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The Relentless Hypocrisy of James Randi

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

Re: The Relentless Hypocrisy of James Randi

Postby NinjaPuppy » 12 Sep 2012, 05:13

ProfWag wrote:Now Ninja, you know that nothing is impossible. In fact, I put quite a bit more faith in the possibility of Superman than I do Sylvia Browne and John Edward, but that's just me... :-)

Well then Superman should come forward and save the world. ;) Or perhaps I should get my bat signal fired up because I need a ride to the grocery store.
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Re: The Relentless Hypocrisy of James Randi

Postby really? » 12 Sep 2012, 10:08

NinjaPuppy wrote:
really? wrote:You've noticed psychics seem to love helping others but only in small ways. If psychics exist they should be as helpful as philanthropists such as Bill and Malinda Gates; that is, if they have the abilities they claim.

That's apples and oranges. If you compare apples to apples- the psychic is doing the exact same thing on their own comfort level.


A poor excuse. They write books. Have tv shows. Travel the world claiming special powers to anyone willing to see them in person. And with all that notoriety help only a handful of people, at most, all the time.
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Re: The Relentless Hypocrisy of James Randi

Postby ProfWag » 12 Sep 2012, 21:05

NinjaPuppy wrote:Well then Superman should come forward and save the world. ;) Or perhaps I should get my bat signal fired up because I need a ride to the grocery store.

He does, but he only shows his superpowers to a few friends because he doesn't need money nor wants the fame... ;)
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Re: The Relentless Hypocrisy of James Randi

Postby NinjaPuppy » 13 Sep 2012, 01:55

really? wrote:
NinjaPuppy wrote:
really? wrote:You've noticed psychics seem to love helping others but only in small ways. If psychics exist they should be as helpful as philanthropists such as Bill and Malinda Gates; that is, if they have the abilities they claim.

That's apples and oranges. If you compare apples to apples- the psychic is doing the exact same thing on their own comfort level.


A poor excuse. They write books. Have tv shows. Travel the world claiming special powers to anyone willing to see them in person. And with all that notoriety help only a handful of people, at most, all the time.

I still don't see how what a person does with or without their talents becomes some poor excuse to help save the world or even make it a better place. The fact is that every one of us has the ability to make the world a better place. Some by simply coming into this world, and some when they leave.

ProfWag wrote:He does, but he only shows his superpowers to a few friends because he doesn't need money nor wants the fame...

I'm sorry but Superman taking me to the grocery store isn't going to make him famous and hell knows I never intended to give him any gas money, so his wants and needs have no bearing on my personal needs.

Let's get down to the bottom line here. Which by the way, is mostly the argument or debate of:
"Psychic Ability - Does it exist? Believers vs. Skeptics edition".
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Re: The Relentless Hypocrisy of James Randi

Postby really? » 13 Sep 2012, 04:09

really? wrote:You've noticed psychics seem to love helping others but only in small ways. If psychics exist they should be as helpful as philanthropists such as Bill and Malinda Gates; that is, if they have the abilities they claim.

NinjaPuppy wrote:That's apples and oranges. If you compare apples to apples- the psychic is doing the exact same thing on their own comfort level.


really? wrote:A poor excuse. They write books. Have tv shows. Travel the world claiming special powers to anyone willing to see them in person. And with all that notoriety help only a handful of people, at most, all the time.

NinjaPuppy wrote:I still don't see how what a person does with or without their talents becomes some poor excuse to help save the world or even make it a better place. The fact is that every one of us has the ability to make the world a better place. Some by simply coming into this world, and some when they leave.

Psychics claim extraordinary powers most of us do not claim. That sets them apart like the the wealthy and super wealthy sets them apart from most of us. And because of that great power comes a greater responsibility to do more if they choose to.


NinjaPuppy wrote:Let's get down to the bottom line here. Which by the way, is mostly the argument or debate of:
"Psychic Ability - Does it exist? Believers vs. Skeptics edition".

No one can answer that absolutely. But, since no person claiming psychic powers has proven themselves, it seems less likely than more likely.
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Re: The Relentless Hypocrisy of James Randi

Postby NinjaPuppy » 13 Sep 2012, 05:54

Really? wrote:No one can answer that absolutely. But, since no person claiming psychic powers has proven themselves, it seems less likely than more likely.

I will certainly agree with you on your statement but for the record, what is your definition of psychic powers?
Really? wrote:Psychics claim extraordinary powers most of us do not claim. That sets them apart like the the wealthy and super wealthy sets them apart from most of us. And because of that great power comes a greater responsibility to do more if they choose to.

Who exactly are these "psychics" and what are these "extraordinary powers" you speak of??? Yes, I see that ProfWag has thrown John Edward and Sylvia Brown into the conversation as examples but do you agree that they are actually psychics? I ask because you guys always say that psychics don't exist, but then you can't prove a negative and of course we know for a fact that both Mr. Edward and Ms. Brown both in fact do exist. My proof is that I see them on the TV all the time. So if psychics don't exist, we need to clarify that both John and Sylvia are entertainers and NOT psychics so how can they have any great responsibility other than to entertain us?

