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Reader Responses to
PseudoSkeptical Arguments of Paranormal Debunkers
(Sorted in ascending order, newest at the top)
Your critique of
pseudo-skeptics is right on! They are tradition-bound materialists
opposed to examining evidence that they might be wrong. Victor has, in
his latest newsletter, a lecture by Rupert Sheldrake in which he described the
behavior of a ?scientist? who refused to even look at evidence for
telepathy. Lawyers have a maxim: ?Don?t confuse me with the truth; my
mind is made up.? Criminals under interrogation will say ?that?s my story
and I?m sticking to it.? The pseudos cannot be truly described as
scientists because they never question their own premises, and they posit their
premises as conclusions. They crave certainty, not realizing that, in my
own coinage, ?Fiction adores a vacuum.?
Your Buddhism critique is
excellent. I am going to forward it on to the minister of our
church. One comment: the Taoist icon is Yin [not Ying} and
Yang. But thanks for the ENLIGHTENMENT. Robert Monroe has shown
that something like this can be attained through his techniques.
You must be familiar with the Monroe Institute. And again, Dr. Brian
Weiss has evidence for reincarnation, in the experiences of others.
Remember Einstein said that learning begins with experiences.
Repeatability is not a perquisite of validity. Man cannot replicate an
earthquake or a solar eclipse, but they do happen.
I am currently taking a course in philosophy in college and having stumbled
upon your website "Debunking Common Skeptical Arguments Against Paranormal
and Psychic Phenomena", I have decided to use your work as a reference in
my paper I find your arguments to be convincing and feel confident in
presenting part of your material in my paper.
I have one question in regards to a story you mentioned in the NDE section
(Argument #23). In the research experiment conducted by Cardiologist
Michael Sabom, it is mentioned that the NDEers give "correct but general
descriptions" of their resuscitation. Do you happen to know how
Sabom was able to determine the correctness of these descriptions? i.e.
Was he able to contact individuals who were present at the scene of the
resuscitation? I'd just like a little bit of clarification before using
Your site is very interesting and being someone who is always seeking what lies
beyond this earth, the information you have provided/discovered has been very
Winston. I read through the first several sections yesterday, and highly
respect the way you present the arguments. I'll browse more of it when I have
I was raised in a traditional Catholic setting, and discovered humanism as my
niche at age 15. (At 20, I found out what it was called.) Today I still
consider myself one.
But what has really turned me off regarding some of my fellow atheists &
agnostics is the highly-negative reaction I received from many of them when
discovering natural health and the organic lifestyle two years ago, after
reading Kevin Trudeau's Natural Cures book. I wrote a long article about
it on my MySpace
blog in June 2006, entitled, "Your Health is your Ultimate
Some of them (and this one guy in particular) scorned me like I was a leper.
And when berating my article, virtually all of their arguments were based upon
theories, axioms, straw-man refutations, and ad hominem (especially against
Trudeau). They always pointed out webpages from Skepdic, CSICOP, Quackwatch, etc.
My presentation, on the other hand, is about 15% theory and 85% practice.
I primarily say, "Here's what I've tried, and these are the results."
Not all of them are close-minded about it, though. At this last Winter Solstice
party I attended, many of them (primarily women) asked me about what I'm doing
to look and feel so great, and were very receptive. As for the few who
previously berated me, they either semi-ignored me, or seemed to pretend as if
I hadn't changed at all physically -- even after nearly two years of my living
this way. I guess their little "theorems" must be more important to
them than physical reality.
So when reading the first few sections of your pseudoskeptical pages that
expose their tactics, I found myself nodding my head constantly -- as it gave
me flashbacks to two years ago about the negative reception from several of
those guys. My experience also has caused me to lose some respect for
publications such as Skepdic, CSICOP, etc. While some of their material is
very good, I absolutely cannot give point-blank credence to organizations that
seem to imply that my very own lifestyle is a bunch of B.S.
So deep-down emotionally, I've felt a bit of a repulsiveness toward those
Well, that's all from me for now. I'm looking forward to checking out more of
your stuff on these subjects!
