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Debunking PseudoSkeptical Arguments of Paranormal Debunkers

Section I:  General Arguments Against Paranormal Claims


Argument  # 1: It is irrational to believe anything that hasn't been proven.


This is the main philosophy behind most skeptical arguments.  As Dr. Melvin Morse, Seattle pediatrician and author specializing in child Near Death Experiences said:


“The notion that 'It is rational to only believe what's been proven' somehow got twisted into ‘It is irrational to believe in anything that hasn't been proven’.” (Interview from video: Conversations with God) 


By "proven" skeptics mean proven according to the scientific method, which they consider to be the only reliable method.  There are several problems with this argument:


1)   First of all, just because something hasn't been proven and established in mainstream science doesn't mean it doesn't exist or isn't true.  If it did, then nothing would exist until proven or discovered.  Bacteria and germs would never have caused illnesses until they were proven and discovered, smoking would not cause cancer until it was proven, the planet Pluto would not have existed until it was discovered, etc.  Anyone knows that this simply is not so.  For instance, when Acupuncture was first introduced in the West, skeptics and certain scientists claimed that it had no basis and only worked due to the placebo effect because they couldn’t understand how it worked.  This reflected the typical false thinking of skeptics that anything they don’t understand must be due to superstition or chance.  However, practitioners and believers knew otherwise and were later validated by extensive studies have been done to show that it indeed does work for treating various ailments and getting results which placebos can’t account for.  An extensive listing of these research studies can be found on the Med lab website.  In fact, the AMA (American Medical Association) has already declared that Acupuncture works and is an effective treatment, proving the skeptics wrong.  The point is that Acupuncture worked before it was proven to work, not after.  Skeptics assume that everything that exists must be able to be analyzed in a lab.  That’s just not how reality works. 


2)   Second, just because something hasn't been proven to established science doesn't mean that it hasn't been proved firsthand to certain people.  Established views are not the dictum of all reality.  Many types of paranormal phenomena have been proved firsthand to eyewitnesses and experiencers.  For example, even though the cases of NDE’s don't prove the existence of an afterlife (at least not yet), those who have experienced them claim that the experience of the separation of body and spirit is firsthand proof to them of an afterlife, just as riding in a car is firsthand proof that cars exist, and they fear death no more.  Those who have OBE’s (Out of Body Experiences) also make similar claims, and they need no proof nor do they need to convince anyone.  These claims are further supported by the fact that in many documented cases the subject could hear conversations or see things in other rooms and other places, which are later confirmed and verified to be remarkably accurate.  Who's to say that they're wrong just because we haven't had the same experiences?  That would be equivalent to saying that because I’ve never been to Japan, everyone else who claims to have been there is mistaken or deluded.  The same goes for eyewitnesses of ghosts, UFO's (Unidentified Flying Objects), alien abductions, Bigfoot, etc.  These sightings and encounters range from the obscure and distant to ones that are crystal clear and at point-blank-range, making them much harder to dismiss.   


3)   Third, many research experiments and studies conducted under the scientific method HAVE passed with positive results.  For example, experiments in micro-psychokinesis done by Dr. Robert Jahn and Brenda Dunn at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research labs (PEAR)> using random generator machines to measure subjects’ PK influence on them, obtained positive consistent results for over 20 years.  These were done under proper controls and scientific procedures, even according to prominent skeptic Ray Hyman, who investigated the Prince experiments in person and conceded that he could find no flaws in the methodology.  The small but consistent results achieved by PEAR over 20 years are calculated by chance alone to be 1 in 1035.  Likewise, the Ganzfeld experiments in telepathy done in the early 70’s also had repeated success, with receivers in 42 controlled experiments scoring an average of 38 to 45 percent compared to the chance rate of 25 percent. (See Argument # 17) The odds of that occurring by chance are less than one in a billion.  More recently, controlled experiments involving four prominent mediums accuracy were done by Dr. Gary Schwartz of the Human Energy Lab of the University of Arizona. (See Argument # 16) These mediums achieved a hit rate 70 to 90 percent, even when in one experiment they were NOT allowed to ask any questions of the sitters or see them!  Skeptics repeatedly continue to ignore this fact!  (See the Jan 2001 edition of the Journal for the Society of Psychical Research)  A list of studies that produced psi results can be found in Dean Radin's book The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena.  Many researchers will tell you that these studies prove that telepathy and micro-psychokinesis exist at least on the micro level.  The skeptics, of course will say that those tests yielded impossible results and therefore were not done under properly controlled conditions, or else the researchers’ overzealous desire to get psi results botched the results.  But this of course reflects their bias and a priori dismissal of facts that don’t fit in with their beliefs.  It is not logical to deny the facts that don’t support your beliefs, it is more logical to update your beliefs to account for the facts.  Nevertheless, new scientific discoveries tend to pass through stages first before being accepted (see last paragraph of Argument # 8)


4)   Fourth, just because something is irrational to skeptics doesn't mean that it is irrational to others who know or believe that it is real.  Skeptics and scientific materialists do not have the monopoly on rational thinking.  Lots of rational intelligent intellectual people believe in God, spiritual dimensions, or that there is more to reality than the material world.  The skeptics' system of rational thinking is not the dictatum by which all things that exist must conform to.  This can easily be demonstrated by all the things that skeptics have been wrong about before, such as flight, laws of physics, quantum mechanics, giant squid, etc. proving their fallibility.

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