Actually, I find the TV variety psychic rather entertaining. I also keep the attitude that unless I am their subject and I can rule out any chance of them having any prior knowledge of my personal information (hard to hide that with the internet and all, considering you have to pay them with a credit card that has your name on it) and they can tell me something that doesn't fit 100 other people or is generic in subject matter, then I might say that they have an uncanny ability at their disposal. Heck, cops do it all the time and it's not some extraordinary power.

To me, it's a skill or ability that when taken seriously can be of value. Combine this ability with good marketing and sales skills and you've got yourself a TV show. Where's the value, you ask? In making a living, just like a professional musician or writer. Heck, writers make up whole books that are nothing but lies (but we call it fiction) and we pay plenty of good money for their lies. You don't see anyone wanting to throw Stephen King off of Leno because he's full of shit.

Jeeze, I can pick up things about people that most might not notice. It doesn't make me psychic and it sure ain't any sort of extraordinary powers. No, it is a power, the power of observation, big deal. I try to pay attention and perhaps I can sense inflection in their voice or their body language that can tell me things. How on earth can that make me responsible for anything?

In the same light, since when are the uber-wealthy RESPONSIBLE to do anything other than enjoy their money? Why should the "haves" feel guilty for the "have nots"? Granted, it's a nice sentiment but there's certainly no responsibility as most of the "haves" pretty much only do what helps their $$$ bottom line. If there were no deductions for charitable contributions, I often wonder if the quality of giving would change REAL FAST.

As a matter of fact, there was a bit on "The Today Show" this morning about some telemarketing company hired by the American Diabetes Assoc. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-1 ... keter.html.
Just 22 percent of the funds the association raised in 2011 from the nationwide neighbor-to-neighbor program went to the charity, according to a report on its national fundraising that InfoCision filed with North Carolina regulators.

I wonder if any of the uber rich have stock in this company. :roll:
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Re: The Relentless Hypocrisy of James Randi

Postby SydneyPSIder » 13 Sep 2012, 15:01

ProfWag wrote:If someone has an ability that would literally change the world as we know it, and they only want to "show her friends," then shame on that person.

Dunno about 'shame on that person', not everyone is interested in scientific enquiry for its own end, she is intensely private, but also those sorts of skills can be put to evil use by characters such as the US military, so it is not necessarily morally good. May be better to keep genuine abilities concealed, for self-preservation and the ultimate good of society.

I agree there's a lot of scammers out there trading as 'psychics' who have no ability whatsoever, and those are the sorts of people who set the sceptics off, of course -- and the sceptics conclude that therefore nobody can have any such ability (because it's magic, and there's no such thing as magic) because they have (correctly) shown so many fairground operators to be shonks. They are doing everyone a favour in showing up frauds who tell you your fortune over the phone for a fee, or people who write manufactured horoscopes for a living, or whatever -- I also take delight in testing and exposing such frauds.

However, for instance, it is actually pretty common for people to have the ability to have genuine premonitions within about 24 hours prior to an event happening, usually an accident for some reason -- may be the psychic emotions generated by an accident that create the premonition -- often only a few minutes before the accident. I've heard of/met several people who have this ability, and it cannot be written off by 'sceptical' arguments, i.e. they only have a premonition about things that actually happen, not hypothetical premonitions all day long, etc.

Also, many people have the gift of second sight (mediumship) and it seems to run in families -- definitely seems to be a genetic trait.

My friend had all those abilities:
- premonitions
- second sight -- could see, hear and communicate freely with spirits of deceased persons, no BS seances or spooky stuff required
- simple mind-reading -- e.g. letters, numbers, colours, simple thoughts in people's heads
- remote viewing through another person - can see what they are seeing

All verified over time one way or another, beyond the shadow of a (even sceptical) doubt. Her family had similar abilities -- aunts, etc. They appear to work instantaneously at any distance, i.e. may or may not be limited to something like the speed of light. (The speed of light as a limit as proposed by Einstein is being called into question these days anyhow.)

However, such people would be quickly rounded up by the US military and CIA if they were discovered to try to read the mind of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or someone, there is no doubt in my mind the US administration/military complex would immediately abuse it -- they may already be doing so with unfortunate individuals they've rounded up, for all I know -- who knows, James Randi may even be doing it for them. Could also be used for other nefarious corporate espionage purposes. Everything is for personal gain, in the end.

Still, in a perfect world, it would be extremely interesting to investigate, and I do regret not being able to study it further 'in the lab' -- just not James Randi's lab.
Last edited by SydneyPSIder on 16 Sep 2012, 14:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Relentless Hypocrisy of James Randi

Postby SydneyPSIder » 13 Sep 2012, 21:04

really? wrote:No one can answer that absolutely. But, since no person claiming psychic powers has proven themselves, it seems less likely than more likely.

Maybe not to you. Maybe not to the Randi circus. But they have to others. Even if you challenge the veracity of that statement, logic tells you that of course just because you or Randi have not encountered something that does not encompass the experiences of the entire world population. And we still haven't even established if the Randi test is a fair one, or just designed to never be won -- as per the Pseudo-skeptic Manifesto.
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