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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 » 21 Nov 2011, 12:06

really? wrote:It is the natural condition of all humans to see the world, not as it is, but as they wish it to be.


And yet, in the end, there really is no spoon.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby ProfWag » 21 Nov 2011, 20:23

craig weiler wrote:As to the rest of your comments, you're welcome to have an opinion, but if you're going to dismiss something that billions of people accept as normal, at least provide some evidence to support your opinion. Logic arguments just don't cut it.

I'm on vacation this week, so I don't really want to spend time getting too caught up in this conversation, but Craig, you continue to use the term "billions of people." Before I can accept that point of view, I think I need to wrap my hands around that side of the argument. Just what have "billions of people" experienced and on what level? I realize it can only be an estimate, but have billions of people seen the future, read other peoples minds, experienced deja' vu, or just to what are you referring that billions of people have experienced? Are you saying that billions of people call themselves psychic, that billions of people have had a one time experience with something paranormal, or that billions of people believe in something paranormal? If you could just simply clarify either through a reference or your more specific opinion would be beneficial. Thanks.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 21 Nov 2011, 23:07

craig weiler wrote:You've completely missed it. We do not see with our eyes nor experience anything through any of our senses. The job of experience lies solely with the mind and no one is quite sure how that works. So when you see, touch and smell a tree, everything about that experience is something created in your mind. It is an interpretation. We cannot interact with our environment at all without the mind to interpret it for us.


Yes. We perceive the world through our senses processed through our brain. And in doing so we make mistakes. Sometimes we think one thing happened but in reality it was something else. We can't always trust our perceptions or experiences. That's my point. That's why we can't just take people's word for it that when they believe they predicted the future that they actually predicted the future.

Therefore, all experience is interpretation. They are inseparable.


And untrustworthy.


As to the rest of your comments, you're welcome to have an opinion, but if you're going to dismiss something that billions of people accept as normal, at least provide some evidence to support your opinion. Logic arguments just don't cut it.


Right: you can't get to the reality of psi using pure logical arguments. You can't get to the reality of psi by saying that billions believe they have experienced a paranormal event and therefore conclude that the events were indeed paranormal.



PW: yeah, I've left the question of "billions" aside because it doesn't really matter for the sake of this argument. It's the same whether its billions, millions, thousands, or tens.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 22 Nov 2011, 01:30

We do not perceive the world through our senses. Our brains receive sensory input and then the mind does something mysterious and presto, we have perception.

If all experience is untrustworthy then we have no knowledge. In my opinion, this is a philosophical dead end. I can't go there with you.

Either demonstrate some evidence why billions of people are wrong about their psi experiences or all you have is opinion. I don't care about your logic.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 22 Nov 2011, 02:13

craig weiler wrote:We do not perceive the world through our senses. Our brains receive sensory input and then the mind does something mysterious and presto, we have perception.


Yes, what I said was: "We perceive the world through our senses processed through our brain." The only difference between you and I is that I don't assume that the mind is separate from teh brain, but is also as a result of brain processing.

If all experience is untrustworthy then we have no knowledge. In my opinion, this is a philosophical dead end. I can't go there with you.


Well, firstly, I didn't say all experience is untrustworthy, but I guess it's not far off. That's why we take such care with controls in science. We attempt to contorl for the imperfections in our ability to perceive and recall. We use methods to increase our confidence in our opinions. There is very little that we can be absolutely certain of, but tht's not the test: we simply want a high degree of confidence, and we always hold out the possibility that we are wrong.

I'm not terribly interested in philosophical dead ends, however. Pragmatic dead ends concern me much more.

Either demonstrate some evidence why billions of people are wrong about their psi experiences or all you have is opinion. I don't care about your logic.


Again, that's not the way it works. I think you know that. What answer am i supposed to give here? I don't believe the fact that billions of people believe they have experienced something paranormal means that they did experience something paranormal.

Look: I don't think you'll disagree that people at times believe they've experienced something paranormal and they've been mistaken. If it can happen to one person, it can happen to a billion people. That's my point. That's why the mere fact of billions of reports does not mean that psi is real. You must look deeper for that.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby NinjaPuppy » 22 Nov 2011, 04:26

ProfWag wrote:I'm on vacation this week, so I don't really want to spend time getting too caught up in this conversation...

Can we start a game of "Where in the World is Wag"?
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 22 Nov 2011, 05:32

This is going round in circles now. It's time to start something new. Arouet can officially have the last word on this subject.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 22 Nov 2011, 05:35

I'm not interested in the last word. Maybe you can answer the question: do you think one person can be mistaken about the nature of their perceived psi experience? And if so, why not everyone?
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby ProfWag » 22 Nov 2011, 09:51

NinjaPuppy wrote:
ProfWag wrote:I'm on vacation this week, so I don't really want to spend time getting too caught up in this conversation...

Can we start a game of "Where in the World is Wag"?

Sure! Clue #1 - Believe it or not, There are some trees around
Clue #2- I'm not too far from "twin mountains"
Clue 3 - I had mushrooms that made me "mellow" for dinner
Clue 4 - I had drinks with Jimi, Carlos, & the Boss
Where am I?
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Jayhawker30 » 22 Nov 2011, 10:24

New Hampshire.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 22 Nov 2011, 10:43

Jayhawker30 wrote:New Hampshire.


my google search turned up the same thing.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby ProfWag » 22 Nov 2011, 11:03

Ooooooo, sorry. I DID just have one of the coolest experiences I've ever had, but I'll wait until Ninja guesses before I fill you in.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 22 Nov 2011, 11:10

Arouet,
One person can be mistaken about their psi experience. 4 billion people? Not so much.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 22 Nov 2011, 11:14

craig weiler wrote:Arouet,
One person can be mistaken about their psi experience. 4 billion people? Not so much.


You're begging the question though. In order to know that 4 billion people could not be mistaken about their psi experience you first have to demonstrate that psi exists - which I acknowledege you believe has been done. But it's question begging because you are using the interpretation of these people as evidence for psi. It's circular, again demonstrating why your argument is a fallacy here.

Again: keep in mind we are not here talking about whether psi is real, but rather whether people's beliefs that their experiences are psi leads us to conclude that psi is real.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 22 Nov 2011, 11:20

Here's another one: one many people believe their experience of standing still is accurate when they're actually spinning through space pretty darn quickly?
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