Discuss General Topics.
I'm up to chapter 4. Do you want a book review or do you want to discuss specific information that I've read so far?
I'm ok with both, just sorry there are only 2 of us, I hoped for more lively discussion.Just got e-mail from Alan Gauld - I sent him this book. He replied what I already felt - "nothing new in this book". So,ther is no such thing as "dommeyer arguments" there are traditional 'esp arguments"
So far I have enjoyed the read. About one third through and the text is totally understandable without constant Googling for explanations or definitions. I still can't decide if this is a pro or con attitude as he seems to cover all the bases. Which at times can become just the tiniest bit confusing if distracted.
I didn't expect to find anything "new" in this book because it was written in 1965 but I have found snippets of 'food for thought' on my own personal probabilities of the subject(s). When I finish reading it, I'll more than likely have to do a quick skim re-read as I can't copy and paste from this file or highlight.
More people may join in, so don't despair. We've got some holiday down time coming up and some of us like an interesting, short read on a weekend morning.
In this book I found another interesting read: "The Watseka Wonder; A Startling and Instructive Psychological Study, and well Authenticated Instance of Angelic Visitation". I've never heard of the Watseka Wonder and a psychological study from 1878 interests the heck out of me.
http://archive.org/stream/watsekawonder ... 0/mode/2up
He starts as been "neutral" but as you continue more and more,you find he becomes more and more anti-survivalist and more pro-ESPer.Ducasse criticized his treatment of Watseka and Butler.Also Almeder,in 1992,found that Dommeyer's explanations are 'ad hoc'
He does cite some pretty good examples of whatever you want to call it, ESP or Mediumship. It seems as if he's trying to find an explanation for these examples as we still don't have one to this day.
I hadn't even thought of that.
I liked this whole part but especially found (my) blue bolded area to be an excellent question:
It is possible that one who believes in discarnate survival, even when it is "less probably" true than the ESP hypothesis, would have a peace of mind that the skeptic lacks; that such a person would conduct himself in a superior moral fashion, displaying greater altruism in his behavior than he would were he to believe what the evidence dictates. The question again is: is knowing the truth more valuable for a person than having beliefs (which may be false) but which have valuable pragmatic consequences for oneself and for others? One could, in certain situations, wisely choose the moral values consequent upon false belief rather than believing truly without the enjoyment of these values. The beliefs associated with religion frequently offer man such a choice.Nor is the religious man as irrational as might appear on the surface. After all, "the improbable" is sometimes true.
I respect his conclusion,but it is that - HIS opinion.Numerous books on the topic was published since then and addressed these point differently.
For example, he mentioned "intrusion case" in Tamboff,Russia,and he promised to criticize this (and all other) case later - but he didn't return to it. Rather he focused on "how earhlike spirits are in communications" and 'how spirits never provided descriptions of the next world"(doubtful :there are numerous books about at and they are remarkbly similiar). So,he didn't discuss 'drop-in' cases. And when he told that skills can be acquired by medium through ESP - it escaped me. Chris Carter and Scott Rogo made excellent points, that skill are acwuired by the long practice.Where is the evidence that skillare acquired by ESP?
Also,Dommeyer's book is definetely one-sided. Take for example .C.D.Broad "Lectures on Psychic Research" ,Alan Gauld "Mediumship and Survival"(1982) and Stephen Braude "Immortal Remains". They discuss both strengths and weaknesses of both survival and esp hypotheses. Dommeyer NEVER discusses the difficulties ESP hypothese faces - and it does,a lot of them. Did You read Gauld and Braude treatment of the subject?
Also,interesting point - I haven't found Dommeyer's book to be mentioned by any pro-ESP article
Never heard of it but it's available as an e-book.
I don't know how old you are but back in the 60s, this subject matter was all the rage (both pro and con) and many were one hit wonders and quickly forgotten as soon as the latest author hit some television show.
But there ARE books of that period and earlier thar are quoted to up-to- date. I believe good books/ideas stand test of time. C.Ducasse book was of 1961, C.D Broad of 1962. And the most famous anti-survival book of E.Dodds "Why I do not believe in survival" is dated to 1934 and quoted in contemporary books a lot, in both A.Gauld and S.Braude
I'd assume it's due to popular belief and any follow up works by the authors. Good writing does stand the test of time but the popularity of the subject matter ebbs and flows.
The other book that you mentioned by Alan Gauld seems very similar, so maybe Dommeyer's book was a simple cash in for him on something that might pay a few bills.
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