Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"Guru" - counselor, inspirational source, sharing knowledge

Introduction
 
The mix of ideas which we have today in Ufology, is greater than it has ever been. Blog readers will be aware, that in recent times, I have covered the ideas of human/alien hybrids; and aliens mentoring humans. In the past, the blog has covered the field of exopolitics; spoken about individuals who pursue videography; and explored the idea of "scientific ufology."
 
 
Evidence
 
I have looked at the evidence for human/alien hybrids, and aliens mentoring humans; and in general, find the evidence for it being true; far from convincing.
 
Besides, individuals making these claims; there are also, so called "researchers" pushing these individuals along. These "researchers" appear, in my opinion, to guide individuals into the researcher's existing belief system. I feel that some "researchers" are actually creating false belief systems in the minds of receptive individuals. I have seen "researchers" who charge money to exorcise "greys" from people; say they can  determine the origin of "aliens" in people's bedrooms; and others who tell you, you are a "star child" and someone special.
 
Some advocates of exopolitics, are convinced that the U.S. Navy has a secret fleet of spacecraft in Earth orbit; that Nazis from World War 2 are still with us and in league with aliens; together with a whole host of other bizarre ideas, based on no firm, credible evidence.
 
Many UAP videographers build up extreme views of what they film. Few take a critical approach to the images they generate and market. Rarely do they self-analyse their material. How do "scientific ufologists" react to these divergent views? In recent times I have discussed this question with a number of my Australian colleagues. Two opposing views have emerged.
 
Firstly, some say you should totally ignore these bizarre and extreme perspectives. Instead, you should focus solely on your own scientifically oriented work.
 
Secondly, others say that these views need to be challenged. That the claims should be examined; flaws pointed out; and individuals who put them forward should be brought to account for their faulty claims.
 
My thoughts
 
I have seen the "other than scientific ufology" approach gather momentum in recent years, and it shows no sign of abating. Social media and other ways of digital communication,  have aided its mass appeal, where material is uncritically passed from person to person.  Anyone, with any kind of idea can push it into the public realm, often without any form of critical review.
 
However, to critically review some of these approaches, involves tackling individuals who are out there; often with a following, who are oblivious to their "guru's" faults and failures. Followers who do not understand the term "peer review," and who would see an unbiased review of their "guru's" claims, as a personal attack on their "guru."
 
This makes it difficult, but not impossible, to call a "spade" a "spade." However, I feel that the time has come, to engage some of these "guru's," and examine their views to see if they make sense; have some sort of evidence base; or are unacceptable; unscientific; and potentially psychologically dangerous to those who follow them.




2 comments:

  1. I think evaluating the claims made by those who hold extreme perspectives is a worthy pursuit. I would likewise argue that claims made by debunkers are equally worthy of critical evaluation. I see at least two potential problems with the project you propose. The first is the manner in which criticism is delivered. If your goal is to encourage readers (devotees and debunkers alike) to step back and examine unstated assumptions, methodological flaws, errors of logic, and substandard analyses, then I think your approach needs to be firm but gentle. Partisans of either side who have emotionally invested in their viewpoints are likely to dismiss what you have to say if you use terms such as "guru" to describe the promoter of a particular perspective. Likewise, debunkers who hold a narrow and dogmatic view of science will not appreciate being informed that they are treating science more as a religion than a systematic method of inquiry which tolerates no dogma. Second, before embarking on a project that subjects the extreme positions of both devotees and debunkers to critical scrutiny, I think it essential to clearly describe your philosophy of science, because your view of what science is supposed to be and how it is supposed to operate will be the basis of your evaluations. I'm a rational empiricist in the tradition of Alfred North Whitehead, and I have serious issues with narrow positivist or materialist views of science. At any rate, I wish you the best of luck.

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  2. Hi barasits, Thank you for your considered comments. Long term readers of this blog will be aware that I have tended to be an individual who favours a firm, but gentle approach. In my HIBAL hypothesis, which suggested that an alternative explanation for the 2 April 1966 Westall incident might have been flight 292 of the US/Australian HIBAL program, I put forward all the known facts, proposed the hypothesis; defended it against respondents, but in the end reminded people who personally attacked me, not the hypothesis, that it was after all, simply an idea to be debated. I never stated it was the answer, merely one proposed answer. I believe that this was a scientific approach, i.e. put forward a testable hypothesis for discussion and debate.

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