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Topic: Psychics on the Café
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 28, 2005 04:39AM)
Real" psychics seem to polarize people's opinions don't they?

They are either "kind people trying to help" or "devious con artists" out for a quick buck.

My view is that psychics are just people and as such can be good, bad, harmful, helpful or whatever. For every helpful psychic story, there is one of horrible greed and people left broken and distressed. And for every con artist there are friendly people who want to help others be happier.

And that's not even addressing whether these psychics are genuine or not.

One thing that does confuse me is the high number of people who identify themselves as having a genuine psychic ability and yet frequent an online forum that allows you to fake it.

Do you find that mentalist methods allow you greater clarity in your genuine abilities?

Are you worried about being branded a fraud if a client were to find out you could perform miracles through trickery?

How you do reconcile your illusions with your genuine beliefs?

I'm a genuinely interested in people's points of view and I promise that any posts I make will be non judgmental or rude towards your beliefs and attitudes.
Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Aug 28, 2005 05:12AM)
Over to you Jimtron !

Howard
Message: Posted by: tctahoe (Aug 28, 2005 06:44AM)
It could be…just might be possible that, like so very many other people, some psychics just enjoy magic as a hobby. Does this question apply to all? Should we question Doctors. andLawyers that enjoying doing magic?
Message: Posted by: David Numen (Aug 28, 2005 07:09AM)
Docc Hilford had a great comment in an online interview - along the lines of, if a person really could read minds and perceive thoughts, wouldn't magic be a reasonable hobby for them to be interested in?
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Aug 28, 2005 07:37AM)
If one has experienced the bizarre in one's life, and develops a 'bent' toward such, an interest in magic is not at all unusual.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Don McCleod (Aug 28, 2005 08:41AM)
There is magic and there is conjuring. One is delusional, can you figure out which?
Message: Posted by: Josho (Aug 28, 2005 08:49AM)
If a person had a REAL ability, I don't see why they would be interested in a forum where the main topic is how to FAKE having that ability.

--Josh
Message: Posted by: Simone (Aug 28, 2005 08:50AM)
My psychic ability is my intuition, now I'm not sure that is at all paranormal or if everyone has it and just doesn't use it.

I don't plan to use trickery while doing readings like make a ghost appear under a napkin as someone's dead mother or something as ridiculous. I don't plan to mix the two.

But outside of that, it would be fun to do things I personally can't do, like make a pen fall off the edge of a table using only the power of my mind. Naturally, if I could ACTUALLY do that, I wouldn't be wasting my time on here. Some of you guys have closed minds and are just impossible to deal with, or as some of you would say "skeptics" and "realists", though I would almost bet there was a firm believe in God for some of these same people.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 28, 2005 09:02AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-28 09:50, Simone wrote:
My psychic ability is my intuition, now I'm not sure that is at all paranormal or if everyone has it and just doesn't use it.

I don't plan to use trickery while doing readings like make a ghost appear under a napkin as someone's dead mother or something as ridiculous. I don't plan to mix the two.

But outside of that, it would be fun to do things I personally can't do, like make a pen fall off the edge of a table using only the power of my mind. Naturally, if I could ACTUALLY do that, I wouldn't be wasting my time on here.
[/quote]

Dear old mother glorpy. How I miss her and her small round plastic head!

:)

Would you do a telekinetic effect in your role as a psychic?

----------------------

I would think that lawyers and doctors different from psychics because this site doesn't help them to take the practice of the law or fake medical treatments. Whereas a mentalism and magic can (and often is) be used by unscrupulous people to fake a psychic ability.

This, of course, does not suggest that ALL psychics on this site are using mentalism to fake their abilities. Just as many art dealers take courses in faking art and computer programmers can learn how to create computer viruses.

That is the
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Aug 28, 2005 09:28AM)
[quote]If a person had a REAL ability, I don't see why they would be interested in a forum where the main topic is how to FAKE having that ability.
[/quote]
Oh, I dunno...I could imagine a real vampire that enjoyed Chris Lee 'Dracula' movies. ;)

Stop being so assumptive on what people might or might not be interested in; the human mindset is a flexible proposition.

Steve
Message: Posted by: David Numen (Aug 28, 2005 09:32AM)
OK, firstly...

The discussion of "faking" being a psychic is a very, very small part of this forum. Occasionally there is talk of readings but such threads disintegrate rapidly into skeptic vs believer.

I love Magic, I love Mentalism. I also love the Paranormal. I firmly believe in "something" although what that "something" is goes beyond my current understanding of the Universe. My belief that there is something more to being "psychic" other than trickery surely does not deny me the right to indulge in my favourite hobbies?
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Aug 28, 2005 09:34AM)
Quite right. We're on the same page, Bartlewizard.

Steve
Message: Posted by: 7th_Son (Aug 28, 2005 09:37AM)
Genuine psychic ability is not the same as God-like omniscient powers. There are very few sane psychics who claim to "know all".

At best, skilled psychics are able to catch a brief glimpse of someone's past, present or future...on a good day!

On a bad day, they can always fall back on magic, mentalism and cold reading.

In other words, magic, mentalism and cold reading is plan B. A bit like a pilot pressing the autopilot button now and again. That doesn't mean he can't fly a plane.
Message: Posted by: jimtron (Aug 28, 2005 11:34AM)
[quote]It could be…just might be possible that, like so very many other people, some psychics just enjoy magic as a hobby. Does this question apply to all? Should we question Doctors. andLawyers that enjoying doing magic?[/quote]

I agree.

[quote]There is magic and there is conjuring. One is delusional, can you figure out which?
[/quote]
What's the difference between magic and conjuring? I thought they were synonymous.

[quote]..."skeptics" and "realists", though I would almost bet there was a firm believe in God for some of these same people.
[/quote]
Being a skeptic and belief in god are not mutually exclusive. Science requires skepticism, yet many scientists believe in god (I forgot the numbers, but there was a poll taken and I think at least 40 or 50% of scientists said they believe in god).

[quote]On a bad day, they can always fall back on magic, mentalism and cold reading.

In other words, magic, mentalism and cold reading is plan B. A bit like a pilot pressing the autopilot button now and again. That doesn't mean he can't fly a plane.[/quote]
So someone going to a reader for advice might get cold reading and mentalism effects if the reader is having a bad day? Or please correct me if I misunderstood.
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Aug 28, 2005 01:48PM)
Science does not require skepticism.

Looking the word up:
1. a doctorine that certainty of knowledge can not be attained.
2. a doubting state of mind
3. unbelief in religion

Science is never advanced by doubting things. It is advanced by a belief in something which has not yet been explained. Man did not discover how to fly by doubting that flight was possible.

Psychic abilities will never be discovered by true skeptics as all they are looking for is ways to call such things, if and when they do happen, false. It may well be that psychic abilities do not follow scientific principles. That doesn't mean they don't exist.

Cheers,

Tom
Message: Posted by: Jerrine (Aug 28, 2005 02:53PM)
Something that doesn't follow scientific principles? I'm shocked! No wait, appalled! O.K. both.
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Aug 28, 2005 03:14PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-28 14:48, Tom Cutts wrote:
Science does not require skepticism.

Looking the word up:
1. a doctorine that certainty of knowledge can not be attained.
2. a doubting state of mind
3. unbelief in religion


[/quote]
(I do not claim to be a scientist, so please, if there are any scientists on the board, correct me if I'm wrong here)

I read another definition of skepticism, and it's this:

"A methodology based on an assumption of doubt with the aim of acquiring approximate or relative certainty."

In other words..."Show me the evidence." That's the view I hold, and I think it's the prevailing view among most scientists. Indeed, a principle is not considered scientific if it ISN'T falsifiable.

