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Debunking PseudoSkeptical Arguments of Paranormal Debunkers

Argument # 14: Believers in the paranormal are thinking in primitive, irrational and childish ways.


This statement is often made by the more extreme and opinionated type of skeptic.  Fortunately, many skeptic groups have realized the extremity and folly of these type of statements and have stopped making them in public.  The fact is, many who hold spiritual beliefs or metaphysical views came to them after researching all the data and examining the different explanations, making informed conclusions. 


Nevertheless, it can also be argued that closed-minded skeptics who are out to debunk everything paranormal are thinking in irrational and uninformed ways because they simply refuse to consider the data that support strong paranormal phenomena cases, but instead dismiss it on a priori grounds.  If they are not up to date on the evidence, then they are the ones who are acting uninformed.  How can one be truly informed if they only wish to look at the data that support their views?  Rationalizing away facts to defend one’s paradigm is not an example of rational thinking.


Furthermore, people who hold paranormal or other non-empirical beliefs may simply be expressing a cultural, personal or spiritual view, and nothing more. This does not mean they are less intelligent, more irrational or childish than non-believers of the paranormal.  In fact, these people are usually capable of applying rational and intelligent thought to a wide variety of everyday situations when it matters, and no doubt do this effectively and rationally.


We have to remember that basically, it is simply our a-priori beliefs that affect our acceptance of the data for paranormal phenomena.  Closed-minded skeptics and debunkers know going into an investigation that there is a natural explanation, and are firmly committed to finding it.  The problem is that it can (and has in some cases) lead to incorrect or premature conclusions.  It also doesn't do much for skepticism’s reputation when a researcher goes in (falsely, and obviously so) proclaiming neutrality when the reality is otherwise.  Why not just be honest and say “I don't believe it. It is possible to convince me, but I don't think that is going to happen because in my experience, the world doesn't work that way.'”?

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