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Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

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Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby Scepcop » 02 Jun 2009, 20:58

I was wondering something. Have you noticed that most guys, esp western guys, think that the paranormal is all bunk without even bothering to investigate it first? Why do guys have such a strong bias against it? It's almost like a "guy thing" to think ESP, telepathy, astrology, ghosts, UFO's, etc. is all bunk or all coincidences.

This is especially true of guys who work in the banking industry or fields related to economics or mathematics.

So how come me and other guys who are into metaphysical things are different from most guys? Does that make us less macho since we are different from the norm?

I do notice though that older guys tend to be more open to something existing beyond the 5 senses, while younger guys discount it without ever asking questions or doing any research. Isn't that irrational for them to dismiss it all offhand, a priori, without even knowing anything about the subject?
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Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby Scepcop » 02 Jun 2009, 21:02

Responses from my friends:

I guess in America, the paranormal and metaphysical is considered "not macho" and only something that women are into. Maybe men from other countries are more open to the paranormal. In the US, men mainly talk about sports and how they are going to go to the bars and clubs on the weekend and get drunk. In the US, getting drunk is seen as a "manly thing to do." Have you ever noticed in America, young single guys mainly talk about sports and getting drunk on the weekends! I guess they consider themselves "real men" and guys who are not into sports or getting drunk are not considered "real men."


There could probably be a whole book written on the intricate psychology which causes many people (generally men admittingly) to reject the very idea of the paranormal. It would be a rather fun read, dogmatic skeptics have already had their turn at dissecting the psychology of extreme believers.

In terms of a more simple explanation, I think that being "macho" is definitely part of it (and when you have Oprah, Sylvia Brown and other female, new age dingle berries serving as some of the loudest promoters of the paranormal, its not hard to blame them). Also, I think that many men just want to feel smart. By identifying with the pronouncements of materialist scientists (i.e. we KNOW consciousness is entirely created by electrical signals in our neurons), they get a vicarious sense of smartness.


Response from my spiritual advisor FaithRada:

Just for starts... I would say that the Western Mind is generally more "Hard Wired" to the "LEFT side of the brain. Left brained people tend to be better at math ... probably bankers are very Left Brained. Artists on the other hand are more Right Brained. They are less "locked in" to THINKING in a certain proscribed way and are generally more creative types. One could say.. they dare to imagine the unimaginable, to explore beyond normal accepted boundaries.


Perhaps the most advantageous would be to have a healthy balance of both. Intuitive people probably tend to be more spiritually inclined (not to be confused with religion here of course) as they are more willing and able to expand beyond perceived bounderies which the mind creates to keep one locked within the "Physical" experience. IMHO the Western mind is more left brained, focused on the details in front of them, BUT... less able to tap into their intuitive awareness. Unable to easily access their intuitive side they tend to discount the reality and power of it.

Ideally, one could EXPERIENCE one's Non Physical reality AND then be able to process that information in a logical, analytical way. That would be the best of both worlds.
If one can access higher realms but then can NOT make logical sense of those realities.. then we get things like dogmatic religions and cults. etc. A little knowledge CAN be a dangerous thing. This is why it is important to be well balanced.. both sides of the brain working in harmony.

Without direct experiencial access to our non physical side we are operating from a VERY limited data base, and our logic processes, no matter how good.. will be severely compromised. Limited data = a compromised result.

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IMHO It does seem more difficult, on the whole, for the Western mind to access realms which exist beyond the physical. It isn't that their logic is flawed so much as the data they base their logic on is Incomplete. Experiencial, validatable proof IS essential yet one who is not attuned to their own intuition unwittingly cuts themselves off from the very PROOF they CLAIM they seek. And to your question.. Western minds are typically not aligned with their intuitive side.
This should not be seen as a flaw though necessarily, it is simply that the Western Mind, for the most part, has come to have the total PHYSICAL experience.. and they are having that.
Later that will shift. It's like a pendulum that swings first to the spiritual side and then the physical side. The best place to be, from the human perspective .. is about in the middle. * Note: for more on this concept one might want to read some Anthroposophical works.. by Rudolph Steiner. Warning: He is not an easy read ... as has been said, he does not start one off in Kindergarden but jumps right in. Some can grasp his perspective.. many shake their heads and walk away. <g> .. at least for a while. I like him in a lot of ways because he works to connect the analytical mind with the intuitive mind... seeking that necessary balance. He works to blur the line between the physical and the non physical.. and rightly so.

As for Macho?? LOL that's just the ego making a mess of both the physical and the non physical experience. Only the ego cares how we are being perceived by Others. The ego, which is the root of ALL our suffering.


Anyway, yes, I do agree... The Western Mind is NOT really that familiar or open to their inner/intuitive side. They have not learned to hear, never mind trust that "inner voice" of their own wisdom because it is not yet tangable for them.

Spiritually speaking the Western mind is fairly immature, though it is no one's fault really. The Western Mind is simply running a very *Physical" program right now.
If all one has experienced to date is a PHYSICAL reality then that will be their ONLY reality, as far as they are concerned, and their LOGIC will only be able to reflect that, until a more expanded reality is realized.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

At first it is enough to know ( not believe but actually know with validated proof.. in whatever form that PROOF needs to come in for that individual to know beyond any doubt to its authenticity) that mental telepathy or Out of Body Experiences, etc, ARE indeed possible, but in time one receives the understanding of HOW it is possible, WHY they have this more expanded understanding NOW and WHY they did NOT have it BEFORE.

As with physical evolution, one's mental, emotional, and spiritual evolution is a process, an unfolding of one's ultimate potenetial.. which is UNLIMITED.

One could look at the entire process as an Evolution of the "individual" Soul at work here. And if one does not yet know they ARE a 'soul', they WILL know, with TOTAL certainty, when the time is right.
IF...one insists that there can be no soul, no 'non physical' reality to their BEing.. then they are simply not ready to move into that reality yet. This is not GOOD OR BAD.. it is simply where that individual is in their process of ripening. They may NEED to enjoy some more of their PHYSICAL reality first. It is not as if the full ripe apple is GOOD but the Apple Blossom is BAD, or somehow faulty... they are BOTH Perfect, just experiencing different parts of the journey.

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When it comes to the necessary VALIDATABLE proof, the disconnect here for many is.. until it actually shows up, they have a certain concept of how this proof SHOULD show up for them. They are not able to imagine a valid PROOF that MAY not have a so called 'physical' aspect to it. Of course they have no idea HOW such a PROOF could manifest since they have yet to EXPERIENCE it.
The Western mind has no problem with logic per say, but where some err is in assuming they already have all the information necessary when APPLYING that logic. Its a bit like having a perfectly good car.. but no gas. It doesn't matter how great the car (logic) is.. you're not going to get anywhere.

Certainly it is NOT logical for the finite mind to just assume that expanded awareness is possible .... UNTIL one directly experiences EXPANDED AWARENESS directly. With more data available, one's mind can now enter that into the equation and what once APPEARED to be ILLOGICAL, will now be seen as very LOGICAL.




The key here should be obvious.. one can process ONLY that which one has access to, and the typical Western mind is programmed toward the Physical. In time the pendulum will swing away from the physical and more toward the subtle (non physical). Either extreme is out of balance. So, again, Humanity is at its best when a balance is found between the two.
Peace, Faith
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Win << I do notice though that older guys tend to be more open to something existing beyond the 5 senses, while younger guys discount it without ever asking questions or doing any research. Isn't that irrational of them to dismiss it all offhand, a priori, without even knowing anything about the subject? >>

But Win... They DO know one subject and that is the current reality of their own LIFE. A non physical reality does not match their own experience.... YET. That is simply not a Program their mind is READY to run yet. One could say that they are really not programed to even contemplate such things.Probably Older people have already had some insight, some glimps into the INNER Realms. The innitial glitches in my own reality began at around the age of 22. I have a friend who was able to cross through the veil at the age of 5. Its different for each one. Even at 25 I wouold hae told you that the concept of ghosts was just plain silly... until I was able to grasp what a "ghost" actually was. Nothing but an individual awareness, subtle energy, sans a physical vehicle. When we are experiencing an OBE we are essentially "ghosts".Who knew?? LOL Of course there are those who just chose to BELIEVE in ghosts.. or of course Disbelief, and then there are those who actually understand the nature of Ghosts. What good is belief or disbelief? IMHO One should hold out for actual knowing of such things directly and until then just remain NEUTRAL.


I would suggest that it is ILLOGICAL to simply ASSUME that the only VALID reality which CAN exist is the one currently being experienced, otherwise we would never wake up from our dreams. "
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Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby jakesteele » 05 Jun 2009, 13:38

I think it gets down to the different ways the male and female psyches are hardwired. Little girls like teddy bears, pink hearts, etc. while little boys like black, red or yellow Tonka Toy trucks, etc. I have noticed for years that there are different aspects of metaphysics that attract the sexes. Guys seem to be drawn to UFO type stuff because it's tangible, mechanical and would be more of a left brain type of thing.

Females seem to be drawn by Tarot, intuitive type things. Of Course, there's overlap, but in general that's been my observations.
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Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby Scepcop » 08 Jun 2009, 10:27

That's true Jake, but I was talking about the propensity of many men to automatically dismiss anything paranormal without researching or investigating it, or weighing the evidence objectively.

Most people are closed minded and only hear what they want to hear, and see what they want to see, through a filtration process. Few people are truly open to all truth from every angle.
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Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby jakesteele » 08 Jun 2009, 15:24

Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby Scepcop on Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:27 am
That's true Jake, but I was talking about the propensity of many men to automatically dismiss anything paranormal without researching or investigating it, or weighing the evidence objectively.

Most people are closed minded and only hear what they want to hear, and see what they want to see, through a filtration process. Few people are truly open to all truth from every angle.



I see what you're getting at. As an agnostic skeptic I never rule anything out completely because of experiences I, myself, and friends have had. I believe that you should never close any doors until they close themselves (flat earth).

But to dismiss it out-of-hand is foolish.
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Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby Scepcop » 09 Jun 2009, 20:39

It is foolish of course, that's why I'm wondering why so many guys, especially typical guys, do it, as if it were a "guy thing" to dismiss the paranormal, especially astrology or ghosts, as if they know better than to buy any of it.

Haven't you seen a lot of guys do that too, as though it were a "guy thing"?
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Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby Eteponge » 15 Jun 2009, 15:24

Oddly, most of the people I've personally known who are Anti-Paranormal are female. And they are super skeptic types. One I tried to just have a nice casual conversation on the topic with when it got brought up, and I brought up some interesting compelling evidence in some areas, and she responded cynically and condescendingly, "Oh, I think you're just a sucker who believes everything he hears!" When the stuff I was commenting on was well researched and easily checkable stuff, not "gullibly obtained" at all. But many guys I know are super skeptics as well. I guess it all depends on who you meet and who you bring the topic up around.
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Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby Franc28 » 16 Jun 2009, 16:00

Well, I can tell you why I dismiss it. I dismiss the paranormal out of hand because it simply doesn't relate to my experience. I've never experienced anything designated as paranormal. I've experienced a few strange things, but nothing that would get me to accept the existence of the paranormal.
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Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby Scepcop » 18 Jun 2009, 00:39

Franc28 wrote:Well, I can tell you why I dismiss it. I dismiss the paranormal out of hand because it simply doesn't relate to my experience. I've never experienced anything designated as paranormal. I've experienced a few strange things, but nothing that would get me to accept the existence of the paranormal.


Ok but even if you've never experienced it, why disbelieve others who have? I mean, I've never been to France, but why should I dismiss the account of everyone who has? Should I assume that France doesn't exist until I go there? That wouldn't be logical or reasonable. Why aren't people open to possibilities and things we don't know?
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Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby Franc28 » 18 Jun 2009, 04:22

Scepcop wrote:Ok but even if you've never experienced it, why disbelieve others who have?


I don't. I believe that they have experienced what they say they have experienced. I think it's fine for them to believe whatever they believe. But I haven't experienced it, so I can't judge it for myself. So there's not much point in me thinking about it: all I have is their testimony, which is not a substitute for the actual experience.

I think you're used to talking to skeptics, who love to invalidate other people while pretending they aren't. I'm not out to invalidate anyone, and I think it's pretty counter-productive. I would like for skeptics to stop doing it, and everyone else, for that matter: there's believers of all stripes doing it too, although to a lesser extent.


I mean, I've never been to France, but why should I dismiss the account of everyone who has? Should I assume that France doesn't exist until I go there? That wouldn't be logical or reasonable.


If you don't trust all the maps in the world as well as the people who've been there, you've got more issues than an epistemological discussion can solve.

I think you're trying to make an analogy here, but you're going up the wrong path. This is not an issue of personal experience, it's an issue of geography, easily accessible to all. Personal experience, by definition, is only accessible to the individual who experienced it. It's not something that can be debated or argued.


Why aren't people open to possibilities and things we don't know?


My own personal path towards the beliefs I have now is personal. I don't expect anyone else to have gone through the same reasonings and experiences I have, and so I don't expect them to believe as I do. This is not an invalidation of my own position: I do believe that I am right, otherwise I wouldn't believe what I believe. But I don't expect others to be "open" to things they have no personal relation or affinity with. So not only are some experiences personal, but also a lot of what we believe about the common world is personal.

I think this indirectly answers your question as well.
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Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby Scepcop » 18 Jun 2009, 09:27

Franc28 wrote:
Scepcop wrote:Ok but even if you've never experienced it, why disbelieve others who have?


I don't. I believe that they have experienced what they say they have experienced. I think it's fine for them to believe whatever they believe. But I haven't experienced it, so I can't judge it for myself. So there's not much point in me thinking about it: all I have is their testimony, which is not a substitute for the actual experience.

I think you're used to talking to skeptics, who love to invalidate other people while pretending they aren't. I'm not out to invalidate anyone, and I think it's pretty counter-productive. I would like for skeptics to stop doing it, and everyone else, for that matter: there's believers of all stripes doing it too, although to a lesser extent.


Yeah but that's you. I'm talking about a lot of guys out there who dismiss it without researching it. I don't think you're reading exactly what I wrote. Even in paranormal or horror movies, the guys are always the ones to first dismiss everything and saying "Now calm down, I'm sure there's a rational explanation for all this".

If you don't trust all the maps in the world as well as the people who've been there, you've got more issues than an epistemological discussion can solve.

I think you're trying to make an analogy here, but you're going up the wrong path. This is not an issue of personal experience, it's an issue of geography, easily accessible to all. Personal experience, by definition, is only accessible to the individual who experienced it. It's not something that can be debated or argued.


Geography? I'm not talking about looking at France on a map. I'm talking about going there. If I haven't gone yet, should I assume that its existence is unproven and false? If not, how is this any different than skeptics or people who dismiss all paranormal out of hand? Or those who dismiss telepathy even though at least half the world has EXPERIENCED it?

My own personal path towards the beliefs I have now is personal. I don't expect anyone else to have gone through the same reasonings and experiences I have, and so I don't expect them to believe as I do. This is not an invalidation of my own position: I do believe that I am right, otherwise I wouldn't believe what I believe. But I don't expect others to be "open" to things they have no personal relation or affinity with. So not only are some experiences personal, but also a lot of what we believe about the common world is personal.

I think this indirectly answers your question as well.


Yeah but then the logical approach would be to neither accept nor deny your experiences, but only consider them as a "possibility". Why can't some people see that?

Even Mr. Spock would not dismiss something offhand as impossible. It wouldn't be logical to do that. But the pseudo-skeptics do and a lot of guys do as well.
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Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby Franc28 » 18 Jun 2009, 09:48

Even in paranormal or horror movies, the guys are always the ones to first dismiss everything and saying "Now calm down, I'm sure there's a rational explanation for all this".


Well, of course a materialist can always find a "rational explanation" for anything. Just like a believer can always find a "rational explanation" for anything, in the exact opposite way. So you don't need to attribute this attitude to skeptics exclusively.

That being said, if you take this sort of lines seriously, I don't think someone honestly saying that is necessarily trying to invalidate you (although of course, he might).


Geography? I'm not talking about looking at France on a map. I'm talking about going there. If I haven't gone yet, should I assume that its existence is unproven and false?


No, because there's plenty of evidence available to you about the existence of France. And how is France being in a map not evidence of its existence? If something's on a map, I'll tend to believe it's there, unless I have some reason to doubt the mapmakers.


If not, how is this any different than skeptics or people who dismiss all paranormal out of hand? Or those who dismiss telepathy even though at least half the world has EXPERIENCED it?


I already told you what the difference was. These paranormal beliefs are based on personal experience. Personal experience is not accessible to anyone else but the person experiencing it- that's what the "personal" means. You're asking people to believe what you believe on the basis of experiences they've never had. It's as obtuse as me trying to get you to accept materialism. Both are acts of trying to invalidate the other fellow. Do you see what I mean?

I have no qualms telling you "hey Winston, France exists. Look at a map, it's right east of Spain, really big place, right? Here's pictures of it... here's a picture of the Earth from orbit. See, France is right over there." If you don't accept that, then I would rightly call you an idiot, because these are things that are available to everyone (you may not accept these sources as credible: that'd be a separate issue). If I tell you that (and this is, of course, fictional) I've attained a state of enlightenment through constant meditation and dissociation from the self, and that I have no more desires, I wouldn't expect you to believe me on that basis. You have no idea what it means to not have desires, and you can't properly judge the veracity or not of what I'm saying. It's an entirely personal experience.


Yeah but then the logical approach would be to neither accept nor deny your experiences, but only consider them as a "possibility". Why can't some people see that?


I don't really understand your question. Do you mean that people should accept that you may possibly have experienced something? I don't think anyone is denying your experiences (and if they are, then they are unusually foolish). They are denying your interpretation of them.
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Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby Scepcop » 18 Jun 2009, 13:51

Franc28 wrote:
Even in paranormal or horror movies, the guys are always the ones to first dismiss everything and saying "Now calm down, I'm sure there's a rational explanation for all this".


Well, of course a materialist can always find a "rational explanation" for anything. Just like a believer can always find a "rational explanation" for anything, in the exact opposite way. So you don't need to attribute this attitude to skeptics exclusively.

That being said, if you take this sort of lines seriously, I don't think someone honestly saying that is necessarily trying to invalidate you (although of course, he might).


Yeah but the thing is, their "rational explanations" do not always fit the data. But they don't care, because in their world view, everything MUST have a conventional materialistic explanation. MUST!

Like I said, sometimes the facts don't support their explanations, but they insist on them anyway. It reflects a worldview that basically says "The paranormal is IMPOSSIBLE".

No, because there's plenty of evidence available to you about the existence of France. And how is France being in a map not evidence of its existence? If something's on a map, I'll tend to believe it's there, unless I have some reason to doubt the mapmakers.


I agree that there is plenty of evidence that France exists, even if I haven't been there. But the point is that the pseudo-skeptical arguments are EQUIVALENT to saying that France doesn't exist because it's all anecdotal, and all the pics could be faked.

A map is a piece of paper. I could draw a map of the astral planes or of Atlantis, but that in itself doesn't make it true.

There is no reason to doubt the map makers, but if they were drawing maps of the astral planes, then these skeptics who are defenders of materialism, would reject them.

I already told you what the difference was. These paranormal beliefs are based on personal experience. Personal experience is not accessible to anyone else but the person experiencing it- that's what the "personal" means. You're asking people to believe what you believe on the basis of experiences they've never had. It's as obtuse as me trying to get you to accept materialism. Both are acts of trying to invalidate the other fellow. Do you see what I mean?

I have no qualms telling you "hey Winston, France exists. Look at a map, it's right east of Spain, really big place, right? Here's pictures of it... here's a picture of the Earth from orbit. See, France is right over there." If you don't accept that, then I would rightly call you an idiot, because these are things that are available to everyone (you may not accept these sources as credible: that'd be a separate issue). If I tell you that (and this is, of course, fictional) I've attained a state of enlightenment through constant meditation and dissociation from the self, and that I have no more desires, I wouldn't expect you to believe me on that basis. You have no idea what it means to not have desires, and you can't properly judge the veracity or not of what I'm saying. It's an entirely personal experience.


Yeah but I wouldn't reject it either. The point is, just because you've been somewhere I haven't, or attained enlightenment when I haven't, doesn't mean I should automatically reject your claims. That's not what an open minded person does.

Even if I've never had any paranormal experiences, it doesn't mean that all those who have must be false. Right? If credible people attest to something, there's probably something to it. Like I said, most things check out in some way.

I don't really understand your question. Do you mean that people should accept that you may possibly have experienced something? I don't think anyone is denying your experiences (and if they are, then they are unusually foolish). They are denying your interpretation of them.


No that's not what I said. I asked why skeptics can't accept that ghosts or ESP might POSSIBLY exist? Why do they say it's impossible? Why don't they consider them as a POSSIBILITY? You are missing the point. I'm not talking about experiences. I'm just talking about things that might possibly exist, which skeptics deny and don't consider to be possible.
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Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby Franc28 » 18 Jun 2009, 15:33

Scepcop wrote:Like I said, sometimes the facts don't support their explanations, but they insist on them anyway. It reflects a worldview that basically says "The paranormal is IMPOSSIBLE".


Well, sure. Every worldview has limitations, by definition. A worldview is a matrix of interpretation superimposed on the observed reality. Anything that doesn't fit in the matrix must be discarded.

The only alternative is to be "open-minded" and refuse to take coherent positions. This is not very intellectually productive.


I agree that there is plenty of evidence that France exists, even if I haven't been there. But the point is that the pseudo-skeptical arguments are EQUIVALENT to saying that France doesn't exist because it's all anecdotal, and all the pics could be faked.


Well you're talking about something different than I was. Yes, of course such an attitude is ridiculous.


There is no reason to doubt the map makers, but if they were drawing maps of the astral planes, then these skeptics who are defenders of materialism, would reject them.


You have it backwards. If I accepted the existence of astral planes, I wouldn't be a materialist in the first place now wouldn't I? I don't adopt a worldview that goes against what I believe.


Yeah but I wouldn't reject it either. The point is, just because you've been somewhere I haven't, or attained enlightenment when I haven't, doesn't mean I should automatically reject your claims. That's not what an open minded person does.


No, I didn't say anything about you rejecting the claim. I don't know where you got that from. What I have been saying for a while now is that personal experiences are personal in nature. They are not accessible to you. You are not in their brain. You can't evaluate it for yourself. If all you're doing is reading a retelling, the experiential agent already did that evaluation for you.


Even if I've never had any paranormal experiences, it doesn't mean that all those who have must be false. Right?


The question of truth or falsity was never in the picture. You just brought it up by yourself. I never made the claim that paranormal experiences were all "true" or "false." In fact, I'm saying the exact opposite: that there's no point in declaring them valid or invalid.


No that's not what I said. I asked why skeptics can't accept that ghosts or ESP might POSSIBLY exist? Why do they say it's impossible? Why don't they consider them as a POSSIBILITY?


... because they are skeptics. Skeptics follow the scientific consensus in everything. That's the whole point.
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Re: Why do most guys dismiss paranormal w/out researching it?

Postby Scepcop » 24 Jun 2009, 18:36

Franc28,
I'm not attributing the pseudo-skeptics' arguments to you. I'm merely pointing out their fallacies. But you seem to be taking it as if I were attributing them to you personally. We seem to have a misunderstanding here.
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