Here's one of my favorite definitions of science:

"Science is both a process of gaining knowledge, and the organized body of knowledge gained by this process. The scientific process is the systematic acquisition of new knowledge about a system. This systematic acquisition is generally the scientific method, and the system is generally nature. Science is also the scientific knowledge that has been systematically acquired by this scientific process."

So to say that science "has never advanced by doubting things" doesn't even make sense. What does that mean? Was science not advanced for [b]doubting[/b] Lamarck's theory of evolution in favor of Darwin's? Had Darwin not doubted Lamarck's ideas about heredity, we might not be where we are today in our understanding of evolution.

Also, what do you mean by "[Science] is advanced by a belief in something which has not yet been explained." Science is about coming up with a hypothesis and either proving or disproving it through experimentation. [b]Belief[/b] doesn't enter into it.

[quote]
Psychic abilities will never be discovered by true skeptics as all they are looking for is ways to call such things, if and when they do happen, false. It may well be that psychic abilities do not follow scientific principles. That doesn't mean they don't exist.[/quote]

I respectfully disagree. TRUE skeptics require evidence. However, one MUST look for ways to call something false before accepting it as true. Let's talk about something really extreme for a moment. If I float a playing card in front of you, will you assume that I'm using my mind or an IT reel? One would have to discount the possibility of an IT reel before even [i]entertaining[/i] the possibility that the card is being floated using mind power. It's the same for psychic abilities.

I will not argue that psychic powers do not exist. I simply assert that they have yet to be proven scientifically.

One can believe anything one wants, but that's not science...it's faith. I have no problem with that, as faith -- by its very nature -- can not be proven. But one shouldn't argue that psychic abilities have been proven scientifically. They have not, and to argue otherwise is wrong.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 28, 2005 05:51PM)
Most skeptics I've met hold with the "show me the evidence" school of thought, rather then "I don't believe in anything" approach.

Althought, if you look the word up in the thearuses its not pretty!

"Sagnostic, apostate, atheist, cynic, disbeliever, dissenter, doubter, doubting Thomas, freethinker, heathen, heretic, infidel, materialist, misanthrope, misbeliever, nihilist, pagan, pessimist, profaner, questioner, rationalist, scoffer, carper, caviler, detractor, sneerer, unbeliever"

[quote]

At best, skilled psychics are able to catch a brief glimpse of someone's past, present or future...on a good day! On a bad day, they can always fall back on magic, mentalism and cold reading.

[/quote]

How is that different from just guessing?

____________________

So far we have

-Those who use it as a "back up" for when their power fail them. (If you did this in a professional setting, wouldn't this be considered fraud?)

-Those who have a general interest in the paranormal which naturally leads them to magic. (A little like an art dealer who enjoys the history of fake art?)

-Those who have a interest in mentalism entirely seperate of their real powers and see no link like an accoutant who plays the guitar. (Aren't their similarities?)

[quote]

The discussion of "faking" being a psychic is a very, very small part of this forum.


[/quote]

-Couldn't 99% of mentalism we presented as an attempt to fake or represent what true paranormal abilities might be are?
Message: Posted by: J ack Galloway (Aug 28, 2005 06:54PM)
Jerrine,

I would really like to see you contribute to a thread.

I am sure most here would second my desire.

It is easy to make the ***-jesters comments from the side.
It is another to contribute.

Just my opinion.

What do you guys think of the crap this guy has been dropping in the forum?

If he were a dog I would rub his nose in it.

Jack

H.O.A_X
Message: Posted by: jimtron (Aug 28, 2005 07:19PM)
Tom said:
[quote]Science is never advanced by doubting things. It is advanced by a belief in something which has not yet been explained. Man did not discover how to fly by doubting that flight was possible. [/quote]

Scientific innovation does require an open mind and a vivid imagination, as well as skepticism. It did take ambition and imagination to create flying machines. But before getting into a contraption that could kill you, you need to question whether it realistically can get off the ground or not. And the Wright brothers probably doubted their naysayers.

It used to be widely believed that sick people were inhabited by evil spirits or demons. If no one doubted that, we would still be treating illness by trying to exorcise the evil spirits. A good scientist must question conventional wisdom; including the wisdom of her fellow scientists. I think many of the most important scientific discoveries involved doubting conventional wisdom. If no one doubted that the earth was flat, science's progress would have been greatly slowed.

If a drug company produces a new drug that is claimed to cure an illness, we should all be skeptical; after all, the drug company stands to make a lot of many from selling the drug (just like makers of homeopathy and other "alternative" remedies). A good drug trial uses double blind studies, where the volunteers as well as the doctors don't know who gets the placebo and who gets the real drug. That's the best way we know of to avoid bias. If the volunteers getting the drug do significantly better than those getting the placebo, it's likely that the drug is effective.

I think we should be quite skeptical of anyone offering healing or cures, especially if there is money involved. I also believe that we should all be open minded, and realize that there might be safe and effective cures that work differently from conventional western medicine. Whatever is safe and truly effective is good, in my view. But I don't want to waste my money on snake oil.
Message: Posted by: Graymatter_Fireworks (Aug 28, 2005 07:24PM)
One point might be that psychics could be interested in magical art forms similar to genuine psychic abilities, simply do to research.

There are people out there that stumble on to principles, such as cold reading, and begin to develop beliefs and faith on an array of matters due to ignorance and misunderstanding of such things. I would not doubt that some people who believe their skills and abilities to be genuine, regardless if they are or not, find them more of a burden than anything. This can be due to many reasons such a cultures, religions and other social pressures. There can be people honestly looking to understand their abilities and thus they might be contrasting and comparing what magic has to offer on the subject. Just looking at the conversations here on the café, not only are sources for the technical aspects discussed, but many opinions are stated. All of which can be quite helpful depending on the need.

Also there can be an entertainment factor in their interests. I am reminded of something Derren Brown said on his lecture video, and that is , mind-reading can be a very boring two step process. That’s not to say real psychic abilities won’t have an impact on someone, but a bit of theatrics can help impose many ideas and influences on people that a cut and dry response won’t. Many therapists and forms of therapy utilize this idea well.

For what its worth, those are just a few random thoughts on the subject.

-Brandon
Message: Posted by: John Nesbit (Aug 28, 2005 07:47PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-28 19:54, J ack Galloway wrote:
Jerrine,

I would really like to see you contribute to a thread.

I am sure most here would second my desire.

It is easy to make the ass-jesters comments from the side.
It is another to contribute.

Just my opinion.

What do you guys think of the crap this guy has been dropping in the forum?

If he were a dog I would rub his nose in it.

Jack

H.O.A_X

[/quote]

I was thinking the same thing about those "droppings", and that his arrogance seems most proportionate to his ignorance.


[quote]"I will not argue that psychic powers do not exist. I simply assert that they have yet to be proven scientifically." [/quote]

This assertation is held of course on the assumption that one has absolute certain access to the total sum knowledge of all scientific data ever researched and published on the topic at hand. Which in and of itself would be constantly expanding. I feel that psychic powers may have been proven many more times than the "status quo" would want to admit. But they have yet to be accepted on a conventional scale?

Even in the "scientific" world, there are probably no absolute conclusions. As to what exists or doesn't exist. Scientist are eternally debating with one another about the nature of existence and reality. According to some, we don't even exist ! To others all that exists, is consciousness. And as it also too often appears on this forum, the eternal battle for supreme authority of what is and what isn't. Or in other words the struggle to get the last word in. Even medicine is not an exact science, which is why it is still being called a "practice" ?
So as in the spirit of all other posts on the Café, this is my opinion !

[quote]
"So someone going to a reader for advice might get cold reading and mentalism effects if the reader is having a bad day? Or please correct me if I misunderstood."[/quote]

So "whom" do you want (or expect) to come forth and answer this ?
This may or may not be true. Depending on who, and/or what is involved in any given set of circumstances. It all comes down to a matter of perspective. What is your perspective ?

