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Still Waters

Can Skepticism Blind You to the Truth?

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aquatus1

If in court three clues create a proof I wonder how many clues about paranormal reality it will take before that the hardcore skeptics will open eyes to the truth

You do know that the "three clue rule" is from a role-playing game, right? It has nothing to do with the actual legal system.

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Mikko-kun

Paranormal reality is a contradiction in terms; something that is real is normal. It may be undiscovered or not understood, but if it is really there then it is really there, but if it is instead in your head or in your imagination, you need more skepticism.

So if it's in your head it can't be real? Or if it comes from your head, you can't make it real without the "usual" channels? I find that whatever is in our head gets reflected around us, and I think it's like our muscles too. You got weak muscle, you ain't lifting shiet. Or if your neural cords or whatever are disconnected, you will not be lifting the stiff in the future. Unless you make a recovery like they do from car accidents, like Hank in Breaking Bad.

And I'm very much inclined to think you can cause yourself damage there (meaning you can "cut your own neural cords" to things which'd allow you to see and do), if you think in detrimental ways... not that I'd be eligible to say what's detrimental, but a rule of thumb for me is to get out of the box, not to try to stay inside because that doesn't require effort. I feel you can do damage to yourself there the same way you can hurt yourself with wrong kinda exercising, go to gym with bad mentality and be all down and depressed and "oh no nothing's gonna come of this" and it'll be like that, and keep doing moves the wrong way and you'll hurt your joints.

I remember reading about schizophrenic patients who were allowed to go through their paranoias like "what if it is real", keep asking that over and over again until they got back on the level. Bend them without breaking them, be considerate of them. I use the same rule for exercising and found that to be working the best. Motivation and being in touch with yourself are powerful forces.

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Frank Merton

I have no idea what your response has to do with what I said. My only point was simple -- reality is what is real. If it is paranormal it is not real. Something we may call paranormal may be real enough, in which case we have mislabeled it, but if it is truly paranormal then it is truly unreal.

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baro67

a my advice aimed at the skeptics is go to reading "the scientific evidence of life after death the scole experiment" ...senior members of the Society for Psychical Research has chaired and controlled under the most stringent scientific rules these sessions ...: many of these skeptical scientists at the end of the experiment have become believers, and this says it all in my opinion

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DieChecker

I have no idea what your response has to do with what I said. My only point was simple -- reality is what is real. If it is paranormal it is not real. Something we may call paranormal may be real enough, in which case we have mislabeled it, but if it is truly paranormal then it is truly unreal.

I thought those things labeled as paranormal were things that are unexplained, that some people chose to supply a supernatural association to. But, the event or thing that is unexplained, does not need to be fictional to be paranormal to individuals.

Supposedly, when the Spanish under Cortez invaded the Aztecs, they thought these new people were mystical, monsters or gods. Yet today we know it was simply their technology and strangeness (to the Aztecs) that made the natives see them so.

Paranormal =/= Unreal

Paranormal = Misunderstood

Supernatural = Unreal

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aquatus1

I think you got them reversed. The supernatural has a long history of having been shown to be real, just not understood. There has never, to my knowledge, been a paranormal event that has stood up to scrutiny.

Perhaps the mix-up is in the definition. The supernatural tends to be external, outside the mind, such as ghosts and demons and such. The paranormal are those things that (allegedly) stem from the mind itself, such as psychic powers, superhuman strength, and whatnot.

Edited by aquatus1

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DieChecker

Perhaps the two terms are somewhat mutually inclusive...

Here is what Wiki says...

Paranormal is a general term (coined c. 1915–1920) that designates experiences that lie outside "the range of normal experience or scientific explanation" or that indicates phenomena understood to be outside of science's current ability to explain or measure.

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Paranormal

The supernatural (Medieval Latin: supernātūrālis: supra "above" + naturalis "nature", first used: 1520–30 AD) is that which is not subject to the laws of physics, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature. In philosophy, popular culture and fiction, the supernatural is associated with the paranormal, religions and occultism.

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Supernatural

Given those definitions, I'd still argue that...

