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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 Arouet » 20 Nov 2011, 02:05

You're just messing with me, right?
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 20 Nov 2011, 06:13

Unfortunately, no. I think that you are so caught up in your side of the argument that you're starting to make up your own rules.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 20 Nov 2011, 06:38

From M-W:

Definition of BELIEF

1
: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
2
: something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group
3
: conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence


"conclusion based on observations" certainly fits the bill. What do you think beliefs are? Is there a sentence that begins "I conclude based on my observation that" that you couldn't replace "conclude" with "believe"? What you conclude is what you believe.

I look out the window and see that the ground is completely wet. I conclude that it was raining. I also believe that it was raining. You can't conclude something without believing it or else you didn't really conclude it!
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Jayhawker30 » 20 Nov 2011, 14:22

Well then. It seems the real question that needs resolving here is if the examples that lead billions to conclude as being a result from psi are as obvious as concluding the wet ground as being a result from rain.

Now, how would we go about doing that?
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 20 Nov 2011, 14:29

Well, that wasn't quite my point - I was just saying they're both beliefs. Psi doesn't have to be as obvious as rain, I suspect it never will be. The only point we're actually debating here is the logical fallacy and I guess whether conclusions based on observations are beliefs. for the latter I would never had guessed someone would challenge that, but here we are.

As for how to work out what's going on, that's the goal of parapsychology!
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Jayhawker30 » 20 Nov 2011, 14:48

Mr. Weiler, I think you might be overstating Arouet's resistance to play ball. He doesn't sound that far gone to me.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby really? » 20 Nov 2011, 23:13

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 21 Nov 2011, 00:05

So what you're saying is that all accumulated knowledge is nothing but belief. It's an interesting philosophical argument, but a rather unusual one for a materialist to make.

Since it negates the value of learning and removes all points of reference, I'm gonna have to reject that line of thought.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 21 Nov 2011, 02:06

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 21 Nov 2011, 02:57

You have caught yourself in semantics by redefining the word "belief" to include experience. It opens up a can of worms that you cannot easily shut. You'll have to take a closer look at it to understand the implications. If you are not a philosopher you should probably stick to more conventional understandings of these terms.

When I refer to you as a materialist, all it means is that you ascribe to a mechanistic view of the universe in which does not require consciousness in order to exist. The universe is made up of stuff, including energy that follow certain laws and it all happens with or without any conscious intervention, whether by God or any other source. This is opposed to a dualist that does believe that consciousness is central to the existence of the universe as we know it.

That's the definition I'm familiar with. it does not require you to abandon modern science, merely reject consciousness as an explanation for any natural phenomena.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 21 Nov 2011, 03:27

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 21 Nov 2011, 04:18

A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby really? » 21 Nov 2011, 07:35

It is the natural condition of all humans to see the world, not as it is, but as they wish it to be.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 21 Nov 2011, 08:02

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 21 Nov 2011, 09:10

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.

Therefore, all experience is interpretation. They are inseparable.

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.
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