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A question for skeptics and non-believers


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#16    metaskeptic

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:52 AM

View PostSheetz, on 24 August 2012 - 04:14 PM, said:

What we do know:

no photographs - all non-believers will say in this digital age anything can be doctored
no recordings - will be deemed as outside RF interference or our brains trying to form words from the "noise"
no videos - same outlook as photos
no evps - same as recordings


I think it is impotrtant to distinguish between single items of evidence and "suits" of evidence.

For example:


If there were four video recordings, 10 photos and 10 audios of the same phenomena, consistently and unquestionably untampered and from multiple angles etc, it would become very hard to deny. Or at least, a different kind of refutation would be needed than "that image is a hoax.. artifact...etc"


#17    Emma_Acid

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:59 AM

View PostSeeker79, on 24 August 2012 - 05:03 PM, said:

Honestly the most success I have had with convincing people of the wider realities is through personal experiences.

"Personal experience" is the worst way to objective verify anything. The process of human perception is enormously flawed. If you want to know whether homoeopathy works, you go look at the data - and you'll see that it doesn't. If you went by personal experience, you'd find out that apparently homoeopathy cures everything from AIDS to cancer.

I If you want to know whether something is empirically valid, you do not go by personal experience, you go by scientific consensus. Which leads us to....


View PostSeeker79, on 24 August 2012 - 05:03 PM, said:

The other thing I find with a lot of skeptics is that they are mostly followers. They will not accept something until a large body of mainstream gurus do.

Because that is the best way to find out if something is valid. To know that the earth is round, I don't need to jet up in a rocket and see it for myself, I can comfortably go with the scientific consensus.


View PostSheetz, on 24 August 2012 - 07:13 PM, said:

From that viewpoint, I'm trying to understand what if anything is left to be given as "proof".

Plenty, because scientific validity is never shown through just photos and videos.

For me, its the same as any other area of nature. It needs to be described empirically, and shown not just to be a factor of human perception. There also needs to be a mechanism described by which ghosts can actually exist, which is completely lacking at the moment.

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#18    ChrLzs

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:34 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 24 August 2012 - 05:03 PM, said:

Scientists would probably have to catch a ghost, "demon", or whatever. Then display it. Even then many would call it a hoax unless it jumped out and bit them.
Really?  Exaggerate much?  Can I ask what sort of ghost or demon or whatever would be the best one as far as catchability, or actual, you know, EVIDENCE?

What's YOUR very best example of compelling evidence to date?

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Honestly the most success I have had with convincing people of the wider realities is through personal experiences.
Well, naturally, given there isn't any actual evidence, what else could you possibly use?

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When I teach people how to have OOBEs and they are committed enough to practice, the first time the exit from their body... Their whole world changes. It certainly did for me.
That's lovely.  Have you tested this ability in any way, or must we just take your word (and who wouldn't...)?  Some have done some very simple tests, and found that these out of body experiences didn't stand much scrutiny.  Did the person 'experience' something?  Yes, I'm quite sure they did.  Just like I experience dreams...  

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The other thing I find with a lot of skeptics is that they are mostly followers.
Generalise and ad hominem much?  I'm a skeptic, so I guess that means I'm likely one of those sheep..

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They will not accept something until a large body of mainstream gurus do.
Yeah, that's such a BAD thing!  :rolleyes:  And it's a great example of a straw man argument.  I DO think dreams are real. But is their content real?  Similarly, if someone genuinely believes in an experience or perception, I also accept that experience or perception is real to them.  Does that make that perception (or dream content..) truly real?

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Discoveries are not made by people parroting other people. They are made by the people willing to be on the frontlines and the fringe...
I disagree.  Most discoveries are made by those who are familiar with the topic and apply rigour and methodology to it in order to widen our knowledge base.
In fact I challenge you to name a good number of the discoveries made by those on the fringe..  And we'll compare that with the number made by those who are just doing their job.. I'd also point out that those discoveries were not accepted until they were verified as testable, repeatable.. by.. the mainstream.

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The rest of the bantering is irrelevant.
Indeed it is.  Like this:

Quote

even a skeptic can't deni what they themselves have experienced
Rubbish.  EVERYTHING we perceive is processed by our brains.  Every single image you see, sound you hear, etc is a perception, affected by your senses, your past experience, your brain's enormous storehouse of memories and the processing it does to meld the new information into the mix.  Even the scene that you are seeing right now, no matter what it is, contains several inaccuracies (- I'm happy to elaborate).  And the proliferation of things like optical illusions or even the effects of mind-altering substances, should tell you that perception is an extraordinarily tricky business.  And I haven't even started on hoaxes..

