29 Aug 2010, 10:06
29 Aug 2010, 23:10
really? wrote:really? wrote:Craig Browning wrote:Sure, we all would love magic to be true. I've been a big fan of fantasy novels since I was a kid. I used to dream about flying (sometimes still do). I would love to have "powers". And I appreciate being taken away to another world by the entertainment industry as much as anyone. And enjoy "magical" feelings as much as anyone.
And yet, you would take that fantasy away from the world by saying "it doesn't compute"
The fantasiful possibility tied to "Magick" is based entirely on innocence and hope. When the public is constantly told to grow-up and stop believing in imaginary friends (god) and miracles because science doesn't support such things, you remove the possibilities -- the hope and inspiration such imaginative tales give us.
Yet some of us manage somehow to make it through life without fantasiful possibilities. Can you explain why ?
30 Aug 2010, 00:44
Craig Browning wrote:What I said is that there are times when you MUST use honey (and wisdom) instead of vinegar. When you are dealing with a person well into their late middle age or older, most of whom have but a limited formal education; their "faith' being one of the few constants in life and the "only" answer they've ever had to things you cannot do what you suggest in the above and expect to get the kind of results your think you should... people don't work that way. To take your approach alienates people and costs them any semblance of hope; it is decidedly cruel and highly disrespectful when it comes to people's culture, traditions and beliefs.
Look at it this way... when was the last time you actually gave those pesky door-to-door missionaries the time of day? They're just trying to get you to see things "critically" from their perspective as to what is true and right... it's the "fix" they understand. Chances are though, you will instantly put up a wall that filters out their "logic" and if you are atheist, you will rant about how these people invade your privacy and right to not deal with them...
People of faith will view your encouragement in a similar light and more importantly, the minute you try to replace "god" with "logic" or "critical thinking" they will see you as being a servant of Satan... an evil thing that must be shunned and sent away e.g. no progress can possibly happen when it comes to helping such people see and eventually accept alternatives.
It's not all as black & white as the skeptic's world wants it to be. When you finally remove your blinders you'll begin to see that and why... but hey, that's just logical, isn't it?
30 Aug 2010, 01:38
Arouet wrote:It's not all as black & white as the skeptic's world wants it to be. When you finally remove your blinders you'll begin to see that and why... but hey, that's just logical, isn't it?
31 Aug 2010, 00:26
31 Aug 2010, 05:10
Craig Browning wrote:But what about the negative assumptions skeptics make towards believers or supporters of the paranormal?
We can't have it both ways, which is what most humans want... you can't put me in this niche but I can put you in this one over here...
Honestly, "public opinion" as to what niche folks go into is always based on the antics of the minority -- the negative type-cast. I have many friends, several of note, that are part of the Skeptic's Community and I can honestly say that I have a healthier and far closer rapport with them than I do most of those involved with the shut-eye world of the paranormal or New Age life (I just don't do airheads and stupid really well no matter the source).
Now when it comes to "Evil Skeptics" you guys need to thank churchianity and it's various cousins, they are the source by which your obvious alliance with Satan comes from... at least in part. The small fragment that does not come from this arena comes from within your own world via the various assholes out there that, like their christian counterparts, try cramming their own gospel down everyone's throat with no exception. So, as the say, get your own house in order before casting stones... granted, this is what all groups need to do but it's so much easier to deal with the splinter in the eye of others vs. the beam in our own, isn't it?
Now when it comes to some of the responses you make in my previous post... I agree with 95% of it... if you can "challenge" a person to "think" and mull over "possibilities" then there is a chance of actually helping them. But you must be able to "speak their language" as it were, and I think we are both in agreement as to what that means. When I talk about working WITH people based on their customs and beliefs I'm not saying to cosign or even help perpetuate a delusional circumstance, only pointing out that sometimes you do need to prescribe the proper placebo in order to get affirmative results. The more you inner-act with such individuals and generate trust (by way of honoring their beliefs) the more they will open up to you and how you see things, which is the "chink in their armor" so to speak, that allows "me" to challenge them at the critical thought level.
