View Active Topics          Latest 100 Topics          View Your Posts          Switch to Mobile

I am a former skeptic

Introduce yourself here!

I am a former skeptic

Postby Franc28 » 23 Jul 2009, 18:25

I am a former skeptic who has come to this board to debate skeptics about the premises of their position/ideology. I am very interested in hearing what they will have to say.

Of the other board sections, I am also interested in conspiracies (a loaded word if there ever was one) and religion (I'm against organized religion and believe in nothing but the material world).

Earlier, I tried to explain my epistemic position on the issue of personal experience (that personal experience can only be evidence of anything to the experiencer, a sort of middle position between the believer's "personal experience is evidence" and the skeptic's "personal experience is not evidence of anything ever"), but I didn't do a very good job at it.
Banned by the JREF Board for calling them on their "bullshit"...
Franc28
 
Posts: 70
Joined: 16 Jun 2009, 05:55






Re: I am a former skeptic

Postby Scepcop » 23 Jul 2009, 21:27

You mean you don't believe that any spiritual dimensions exist? Or that there is no afterlife? Why not? What makes you so sure? Or are you a middle ground agnostic? What about the evidence presented by Eteponge and others in the videos section and specific examples, like Dorothy Allison?
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
User avatar
Scepcop
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: 16 May 2009, 07:29

Re: I am a former skeptic

Postby Franc28 » 24 Jul 2009, 03:56

No, I don't believe in other dimensions, including an afterlife. I have no interest in these areas.
Banned by the JREF Board for calling them on their "bullshit"...
Franc28
 
Posts: 70
Joined: 16 Jun 2009, 05:55

Re: I am a former skeptic

Postby Scepcop » 24 Jul 2009, 09:58

What is your position based on though? And why do you believe that?

And what do you make of the evidence presented for spiritual dimensions?
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
User avatar
Scepcop
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: 16 May 2009, 07:29

Re: I am a former skeptic

Postby Franc28 » 24 Jul 2009, 15:59

Scepcop wrote:What is your position based on though?


On my materialist worldview.


And why do you believe that?


Why do I have a materialist worldview? Well, asking why anyone has any worldview ultimately goes back into rather personal and complex issues. Can anyone really answer that? I mean, I suppose I could tell you about some defining things. My study of atheism and atheology was definitely the main one. Arguments against supernatural gods can easily be transposed into arguments against other dimensions in general.


And what do you make of the evidence presented for spiritual dimensions?


I've never read any of that evidence (well, very little, anyway), and I have no interest in it.
Banned by the JREF Board for calling them on their "bullshit"...
Franc28
 
Posts: 70
Joined: 16 Jun 2009, 05:55

Re: I am a former skeptic

Postby Scepcop » 25 Jul 2009, 00:11

Well don't you ever wonder if you could be wrong? Why are you so sure of your beliefs?

How can you not be interested in the Afterlife? It's one of life's biggest questions and applies to everyone.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
User avatar
Scepcop
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: 16 May 2009, 07:29

Re: I am a former skeptic

Postby Franc28 » 25 Jul 2009, 04:03

Scepcop wrote:Well don't you ever wonder if you could be wrong? Why are you so sure of your beliefs?


If I was so sure of my beliefs, then I'd never change, wouldn't I? And yet people are always surprised by how much I change my positions (of course, they don't have access to my mind and thus don't follow the gradual changes). Everyone eventually comes to believe that he's wrong about something, otherwise we would never evolve.


How can you not be interested in the Afterlife? It's one of life's biggest questions and applies to everyone.


In your mind, no doubt: as for me, the afterlife is a pretty small question, except insofar as it relates to the crazy tangle of organized religious dogma. I've never had occasion to see any good reason to believe in an afterlife, and since I am a materialist, I'd probably reject any evidence you consider relevant.
Banned by the JREF Board for calling them on their "bullshit"...
Franc28
 
Posts: 70
Joined: 16 Jun 2009, 05:55

Re: I am a former skeptic

Postby Scepcop » 25 Jul 2009, 22:52

So how sure are you of your beliefs? To what percentage? 70 or 80 percent?

I'm not talking about belief in an afterlife, I was talking about the subject itself in general.

By the way, what do you make of the third video posted here? How do you explain cases like this?