[quote]
"I think we should be quite skeptical of anyone offering healing or cures, especially if there is money involved. I also believe that we should all be open minded, and realize that there might be safe and effective cures that work differently from conventional western medicine. Whatever is safe and truly effective is good, in my view. But I don't want to waste my money on snake oil" [/quote}

Good answer ! My feelings to be exact.
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Aug 28, 2005 09:00PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-28 20:47, johnjnesbit wrote:
This assertation is held of course on the assumption that one has absolute certain access to the total sum knowledge of all scientific data ever researched and published on the topic at hand....I feel that psychic powers may have been proven many more times than the "status quo" would want to admit. But they have yet to be accepted on a conventional scale?[/quote]

If the topic at hand is the existence of psychic powers, then I feel that I've got a pretty good handle on it. I don't claim to know everything (I learn something new every day) about every study ever done, but I've done a great deal of reading on the subject, and I feel that I know what I'm talking about. And if psychic powers have ever been proven even once, I promise you that information would be at the top of anyone's list. It's not a matter of "wanting to admit" that it has been proven. It either has been proven or it hasn't. You've read my other postings and know that if I'm presented with evidence, I'm willing to change my mind. If you feel that psychic powers have been proven, then PLEASE direct me to SOMEWHERE that it's been published. Please! Change my mind! I am willing to be persuaded. I'll say it again. I am willing to be persuaded that psychic powers exist. Someone, anyone, please point me to the evidence!!!! Don't give me a cop out like "You wouldn't believe it if I told you." If there is evidence, I would really, truly, love to see it :)

[quote]
According to some, we don't even exist!
[/quote]
Can you point me towards someone who says this? (A scientist, not a philosophy major ;) )

[quote]Even medicine is not an exact science, which is why it is still being called a "practice" ?
[/quote]
No science would ever claim to be "exact." It's interesting that many fraudulent snake-oil types WILL make this claim, though.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 28, 2005 09:28PM)
Settle down kids!

Lets keep it friendly!
Message: Posted by: John Nesbit (Aug 28, 2005 09:46PM)
Oh, it's friendly ! Those are good points and counter arguments. It's always going to be that way. I'm sorry John if I am unable to cite all examples supporting of my previous statements. And my words were not directed at you. I enjoy all of your posts and agree with where you are comming from. I trust in the things you are talking about as being very intelligent. But one good reference source is Dean Radin's "The Conscious Universe".
I'm really not trying to engage in mortal scientific combat debate. :) And this IS a magic/mentalist website. There is no intention of trying to agitate anyone. I am skeptical of many things. I do believe in some things that just can't be explained scientifically at present. I (also)don't just take anyone's word for a substitute of the truth. And I try not to take life, and these kind of discussions very seriously.
I also do believe that science is the quest for knowledge, not the total sum of knowledge itself. I will always be trying to learn more of what is, as well. Being open to what is true.
As far as what is the consensus of whether we exist or not, science has long debated this under the pretext of "are we truly conscious" or are we just the result of random chemical reactions, which may be the real basis of what appears to be consciousness ?
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Aug 28, 2005 10:01PM)
I agree that it's friendly, and I certainly don't take it TOO seriously. Sometimes people look at spirited debate as hostile. It isn't.
Message: Posted by: jimtron (Aug 28, 2005 10:54PM)
Johnjnesbit said:

[quote]I feel that psychic powers may have been proven many more times than the "status quo" would want to admit. But they have yet to be accepted on a conventional scale? [/quote]

I think it's important to look at all the evidence, and not only the studies that support one's views. So if you know of any studies or tests or whatever that prove psychic powers, I'd love to hear about them; please let me know. Also, I'm curious about what you mean by "conventional scale."

-Jim
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 28, 2005 11:29PM)
"Scientific studies" usually refers to an empirical study based on the collection and measurement of data first hand which is then tested against a control sample or study. The Randi Challenge requires applicants to create this type of study and the Randi organisation becomes an observer. However, this type of science is not about 100% proof but is about finding the most likely result based on the carefully recorded evidence. However, there is a lot of bad evidence out there.

Psychics trying to 'prove' their abilities tend to use anecdotal evidence. This is evidence gathered "in the field" from case studies by people who have had direct experience. This does not have to include "a friend of a friend" type evidence but could be a strictly regulated collection of case studies. Much anthropology is based on this type of study. Homeopathy and Magnet therapy are also based on this type of evidence.

However, I'd suggest that to prove something it should try and use both types of evidence. Strict empirical science can be blinded by the many factors that control our lives whilst ancedotal evidence is open to placebo effects, true believers syndrome and lies!

I know of no empirical studies into psychic abilities that have produced a significant result. Does anyone else know of any?
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Aug 29, 2005 12:03AM)
[quote]one shouldn't argue that psychic abilities have been proven scientifically. [/quote] Who said they had?... until John had hinted at the possibility.

[quote]"A methodology based on an assumption of doubt with the aim of acquiring approximate or relative certainty." [/quote]
and where did you read this? What certainty are we talking about acquiring. I put forth that the goal of active skepticism as it is practiced in its most visible form, not the rhetoric, is about aquiring only a certainty of doubt. I believe there is a world of difference between "do you have evidence", and "prove it to me". The basis of practiced skepticism is "prove it to me"... to which you agree, John. That is a prejudice toward disbelief, not a neutral open mind.

[quote]That's the view I hold, and I think it's the prevailing view among most scientists.[/quote] Why do you think that? There are scientist out there who believe in string theory and believe it will prove there are alternate universes. They are working on the scientific evidence to prove their BELIEF.

[quote]
"Science is both a process of gaining knowledge, and the organized body of knowledge gained by this process. The scientific process is the systematic acquisition of new knowledge about a system. This systematic acquisition is generally the scientific method, and the system is generally nature. Science is also the scientific knowledge that has been systematically acquired by this scientific process." [/quote] I don't see the words skeptical or doubt anywhere in there. Why do you choose to interject them into the definition or method of science?
[quote]
So to say that science "has never advanced by doubting things" doesn't even make sense. [/quote]
Actually it makes perfect sense. To say advancement is made by doubting things makes no sense. If one doubts stuff one is left with only a void. That void is filled by the belief (unscientifically proved but believed in) in some other theory, idea, concept, etc. ONLY in the pursuit of that belief does one advance science. Science was not advanced by the doubting of Creation. Science was advanced by a man's belief in something called Evolution which he set out to prove on a scientific level.

If "belief" for you is only in that which is scientifically provable then we can stop the discussion right here. We have a symantic road block.

[quote]If I float a playing card in front of you, will you assume that I'm using my mind or an IT reel? [/quote]
Well, since it is you, and since you have denounced any belief in such powers of the mind, I will likely look for your trickery. Looking for IT is a magician's conditioned response. In the true mental process one would have to register that the card is floating in air before one can start to formulate methods that this might be only a simulation. Is this not correct? If you just saw a card hanging from a piece of tape, for instance, you wouldn't need to make any assumptions. It is like the concept of "don't think of a tiger". First you must think of a tiger before you can "not" think of it.

So, don't think of psychic phenomenon.

Cheers,

Tom
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Aug 29, 2005 12:32AM)
I think we're getting bogged down in semantics. Let's slow down and try to figure things out.

Here is my argument, put very simply. All I'm saying is that no psychic abilities have ever been proven scientifically. Whether or not they exist is, in my opinion, an open question. If any sort of psychic phenomenon were ever proven, I would welcome the evidence. It would also make WORLDWIDE HEADLINES...especially today, with the explosion of blogs and "citizen journalists." The old argument that "the Media" or "the Establishment" would try to supress the information simply doesn't hold water anymore. There are simply far too many ways for the information to get out. Plus, I work with several legitamate television reporters who would run over their grandmothers to get their hands on a story like that.

