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Hypnotized by skepticism


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#1 MoonChild

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 07:17 PM

Read Complete/Original Article here


When hypnosis was first introduced to the European public more than a century ago, it was widely denounced by skeptics as a mere stage trick. Even when a hypnotized patient underwent surgery without anesthesia, showing no pain, the skeptics refused to believe anything more than a ruse was involved. The patient, they claimed, had obviously entered into an agreement with the surgeon to remain quiet through the operation!

I had assumed that such attitudes had long since faded. But while doing a little online research on Derren Brown, I came across some skeptical comments on hypnosis (which Brown is alleged to employ). The claim about Brown is that he practices "involuntary hypnosis" - hypnotizing his subjects without their knowledge or consent. I have no reason to think that involuntary hypnosis is possible. What surprised me, though, is that some skeptics still have their doubts about even conventional hypnosis.

Neuroscientists are only just beginning to understand how hypnosis can reduce sensations of pain. In November, researchers at the University of Iowa in Iowa City published a study that used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare the brain activity of hypnotised and non-hypnotised volunteers when they were exposed to painful heat. The fMRI images showed that brain activity in the two groups differed significantly. The response of their subcortical neural network, where pain signals start, was unaffected. However, there were remarkable differences in the higher parts of the pain network. Activity in the primary sensory cortex, the area responsible for feeling pain, was dampened down.

Once again, the skeptics are behind the curve. Trapped by a hopelessly rigid worldview, they simply cannot absorb new information - even when the "new" information in question is more than a century old. Meanwhile, the world moves on, leaving Robert Carroll and James Randi ever further behind.

-- excerpts from the original article by Michael Prescott :angry:
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#2 plindboe

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 03:59 PM

There's a wide range of hypnosis; from silly stage antics, to people being implanted with memories of alien abductions and sexual abuse, to Derren Brown's claims that he puts people into comatose through hypnotic means, to the more serious ongoing research. What skeptics genereally reject is the claim that hypnosis is some mystical paranormal phenonemon, but rather that we're in the area of psychology and suggestion.

Edited by plindboe, 03 June 2007 - 04:01 PM.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." (Bertrand Russell)

#3 evad_83647

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 07:54 PM

has anyone here been hypnotized?
Once I get there, there is somewhere else.Is it the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

#4 Kira

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 08:26 PM

Nope, but on a cruise to Mexico there was a hypnosis stage show and it was really funny. It looked like the people were randomly chosen; some could not be hypnotized and left the stage, others who were more open to suggestion seemed to be completely under control of the hypnotist. He had them thinking they were naked, they had to do things in sequence when he gave a directive. It was quite funny and interesting.

I don't think I can relax enough to be hypnotized.

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#5 SeekX

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 11:41 AM

Interesting , are you making a comparison here on the skeptics of hypnosis with all beliefs? for example UFO's and what is thought by the rigid worldviewist as unbelievable or unlikely , ect..

The thing about the terms skeptics and believers that I find odd is everyone is really both ; after all what is a believer but a skeptic of a skeptics disbelief in what they believe and what is a skeptic but a believer that the believers beliefs are for one reason or another in possible error.

Even within believers being few people believe 100 percent the way in which another believer believes indicates they must be skeptic of other believers beliefs .

Personally i welcome skeptics and i want lots and lots of them , of course i do not want the kind that are on the offensive but those who are sensitive to other people and can converse intelligently with good manners.

I think you made an excellent point that with time what was unbelievable has at times been proven to be true .


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#6 Oniix

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 01:29 PM

I get the sense though, that unless it is proven as a fact, there is no sense in believing it, from some numbers of particular types of skeptics.
We may have proven it wrong now... something from thousands of years ago, but I also get this vibe that today's science is complete, and that if it hasn't been proven yet, it won't be later on - In other words don't worry about it, spend time on more important things.

