Jump to content


Click Here To Visit Our Sponsor


Photo

My (not so) skepticism


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 mastermind73

mastermind73

    Senior Villager

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 466 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kansas City, MO

Posted 15 November 2003 - 04:12 PM

Hello everyone!

I am pretty new here, so I figured I would post my point of view for all to read.  I know that's pretty vain of me, but if no one reads or responds to it I will not be offended.  I just want to have my opinion out there so that if I ever need to I can point someone here instead of spelling this all out for them again.

Ok here goes....
 
  I am a believer in both the scientific and paranormal world.  I'm not what a lot of people would call a "skeptic" about the paranormal, but I feel like a lot of times people get carried away.  This website is a good example.  Not that I am saying everyone here is completely off their rocker, but I think that there are certain people in this community that get off on trying to say that EVERY photo, EVERY video, and EVERY EVP posted here are actual evidence of the paranormal.

  When someone posts their media, there seems to be a number of people who just make the assumption that what they are seeing/hearing is completely authentic.  Too many times I have read descriptions of EVP's and then listened to them once and heard nothing like what I should be hearing according to whoever posted them.  But then, knowing what I am SUPPOSED to be hearing I listen to them over and over.  Eventually I start to hear what the poster says there is to hear.  This is nothing more than the power of suggestion.  Suggestion is a tried and true psychological tool.  Try this on your friends, it will work: In almost any photograph you can find some configuration of objects or a pattern on a rock/wood surface that looks like a face.  Find it, show the photo to your buddy, tell them that there is a face there, and eventually they will see the same face you saw.  Trust me, it works  :)  That is an example of suggestion, but it uses sight instead of hearing.

On the other side of the coin, now that I have you thinking I am a hard-core skeptic:

 I DO believe in spirits, spirit photography, EVP, and sensitives.  I just don't think that there are that many good examples around.  The concentration of good and believeable material on this website is VERY HIGH compared to others around the net.  There are often things posted here that leaves the skeptic in me speechless.  I don't need hard proof in the form of data and equasions to believe that the world is filled with the spirits of the past.  Science will never learn to explain the paranormal until it learns to think differently.  For now many scientists are operating under the assumption that spirits do not exist.  Once a good scientific mind lets in the possibility that they MAY or even DO exist, THEN you get the kind of data that I am interested in.

Ok, that's enough rambling for now.  In closing I would just like to say that I LOVE the site, and I think that the webmaster/moderators do a wonerful job of presenting a neutral environment (with a sightly ghostly slant).  It's just my kind of place.  Keep up the good work.

Peace,

Mastermind
"If dreams are like movies, Then memories are films about ghosts.You can never escape, you can only move south down the coast.""Don't you remember when we were young, and we wanted to set the world on fire?'Cause I still am, and I still do."

#2 Paul_G

Paul_G

    Senior Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 439 posts
  • Location:Newark, DE USA
  • Interests:Stuff

Posted 15 November 2003 - 05:56 PM

Ya, thats about how I feel. But I think people here who talk up every finding, even the doubtful ones, are mainly showing appreciation and respect for the contributors, which most believers don't get in mainstream society. The people on this site have a vast array of different beliefs when it comes to spirits, and I'm not going to say something is false unless I can prove it is false. Because I wasn't there. I mean. this is a community as well as a scientific discussion forum.

I'm one of the more skeptical believers, I think. About 85% of what you see and hear about spirits is crap, in my opinion, though others here will differ with me. But the other 15% is what keeps me motivated to go find my own stuff (which I'm not very successful at  :)). I believe like you that if you go into an investigation or study thinking you'll find nothing, with a mind that is a clean slate, any findings you do get will be tough to argue against.

#3 Brandon

Brandon

    Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 247 posts
  • Location:Pearisburg,VA,USA

Posted 15 November 2003 - 06:36 PM

 I also feel the same way, i believe some people do get carried away sometimes.  I always try to solve something scientifically first before i jump to any kind of conclusions about something.

#4 Bridget

Bridget

    Village Elder

  • New Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,013 posts
  • Location:Maryland, USA

Posted 16 November 2003 - 04:04 AM

Welcome to Ghost Village Mastermind! Everyone here will appreciate your varying opinions, and will be open to your analysis of images and evps!

Alot of people, including myself, post pics to get opinions on what may be causing an anomolie: is it dust? Bugs? reflection of unexplained? :)
If it looks like an orb, floats like an orb, it must be an orb!If you're reading this, you're too close!________________________________________________Posted Image

#5 Rockhauler2k1

Rockhauler2k1

    Village Elder

  • Deleted
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,217 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Maryland
  • Interests:The Force

Posted 16 November 2003 - 09:05 AM

[move][glow=red,2,300]Welcome to GV mastermind73[/glow][/move]

Very well stated.  ;D

Rockhauler2k1
Many of the truths that we cling to depend greatly upon our point of view.Posted Image

#6 Gregory

Gregory

    Senior Villager

  • New Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 316 posts
  • Location:Williamsport,PA,USA

Posted 16 November 2003 - 10:26 AM

Well said, and welcome to the board.
What Would Batman Do?

#7 JimTheBrit

JimTheBrit

    Junior Villager

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 17 November 2003 - 12:02 PM

Some sections snipped for brevity....

Hello everyone!

Hi mastermind73, welcome to the forum. Great avatar! I've got some time on my hands and I'm gonna use some of it comment on your post....

Ok here goes....
 
  I am a believer in both the scientific and paranormal world.  I'm not what a lot of people would call a "skeptic" about the paranormal, but I feel like a lot of times people get carried away.


You say you're not a skeptic about the paranormal. I think this is a great shame, as a healthy skeptical attitude can only do good for those who investigate ghosts, psychics, orbs, electronic voice phenomena and all matters supernatural. It helps you to tell the difference between the solid arguments from the flimsy, the good quality evidence from the poor and enables you to better tell what 'is likely to be the case'. Moreover, many of the skills you learn as you develop a skeptical attitude can be applied to other things you hear, read or see - politician's speeches, world news reports or newspaper editorials, for example.

I don't understand what you mean by being 'a believer in both the scientific and paranormal world'. Can you expand on this?

When someone posts their media, there seems to be a number of people who just make the assumption that what they are seeing/hearing is completely authentic.  Too many times I have read descriptions of EVP's and then listened to them once and heard nothing like what I should be hearing according to whoever posted them.  But then, knowing what I am SUPPOSED to be hearing I listen to them over and over.  Eventually I start to hear what the poster says there is to hear.  This is nothing more than the power of suggestion.  Suggestion is a tried and true psychological tool.  Try this on your friends, it will work: In almost any photograph you can find some configuration of objects or a pattern on a rock/wood surface that looks like a face.  Find it, show the photo to your buddy, tell them that there is a face there, and eventually they will see the same face you saw.  Trust me, it works  :)  That is an example of suggestion, but it uses sight instead of hearing.

On the other side of the coin, now that I have you thinking I am a hard-core skeptic:


I think your comments on the power of suggestion are spot on, and knowledge of how suggestion, and other psychological quirks, can effect us all are invaluable in finding out how we, and the world around us, works. I don't label you as a hard-core skeptic for knowing about such things - I can only commend you for taking the time to develop a richer inquiring attitude.

The concentration of good and believeable material on this website is VERY HIGH compared to others around the net.  

Well, here we must disagree. Although I spend most of my time in the GV skeptics' area, when I have popped into the other forums, I haven't really seen anything that's anymore convincing than stuff posted elsewhere on the 'Net.

Science will never learn to explain the paranormal until it learns to think differently.  For now many scientists are operating under the assumption that spirits do not exist.  Once a good scientific mind lets in the possibility that they MAY or even DO exist, THEN you get the kind of data that I am interested in.

I think science serves us well - perhaps we homosapiens have let ourselves down by using the knowledge gained through science to develop, or use, technologies in less-than-noble ways sometimes. Science is a rigourous and revealing method of investigation (when applied properly) and its fruits surround us and are an integral part of our lives (to the extent that our lives are prolongued by its discoveries). I wish that the ghost-hunting groups (and others searching for supernatural goings on) would apply its procedures more to their studies, rather than seeing it as an opposing force.

Yes, I'd wager that most scientists do operate under the assumption that spirits don't exist and I think this a fair and reasonable attitude. Until they are presented with convincing evidence of the existence of such, I'd expect their attitude to remain so. The alternative would be to assume that spirits exist, until it was proven they don't. Replace the word 'spirits' with 'purple people eaters' and you may see the problem. I'd say that most scientists also accept the possibility that spirits may exist.  Assuming they do and accepting the possibility they do are not the same thing. I can accept the possibility that the moon is made of green cheese, yet I do not assume it to be.

k, I've run out steam. Once again, welcome.

Jim.

Edited 'cos I didn't like the way I'd written some stuff when I reread it today. Changes in italics.

#8 MoonChild

MoonChild

    Undead giant that feasts on hotdogs!

  • Town Council
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 50,386 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Universe
  • Interests:Life

Posted 18 November 2003 - 05:55 AM

I can accept the possibilty that the moon is made of green cheese, yet I do not assume it to be.


>:( hey! I am not made of green cheese! am flesh and blood! :o :) :D :D :D :D :D :D :D lmao lmao


WELOME ABOARD MASTERMIND!


hey! I will get back in here - soon ;)
Posted Image

#9 mastermind73

mastermind73

    Senior Villager

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 466 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kansas City, MO

Posted 18 November 2003 - 12:50 PM

Hey everyone.  Thanks for all the replies Paul_G, Brandon, Bridget, Rockhauler, and Gregory.

Thanks to Jim, too.  Unfortunately I lack the time right now to respond to your post point-by-point.  Thanks for spending the time to write all that, though.  I will try to respond later tonite or tomorrow.

Thanks again to all!

Oh, and BTW Moon, are you SURE you're not made of green cheese?  'cause I'm hungry.  ;D
"If dreams are like movies, Then memories are films about ghosts.You can never escape, you can only move south down the coast.""Don't you remember when we were young, and we wanted to set the world on fire?'Cause I still am, and I still do."

#10 Bridget

Bridget

    Village Elder

  • New Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,013 posts
  • Location:Maryland, USA

Posted 18 November 2003 - 01:57 PM

Hey Mastermind, glad you are here! And don't listen to MoonChild, he is no longer of the flesh and blood. He has been reincarnated so many times, he is surely cheeeeese by now!

You can ask him about it!
If it looks like an orb, floats like an orb, it must be an orb!If you're reading this, you're too close!________________________________________________Posted Image

#11 stevenedel

stevenedel

    Junior Villager

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 135 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Netherlands

Posted 19 November 2003 - 12:20 AM

Very well put, Jim! Good to have you around!
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. (Carl Sagan)

#12 MoonChild

MoonChild

    Undead giant that feasts on hotdogs!

  • Town Council
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 50,386 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Universe
  • Interests:Life

Posted 21 November 2003 - 03:06 AM

Oh, and BTW Moon, are you SURE you're not made of green cheese?  'cause I'm hungry.  ;D

:o ;D

And don't listen to MoonChild, he is no longer of the flesh and blood. He has been reincarnated so many times, he is surely cheeeeese by now!

You can ask him about it!


:-X :-X




:)




Buddy Jim, but what is the other side of the coin? When a scientist says that ghosts and spirits doesn't exist, then why should he go on proving something in this regards? And does the word "may exist" serve any meaning? I know it is kinda harsh to say THEY EXIST. But it is also harsh to say THEY DON'T. I have had my own encounters, and in the further investigation - out of curiosity - I have found that all but one were paranormal encounters. But hey, I still HAVE ONE para normal encounter to my credit. I am not yet a ghost hunter. My interests are more onto the mind and it's dimensions and planes. Certain thigns becomes evident if we only learn to "see" and "listen". These may be pro or con for spirits and para normal phenomenon.

What is science today is only those that weren't in the yester years!
Posted Image

#13 mastermind73

mastermind73

    Senior Villager

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 466 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kansas City, MO

Posted 21 November 2003 - 03:42 PM

Very well said, Moon.  

I consider myself to be a scientist since I am human and I think that all humans are scientists by nature.  As a scientist I refuse to say that spirits DO exist due to lack of proof.  However, I also refuse to say that they DO NOT exist for the same reason.  I prefer to think that they MAY exist, and base my studies/experiments on that.

While a hard scientific approach to things has served me very well, I find very often that my personal feelings and spirituality get in the way of this type of thinking.  In REAL SCIENCE, rule #1 is that when you are trying to prove a theory you should check your personal feelings at the door.  This works well in most sciences where there is a large amount of pre-existing data to back up your findings.  

My point is, that in science presumably you know WHAT you are studying.  This is,  I think, where people get divided over the issue of the  paranormal.  One side says it's nothing but natural phenomena and over-active imaginations.  The other side says no, it's ghosts and spirits.  One side says "we don't need data, we KNOW that it is just nature"  the other side says "we don't need data, we just KNOW that spirits exist".  Neither one of these views are very scientific.  

What we really need if we ever want to know the truth is people to stand in the middle and study without assumptions.  It's okay if their beliefs are different, because in science, the scientists' personal beliefs don't matter. This probably won't happen in my lifetime unless the ghost of Abraham Lincoln materializes at Dubya's next news conference and explains it all to us, but it's nice to dream.

Keep an open mind, people. Question everything ?!?, and when you do, come at it from all different angles.

Peace

Mastermind.
"If dreams are like movies, Then memories are films about ghosts.You can never escape, you can only move south down the coast.""Don't you remember when we were young, and we wanted to set the world on fire?'Cause I still am, and I still do."




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users