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#16 plindboe

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Posted 02 November 2003 - 11:03 AM

I do have to comment on the comment about skeptics debunking everything....it seems that the skeptics here say no way, that isn't what it means at all.  I don't think that it means that either but there are a lot of skeptics out there that are so closed minded that no level of proof will ever convince them.  They will call the paranormal anything but what it is.

This is what the Merriam-Webster dictionary says about skeptisism:

1 : an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object
2 a : the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain b : the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics
3 : doubt concerning basic religious principles (as immortality, providence, and revelation)

Read 2a again. A true skeptic is not closeminded and doesn't say he hold the absolute Truth. If someone is 100% closeminded they are not skeptics, even though they might call themselves that. You shouldn't refer to them as skeptics either, since they are not.

btw, do you ever consider the possibility that the paranormal is not real? If not, then you are not a skeptic either.


I think that you have to be skeptical to a certain degree and not believe in every pic as you see it because there are pics that aren't paranormal at all, but I also think that when you see one with no explanation you also have to be able to say that it could be paranormal for sure. ;D


I agree. One have to keep an open mind, since we all have to realize that the human understanding of things are far from perfect. But personally I haven't encountered such skeptics alot. But on the other hand there a ghost believers that when they see certain pictures they say that there can't possibly be any explanation other than the paranormal. These people are close minded as well, just to the mundane explanations. The trick is not to take any final conclusions, but instead just to try to reach  possible explanations.

Peter ;)
"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)

#17 stevenedel

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Posted 02 November 2003 - 11:39 AM

The trick is not to take any final conclusions, but instead just to try to reach  possible explanations.

True, but I donīt think that is the whole story. What I notice often in discussions on this board is an īanything goesī attitude: "my paranormal explanation is equally valid as your mundane one, itīs just a matter of opinion." But conflicting explanations can be compared and weighed against each other. You can assign probabilities to them. Criteria from logical philosophy, like parsimony (donīt use lots of complex or mysterious assumptions to explain something if you can explain it just as well with less and/or simpler assumptions), empirical evidence, or logical consistentency can all help to decide which of several explanations is most likely to be the more accurate one. All explanations remain valid possibilities, but they are not equally likely.

Another thing: if something is hard to explain, that doesnīt make it paranormal! It just means we donīt understand it (yet, in many cases). For ages lightning has been regarded as an act of the Gods; now we know it is a completely natural phenomenon resulting from processes in physical reality. If you donīt understand something, donīt jump to conclusions. Just have some patience and exercise your tolerance for uncertainty!
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. (Carl Sagan)

#18 plindboe

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Posted 02 November 2003 - 02:00 PM

stevenedel,

I agree completely. Even though one shouldn't take any final conclusions, there are still explanations that are far more likely than others. As you, I often get the feeling that, on this board, a paranormal explanation is considered just as possibly as a mundane explanation. People here seem to view ghosts as everyday occurances that happens everywhere, and therefore they consider their explanations nothing out of the ordinary.

Also, like you, I have noticed when people have difficulties explaining something, they therefore conclude it must be paranormal. People need to realize how terrible the human mind is at taking the most rational conclusions. This is especially apparent in magic acts, where even though people can't grasp what the explanation can possibly be, there always is a very mundane and simple explanation.

Peter ;)
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#19 MoonChild

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Posted 02 November 2003 - 10:45 PM

Another thing: if something is hard to explain, that doesnīt make it paranormal! It just means we donīt understand it (yet, in many cases). For ages lightning has been regarded as an act of the Gods; now we know it is a completely natural phenomenon resulting from processes in physical reality. If you donīt understand something, donīt jump to conclusions. Just have some patience and exercise your tolerance for uncertainty!


Very True. But what exactly does PARA NORMAL means? And what is Normal and what is not? Lightning as such is electricity but the thin line between explanation and unexplained is WHY it happens at a particular time at a partilucar place and why it hit one person dead and the other not? This is where it is considered the act of Gods - fate ;)

But as you told stevendel, I too doesn't appreciate people JUMPING into pre-mature conclusions.
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#20 stevenedel

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Posted 03 November 2003 - 03:33 AM

the thin line between explanation and unexplained is WHY it happes at a particular time and place and why it hit one person dead and the other not? This is where it is considered the act of Gods - fate

That seems to be exactly the dividing line between facts and beliefs. In my (agnostic, skeptical) worldview I would say that, certain meteorological prerequisites apart, the exact place and time of a bolt of lightning are random, inherently unpredictable, as much of reality is (chaos theory tells us).
There is no meaning inherent in such occurences, and being hit by lightning is, objectively speaking, a coincidence. Subjectively, I would call it pretty bad luck...
It seems to me that beliefs of any kind, be it in God, ghosts, President Bush, or all of them, are usually motivated by a refusal to consider the possibility that  many things, even dramatic incidents like death, have no inherent meaning; a notion even harder to swallow given that so much of reality is chaotic in nature and therefore  uncontrollable and unpredictable.
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. (Carl Sagan)

#21 Rockhauler2k1

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Posted 03 November 2003 - 12:06 PM

