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Why people are skeptical of psychic claims


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#1    KBA

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 08:09 PM

It seems like a lot of people act surprised or upset when they talk about their "powers" here and are met with skepticism from multiple members of U-M. I frankly have to wonder why people would be surprised at such a thing.

Firstly, we need to understand the way the world works.

The world is full of all different types of people who believe all different types of things and feel all different types of emotions, and so on. Now, there's definitely no shortage of people in the world who would agree that the human mind is capable of doing magical and unexplainable things. However, in the modern era of science and reason, there are an increasing number of people who want evidence before they will believe what you're saying.

Nobody inherently deserves trust.

When someone makes a claim that they have a psychic power, it collides with the reality that most of us have been living in and experiencing. In such a reality, it is impossible for the brain to produce magical effects, such as twirling objects, burning things, or accurately guessing what random peoples' favorite color is. It would be the same if I came up to you and told you that your foot is made of jelly. You wouldn't believe it, because you have always understood that your foot is made of blood, bone, muscle, skin, etc.
And you shouldn't believe it! Your foot is not made of jelly! It's good to be skeptical toward things like that, because you have so much evidence saying what your foot is truly made of, and only one quick claim that your foot is made of jelly. It's only reasonable to stick with the scientific explanation.

Now, imagine the brain is our "foot". Many, many people come here and claim that the brain has the ability to perform magic feats. They say: "your brain can do it too!". When you hear something like this, how is it really any different than them telling you your brain is made of jelly? They are stating that the human brain can perform tasks that it has never been shown to be able to perform, and without an apparent means to perform said feat.

So which way do you expect people to sway? In the direction of the person making one quick claim? Or in the direction of hundreds of years of scientific research and evidence? It makes no sense to believe random claims on an internet forum. It ignores the simple principle that the most evident theory is likely the closest to the truth. This is why people ask for a video, or some sort of proof when you do make these claims.

After all, how many people have come on here and said they could do magical things with their minds? Hundreds? Thousands?

How many of those people likely had video recording equipment? Half of them? All of them?

And how many people have offered a video to prove it? Not a single one.

Imagine that I strolled over to this forum claiming with great confidence to have brown hair. I wanted people to believe that I had brown hair... yet nobody would believe me unless I posted proof. What would I do, then? I'd take a quick picture or video to show that I did, in fact, have brown hair. It's a simple process, and it gives credibility to the claim I'm making. Why is this so hard when it comes to psychic powers?

Well, as us skeptics see it, it's because the powers you claim to have do not exist.

You can change our opinion if you really can do it, you just have to be reasonable about it.

Edited by KBA, 05 May 2008 - 08:10 PM.



#2    Moonie2012

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 08:23 PM

This is pretty much what I was saying in the thread I started in here today - well said.

I can't wait to hear the excuses that will inevitably come rolling in.


#3    kraken

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 08:31 PM

KBA on May 5 2008, 08:09 PM, said:

Imagine that I strolled over to this forum claiming with great confidence to have brown hair. I wanted people to believe that I had brown hair... yet nobody would believe me unless I posted proof. What would I do, then? I'd take a quick picture or video to show that I did, in fact, have brown hair. It's a simple process

And even then, you could of faked the evidence. i.e  photo-shop, bad lighting, Hair dye(if you were claiming it was natural).., etc etc. but other than that i totally agree tongue.gif


#4    The Skeptic Eric Raven

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 08:59 PM

Its good to be a skeptic. thumbup.gif Boo ya.

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#5    John from Lowell

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 10:08 PM

KBA on May 5 2008, 04:09 PM, said:

You can change our opinion if you really can do it, you just have to be reasonable about it.


I am happy with your opinion and do not wish to see you change it.

There is a saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. An experience is kind of like that. It is very subjective.

I would say that some the people who share their experience with the group au U_M are looking for others with similar experiences. Some others are looking for attention. Still others are stretching their minds to reach out for something more than they have been taught is all that is.

I realize that the proof seekers will never find proof because experience with unseen energies is unseeable. The day may well come when someone can change lead into gold and prove to all what they can do. However if they were wise thay would keep that skill a secret.

John



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#6    The Skeptic Eric Raven

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 10:17 PM

John A Spera on May 5 2008, 05:08 PM, said:

I am happy with your opinion and do not wish to see you change it.

There is a saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. An experience is kind of like that. It is very subjective.

I would say that some the people who share their experience with the group au U_M are looking for others with similar experiences. Some others are looking for attention. Still others are stretching their minds to reach out for something more than they have been taught is all that is.

I realize that the proof seekers will never find proof because experience with unseen energies is unseeable. The day may well come when someone can change lead into gold and prove to all what they can do. However if they were wise thay would keep that skill a secret.

John

If these supposed energies have an effect on the real world, ex: TK, then they should easily be shown to work. Even telepathy would be easily validated. No one wants to step up. Why is that? Because they can't do it.

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#7    DfizzleShizzle

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 11:48 PM

Eric Raven The Skeptic on May 5 2008, 06:17 PM, said:

If these supposed energies have an effect on the real world, ex: TK, then they should easily be shown to work. Even telepathy would be easily validated. No one wants to step up. Why is that? Because they can't do it.



I am currently workin on settin up a telepathy test with eight bit Eric...

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#8    KBA

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 12:11 AM

kraken on May 5 2008, 02:31 PM, said:

And even then, you could of faked the evidence. i.e  photo-shop, bad lighting, Hair dye(if you were claiming it was natural).., etc etc. but other than that i totally agree tongue.gif


Well, that's true. However, most of the people here truly believe they have these powers. It's obvious that a quick video can't be taken as absolute proof of a power, but at least as a litmus test regarding who's being even slightly honest. If someone does make a video, it can at least break some ground and show that the person is at all interested in putting their money where their mouth is. And I think if some people actually went and tried to prove it, they would realize that they may be deceiving themselves and can't actually do it. A lot of people do very subjective tests to "prove to themselves" that it's real.

I remember there was one guy who made a few videos a long time ago, I think his name was ASmatt. They were pretty well done, and I'll let the jury stay open on that one. Of course there's a million ways he could have faked it, but I certainly have more respect for him than someone who comes up with excuse after excuse for not being able to do something they regularly do; but in front of their camera. Even if it was faked, it least it was engaging laugh.gif .

Edited by KBA, 06 May 2008 - 12:13 AM.



#9    kraken

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 06:03 AM

KBA on May 6 2008, 01:11 AM, said:

Even if it was faked, it least it was engaging laugh.gif .

Mmm..Unfortunately, 'Engaging' is about as good as it gets  happy.gif , but then again it's probably a good thing, after all...who wants some school kid(full of angst), or even an adult for that matter, going around with the ability to effect change from a distance, and with the power of thought(or the wave of a hand). Not me, thats for sure unsure.gif


#10    Sporkling

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 12:43 PM

Oh yet another post of this type. I will say, if I had any of this type of powers, I will not show it even if I could. Because the statement, "you are more powerful if others don't know your true power." Is what I think is true. Fame and glory, sometimes have to yield to some secrecy. I myself would like a normal life over a life of a famous person. I have read a lot of things about famous people in life.  Actors, scientists, well, Their lives sound glamourous to the observer. But is it? The people involved know better. And I am ready to be sure that most of them want to live a normal lives like the next person.

There is a reason why the fourms is such a haunt for believers. Over the world wide web, you can be anybody. Nobody knows who you are. You can discuss opinions freely without people giving you strange glances. The real life is totally different.

Now on to videos. You can request videos. But that does not mean you will get it. Not everyone has the desire, time or just simply wish to let you see what they do. Its both, the trouble taken to prepare when they can do something better or just lazing around.

Edited by Sporkling, 06 May 2008 - 03:22 PM.


#11    DfizzleShizzle

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 06:57 PM

KBA on May 5 2008, 04:09 PM, said:

It seems like a lot of people act surprised or upset when they talk about their "powers" here and are met with skepticism from multiple members of U-M. I frankly have to wonder why people would be surprised at such a thing.

Firstly, we need to understand the way the world works.

The world is full of all different types of people who believe all different types of things and feel all different types of emotions, and so on. Now, there's definitely no shortage of people in the world who would agree that the human mind is capable of doing magical and unexplainable things. However, in the modern era of science and reason, there are an increasing number of people who want evidence before they will believe what you're saying.

Nobody inherently deserves trust.

When someone makes a claim that they have a psychic power, it collides with the reality that most of us have been living in and experiencing. In such a reality, it is impossible for the brain to produce magical effects, such as twirling objects, burning things, or accurately guessing what random peoples' favorite color is. It would be the same if I came up to you and told you that your foot is made of jelly. You wouldn't believe it, because you have always understood that your foot is made of blood, bone, muscle, skin, etc.
And you shouldn't believe it! Your foot is not made of jelly! It's good to be skeptical toward things like that, because you have so much evidence saying what your foot is truly made of, and only one quick claim that your foot is made of jelly. It's only reasonable to stick with the scientific explanation.

Now, imagine the brain is our "foot". Many, many people come here and claim that the brain has the ability to perform magic feats. They say: "your brain can do it too!". When you hear something like this, how is it really any different than them telling you your brain is made of jelly? They are stating that the human brain can perform tasks that it has never been shown to be able to perform, and without an apparent means to perform said feat.

So which way do you expect people to sway? In the direction of the person making one quick claim? Or in the direction of hundreds of years of scientific research and evidence? It makes no sense to believe random claims on an internet forum. It ignores the simple principle that the most evident theory is likely the closest to the truth. This is why people ask for a video, or some sort of proof when you do make these claims.

After all, how many people have come on here and said they could do magical things with their minds? Hundreds? Thousands?

How many of those people likely had video recording equipment? Half of them? All of them?

And how many people have offered a video to prove it? Not a single one.
Imagine that I strolled over to this forum claiming with great confidence to have brown hair. I wanted people to believe that I had brown hair... yet nobody would believe me unless I posted proof. What would I do, then? I'd take a quick picture or video to show that I did, in fact, have brown hair. It's a simple process, and it gives credibility to the claim I'm making. Why is this so hard when it comes to psychic powers?

Well, as us skeptics see it, it's because the powers you claim to have do not exist.

You can change our opinion if you really can do it, you just have to be reasonable about it.


I have provided video proof, fyi...

And, I'm not suprised at such skeptism. I expect it. I'd be suprised to if someone was to say "I can channel energy through me", believe me, I would...But, I'd also go, and try it myself, to decide whether or not this is real...

Edited by Heartagram3200, 06 May 2008 - 07:01 PM.

"A believer is a songless bird in a cage, a freethinker is an eagle parting the clouds with tireless wings." -Robert G. Ingersoll

"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." -Richard Dawkins

#12    Moonie2012

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 07:28 PM

Heartagram3200 on May 6 2008, 01:57 PM, said:

I have provided video proof, fyi...


That you lost, and wasn't definitive of anything but air currents from what I've heard. A bit of cotton fluff moving on a table, is that the one? You refuse to do the same experiment the right way, under glass. Why is that?

Edited by Moonie2012, 06 May 2008 - 07:31 PM.


#13    DfizzleShizzle

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 07:31 PM

Moonie2012 on May 6 2008, 03:28 PM, said:

That you lost, and wasn't definitive of anything but air currents from what I've heard. You refuse to do the same experiment the right way. Why is that?



I refuse to do it...Cause I have better things to do than make vids, that no one will believe...Not even if Albert Einstine came alive and said they were genuine...

"A believer is a songless bird in a cage, a freethinker is an eagle parting the clouds with tireless wings." -Robert G. Ingersoll

"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." -Richard Dawkins

#14    Moonie2012

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 07:33 PM

Heartagram3200 on May 6 2008, 02:31 PM, said:

I refuse to do it...Cause I have better things to do than make vids, that no one will believe...Not even if Albert Einstine came alive and said they were genuine...


No, you won't do it because you can't. Admit it. If you could do it, you would show us in a heartbeat.

I'm willing to bet you tried it, and it didn't work. Am I right? Or are you going to claim that you did do it the right way, but just won't film it?

Edited by Moonie2012, 06 May 2008 - 07:36 PM.


#15    DfizzleShizzle

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 07:35 PM

If I did do it...No one would believe it...Everyone knows, that even if the most conclusive evidence for psychic abilites was found...Only about 10% of the skeptics here would ebelieve...Those like Eric, and Black Sabbath, and Mattshark...They would all believe it was fake, or they'd just sya "I'm right, you're wrong" Thats what they always do...

"A believer is a songless bird in a cage, a freethinker is an eagle parting the clouds with tireless wings." -Robert G. Ingersoll

"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." -Richard Dawkins




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