Monday, May 11, 2009

Patriots Cave Learns Valuable Lesson

Greetings cave people. Those of you who are regular readers here at the Patriots Cave know by now that in the past, I made it clear that I operate this blog informally, and that I do indulge in speculation, hunches, gut instincts and the like. Over the weekend a visitor named Paul challenged my position regarding the Apollo moon landings. As far as the debate goes, Paul handed me my hat. This is not easy to admit. It does not feel good. It did not feel good. It never does. Nevertheless, the man countered my position and arguments with a much greater command of logic, science, and reason, than I possess. He also used technical jargon which I do not even recognize. This man is extremely well read on the subject. I accused him of spreading dis-information. I am now retracting that statement. It was wrong of me to say that. I was struggling to save face. I ask Paul and you, to forgive me for my behavior. It was lame and un-neighborly. My position regarding the Apollo missions is that they never happened. But I have to admit now that my position is based on circumstantial evidence and my own "gut" feelings. As well as some file footage from NASA which I believe to be proof that NASA was faking at least one of the missions. My position is not backed up by any evidence which would hold up in a court of law, it is my gut, and believing the cumulative sum of a variety of problematic statements and behavior on the part of NASA. I also believe that Paul could take the opposite stance on this argument, and defeat his opponent in debate, using similar logic, jargon, superior scientific familiarity and overall sharpness of mind. So do I believe we really went to the moon? Hell no. Do I believe I got my ass kicked in a debate? Yes indeed. +++ I asked Paul if he had a blog we could read, and he said not yet and that he is new to Blogger. Paul said he gets frustrated with government also, and I suspect he is aware of much of the hidden goings on at high levels of government and society. So I sincerely hope he starts a blog of his own. And for me, from now on I will be much, much more careful about making statements that I cannot back up. And admit that much of what I write is gut feeling, belief, conjecture and guessing. I do not believe or trust most of what governments tell us. They lie like we breathe. But I will be sharper from now on, and I owe Paul for a lesson learned.


Outraged Patriot said...

Good Form, Joel! It is a big man/person that will freely admit to an error. Refreshing.

Joel the K said...

Thanks Opie. I appreciate that very much, truly.

Virtual Eve said...

Hey Joel, my respect for you just grew. I'm proud of you. It is never easy to take the high road.

Joel the K said...

Thank You Evey, you are a gracious soul. I appreciate you.

Paul said...

Thanks for the apology. I in turn would like to apologise for the unnecessary tone I took with regard to your moderation of the other thread.

I must confess I'm still somewhat confused by your stance on belief in the hoax accusations, particularly in regard to your point about "winning a debate". I assume you aren't implying that truth matters less in some formats, such as a formal debate, as opposed to a casual conversation. Truth is truth, regardless of where it comes from. Truth also doesn't care what we feel about it, even when it runs at odds to our preconceptions or desires. That fact is ignored by far, far too many people in the world who are content to swallow comfortable lies because they believe it reinforces their overall world view.

The problem with gut instincts is that they are sometimes wrong. Gut instincts used to tell us that the world was flat and that the sun went around the earth. Evidence, rigorously examined and occasionally violently rejected by some who had too much invested in the alternative view, showed us otherwise.

Have you ever heard of David Icke? He believes that Oswald wasn't the shooter. Good for him. But he also believes that many people in high places are actually reptile-like shapeshifting aliens who eat people. Given he has an antigovernment stance and questions the official story on the JFK assassination, should we therefore uncritically accept his more outre theories without subjecting them to intense scrutiny? That does nobody any favours, as it makes it much easier for onlookers to reject real issues because they are manacled to things that are far less grounded in reality, to put it mildly.

You say that there are images or video and unspecified "problematic statements" that give you your gut feeling. Have you, or are you even interested, in subjecting these feelings to critical analysis? Not by me, there are plenty of sites out there created by space enthusiasts with no agenda or even love of NASA who cover every single hoax claim ever made, and do so far more clearly and non-technically than I could hope to. You have read some of the hoax sites and found them convincing, enough so as to lead you to link to them here for other people to read. It's hard to escape the conclusion that you hope that other people will read these pages and be swayed by them. Are you not prepared to even expose yourself to possible explanations? If not, why not? How would that make you any different to all the other people who don't question what they are told because it might make them uncomfortable?