All this talk of defining the terms "skeptic" and "belief" and "science" is interesting, but I think it's taking us off on an unnecessary tangent.

Here's the bottom line, Tom. Can you point me to anyone who can prove that ANY sort of paranormal or psychic ability actually exists? I really, truly do have an open mind. I promise to look at any evidence with the same open mind.

-John
Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Aug 29, 2005 01:30AM)
Best reply yet John...but I'm afraid there are still those who will argue to the contrary.

Howard
Message: Posted by: David Numen (Aug 29, 2005 01:42AM)
Actually, for your information, there are plenty of books out there by people who claim to have proven paranormal abilities (Remote Viewing for example) for the American Military so, when you say there are too many ways for the information to leak (who are you kidding?) perhaps the info has already leaked.
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Aug 29, 2005 02:30AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-29 02:42, bartlewizard wrote:
Actually, for yoru information, there are plenty of books out there by people who claim to have proven paranormal abilities (Remote Viewing for example) for the American Military so, when you say there are too many ways for the information to leak (who are you kidding?) perhaps the info has already leaked.
[/quote]

You're talking about project Stargate? I have read about it extensively. I've read both Dr. Utts' and Dr. Hyman's evaluations of the program, and I tend to side with Dr. Hyman's point of view. Ultimately, the CIA decided that the program didn't work. Also no surprise that its two biggest proponents are Drs. Targ and Puthoff, the same guys who verified the genuine psychic abilities of one Uri Geller.

I'm going to sound like a broken record (or CD, or mp3...) but if Remote Viewing works, why not just snap up Randi's million? It's easy enough to test ("Tell me what's in this locked box and you win!")

So...why haven't any remote viewers applied for the challenge? For that matter, why are the Remote Viewers not finding missing people, or finding buried treasure?


[quote](who are you kidding?)[/quote]
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that. Can you clarify?
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 29, 2005 02:59AM)
Are there any psychics who also perform mentalism as a part of their work?
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Aug 29, 2005 05:39AM)
Actually, I think we are getting bogged down into the same old 'believer vs. skeptic' push-pull, which wasn't the original purpose of this thread; did anyone NOT predict that would happen?

Steve
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Aug 29, 2005 06:34AM)
My aplogies for steering the thread off topic. I throw myself at the mercy of the Café ;)
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 29, 2005 07:02AM)
Shame on you!
:)

Perhaps to turn the question over to skeptics as well "How do you react when people accuse you of having actual psychic powers when [b]you[/b] know you don't?"

I get that a lot (even when performing what was mentalists would call straight "magic") I usually drag out the old "Not at all. People don't realise how powerful their existing sense are. I use the five senses to create the illusion of sixth one."
Message: Posted by: ALEXANDRE (Aug 29, 2005 08:20AM)
I find that sometimes it just doesn't matter. This happened just the other day while recording my DVD. I performed for a lady walking her dog, read her mind, she insisted it couldn't have been a trick it was impossible amazing! I told her it was, she said it wasn't and left amazed at my mental powers. So I don't waste too much of my time on that. Most of the time I don't say anything and let people believe what they will.

Honestly, I think you guys make way too much out of this issue. Let people believe what they will. Look at what the 700 Club does, I don't see you concerned with that and in my opinion that may be even more dangerous than someone believing on a crystal ball or my amazing mind reading abilities....
Message: Posted by: jimtron (Aug 29, 2005 11:31AM)
[quote]Let people believe what they will.[/quote]
Of course people should be free to believe whatever they like. But I think people should have good information and make decisions for themselves based on the true facts. If someone wants to pay [url=http://skepdic.com/johnofgod.html]John of God[/url] to have their cancer "cured", they are free to believe the treatment will be effective. But I would hope they would have all of the facts (for example, that when John rams scissors into someone's nose--that's a carny stunt, not a sign of special powers) and make an informed decision.

I am not out to disprove psychics, I'm trying to discriminate between what's real and what's fake, and I'm trying to understand what psychic readers do. From the conversations I've had here with readers, it sounds like they don't necessarily predict the future, nor do they necessarily have special powers that others don't have ("we're all psychic"). Some descriptions of what psychic readers do (by readers, I think) sound a lot like psychotherapy (which is fine, but why call it "psychic," a term that is associated with the supernatural?).

So I'm still curious about what it is that is unique to psychic readers. And if psychic readers don't necessarily have paranormal powers, and don't claim to, I think perhaps we could clear up a misunderstanding between skeptics and psychics.

Also, if we're all "psychic," what does that mean exactly?
Message: Posted by: Logan Five (Aug 29, 2005 02:15PM)
If someone wants to believe in a John of God that's there business. Who's to say that what he is doing is "carney" in your words. Do you know that for sure? Who's to say that people haven't examined all the facts and came up with a decision that they feel is right for them. It's their faith..and they can do with it what they will.

I make no claims and my goal of the reading is to have that person walk away from the reading with a "positive outlook" and a "good feeling". I don't see the big crime in that. I take the view that a reading is an art form so to speak. Most readers are in my opinion bad readers. There are a handful out there that really know there stuff. Is some of it "psychotherapy"? I don't know. Is telling someone to trust their feelings "psychotherapy"? If it is then I am guilty of practicing psychothearapy.

As far predicting the future..I think the job of the reader is to provide information which will empower the sitter and offer him/her some choices in making a decision. A lot of this in done right at the begining of the reading during the question phase. I NEVER answer "Should" type of questions i.e What should I do? or Should I do this?. "What" type of questions are much better i.e What do I need to do about..? "What" type of questions are much easier to come up with different answers that the client and myself can air out.I never make a decision for the client. Nor, do I let the method I am using make a decision for the client.

I am not really sure what it means to be "psychic". There is something there..but I don't think that I can describe it. You have to do it to know. It just comes with experience. Reason and logic doesn't factor in it because it works on faith. Putting yourself into the role of a reader has a lot to do with it I think.

All the best,

Rick K
Message: Posted by: jimtron (Aug 29, 2005 02:33PM)
As I said above, I agree that people should have the freedom to believe whatever they want. Yes, it is an anatomical fact that a spike or pair of scissors can be jammed into a nostril in a way that looks impossible or injurious, but is actually harmless (IF you know what you're doing; obviously this is potentially extremely dangerous). You can see an illustration of the anatomical situation [url=http://www.randi.org/jr/021805a.html]here[/url] if you like. This is also known as "blockhead" I think and has been discussed here at the Café quite a bit.

As I've said here before, I believe that the vast majority of readers are well-intentioned. I don't see a big crime in what you described either. But, if most readers are "bad" as you say, then I guess I'm right to be skeptical, and people should be careful and cautious when going for a reading. I don't think there's anything wrong with psychotherapy, but I don't understand why a psychotherapist would call themselves a psychic reader.

I am all for empowering people. In my opinion, however, encouraging belief in fictional powers (I'm not saying psychic powers are fictional) is the antithesis of empowerment. To me, it's empowering to have knowledge and information and practical tools to get things done. There was another [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=115395&forum=15]thread[/url] here where some people said it was ok to deceive sitters (by faking psychic powers) as long as it was well-intentioned and for their own good. I disagree; I don't think that's empowering.

Maybe "spritual counseling" is more accurate than "psychic reader." I think that most people equate the term "psychic" with clairvoyance or other paranormal powers.

Thanks for your responses Rick.

