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The Paranormal Skeptic

what would you ask a skeptic?

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aquatus1

And as long as you have faith in materialism scientific methodology works just fine. As long as you have faith in the process you can sleep at night ( metaphorical only I'm not implying that you loose sleep). Unless you are willing to go out and reproduce all the experiments yourself from biology to particle physics you are takeing it all on faith, because you were taught that all these people did it the right way. How is that not exactly like religiouse indoctrination.

I will tell you exactly how it is most definitely NOT religious indoctrination.

First and foremost, as I told you earlier, as long as you keep on thinking in terms of faith, you will never understand. Scientific methodology has nothing to do with faith. Faith isn't the be-all-and-end-all of thought. What you call faith is nothing more than probability. I do not believe the sun will rise in the East tomorrow because of faith; I believe it will because the probability of it not doing so is infinitesimally small. I do not have faith that the Pythagorean Theorem will always give me the solution for a right triangle. I believe it won't because, in all the thousands times and ways that it has been used, it has never failed to do so.

You talk about having faith in scientific methodology. That is similar to saying that you must have faith in the cookbook you are using to bake a cake. It is nonsensical. Faith is not going to make the recipe work, nor is it going to cause the recipe to fail. Either it works, or it does not. Whether you believe it will or won't will not affect it one way or the other. Similarly, the faith one has in the process of scientific methodology and in the process of peer review is that, the vast majority of the time, it will validate correctly, and any errors or falsehood in the process will shortly be brought to light.

That is why you can read a study in a peer reviewed journal and be able to accept it as valid until proven otherwise. Because the process of peer review consists of experts in the field, reviewing, replicating, and repeating the process described by the person submitting the study. You don't have to yourself, however, should you choose to, you certainly can. Indeed, the people in the particular field that it is relevant to will do just that. They will do it because a peer reviewed study is new data in their field, and will need to be integrated. It isn't just a matter of casual interest; if you do not integrate new data, you will be left behind in your field.

In religious indoctrination, you do not get to repeat the experiments. Indeed, there are no experiments to repeat. Nor do you have a group of experts who you know have indeed repeated the experiments themselves, and have validated the conclusion to be objectively correct. Additionally, you do not have an entire academic field that uses that same information on a daily basis, who is going to most certainly incorporate your new data, and on top of it, notice immediately that the data is not working as advertised.

You seem to think that academic research is people writing up papers with smart things and reading them to other people people, who nod wisely and mutter their assent, at the end of which the paper is carefully slid into a protective jacket and set inside a safe, away from prying eyes. Nonsense, of course. If your paper is going to be peer reviewed, it is because the committee has decided that your findings are new information, and merit dissemination into the field. That means this is data of immediate relevance to people working in that field. The peer review committee has a vested interest in making sure the data is as validated as it can be before publishing, because the reputation of their academic journal is on the line, and reputation is everything in academia. Once the data is published, literally hundreds of thousands of people who actively work in or are studying the field will read the report. That is a lot of eyes on the data. They aren't just idly flipping through the pages. They need to determine if they have to change their business practices, if their current experiments will be affected, if they know of something that would invalidate the study.

There is no way to hide anything; all the data has to be released, so that people know exactly how you got to your conclusion. After all, lives often depend on it.

You have faith in the methodology, the people that perform it, the past experiments that are fundamental to uphold it all. Unless you your self have started from square one to identify say the dopeler efect. I'm not saying it's wrong, but you seem to think that your trust in the whole shibang is not faith. It is. Until you have a personal experience with the reality of the experiments themselves, you are trusting, people, and an istitution that is not above human fallacies of competativness, comercialism, egoism, and guruism. The guy the first proposed more than 7 dimentions in string theory comes to mind. He could not even get graduate students to work with him because it was not until the gurus finally got on board....., hawking and the rest, and he barely got credit for it. Also the over medication of America based on..... Yup the scientific institution is also another example.

Do you seriously think that the smartest minds on the planet haven't already figured that out? Again, you have that idea of a bunch of eggheads saying and aggreing with each other all day long, and the data going nowhere. It doesn't work that way. Why are you thinking that scientific methodology doesn't address human fallacies? That is practically its sole reason for existence.

The purpose of peer review is not to personally prove something to you as an individual. You can, and many do, choose to not believe the data that is published is correct. Remember that the purpose of peer review is simply to validate it, not to make sure it is correct. People regularly argue over competing theories. You are talking about human foibles. Of course they exist. But they are no more relevant here than they are anywhere else. The simple fact of the matter is that the process of scientific methodology and peer review is specifically designed for the sole purpose of reducing the effects of this human behaviour. Read that again. That is the key point here. Everyone, even the believers, have their own methodology, but the only methodology that can trace the majority of its growth and rules to its dedication to eliminating the human tendency to win is scientific methodology. You are just complaining that these foibles exist. Scientific methodology passed that 500 years ago and continues to evolve to deal with it.

We also know that probably everything we know now will probably have to be scrapped in two hundred years if things continue the way they have been for the last 2. But yet so many take everything as fact now. It's going to be a tough sell to me that faith is not rampent in the institution. Not that it's not effective in certain ways, but the materialist paradime is dangerously close to a church. Economics, egos, meams, and government control the direction of scientific progress, and the fixation on materialism blinds the original Nobel atempt at discovery.

Unlikely. But you are heavily invested in faith, and you are transferring that same ideology to everything else you see. Until you can remove those blinders, you will not be able to understand scientific methodology, or the need for objectivity.

You are complaining that this is a system based on faith, but you are ignoring that the purpose and practice of this system is based on mistrust.

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White Crane Feather

Personal experience is not weak evidence because it is personal experience. It is weak evidence because it is subjective in nature. Science and skepticism and science always prioritize objective evidence to subjective evidence.

A process that can be repeated by anyone, regardless of their personal preferences or biases, and reach similar or same results, would be considered objective.