Unsolved Mysteries - Ghost spotted on the side of the road



Description:

Segment where a mother and child were in a car accident and fell off the road into the forest below, out of sight of people driving by. The mother died instantly, the child survived. Five days later, a car drove by, and the passengers saw a fully naked woman laying down on the side of the road (in the cold snow) looking towards them, and they were freaked out, went and called the police, and got police to go investigate, where they discovered the car, the mother long dead, and the boy still barely alive (he survived). The naked woman seen laying on the side of the road in the cold snow was the mother, but she had died on impact, and was found still buckled up and fully clothed.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
User avatar
Scepcop
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: 16 May 2009, 07:29

Re: I am a former skeptic

Postby Franc28 » 26 Jul 2009, 07:43

Scepcop wrote:So how sure are you of your beliefs? To what percentage? 70 or 80 percent?

I'm not talking about belief in an afterlife, I was talking about the subject itself in general.


What subject? The paranormal? I would say maybe 90%. That's a rather vague thing to evaluate though.

But first you'd have to define "paranormal." Depending on your definition, my confidence may go up or down.


By the way, what do you make of the third video posted here? How do you explain cases like this?


Why should I "explain" it? Unlike skeptics, I make no pretension of knowing everything. If I had been in that situation, then I would be able to tell you my personal interpretation of it, but all we have are testimonies. It's not at all clear what they did actually experience.
Banned by the JREF Board for calling them on their "bullshit"...
Franc28
 
Posts: 70
Joined: 16 Jun 2009, 05:55

Re: I am a former skeptic

Postby Scepcop » 04 Aug 2009, 05:02

Franc,
Just out of curiosity, what if you saw an apparition with your own eyes? What would you make of it? Would it change your belief system? What if you saw something in vivid detail before it happened, and it happened later exactly as you saw? And what if a psychic got an amazing hit about you that was highly specific, or even got one of your deep dark secrets correct, that could NOT have been determined from cold reading?

Would that change your belief system?

Would you deny it or update your belief system to it?
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
User avatar
Scepcop
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: 16 May 2009, 07:29

Re: I am a former skeptic

Postby Franc28 » 04 Aug 2009, 14:50

Scepcop wrote:Just out of curiosity, what if you saw an apparition with your own eyes?


What exactly would you say that I am seeing? A disturbance in the air? A ghostly-looking person? Just saying "an apparition" is vague.


And what if a psychic got an amazing hit about you that was highly specific, or even got one of your deep dark secrets correct, that could NOT have been determined from cold reading?


Cold reading is not the only way to obtain information, but either way, I would not make myself judge of what can be determined by cold reading, or psychic powers for that matter. I would certainly think it's very interesting. That being said, how would you define "highly specific"?

I'm not trying to delay you with these questions. As you know, my position is that the experience is inherently personal, and cannot be easily described or studied. What you call "apparition" or "highly specific" may have nothing to do with what I would consider such.

I will answer your other questions in relation to your answers to these.
Banned by the JREF Board for calling them on their "bullshit"...
Franc28
 
Posts: 70
Joined: 16 Jun 2009, 05:55

Re: I am a former skeptic

Postby Scepcop » 09 Aug 2009, 05:24

Franc,
With your disbelief in psychic phenomena, how would you explain these amazing hits which could not have been due to fraud, luck or cold reading?

“I went to a Psychic fair in Chicago, all by myself, on the spur of the moment, then looked around and saw a little old man sitting all by himself, a bit away from all others. I walked over to him, asked him how much he charges, and sat down. He did not even ask my birth date or any other question, and began to talk about my children.

He said I had two children, a boy and a girl. I told him that this is not true, that I have two girls. He said that he knows different, which really upset me. He went on saying that the boy died right after his birth, and that my girl had died a few years back in a tragic incident, and that the second girl is not my own girl, but is adopted. He was right, because I had to admit that I no longer thought of my little boy any longer as a son.
( he was born 37 years earlier, prematurely in the 6th month of pregnancy, and had only lived 25 minutes.)

He then told me that I am writing a Novel, and began to outline the story, naming the character in the Novel by name, their roles, and how they related to each other, and the time frame of the story. He was right in the smallest detail, better than I could describe myself, having written it.

He told me that I would be teaching many people, and that people will come to my house to ask for lessons, but it would be out of the State, in the South.
(The South was the last place on earth I would want to live at that time. Neither would I want to leave my job, or my dream house that I had purchased only a short time before. It was months later that my husband was suddenly transferred to Georgia. Here I had an Art exhibition in Atlanta, and people had approached me to teach Art, especially oil painting.)