-Jim
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 29, 2005 04:46PM)
Jim - Blockhead is [b]not[/b] harmless to do on [b]other[/b] people. It requires that you feel your way around through your face and requires an "easing" trial and error over many attempts before you can do this on yourself. Doing this on [b]other[/b] people with a [b]pair of scissors[/b], its dangerous. John of God is [b]dangerous[/b].
Message: Posted by: jimtron (Aug 29, 2005 04:51PM)
Agreed. That's why I said "IF you know what you're doing; obviously this is potentially extremely dangerous" in the above post.

I do think John of God is endangering people when he does this; my (muddled) point was that it's not a miracle or an example of supernatural powers when John of God jams scissors into someone's nose. Reckless and pointless; yes.
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Aug 29, 2005 07:03PM)
If the scissors are pointless they might be harmless.
Message: Posted by: jimtron (Aug 29, 2005 07:43PM)
Ahhh, that's a larf.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 29, 2005 09:56PM)
Hehehe.

Seriously though, [b]no one[/b] can safely jam [b]anything[/b] into anyone's nostrils regardless of how many times they have done it. It is the victim who needs the experience. Even when a doctor does it they use the prod and poke technique.

There is no [b]safe[/b] way to jam scissors in someone elses nose.
Message: Posted by: Thoughtreader (Aug 30, 2005 05:17PM)
Nicholas,

In answer to your question Yes, there are some psychics who also work on stage as psychic entertainers. However, the main point that seems to be missed is that a psychic reading is not and never shall be a form of entertainment. A psychic reading is about the person seeing the reader and is NOT about the reader. It is NOT there as a form of entertainment and does not require nor should it use a bunch of tricks to fool the sitter. It has nothing to do with billet switches, nor even cold reading and handing out generalities. A reading is about the connection, the bond that is established between sitter and reader and the exchange that takes place and the focus is all on the sitter, not the reader.

A psychic entertainer on the other hand is PERFORMING theatre and as such will embellish what they are doing on stage as it is theatre and so has to be larger than life. Exchanges such as the ones in here are for psychic entertainers, mentalists and magicians, NOT readers.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 30, 2005 10:16PM)
Paul - What about John Edwards? is that a psyhic reading for entertainment?
Message: Posted by: John Nesbit (Aug 30, 2005 11:05PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-30 18:17, Thoughtreader wrote:
Nicholas,

In answer to your question Yes, there are some psychics who also work on stage as psychic entertainers. However, the main point that seems to be missed is that a psychic reading is not and never shall be a form of entertainment. A psychic reading is about the person seeing the reader and is NOT about the reader. It is NOT there as a form of entertainment and does not require nor should it use a bunch of tricks to fool the sitter. It has nothing to do with billet switches, nor even cold reading and handing out generalities. A reading is about the connection, the bond that is established between sitter and reader and the exchange that takes place and the focus is all on the sitter, not the reader.

A psychic entertainer on the other hand is PERFORMING theatre and as such will embellish what they are doing on stage as it is theatre and so has to be larger than life. Exchanges such as the ones in here are for psychic entertainers, mentalists and magicians, NOT readers.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
[/quote]
So true ! I just wanted this to be posted twice. Thanks for the perspective Paul. Long overdue and much needed.
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Aug 30, 2005 11:09PM)
If "a psychic reading is not and never shall be a form of entertainment", why is it that most psychic hotlines and "over-the-web" readers advertise their services "For entertainment purposes only." ? Or is that just a standard disclaimer? Or am I confusing things?
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 31, 2005 12:35AM)
It is pretty entertaining to watch....
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Aug 31, 2005 03:02AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-30 23:16, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
Paul - What about John Edwards? is that a psyhic reading for entertainment?
[/quote]
Neither, John Edwards was more like a running for Vice President of The U.S.

Perhaps you mean John Edward... which leads to the classic line when one gets bad press, "At least they spelled my name right."

A very common mistake but if we are going to call someone into question, the least we can do is get their name right.

If you slow the credits of Crossing Over down you will see there the same disclaimer of "for entertainment purposes only". Translation of this line is "fake reading". I would think by now the ernest skeptics would be able to make a distinction between the spectacle type TV and 1-900 hot line performances and a real one on one, face to face reader. If not reread Paul's post.

Tom
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 31, 2005 03:25AM)
What, specifically, is the difference between a "real" face to face reading and a "fake" 1900 number/ TV show?

I've listened to and read the readings of over 50 different of psychics and whilst each has their own style and techniques (some using equipment, some channeling the dead, some channeling angels) they all use similar presentation of question and answer combining demonstrations to prove them abilities (I know these things about you) and advice/predictions (this will happen to you in the future.)

This is [b]not[/b] to suggest that because these private readers have factors in similar with "fake" readers that they must also be fake but surely it is not as simple as to say "a distinction between the spectacle type TV and 1-900 hot-line performances and a real one on one, face to face reader."

John Edward and many of his fans would claim he is real and focusing on the sitter?

Could someone tell me more about the bond that occurs in these private sessions that do not occur in 1900 numbers and television?
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Aug 31, 2005 10:48AM)
One is in person with all benefits and features made available by personal interaction and the intimacy of one on one same. The others are not. Not every face to face psychic will be good enough to interact with you. These are the things one must find out for themselves. Eventually you are going to need to get out there and do some field research. Not everything can be handed to you over the internet.

PS: I thought Angels were nice dead people. ;)

Cheers,

Tom
Message: Posted by: Josho (Aug 31, 2005 04:45PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-28 10:28, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
[quote]If a person had a REAL ability, I don't see why they would be interested in a forum where the main topic is how to FAKE having that ability.
[/quote]
Oh, I dunno...I could imagine a real vampire that enjoyed Chris Lee 'Dracula' movies. ;)

Stop being so assumptive on what people might or might not be interested in; the human mindset is a flexible proposition.

Steve
[/quote]

Steve,

I understand that the human mindset is a flexible proposition.

I suspect, though, that you've missed my point. But let's take your vampire example.

If I was a real vampire, with the ability to suck blood from innocent victims through my fangs and live forever, how likely would I be to invest my time and attention learning which fake fangs are the best, which fake blood looks most like real blood, and how to apply make-up so that it looks like I've got a deathly pallor?

Similarly, if I could read the contents of sealed envelopes with my fingers, what would compel me to spend time learning about the best way to gimmick envelopes so that I could appear to read their contents?

I grant you that there could certainly be circumstances under which I might want to know such information.

Magicians are who we are, to a great extent, because we enjoy PERFORMING magic. Certainly there are those who just enjoy watching or studying without performing, but, by and large, we're performers. A brief perusal of the majority of threads on the Café are about PERFORMING magic.

True psychics, if they exist, are people with a given talent. That given talent has nothing whatsoever to do with performing. If psychic ability is a gift, then there is no reason to presume that people who possess this gift are any more likely to want to be performers than are the rest of the population...the population that lists public speaking as its Number One fear and death as their Number Two fear.

Do you have any particular reason to believe that true psychics would have an innate desire to perform?

--Josh
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Aug 31, 2005 05:03PM)
[quote]Do you have any particular reason to believe that true psychics would have an innate desire to perform?
[/quote]
Do you have any particular reason to believe that some would not and, if so, would that constitute a universal 'truth' for [b]all[/b] psychics?

Steve


Posted: Aug 31, 2005 6:55pm
---------------------------------------------
Let me qualify further.
Your reasoning on why a real psychic would [b]not[/b] be interested in magic is based on pure logic (which I can respect), but people on the whole do not operate by pure logic.

Just because a man owns an apple orchard does not prevent him from liking oranges.

Let me offer a theoretical case study:

Assume a man has a psychic gift for precognitive 'flashes' and dreams. Let us say these 'insights' have no 'red flags' to differentiate them from normal dreams and daydream thoughts; confirmation only comes when the events transpire. As such, the gift is impractical.

Let us also say this man was raised on monster movies and comic books, and so has an affinity with the fantastic.