Repeated by anyone? Only a few can do experiments at particle excerators. That's not anyone. Someone sugested paranoia...... Hell yes. The entire peer review process is about paranoia and mistrust. I have to have faith that those folks at the large hadron are getting things right if say hawkings radiation or the Higgs field is prooven. I have to have faith in hawking and a host of other people and concepts. Most people don't relize the magnitue on reality, past and future that rests on hawkings radiation. It's huge.

I have to say forgive me for being truely skeptical. It's not enough for me to mistrust statements about orbs and teenagers with powers. The bigger picture is not as simple skeptic vs beleiver, and as sevastial alluded to, there has to be somone on the edge of seeming madness for progress to move forward. There has to be someone not hindered by sciencism dogma to think about what comes next. Most wonderful discoveries where out side of our knowledge and our understanding of the universe had to be molded to fit it. Or they were complete thought experiments with no evidence what so ever.... Just an idea then persued valantly on hunches, intutition, and personal experiences by a person or group Despite skeptics and there insessint call back to the way things are supposed to be.

Honestly everyone I'm a skeptic to. I'm a skeptic about anyone saying they are pure and good and their way is more honest rightouse and authoritative than it others. The dogma is so evident.

One more thing. In these arguments with "skeptics" I often hear text books and professors speaking through the person and not the person themselves. This prooves to me that this institution and it's followers have, like a proper living meam, built in self defense mechanisms to ensure it's survival. I am fairly sure I have seen this in the bible aswell. And I know I hear it when I go to church with my wife. O, no religion here, I'm an agnostic theist.

Rant over. Luv you guys :)

Edited by Seeker79

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White Crane Feather

Hehe typing at the same time. Ok let's back track you made some excelent points.

Let's take the "cookbook" analogy. As I have stated before I have a very large faith in the process myself. I'm not disputing it's success nor it's power.

My point is that when it comes to unexplained events, since you only use one cook book ( materialism), you are unable to identify, quantify, or even understand let's say a truck. Cook books do not cook up trucks, engendering scematics do.

You like to think that everything is going to be cakes, but it's probably not. Unfortunatly you are only using this one book to do all of your balkeing because it works so well. Since all you ever see is cakes, you have faith that the world is made out of cakes. When in fact there are pies, and prime rib aswell. Problem is, is these things are filtered out because you live in cake land, and if it dosnt have the ingredients or ovens that you are used to it can't exist.

Edited by Seeker79

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White Crane Feather

By the way.... The sun wilL rise tomorrow. Sure but it will not rise for everyone. And one day you will most likely be expecting the sun to rise and it will not.

We do not exist in an objective reality we live in a subjective one.

Wave particle

Edited by Seeker79

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callis

Hehe typing at the same time. Ok let's back track you made some excelent points.

Let's take the "cookbook" analogy. As I have stated before I have a very large faith in the process myself. I'm not disputing it's success nor it's power.

My point is that when it comes to unexplained events, since you only use one cook book ( materialism), you are unable to identify, quantify, or even understand let's say a truck. Cook books do not cook up trucks, engendering scematics do.

You like to think that everything is going to be cakes, but it's probably not. Unfortunatly you are only using this one book to do all of your balkeing because it works so well. Since all you ever see is cakes, you have faith that the world is made out of cakes. When in fact there are pies, and prime rib aswell. Problem is, is these things are filtered out because you live in cake land, and if it dosnt have the ingredients or ovens that you are used to it can't exist.

You seem so sure that these events are unexplainable , at least enough to imply they're unexplainable through scientific means, yet you also admit to not knowing everything in specific fields of science. How are you then able to classify these things as outside the "material cookbook"? How can you say that every rational explanation has been ruled out?

Also, what is the alternative? If I were not to subscribe to what you've called the scientific dogma, how could I possibly come to understand my surroundings? What process would I use without having what you think is faith?

By the way, the peer review system isn't about paranoia or mistrust, it's a way of filtering errors out of a procedure and data. I assume you've been told this though, Like every other part of this conversation. You seem to hear what you want and close your mind to any criticism. Then you patronizingly insinuate that you're riling us up (or our panties are in a ruffle). Don't let it go to your head.

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White Crane Feather

See what I mean. It never fails.

I have been told a lot of things. Fortunatly for me I don't have to accept them. I have only been arguing that materialism is based on faith, because ultimate reality is not understood. And just like a Christian fundamentalist, fundamaterialists ( coind from an article I read on these forums) get iritated when you challenge that faith.

Same thing, old story, new faith.

Edited by Seeker79

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aquatus1

Hehe typing at the same time. Ok let's back track you made some excelent points.

Let's take the "cookbook" analogy. As I have stated before I have a very large faith in the process myself. I'm not disputing it's success nor it's power.

You are, however, missing the point of it, if you are taking it on faith.

My point is that when it comes to unexplained events, since you only use one cook book ( materialism), you are unable to identify, quantify, or even understand let's say a truck. Cook books do not cook up trucks, engendering scematics do.

Engineering schematics would be analogous to cookbooks. Both show clear, objective instructions that will result, for the statistically significant majority, in a truck. It doesn't matter whether you personally believe it will or not, you will still get a truck in the end. That makes it objective. That makes it not a subject of faith, but of probability.

You like to think that everything is going to be cakes, but it's probably not. Unfortunatly you are only using this one book to do all of your balkeing because it works so well. Since all you ever see is cakes, you have faith that the world is made out of cakes. When in fact there are pies, and prime rib aswell. Problem is, is these things are filtered out because you live in cake land, and if it dosnt have the ingredients or ovens that you are used to it can't exist.

Wow...I don't think you caught a single point I was making...

Again, you are making the exact same mistake I have warned you about three times already. You absolutely insist on looking at scientific methodology through a faith methodology. You can't do that and expect to understand it.