#7 SeekX

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 04:34 PM

I get the sense though, that unless it is proven as a fact, there is no sense in believing it, from some numbers of particular types of skeptics.
We may have proven it wrong now... something from thousands of years ago, but I also get this vibe that today's science is complete, and that if it hasn't been proven yet, it won't be later on - In other words don't worry about it, spend time on more important things.


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It would take a narrow mind indeed to believe science is complete even the last 20 years have indicated that it is not.


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#8 Oniix

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 07:56 AM

That's my sense on it at least.

Then there is always Occams Razor. I liken it to a chef that even with an expert hand cutting away the fat from a steak, still takes with it some of that choice meat in order to remove the fat. People that use the Razor understand it's not perfect, but it is used as the tool of the day none the less.

As long as it is placed in front of them by those they trust, it's fact.

#9 plindboe

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 06:29 PM

I get the sense though, that unless it is proven as a fact, there is no sense in believing it, from some numbers of particular types of skeptics.
We may have proven it wrong now... something from thousands of years ago, but I also get this vibe that today's science is complete, and that if it hasn't been proven yet, it won't be later on - In other words don't worry about it, spend time on more important things.


I get the sense that you have never actually tried to listen to what skeptics have to say.

PS.Stop using the word "prove" in this context. Proofs are for math and logic only. Science deals with evidence.
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." (Bertrand Russell)

#10 Oniix

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 07:27 PM

Your sense is awful really, I certainly have listened to your posts for the last three years or so.

I'll continue to use the word "prove". You sound like my son trying to play the semantics game.

Believer's evidence, hasn't proven a thing. Skeptics, haven't proven a thing. Science has found no evidence to support the claims of believers, so far. Skeptics don't think it will ever find the Proof (hey don't whine Peter, perhaps it is a mathmatical problem and solution).

PS.I'll make sure to send you my posts just in case it might offend you.

#11 Oniix

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 07:37 PM

Here, I'll officially call it "evidence" just so that I am not "railing against a strawman", hmm?

Although evidence isn't quite fitting either, is it?

Edited by LifeafterDeath, 28 June 2007 - 07:38 PM.


#12 Oniix

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 07:49 PM

I also realize that scientists do not speak in absolutes, Peter. I also want you to realize that even though I may have a belief, it should not indicate to you that it is final, or some sort of dogma. Quite the contrary. Mine are changable, and have changed on many things.

#13 Oniix

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 08:16 PM

I need to think before I post.

And let's just make sure here, I do fully understand that mathmatics cannot be used soley to "prove" science. If you think that's true, then you missed my joke.

#14 leonie

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 04:41 PM

I get the sense though, that unless it is proven as a fact, there is no sense in believing it, from some numbers of particular types of skeptics.
We may have proven it wrong now... something from thousands of years ago, but I also get this vibe that today's science is complete, and that if it hasn't been proven yet, it won't be later on - In other words don't worry about it, spend time on more important things.


I get the sense that you have never actually tried to listen to what skeptics have to say.

PS.Stop using the word "prove" in this context. Proofs are for math and logic only. Science deals with evidence.



Id just like to underline somthing that seemed inportant to what I am going to say here Plindboe. This is on a totally neutral scale I dont really know either you or LiifeafterDeath. And I dont know wether Im a skeptic of a believer to be honist with you. I believe in certain aspects but not others, I strive to learn more and come across happenings that may change my mind.

Right so back to underlining, sorry went off on a tangent then >>>> LfeafterDeath said "from some numbers of particular types of skeptics"

LifeafterDeath did not say that all skeptics were this way but that some skeptics were this way, i think you went slightly over the top in your reaction to it. And LifeafterDeath is correct some skeptics can be very narrow or one minded but not all of them

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#15 MoonChild

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 12:37 AM

LifeafterDeath did not say that all skeptics were this way but that some skeptics were this way, i think you went slightly over the top in your reaction to it. And LifeafterDeath is correct some skeptics can be very narrow or one minded but not all of them

Do you have any evidence or proof for that? Posted Image

Sorry couldn't resist!
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