He becomes a magician...soon a mentalist. He does not call himself a psychic, though he knows himself to be one, because his gift is impractical for performance use.

He is fascinated with serious PSI studies, as well as clever deception methods.

Assuming he is a [b]real[/b] psychic, do the other elements of his life seem unlikely?

Steve
Message: Posted by: Simone (Aug 31, 2005 06:00PM)
Nick and John, you guys are so annoying. It's clear to me that you're not trying to "understand" anything, but using it as an excuse to complain, debunk, shoot down, incriminate, make fun of, and laugh at. Do you guys believe in [b]anything[/b] that is not totally proven by selective science? Do you believe in God? Did you believe in Santa when you were kids and just [b]hated[/b] having been [b]fooled[/b] all those years when you found out? Or are you this bitter [b]because[/b] you were never given a chance to believe? Life is not [b]black and white[/b]. I believe in my intution, do you? What does intuition mean to you?
Message: Posted by: Josho (Aug 31, 2005 07:03PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-31 18:03, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
[quote]Do you have any particular reason to believe that true psychics would have an innate desire to perform?
[/quote]
Do you have any particular reason to believe that some would not and, if so, would that constitute a universal 'truth' for [b]all[/b] psychics?
[/quote]

This is why I specified "innate." The point in my last post (which I apparently obfuscated) was this:

A. IF a minute percentage of the general public is interested in performing mentalism, AND:
B. IF a minute percentage of the general public has true psychic abilities, AND:
C. IF there is no correlation between true psychic ability and a desire to perform mentalism, THEN:
D. Only a minute percentage of true psychics would be interested in performing mentalism, AND:
E. Only a minute percentage of a minute percentage of the general population will be true psychics who are interested in performing mentalism.

One might argue that having true psychic abilities somehow automatically creates a desire to show these abilities off (or even PRETEND to show them off through the techniques of subterfuge that comprise the study of mentalism). However, I'd guess that it is just as likely to automatically create, instead, crippling depression, psychosis, and a sense of isolation.

I've never represented [b]anything[/b] I've said as a universal truth for all psychics; I have, though, expressed doubt that a person with a real talent is going to want to invest time learning how to fake that talent. If I can really make it snowstorm around me, I doubt I'd spend much time or effort learning how to do the same thing with the aid of an $800 electronic device that had to be hidden under my jacket and snaked up my sleeve. Unless, perhaps, I was engineering a sucker bet with a bunch of cocky magicians.

--Josh
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 31, 2005 08:27PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-31 19:00, Simone wrote:
Nick and John, you guys are so annoying. It's clear to me that you're not trying to "understand" anything, but using it as an excuse to complain, debunk, shoot down, incriminate, make fun of, and laugh at. Do you guys believe in [b]anything[/b] that is not totally proven by selective science? Do you believe in God? Did you believe in Santa when you were kids and just [b]hated[/b] having been [b]fooled[/b] all those years when you found out? Or are you this bitter [b]because[/b] you were never given a chance to believe? Life is not [b]black and white[/b]. I believe in my intution, do you? What does intuition mean to you?
[/quote]

I'm not going to dignify that with a response.

I am trying to have a discussion here with people who have a different view of the world, a view that I often find it very hard to understand and that I hope to better understand through questioning.
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Aug 31, 2005 08:30PM)
Fair enough, but on the other side of the coin: does the scenario I laid out seem unlikely, if one accepts the basic premise of the gift existing in that scenario?

Steve
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 31, 2005 08:33PM)
Steve - I think you hit the nail on the head with your eariler remarks about people with an experience of "the bizarre in one's life, and develops a 'bent' toward such, an interest in magic is not at all unusual." That would appear to me to be a direct corralation.

I believe I gave the example of an art dealer who has an interest in learning how to fake art. And I can also imagine that people would be suspect of an art dealer who was also a master forger regardless of whether he used those skills to sell fake art.
Message: Posted by: Simone (Aug 31, 2005 09:39PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-31 21:27, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-08-31 19:00, Simone wrote:
Nick and John, you guys are so annoying. It's clear to me that you're not trying to "understand" anything, but using it as an excuse to complain, debunk, shoot down, incriminate, make fun of, and laugh at. Do you guys believe in [b]anything[/b] that is not totally proven by selective science? Do you believe in God? Did you believe in Santa when you were kids and just [b]hated[/b] having been [b]fooled[/b] all those years when you found out? Or are you this bitter [b]because[/b] you were never given a chance to believe? Life is not [b]black and white[/b]. I believe in my intution, do you? What does intuition mean to you?
[/quote]

I'm not going to dignify that with a response.

I am trying to have a discussion here with people who have a different view of the world, a view that I often find it very hard to understand and that I hope to better understand through questioning.


[/quote]

Ok, let's have a discussion on your terms since you choose not to answer what I wrote. I'm just not going to let you get away with not answering me after all you've written on here. So let's go:

Do you guys believe in [b]anything[/b] that is not totally proven by selective science?

Do you believe in God?

Did you believe in Santa when you were kids and just [b]hated[/b] having been [b]fooled[/b] all those years when you found out? Or are you this bitter [b]because[/b] you were never given a chance to believe?

I believe in my intution, do you?

What does intuition mean to you?

I'm trying to have a discussion and to me it's important that you answer these questions so I know where you're coming from.
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Aug 31, 2005 09:42PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-31 19:00, Simone wrote:
Nick and John, you guys are so annoying. It's clear to me that you're not trying to "understand" anything, but using it as an excuse to complain, debunk, shoot down, incriminate, make fun of, and laugh at. Do you guys believe in [b]anything[/b] that is not totally proven by selective science? Do you believe in God? Did you believe in Santa when you were kids and just [b]hated[/b] having been [b]fooled[/b] all those years when you found out? Or are you this bitter [b]because[/b] you were never given a chance to believe? Life is not [b]black and white[/b]. I believe in my intution, do you? What does intuition mean to you?
[/quote]

I'm just trying to understand how other people think, and in the process I'm presenting my opinions. I think it is unfair to characterize it as "making fun of" and "laughing at". We are having a spirited debate between people with opposing worldviews, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I don't think I've said anything threatening, hateful, or bitter.

I'll answer your questions civilly, in the hopes that you understand where I'm coming from.

No, I don't "believe" in things that haven't been proven. I understand how some people don't see how this is possible, but that's the way it is.

No, I do not believe in God. Some of the people in my life who are closest to me are devout believers in God, and I think that organized religion has its place. I certainly derived my sense of morality from the basic teachings of the Catholic church in which I was raised. But overall, religion isn't for me.

I no longer believe in Santa, the same way that I no longer believe in God. I lost my belief in God the same way I lost my belief in Santa. Too many things just didn't add up.

I am not bitter, far from it. Anyone who truly knows me knows that I am a laid back, friendly, fun guy with a great outlook on life. (Look at my picture, I'm goofing around with a monkey for crying out loud! ;) ) I have my opinions, and as I said, some of the people I love more than anything are devout believers in paranormal things and religious things. I am not...but that's not a good reason for me to dislike someone. Indeed, to hold ill will towards someone because of what they believe is not a nice thing to do (unless we're talking about extreme racism, sexism, etc.) And I have these debates with people whom I care about.

As far as intuition goes, I think I have it, and I trust it. I consider my intuition to be the sum total of all the knowledge of the world that I've gained up to this point. If I go into a dark alley and see some hooded thugs at the other end, my intuition tells me that it's a bad situation. It's things like that that I consider intuition.


BTW, the great thing about electronic message boards is that there's a record of what's said. If you can point out to me anywhere that I've been disrespectful or hurtful to someone, please let me know and I'll apologize.

And I don't find you annoying, Simone...I'm sorry that you find me annoying, but I suppose there's nothing I can do about that. :)
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 31, 2005 09:56PM)
*Do you guys believe in [b]anything[/b] that is not totally proven by selective science?

