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maht91's picture

  Also, in the chapter titled

  Also, in the chapter titled The City of Grief, Sagan talks extensively about alien abductions and how for "people suffering from sleep paralysis they truly believe it's real." It was interesting that he brought up that its is the responsibility of the abductee to provide proof. But even if the abductees provide a proof, is science able to explain it? And if science is able to explain it using scientific methods, does that make it real to everyone? to the abductee? to scientists? In the same chapter, on page 194, one of the points says that "Sagen refuses to take seriously the witnesses' reports of anything that the twentieth-century science can't explain." I still refuse that there is a universal truth and question whether how reality is different for different people. Sagan seems to dismiss the idea that witnesses' reports are serious if science does not dictate that they are true. The book mentions that people who see aliens and think that they were abducted might have been diagnosed with an illness. For me, this suggests that their reality might change under this new circumstance and thus even if science can't explain what they see, it should still be considered "real" to them.

 On page 223 of Obsessed with Reality, Sagan suggests that "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Does that mean that ghosts are real for people who have seen them or are the stories of people abducted by aliens true? This makes me wonder how much skepticism plays a role in suggesting something as valid science versus pseudoscience taking into consideration Sagan's above quote.

 

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