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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A question of belief

I'm gonna get a little personal in this post tonight. Let me start off by saying that I'm 24 years old, consider myself an agnostic about God, and if I had to put a label on myself (and it seems that if I don't someone else might) I would say that I am a Fortean. As I assume most of you wouldn't be here without some understanding of what that word means, please stay with me as I give a brief definition for those that may not be as familiar with it as you. In a nutshell a 'Fortean' is a person that follows in the tradition of Charles Fort. Whose philosophy is, I think at least, best summed up in this quote;

"I conceive of nothing, in religion, science or philosophy, that is more than the proper thing to wear, for a while."

The way I take that is that I don't 'believe' anything for more than just a little while. Until or unless something comes along that makes me reconsider it. Or to put it another way, I like to be as flexible in what I believe as is humanly possible. I say that because we all unfortunately operate under an inherent bias, whether because of our culture, upbringing, or environment. I'm biased towards there being a 'supernatural' explanation towards Fortean phenomena. However I don't like to stick to any one theory for more than a little while.

We have been down that road already a number of times in the past, so allow me to go in a slightly different directions. Because of my beliefs, or rather lack of beliefs, I can't understand why people don't allow others to think what they wish about a topic. Why is it that UFOs have to be aliens? Is it really just because people have built their entire careers out of saying this? Well yeah probably, but there has to be more to it than that right? It seems like you can get into a lot of trouble with whatever your beliefs are. So rather than just dogmatically stating it as fact, such as UFOs = alien spacecraft, why can't you just say “In my opinion, UFOs=alien spacecraft.” Maybe books don't sell as well that way?

To my mind this is why Fort's quote up at the top is so important to keep in mind. Look ultimately I don't mind if you are of the opinion that UFOs are alien spacecraft. Will that color your research? Well most definitely. But right now I'm talking about beliefs. I don't wish to begrudge anyone their beliefs. So why would you begrudge me mine? If I wish to assume, at least as a temporary hypothesis, that UFOs represent a Cryptoterrestrial presence among us, how does that really affect you? Does it destroy the 'credibility' of the UFO field? Newsflash, the UFO 'field' has zero credibility with the rest of the world anyway.

Is it because it doesn't sound as good on the lecture circuit? Yeah probably so, again remember my recent post about at least one of the speakers at the MUFON symposium. She was a standard UFO=alien, abductions = alien/human hybridization program types. Which, contrary to what my post may have seemed to indicate, is all good. That's her 'reality tunnel' to borrow the RAW phrase. What this all means is that I just want to be left alone with my beliefs and opinions. In the medium that we are using to communicate right now, namely a blog, if you don't like what I'm saying or you don't agree with it you can just simply stop reading. But guess what? The same thing applies to the 'real world'. If we are friends and you don't like or agree with what I'm saying, you basically have two very simple options; either you tell me to go the hell away and never talk to you again, or you concede that we have different opinions and go about your business.

This post is probably rambling all over the place and for that I apologize. (Because that is obviously different from the 'quality' postings that you have come to know and love, right?) I really just needed to get all of that off of my chest and I thank you for 'listening'. As I have stated since beginning to blog again, this adventure is very therapeutic for me in a lot of ways. Most days it allows me to talk to someone other than my loving girlfriend (who is interested in these things because I am, and bless her she puts up with a lot of my rantings and ravings) to talk to about my opinions about Fortean things in general. I'm going to wrap it up now because I'm hungry and I still have to study for my test tomorrow night. I will leave you with one final Charles Fort quote before signing off;

"One measures a circle, beginning anywhere."

Until next time this is your friendly neighborhood Fortean Philosopher, saying thanks for listening guys and gals.


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