Yes - I believe in many things which one can not live without having some degree of faith in. I am also happy to have those beliefs questioned and changed when difference evidence becomes known.

*Do you believe in God?

I don't know.

*Did you believe in Santa when you were kids and just [b]hated[/b] having been [b]fooled[/b] all those years when you found out?

Yes I believed as a small child. I don't remember finding out!

*Or are you this bitter [b]because[/b] you were never given a chance to believe?

Nope. I had plenty of chances to believe. I'm not a particularly bitter guy.

*I believe in my intution, do you?

Do I believe you have intution? Yes.

*What does intuition mean to you?

Intuition is trusting that my first instinct is correct and the sum of my experiences, knowledge and education will lead me to make a good decesion. If I can increase my knowledge, I can increase my intuition's success rate if I increase my knowledge base. I use my intuition all the time to make little decesions but when it comes to larger ones (relegion, money, love, philosophy) I am always careful to distrust my first instincts and to seek more evidence.
Message: Posted by: bevbevvybev (Sep 1, 2005 07:19AM)
One of the more interesting things about giving a reading is finding what 'type' a person is

As we all know, there are only so many types, even with Myers-Briggs there are only 16 temperaments

From this thread it is pretty simple to work out what type each person in this argument is, but why not let's all do it, to see what we're all like?

These conversation always reach a point where there are a few die-hards who simply won't budge from their position, and reminds me of meetings I've had in other careers where the last people arguing were the accountants and creatives. They simply couldn't see each other viewpoint as they were such different people.

Here's a link to the Myers-Briggs. If you haven't already done it, do it and let's see what you're all like! I think it will add a bit of understanding to this conversation. It's one thing to argue, and another to accept where someone is 'coming from'

Myers Briggs test:

http://similarminds.com/jung.html

This is me:

ENFP
"Journalist"
Uncanny sense of the motivations of others.
Life is an exciting drama.
8.1% of total population.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Sep 1, 2005 08:00AM)
Personality tests are a lot of fun so long as you take the results with a grain of salt! They can paint an accurate (or inaccurate) picture in very broad strokes but they shouldn't be taken to seriously. They're a bit like star signs in that if you choose to take them as gospel they split the population into a limited number of groups.

By they way, anyone who questions whether I am truly openminded on this thread or am just using this thread as an "excuse to complain, debunk, shoot down, incriminate, make fun of, and laugh at." will be interested to know that I am an "ENTP - "Inventor". Enthusiastic interest in everything and always sensitive to possibilities. Non-conformist and innovative. 3.2% of the total population."

That means I can be an entertainer, comedian or even a dictator!

PS - I also found a wikipedia entry on MB that offers some criticisms. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MBTI
Message: Posted by: 7th_Son (Sep 1, 2005 08:57AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-31 19:00, Simone wrote:
Nick and John, you guys are so annoying. It's clear to me that you're not trying to "understand" anything, but using it as an excuse to complain, debunk, shoot down, incriminate, make fun of, and laugh at. Do you guys believe in [b]anything[/b] that is not totally proven by selective science? Do you believe in God? Did you believe in Santa when you were kids and just [b]hated[/b] having been [b]fooled[/b] all those years when you found out? Or are you this bitter [b]because[/b] you were never given a chance to believe? Life is not [b]black and white[/b]. I believe in my intution, do you? What does intuition mean to you?
[/quote]

Simone, I think you may confusing the terms "Psychic" and "Intuition", or using them interchangebly.

They are *NOT* the same thing.

Intuition is based on intelligence, previous experience, and learned knowledge to arrive at certain conclusions. Eg, you may see a complete stranger. Something about the way they look, the way they stand, the way they talk, the things they say, etc, may all lead you to certain conclusions. These conclusions are probably correct.

I think Intuition is a combination of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Social Intelligence(SQ), plus a good understanding of people and life in general.

However, there is nothing "Paranormal" or "Extrasensory" about Intuition. It is a right-brain skill that can be learned.

Psychic involves gaining knowledge from a higher source that bypasses the five senses.
This knowledge cannot be something from your conscious or unconscious memory, or from an intellectual deduction. If it is, then it is based on previous experience. That's intuition.

Simone, I think you are highly intuitive, but I doubt you (or anyone else) is truely psychic.
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Sep 1, 2005 10:35AM)
I am:

ISTP - "Engineer". Values freedom of action and following interests and impulses. Independent, concise in speech, master of tools. 5.4% of total population.

I don't know about that one...I'm the furthest thing in the world from an "engineer" and I have not and never will be a "master of tools."
Message: Posted by: Kenn Capman (Sep 1, 2005 10:38AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-31 22:39, Simone wrote:

Ok, let's have a discussion on your terms since you choose not to answer what I wrote. I'm just not going to let you get away with not answering me after all you've written on here. So let's go:

Do you guys believe in [b]anything[/b] that is not totally proven by selective science?

Do you believe in God?

Did you believe in Santa when you were kids and just [b]hated[/b] having been [b]fooled[/b] all those years when you found out? Or are you this bitter [b]because[/b] you were never given a chance to believe?

I believe in my intution, do you?

What does intuition mean to you?

I'm trying to have a discussion and to me it's important that you answer these questions so I know where you're coming from.
[/quote]

I have just read this topic again from the beginning and have found it to be a spirited, and for the most part, well thought out debate.

With some notable exceptions.

Attempting to monopolize a topic to satisfy a personal agenda is, at best, in poor taste, and more likely, bad etiquette.
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Sep 1, 2005 11:42AM)
Been doing a lot of thinking these past few days. I posted above that I don't believe in things that aren't proven. I just realized how ridiculous of a statement that is. Not everything can be scientifically proven...granted. I believe that being filled with love and positive thinking is essential to living a full, happy life. No scientific test for that. There are some other things that fall into that category.

However, when it comes to the types of things we've been discussing in this thread, I still want to see proof. If one claims to be able to predict the future, levitate things, remote view, etc, I only ask one thing.

Just do what you say you can do. That's all. Do what you say you can do.

Why is that so hard for some to understand? Why, after all of this discussion, is no one able to point to a specific person who is ABLE to do the paranormal thing that they claim to do.

Intuition, BTW, is NOT paranormal. It's just taking your knowledge of the world and how people work, and applying it to the current situation. It's critical thinking, reasoning, and logic all rolled into one. It's about the most NORMAL thing in human nature.
Message: Posted by: Simone (Sep 1, 2005 01:16PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-01 11:38, Kenn Capman wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-08-31 22:39, Simone wrote:

Ok, let's have a discussion on your terms since you choose not to answer what I wrote. I'm just not going to let you get away with not answering me after all you've written on here. So let's go:

Do you guys believe in [b]anything[/b] that is not totally proven by selective science?

Do you believe in God?

Did you believe in Santa when you were kids and just [b]hated[/b] having been [b]fooled[/b] all those years when you found out? Or are you this bitter [b]because[/b] you were never given a chance to believe?

I believe in my intution, do you?

What does intuition mean to you?

I'm trying to have a discussion and to me it's important that you answer these questions so I know where you're coming from.
[/quote]

I have just read this topic again from the beginning and have found it to be a spirited, and for the most part, well thought out debate.

With some notable exceptions.

Attempting to monopolize a topic to satisfy a personal agenda is, at best, in poor taste, and more likely, bad etiquette.
[/quote]

You're not really talking about me are you? If you are, then please explain how I am trying to "monopolize" the topic to "satisfy" my "personal agenda"?