Thanks for your comments. It took me some time to write (and document) the
pseudoskeptic's irrationality, inconsistences and contradictions. I've read
many of pseudoskeptics' webpages and books, and I took note of their
contradictions. I thought to add all this in my comment and send it to
you as a modest contribution to your great article (for me, a handbook) to
It's ok that you send my comments to your mailing list and add it to your
e-book. We need to put together the best information, arguments and references
Do most Germans believe in the paranormal? I think so. But it can vary
according to the specific phenomenon. I think a high porcentage believes in
telepathy and, maybe, in ghosts (it's amazing to see that many people believes
in ghosts, many of them because personal experiences).
exists the respective pseudoskeptical organization. It's called GWUP, and it
has the same agenda, rhetoric and methods of CSICOP. And there are some good
german websites debunking GWUP (e.g. http://www.skeptizismus.de/
). A former member of that group, Edgar Wunder, wrote a long and excellent
article exposing the methods and agenda of GWUP. Wunder's contribution is very
important, because he was an "insider". Sadly, it haven't been
translated to english language. If you understand german language, or have
german friends, that article is a must read:
(Also, you could use a free online translator to translate that article to
Winston, recently I get a copy of an excellent parapsychology book. It was
written by Chris Carter and titled "Parapsychology
and the Skeptics":
Carter destroys the best skeptical arguments using the scientific evidence of
parapsychology. He deals only with the best criticism of informed
pseudoskeptics (like Hyman, Blackmore, etc.), not with the rhetoric, polemic
and propapandism of Randi and others.
I think that book is a great contribution to scientific parapsychology.
Carter's next book will cover afterlife evidence. I hope Carter's books be
translated to german and other languages. They can very useful to convince open
I'm J?rgen and I write you from Germany. Let
me tell that your article about debunkers/pseudoskeptics of PSI is the
best handbook to debate with them. I used to debate pseudoskeptics as a
pastime, using the arguments and tactics of your article. However, currently I
don't debate with them anymore because I realize that they're inmune
to rational discourse and scientific evidence for PSI. Their minds have been
damaged by false data and rhetoric spread by professional debunkers. They're
lost any critical faculties to examine pseudoskepticism.
I have strong interest in psi research (specially near-death
experiences), spirituality and philosophy and sociology of science. I
realized the existence of your article, reading the article titled "NDE
rhetoric, debunking the debunkers?" ( http://www.nderf.org/NDE%20Rhetoric.htm ).
The author (Jody) uses many of your arguments against debunkers, and adapts
them to their specific arguments against NDEs.
There are 3 articles about pseudoskepticism that everyone should
know. The best is yours (because it deals with all the arguments of debunkers).
Another good article is "some notes on skepticism":
And the third one is the article of parapysichologist Charles Honorton
titled "Rhetoric over substance: the impoverished state of
I'd like to comment in some specific points of pseudoskeptics and their
1)Anecdotal evidence and testimonies: as you explained in your
article, pseudoskeptics claims that anecdotal evidence and testimonies are
worthless as scientific evidence. But that claim is false: there are some
sciences that use testimonies as valid evidence, e.g: forensic sciences:
There is a complete field called psychology of testimony and forensic
psychology that deals as the realibility of testimonies and their
In fact, Richard Wiseman wrote in the Skeptical Inquirer a paper titled
"Eyewitness testimony and the paranormal" ( http://csicop.org/si/9511/eyewitness.html )
where he writes: " Much of the evidence relating to paranormal
phenomena consists of eyewitness testimony. However, a large body of
experimental research has shown that such testimony can be extremely
Look that Wiseman wrote that testimonies "can be" (not IT IS)
extremely unreliable (not that IT IS extremely unreliable). PseudoSkeptics tend
to confound a possibility with a fact.
