Argument # 9: Science is the only reliable method.
Stated as: “The only reliable way to know about anything is through the scientific method. All other methods are unreliable.”
This statement is usually made by skeptics who glorify and worship science as their God, even though they would never put it in those terms due to the connotations of them.
1) First, this is an absolutist statement since there is not just one single way to know everything. Other ways of knowing things include direct observation, personal experience, textbooks and articles, and advice from those who are wiser and more experienced than us. There are countless real things I can experience that don’t need to be proved by the scientific method. Even mundane examples can demonstrate that. For instance, I can see rainbows by direct observation even though I can’t bring them back to scientists, though they can see them too if they chose to go look. I can learn parenting through the experience of being a parent, and swimming by the experience of going into the water. Marketers and businesses learn the marketability of their products through surveys. We can also learn valuable things from wiser and more experienced people too, despite the fact that we didn’t use any scientific method to check them out. In addition, I can’t prove where I was yesterday either with the scientific method, but that doesn’t mean that any claim of where I was yesterday is false. Neither can I prove what I dreamed last night with the scientific method either, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t know what I dreamed about. Likewise, if Acupuncture or some alternative medicine technique works for me, then I know that it works for me regardless of whether it’s proven by the scientific method or not. Not everything has to be official for it to be true. (See rebuttal to Argument # 1 for more on that.) The scientific method is a tool for testing hypothesis and finding out things, not for defending one’s own paradigms.
2) Second, since successful psi results have been achieved in tests conducted under the scientific method, (See Argument # 17 and Argument # 18) it can be said that evidence for psi has been gained from the scientific method anyway. Not surprisingly though, skeptics tend to only accept results done with the scientific method that show the results they want, which is no psi results and only chance results.
3) Third, things don’t have to be proven by science in order to be true. (as explained in Argument # 1) Many things were true and real before science discovered or proved them. Though the converse of this is also true, why should we consider the skeptic’s subjective dismissal as being more reliable than one’s direct experience? Besides, without direct experience, how would we know anything at all? Greg Stone from my discussion list, put it very well in his post:
“But balanced against science's supposed lack of evidence one finds the DIRECT EXPERIENCE of those who report. And the reports are consistent and voluminous. Thus, while science, according to Kurtz, cannot weigh in definitively on either side of the equation, the DIRECT EXPERIENCES are a fact. And, as everyone knows, we do not need to check with science to confirm all the aspects of our daily lives...we did not need to wait for science to properly define and experiment with the atom before we could manipulate things made up of atoms.
Experience, direct knowledge, is of a higher order of understanding than mere subjective speculation without experience. If one were to accept your argument that experience is intrinsically invalid as a way of knowing, then you undermine your entire position as you have nothing else upon which to base ANYTHING. Thus, we see the weakness of a position that replaces firsthand knowledge, firsthand experience with the SPECULATION of someone who has no experience.
Which one does the real scientist consider more valid... the report of a direct experience (make that volumes of consistent reports) OR the musings of someone with NO experience, only their speculation?”
Where these closed-minded skeptics make the mistake is in seeking proof from scientific experiments (which they invalidate anyway when they don’t get the results they want) rather than from direct experience, which is the ultimate true validation. The mystic Faith Rada, my spiritual advisor and mentor, sums this up well:
“The fact is your post MAY be absolutely correct and valid BUT it COULD also be just someone posting "lies and foolishness" as far as a pseudo/skeptic is concerned." What constitutes Proof? Actually it is a personal thing and not a SET thing. It is THAT POINT at which something is able to be accepted as REAL. Mundane words do not hold the power to do that .. one NEEDS Direct experience. And posting an article that May well be valid is STILL not a PROOF when the viewer demands Personal experience. And they have every right to. As the dictionary post below.. it can be a PROCESS. Add to this the MAJOR problem that these pseudo/skeptics really do not WANT proof.. because it would destroy their perspective and you end up with an impasse. Remember that saying? A person convinced against his will... is of the same opinion still. IT's EGO at work.
Etymology: Middle English, alteration of preove, from Old French preuve, from Late Latin proba, from Latin probare to prove -- more at PROVE
the cogency of evidence
that compels acceptance by the mind of a truth or a fact b
or an instance of establishing
the validity of a statement especially by
derivation from other statements in accordance with principles of
2 obsolete : EXPERIENCE
3 : something that induces certainty or establishes validity
Obviously anyone can type up ANY statement, make ANY claim of validity and witnesses and circumstances that they want.. Even when we investigate there are judgments that need to be made. Is this person trustworthy? Certainly lab. scientists working on major projects HAVE falsified test results. People.. GASP! LIE all the time. OR they may honestly misinterpret things, but UNLESS YOU are directly involved.. as in FIRST HAND ... then it must remain 'here say'. This does not mean it is useless.. BUT it is certainly not living PROOF either. I was and still am a "skeptic" .. in the sense that with no direct proof I will not accept. I have had The Direct proof.. of things within the mundane world and also Transcendent Proof of Pure Consciousness. The latter is "REAL" proof since it makes you ONE WITH the actual event ... eliminating the need for the dualistic mind to pass judgment on what is being "experienced" since it lies BEYOND the mind's ability to think on.... but that is another subject so ..... forget that for now.
was not until I had a number of "remote" viewing myself that I had
the proof I needed. Plus I did not depend on my own
finite mind canNOT be trusted.
There were at times people I could share with that were able to validate what I saw. They GOT proof since they were an active part of it the event. .. but if I were to write about it today what would the point BE? It is certainly not PROOF...A curiosity to consider for those open enough to do so, which is great, but certainly NOT proof.
So.. proof for those involved directly but NOT for those who read about it after the fact .. See what I mean?
Such sights as you post ARE useful. It is a good place to start looking... and that can allow us to be more open to our own necessary Direct and validated Experiences. I say validated experiences because the mind IS a tricky place. People do see what they WANT to see and do not see what they do NOT want to see. What is even meant by real? That is a VERY good question.
needs to validate for ones self... whatever that takes.
Everyone GETS to
know ONLY when it is their time to know.. to expand into their full
awareness. Not everyone Is
ready. Knowing that we are
consciousness FIRST and physical body second has a
Now I don’t dispute that science is an effective way of collecting knowledge, testing theories, or discovering how things work. The point is that it is not the ONLY way. And since science has not disproved the existence of God, life after death, spirits, or psi, then there is no point in skeptics trying to use science to dismiss those things. Furthermore, the best method of knowing things also depend on the kind of knowledge one is attempting to acquire. There are many issues and problems everyday for which empiricism is impractical or impossible. We make many rational daily decisions both individually and as a society that are based on no empirical observations. Sometimes common sense and direct observation are all that are required.
Dean Radin points out in the beginning of his book The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena, that new scientific discoveries tend to go through stages. He writes: (page 1)
“In science, the acceptance of new ideas follows a predictable, four-stage sequence. In Stage 1, skeptic confidently proclaim that the idea is impossible because it violates the Laws of Science. This stage can last for years or for centuries, depending on how much the idea challenges conventional wisdom. In Stage 2, skeptics reluctantly concede that the idea is possible but that it is not very interesting and the claimed effects are extremely weak. Stage 3 begins when the mainstream realizes not only that the idea is important but that its effects are much stronger and more pervasive than previously imagined. Stage 4 is achieved when the same critics who previously disavowed any interest in the idea being to proclaim that they thought of it first. Eventually, no one remembers that the idea was once considered a dangerous heresy.
The idea discussed in this book is in the midst of the most important and the most difficult of the four transitions - from Stage 1 into Stage 2.“