There were many other events he told me from my childhood, early adulthood, my former marriage, all accurate in every aspect and every little detail. He described the house I was born in, a house I had never again seen in over 46 years, and I had to look on an old photograph to check the details he described, of which I was no longer aware of.
He was correct. He took a pen and wrote my father's name, in my father's handwriting. (The old German script, which is no longer in use, called: Hohe Stolze.)

Now, I don't expect you to believe me, and I don't care one way or another, whatever explanation you come up with for all that, it does not change one tittle.

Just remember one thing: I had never been in Chicago before, other than driving through. Chicago was 45 miles from where I lived, and I knew NO ONE in that city, nor did anyone know that I would be going to Chicago that day, and I had no idea that there was a Psychic Fair to begin with, but rather stumbled on it in one of the Malls.
But most of all, that it was I who chose this particular Psychic among all others.

I had been to other Psychics, at different times, in different States and different countries, all without appointments, and without recommendations by anyone I knew, who had been most accurate in everything they said, three of which described the same Novel I spoke of earlier, one spoke of a book I had written many years earlier, even how many pages the manuscript was, how many chapters, and the general contents of it.”
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
User avatar
Scepcop
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: 16 May 2009, 07:29

Re: I am a former skeptic

Postby Scepcop » 09 Aug 2009, 05:29

Franc28 wrote:
Scepcop wrote:Just out of curiosity, what if you saw an apparition with your own eyes?


What exactly would you say that I am seeing? A disturbance in the air? A ghostly-looking person? Just saying "an apparition" is vague.


And what if a psychic got an amazing hit about you that was highly specific, or even got one of your deep dark secrets correct, that could NOT have been determined from cold reading?


Cold reading is not the only way to obtain information, but either way, I would not make myself judge of what can be determined by cold reading, or psychic powers for that matter. I would certainly think it's very interesting. That being said, how would you define "highly specific"?

I'm not trying to delay you with these questions. As you know, my position is that the experience is inherently personal, and cannot be easily described or studied. What you call "apparition" or "highly specific" may have nothing to do with what I would consider such.

I will answer your other questions in relation to your answers to these.


You know what I mean. I mean an apparition, like a ghostly form, like what you see in ghost movies.

What would you conclude about it? Would it change your beliefs?

By highly specific, I mean something that is not general. For example, if you had a best friend named "Rumplestilskin" when you were 12 years old, and this info was not on any public website, or the psychic had no time to research you in advance cause he/she didn't know you would be coming, etc. yet during the reading this psychic says that you had a best friend named Rumplestilskin when you were 12, what would you make of that?

Or what if the hit was a deep dark secret about you that no one knows? How would that affect you?

There are plenty of documented cases like this, you know.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
User avatar
Scepcop
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: 16 May 2009, 07:29

Re: I am a former skeptic

Postby Franc28 » 11 Aug 2009, 16:12

Scepcop wrote:Franc,
With your disbelief in psychic phenomena, how would you explain these amazing hits which could not have been due to fraud, luck or cold reading?


It's a good story, but why do I need to explain it?
Banned by the JREF Board for calling them on their "bullshit"...
Franc28
 
Posts: 70
Joined: 16 Jun 2009, 05:55

Re: I am a former skeptic

Postby Franc28 » 11 Aug 2009, 16:15

You know what I mean. I mean an apparition, like a ghostly form, like what you see in ghost movies.


I don't watch "ghost movies."


What would you conclude about it? Would it change your beliefs?


I don't know. I don't know what you're saying that I'm seeing.


By highly specific, I mean something that is not general. For example, if you had a best friend named "Rumplestilskin" when you were 12 years old, and this info was not on any public website, or the psychic had no time to research you in advance cause he/she didn't know you would be coming, etc. yet during the reading this psychic says that you had a best friend named Rumplestilskin when you were 12, what would you make of that?


That he knows I had a best friend named Rumplestilskin when I was 12.

Which I would find rather amazing!

It would certainly be a story I'd tell for a very long time.


Or what if the hit was a deep dark secret about you that no one knows? How would that affect you?

There are plenty of documented cases like this, you know.


I would feel rather unsettled that other people can know my deep dark secrets.

I would start thinking about investing in some privacy technologies, anyway.
Banned by the JREF Board for calling them on their "bullshit"...
Franc28
 
Posts: 70
Joined: 16 Jun 2009, 05:55

Next

Return to Introduce Yourself

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest