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In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Discussions about the James Randi Educational Foundation and its Million Dollar Challenge.

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Jayhawker30 » 18 Nov 2011, 22:12

Yeah, I guess I was just thinking "grand picture".

Personally, I wouldn't believe in something just because I hear that billions of others do. Granted, I might give the belief some consideration, but I won't simply hop onto a bandwagon without experiencing a real, objective example of that belief's genuineness.

Funny thing is though, more or less of these billions of believers have actually had their own examples. How many of them are on board merely out of hearsay, and how many actually have found something completely, inexplicably anomalous? Can we ever know?
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby really? » 18 Nov 2011, 23:16

Jayhawker30 wrote:I think proof for or against something like this... really can't be found in the words of others. It's just too subjective to factually argue, I think.

I mean, people try and go out there and run tests to scientifically prove or disprove this stuff, but the results always get muddled in controversy for one reason or another, positive or negative. I see so many different, emotionally driven interpretations of the same thing that, rationally, I couldn't trust anyone's word on what's what, especially if that word is second hand to another person's second hand account of what actually happened.


The only things I can trust is what I've seen for myself, with my own eyes. There is no solid ground to stand in the whirlwind of paranormal debate.


Like Arouet has pointed out this isn't about whether CW is right or wrong regarding the truth of psi reality. It is simply whether or not CW recognizes he has used a logical fallacy.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 18 Nov 2011, 23:30

Funny thing is though, more or less of these billions of believers have actually had their own examples. How many of them are on board merely out of hearsay, and how many actually have found something completely, inexplicably anomalous? Can we ever know?


That is a legitimate question. It appears to depend on the culture. In areas where psi is woven into the culture, such as China and India, the number of people who report their own experiences is extremely high, somewhere in the 90% range, while in the U.S. it is somewhere around 50%. This is according to various polls on the subject.

I would guess that the numbers in the U.S. are probably more accurate from a psychological standpoint because Americans are far more likely to view the paranormal with suspicion and look for obvious, more mundane answers first. There is a stigma here to embracing the paranormal and people don't do it without what they consider to be some good evidence. What constitutes good evidence to the ordinary American? I don't know exactly; the bar is higher for acceptance than in other cultures, but I don't know by how much. One thing I do know though; the scenario of hordes of gullible people running around is a myth. As someone who was involved in the New Age movement and was involved in many psychic fairs, my experience is that the truly gullible are a very small percentage of the total.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby really? » 19 Nov 2011, 04:14

To quote myself
Like Arouet has pointed out this isn't about whether CW is right or wrong regarding the truth of psi reality. It is simply whether or not CW recognizes he has used a logical fallacy.

craig weiler wrote:That is a legitimate question.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 19 Nov 2011, 06:55

Experiences are not belief. The logical fallacy arguments about beliefs are not valid here.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 19 Nov 2011, 07:15

craig weiler wrote:Experiences are not belief. The logical fallacy arguments about beliefs are not valid here.


We're not questioning that people have experiences. It's the interpretation of those experiences that are the tricky part. That's about belief. If all you're saying is that people have experiences, then I agreed with this from the first post!
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 19 Nov 2011, 09:10

Tricky for you maybe, but a few billion people seem to have figured it out.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 19 Nov 2011, 09:21

craig weiler wrote:Tricky for you maybe, but a few billion people seem to have figured it out.
So you are talking about beliefs!
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 19 Nov 2011, 09:56

No. People make observations and draw conclusions. If you want to call that a belief, then everything is a belief.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 19 Nov 2011, 11:23

craig weiler wrote:No. People make observations and draw conclusions. If you want to call that a belief, then everything is a belief.


I don't know if everything is a belief, but conclusions based on observations certainly are!
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 19 Nov 2011, 12:31

Huh?
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 19 Nov 2011, 20:32

Conclusions based on observations are beliefs.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 19 Nov 2011, 23:44

Uh, whatever.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 20 Nov 2011, 00:21

Now my turn: ?? This doesn't seem that contentious a point. Do you not think conclusions are beliefs?
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 20 Nov 2011, 02:01

You've gone off the deep end my friend. Fare thee well.
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