Yes, it's a slower boat but it is likewise a method of approach that allows the transformation to happen based on the person's own course of decision making rather than feelings of persecution, which is how most people feel after an encounter with the Shermer & Randi type personalities. For that matter, you can see how the modified and "softened' approach being used by Banachek and even Derren Brown in the UK, seems to come with far less resistance or public challenge; most folks like these guys where you can't say that for Randi, Joe Nichols, etc. (hell, there are skeptics out there that avoid these clowns).
I always encourage HEALTHY Skepticism be it through my shows or when I'm doing classes in Psychic Development; this includes the idea of "clarity", challenging our perceptions so to speak. In simple terms I manifest something the average person would perceive as "miraculous" and then challenge my students to find answers
NO, I'm not "exposing" magic secrets per ce but I am encouraging the eager believer to look beyond the manifestations they may encounter, so as to see what the real cause might be around an effect... and life is filled with such scenarios. But in order to honestly help these people to THINK, I must speak their language and appeal to their fantasy in order to avoid resistance. One of my tools for doing this is revealing how many of the explanations offered by the skeptics are 100% correct and then I show them why, using "logic" in the process of evolution so to speak, and thus showing how ALL magic has its very simple, carnal truths. In using this approach I'm able to reveal why real Psychics exist to the skeptical while likewise helping the believer better understand what that idea (being Psychic) actually means... removing the boogieman factor.
In other words, we're speaking the same language just approaching things in a very different way.
01 Sep 2010, 00:47
03 Sep 2010, 11:08
I frequently receive criticisms from offended believers in psychic matters and religious dogma, accusing me of being one of those dreaded "materialists," or of being unable to accept the wonders they choose to embrace because I'm "locked into" a world-view that accepts only the "unyielding" and "orthodox" scientific version of how the world works. These words in quotation marks are taken directly from recent scoldings I've been offered.
First of all, the word "unyielding" cannot possibly be applied to the genuine scientific view. My favourite concise definition of science, one which I admit I invented, is:
Science is a search for basic truths about the Universe, a search which develops statements that appear to describe how the Universe works, but which are subject to correction, revision, adjustment, or even outright rejection, upon the presentation of better or conflicting evidence.
Science is a discipline that yields frequently while attempting to closely approach that elusive goal called "truth," but knowing that any conclusion it can arrive at is merely the best one of the moment.
Yes, I'm a materialist. I'm willing to be shown wrong, but that has not happened — yet. And I admit that the reason I'm unable to accept the claims of psychic, occult, and/or supernatural wonders is because I'm Iocked into a world-view that demands evidence rather than blind faith, a view that insists upon the replication of all experiments — particularly those that appear to show violations of a rational world — and a view which requires open examination of the methods used to carry out those experiments. The decision to be a materialist is my own, I made it after many years of consideration of what I observed, and after reading Bertrand Russell and others. Since it was not a mere reaction to incoming information, but the result of examining that information, I'm proud of my decision.
I keep hearing, from the parapsychologists, the religious, and the occultists, about this unwillingness they point to, a reluctance by certain skeptics to consider the evidence. There may well be skeptics out there who match that description, but I don't know of any. I've heard that the skeptics' postulated refusal to believe, parallels and even exceeds the dedication of the most ardent reincarnation enthusiast, spoon-bending buff, or UFO devotee. I've also seen attempts to delineate the more or less nonrational bases that underlie such extreme positions.
Similarly, skeptics do not attempt to prove materialism. It is simply the best, most logical, reasonable, explanation of the universe. That's using parsimony. And materialism can be tested — a feature the credophiles often say is not acceptable nor necessary within their supernatural world-view.
03 Sep 2010, 11:27
04 Sep 2010, 00:02
04 Sep 2010, 00:46
Craig Browning wrote::? To me invoking the words of St. James is akin to calling being a Nazi or Fascist...
