Discussions about the James Randi Educational Foundation and its Million Dollar Challenge.
I've noticed this whole forum has been kind of slow lately, so I'm just throwing this out there, hoping to get some discussion going.
It seems to me that if someone had paranormal abilities, they would want the world to know. After all, if someone claims to be psychic and then can prove it, then all psychics would benefit as the possibility of that phenomenon will have been proven and more people would then use their services, thus profit greatly. Ditto with mediums, astrologers, and any other "gifted" individual.
Now, this may sound silly, but it's a serious question. With all the "distrust" of the JREF MDC, why don't believers in the paranormal collect their nickles and dimes together and offer their own challenge for someone to develop a protocol and test that would show to the satisfaction of others that there are paranormal abilities really out there?
I think I might know why, but am interested in other's thoughts.
I sometimes think about how the world would be like if people could do some paranormal ability.Gambling would not exist as anyone who could do these paranormal abilities would win far too often. If people could solve murders then police would run ads looking for such people. They would be paid major $ to solve such murders and other crimes. Prizes such as the MDC could easily be won or shown to be fake. There would also be organizations that sorted out the fakes and the real people. That is if there were any fakes.
Now suppose the paranormal ability does not exist or is so rare as to be undetectable? Well I cannot detect any difference between that place and how the world does exist. Those that try to fake paranormal ability need to make people distrust any challenges on offer, otherwise that would show that they are fakes and not the challenges. This would be true no matter who was running the challenge.
As for these people not needing to prove they have the ability to anyone else, well they can give huge benefits to society and themselves by using their ability and not hiding it. If a person claimed they could run a 3 minute mile but they said they had never been independently tested and refused all offers of such testing what sort of credibility would you give to that person's claim? If you were in the market for fast runners would you employ the person on the spot or would you want some evidence of his ability first?
Of course tomorrow we could all wake up and find lots of people, or even one person with paranormal ability, but I doubt it.
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