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Graymatter_Fireworks
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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
"The social world in which we live, determines our experience of what is real." - John Gager
John Nesbit
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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



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."


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."


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.
JohnLamberti
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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?


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 Smile

Quote:
According to some, we don't even exist!

Can you point me towards someone who says this? (A scientist, not a philosophy major Smile )

Quote:
Even medicine is not an exact science, which is why it is still being called a "practice" ?

No science would ever claim to be "exact." It's interesting that many fraudulent snake-oil types WILL make this claim, though.
NJJ
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Settle down kids!

Lets keep it friendly!
John Nesbit
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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. Smile 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 ?
JohnLamberti
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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.
jimtron
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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?


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
NJJ
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"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?
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
one shouldn't argue that psychic abilities have been proven scientifically.
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."

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.
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."
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.

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?

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
JohnLamberti
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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
hkwiles
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Best reply yet John...but I'm afraid there are still those who will argue to the contrary.

Howard
David Numen
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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.
JohnLamberti
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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.


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?)

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that. Can you clarify?
NJJ
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Are there any psychics who also perform mentalism as a part of their work?
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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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
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
JohnLamberti
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My aplogies for steering the thread off topic. I throw myself at the mercy of the Café Smile
NJJ
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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 you 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."
ALEXANDRE
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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....
jimtron
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Quote:
Let people believe what they will.

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 John of God 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?
Logan Five
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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
Self concept is destiny..
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