Wiseman adds an interesting point that most pseudoskeptics forget:
"In short, there is now considerable evidence to suggest that
individuals' beliefs and expectations can, on occasion, lead them to be
unreliable witnesses of supposedly paranormal phenomena. It is vital that
investigators of the paranormal take this factor into account when faced with
individuals claiming to have seen extraordinary events. It should be
remembered, however, that such factors may hinder accurate testimony
regardless of whether that testimony is for or against the existence of
paranormal phenomena; the observations and memory of individuals with a
strong need to disbelieve in the paranormal may be as biased as extreme
believers. In short, the central message is that investigators need to be
able to carefully assess testimony, regardless of whether it reinforces or
opposes their own beliefs concerning the paranormal"
As we know, pseudoskeptics only invalid the testimonies in favor of
paranormal, but not against the paranormal. In fact, they use testimonies to
debunk the paranormal, for example:
a)In the entry "Sai Baba" of the skeptic dictionary ( http://skepdic.com/saibaba.html )
you can read above a link titled "Witnesses" and
other links titled "Conny Larsson's story"
and "charges of Sai Baba with many counts of molesting boys"
b)PseudoSkeptics like to claim that Richard Feynmann
"debunked" or "exposed" Uri Geller. But in close
inspection, Feynmann experience with Geller was an informal, anecdotal account
of Feynmann, not a laboratory scientific test published in peer-review
c)At the time of William Crookes, pseudoskeptics quoted a
testimony of Volckmann to debunk Crookes investigation with the medium. Victor
Zammit rebutted that testimonial evidence of pseudoskeptics:
It's obvious that pseudoskeptic's permanent damaged and biased
mind give more credit to anti-paranormal
uncontrolled/anecdotal testimonies against mediums than laboratory
scientific experimentation with mediums, as the recent triple blind study
of Dr.Gary Schwartz:
The same apply to Ufo evidence:
d)PseudoSkeptic Joe Nickel used the testimony of Michael O'Neill to
cast doubts on John Edwars: "An article in Time magazine suggested John Edward may have
used just such chicanery. One subject, a marketing manager named Michael
O'Neill had received apparent messages from his dead grandfather but, when his
segment aired, he noted that it had been improved through editing"
Matt Nisbet, also uncritically accepted as valid the
testimony of Jaroff and O'Neill: " In support of his
assertions of Edward's possible hot readings, Jaroff detailed the experience
of Michael O'Neill, a past audience member on Crossing Over who had
been the subject of a reading by Edward. According to O'Neill's account,
producers of the show had spliced into the final program clips of O'Neill
nodding yes into the videotape after statements by Edward with which he
remembers disagreeing. In addition, according to O'Neill, most of Edward's
"misses," both in relation to him and other audience members, had
been edited out of the final tape.
O'Neill also claimed that before the show,
assistants to the producers had gathered information about audience members,
including their names and family histories. O'Neill also told Jaroff that most
of the conversations among the audience while they were seated in the stands
waiting the start of the show were about dead loved ones, information that
could have been picked up by microphones strategically placed about the
2)PseudoSkeptics are totally ignorant of the
sociological/philosophical problems of science: For example,
they like to use terms like "pseudoscience" or "pathological
science", but don't explain the conceptual and theoric problems of
these terms and the fact that past theories called
"pathological" are now recognized as good scientific theories:
Also, they ignore that scientific establisment tend to be conservative
and, many times, hostile to unorthodox theories. For example, there is
experimental evidence of confirmatory bias in peer-review system used in
And the methods used to suppress the scientific dissidents are never
discussed in pseudoskeptical magazines:
And the existence of monopolies and scientific research cartels (and
their influence in scientific enterprise) are systematically ignored:
The pseudoskeptic's solid and consistent ignorance of these
sociological/burocratic problems of science makes him very credulous and
uncritical of accepted scientific practise. They have a very naive idea of
3)PseudoSkeptics are uncritically accept almost all
"official" stories: As an example, pseudoskeptic Michael
Shermer uncritically accepted and defended the official story
of 9/11, in spite of massive evidence of the inconsistences and valid
criticism of the official story:
4)Religious agenda: as you have shown in your article, most
pseudoskeptics are atheists and scientific materialist. They use the
"scientific" rhetoric as a propaganda to promote a
materialistic/anti-spirituality worldview. As an example, take the book of
Lewis Wolpert titled "Six impossible things before breakfast".
There, Wolpert try to promote atheism as the only rational option because there
is not "evidence" for God. (By the way, Wolpert also tries to
debunk psi phenomena with the same argument). To a criticism of Wolpert's book
and rhetoric, see:
PseudoSkeptics/dogmatic atheists' rhetoric, propaganda and
behaviour is, maybe, one of the reasons that atheists are
most distrusted minory:
5)"Scientific witch-hunting" and fascistic behaviour.
When the pseudoskeptic has the opportunity, he uses "witch hunting"
practiques, intimidation, censorship, etc. to fight
"enemies". As an example, look at pseudoskeptics actions against
6)Debunkers are supporters of obsolete and refuted philosophies
(e.g. positivism): most pseudoskeptics are dogmatic supporters of
positivism: the philosophy that states that the only authentic knowledge is
scientific knowledge, and that such knowledge can only come from positive
affirmation of theories through strict scientific method:
Thanks Winston for let me share my thoughts with you.
Thanks for add my e-mail to your reader response page. Yes, I'm from Spain.
I found your great article searching for refutations of dogmatic christians and
atheists. A friend told me of your articles debunking both of them and passed
me the links. I really enjoy them so much.
I've been following the controversy between the so-called "new
atheists" (Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, etc.) and
God believers/religion followers. My opinion is that most of atheists'
argumentation is fallacious and dishonest. But a point by point refutation of
atheism haven't written yet.
Recently, I've read two very good piece of information against dogmatic
1)The first one is this article of Alan Roebuck titled "How to respond to
a Supercilious Atheist":
2)Also, the book "The Irrational Atheists" is a very good response to
Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens. You can download this book (in pdf format) for
I think a refutation of atheism's best arguments don't need to be a defense of
God or religions or paranormal (in theory, an agnostic can criticize atheism
without to defend God). It's enough to show the double standars, unproven
assumptions and pseudo-scientific tactics of these people. For instance, the
argument "If God created everything then who created God" doesn't
make any sense. We don't need to have an explanaition for the explanaition,
because if it's requested in all the cases, we couldn't explain anything. It
would drive us to a infinite regress.
Also, scientific atheists like Dawkins ask for "evidence"
of God, but they never told us what kind of evidence convince them.
(You've addressed this type of tactic in your paper). They see God as an
(false) "scientific hypothesis", not as a philosophical position or
worldview. They confound the scientific with the philosophical level. This
clever trick is used to bring to the scientific arena a non-scientific debate
(of course, you can use many arguments from science to argue in favor or
against God; but it doens't make it a scientific discussion).
As I said in my last e-mail, I think a refutation of atheists' best arguments
is needed, and you're the right person to do it. But something is also true:
atheists don't have many positive arguments (to prove their position). Most of
their arguments are negative: criticism of religions or concepts of God. But
many of these negative arguments are fallacious or based upon distortions and
half-truths, or improper mixing of (materialistic) philosophy with science.
Maybe, some specific points could be addressed in a hypothetical or eventual
article against atheism:
1)Moral and values in an atheistic worldview. Are moral values an objective
reality? What's the evidence for it?
2)The sense of life to an atheist. Have the life a objective sense or finality?
3)Evidence that atheists would accept to believe in God. (Some former atheist
have accepted evidence for God. As an example, recently former atheist Antony
Flew changed his mind, and now he's a deist. He wrote a book, as his last
philosophical legacy, titled "There is a God". You can read the story
A recent interview with Flew can be read here.)
4)Positive evidence for philosophical naturalism and materialism.
I think the above points are the weakest points of the atheist's position.
Maybe, in your next updating of the debunking skeptic paper, you consider to
add some arguments or commentaries in your argument # 29 on atheists. It may
give some idea to new readers about the relationship between skepticism and
atheism, and how they use similar (or the same) arguments against God or the
Your treatise "debunking pseudoskeptical arguments of paranormal
debunkers" is the best refutation of pseudoskeptics' arguments, tactics
and fallacies to reject the evidence for paranormal phenomena. I've recommended
your article to every person that I know.
I'd like to suggest you a similar treatise debunking fundamentalist atheism;
because your argument #29 (on atheists) is good, but very short.
As you know, the recent assault of atheists/skeptics on God is not only very
lucrative, but it's a indirect assault in parapsychology and alternative
sciences too. These "new atheists" include in their books chapters on
parapsychology, ufology and paranormal phenomena, and they try to debunk them
with the same anti-God/anti-spirituality pseudo-scientific rhetoric and
Also, they defend Darwin's
theory as an article of faith, and accuse any scientist who dares to question
it or criticize it. They use the "creationist" label as an ad
hominem ploy to avoid scientific valid criticism against Darwin's theory. Fact is that many scientists
question, as scientific and sound arguments, that theory. As an example, you
can read the well-documented scientific papers of spanish biologist Maximo
Sandin (he's not a creationist, nor a religious person. He's a biologist who
considers the Synthetic Theory of evolution has many flaws and should be
replaced by a new scientific theory). You can read Sandin's papers at:
But dogmatic/fundamentalist/irrational atheists will interpret these criticism
as a defense of God, religion or creationism (most dogmatic atheists are
quasi-paranoid and see God, religion and faith in every corner; they suffer of
black/white thinking, a typical psychological sign of irrational fanatism)
when, actually, they're valid scientific criticism against synthetic theory of
evolution. (Sandin doesn't mention "God" or "creationism"
in his papers. He's writting on science, not on religion)
There are some good websites exposing the fallacies of fundamentalist atheism
(e.g. http://www.atheistdelusion.net/ ). Also, some
good refutation of atheist's basic philosophical foundation (e.g metaphysical
naturalism/materialism) have been written. As an example, read philosopher
David Wood's sound criticism and clear exposing of the fallacious arguments of
Richard Carrier's book Sense and Goodness without God in defense of
atheism and naturalism:
But most critics of atheism are Christian apologetics. So, many people may
consider that these (very good) criticisms are biased.
By this reason, given the great success of both of your articles (debunking
pseudoskeptics and debunking Christian fundamentalism), you're the right person
to write a new treatise: "debunking every argument of fundamentalist
atheists". Only you can do it.
Your article "debunking
pseudoskeptical arguments on paranormal debunkers" is a must read to any
person who seeks to understand the nature of pseudoskepticism. I grasped the
basic ideological foundation of pseudoskepticism when you wrote: "Eventually,
I realized that their skepticism was not about an open inquiry for truth, but
rather a philosophy they used to manipulate data to fit their beliefs".
This is the essence of pseudoskepticism and the basic truth that any person
should know about it.
This fact was also explained in
the parapsychologist George Hansen's book Tricksterbook and the Paranormal.
Hansen documented the influence of atheism in the debunking movement:
Also, I read Paul Sandoval's
"rebuttal" of your article, and I think Sandoval's response is a
superb example on how to use ad logicam fallacy (or
fallacist's fallacy http://www.fallacyfiles.org/fallfall.html) to win
arguments. He creates a straw man and then tries to spot logical fallacies
in your reasoning and arguments, but he doesn't refute them. As you wrote,
pseudoskeptics use philosophical semantics to win arguments. They try to
impress the readers using pompous language and erudite
pseudological terms, instead of using sound reasoning and facts to rebut
and refute arguments.
Your comments on
pseudoskeptic's argument on alternative medicine is very good. Pseudoskeptics
love to debunk alternative health methods and use anecdotal evidence to
"prove" the inefficacy of these methods, but don't say nothing about
the thousand of deaths per year caused by conventional medicine:
In fact, some pseudoskeptics
like quackbuster Stephen Barrett are uncritical apologists and propagandists of
conventional treatments. Fortunately, these quackbusters have been exposed as
liars in U.S.
courts and their ties with FDA, AMA, etc. were unmasked:
Your article was the
first on-line resource to expose the fallacies, motivation,
agenda and dishonesty of pseudoskeptics. Currently (and maybe inspired by
your article) other people are doing their job to unmask and
document the dishonest tactics of peudoskeptics on specific cases:
My name is Nenad Djurdjevic, I'm the moderator and co-admin of the website:
I found your articles about "Debunking PseudoSkeptical Arguments of
Paranormal Debunkers Revised 2006" very interesting.
I'm preparing a topic about (healthy) skepticism, debunking and
pseudoskepticism in our Forum: http://www.bosnian-pyramid.com/forum/,
so, I would like to ask herewith your permission to include and post some
of your articles in that topic.
Thank you in advance!
Moderator and Co-Admin at:
I am in the process of reading your
article entitled "debunking common skeptical arguments against paranormal
and psychic phenomena". I can tell you have really given this topic a lot
of thought. I think this article is very well done. as I have been doing
research for the past 15 years on such topics as meaning and purpose of life
and life after death I have found it interesting how rigid the beliefs are of
atheists who happen to be skeptics. especially those skeptics that belong to
skeptic organizations. this was a surprise to me when I started because I considered
myself a skeptic and probably considered myself atheist/agnostic. I was not
impressed even as a child with most religious beliefs as many did not pass even
simple logic and reasoning tests. I knew from experience that religious people
tended to be rigid in their beliefs but was totally surprised how rigid
atheists in general were rigid in their beliefs.
I am sure you know this but I find it
interesting that when professional skeptics appear on TV to comment on
paranormal events their explanations most of the time do not even address the
event and almost always they only comment on one piece of evidence of the event
rather than take the evidence as a whole. for example crop circles, because a
couple of guys in England admitted to making crop circles skeptics state that
is the reason for crop circles when in fact they are appearing in many
countries in the world. one professional skeptic stated crop circle
investigators should take up collecting stamps and not waste their time
researching crop circles. if the world took his advice I wonder how many
discoveries would have been made in human history. this person contradicts his
very belief in his insistence on using the scientific method as the only way to
discover truth. his belief has closed his mind to the possibilities of new
discoveries. in 1899 the head of the patent office in Washington dc stated to
congress that the patent office should be shut down because all the inventions
that are possible have been made.
I also think people that believe
almost anything said about the paranormal can be a bigger danger to advancement
in knowledge than the skeptics. maybe we need them both as a check and balance.
I somehow have this feeling that the universe is right on track and in our
ignorance we are unable to see this perfection in action.
anyhow great article on skeptics. I
had one skeptic tell me that skeptics don?t have beliefs only opinions. how is
that for the ultimate in denial.
My name is Gary Osborn.
I'm the author of The Serpent Grail (Watkins 2005) and The Shining Ones
I writing to you to say
that I found your treatise, Debunking
PseudoSkeptical Arguments of Paranormal Debunkers absolutely
fascinating and spot on.
I would like your
permission to place a link to it on a page on my website - or even
the whole article if that's OK.
Looking forward to hearing
Winston. My name is Travis, and I've been heavily researching Paranormal
Phenomenon for over eight years now. I've been very interested in Paranormal
Phenomenon all of my life due to many very convincing personal paranormal
experiences that I've had all throughout my life that continue to intrigue me,
as well as from hearing many profound personal anecdotal accounts of paranormal
phenomenon from many very sincere family members of mine and from very sincere
friends of mine and others, and from documented research books on the matters,
etc, on quite a grand scale over the years. I began heavily researching
Paranormal Phenomenon online about eight years ago and I continue to do so. I'm
also heavily into Spirituality, Mysticism, and Direct Experience of God.
(Heavily in a Shamanistic, Taoist, Buddhist, Hindu, and Judeo-Christian Mystic
[Gnostic; Kabbalist] Panentheistic Context.)
I too have been in many debates with skeptics, and I too have noticed many of
their clever cop-out tactics in not having to deal with the evidence that
doesn't agree with them. I always go for the jugular in debates, I always
present the stuff that I *know* they cannot explain away, and I give many
quotations and sources to support the validity of the claims being made, as
well as any website links discussing the topics indepth. What's their answer to
it all? Universal Conspiracy Theory and *all* of the phrase cliches mentioned
in your article "Debunking Common Skeptical Arguments Against Paranormal
and Psychic Phenomenon".
Your article was a breath of fresh air to read. It let me know that I'm not
alone in pointing stuff like this out to people, and that someone else like me
can stand up to the skeptics and point out the fallicies in their own
close-minded personal dogma driven pseudoskepticism. You explained everything
so perfectly, I was just amazed at how well you picked their arguments apart
and posted many excellent examples of hard evidence of paranormal phenomenon in
such an amazing fashion.
I've been debating skeptics for years, and it has crossed my mind a couple of
times to try to make an article like this, but now that I've read through
yours, I see there is no need. You hit the nail right on the head ten times
What gets me though, is I do not understand how these close-minded people can
get their minds set like that, and actually *want* there to be nothing
paranormal or supernatural in the world. I've personally heard from many
skeptics that they actually *want* to be erased, that they actually *want*
death to be the end for them, and that they truely *hope* there is nothing.
Others I've heard from say they actually *don't* want death to be the end but
that they "know" there is nothing after death, and that they "know"
that the idea of the afterlife is nothing more than a fairly tale created by
weak-minded people who can't accept "reality". *rolls his eyes*
They say, "I'm just a bunch of random chemical reactions, nothing
I've actually shown some of these depressing skeptics the existing paranormal
evidence for life after death on a caring rather than in-your-face level,
hoping to cheer them up and let them see meaning in life, and as expected, they
violently attack it, ridicule it, use character assasination, go with the
weakest skeptical explaination, ignore anything unexplainable that doesn't
agree with them, and are through with it, case closed. *shakes his head in
I wonder what their transition is like after death. Do they spend several
thousand years in unprogressed ignorance thinking that their ongoing afterlife
experience is merely a prolonged hallucination? I feel for these people. Their
potential spiritual life is stagnated/blocked from them due to their
close-mindedness, and much of what they do with their life is attempt to
"deconvert" others from spirituality and spiritual ideas, and believe
in nothing. I remember reading a post from one woman on a forum I visited,
stating that her immediate family was once highly spiritual people who believed
in a higher power, soul, afterlife, etc, and that she successfully
"deconverted" them all through "science and logic", and now
they all think like her and believe there is nothing. *mind boggle*
I'm thinking that in the above context, either the close-minded skeptical side
is truely stronger, or there are just so many people ignorant of current
paranormal evidence and it's implications that they are thus gullible enough to
seemlessly sway to the close-minded skeptical side so easily and let the likes
of James Randi be their charismatic secular guru to think for them and don't do
enough personal inner soul searching for themselves to find the truth. I'll say
it's the latter.
Oh, and by the way, I recently came across a Skeptic's Report Article that claimed
to "debunk" your Article in question and called it "pleading a
lost cause". I read through it, and it was PA-THE-TIC. I laughed at how
weak and poorly presented the critic's "rebuttals" were compared to
yours, and he cleverly omitted (but still linked to) your hard anecdotal
evidences that were far too strong for him to explain away, and so he ignored
them, and wouldn't comment on them. He also often fell into the exact same
traps that you were critiquing in your Article, the most often of which was the
famed "anecdotal evidence proves nothing" repeated over and over
endlessly. I was going to suggest that you answer him, but I realised in
reading his weak "rebuttals" indepth that there is really no need to.
The close-minded skeptic's side is truely "pleading a lost cause". ;)
*Cheers you on*
Travis (Also known as "Eteponge" or
"Parupunte_Medapani" elsewhere online)
Sorry it took so long to respond - I've had a lot on my plate lately. Things
seem to be gearing up again in the Investigation arena with the holidays over
and done with. We've gotten two more requests in as many days so I've been
coordinating and making phone calls. I also had an MP3 Radio Interview with The
Night Watchman of the Night Watchman Chronicles yesterday - pretty cool!
Thank you for allowing me to quote you in my book. I have to say that you've
got the BEST arguments I've ever seen. I've always said pretty much the same
things in my arguments with those PseudoSkeptics out there, but you do it SO
eloquently and intelligently! I've shared your article with many people -
they're all impressed as well.
For a sneak peek at what the book is about - here's a link to check out:
The Orange County Ghost Hunters is a paranormal investigation team that I
started last year. We've since grown to 12 investigators and we've done just
over a half a dozen investigations. My goal is to remain open minded yet
objective, so our team is made up of both psychics and "debunkers"
but we're all believers. I myself am a psychic, channeler and demonologist. We
also have a remote viewer. A good mix I think. :)
If you're ever in the area, PLEASE feel free to call!
Thanks again and look forward to hearing from you again,
Diana Akroyd (Only A Distant Relation to Dan)
Wow Wu! Just took a
quick look at your site, and I'm looking forward to getting into it. We have a
lot of ground in common here, I think. I have a pretty strong background
in religion and the so-called paranormal too, and have come out of it all as a
You would very
likely appreciate my book FUNDAMENTAL BLASPHEMY, which I wrote after
spending two years in a fundamentalist ministry as disciple to a patriarchal
I'll attach an E-book version
of it which you might be able to access. Some servers won't take it because it
is an .exe file. You can also find a lot of that book and another,
the early new-age study, DOWSING FOR HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS, in the
form of excerpts and articles on my site.
and yes, I am covering a
living by writing, though there were a lot of years I wrote and wrote and
never saw payday. I presently have a screenplay in production.
check out mockingbirdfilms.com and follow the links to THE BLACK MESSIAH MURDERS.
I just wanted to commend
you on your article. We share all the same interests as well as similar
religious backgrounds that I too feel caused me to search for answers. While
reading your article, I felt as if you were speaking for me. I've had the
very same arguments with pseudoskeptics and in my own way, have had many of the
exact same responses as you.
I've just completed an
autobiographical book about my spiritual awakening and research of the
paranormal and I was wondering if I might be able to quote you on your Occams
Razor argument. Would that be possible?
I want to keep this short and
sweet, but kudos to you on your well thought out, written and thought
provoking article. It's provided me with the ammunition I will more
than likely need once my book is published as it will certainly receive
I wish you only the very best
in your future endeavors!
Founder of the Orange
County Ghost Hunters
Demonologist, Psychic & Soon To Be Author
I am very pleased to have found and read your web
pages after reviewing Victor Zammit's articles on his web site. I am
extremely interested in the area's of research you and he and many others have
and are covering. It is refreshing to see that you manage to articulate So many
counter arguments so constructively. You have demonstrated that you are
extremely capable of challenging the status Quo and idea's that many would not
analysis with such Sharp insight. Well done you. Nice to see (like myself)
someone who is in deed forming a healthier encompassment of the complexity and
diversity of Paranormal and Psychic Life? Thanks for helping me understand
area's where I may have had weak analysis or not seen more clearly the
possibilities on applying 'scepticism'. I am 'Open Minded and yes
certainly am Sceptic'. I am making an attempt to educate myself about my own
experiences, which would feel, embarrassed to try to explain to others or
substantiate, as I don?t fully understand it myself. The need to do this makes
me sceptic in itself, as any conversation about such tends to make us all need
answers to things that confound us. I am more inclined to just accept that we
don?t have a satisfactory explanation to date for all these wonderments. Such
is the desire to understand complexity in all its forms. I will regard the
articles you have written closely next time I do have a paranormal experience
although I must admit I don?t think anything I have read anywhere yet explains
adequately the experiences or gives Clarity to the mystery. I too need to up
date my outlook, as it?s easy to be seduced by reductionism or materialism to
think we will find answers by taking things apart and putting them back
I like the theory and I know that?s all it is a
?theory? that the Mind uses the brain to resonate through to manifest itself.
I am not at all as well educated as you obviously are
Winston and I do apply common sense each time I experience something. This
too makes little difference so I learn to forget what the big scheme of thins
is and feels honoured that I have experiences that make me think outside the
restrictive ?box? and comfort zones of understanding.
I will research as much as I can to expand my
understanding. One thing is for sure ?we are all in a constant state of
transition aren?t we??
That includes all we know and think we understand.
Such ?refinement? needs & affords continual growth and flexibility. I look
forward to linking back to your web site
To see what new articles you cover and will read with
interest what you write.
Well done and thanks for the insight been very
I am researching ?medium ship? at the moment and there
are few people who Live up to passing the tests described. Like all walks of
life ?Spiritualism? can and does attract all kinds of people that may or may
not be gifted with varying Psychic or Mediumistic ability. Its is hard to
measure to validate and verify some messages. It is also too easy to fake
and that?s the problem I have like so many people. A few fakes do a lot of harm
and we can all too easily fall fowl of including all as fakes due to one
I am learning just to observe and keep observing as
many mediums as possible and seeing how their styles and delivery?s are
demonstrated. I think Gordon Smith?s advise In his new book ?Unbelievable
Truth? is good advice.
Like you he is grounded and observes the ?real world?
with a sharp focus.
Thanks again Winston what an excellent read. Look
forward to more like that.
Hi Mr. Wu - Good job on the article. I was
reading a rebuttal by a skeptic, and on the page where you mention Ian
Stevenson's 20 Cases, they say that 20 cases (anecdotal stories) is hardly
evidence. They completely ignore the fact that Stevenson has thousands of
cases, of which at least 200 are completely solid.
I was fortunate enough to witness the
phenomena of remote viewing personally, so I continue to be amazed by the
amount of energy people spend trying to "debunk" pheonmena that are
real. My sessions are documented on my website at http://home.comcast.net/~wjjw/remoteviewing.html.
From Whitley Strieber, Author and Radio Host of UnknownCountry.com:
A Brilliant Rebuttal to the Skeptics
It is no secret that many scientists are becoming
disenchanted with skeptics groups and the skeptical paradigm in general.
Skeptics groups have been losing membership, and some institutions now take a
dim view of membership in groups like CSICOP, the Committee for Scientific
Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal.
This is because of a growing concern that skeptics
groups and publications are interfering with the progress of science by
attempting to compel the rejection of evidence that does not fit existing
models of reality. Institutionalized skepticism is beginning to appear more
like a religious practice, far removed from the ideals of scientific objectivity
which inspired founders such as Dr. Carl Sagan.
Winston Wu has now written an essay that brilliantly
and decisively rebuts the general skeptical arguments against the paranormal.
This is among the best essays ever written on this subject, and deserves extensive
study. The essay carefully moves through the entire skeptical lexicon of
arguments, rebutting each in turn.
As it reveals the fallacy in each argument, it builds
a crucial case against the whole skeptical approach to reality, suggesting that
it is, essentially, a form of superstition that has the effect of filtering out
data if it cannot be explained by accepted scientific theory.
The essay suggests that a clear-eyed view of evidence
is essential, and that it is lacking both among believers and skeptics.
Essentially, Mr. Wu is asserting that the evidence is undigested by science as
a result of its being too uncritically embraced by believers and rejected by
Mr. Wu identifies a difference between healthy
skepticism and the cynicism of blanket rejection of evidence.
To read Mr. Wu's essay, click here.
Also visit Mr. Wu's contra-skeptic website at DebunkingSkeptics.com and participate
in the counterskeptic group, SCEPCOP.
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