Can I at least ask whether the points I raised in my original post showed that those specific claims are erroneous? That does not of course prove that every possible claim is nonsense, as each must be evaluated on its own merits, but it does show that one should not rely on single sources when determining belief on such matters. Balance and openmindedness are such endangered resources in today's world, it pays to make sure one is cultivating it in oneself if one expects it of others.

Joel the K said...

Can you prove Icke is not right? What I was saying is, I think if you took my position, that the moon landing was hoaxed, that you would shut your opponent down, regardless of the truth of it. You have given me much advice. Please accept some of mine now: Make a blog of your own. I do not wish to be psychoanalyzed Paul. I'll bet you don't believe in God either. No? How about Out of body experiences? Deja Vu? How old are you? Do you have kids? I'm curious. What is your profession? Why do you think Oswald is the shooter? Have you ever fired a bolt action rifle? Come man, BLOG!

Paul said...

I believe, if you reread my post, that I make it plain that I'm not a believer in the official JFK story. That was my point - just because someone believes something that is firmly backed up by evidence does not mean that we should automatically believe anything else they say just because they are antiautoritarian. Evidence is the key, and in the case of Icke's reptiloid aliens (yes, I can show them to be based on false premises) or the moon hoax, one should not throw out all critical thinking just because it seems to fit a "pattern" of governmental malfeasance. Not everybody who claims they are being followed by black helicopters and tailed by CIA agents is right. Some of them are paranoid and delusional. Discernment is important.

Whether or not I believe in any of the other things (where's your proof I don't?) is irrelevant, as each can be considered on its own merits independent of the others. Or do you claim that belief in one compels belief in all the others with no independent assessment of claims?

"Regardless of the truth of it"? So you are once again accusing me of "disinformation", thus completely negating your apology. Well, I retract mine. You are a hypocrite, and a coward for not having the courage to maturely examine your belief in the moon hoax nonsense. I bet you still haven't even looked at the link I provided, even though you seem to think it okay to imply others should go and look at the idiotic hoax believer page you linked to. You have no interest in challenging your assumptions, just because they make you comfortable.

It's hard to escape the feeling that your calls for me to go away and talk somewhere else are just an avoidance tactic. I wonder if you think that the comments facility on your own blog is there just to be congratulated by the likeminded, and that any form of actual discourse that challenges preconceptions is an attack. So why don't we all just start our own blogs and then stand there shouting into the void with no actual interaction with each other? That wouldn't be discourse, that would be masturbation.

Joel the K said...

Fine, its an avoidance tactic. Now what Lord Budda? Guide me to the light Yoda.

Paul said...

At home to Mister Snide, are we?

Well, you could start by doing what I've invited you to do several times now - go and look at one of the sites that debunk the various hoax theories. You found the time to read one hoax page. A truly openminded person should be prepared to accept that relying on one single source of information on a contentious subject may leave them with incomplete, distorted or outright false impressions. Why do you seem to have such an aversion to getting a second opinion?

I'm no guru. As I keep pointing out, fully exercising your critical thinking faculty is your responsibility and nobody else's. All I can do is ask (repeatedly) why you seem to be actively averse to doing so.

You could also renew your apology for calling me a liar.

Virtual Eve said...

Dear Joel, my mother was just like this one. She was dead wrong on many topics, yet in her own mind, she was forever right. Oh well.


You stated that trusting the instincts or gut-reaction is sometimes fallible. That may be true (in fact, most probably is in your case) but for me, not so much. If anything I ever learned could be THE most important, it is - My intuition is my reliable guide - no matter what. I call that critical thinking based on evidential facts.

Your arrogance is laughable. Sorry buddy, but you have no credibility outside your own personal paradigm.

Paul said...

My arrogance? Puh-leeze. "For me, not so matter what". Look in the mirror.

Virtual Eve said...

I like what I see in the mirror. You on the other hand, distinctly display "short man syndrome". Little guys like you always have something to prove to the rest of the world. It is very sad actually.

I'd like to reiterate Joel's offer. Create your own blog, get your ideas out there, perhaps even develop a following of like-minded souls who obediently massage your vastly over-rated ego. I'll be sure to comment regularly. No, you don't have the guts to do that do you? Little guys and mental midgets - sheesh!

Paul said...

I'm 6'2".

What was that about like minded souls? I seem to be getting quite a bit of that vibe from here. Why do you feel threatened by someone presenting rational counterarguments? I note that you, like Joel, seem completely disinterested in actually backing up your opinions with facts, instead just letting fly with the ad hominems.