Again, scientific methodology DOES NOT assume the conclusion. We do not assume that a cake is the result of a cookbook. We follow the cookbook and see what happens. Then we get other people to follow the cookbook, and see if they come up with similar results. When enough people have peer reviewed the recipe and come to the agreement that it does indeed tend to result in cake, then and only then is the cookbook published as a validated theory on how to make cakes. Often times, the primary thing the peer review comittee searches for is the double-blind experiment, in which the testers do not have the faintest inkling what the final result is meant to be. They do not know if you are going to get cakes or trucks, and so it is even more objective.

By the way.... The sun wilL rise tomorrow. Sure but it will not rise for everyone. And one day you will most likely be expecting the sun to rise and it will not.

We do not exist in an objective reality we live in a subjective one.

Says you. I disagree. I do not consider myself significant on a cosmic scale, and I do not claim that the sun rises for me. The sun rises whether I am here or not, and it does not care if I am there to see it. To everyone else, the sun will indeed have risen. My personal experience on the matter will be meaningless.

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aquatus1

See what I mean. It never fails.

I have been told a lot of things. Fortunatly for me I don't have to accept them. I have only been arguing that materialism is based on faith, because ultimate reality is not understood. And just like a Christian fundamentalist, fundamaterialists ( coind from an article I read on these forums) get iritated when you challenge that faith.

Same thing, old story, new faith.

Has it occurred to you that people are not getting irritated that you are challenging their faith, but rather that your are misrepresenting what they believe in? Just like you did here three times in a row? After being corrected all three times?

And yes, I do find it a little irritating that you continually refer to a process designed to be objective as one based on something as decidedly subjective as faith. You aren't even asking any questions that would help you determine what the difference is. I am the one doing all the work here trying to explain how skepticism works, and every time I finish you go back to square one, ignoring what I said and assuming that you are correct about skepticism being based on faith. Wouldn't you consider that to be a little close-minded? Refusing to question, always returning to the original belief while ignoring new information?

That is why faith systems don't work. That is why scientific methodology and skepticism does. Faith is a barrier to progressive learning. Skepticism is a catalyst.

Do you think that you might get a little irritated if I kept on insisting that you thought the sun only rises because you have Faith that it will do so, no matter how many different ways you tried to explain that you don't? Would it be more irritating if I went on to assume that your entire outlook on life and reality was reflected in the mistaken way I describe your mindset?

I am not questioning how you come to believe what you believe. I honestly don't really know how you validate your beliefs, so I don't challenge them. I am not even asking that you agree with my system. I am, however, asking that you understand it properly prior to disagreeing with it.

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whitelight

WHAT WOULD I ASK A SKEPTIC? (so freaking simple)

So, you've never seen or experienced anything and yet you are obsessed. Are you freaking nuts?

Edited by whitelight

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White Crane Feather

Has it occurred to you that people are not getting irritated that you are challenging their faith, but rather that your are misrepresenting what they believe in? Just like you did here three times in a row? After being corrected all three times?

And yes, I do find it a little irritating that you continually refer to a process designed to be objective as one based on something as decidedly subjective as faith. You aren't even asking any questions that would help you determine what the difference is. I am the one doing all the work here trying to explain how skepticism works, and every time I finish you go back to square one, ignoring what I said and assuming that you are correct about skepticism being based on faith. Wouldn't you consider that to be a little close-minded? Refusing to question, always returning to the original belief while ignoring new information?

That is why faith systems don't work. That is why scientific methodology and skepticism does. Faith is a barrier to progressive learning. Skepticism is a catalyst.

Do you think that you might get a little irritated if I kept on insisting that you thought the sun only rises because you have Faith that it will do so, no matter how many different ways you tried to explain that you don't? Would it be more irritating if I went on to assume that your entire outlook on life and reality was reflected in the mistaken way I describe your mindset?

I am not questioning how you come to believe what you believe. I honestly don't really know how you validate your beliefs, so I don't challenge them. I am not even asking that you agree with my system. I am, however, asking that you understand it properly prior to disagreeing with it.

I understand perfectly. I beleived EXACTLY what you do a decade ago and even argued it just as you do.. I know your points. I'm Not attacking anything. I disagree and I'm trying to tell you why. Of course I keep saying atheism, materialism, even some skeptisism is based on faith, that's the argument. I know that current science has bounderies. The stuff of the divine is UNEXPLORABLE by modern science. You say your position is based on Scientific evidence. Evidence from a system that at the present time cannot explore for your evidence. You should have no position not a negative position. That is if you really value eveidence. Holding a negative position is based purely on faith because not only do you don't know you can't explore it. If you find a way to prob beyond the big bang boundry, byond the planeck if there is such a thing, and interdimentionally. Then somehow be able to look at it all together a see the bigger pictures. Then we revisit the validity of materialism vs the divine. Until then all we have is induction, personal experience and trust or distrust in those who have it. No way around it.

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aquatus1

Thank you, Whitelight. That was...pointless.

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White Crane Feather

By the way I represent myself no one else. Promise. :)

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aquatus1
I understand perfectly. I beleived EXACTLY what you do a decade ago and even argued it just as you do.. I know your points.

You aren't doing a very good job of showing that. Every post you have made regarding scientific methodology has failed to indicate the difference between faith and probability.

I'm Not attacking anything. I disagree and I'm trying to tell you why. Of course I keep saying atheism, materialism, even some skeptisism is based on faith, that's the argument.

I know you disagree. And I know why you disagree, because that is what you keep repeating. The problem is that you are not actually arguing anything. You are just repeating yourself.

I pointed out how scientific methodology requires full disclosure of facts and process, whereas faith rarely has either of either to begin with. I noted that skepticism is a systematic way to determine the validity of a given argument, whereas faith isn't so much a process, where one employs tools such as critical thinking and formal logic, as much as it is simply a decision to believe, without supporting evidence required. I noted that the purpose of peer review is to have individual experts in the field validate a given study, in order to determine that the study was carried out in an objective manner with all protocols properly in place, to give the highest degree of assurance possible that the conclusion was valid, whereas faith doesn't even have a peer review process.