Randi is NOT a Scientist but rather a magician that not only fell into the "I can't get to the top" mode but who likewise had some very nasty situations surrounding him, such as trying to kill off his primary competition (Steve Baker/Mr. Escape)... such things, on top of all his other "alleged" crimes and questionable associations, basically tell the average person that he's not to be trusted... amazingly, the intellects of society seem willing to ignore all the man's shortcomings because he not only cosigns their idea of things, he's become the Billy Graham of the Atheist world.
The problem is, Randi seems to take a dump on any and all things that don't fit his particular group of niches, even denying scientific proofs, theories and facts... one tale having him getting a bit physical with a noted Nobel Prize winning physicist promoting some sort of connection between Quantum Science and the Paranormal... as the story goes, Randi's temper (and he has one) got a bit out of control and he punched this poor man... but as I said, I don't know the whole tale though I have seen posted, Randi's denial or "retelling" of said events, which of course, paint him in a more positive light.
Where is the explanation behind Randi's habit of picking and choosing which science he'll support or use vs. what is ignored or down-right rejected? I'm not talking about some of the "pseudo-sciences" out there like NLP or even Parapsychology for that matter, but what's his aversion to Quantum Physics and the many avenues Quantum theory give us to explore? Why can't he accept the scientific logic that alien life probably does exist and though it would require technology well advanced to our to do it, they may have found ways to traverse the galaxy... accord to this feature -- http://science.discovery.com/videos/sci-fi-science-ii-cheap-exploration.html we are moving in that direction. It may be a few centuries away, but we already have the foundation technology for doing this. Considering that, it is most likely humans will be exploring and colonizing other regions of the galaxy not only in the manner noted in this article but in time, via real time travel.
This IS science as is an abundance of material that sustains the views I've already shared that "explain" psychic & magickle operation and thus, proves that such claims are genuine and just because we have these explanations does not negate the claim; a person that possesses the skill and discipline to work with such energy is still a psychic... just because you know how a Levitation works on stage doesn't mean it's not a Levitation...
Skeptics/cynics don't want to accept this reality, that is where I begin having problems with them; the universe is not explained in Black & White.
04 Sep 2010, 23:32
04 Sep 2010, 23:42
Craig Browning wrote:PUT ON THE BREAKS!
You're good... you sucked me into the classic merri-go-round game skeptics love to play; the goal being to get the "believer" frustrated so they blow up and the skeptic can run of gloating... NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!
"Poisoning the Well" is not ok when it comes to your "leadership" and yet it is exactly what you guys do when any information or source that goes contrary to your desired points of view is offered. You constantly demean any "legit" resource that might challenge you and your views; this merri-go-round argument is one method used for creating this image. Especially when you know that "believers" or those that defend a persons right to believe, are not as anal-retentive as the typical skeptic who keeps a list of resources, studies, quotes, etc. on hand at all times... it's part of your training it would seem... I'd love to find that JREF Boot-Camp...
I just can't wrap my head around how anyone could support anyone that has as much ugly "elements" surrounding them as Randi does... even CSICOPS distanced themselves from him at one point. The sex scandals... the number of young men he's put through college when sex scandal was threatened... questionable art deals... the list is interesting and long but a solid spin was given by St. James and so all his "intelligent" patrons keep throwing their tithes in his direction blindly... sustaining the Church of Randi and more directly, their flawless leader... last I checked, thinking a leader to be spic-and-span and seeing their word as the gospel are two of the first key warnings of a potentially dangerous cult scenario.
No... I go no further in this game... not due to lack of reference, just lack of desire to play this game and WASTE time digging up all the links or citations, etc.
05 Sep 2010, 09:59
05 Sep 2010, 21:02
Yeah, wtf Craig? I'm trying to take a critical look at Scepcop's article, which deals with some very specific topics, and you keep on derailing (including making some very serious allegations which may very well be libelous).
Such allegations should not be so callously brought up and I hope its not just homophobia.