Virtual Eve said...

I'm sorry which Facts? Which rational counter-arguments? What is the location of your awe-inspiring rational factoids to which you refer?

You are something else. Joel writes an apologetic post and you come back with more spite and arrogance. How is that rational? Please, inform us. And another thing, why are you even wasting your time? What purpose do you hope to accomplish?

Again, I ask, where is your blog? Step outside the proverbial box and let us know exactly which "facts" you claim are being ignored.

Ah, yes. It is the argument that moves you. I'm playing.

Paul said...

I'm sorry which Facts? Which rational counter-arguments? What is the location of your awe-inspiring rational factoids to which you refer?Umm, what? the first post I made here, for example. The one that led to Joel making the false accusation that he later retracted. And then made again.

Joel writes an apologetic post and you come back with more spite and arrogance. How is that rational? Ask Joel. He's the one who accused me of lying agin. Or does that not count?

And another thing, why are you even wasting your time? What purpose do you hope to accomplish? Initially, I took Joel up on his open invitation to provide counterargument to specific claims that he made about a subject I know and care about. Since then, I've been accused of lying twice and am now enduring a barrage of otherwise content free ad hominem from you.

Do you honestly believe that rebutting an arguent is unacceptable, or a personal attack? Why do you also insist that I confine my comments to my own blog? What is the comments section on this blog for? Mutual self congratulation? What is wrong with attempts at honest debate? Why do you feel so threatened by that?

Virtual Eve said...

Nothing you posted serves as irrefutable, scientific fact. The debate between you two is between you two. Your offensive and abrasive tactics are insulting and do nothing to further the "debate".

I personally don't care whether or not the mission to the moon was real or fabricated. It does not interest me in the slightest.

Your attitude is uncalled for in any case. Belittling people is uncouth and small-minded. Short man syndrome fits you.

You obviously have lots to say. Using this person's blog to exhale your bloated thinking is futile. Useless. Wasted effort and solves nothing.

You jump in here and verbally abuse without warrant. I have no business other than to point out to you that your tactics are not helping your credibility.

I have nothing to prove except that my opinion of your character is based on your own publicly published ideas. You've proven nothing in the facts department. You have proven my point admirably however.

Your nasty nature will indeed catch up to you if it hasn't already. People who insult and attack others unmercifully is my business. You are an arrogant bully who achieves nothing except the furtherance of negativity.

Graciously apologize to this man for your despicable behavior.

Paul said...

Nothing you posted serves as irrefutable, scientific fact.Really? I don't see much in the way of explanation as to why this is so apart from your "gut feeling". Care to back it up in any way, shape or form? Thought not.

Using this person's blog to exhale your bloated thinking is futile. He invited comment. In quite an "offensive and abrasive" manner, too. But that doesn't count, right?

Beyond that, I've on the one hand just responded to being called a liar (twice) with no attempt at even justifying that accusation. But that doesn't count, right? But also, my ongoing point is to address something that I feel is really important - that it is all too easy for those who rightfully distrust authority to fall into the trap of believing any damn fool thing that is presented as being yet another form of government malfeasance. As I keep pointing out, mostly politely, that is not advantageous to anyone at all. It just serves to marginalise viewpoints that otherwise might have a wider audience. Critical thinking is very, very important. Evaluation of evidence, even if it causes one to reevaluate things that one wants to believe, is something that should never, ever be shied away from.

You jump in here and verbally abuse without warrant. Only in response to abuse recieved. But that doesn't count, right? The only abusive terms I have used have been "coward" and "hypocrite", and only in context to unwarranted accusations leveled at me. But that doesn't count, right? How do you feel about "liar"?

You seem unwilling or unable to separate a description of an idea as sloppy thinking from a description of the person repeating the idea. Is debate always unwarranted? Is sauce for the goose sauce for the gander? You seem quite content to mock my views and arguments, why should your friend be held to a different standard? You've made far, far more personal attacks than either he or I have.

You've proven nothing in the facts department. Why, because you say so? Care to back that up? Thought not.

Graciously apologize to this man for your despicable behavior.You have got to be kidding me. Why don't you take him to task for repeating his accusation of lying, the one you commended him for retracting in the first place? If he wants an apology for anything, he can demand or ask for it. Otherwise, you can mind your own business.

Joel the K said...

