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A very nice article.


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#1 plindboe

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Posted 08 August 2004 - 11:18 PM

"Bridging the Chasm between Two Cultures":

http://www.csicop.or...05/new-age.html
"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)

#2 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 09 August 2004 - 08:19 AM

Good article, very good article.  Kind of hits it on the head doesn't it.  I'm a bit undecided if I agree with the concept of a mystery though, as Skeptics don't seem to let "just becuase" fly as a mystery.  Perhaps that's just not the context she was talking about though.  Scientists, although they love mysteries, love to solve mysteries.  I think afterall, I understand the context of "mystery" in this case.  But perhaps it doesn't fit as well context wise with those that are at least (although possibly feable at the time being) trying to find a solution that may seem supernatural to most, but in the end still adheres to the rules laid out before us.  Or, to possibly find a new rule that is confirmed by other rules.  

In the end, I think it's a good call for better communication between the two cultures.
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#3 plindboe

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Posted 09 August 2004 - 10:08 PM

Good article, very good article.  Kind of hits it on the head doesn't it.

Indeed it does. :P I think it would do many believers good to read an article such as this, and of course skeptics too.


I'm a bit undecided if I agree with the concept of a mystery though, as Skeptics don't seem to let "just becuase" fly as a mystery.  Perhaps that's just not the context she was talking about though.  Scientists, although they love mysteries, love to solve mysteries.  I think afterall, I understand the context of "mystery" in this case.  But perhaps it doesn't fit as well context wise with those that are at least (although possibly feable at the time being) trying to find a solution that may seem supernatural to most, but in the end still adheres to the rules laid out before us.  Or, to possibly find a new rule that is confirmed by other rules.


I thought the "mystery" point was great, and I have made a similar one on this board in the past. Believers always seem to have an explanation. If they rule out any mundane reasons for an anomaly->then it's paranormal. If it's a ghost believer they conclude it's a ghost, if it's an alien believer they conclude it's an alien craft, etc. Believers seem to make up their own explanations whenever there's something they can't explain by other means. The mystery with how the pyramids were built is another fine example of this. That's what difficult with being a skeptic, that we sometimes just have to say that we don't know.
"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)

#4 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 05:17 AM

I can agree with that, and at times, what we as a community do to try and find out what the "I don't know" is, we look rather silly.  In the eyes of many logical people, we'd be better off shrugging our shoulders, saying "I don't know" and wander off while forgetting the what just happened.  That's hard for some people!  
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#5 plindboe

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 06:54 AM

I can agree with that, and at times, what we as a community do to try and find out what the "I don't know" is, we look rather silly.  In the eyes of many logical people, we'd be better off shrugging our shoulders, saying "I don't know" and wander off while forgetting the what just happened.  That's hard for some people!


That wasn't my point at all. There's nothing wrong with looking for solutions. My point was when people make up their own conclusions, unsupported by evidence, simply because they want to know.
"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)

#6 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 07:00 AM

Ah well ok, see, that makes perfect sense!!!!
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#7 deadzone

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 07:44 AM

The label "New Age" is a vague, catch-all term applied to all manner of modern spiritual, paranormal and religious beliefs, and as much as I did enjoy the article, found it to be well written, and had valid points, she still doesn't explain certain aspects of the paranormal world. In order to be effective and "change" the belief system she would have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt these things have not happened to the masses that believe they have.  Once again, a gentle, reminder, for every article written against the paranormal, there are 1000's of others that concede that the paranormal, supernatural exist...Even some skeptics have went from their beliefs to a more open frame of mind...:P...
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#8 plindboe

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 12:36 PM

The label "New Age" is a vague, catch-all term applied to all manner of modern spiritual, paranormal and religious beliefs, and as much as I did enjoy the article, found it to be well written, and had valid points, she still doesn't explain certain aspects of the paranormal world. In order to be effective and "change" the belief system she would have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt these things have not happened to the masses that believe they have.

It seems you have misunderstood the intentions of the article. It was about pointing out the miscommunication between the two cultures, not about proving supernatural beliefs wrong. She does indeed point out that the New Age beliefs are filled with untested assumptions and miseducation, but she doesn't claim that the beliefs in question are false, and that is not what the article is about.


Once again, a gentle, reminder, for every article written against the paranormal, there are 1000's of others that concede that the paranormal, supernatural exist...


This is known as the appeal to popularity fallacy. Quantity is completely unimportant. Quality is what matters.


Even some skeptics have went from their beliefs to a more open frame of mind...:P...


Yesss.... and?..... It seems you're missing the point.
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#9 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 12:42 PM

I knew my last post failed for some reason  :P
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#10 deadzone

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 04:05 PM

I never miss a point....:P..I am much to intellegent for that assumption....
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#11 Holly

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 05:14 PM

I feel that the author speaks in a submissive and apologetic tone...as though, if she's a good girl, the skeptic clan will allow her entry into their club.

She makes broad statements on behalf of "New Agers", and, really, who asked her to? If she wants to speak for herself, that's all well and good, and I respect that. But I would prefer to not be included within the blanket of her words.

I'd like to think that I have a healthy mix of belief and skepticism in me...and I know when each is appropriate.
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#12 deadzone

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 05:43 PM

:P....Very well said, Holly!!!!!!!....
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#13 MoonChild

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 07:22 PM

The problem with "new age" is that almost all of them are "running" away. I mean to say, these are a bunch of people who doesn't really understand what they have, nor have they understood what they want. It is a kind of confused escape from their world of chaos. a kind of escapism, and they "make-believe" things only to be disillusioned at a later stage.

What the "new agers" fail to realize is that there are no short cuts to spirituality. There are so many a things that were practiced in the eastern society and has helped the mind to attain control over mundane circumstances. When the western world started to accept it to their life, what they forgot was - there ain't no short cuts. And it is not a thing that need to be embraced when you are running away from things that you have lived for. As an example, we see lot of celebrities coming to the "new age" belief's these days, simply because they are frustrated with their own life and lifestyle. It is a meaningless existence for them. But when the mind becomes stable, or when the mind is relaxed, they have more control over themselves, and feels it is a "new age" wonder. Yoga is something that needs to be practiced with certain basic rules, and it is to be mastered over years. No wonder gateway it is :P and is the same case with all "new age" beliefs.

It is easy to find problems with one's own beliefs when we don't fully understand the beliefs. The problem is not Christianity, it is not Hindhuism, not Buddhism or Islam or Athiesm or Skepticism - the problem is our lack of understanding of the beliefs that we have - and the problem is also when we force these beliefs upon someone else without properly understanding the needs.
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#14 Holly

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 05:26 AM

Unfortunately, "New Age" is a term which now includes even those who have studied their beliefs for years. The term has always struck me as offensive. People who make a feeble attempt to jump on the bandwagon, as it were, are "New Agers". Those who live their lives according to their beliefs are not.

The author of this article seems to not be able to tell the difference, and so includes everyone under the term. That is why I feel drawn into her all-encompassing phrases, however much I dislike it.
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#15 bizkithill

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Posted 18 August 2004 - 01:43 PM

Yes this article struck me funny as well. I am a skeptic, I read that publication each month, but she just didnt sit well with me for some reason, its hard to put my finger on it....




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