused of racism. Instead of saying, "Mmmmm, perhaps we should study this." the usual distractions and finger pointing ensued. I don't care where one is from, the burden of proof is on those making the original claims. The issue remains under investigation. >And perhaps Amy, you might turn your spotlight on to the other >side, towards those who are perceived to be the models of common >sense in Ufological matters. What is their pathology? And go on, >be a devil, include yourself as well. Mmmmm, perhaps we should study this. A. Hebert "Follow the white rabbit..."
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