You just...well, you just repeated yourself that science is faith-based. No support, no counters, no refutations...you just repeated yourself. Pretty much like a faith system is won't to do.

I know that current science has bounderies. The stuff of the divine is UNEXPLORABLE by modern science.

Currently.

You say your position is based on Scientific evidence.

No, I say it is based on probability.

Evidence from a system that at the present time cannot explore for your evidence.

Also referred to as a "lack of evidence", yes. But it goes beyond that as well. It isn't isn't just a lack of evidence regarding the workings of the phenomena. It is a lack of evidence regarding the very existence of the phenomena to begin with. No one denies the existence of gravity or electricity. Those phenomena are beyond question, and science merely seeks to explain them, and we do have some pretty good theories about them, even if we still don't know precisely what they are. Ghosts...there isn't even a consensus on whether they exist as anything other than as a mental hiccup.

You should have no position not a negative position.

I have a neutral position. My position is that there can be no conclusion drawn because there isn't sufficient data with which to draw a conclusion. You consider that a negative position, because I do not acknowledge ghosts to be a conclusion. My answer was: "why should I limit myself to ghosts? Why not alien mind rays, super-intelligent clouds, or whatever the third thing I said was?" You have not answered that question. In other words, there is no way to limit the answer to ghosts because you have provided no way to limit answers at all.

That is if you really value eveidence. Holding a negative position is based purely on faith because not only do you don't know you can't explore it. If you find a way to prob beyond the big bang boundry, byond the planeck if there is such a thing, and interdimentionally. Then somehow be able to look at it all together a see the bigger pictures. Then we revisit the validity of materialism vs the divine. Until then all we have is induction, personal experience and trust or distrust in those who have it. No way around it.

Except of course, that I do not hold a negative position. I am perfectly willing to consider ghosts as an explanation. I have already laid out the parameters for that.

Seeker, do you acknowledge that you have not addressed the examples of how faith and science differ, as I repeated above, and of how one can limit a conclusion to ghosts, as I have also repeated above? Can you answer those questions for me?

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White Crane Feather

"i pointed out how scientific methodology requires full disclosure of facts and process, whereas faith rarely has either of either to begin with."

I'm not arguing what the scientific process is. We both know what it is.

"I noted that skepticism is a systematic way to determine the validity of a given argument, whereas faith isn't so much a process, where one employs tools such as critical thinking and formal logic, as much as it is simply a decision to believe, without supporting evidence required."

ok still nothing. That's all fine and agreeable.

"I noted that the purpose of peer review is to have individual experts in the field validate a given study, in order to determine that the study was carried out in an objective manner with all protocols properly in place, to give the highest degree of assurance possible that the conclusion was valid, whereas faith doesn't even have a peer review process."

still nothing, the system is flawed, but we are human.

I'm starting to remember why I felt no reason to jump in here. There is no argument so far. Definition is not in question which one was really chosen and weather the the the criteria has been met for no faith is.

"It is a lack of evidence regarding the very existence of the phenomena to begin with."

nope no way. The phenominon definatly exists it's the nature of it that is up for debate.

"You consider that a negative position, because I do not acknowledge ghosts to be a conclusion. My answer was: "why should I limit myself to ghosts? Why not alien mind rays, super-intelligent clouds, or whatever the third thing I said was?" You have not answered that question. In other words, there is no way to limit the answer to ghosts because you have provided no way to limit answers at all. "

there is no way or criteria to limit the answer, so why should we. It's much more practicle to keep it within the realm of what it appeared to be, then expand or contract from there of course eliminated the obviouse toword the ambiguouse. When it's all done and still no explanation you can put on materialist blinders and say well it was something but definantly nothing paranormal. Or you can admit it might at this point be exactly what it apeared to be You say probability but your probability of what the phenominon is has no base what so ever, less and less so as explanable explanations are eliminated. At what point do you just say yup.... Had to be something that we can't possibly understand...or a spirit of some sort.

I do apologize if you truely have taken a nutral position. I'm in another heated argument of about the samething only more centered around spirituality rather than spirits themselves. I may be confusing who I'm talking to at the moment.

But it still seems that materialist blinders are on. You are asigning probabilities were there are none. Your skeptisism allows you to asign probabiities that may not be acurate. A mystic or a shaman would asign different probabilities. And since you say you are not special what gives materialistic methods authority over theirs.

Let's start over.

If you see a spirit right in front of you begging and pleading for you to aknowledge it's preseance. After all your investigation even psyvological evaluation would you still consider it not a spirit?

If you say yes. It's faith in materilism that alows you to fo that, if you say no or maby, it could be a spirit, you are admitting the posibility.

A dicey place.

Edited by Seeker79

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aquatus1

"i pointed out how scientific methodology requires full disclosure of facts and process, whereas faith rarely has either of either to begin with."

I'm not arguing what the scientific process is. We both know what it is.

Yet you keep referring to it as a process of faith.

"I noted that skepticism is a systematic way to determine the validity of a given argument, whereas faith isn't so much a process, where one employs tools such as critical thinking and formal logic, as much as it is simply a decision to believe, without supporting evidence required."

ok still nothing. That's all fine and agreeable.

Yet you keep referring to it as a process of faith.

"I noted that the purpose of peer review is to have individual experts in the field validate a given study, in order to determine that the study was carried out in an objective manner with all protocols properly in place, to give the highest degree of assurance possible that the conclusion was valid, whereas faith doesn't even have a peer review process."

still nothing, the system is flawed, but we are human.

What you refer to as a flaw is exactly what the system is designed to address. It is like saying that the flaw of a fire department is that there are fires. The system is not flawed because of human flaws, rather it is because of human flaws that the system exists to begin with. As newer and better ways are discovered to deal with those human flaws, they are implemented into the system.

I'm starting to remember why I felt no reason to jump in here. There is no argument so far. Definition is not in question which one was really chosen and weather the the the criteria has been met for no faith is.

I would agree. The problem is not definition. The problem is your continued misrepresentation of it.

"It is a lack of evidence regarding the very existence of the phenomena to begin with."

nope no way. The phenominon definatly exists it's the nature of it that is up for debate.

The phenomena of ghosts is most certainly not universally accepted. The phenomena in which people see apparitions is accepted, and explanations for that range from the observable, such as psychological issues, the predictable, such as pharmaceutical or medical issues, and the fringe, such as ghosts. Some of those explanations are scientifically verifiable. Others are not.

"You consider that a negative position, because I do not acknowledge ghosts to be a conclusion. My answer was: "why should I limit myself to ghosts? Why not alien mind rays, super-intelligent clouds, or whatever the third thing I said was?" You have not answered that question. In other words, there is no way to limit the answer to ghosts because you have provided no way to limit answers at all. "

there is no way or criteria to limit the answer, so why should we.

For starters, because it is not much of a discussion if there is only one side to the argument. Presenting your position is considered pretty standard procedure in discussions.

In regards to why it would be necessary, the simple answer is that it would be necessary in order to understand the phenomena better. Otherwise, there will be no reason to not limit the answer to ghosts, clouds, and aliens. All are equally possible. None are very probable.

It's much more practicle to keep it within the realm of what it appeared to be, then expand or contract from there of course eliminated the obviouse toword the ambiguouse.

That's what we do.

When it's all done and still no explanation you can put on materialist blinders and say well it was something but definantly nothing paranormal.

Alternatively, you could be properly skeptical and simply say "it was something, but we don't know what."

You are the one tossing in that last bit of denial and claiming it is a skeptical requirement.

Or you can admit it might at this point be exactly what it apeared to be

Fine. It looked like an apparition.

What now? What have we gained? What have we learned? What was the value of that declaration?

Is it exactly an apparition? what the heck is an apparition? Is it a ghost? Is it a brain thing? Is it a bit of undigested beef? You say we should admit exactly what it is; so what is it and how do we admit it?

Should we all just say it is a ghost and leave it at that? Seems a bit shallow.

You say probability but your probability of what the phenominon is has no base what so ever, less and less so as explanable explanations are eliminated. At what point do you just say yup.... Had to be something that we can't possibly understand...or a spirit of some sort.

Now you are just making things up. A probability that has no base is a very low probability. Why even mention it? Something that hasn't been verified to begin with has no probability at all. How would you measure it? A light curtain in front of an open window in a dark house in the middle of the night has a pretty high probability of being the apparition we saw. A sudden onset of medically founded hallucinations has a much lower probability of being the cause. Probabilities are the likelihood that something will occur or was the cause. You are treating probabilities as if they were excuses. They are not the same thing. Probabilities are used to determine how probable a given cause resulted in a given effect. Excuses are reasons why something did not work. Taking your above post, and my explanation, who is using which term correctly? Be honest, now.

I do apologize if you truely have taken a nutral position. I'm in another heated argument of about the samething only more centered around spirituality rather than spirits themselves. I may be confusing who I'm talking to at the moment.

Yeah, been there. It's hard to keep threads straight from time to time.

But it still seems that materialist blinders are on. You are asigning probabilities were there are none. Your skeptisism allows you to asign probabiities that may not be acurate. A mystic or a shaman would asign different probabilities. And since you say you are not special what gives materialistic methods authority over theirs.

You are refusing to see probabilities that exist, regardless of whether you see them or not. We know that hallucination can be brought on by overactive imaginations. This has been witnessed and documented in hundreds of scientific studies, and is seen on a nightly basis by hundreds of parents of small children every bedtime all over the world. We know medical issues result in hallucinations as well, and can even predict which set of circumstances are most likely to result in hallucination. Because these things are known to exist, because we know the sort of environment and circumstances that trigger these phenomena, we are able to determine if similar triggers in the environment may have caused us to experience these results as well. That is all about probability.

Something that we have no idea how it is triggered, or what the results are...how can we assign a probability to that? How can a mystic or shaman do it? I read in the past many tests and studies done in regards to this, and learned the difference way back then between probabilities and excuses.

My not being special is completely divorced from objective methods being superior to subjective ones. The simple fact of the matter is that subjective authorities, such as shamans, mystics, priests, and various other faith-based authorities, have had millenia to show their results. Scientific methodology has had little over 500 years. The proof is in the results. In the time that scientific methodology has existed, we have learned so much more than the preceding era, where faith was the rule, that it isn't even funny. The results are so disparate that it could even be argued that faith-based processes actually impeded learning.

Let's start over.

You haven't really moved from here.

If you see a spirit right in front of you begging and pleading for you to aknowledge it's preseance. After all your investigation even psyvological evaluation would you still consider it not a spirit?

I would probably give it conditional acceptance right off the bat. It would simply make it easier to deal with, in terms of social communication. This is not the same, however, as accepting as valid that this is a ghost.

If you say yes. It's faith in materilism that alows you to fo that, if you say no or maby, it could be a spirit, you are admitting the posibility.

A dicey place.

It really isn't the conundrum you seem to think it is. I would say yes merely out of convenience. Now, we are assuming I have eliminated all other variables, exhausted all explanations, arrived at my neutral "I don't know." position, etc, etc, right?

Okay, so I have conditionally accepted that what I have in front of me is a spirit. The next step is to isolate and explain the phenomena. What happens directly prior to its appearance? What triggers an answer? Are its answers consistent with its known history in life? Questions of that nature will help define the limits of what it is that I am experiencing. These are questions that I can objectively design and carry out, and have other people attempt to carry out, which would validate the existence of the phenomena. I would then go on to the specific details of the phenomena itself. Am I able to contact other spirits? Is it able to contact other spirits? Is it intelligent? Semi-Intelligent? Purpose driven? These are questions about the phenomena itself, not about the existance of it, and will help learn how to predict when and why the phenomena occurs. Again, having already proven (at least, having done up my formal study) the existence of the phenomena, I can then proceed to the slightly more subjective behavioral qualities of the phenomena. Of course, it will still be expected that I conclude properly objective double-blind testing, as to insure against my subconscious biases.

Somewhere along this point is where I would be able to conclusively state that I am seeing a ghost. Now that phenomena is defined and validated, I can label the phenomena "ghost" and be perfectly and empirically justified in doing so.

Once I have as much of the information as I can validate to ensure that I will be given credit for the discovery of the phenomena (no one cares who actually discovers something first; credit goes to the first person who can explain it properly), I submit my study for peer review, most likely in a psychological journal, or perhaps even in a biological journal (it would depend on what I learned). The peer review board would look at it with a small sigh at having their time wasted yet again, but ideally, as the investigation proceeds, they discover that my work is indeed done in the correct format, with valid logic, and appropriate scientific methodology, and reluctantly validate it for publication. Once published, the academic community in that particular field reads the article with eyebrows quite raised. Many, many letters objecting to various parts of the study or to the entire concept itself are sent in, but the only ones that really matter are the ones that have valid points to refute. If enough of these points come to light, the publication may print a retraction in the next issue, and I will have torpedoed my credibility, which is a very serious thing in the scientific community (not so much in the faith-based community). Alternatively, if I have done my work correctly, and accounted for all the variables, most of the letters will simply be objections to the concept and unimportant details. The majority of academia will have no choice but to accept the study as valid, until shown to be incorrect.

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callis

Let's start over.

If you see a spirit right in front of you begging and pleading for you to aknowledge it's preseance. After all your investigation even psyvological evaluation would you still consider it not a spirit?

If you say yes. It's faith in materilism that alows you to fo that, if you say no or maby, it could be a spirit, you are admitting the posibility.

A dicey place.

Seriously, you're creating a hypothetical situation that presupposes that spirits exist, that the witness has access to ALL investigative means, and that there's a FACTUAL alternative to materialism. In that fantasy you've created, yes, everyone would admit that it is, indeed, a spirit. This is the real world. No one has the capability to resolve all of the factors of and uncontrolled event and the idea of the quantum world where matter is really a series of "weird interactions" doesn't give any credence to paranormal claims (I'm not sure why you put so much stock in it). Having an unexplained experience and not jumping on the spirit bandwagon isn't faith in materialism or science, it's rational to not jump to any conclusions. Believing in the paranormal IE spirits, astral travel, OBEs, is a faith in my opinion, because faith is belief in the lack of evidence. Faith is not refraining from categorizing something that has no defined parameters.

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sinewave

Seriously, you're creating a hypothetical situation that presupposes that spirits exist, that the witness has access to ALL investigative means, and that there's a FACTUAL alternative to materialism. In that fantasy you've created, yes, everyone would admit that it is, indeed, a spirit. This is the real world. No one has the capability to resolve all of the factors of and uncontrolled event and the idea of the quantum world where matter is really a series of "weird interactions" doesn't give any credence to paranormal claims (I'm not sure why you put so much stock in it). Having an unexplained experience and not jumping on the spirit bandwagon isn't faith in materialism or science, it's rational to not jump to any conclusions. Believing in the paranormal IE spirits, astral travel, OBEs, is a faith in my opinion, because faith is belief in the lack of evidence. Faith is not refraining from categorizing something that has no defined parameters.

Exactly. Considering that most of the time paranormal "evidence" takes the form of a barely audible sound, a flick of a needle, or a murky image this is huge stretch.

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White Crane Feather

Well... That last bit about torpedoed your credibility was scinceism Dogma in action. In all likelyhood ( there are those probabilities again) a person in the scientific community would never expose themselves like that and as valid as the study may be, it would most likely be ignored.

On shaman and mystics. Real shaman and mystics are not faith based practices like a priest or religiouse person. The are experiential. ( obviously there is faith somewhere as there is with materialism) Often using methods of creating OBEs ( not drugs) to explore the depths of conciousnes or reality from a spiritual perspective.

On everything else.... I get it trust me.

Your beleif/ faith/ confidence/ whatever you want to call it in the system is evident. Hell for the most part I share it. But I'm not under the dellusion that it has or can adress certain parts of reality. I'm willing to step out on the edge and look at it all, because I believe that not everything can be quantified, verified, and catagorized. You seem to beleive that IT can. Which is fine. But that would be our fundamental difference.

My faith in science is strong but not absolute. You see reductionist thinking cannot possibly fathom higher informational constructs ( is it you who dosn't like that term?, sorry I don't know any other way to put it) reductionist thinking ( if it could be done without life) would never predict or even believe that life is possible. It would be like your ghosts. Yet here we are. It's a flaw in the style and direction of thinking. It is also incapable of recognizing that which it is apart of. There would never be a way to proove that say human beings and life on earth may actually and collectivly form a single life form. Eventhough as a whole the system in it's entierty fits every definition of life. Only induction.... Looking up can reveal these possabilities. Current accepted thought only looks down.

Edited by Seeker79

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White Crane Feather

Seriously, you're creating a hypothetical situation that presupposes that spirits exist, that the witness has access to ALL investigative means, and that there's a FACTUAL alternative to materialism. In that fantasy you've created, yes, everyone would admit that it is, indeed, a spirit. This is the real world. No one has the capability to resolve all of the factors of and uncontrolled event and the idea of the quantum world where matter is really a series of "weird interactions" doesn't give any credence to paranormal claims (I'm not sure why you put so much stock in it). Having an unexplained experience and not jumping on the spirit bandwagon isn't faith in materialism or science, it's rational to not jump to any conclusions. Believing in the paranormal IE spirits, astral travel, OBEs, is a faith in my opinion, because faith is belief in the lack of evidence. Faith is not refraining from categorizing something that has no defined parameters.

