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Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Discuss PseudoSkeptics and their Fallacies. Share strategies for debating them.

Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby Scepcop » 09 Jun 2010, 16:38

Why are skeptics interested in the paranormal here, if it's all bunk to them?

I don't get it.

I mean, I consider Amway, MLM and religious fundamentalism to be bunk. But I would not spend time reading about them or participating in forums about them, cause I've made up my mind. I'd simply post a few links or my articles debunking them and leave. It'd be a waste of time to me to even debate about them. It simply wouldn't be worth the opportunity cost. I'd rather learn and discuss about something that's more interesting and real to me, like history and culture for instance.

So why would skeptics repeatedly discuss the paranormal in forums like this, if it's all false and bunk? If I were them, I sure wouldn't.

Any explanations?
“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: Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby ProfWag » 09 Jun 2010, 18:27

Scepcop wrote:Why are skeptics interested in the paranormal here, if it's all bunk to them?

I don't get it.

I mean, I consider Amway, MLM and religious fundamentalism to be bunk. But I would not spend time reading about them or participating in forums about them, cause I've made up my mind. I'd simply post a few links or my articles debunking them and leave. It'd be a waste of time to me to even debate about them. It simply wouldn't be worth the opportunity cost. I'd rather learn and discuss about something that's more interesting and real to me, like history and culture for instance.

So why would skeptics repeatedly discuss the paranormal in forums like this, if it's all false and bunk? If I were them, I sure wouldn't.

Any explanations?

Because people get hurt both financially and emotionally from believing in things that aren't necessarily true.
www.whatstheharm.net
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Re: Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 09 Jun 2010, 21:02

I'm with you Scepcop. If I don't believe in something I sure don't waste my time looking for those topics and arguing the point.
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Re: Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby ciscop » 09 Jun 2010, 21:29

then youll never learn
i am an atheist, yet i love to read about religion and teology

talking about the paranormal
i do wanna believe there is something more, it is exciting to talk about the mothman and pk
but then.. you see that is only stories and no proof
and that believers standards are way lower, sometimes even kindergarden level
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: Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 09 Jun 2010, 23:20

ciscop wrote:then youll never learn
i am an atheist, yet i love to read about religion and teology

I never said in my previous post that I don't love to read. I used the word argue.

ciscop wrote:talking about the paranormal
i do wanna believe there is something more, it is exciting to talk about the mothman and pk
but then.. you see that is only stories and no proof

Who needs proof to read about something or to learn about another persons point of view on a subject? Where is proof required for someone to give the details of a personal experience? Why is it that some people feel a constant need to interject their own self proclaimed expertise into another persons experience or personal account of a situation?
ciscop wrote:and that believers standards are way lower, sometimes even kindergarden level

That remark is really insulting.
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Re: Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby ProfWag » 09 Jun 2010, 23:32

Scepcop wrote:
I mean, I consider Amway, MLM and religious fundamentalism to be bunk. But I would not spend time reading about them or participating in forums about them, cause I've made up my mind.

Let me ask this then. If your daughter became active in a religious fundamentalism cult that you think is bunk, would you then read about them and partiipate in forums about them?
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Re: Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby ciscop » 09 Jun 2010, 23:34

lets see....
Highflyertoo was a guy whose name i know
this guy was in a psychiatric institution,
he was a believer (in all the sense of the word, telepathy, pk, christian, messiah and anti-randi)

and he believed that he teleported stuff in his dreams because he left stuff out of his house and then when he wake up the stuff was inside.. is that kindergarden level or not?
is the same as if ¨when i close my eyes, the world doesnt exists¨

is that kindergarden level or not?
i still dont know why you want to be offended by why i say
it is just an opinion which i am entitled and i just mentioned an example in which i am right or am i not?
i didnt say ALL BELIEVERS have kindergarden level, i said sometimes the standards are lower

so we had a guy diagnosted with Schizophrenia
will you admit that his standards were kindergarden level? or is that still insulting?
you wont admit it, would you ? :D
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: Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby Craig Browning » 10 Jun 2010, 00:09

ciscop wrote:lets see....
Highflyertoo was a guy whose name i know
this guy was in a psychiatric institution,
he was a believer (in all the sense of the word, telepathy, pk, christian, messiah and anti-randi)

and he believed that he teleported stuff in his dreams because he left stuff out of his house and then when he wake up the stuff was inside.. is that kindergarden level or not?
is the same as if ¨when i close my eyes, the world doesnt exists¨

is that kindergarden level or not?
i still dont know why you want to be offended by why i say
it is just an opinion which i am entitled and i just mentioned an example in which i am right or am i not?
i didnt say ALL BELIEVERS have kindergarden level, i said sometimes the standards are lower

so we had a guy diagnosted with Schizophrenia
will you admit that his standards were kindergarden level? or is that still insulting?
you wont admit it, would you ? :D


This would be a extreme exception, not the rule... c'mon, a blind man could see that with his cane.

I do agree to a point, that it's rather peculiar that people who don't agree with certain ideologies visit sites or read material about such things but then, I am guilty of doing one in the same for reasons already expressed -- TO LEARN! I'll even play devil's advocate and deliberately argue from an opposing side of things just for the sake of learning from the other side, their passion and insights on whatever the topic might be.

I do not agree ProfWag's statement Because people get hurt both financially and emotionally from believing in things that aren't necessarily true, however. Statistically far fewer folks "get hurt" from the psychic and even homepathetic industries than those that end up chronically addicted to various drugs prescribed by the "legitimate" counseling groups. Cynics tend to focus more on the minority influence around such things vs. how the majority actually function, the fact that millions manage to finally pick-up and move on with their life after visiting a Medium, etc.

Yes, the whole "New Age" arena has an exceptionally high level of con-men on hand but you can see similar ratios in most any industry in which "Hope" is the product, be it Casinos, the Church (organized religion as a whole) or Politics. Snake Oil salesman are more than abundant in today's world, just look at what happened to the world's economy as we trusted bankers, lawyers and investment firms -- "credible" professionals like Bernie Madoff or any one of the big name TV Preachers who haven't an ounce of remorse when it comes to the people they blatantly rip-off via "legal" channels (or pushing said envelope to the very edge)... granted, Bernie crossed the line but his chums let him get away with it, knowing what he was doing, for years... they didn't say anything until they needed a scapegoat to cover their own impositions.

Pardon my Rant but I do get rather sick and tired of people assuming that every person that considers themselves a "Psychic" is a crook or some kind of delusional fool. There are far more honest and sincere people in this trade than not, few of them generating the big bucks that every cynics seems to think they make. Truth of the matter is, very few working psychics garner an annual income that exceeds $30,000.00 gross, most actually survive at the mid to upper levels of poverty status. Of the exceptions you have two types; the "New Age" mind-set group that sees everything as a business venture as well as an ego satisfaction ride, therefore they either write or hire a ghost writer to pen a book on the subject with their name and picture on it. The publisher books them on a national tour and maybe a talk show or two and voila, any arrogant bitch can make it... just look at Sylvia... :lol:

Then you have the low life predators that are pulling in the bucks by fixing curses and law suits via magickle rites of this or that sort. Criminals that operate via a deliberately formed network of supporters (usually family). They aren't after stardom of any sort, just the cash! But I can't stress enough that such folks are an exception... an extreme exception and not the rule. I'll add, that most of the more honest and sincere psychics out there work very hard at outing this sort of operator and exposing them for what they are. Then again, most of them don't really care too much for the ladder climbing type and view them as "frauds" but for entirely different reasons -- typically the idea that they are misusing their "gift" for profit vs. prophet.

Corruption and bringing harm to others can be found in a plethora of fields, many of them classified as "legit" at legal, social and academic levels... kind of how Phrenology was viewed a century or so past, or why so much of the world still sets aside the sabbath (either Saturday or Sunday, they don't agree on which... I think it was Caturday my self). While we all know that such corruption rarely typifies everyone associated with a philosophy or group, we readily condemn the whole based on such information. In my book such prejudices, especially when promoted, do a significant amount of harm vs. good. If you were to stop and weigh what it feels like when the shoe is on the other foot, I think you can see why I'd hold to such claims.

As I've always said, there is reason to reevaluate how we view the Paranormal -- a median area to which the perception of the faith-filled and the analytical actually come together. This is where you will find wisdom and the very genuine expression of social progression.. . or so my experiences have lead me to believe. ;)
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Re: Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 10 Jun 2010, 00:35

ciscop wrote:lets see....
Highflyertoo was a guy whose name i know
this guy was in a psychiatric institution,
he was a believer (in all the sense of the word, telepathy, pk, christian, messiah and anti-randi)
and he believed that he teleported stuff in his dreams because he left stuff out of his house and then when he wake up the stuff was inside.. is that kindergarden level or not?

That is someone with a specific mental diagnosis, not a 'believer' as they are called here. It is NOT kindergarten level mentality it is defined as:
A mental disorder that makes it difficult to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have normal emotional responses, and to behave normally in social situations.
https://health.google.com/health/ref/Schizophrenia


ciscop wrote:i still dont know why you want to be offended by why i say
it is just an opinion which i am entitled and i just mentioned an example in which i am right or am i not?
i didnt say ALL BELIEVERS have kindergarden level, i said sometimes the standards are lower

I don't 'want' to be offended by what you say. I said that your remark was really insulting. This remark:
and that believers standards are way lower, sometimes even kindergarden level

You did not say, 'some believers'.

ciscop wrote:so we had a guy diagnosted with Schizophrenia
will you admit that his standards were kindergarden level? or is that still insulting?
you wont admit it, would you ? :D

That particular person lacked the ability to think logically and it wasn't hard to tell that his behavior was different from the average member here. It had nothing to do with his IQ or or his 'standards'. Your original comment was directed at 'believers' not one particular member. As you claim, you are entitled to your opinion. May I remind you that I am entitled to the same. I merely stated my opinion of your comment.
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Re: Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby caniswalensis » 10 Jun 2010, 01:01

A good question, and a fair one. I can see where this would be a mystery to some people. :)

I can only speak for myself, of course, but the answer in my case is very simple.

I love the paranormal.

That's all there is to it. I grew up in a house of believers, and was a believer myself. I read and watched every thing I could about the subject. Even after I came to my current understanding of things, I never lost my enthusiasm or delight at the possibilities that paranormal subjects offer.

Far from ruining it for me, my skepticism offers me a new way to enjoy my favorite topic.

You see, for me skepticism and critical thinking is about much more than the paranprmal. I utilize my critical thinking skills in almost every aspect of my life. They inform my choices and have always served me well. I use them in my work, when making a major purchase, and when pursuing my other hobbies, the study of history. I enjoy geting to use and improve my skills, and the paranormal is another way to do it.

I also hope to meet some interesting people and have some good conversations. :)

While I am on the subject, I would like to list a couple things I do not come to paranormal forums for:


I don't come to fight.
I don't come to ridicule.
I don't come to judge others.
I don't come to make people see things my way.
I don't come to build myself up by tearing someone else down.

Sincerely, Canis
"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha
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Re: Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby Scepcop » 10 Jun 2010, 01:34

ProfWag wrote:
Scepcop wrote:Why are skeptics interested in the paranormal here, if it's all bunk to them?

I don't get it.

I mean, I consider Amway, MLM and religious fundamentalism to be bunk. But I would not spend time reading about them or participating in forums about them, cause I've made up my mind. I'd simply post a few links or my articles debunking them and leave. It'd be a waste of time to me to even debate about them. It simply wouldn't be worth the opportunity cost. I'd rather learn and discuss about something that's more interesting and real to me, like history and culture for instance.

So why would skeptics repeatedly discuss the paranormal in forums like this, if it's all false and bunk? If I were them, I sure wouldn't.

Any explanations?

Because people get hurt both financially and emotionally from believing in things that aren't necessarily true.
http://www.whatstheharm.net


I've never been hurt by the paranormal. lol. Maybe the hurt is in your mind? lol

So then, why don't you debunk Amway, pyramid schemes, user car salesman scams, etc. too?

If you care about people, why aren't you angry that the EPA lied about the air being safe to breath after 9/11 which caused many to have cancer? Where is your care for them?

How come your heart only comes out when the paranormal is at work? Go figure.
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Re: Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby Scepcop » 10 Jun 2010, 01:39

ciscop wrote:then youll never learn
i am an atheist, yet i love to read about religion and teology

talking about the paranormal
i do wanna believe there is something more, it is exciting to talk about the mothman and pk
but then.. you see that is only stories and no proof
and that believers standards are way lower, sometimes even kindergarden level


If there's no proof, then you should logically say that you don't know if Mothman or Bigfoot exists or not. Not that it's all bunk or all false. If you can't say either way, then admit it and that you don't know and that you can't say either way. Why can't you skeptics do that, instead of declaring everything false automatically?
“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: Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby Scepcop » 10 Jun 2010, 01:40

NinjaPuppy wrote:I'm with you Scepcop. If I don't believe in something I sure don't waste my time looking for those topics and arguing the point.


Maybe that's because we're rational, and they're not. hahaha
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Re: Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby Scepcop » 10 Jun 2010, 01:48

Craig Browning,
Those are excellent points and right on the money. You certainly tell it like it is and expose the folly of the paranormal hating skeptics, who have no criticism of pharmaceutical drugs.

They are worshippers of power and establishment.

So why is Sylvia Browne so successful? Is it cause she is more accurate than other psychics? She seems like an ordinary person.

Skeptics, what about psychics who don't even charge any money for readings, and want no publicity? Are they con artists too?
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Re: Why r Skeptics interested in Paranormal if its bunk to them?

Postby DemiRites » 10 Jun 2010, 07:10

The pseudo-skeptics I have had debates with tend to not want to know facts, scientific or otherwise. They also tend to not want to understand me or see me as a person. They twist my words, avoid answering questions when they feel cornered, omit facts, etc. All in all, my experiences of arguing with pseudo-skeptics has been the same as arguing with fanatical, religious fundamentalists. It has been my experience that they take up the challenge of debating the paranormal because they have fallen into the clutches of some fanatical group or they idolize some professor somewhere who told them that this was all bunk and therefore they need to spread the word and convert the heathens. They have been saved, they are awakened, they are educated (even if they can't spell or string two sentences together), they alone depend on science for information, and armed with egotistical and fanatical view, they venture out into the world looking for targets to convert or educate or save.

Been there, done that myself. I have been on both sides of this, I've been the arrogant jerk and the victim of arrogant jerks. I try to not engage in this behaviour anymore, not always successfully, but I try to be aware of it. Most often though, I present them with scientific statistics and its amazing how quickly the thread comes to an end and pseudo-skeptics disappear.
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