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Pluto-x

Why do skeptics investigate the Paranormal?

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xCrimsonx

We'd all like to beleive in something, and the though of the experiance or the evidence to be true is overwhelming. Those things that we fear be it or not what we believe...but its the enjoyment of the fear.

:alien::gun::devil::santa::innocent:

"Truth is I think were all crazy, some just do it better than others. lol" :wacko: Vvv""vvV

Ataner ;)=

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Barek Halfhand
Barek, basically you are saying that millions of people who believe in the supernatural or paranormal are all crazy!? I think that's insane! LOL...
well here's what I said :tu: ...
but as I believe there may be a quantifiable connection between the two

I was only stating that someone who did suffer from mental illness and ALSO has experiences with the paranormal also have THAT added complication in their ability to differentiate a true paranormal experience from one that is a symptom of that persons' mental or physical illness...sorry if that sounds insane!

:hmm: .....

halfhandshuffle:Rick James- Super Freak

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75qXUfp4wtw

Edited by Barek Halfhand

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goalienan

So B, what your basically saying is that if a person has hallucinations caused by mental illness, this may be actually be a paranormal experience, or can be assumed to be a paranormal experience without the person being aware of any mental illness they may have...I know what I'm trying to say, but my brain and fingers aren't working in coordination...Does this make sense...

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TruBeliever

I think a certain amount of healthy skepticism is necessary in order to conduct a thorough investigation. If not, every dust ball orb, or freak happening will go into circulation, and as a result, making it difficult to show actual proof. I think alot of people confuse skepticism with non-belief. Skepticism is used when you desire to make something more undisputable and/or concrete. That way when evidence is presented, it will leave little or no room for someone to come along and try to explain it away.

TruBeliever

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Barek Halfhand
So B, what your basically saying is that if a person has hallucinations caused by mental illness, this may be actually be a paranormal experience, or can be assumed to be a paranormal experience without the person being aware of any mental illness they may have...I know what I'm trying to say, but my brain and fingers aren't working in coordination...Does this make sense...
no, I will number them :) ...

1: it is possible for a person to have a mental illness and also have experiences with the paranormal

2: it may make it more difficult for a person with an illness to make the distinction between the two

hows that?...it wouldn't be the first time someone told me one of my posts was confusing btw Nan ;) ....b

halfhandshuffle:Scorpions-Can't Live Without You

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-oVANPQHWg

Edited by Barek Halfhand

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TruBeliever
Yes we have seen the extremes on both sides of the issue , there may have actually be a couple of instances where I have been LESS that cordial :hmm: ...it's even more complicated for someone like me, as I have admitted here in the past, that I have a spotted history of mental health issues in my trick bag... but as I believe there may be a quantifiable connection between the two ... SO when someone makes the suggestion (in a non confrontational manor) to examine the possibility of a psychologically suggested explanation for a paranormal seeming encounter, I give that explanation perhaps a little more consideration than some of you fellow believers do, but as far as really influencing the foundation of my core belief system at this point... unlikely

like you said GB once was ALL it took ... and it becomes more obvious every time :unsure: ....b

halfhandshuffle:ADAM ANT-GOODY TWO SHOES

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8cFYG3desE

Well speaking from the standpoint of someone being accused of being mentally ill, because of the people ( no longer living) he has seen, and the presence that were felt in any given situation, I have found that people that made these accusations made them because of their own fear. It is hard to gain acceptance for gifts and/or talents by people who have already made their minds up prior to their encounter with you. Having said that, I am looking forward to gaining substantiated proof, to what I know already know ( from a psychic's and/or sensitive's standpoint) exists.

TruBeliever

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goalienan
no, I will number them :) ...