Paranormal =/= Unreal

Paranormal = Misunderstood

Supernatural = Unreal

Where the supernatural is clearly not based in the real world, but the paranormal exists only because it is not understood.

Is a UFO sighting a paranormal event or a supernatural event? I'd say seeing the UFO is a paranormal event, because it is not understood, while visiting with aliens would be a supernatural event, because generally aliens are considered to be fictional.

Edited by DieChecker

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Professor T

Supernatural & Paranormal.. How we personally define these terms speaks a lot about which predisposition we are coming from.

Just because something is Super and Natural and/or Beyond Normal doesn't mean it's not real..

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Frank Merton

Supernatural & Paranormal.. How we personally define these terms speaks a lot about which predisposition we are coming from.

Just because something is Super and Natural and/or Beyond Normal doesn't mean it's not real..

Supernatural does not mean "beyond normal" or "super and natural." It has its own meaning. That is just word games.

My daughter's intelligence and beauty are both beyond normal and both super and natural, but she is no angel.

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Professor T

Supernatural does not mean "beyond normal" or "super and natural." It has its own meaning. That is just word games.

My daughter's intelligence and beauty are both beyond normal and both super and natural, but she is no angel.

Lol @ no Angel..

But, who's playing word games? I certainly am not..

How we personally define these terms speaks a lot about which predisposition we are coming from.

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Frank Merton

It's hard to define supernatural because the instant something is shown to really exist it is no longer supernatural. Take angels. If they are really out there, then they are part of God's creation and natural. I can't see how it can be otherwise.

Supernatural and paranormal have slightly different slants on the same thing, since the first implies religion and the second implies undiscovered science, but in both cases once one concludes they are real they are real.

Another example: If God performs a miracle, then what a natural thing for God to do, regardless of how he does it. If a ghost throws an avocado at me, what a natural thing for a ghost to do, although we would then need to look into how something disembodied can throw things. Once these activities enter the real world they become part of its reality.

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Professor T

Yep. That Frank, is what I was getting at by saying how we personally define these terms speaks a lot about which predisposition we are coming from. And, in keeping with the Theme of this thread, Skeptics are probably more likely to hold a completely different meaning definition of those terms..

My personal definitions of Supernatural and Paranormal speak of my position or Point of view..

A True skeptic on the other hand is more likely to hold an entirely different position and point of view..

It's always good to know what Wikipedia and other sources have to say about defining meaning.. But true meaning... The Meaning that really counts, that comes from within, and is not written in stone, and is always subject to change..

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DieChecker

Skeptics are probably more likely to hold a completely different meaning definition of those terms..

That is probably very true. Vast and long term discussions (to use a polite word) go on here at UM over minute (small) details of specific words.

It seems like there might almost be a different brain chemistry between True Believers and Hardened Cynics.

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Beany

I think of it this way: a skeptic can question my honesty or conclusions or statements, that's a healthy thing, but being skeptical myself of my own experiences was entirely unsatisfactory, as it explained nothing. And I did try to make it work, but after a while, skepticism and denial were no longer an option, and I had to change my treasured version of how the world really works. It is not fun to get a hard kick in the head that basically says, hey, stupid, pay attention here, this might be important to you..

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aquatus1

Apparently there is. There was an article about that a couple of months ago. Something about the mind of one having more folds or something. I'll see if I can find it.

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Whisperer

Yes of course scepticism can blind one to the truth, no arguments there but it could also clear your eyes to the truth as well as with most approaches to life, this coming from a man who is easily blinded due to assuming trust so easily, a perfect candidate for con artists.

But Im bit more cynical in my old age now and freely interpret a sceptical view to meeting my personal requirement and expectations of the word in a generalised manner rather than a specific specialised interpretation.

I constantly question myself, actively hunt myself as the 'enemy' and compare revelations or rationalisations based on my current world view, my probable direction and my own intuition and if everything meets with an overall approval then fine, I might be onto something but definitive conclusions need to be backed up empirically with proven results most times...

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Beany

I think skepticism is a healthy attribute. In often compels us to research a topic and gather information usually necessary to making good, rational decisions. There's a lot of people out there who make a pretty good living off the gullible.

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Beany

Apparently there is. There was an article about that a couple of months ago. Something about the mind of one having more folds or something. I'll see if I can find it.

