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Hello from South Africa

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Hello from South Africa

Postby rme » 28 Aug 2009, 18:57

Hi

I cannot exactly remember how I came across your website, but I am intrigued with the content of the debates here.

I'm not exactly sure how I would classify myself. First of all I think a classification is only necessary for people on the far end of every debate.

The skeptic label in my opinion should only be applied to people that fail to recognize anything beyond science, and the same goes for believers i.e. not recognizing anything that science proved (I am using the term 'science' very casually but I am sure everyone will understand what I mean).

Currently I am an atheist, but I am always open to the existence of a god of some form and I classify any paranormal event with proper proof as something which science does not fully understand yet. I will never immediately attribute a paranormal event to something mystical, nor will I immediately dismiss the existence of such phenomena as 'woo'.

One of my pet hates is so called alternative healing. The reason for this is that I am losing a loved one because she was convinced by her homeopath that he could cure her instead of having a brain tumor removed by a proper western medical doctor. As far as I know there is no proof that any of it actually has more of an affect than a placebo (but I guess this is not the place to go into it in detail).

I also believe that human beings are constantly evolving to adapt to their circumstances and that perhaps many unexplained phenomena can be attributed to this.

Anyway, that is more than enough of an introduction.

I look forward to speaking to you all in the forums.

Regards
rme
 
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Re: Hello from South Africa

Postby NinjaPuppy » 28 Aug 2009, 21:02

Welcome!
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Re: Hello from South Africa

Postby Scepcop » 29 Aug 2009, 00:37

Welcome rme.

Are there any paranormal studies all the way over there in South Africa?

Perhaps you can go to a voodoo witch practitioner and ask for a demonstration? :)
“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
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Re: Hello from South Africa

Postby rme » 31 Aug 2009, 16:33

Well that is the beauty of the country I live in; It is a world of extremes.

On the one hand we have some of the best technology (one of the most advanced mag-lev train systems are being built here) but on the other hand we have the witch doctors (or Sangomas which is the proper term to use here).

The very first heart transplant in the world was done at the Grootte Schuur hospital in Cape Town, but ever so often you would hear about another muti killing (Muti is the 'medicine' that sangomas make. It can be as innocent as a piece of potato or as violent [albeit rare] as the genitals of kids cut out while they were still alive - screaming in pain increases the power of the 'muti'; i really am not kidding).

We have our very own brand of Christian fundamentalist (which in a lot of cases are worse than their American counter parts) while on the other we have people burying mixtures of plants (with appropriate incantations) at soccer fields to increase their team's chances of winning.

We have our technology pockets and then we have places where western medicine / culture is not known at all.

Imaging how difficult it is to keep your mind open in a place like this with all of the opposing stimulae we have here :)
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Re: Hello from South Africa

Postby Scepcop » 01 Sep 2009, 00:09

That sounds pretty intense, like Russia.

Is it as dangerous there as people say it is? Do you feel safe everyday there? What is it like when there's danger at every corner? That would be too much after a while I think, unless you desensitize to it somehow.
“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
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Re: Hello from South Africa

Postby ciscop » 01 Sep 2009, 05:10

welcome!

and it hurts me so much to hear your story its so sad
that a loved one is dying because of his beliefs in nonsense
homeopathic remedies kill people, they dont cure them

water is water
nothing more
so sad believers are ignorant of how psychology and placebos work.
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: Hello from South Africa

Postby rme » 02 Sep 2009, 17:07

Thanks for the kind words ciscop. It does not matter what I say / do / show it seems that this person only wants to believe what she wants to believe and my main problem stems from there. They are preying on the old and weak.

With regards to your questions scepcop: It is actually worse than most people think / are being told.

The murder rate is the second highest in the world but Interpol thinks that all crime are being under reported and that it could in fact be as much as 80% higher. The murders themselves aren't the thing worrying people (believe it or not), it is the brutality that accompanies it. A very high percentage of "house invasions" are accompanied by hours and sometimes days of torturing.

You won't meet a single person here that would tell you otherwise when you speak to them face to face. The internet is an entirely different story though. What a lot of people fail to understand is that this country is more racially divided than ever before. There is no gray area or middle point. Everyone is basically forced to pick a side, left and right and if you are moderate you get called 'left' by the right wingers and 'right' by the left wingers.

The situation is bad but it also a shining example of human nature and survival. More than 1.2 million Caucasians left the country in the last 15 years (that is almost 25% of the total) and almost every one of them makes a success no matter where they go. This is because people here are good at making plans and getting through a situation. We have a saying in Afrikaans here that says "'n Boer maak 'n plan". Roughly translated it means that people here will always make a plan to get by and the spirit of this place is summed up like that.

If I had the opportunity to go back to my ancestral roots (Germany, France and Holland) I would grab it, but I don't so I make the best of my current situation.
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Re: Hello from South Africa

Postby The Warrigal » 14 Sep 2009, 10:53

Greetings RME.

It is a long time since I saw your beautiful country, which as you say is a culture filled with sharp contrasts.

So modern and so vibrant on one level and yet seething with ancient superstions on the other.

I get to meet many South African and Rhodesian immigrants in Australia and with very rare exceptions they do seem to flourish and prosper here.

I fully empathise with your distaste for so many alternative healings, but if you can't talk a person out of using them, then you can't talk them out of it.
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