1: it is possible for a person to have a mental illness and also have experiences with the paranormal

2: it may make it more difficult for a person with an illness to make the distinction between the two

hows that?...it wouldn't be the first time someone told me one of my posts was confusing btw Nan ;) ....b

halfhandshuffle:Scorpions-Can't Live Without You

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-oVANPQHWg

Thanks :tu:

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Episteme
Yes, I agree, BUT, to call someone down and call them crazy for stating what they have seen is uncalled for. You and I have both stated how we believe in true evil, yet, there were some comments made that basically implied I was "seeing" things and not completely right in the head. I'm not saying that skeptics should take everything at face value, but, have some respect for others. Seeing is believing. And I understand that, who is going to believe in things that they have no understanding of since they haven't experienced anything that has to do with the paranormal? But to out and out tell people that they are out to lunch for saying they have experienced things is going a little too far, IMO.

Heck yeah it's going too far! There's a big difference between a skeptic and a flat out jerk. Some skeptics are mean, some believers are mean. Unfortunately it goes both ways, try telling someone you "think" their "gost photo" is a reflection or a camera strap. Even saying it in the nicest way you can possibly muster. Talk about getting your face ripped off. :blink:

*edit, my browser is haunted!

Edited by Episteme

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Barek Halfhand
Well speaking from the standpoint of someone being accused of being mentally ill, because of the people ( no longer living) he has seen, and the presence that were felt in any given situation, have found that people that made these accusations made them because of their own fear. It is hard to gain acceptance for gifts and/or talents by people who have already made their minds up prior to their encounter with you. Having said that, I am looking forward to gaining substantiated proof, to what I know already know ( from a psychic's and/or sensitive's standpoint) exists.

TruBeliever

in some cases fear may be a factor, but in many other cases I feel that they (skeptics) just want to know they aren't wasting their time on false leads while searching for answers much the way believers continue to do so ... sadly until they have an experience of their own or THAT proof or evidence is finally declared as THE proof we've all been waiting for, the search will be a tedious one ....b

halfhandshuffle:Ramones - I Just Wanna Have Something To Do

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNKC497sa0Q

Edited by Barek Halfhand

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JackalnChainz

I think it is good and healthy for believers to be skeptical

But I believe it does noone any good for skeptics to be healthy.lol. j/k

Honestly, I see no positive role with those that have absolutely no belief in the paranormal, or any faith based mechanism. All they can do is post bold signatures and profess their disbelief and disdain for believers. They accuse believers of believing, just because someone says it happened. Yet, are they not spewing their own bombastic rhetoric on their own say so. Who are they? They have no evidence that the paranormal doesn't exist, either. It is alot like militant athiests wanting to remove crosses from everywhere because it offends them. Yet in doing so, they are erecting the symbols of their own disbelief, with the lack thereof. Now I know that somehow they serve a purpose. But I would think, someone that does not believe in the paranormal would be anywhere but in a paranormal forum. It astounds me. I am not gay, therefore I do not visit gay specific forums. I am not a pilot, therefore I do not visit pilot forums and chatrooms. It only makes since. Now I really don't mind them. But there posts are just a waste of time and web space, because they have nothing to offer. How many times can you say, I don't believe? I think we understood the first 50 times. lol. Why you don't believe? Because there is no evidence. We understood that too. Now what? I believe for a myriad of reasons. You disbelieve because of only one. Now I am not trying to be a stinker here...just expressing myself. I enjoy almost everyone in this forum imensley, or I would have left the first day. Actually, I have tried several times to place the shoe on the other foot. And I find it sad and depressing to have to go through life never having faith because you need evidence. I can't walk in those shoes. I need something to believe in. ~Jackal

:D I'm smiling here...not angry :) not a bit :tu: just tellin' it like is see it :yes: it's all good :DB)

Edited by JackalnChainz

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JackalnChainz
in some cases fear may be a factor, but in many other cases I feel that they (skeptics) just want to know they aren't wasting their time on false leads while searching for answers much the way believers continue to do so ... sadly until they have an experience of their own or THAT proof or evidence is finally declared as THE proof we've all been waiting for, the search will be a tedious one ....b

halfhandshuffle:Ramones - I Just Wanna Have Something To Do

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNKC497sa0Q

Agreed....and when that proof arrives, the nonbelievers will be remembered for having no positive contribution in its' acquisition.

:):D Smiling...I'm still smiling!! :tu::yes::D no harm intended. ~Jackal

Edited by JackalnChainz

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Pluto-x

I'm still confused, a lot of you guys are giving us a lot of tongue twisters! LOL... I looked up in the dictionary what the term Skepticism really means to understand the term better myself. Here is what I got...