My perceptions are often flawed.  My memories are often inaccurate, even on important details. So YES, I can and sometimes do deny and/or question my personal experiences.

If you truly believe that you are different, you are simply kidding yourself.


BTW, what exactly is the problem with Randi's challenge?  Is it the fact that the challenger gets to help design the tests and has to be happy with the methodology beforehand?  Seems to me that it couldn't be much fairer..

And again, please give your very best evidence of the paranormal, and we'll apply a bit of rigour, shall we?

Would you like me to suggest a very simple test for your OOBE's?  You will need a Justice of the Peace or Notary Public who is amenable to following some simple instructions and willing for their identity to be fully verified, but other than that it would only take a very small amount of effort..  Think of this as a simplified Randi-type challenge without the reward (other than the kudos if you were successful)..  And yes, you'll get to agree to the (very few) conditions, but if you refuse any of them you will have to explain why and suggest better ones.



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#19    Dodir_Svile

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 02:30 PM

Just a somewhat unrelated question for those of you who are into video editing and video filters and stuff like that. What if someone filmed something, then used a filter to create a "ghost" then played that video on a high-resolution screen and then filmed it AGAIN (the screen itself playing the altered video)? Would it then be possible to see whether there are any filters? Because, the second movie is filming something that is simply in front of camera, together with the ghost.
Don't know if I've made the question clear, it's a bit hard to explain, but I hope someone understands :)


#20    shobonimaster

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 03:02 PM

View PostDodir_Svile, on 26 August 2012 - 02:30 PM, said:

Just a somewhat unrelated question for those of you who are into video editing and video filters and stuff like that. What if someone filmed something, then used a filter to create a "ghost" then played that video on a high-resolution screen and then filmed it AGAIN (the screen itself playing the altered video)? Would it then be possible to see whether there are any filters? Because, the second movie is filming something that is simply in front of camera, together with the ghost.
Don't know if I've made the question clear, it's a bit hard to explain, but I hope someone understands :)

I would think there would be some tell it was filed off a screen.

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#21    Domina Lucis

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 08:01 PM

For me, it would have to be a personal experience. Nothing else would convince me.

Unless they could somehow scientifically catch a ghost or something like that and prove it.

Edited by MisstreeDove, 26 August 2012 - 08:02 PM.

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#22    Sheetz

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 10:21 PM

I understand the viewpoints going back and forth, but have yet to see an answer to my question from any of the skeptics or non-believers.  Can you give an example of a type of evidence that would be shown to you that might change your mind.  I can only give the one example, and there are others that would be redundant, but stating that same again, a piece of video evidence is offered which was reviewed "in real time" while being filmed by another camera (to show that the evidence was caught in that moment). Then the evidence was put under what is considered "scientific" evaluation in the video world with a vector scope.  That is just my example and while certainly anything we see on TV can be post produced, or even false altogether, what would it take for you to convince you?

For sake of argument, and is a hypothetical now being introduced here, what if this happened.  A video of the most incredible offering was shot of a proposed ghost.  The ghost was both witnessed by several people AND captured on video.  The video was taken to an engineer (like in my main example above) and that forensic engineer confirmed that the video was not tampered with, was not a video composite by a computer or other FX trick and therefore confirmed as authentic.  What more is needed??  Its not like you can run the video before a panel of scientists who can offer more input...they are merely now second hand witness to a video and can only comment on it.  The witnesses' testimony from the video taped event will be thrown out as the above skeptic pointed out...the event, even though filmed (or reportedly) was their own "perception" which you shown can be flawed as human perception can and will be....even though it might be some type of mass halucination?  I see what you say with dreams, they are real, but their content??  I think that cannot be compared as a dream in this case is a singular experience - to the person having it.  But awake, having multiple people witness is again different, so you would have to say they were having some sort of mass hallucination OR it actually did happen. Regardless, the skeptic throws that out as flawed, since human perception is not a valid piece of evidence.

That said, what is there?  I may also remind of another reason I bring this up.  There are a few skeptics on here that are actually founders or members of their own paranormal investigative group and are some of the most discerning skeptics.  They are very quick to denounce anything as real, so the question remains, what would it take for you?  Since obviously you believe there is SOMETHING, or wouldn't be wasting your time going on investigations or meetings or whatever your group does.  I'm looking for those as some basis for even being apart of a paranormal group when it seems apparent that nothing exists to those same people.

The common thread I am gathering is that there is nothing that can be shown, proven, or otherwise to change your mind, so in Seeker's defense (not that he needs it) I am summarizing that nothing outside a non-believer actually seeing or experience something paranormal on their own, with their own eyes and ears, will change their mind.  Is this an accurate assumption?

Let's not let the thread deteriorate into an argument over who's right or wrong or show me your proof examples of arguing.  I'm seriously asking what it would take in the way of evidence for a skeptic to become a believer.  That's the intent of the question.  The basis for the question is that most all skeptics deem all evidence as fake staged or hoaxed.  In a nutshell, the usual answer is, "It's not real, because there is no such thing as a ghost"  Followed by, "...when you show me some scientific evidence."  What might that be I ask????


#23    Imaginarynumber1

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 10:30 PM

Personal experiences, as we all know, are very subjective and thusly cannot count as evidence of any kind. Any sort of phenomena, to be proven, would need to be observable, testable, and repeatable, otherwise it may as well be dismissed as any kind of evidence.

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#24    ZaraKitty

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 11:16 PM

Personal experience, like being there. Photos don't do anything for me, or sound recordings. The only way to get me to really believe in anything is for me to experience it first hand :)

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#25    White Crane Feather

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 11:57 PM

View PostEmma_Acid, on 25 August 2012 - 10:59 AM, said:



"Personal experience" is the worst way to objective verify anything. The process of human perception is enormously flawed. If you want to know whether homoeopathy works, you go look at the data - and you'll see that it doesn't. If you went by personal experience, you'd find out that apparently homoeopathy cures everything from AIDS to cancer.
I did not say it was the best way to objectify something I said it was the best way to covince somebody of something.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#26    Radian

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 12:07 AM

View PostSheetz, on 24 August 2012 - 05:26 PM, said:

Again, I'm only referring to this as a question of:  Is this type of analysis valid enough?? Or should there be more.


To the skeptics, nothing is never "enough." It's just how it is...

Edited by Shankpin, 27 August 2012 - 12:08 AM.

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#27    White Crane Feather

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 12:28 AM

View PostChrlzs, on 25 August 2012 - 12:34 PM, said:


Really?  Exaggerate much?  Can I ask what sort of ghost or demon or whatever would be the best one as far as catchability, or actual, you know, EVIDENCE?

What's YOUR very best example of compelling evidence to date?


Well, naturally, given there isn't any actual evidence, what else could you possibly use?


That's lovely.  Have you tested this ability in any way, or must we just take your word (and who wouldn't...)?  Some have done some very simple tests, and found that these out of body experiences didn't stand much scrutiny.  Did the person 'experience' something?  Yes, I'm quite sure they did.  Just like I experience dreams...  


Generalise and ad hominem much?  I'm a skeptic, so I guess that means I'm likely one of those sheep..


Yeah, that's such a BAD thing!  :rolleyes:  And it's a great example of a straw man argument.  I DO think dreams are real. But is their content real?  Similarly, if someone genuinely believes in an experience or perception, I also accept that experience or perception is real to them.  Does that make that perception (or dream content..) truly real?


I disagree.  Most discoveries are made by those who are familiar with the topic and apply rigour and methodology to it in order to widen our knowledge base.
In fact I challenge you to name a good number of the discoveries made by those on the fringe..  And we'll compare that with the number made by those who are just doing their job.. I'd also point out that those discoveries were not accepted until they were verified as testable, repeatable.. by.. the mainstream.


Indeed it is.  Like this:

Rubbish.  EVERYTHING we perceive is processed by our brains.  Every single image you see, sound you hear, etc is a perception, affected by your senses, your past experience, your brain's enormous storehouse of memories and the processing it does to meld the new information into the mix.  Even the scene that you are seeing right now, no matter what it is, contains several inaccuracies (- I'm happy to elaborate).  And the proliferation of things like optical illusions or even the effects of mind-altering substances, should tell you that perception is an extraordinarily tricky business.  And I haven't even started on hoaxes..

My perceptions are often flawed.  My memories are often inaccurate, even on important details. So YES, I can and sometimes do deny and/or question my personal experiences.

If you truly believe that you are different, you are simply kidding yourself.


BTW, what exactly is the problem with Randi's challenge?  Is it the fact that the challenger gets to help design the tests and has to be happy with the methodology beforehand?  Seems to me that it couldn't be much fairer..