When did I call Paul a liar? I don't remember saying that. Anyway, Paul, would you like to be my guest on a radio show? I can ask you questions, you can attack the moon hoax theory, and listeners can call in and argue. It'll be wild. What do you say?

Joel the K said...

Hi Evey!

Paul said...

When did I call Paul a liar? I don't remember saying that.When you said: you would shut your opponent down, regardless of the truth of it. It seems to be part of your notion that a "debate" is only about "winning" and not about truth.

As for the radio show invitation: given I live on the other side of the world, so it would be an international phone call and probably at a very odd hour, I'll have to decline. But thanks anyway.

Joel the K said...

That is not the same as calling someone a liar. Or a coward. Those are strong words. Very cutting. I admitted I was wrong for saying disinfo., I did not however say I agreed with your position. I complimented you on your ability. Then you called me a coward, AGAIN. After examining further examination, I am more convinced than ever that NASA faked the lunar missions. But that does not mean I have animosity towards you. It means we disagree.

Paul said...

I'm not at all clear on how you can say "regardless of the truth of it" without asserting dishonesty.

You claim that you have looked at further evidence. Can I ask if it was another hoax site? Are you still refusing to look at any of the debunking sites, like the one I keep recommending to you? If not, why not?

I feel that disagreement can only be respected if the reasons behind it can be explained. You seem disinterested in doing so. I'll ask again - given that disproving one claim does not necessarily imply rejection of any other claim, do you have any specific comment on the original points I made in my first post in response to your invitation? If you reject any of it, can you explain why?

Joel the K said...

I've been looking at Clavius. Yes I will be posting a comprehensive line-item description as to why and how they are misled and inaccurate. It will be a post on my blog.

Paul said...

See ya there.

Still no comment on my first post?

Virtual Eve said...

Joel, I mentioned my personal experience with people like this in my firt comment (my mother). It still stands. People like this are never, ever wrong about anything in their own minds. See? Its no use, they can't see what they are no matter what, until the end that is. I suggest ignoring them when they pop up. And will follow my own advice. Its sad really.

Joel the K said...

I can't ignore Paul's counterpoints. Not that I expect he will change his mind. But because Patriots Cave exists as an outlet for me to express myself. So I will do so, point by point. But first I have A TON of stuff I must take care of. But very soon I will post a comprehensive expose' of NASA's shananigans. I found a fundamental flaw in the "debunkers" logic. But it must wait for now. We have much more serious problems to deal with. Jeez, so does Australia for that matter. Last I checked there were fires raging out of control. Terrible. See you later Evey.

Paul said...

I can't ignore Paul's counterpoints.So you'll comment on my first post, not just your rebuttal of the debunker site I recommended?

Not that I expect he will change his mind. And how about you? Like I said, debunking one point does not mean automatically throwing out any others, so I'm curious to hear what you think about the counterargument to the specific points you originally raised.

Last I checked there were fires raging out of control. Uh...on the other side of the continent. And four months ago.

Paul said...

I'd almost think you had no intention of ever answering the question I will now have now asked five times in this thread alone. Given that disproving one claim does not necessarily imply rejection of any other claim, do you have any specific comment on the original points I made in my first post in response to your invitation? If you reject any of it, can you explain why?

Paul said...

Yeah. I knew you were all hat, no cattle. This thread is far enough back in your archive that nobody but us needs to know I'm calling you out, right? I'm sure you'd prefer it that way.

I stand by my assessment of your character. You are a coward. And one with a fragile ego that can't back down, instead needing to indulge in a transparently obvious bit of posturing like "The sites you recommend are full of flaws - I could point them out, but I don't want to", only to run away and never mention it again.

You were so full of snide superiority - you made a contemptuous open invitation for anyone to challenge you on this subject, so cocksure that you had all the facts at your disposal. And yet, as soon as someone who can walk the walk turns up, you accuse them of lying, refuse point blank to acknowledge or even consider that the arguments you raised have been trashed, and cravenly run away claiming victory over your shoulder.

You are no truth seeker. As I said numerous times, people like you, who reflexively believe any damn fool thing simply because it feeds your prejudices and makes you feel superior to the "common herd", do absolutely no good in helping to uncover the real abuses of power that go on every day. You just help make the whole notion of questioning authority appear to be populated by petulant self-deceivers more interested in shoring up their illusions of superiority than confronting and dealing with issues that need real solutions.