Not sure what you're referring to, but the article sounds interesting.

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DieChecker

Not sure what you're referring to, but the article sounds interesting.

I think he was referencing my question as to if Believers and Cynics have different brain chemistry.

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Frank Merton

I am and will remain always a skeptic about most things people claim without hard evidence, and especially about my own experiences. I don't care if the ghost is sitting right in front of me sipping tea I will not "believe." Also, it is very hard to imagine evidence that would overcome the inherent unlikelihood of such a thing that would persuade me otherwise. Even it telling me where grandfather's fortune is hidden would not be enough since I would figure I knew it all along and just needed my subconscious to tell me. (Note to any ghosts carrying such secrets -- don't let that discourage you -- I promise to believe if you make me rich).

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Mikko-kun

Life is one big experiment, we have all the time in our hands and without astrology there's already enough factors to separate us to different roads, though factors like school and having parents with certain mindset dont seem to explain everything, not to me at least because my brother's a more level-headed guy who "knows what he's doing" and I'm always out there on the edge, trying to find the outermost walls of my box. Not that my brother wouldn't too, but he ends up in taking interest in the earthly stuff and I the occult and the like, it's been like that ever since we learned to read. I think we were on the same level there at one point before going to school but social pressure or getting distanced a bit distanced us.

Even though I've seen enough signs of astrology working in life and getting in touch with what it is, I still at times ask myself things like "how big or small this thing really is, how much or little meaning it has in the big picture?". Even if you believed in something, that doesn't have to and should not stop you from exploring it further and asking what it really is, to make it a more accurate image instead of a blurry one. Because if you have a blurry image you won't find words so easily, I dont at least.

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RhiannonB77

Interesting. I would like to see how the Amazing Randi would react.

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Rlyeh

a my advice aimed at the skeptics is go to reading "the scientific evidence of life after death the scole experiment" ...senior members of the Society for Psychical Research has chaired and controlled under the most stringent scientific rules these sessions ...: many of these skeptical scientists at the end of the experiment have become believers, and this says it all in my opinion

You must mean lack of controls.

http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4179

Did you find Project Alpha convincing?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Alpha

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Nenaraz

An odd experiment, done by a believer in paranormal phenomena, opens a few questions about how everyone perceives the world. We know that belief can blind people - but can disbelief do the same thing?

http://io9.com/can-s...eringlis-arkell

Yes, the skepticism is quite conservative. Unless the experiment doesn't follow the particular procedure of one skeptical individual, it's not "proven".

It's really just a battle of ignorance and knowledge.

For an example, take Astrology. The first sign to see that someone didn't research it is when they use precession to claim that astrology doesn't work.

The same skepticism can be compared to the denial to look trough a telescope of Galileo. The same skepticism can be used to deny the fact that unknown mechanism isn't equal to the denial of the result.

For instance - washing hands was reducing the mortality rate centuries before the germs were discovered.

The compass was used centuries before magnetism was discovered.

Skepticism is in no way helping. For the most time, it's just waiting things on a silver plate claiming to be scientific. In my book, scientists research first and foremost. They do not reject something without testing it first using the proper method without simply fueling their own vanity to wage something purposeful to their outlook in life or to satisfy their belief that they're knowledgeable about something, while in truth they lack all the necessary components in order to make a just opinion. An opinion based on ignorance about the matter is no opinion at all, ergo skepticism is simply the denial of something until "proven" by their own standards.

Truth is, there're religious skeptics i.e. skepticism in religious outlooks in like when religious fanatics don't accept anything else beside their own look for "proof" or "evidence". The same goes for the crazy people, so skepticism is always a bad thing imho.

Curiosity and inquiry are the epitomes of the starting position for an intelligent mind. Skepticism is something I often found when people don't believe in something, such as the use of computer. I still hear "The computers are the devils work". So when I see that someone's skeptical I usually find fear that it might change their world perspective. And I call that the "statue" diagnosis. If you think that you drank all the knowledge, you're just a statue that pigeons will crap upon sooner or later.

Edited by Nenaraz

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SpiritWriter

yes, this is very easy to see

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