And again, please give your very best evidence of the paranormal, and we'll apply a bit of rigour, shall we?

Would you like me to suggest a very simple test for your OOBE's?  You will need a Justice of the Peace or Notary Public who is amenable to following some simple instructions and willing for their identity to be fully verified, but other than that it would only take a very small amount of effort..  Think of this as a simplified Randi-type challenge without the reward (other than the kudos if you were successful)..  And yes, you'll get to agree to the (very few) conditions, but if you refuse any of them you will have to explain why and suggest better ones.



PS - my presence here can be a bit patchy, you may have to be patient..
Well I'll try to keep up with all that on my little iPhone.

I'm not exaggerating at all. Even myself. If scientists claimed they caught a spirit I would not believe it. I would have to see it. Then even then I would remain sceptical thinking it was some sort of hoax. It takes a powerful personal experience to change somebody's mind wether that experience be with faith in empiricism or being smacked.

Hmmmm a fallacy pointing out a common fallacy.... Guess I'm guilty.

Yes It is a bad thing when the potential exists for those gurus to be completely wrong and perpetuate dogmas.

There is a plethora of evidence. But all forms of evidence are flawed, therefore it's the aggregate of the evidences that start to show a bigger picture and make certain things more and more likely. Empiricism is Useful but just as flawed S the ober forms of evidence. Being an empirical fundamentalist and only accepting empirical evidence for everything absolutely always leads to a completely inaccurate view, because there things in existence that cannot be measured by empirical standards, and there is vast amount of unknowable knowledge. This is why all bits of evidence from different places need to be considered. Would you like me to explain an example of the glaring failure of empiricism.

Of course it dosnt make it real.... But it dosnt make it not real either. Did you really drive a car in that dream? Of course not. But there is a deeper reality happening.

Of course everything is happening in our minds....see the quote under my avatar.

That's all I was saying. The frontlines are where discoveries are made. There are lots of discovers made by accident while persuing other things, and there are lots of metaphysical discoveries made by people. These cannot be classified as scientific discoverys because as you pointed out. The nature of our existence is extremely personal. We are locked into our perceptions. A deep inner discovery is not measurable. But that dosnt mean it did not happen. It is repeatable However. You just have to be a participant to repeat it.

You do not have the slightest clue about the nature of the OOB environment. How could you possibly design a test in such ignorance? I have got a better idea. Why don't you let me be your tutor, and you do it yourself. Then when the time comes I will show you how to proove it to yourself. It's a little tricky given the nature of sponsoring thoughts, but it can be done.

Oh that's right.... You don't trust your own experiences....

A bit of rigor? You mean a load of creative philibustering don't you?

Edited by Seeker79, 27 August 2012 - 12:39 AM.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#28    White Crane Feather

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 12:32 AM

View PostImaginarynumber1, on 26 August 2012 - 10:30 PM, said:

Personal experiences, as we all know, are very subjective and thusly cannot count as evidence of any kind. Any sort of phenomena, to be proven, would need to be observable, testable, and repeatable, otherwise it may as well be dismissed as any kind of evidence.
All evidence is a personal experience.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#29    Imaginarynumber1

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 12:42 AM

View PostShankpin, on 27 August 2012 - 12:07 AM, said:

To the skeptics, nothing is never "enough." It's just how it is...

And to believers every shadow is proof.

View PostSeeker79, on 27 August 2012 - 12:32 AM, said:

All evidence is a personal experience.

No. It's not. Personal experiences are subjective evidence. They are unverifiable, usually unrepeatable and boil down to nothing but personal opinion. Objective evidence is verifiable by outside parties, repeatable, testable, etc. Objective evidence is factual, subjective evidence is not.

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#30    Radian

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 01:12 AM

View PostSheetz, on 24 August 2012 - 07:13 PM, said:


From that viewpoint, I'm trying to understand what if anything is left to be given as "proof".  That's why I gave the youtube example above.  While the show is thought of as cheesy or hokey by many, in this one particular example, they go the extra step and have an expert forensic video engineer put it through the paces.  Does the fact that he found without a doubt that the video has not been altered prove anything??  Not sure that helps at all...but the best way I can explain my viewpoint.

Let me give my example on "experience." Experience is real, it can not be proven scientifically, or captured on a photograph, or film, why? because the experience is memory- thoughts, emotions attached to that memory. This can not be proven by science. But we know we expeienced a certain thing... it's real. It may not be captured by science, forgodsakes, but it's real. Same as spirit. There's no difference.

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