Section I: General Arguments Against Paranormal Claims
Argument # 1: It is irrational to believe anything that hasn't been proven.
is the main philosophy behind most skeptical arguments.
As Dr. Melvin Morse,
“The notion that 'It is rational to only believe what's been proven' somehow got twisted into ‘It is irrational to believe in anything that hasn't been proven’.” (Interview from video: Conversations with God)
By "proven" skeptics mean proven according to the scientific method, which they consider to be the only reliable method. There are several problems with this argument:
1) First of all, just because something hasn't been proven and established in mainstream science doesn't mean it doesn't exist or isn't true. If it did, then nothing would exist until proven or discovered. Bacteria and germs would never have caused illnesses until they were proven and discovered, smoking would not cause cancer until it was proven, the planet Pluto would not have existed until it was discovered, etc. Anyone knows that this simply is not so. For instance, when Acupuncture was first introduced in the West, skeptics and certain scientists claimed that it had no basis and only worked due to the placebo effect because they couldn’t understand how it worked. This reflected the typical false thinking of skeptics that anything they don’t understand must be due to superstition or chance. However, practitioners and believers knew otherwise and were later validated by extensive studies have been done to show that it indeed does work for treating various ailments and getting results which placebos can’t account for. An extensive listing of these research studies can be found on the Med lab website. In fact, the AMA (American Medical Association) has already declared that Acupuncture works and is an effective treatment, proving the skeptics wrong. The point is that Acupuncture worked before it was proven to work, not after. Skeptics assume that everything that exists must be able to be analyzed in a lab. That’s just not how reality works.
just because something hasn't been proven to established
science doesn't mean that it hasn't been proved firsthand to certain
Established views are not the
dictum of all reality.
Many types of
paranormal phenomena have been proved firsthand to eyewitnesses and experiencers. For
example, even though the cases of NDE’s
the existence of an afterlife (at least not yet), those who have
them claim that the experience of the separation of body and spirit is
firsthand proof to them of an afterlife, just as riding in a car is
proof that cars exist, and they fear death no more.
Those who have OBE’s
(Out of Body Experiences) also make similar claims, and they need no
do they need to convince anyone. These
claims are further supported by the fact that in many documented cases
subject could hear conversations or see things in other rooms and other
which are later confirmed and verified to be remarkably accurate. Who's
to say that they're wrong just because
we haven't had the same experiences?
That would be equivalent to
saying that because I’ve never
many research experiments and studies conducted under the scientific
HAVE passed with positive results. For
example, experiments in micro-psychokinesis done by Dr. Robert Jahn and
Dunn at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research labs (PEAR)> using
generator machines to measure subjects’ PK influence on them,
consistent results for over 20 years.
These were done under proper
controls and scientific procedures,
according to prominent skeptic Ray Hyman, who investigated the Prince
experiments in person and conceded that he could find no flaws in the
The small but consistent
results achieved by PEAR over 20 years are calculated by chance alone
to be 1
Likewise, the Ganzfeld experiments in telepathy done in the early 70’s also had
receivers in 42 controlled experiments scoring an average of 38 to 45
compared to the chance rate of 25 percent. (See
Argument # 17)
odds of that occurring by chance are less than one in a billion. More
recently, controlled experiments
involving four prominent mediums accuracy were done by Dr. Gary Schwartz of the
Human Energy Lab of the
4) Fourth, just because something is irrational to skeptics doesn't mean that it is irrational to others who know or believe that it is real. Skeptics and scientific materialists do not have the monopoly on rational thinking. Lots of rational intelligent intellectual people believe in God, spiritual dimensions, or that there is more to reality than the material world. The skeptics' system of rational thinking is not the dictatum by which all things that exist must conform to. This can easily be demonstrated by all the things that skeptics have been wrong about before, such as flight, laws of physics, quantum mechanics, giant squid, etc. proving their fallibility.