Skeptics/Skepticism =

In ordinary usage, skepticism or scepticism refers to an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object,

the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain, or

the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism that is characteristic of skeptics (Merriam–Webster).

In philosophy, skepticism refers more specifically to any one of several propositions.

These include propositions about:

the limitations of knowledge,

a method of obtaining knowledge through systematic doubt and continual testing,

the arbitrariness, relativity, or subjectivity of moral values,

a method of intellectual caution and suspended judgment,

a lack of confidence in positive motives for human conduct or positive outcomes for human enterprises, that is, cynicism and pessimism

In classical philosophy, skepticism refers to the teachings and the traits of the Skeptikoi, a school of philosophers of whom it was said that they "asserted nothing but only opined" (Liddell and Scott). In this sense, philosophical skepticism, or pyrrhonism, is the philosophical position that one should avoid the postulation of final truths. Turned on itself, skepticism would question that skepticism is a valid perspective at all.

In religion, skepticism refers to "doubt concerning basic religious principles (as immortality, providence, and revelation)" (Merriam–Webster).

The word skepticism can characterize a position on a single claim, but in scholastic circles more frequently describes a lasting mindset and an approach to accepting or rejecting new information. Individuals who proclaim to have a skeptical outlook are frequently called skeptics, often without regard to whether it is philosophical skepticism or empirical skepticism that they profess.

Paranormal Research =

Approaching paranormal phenomena from a research perspective is often difficult because even when the phenomena are seen as real they may be difficult to explain using existing rules or theory. By definition, paranormal phenomena exist outside of conventional norms, if they exist at all. Skeptics contend that they don't. Despite this challenge, studies on the paranormal are periodically conducted by researchers from various disciplines. Some researchers study just the beliefs in paranormal phenomena regardless of whether the phenomena actually exist.

This section deals with various approaches to the paranormal including those scientific, pseudoscientific, and unscientific. Skeptics feel that supposed scientific approaches are actually pseudoscientific for several reasons which are explored below.

Anecdotal Approach =

An anecdotal approach to the paranormal involves the collection of anecdotal evidence, which is an informal account of something that presumably happened. Anecdotes are often in contrast to empirical evidence, which are types of formal accounts that can be investigated using the scientific method. The anecdotal approach is not a scientific approach to the paranormal because it leaves verification dependent on the credibility of the party presenting the evidence. It is also subject to such logical fallacies as cognitive bias, inductive reasoning, lack of falsifiability, and other fallacies that may prevent the anecdote from having meaningful information to impart. Nevertheless, it is a common approach to paranormal phenomena.

Charles Fort (1874 – 1932) is perhaps the best known collector of paranormal anecdotes. Fort is said to have compiled as many as 40,000 notes on unexplained phenomena, though there were no doubt many more than these. These notes came from what he called "the orthodox conventionality of Science", which were odd events originally printed in respected mainstream scientific journals or newspapers such as Scientific American, The Times, Nature and Science. From these researches Fort wrote seven books, though only four survive. These are: The Book of the Damned (1919), New Lands (1923), Lo! (1931) and Wild Talents (1932); one book was written between New Lands and Lo! but it was abandoned and absorbed into Lo!.

Reported events that he collected include teleportation (a term Fort is generally credited with coining); poltergeist events, falls of frogs, fishes, inorganic materials of an amazing range; crop circles; unaccountable noises and explosions; spontaneous fires; levitation; ball lightning (a term explicitly used by Fort); unidentified flying objects; mysterious appearances and disappearances; giant wheels of light in the oceans; and animals found outside their normal ranges (see phantom cat). He offered many reports of OOPArts, abbreviation for "out of place" artifacts: strange items found in unlikely locations. He also is perhaps the first person to explain strange human appearances and disappearances by the hypothesis of alien abduction, and was an early proponent of the extraterrestrial hypothesis.

Fort is considered by many as the father of modern paranormalism, which is the belief in paranormal phenomena.

Experimental Approach =

Experimental investigation of the paranormal is largely conducted in the multidisciplinary field of parapsychology. Although parapsychology has its roots in earlier research, it began using the experimental approach in the 1930s under the direction of J. B. Rhine (1895 – 1980). Rhine popularized the now famous methodology of using card-guessing and dice-rolling experiments in a laboratory in the hopes of finding a statistical validation of extra-sensory perception.

In 1957, the Parapsychological Association was formed as the preeminent society for parapsychologists. In 1969, they became affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. That affiliation, along with a general openness to psychic and occult phenomena in the 1970s, led to a decade of increased parapsychological research. During this time, other notable organizations were also formed, including the Academy of Parapsychology and Medicine (1970), the Institute of Parascience (1971), the Academy of Religion and Psychical Research, the Institute for Noetic Sciences (1973), and the International Kirlian Research Association (1975). Each of these groups performed experiments on paranormal subjects to varying degrees. Parapsychological work was also conducted at the Stanford Research Institute during this time.

With the increase in parapsychological investigation, there came an increase in opposition to both the findings of parapsychologists and the granting of any formal recognition of the field. Criticisms of the field were focused in the founding of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (1976), now called the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and its periodical, Skeptical Inquirer.

As astronomer Carl Sagan put it, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", and experimental research into the paranormal continues today, though it has waned considerably since the 1970s. One such experiment is called the Ganzfeld Experiment. The purpose of the Ganzfeld Experiment, like other parapsychological experiments, is to test for statistical anomalies that might suggest the existence of psi, a process indicating psychic phenomena. In the Ganzfeld Experiment, a subject (receiver) is asked to access through psychic means some target. The target is typically a picture or video clip selected randomly from a large pool, which is then viewed in a remote location by another subject (sender). Ganzfeld experiments use audio and visual sensory deprivation to remove any kind of external stimulus that may interfere with the testing or corrupt the test by providing cues to correct targets. A 'hit' refers to a correctly identified target. The expected hit ratio of such a trial is 1 in 4, or 25%. Deviations from this expected ratio might be seen as evidence for psi, although such conclusions are often disputed. To date there have been no experimental results that have gained wide acceptance in the scientific community as valid evidence of paranormal phenomena.

Debunking Approach =

The debunking approach is a response to claims of paranormal phenomena, and consists of finding a "normal" explanation instead of paranormal for the account. The basis for this approach is that the debunker feels that the normal explanation is the likelier of the two. This is sometimes referred to as Occam's razor, which suggests that the simplest solution is the best one. Since standard scientific models generally predicts what can be expected in the natural world, the debunking approach assumes the position that what may appear to be paranormal is a misinterpretation of natural phenomena, rather than an actual anomalous phenomenon. In contrast to the skeptical position, which requires claims to be proven, the debunking approach actively seeks to disprove the claim.

Former stage magician, James Randi, is a well-known debunker of paranormal claims. As a skeptic with a background in illusion, Randi feels that the simplest explanation for those claiming paranormal abilities is trickery, illustrated by demonstrating that the spoon bending abilities of psychic Uri Geller can easily be duplicated by trained magicians.[15] He is also the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation and its famous million dollar challenge offering a prize of US $1,000,000 to anyone who can demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event, under test conditions agreed to by both parties.

:tu:

P.S.

So with all that being said, LOL... I don't expect everyone to scroll through all of that but it has some detailed explanation of what skepticism really is. I looked it up to compare the two ( Paranormal Researcher & Skeptic ) and it seems they are both very similar in definition terms. I said that all along and there is written proof from a dictionary. That's not my explanation. Straight from the books! I think Skeptics should just use a different terminology. Simply because they both have a lot of similarities to a Paranormal Investigator.

:unsure2:

Edited by Pluto-x

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LIGhostChick

I think it's good to be skeptical when you're in the paranormal field otherwise everything strange you see would be considered paranormal. You have to be skeptical to be able to rationally explain paranormal occurences wether it revieweing evidence or something you read. Otherwise you'd be gullible. I believe that there is something beyond this world but I'm skeptical when I go into an investigation. No matter what the story is behind the location, I don't believe it until I see it or experience it with my own eyes. And even then I try to figure out a logical explanation. But there are some skeptics on this board who purposely post confrontational comments to get a rise out of the believers. Everyone believes something different & it should be respected. It really confuses me when I see the skeptics "attacking" people. If they truly didn't believe in any of this, why waste time posting obnoxious comments.

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TruBeliever
in some cases fear may be a factor, but in many other cases I feel that they (skeptics) just want to know they aren't wasting their time on false leads while searching for answers much the way believers continue to do so ... sadly until they have an experience of their own or THAT proof or evidence is finally declared as THE proof we've all been waiting for, the search will be a tedious one ....b

halfhandshuffle:Ramones - I Just Wanna Have Something To Do

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNKC497sa0Q

I agree wholeheartedly. Nothing seems to make a believer quicker than personal experience. It just seems like it takes a ton o' bricks to fall on them before they will even entertain the idea. Fear is a powerful deterent, as well as, engine for belief. People turn their back or close their eyes to things they fear, in hopes of it just "going away". I think we all need to prepare ourselves and educate ourselves as much as possible. Never, have I heard more incidence of hauntings, and other paranormal activities. Even the psychic world is being innundated with new practicioners ( there again you need to educate yourself, before trusting they first one advertised). I believe the veil between our realms are thinning, and we are going to see more things of a PARAnormal nature take place.

Blessed Be,

TruBeliever

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evil inside

Going into an investigation, I think it would give more credibility to the investigators if no information at all was given. Share what evidence you are able to gather before you are informed of the claimed activity. Then you can compare and see what matches with the history. If you go into the investigation with too much knowledge, bias is inevitable.

Edited by evil inside

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The Skeptic Eric Raven
I think it is good and healthy for believers to be skeptical

But I believe it does noone any good for skeptics to be healthy.lol. j/k

Honestly, I see no positive role with those that have absolutely no belief in the paranormal, or any faith based mechanism. All they can do is post bold signatures and profess their disbelief and disdain for believers. They accuse believers of believing, just because someone says it happened. Yet, are they not spewing their own bombastic rhetoric on their own say so. Who are they? They have no evidence that the paranormal doesn't exist, either. It is alot like militant athiests wanting to remove crosses from everywhere because it offends them. Yet in doing so, they are erecting the symbols of their own disbelief, with the lack thereof. Now I know that somehow they serve a purpose. But I would think, someone that does not believe in the paranormal would be anywhere but in a paranormal forum. It astounds me. I am not gay, therefore I do not visit gay specific forums. I am not a pilot, therefore I do not visit pilot forums and chatrooms. It only makes since. Now I really don't mind them. But there posts are just a waste of time and web space, because they have nothing to offer. How many times can you say, I don't believe? I think we understood the first 50 times. lol. Why you don't believe? Because there is no evidence. We understood that too. Now what? I believe for a myriad of reasons. You disbelieve because of only one. Now I am not trying to be a stinker here...just expressing myself. I enjoy almost everyone in this forum imensley, or I would have left the first day. Actually, I have tried several times to place the shoe on the other foot. And I find it sad and depressing to have to go through life never having faith because you need evidence. I can't walk in those shoes. I need something to believe in. ~Jackal :D I'm smiling here...not angry :) not a bit :tu: just tellin' it like is see it :yes: it's all good :DB)

So what you have in a sense is kind of like religion. Since you base things off of faith.

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JackalnChainz
Going into an investigation, I think it would give more credibility to the investigators if no information at all was given. Share what evidence you are able to gather before you are informed of the claimed activity. Then you can compare and see what matches with the history. If you go into the investigation with too much knowledge, bias is inevitable.

I whole heartedly agree. I don't like some of those reality shows just because they tell the investigators the whole low down, and then the investigators play on that. I absolutely agree with evil inside. ~Jackal

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MasterPo
Going into an investigation, I think it would give more credibility to the investigators if no information at all was given. Share what evidence you are able to gather before you are informed of the claimed activity. Then you can compare and see what matches with the history. If you go into the investigation with too much knowledge, bias is inevitable.

That is a possibility.

However, you need to have some idea what to expect, what you're getting yourself into. You need to have an idea where activity has been claimed to happen so you can concentrate on those places and select the proper equipment to use.

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Buddharat
That is a possibility.

However, you need to have some idea what to expect, what you're getting yourself into. You need to have an idea where activity has been claimed to happen so you can concentrate on those places and select the proper equipment to use.

Best way to do that is to have one or two select people know of the activity and they will direct people what to use and where to go, but this will help to cut down on suggestions. If people are expecting to see or hear something, they are more then likely to think they did. Just to cover all bases, if they don't know of the experiences and they have the same thing, it's more collaberation. :-)

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MasterPo

What you can do is if two people together see or experience something, don't tell each other. Immediately find two other investigators and seperately tell them what was seen/experienced. Then the other two compare accounts. Has to be done isolated so one doesn't feed off the other.

If no one else is available, write it down seperately.

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JackalnChainz
So what you have in a sense is kind of like religion. Since you base things off of faith.

I absolutely appreciate your attempt at grasping the concept I utilize. And often, faith is mistaken for religion. !st let me say that I am not against skeptisim, just audacious refusal to accept anything without bonified evidence. Science will tell you there is matter in space that can not be measured, but we know it is there because of its' gravitational qualities. There are many things beyond the slide rule. I am glad you did not take my comments personally and fly off the handle, the way I have in the past. The answer to your question is no. I don't do well with organized religion, where dogma and doctrine are imposed by men that think the common man can not interpret the Word of God. Although I think Christians should attend church, because that is Gods wish. I lean more to the spiritual side and base my beliefs on the literal Word, not on mans doctrine or even evidence. So with my belief system understood, you can see why it is not that difficult for me to accept the things I can not prove with touch and sight. There is no need for me to prove they exist, because I accept their existence on faith. To me, there exists more of a need for you to prove they don't exist, as it is the doubters who proclaim so loudly that the paranormal is all psychological or explainable phenomena. Now I don't simply believe everything that everyone says. But I also have no reason to call them a liar or insinuate they are delusional. I know enough to know, that there is indeed SOMETHING there. ~Jackal

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Arcana
Best way to do that is to have one or two select people know of the activity and they will direct people what to use and where to go, but this will help to cut down on suggestions. If people are expecting to see or hear something, they are more then likely to think they did. Just to cover all bases, if they don't know of the experiences and they have the same thing, it's more collaberation. :-)

Excellent point Buddharat, one which I must confess I wholeheartedly agree with, which reduces hysteria, suggestion etc................all of which I might add, I've witnessed first hand on numerous occasions. :tu:

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Pluto-x

Bottom line is... scientists, skeptics, and non believers all know or aware there is something out there. There is too much credible evidence that exists and most of you must agree a lot of things cannot be explained.

Unless you can experience something yourself, its your word against millions of others. That is why I agree with collaborating with others if you can get someone to experience the same things. However, these things do not happen all the time, and happen at random times. So its very hard to get collaboration. So here is a good question to ask; What methods do skeptics use? What do you consider enough evidence for you in order for something to be paranormal?

:hmm:

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spiridion
Bottom line is... scientists, skeptics, and non believers all know or aware there is something out there. There is too much credible evidence that exists and most of you must agree a lot of things cannot be explained.

Unless you can experience something yourself, its your word against millions of others.

I have to disagree. Many scientists, skeptics, and nonbelievers do not think there is anything paranormal out there and would say that the evidence that exists is completely uncredible. Moreover, just because millions of people believe in something doesn't necessarily make it true either.

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Pluto-x
I have to disagree. Many scientists, skeptics, and nonbelievers do not think there is anything paranormal out there and would say that the evidence that exists is completely uncredible. Moreover, just because millions of people believe in something doesn't necessarily make it true either.

Then why do skeptics comment on this? I don't get it!? LOL...

Why do they participate at all if they do not believe in it? Show me proof it doesn't exist... Just as much as proof is asked of Paranormal Investigators, where is the proof of yours that there is nothing out there?

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