Did you really read everything? I invite you to read some of Nicholas Johnson's comments here:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=109271&forum=15&141

"Well-thought out debate?" Are you serious? You're one of them or wouldn't have written that. They have done, in this, and other posts, mad fun, disrespected, and suggested I was (and readers in general) a fake, con-artist, insensitive liar who doesn't care about people. Some of the suggestions these guys have made on the subject have been highly offensive to me. "Well thought-out debate"? I give up!!!
Message: Posted by: beyrevra (Sep 1, 2005 01:38PM)
Courage Simone, You are not alone , my snake and me are with you! :(
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Sep 1, 2005 02:06PM)
Simone,
Please point out, specifically, where I or anyone else personally insulted you or accused you of being a fraud. I don't remember directing any comments toward you at all until you called me annoying.

There is a record...please point out the posts that you found offensive...not the whole thread. Just one post will be fine. I will be HAPPY to apologize. Seriously!

What do you mean by "one of them?" Why do people like me threaten you so? I'm sorry, I'm just not a threatening guy :) I disagree with you, yes. But I make no judgements about you as a human being.

Thank you.
-John
Message: Posted by: Josho (Sep 1, 2005 03:01PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-31 21:30, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
Fair enough, but on the other side of the coin: does the scenario I laid out seem unlikely, if one accepts the basic premise of the gift existing in that scenario?

Steve
[/quote]

Steve,

I'd say that the scenario you laid out is perfectly plausible, though not "likely" in the sense that likely implies that the odds are in favor of events unfolding just as described. Given that such a small percentage of the population selects mentalism as a hobby or a profession, I still don't think it's likely...but it's certainly reasonable.

--Josh
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Sep 1, 2005 05:16PM)
Psy·chic (skk)
adj.

1. Of, relating to, affecting, or influenced by the human mind or psyche; mental.
2. Capable of extraordinary mental processes, such as extrasensory perception and mental telepathy.
3. Of or relating to such mental processes.

The last two definitions are clearly paranormal in nature but the first defitiniton could include simone's intuition . But I would think that "intuition" would be an easier to understand description then "psychic" for most people.

Simone - At which point were you called a "a fake, con-artist, insensitive liar"?
Message: Posted by: Simone (Sep 1, 2005 05:25PM)
I want to make a correction. I don't want to be unfair, or a real b * t c h.

I read everything again, including the "corporate fortune telling" thread (link above) and I discovered where I got frustrated. Tim Ellis made some suggestions that I found offensive, like implying that readers should consider the sitter's feelings (meaning me) as if I didn't, etc. Nicholas sort of came to his defense and at that point I started to get annoyed with him. But to be fair, his posts have not been as horrible as I've announced, much less for John. So even though I don't agree with you guys, I apologize for jumping to conclusions about your remarks. Honestly, I got confused with all the posts I've read recently and really started blending Tim's couple of uninformed comments with all the skeptic's comments and so on. So because of that, I'm going to step away from this particular conversation and let you guys talk it out. I don't want to bring in any more of my (however misdirected) annoyance to it.
Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Sep 1, 2005 05:30PM)
Simone..the longer you frequent the Café the more you will get used to these kind of debates...Enjoy !!

Howard
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Sep 1, 2005 05:32PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-01 18:25, Simone wrote:
I want to make a correction. I don't want to be unfair, or a real b * t c h.

I read everything again, including the "corporate fortune telling" thread (link above) and I discovered where I got frustrated. Tim Ellis made some suggestions that I found offensive, like implying that readers should consider the sitter's feelings (meaning me) as if I didn't, etc. Nicholas sort of came to his defense and at that point I started to get annoyed with him. But to be fair, his posts have not been as horrible as I've announced, much less for John. So even though I don't agree with you guys, I apologize for jumping to conclusions about your remarks. Honestly, I got confused with all the posts I've read recently and really started blending Tim's couple of uninformed comments with all the skeptic's comments and so on. So because of that, I'm going to step away from this particular conversation and let you guys talk it out. I don't want to bring in any more of my (however misdirected) annoyance to it. [/quote]

Thanks for clearing that up. I'm sure you're a very nice person, and it was big of you to admit you had erred. Thank you :)
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Sep 1, 2005 05:45PM)
>"Steve,

I'd say that the scenario you laid out is perfectly plausible, though not "likely" in the sense that likely implies that the odds are in favor of events unfolding just as described. Given that such a small percentage of the population selects mentalism as a hobby or a profession, I still don't think it's likely...but it's certainly reasonable.

--Josh"

Fair enough, John. :)

Steve
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Sep 1, 2005 05:57PM)
Reasons why a paranormal psychic might come to the Café as suggested on this thread.

1) [b]Chance[/b] - They just happen to like mentalism.
2) [b]The Geller Excuse[/b] - They want to be able to fake their abilities in case they have an off night
3) [b]Intellectual Connection[/b] - Their interest in the paranormal leads to an interest in magic.
4) [b]Fraud[/b] - They don't have any power and want techniques to be able to fake it.

All are believable reasons to me. Are there any I have missed?
Message: Posted by: RJE (Sep 1, 2005 07:45PM)
Great debate people. I have realy enjoyed the thread and thought I would join.

John, you and I share very similar points of view here. It is almost supernatural to read your printing of my thoughts.

My mind is also not closed to psychics being real. I just find it difficult to believe that they exist or that their claims are legitimate.

For instance, if a psychic can claim for personal gain (publicity, reward, or whatever) that they can or have helped the police solve a crime by using their pyschic abilities, then should we consider punishing that psychic according to the law when a crime is committed in their area and they did not a)prevent it, or b)give the name of the guilty party or find the missing person etc... Otherwise, one might (I emphasize might) say that by not helping out that the psychic is aiding and abetting.

For the sake of argument, if they have the power, should they not be using it for the good of all?

I enjoy a good mentalist performance. I think "psychics" can be wonderful entertainers. I believe we all have intuition. I don't believe in God, Santa or other divine beings, but I enjoy their history. I believe in differences of opinions and can respect that. I do not wish bad or evil things to happen to others. I wish everyone could get along. But mostly, I hope I have not offended others by my beliefs.

Just wanted to chime in.

All the best,

Rob
Message: Posted by: JohnLamberti (Sep 2, 2005 12:44AM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-01 20:45, RJE wrote:
John, you and I share very similar points of view here. It is almost supernatural to read your printing of my thoughts.
[/quote]

What evidence do you have that it's supernatural?


KIDDING!

;)
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Sep 2, 2005 01:51AM)
If it happens, it's natural - we just don't understand HOW it's natural.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: DrNorth (Sep 2, 2005 07:12PM)
"She blinded me with science" I dunno I just felt I had to lead with that line. As I stated earlier on a post, most of are not scientists nor are we familiar with the scientific method by which any hypothesis is established, theorized, tested and then a conclusion is reached (or not reached) And I say this because we do not establish this to prove or disprove pshychic ability, we do a variation of Houdini's, if I can reproduce it it must be fake. Not very scientific, BUT by the same token most scientists setting to disprove psychic effects don't apply magicians skills as possibilities of faked events, or to seek for those wires, flaps or fake blind folds.
My point? A few attempts have been made to blend these techniques to divine truth. I love Sci Fi networks Ghost Hunters BUT their team needs a magician to expose trickery. Any serious study in this field should include both science and magic. Too keep each other honest.

So, psychics? Without em we'd have no function as magic is based on this. Even hippity hop rabbits is bizarre, so love em or hate em, thank those magical folks and learn how to make your magic as real as you can!!
Message: Posted by: jimtron (Sep 2, 2005 07:43PM)
I agree that "if I can reproduce it it must be fake" doesn't hold water. That's not the scientific method. I can fake playing the violin masterfully, but obviously that doesn't mean that concert violinists are faking it.

[quote]So, psychics? Without em we'd have no function as magic is based on this.[/quote]

I would say without the *idea* of psychics and real magic, magicians and mentalists might not have an audience.