I talked a little about this subject in my most recent post ( The Unexplained )

There is though , based on my research , a point where you have used as much methodical and logical thinking and deduction as possible only to find you still lack answers to your questions. Does this label the phenomenon paranormal? Nope . It only means there is more work to do in finding answers . There are cases however , experienced first hand only that can indeed be counted as paranormal simply due to their nature. While the hand may be quicker than the eye in some cases , there are also cases that absoulty defy logical explaination . I have seen things first hand that just cant be explained away using any form of scientific discovery or theory . I simply experienced it . All things can not be explained by science. If I would have told the worlds best scientists 200 years ago that I am typing my experiences on a two dimensional screen for all the world to read , I would have been burned at the stake as a raving idiot. Science is constantly changing and growing . Thats its very nature ( discovery through research ) . To say logic can explain everything is simply short sighted nonsense. Additionaly , to claim that everything that goes bump in the night is paranormal is equal nonsense. There is a fine balance that must be achieved in searching for the unknown .


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#22 plindboe

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Posted 03 November 2003 - 03:02 PM

Hi Rock. ;)

There is though , based on my research , a point where you have used as much methodical and logical thinking and deduction as possible only to find you still lack answers to your questions. Does this label the phenomenon paranormal? Nope. It only means there is more work to do in finding answers.

Indeed.


There are cases however , experienced first hand only that can indeed be counted as paranormal simply due to their nature. While the hand may be quicker than the eye in some cases, there are also cases that absoulty defy logical explaination. I have seen things first hand that just cant be explained away using any form of scientific discovery or theory. I simply experienced it.


Interesting. Tell me more of your experiences.


All things can not be explained by science. If I would have told the worlds best scientists 200 years ago that I am typing my experiences on a two dimensional screen for all the world to read , I would have been burned at the stake as a raving idiot.

Indeed. Also you wouldn't have that computer today if it weren't for science.


To say logic can explain everything is simply short sighted nonsense.


So far we have been able to explain the world around us by study and logic. How can you possibly know that this won't continue? People in the middle ages would never have thought that mankind would ever truly understand rainbows and lightning either. What makes you different from them?

Peter :D
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#23 stevenedel

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 03:57 AM

There are cases however , experienced first hand only that can indeed be counted as paranormal simply due to their nature

I simply experienced it


I don't see how personal experience makes a thing paranormal. We all experience lots of things all the time. I occasionally have migraine, and just before it comes on see a glittering aura. Yet I don't assume for a second that this thing, that I see clearly, is outside me or exists for other people too. The same goes for, say, emotions elicited by music: they are not properties of the music, but of the person listening. And obviously, to insert a probably less popular example, the very same thing goes for all manner of delusions and hallucinations experienced by psychotics. Lots of them hear voices, or see things, but these are a product of their own mind, and do not exits in reality (which is proved by the fact that adequate medication will stop the symptoms).
So if we know of so many instances of very real, sometimes intense and meaningful experiences, that we recognize as belonging to the individual rather than being part of reality outside him, why would your "paranormal" experiences be any different? Your claim seems contradictory in this respect: you stress the experience of encountering the paranormal as something completely personal, and yet at the same time you seem to claim it DOES exist as a reality outside you - you even photograph it!

Don't be disdainful of logic. You survive on it every day, I assure you. I for one am deeply convinced that if more people would order their thinking in a more logical way and would adopt a more skeptical attitude in life, the world would be a much better, safer and saner place! It would do away with silly superstitions, intolerance and religious fanaticism or sheer idiocy (just look at the present discussion in the Anglican Church, I mean, can you believe that!!!?? - these people are sick!). Every system based on absolute thruths is dangerous; skepticism, the habit of always asking question, guided by logic, is the best remedy against it.
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. (Carl Sagan)

#24 MoonChild

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 07:47 AM

Don't be disdainful of logic. You survive on it every day, I assure you. I for one am deeply convinced that if more people would order their thinking in a more logical way and would adopt a more skeptical attitude in life, the world would be a much better, safer and saner place! It would do away with silly superstitions, intolerance and religious fanaticism or sheer idiocy (just look at the present discussion in the Anglican Church, I mean, can you believe that!!!?? - these people are sick!). Every system based on absolute thruths is dangerous; skepticism, the habit of always asking question, guided by logic, is the best remedy against it.


Logic doesn't take human race forward! If people had relied on logic, we wouldn't have had the WHEEL nor the AIRPLANES!

It is always good to be creative, and innovative. and yes, I appreciate of asking questions, but what questions? Are they answerable questions? or just questions?

By personal belief is that as long as I need to end a statement with a question, I have learned nothing. That means I look for options and otherways - but as I have always told - to support what I need to find!
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#25 MoonChild

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 07:50 AM

All things can not be explained by science. If I would have told the worlds best scientists 200 years ago that I am typing my experiences on a two dimensional screen for all the world to read , I would have been burned at the stake as a raving idiot. Science is constantly changing and growing . Thats its very nature ( discovery through research ) . To say logic can explain everything is simply short sighted nonsense. Additionaly , to claim that everything that goes bump in the night is paranormal is equal nonsense. There is a fine balance that must be achieved in searching for the unknown .