There is no lak of evidence. There is only pioritizing it. One group of people wants things to be quantified, verified, and catorgorized, the others knows IT can't be. I only offer quntum ideas as possible meeting grounds. I don't know? Do you? With that said if you are able to leave your body and fly around, your going to have a hard time accepting that your experience is faith based...in fact I would say more so than haveing faith in say a peer reviewed paper.... Although there is a certain amount of faith in everything.

Oh, I'm not a bystander. :)

Edited by Seeker79

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callis

There is no lak of evidence. There is only pioritizing it. One group of people wants things to be quantified, verified, and catorgorized, the others knows IT can't be. I only offer quntum ideas as possible meeting grounds. I don't know? Do you? With that said if you are able to leave your body and fly around, your going to have a hard time accepting that your experience is faith based...in fact I would say more so than haveing faith in say a peer reviewed paper.... Although there is a certain amount of faith in everything.

Oh, I'm not a bystander. :)

What evidence?? anecdotal? That's based on the witness' interpretation, which even you admit, is tainted with bias and agenda. Meaning, it's what they think happened. I realize that anecdotal evidence is used in courts (witness testimony), but murders and paranormal events are miles apart. Completely different playing fields.

As for offering "quantum ideas", that's well and good, but just because two subjects are largely unknown does not make them related. If I loose a sock in the dryer, I don't think quantum physics will help me solve the problem. You cant make a correlation between to things when one thing has no defining characteristics.

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callis

Well... That last bit about torpedoed your credibility was scinceism Dogma in action. In all likelyhood ( there are those probabilities again) a person in the scientific community would never expose themselves like that and as valid as the study may be, it would most likely be ignored.

On shaman and mystics. Real shaman and mystics are not faith based practices like a priest or religiouse person. The are experiential. ( obviously there is faith somewhere as there is with materialism) Often using methods of creating OBEs ( not drugs) to explore the depths of conciousnes or reality from a spiritual perspective.

On everything else.... I get it trust me.

Your beleif/ faith/ confidence/ whatever you want to call it in the system is evident. Hell for the most part I share it. But I'm not under the dellusion that it has or can adress certain parts of reality. I'm willing to step out on the edge and look at it all, because I believe that not everything can be quantified, verified, and catagorized. You seem to beleive that IT can. Which is fine. But that would be our fundamental difference.

My faith in science is strong but not absolute. You see reductionist thinking cannot possibly fathom higher informational constructs ( is it you who dosn't like that term?, sorry I don't know any other way to put it) reductionist thinking ( if it could be done without life) would never predict or even believe that life is possible. It would be like your ghosts. Yet here we are. It's a flaw in the style and direction of thinking. It is also incapable of recognizing that which it is apart of. There would never be a way to proove that say human beings and life on earth may actually and collectivly form a single life form. Eventhough as a whole the system in it's entierty fits every definition of life. Only induction.... Looking up can reveal these possabilities. Current accepted thought only looks down.

You just don't get it. No matter how many times it's explained to you, you just keep repeating the same things. If you aren't willing to actually listen to anyone, there's no point in discussing it.

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sinewave

There is no lak of evidence. There is only pioritizing it. One group of people wants things to be quantified, verified, and catorgorized, the others knows IT can't be. I only offer quntum ideas as possible meeting grounds. I don't know? Do you? With that said if you are able to leave your body and fly around, your going to have a hard time accepting that your experience is faith based...in fact I would say more so than haveing faith in say a peer reviewed paper.... Although there is a certain amount of faith in everything.

Oh, I'm not a bystander. :)

When all of the evidence is anecdotal there is no real evidence at all. Anecdotes MAY represent a starting point but are not a case in themselves.

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White Crane Feather

You just don't get it. No matter how many times it's explained to you, you just keep repeating the same things. If you aren't willing to actually listen to anyone, there's no point in discussing it.

By listen.... You mean agree. You sound like a preacher,. I read everything written I understand it fine. I accept reductionist thinking, materialist thinking, scientific thinking I even aply it to a certain degree. for the the value that it serves, then reject it when it fails to be of use. Just like any tool, when it dosnt work get a new tool. That's all it is a tool You don't use a hammer to mow the lawn. Materialists fail to be able to step outside of their indoctrination, education, or world view, however they became one. There is a continueum of people. Fundamentalist on one side and fundamaterislists on the other. Most people fall in the middle of course. Only those on the ends of the bell curve are so wrapped up in their "bible" that it is impossible to step out of their box, and when you don't join them they claim you don't understand even if at one point you were one of them.. I will repeat myself again as all of this has resorted to. Same old story, I might as well be arguing with a penticostal about the bible.

It's been fun. You guys are better than most. Where o wher e did korbus go. He is so good at not getting emotional.

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aquatus1

Wow...you are going out of your way now to deny what you are hearing.

Well... That last bit about torpedoed your credibility was scinceism Dogma in action. In all likelyhood ( there are those probabilities again) a person in the scientific community would never expose themselves like that and as valid as the study may be, it would most likely be ignored.

It's a possibility, but not a probability. Again, you keep repeating your same mistakes, and I keep correcting you about them. You have this image of science being about smart guys in closed rooms agreeing with everything each other says. Real science is a battle field of people trying to get their ideas noticed. You keep trying to throw in believer power words, your latest invoking the fearsome trap of "DOGMA". That is just silly. I said that I would give an unsupported idea conditional acceptance simply out of convenience. That is not dogma. That is being open-minded. I said that I would then investigate the phenomena (Why wouldn't I? A repeatable phenomena was precisely what I originally claimed I would need in order to believe the phenomena of ghosts exists). Learning new things is pretty much the polar opposite of dogma.