Rockhauler2k1


Right said about Logic RockHauler! Logic simply doesn;t help if not applied in a creative way! And what is science today was fiction in the yester days!
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#26 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 08:07 AM

You can't deny that it takes logical thought to investigate something that makes no sense as to how it happened.  I hold two trains of thought as I either experience something or hear someone explain something that they experienced.  I think there might be a logically explainable reason, and that if I can't explain it, I hold the "possibility" that it was "unexplainable" (read- without logical means) That I have to research the other avenue, but that also entails explaining the other avenue through logical means! argh! a circle of doom!  hence, i am still posting on boards about what makes all this paranormal and ghost stuff tick?.

As I have read, personally experienced (at a lower extent), seen, watched, felt, and so on, I have formed an evolving conclusion that there is something to all this ghost and paranormal stuff.  I say evolving becuase I am constantly trying to validate the conclusion using rational thought and the tools we have around us.  

I go about the whole topic with two frames of mind.  The Logical scientific frame of mind and the Spiritual/psychological frame of mind.  I look at how such experiences can be constructed using the scientific methods and laws we as humans have placed on ourselves.  I also look at what creates the emotions, what the emotions themselves create in an unexplainable experience.

So you'll see me post thoughts and questions like those I normally post (most of which are completely lost now, oh well.. TKE! you have to repost some questions!!!).  You will also see me post about spiritualistic topices becuase it is part of my evolving conclusion.  It's an avenue that I am investigating, learning, practicing and playing with in order to come to a clearer conclusion on them as solutions.

Stevenedel, some great posts!

In a nutshell, here is my take-

"Ok, that sound/smell/sight/feeling was really strange, so, let's exhaust all possible rational explanations first."

I believe 90% or more of what is experienced or seen or photographed is explainable using rational, logical thought.

I also believe that the other 10% or less is not explainable using the laws that mankind has placed on itself through the scientific community, or even the religous community for that matter.
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#27 plindboe

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 08:20 AM

Logic doesn't take human race forward! If people had relied on logic, we wouldn't have had the WHEEL nor the AIRPLANES!


I honestly don't mean to be rude, but what you say here is nonsense. Logical and rational thinking is the heart of science. Without it there would be no science, and no wheel and airplanes. I really think you should do yourself a favor and look it up in a dictionary.

Peter ;)
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#28 MoonChild

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 08:28 AM

Fantastic Observations Akthra!

You can't deny that it takes logical thought to investigate something that makes no sense as to how it happened.

I go about the whole topic with two frames of mind.  The Logical scientific frame of mind and the Spiritual/psychological frame of mind.  I look at how such experiences can be constructed using the scientific methods and laws we as humans have placed on ourselves.  I also look at what creates the emotions, what the emotions themselves create in an unexplainable experience.

Stevenedel, some great posts!


Yup, stevenedel has made things very clear and crisp! Way to go steven!


But where I differ is still the logical part. I guess what RockHauler and I have mentioned is about the logic that comes before the idea is conceived. I mean, before the airplane was actually invented / discovered, what kind of logic would have suggested it was possible? I guess it was more of a DREAM and inner urge that made the Wright brothers to go ahead with the idea. Yes, logic applies, after the idea was conceived. To put it into practical in the material world. Otherwise, well, Logic doesn't work!
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#29 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 09:39 AM

Oh, and I completely agree there.  I think any scientist, any thinker that has put his dreams and "what if" statements to paper for logical evaluation has started out with the inspiration from some experienced event.  Just watching the birds fly could have given them the spark and made them say "I bet we can do that, wouldn't be great if we can do that?"  So they studied it, experimented with it, worked at it, BELIEVED in it.  Finding out how to make a machine fly was the logical steps in coming to an answer.  But the inspiration did not come from the steps themselves.  SCientits strive to learn more and make better, more concrete facts becuase they believe in their work.  That it is for a great good of man kind.

People that believe there are ghosts, should have that frame of mind.  I believe there is the possibility, now how can I logically go about solving the "how does it work?"

That's what science is all about.  How does it all work?  To thnik that logical science has uncovered everything is mocking all of those that have discovered something new in the past.  Are we done?  I hardly think so.  But it takes inspiration to spark the drive to work on it with logical focus.
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#30 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 09:48 AM

Even if this whole paranormal/ghost thing turns out to be psychological in nature, even on a group scale (6 people go into a house and see/experience the same slamming of doors, things falling of shelves, voices, shadows).  Then you know what?  It's been handled correctly if it's a reproducable effect that can be defined as a fact.  We know very little of how the human mind and brain works.  We are making strides however, and perhaps some day we may find the part that works with a particular set of circumstances and surroundings to activate the "ghost" portion of the brain.  

Or maybe, some day soon, scientists working on string theory, how energy travels, how it is created/changed, mathmatics, etc.  will discover where the electromagnetic energy that is in a human body goes after the physical, organic portion of the person dies.

OR!!!  Maybe we will never know- We'll be stuck with these interesting debates until the Earth explodes in a fiery ball of doom.

or something.
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