You have this blinkered vision of science. No matter how much you claim to understand it, it is pretty clear that in your head is that stuffy group in the closed room who refuse to accept any new ideas. Expose themselves? Any scientist would be absolutely ecstatic about finding a new phenomena of science! That is about as close to intellectual immortality as you are ever going to get! Scientists dream about being able to overturn the status quo. But it doesn't happen often, because not only do you need a cooperative phenomena, you also need a scientist to be in the right place, at the right time, with the proper skills.

Seeker, you need to be more honest with yourself. It is pretty clear that the only thing you were hoping to accomplish is to corner a skeptic and force him to admit that ghosts exist. It didn't occur to you that this would not be a problem for a skeptic, and indeed, mere acknowledgment of existence is not even a first step. I asked you why you were so hung up on acknowledgment and pointed out the utter lack of value in it as a process unto itself, and never got an answer. Why is it so important to you that people admit that ghosts exist, so important that as long as you get that, you are happy, and it doesn't matter that the argument is so weak it can be used with no change whatsoever to acknowledge the existance of alien mind rays and superintelligent clouds.

To be perfectly frank, if anyone here is acting in a dogmatic fashion, it is you. You have refused to waiver from your interpretation of science, even after having been regularly corrected on it. You have projected onto the people describing it attributes that you yourself are displaying, such as close-mindedness, and mockery. You have refused to acknowledge an answer to the motives behind a specific question you asked, after the specific question was answered. And here, in what is possibly the ultimate culmination of dogma, even after having gotten an honest answer, completely consistent with the system that you continually have been misrepresenting, you have simply gone into denial, with absolutely nothing more to offer than the cliched postulate of the dogmatic "No way! They would never do that!"

Again, as long as you continue to think of science as faith-based, you will never be able to comprehend it. No matter how much you think you do.

On shaman and mystics. Real shaman and mystics are not faith based practices like a priest or religiouse person. The are experiential. ( obviously there is faith somewhere as there is with materialism) Often using methods of creating OBEs ( not drugs) to explore the depths of conciousnes or reality from a spiritual perspective.

According to whom? Themselves? How do we know they are telling the truth? How are we validating their knowledge? How do we even know they do have experience in the matter? How can you tell if someone is travelling out of their body or if they are just sitting really, really still?

You keep claiming this all-encompassing philosophy of yours is superior for understanding the "Big Picture". How so? How do you learn from it? How do you know you are correct? More importantly, how do you know you are wrong? How can that knowledge be passed on to others? You spent a lot of time trying to get me to admit that ghosts are real, to the point of creating an utterly implausible scenario, and I went ahead and admitted that ghost were real for that purpose. Now what? Where does your system take me next? I explained how my system works; what does yours do?

On everything else.... I get it trust me.

Still not getting it, are you? I am not faith-based. I don't trust people just because they give me a wink and "Trust me. I know what I'm talking about." I judge a person by their actions, not by their words. Your actions here...they do not indicate that you actually "get it". They do not indicate that I should trust you. In fact, they indicate the exact opposite. They indicate that you just pay lip service to understanding, and always, as soon as possible, return to your original, faith-based, bias (otherwise known as dogma).

Your beleif/ faith/ confidence/ whatever you want to call it in the system is evident. Hell for the most part I share it. But I'm not under the dellusion that it has or can adress certain parts of reality. I'm willing to step out on the edge and look at it all, because I believe that not everything can be quantified, verified, and catagorized. You seem to beleive that IT can. Which is fine. But that would be our fundamental difference.

Still not listening. I won't bother trying to explain it to you a fifth time. For others who are following along at home, Belief, Faith, and confidence, are three separate things, and should never be used interchangeably, particularly in a discussion such as this, where the semantic differences affect entire concepts and philosophies. There is a reason why dictionaries have multiple definitions of words, and it isn't for the sake of convenience.

Similarly, science does not presume that it can address all of reality. In fact, it makes it pretty clear what it's limits and boundaries are. Science can only address that which it has data to address with. If it does not have that data, it cannot address it. That means it cannot validate the existence of it, nor can it deny the existence of it. Nothing more, nothing less. Beware of believers who attempt to tag on additional, but incorrect extras and addendums to that very simple rule.

And, for the record, stepping out to the edge is meaningless if you keep your eyes shut the entire time.

My faith in science is strong but not absolute.

Your faith in science should not exist at all.

You see reductionist thinking cannot possibly fathom higher informational constructs ( is it you who dosn't like that term?, sorry I don't know any other way to put it) reductionist thinking ( if it could be done without life) would never predict or even believe that life is possible. It would be like your ghosts.

Well, you keep saying that, but you never state why. It's just a postulate of yours. Why wouldn't science be able to fathom higher informational constructs (another term which I asked you to describe and which you did not). Why would science never be able to predict "life"? What is "Life"? Why would science decide it isn't possible? You keep making these absolute statements that we are supposed to blindly accept as being true. Why would faith force you to do that?

More to the point, how would whatever you call your system answer any of these questions? How would a non-reductionist process give us data on the above? Tell me, because I sincerely want to know. Please, define "life" as seen through your holistic system.

Yet here we are. It's a flaw in the style and direction of thinking. It is also incapable of recognizing that which it is apart of. There would never be a way to proove that say human beings and life on earth may actually and collectivly form a single life form. Eventhough as a whole the system in it's entierty fits every definition of life. Only induction.... Looking up can reveal these possabilities. Current accepted thought only looks down.

Again, how? How does induction answer the questions. I have explained the entire skeptical and scientific methodology process and how we come to gather data. Your turn. Show me how you can learn from induction. Show me how it is a more efficient system, or superior, or even that it can come up with answers that scientific methodology cannot.

In other words, put up or shut up. I've done my part defending my process; now it's your turn.

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NaishaAmon

One reason why I love this forum is all the different views people have. There are a lot of skeptic vs. Believer posts and I just want to try a different approach to it. To the believers, what are some questions you'd like to ask the skeptics?

I would ask if you ever wanted to just believe in something without questioning it and then my follow up question would be if you had answered:

Yes- Why don't you then?

and

No- Why do you bother asking?

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