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JohnLamberti
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I came across the following quote while perusing another message board. I thought it touched perfectly on some of the stuff we've been discussing here. I also think it can apply to mentalism performances. Here's the quote:

"Maybe this is the fundamental difference between a skeptic and a believer: When a skeptic experiences something that seems like magic, he/she distrusts his/her perception. Whereas the believer sees magic confirmed."

Talk amongst yourselves....
Decomposed
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Just about sums it up. Too bad some of the skeptics I perform in front of vocalize their disbelief.
Simone
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The truth is often this:

Quote:
... when a skeptic experiences something that seems like magic, he/she distrusts his/her perception and wants everyone to see what he/she doesn't see or believe, Whereas the believer sees the magic, smiles and enjoys him/her self.

In the past I've heard a few times a woman wanting a reading from me and the boyfriend/husband says "why waste your time with that garbage, it's all fake" and she usually pulls away saying "It's fun!"
John Nesbit
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John the title itself creates an illusion, Skeptics vs. Believers. What does that mean, really ? It reads like a vague description of something that only seems to rage on endlessly here in this forum.
I'm skeptical, yet I believe in what I know to be true. Regardless if it is accepted as truth by anyone else. Most of it is not up for public discussion. I'm not a member of JREF. So does that mean something (a label)too ? Remember we are all only comming from our own little universes. Be it the Café, JREF, a church or a scientific fellowship, ect. Wouldn't it be so interesting if the Café and this forum were frequented and posted by some of the more prolific scientific minds and authors in the world at large today? What we are mostly reading here at present is the opinions of magicians and mentalists. Hobbyists, for the most part. Even the professional performers here, are not necessarily professional "scientists".
The above quote is an intriguing one. And I can imagine that it was made by a magician. That is perfectly acceptable. But does it speak for everyone ? The label's "skeptics and believers" limit the possibilities of what may be perceived in the quote. As magicians and mentalists we should all see magic performances as something that can fool the eye, at best. Believing that the performer is using means (supernautural or otherwise), beyond trade techniques is understandable if one is ignorant of those techniques and methodoligies. Such as a layperson, and probably a superstitious one at that.
This shouldn't be an eternal battle of one versus the other. We can be skeptics and believers as well. Skeptical to the belief of anything being truly impossible. And believing that there is always more than what there appears to be to the eye, (and to the other physical senses).
Yes, skeptics can be people of faith, without being superstitious. And believers can be skeptical, without becoming cynical.
But this too is an opinion, just mine.
NJJ
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Skepticism has nothing to do with doubting your perception but instead on using your perception IN ADDITION to other evidence from a variety of circumstances and a variety of controls and submit it to a rigerous system of proof.

For example, a GOOD skeptic should see spoon bending and say "wow! that looks like magic" or "Gee, that looks like a trick" and then "what sort of evidence would I need in order to prove it either way"

Unfortunately, many skeptics come across bad science (project alpha etc), blind faith and frauds and so begin to become cynical and plain rude!

"Believers" could take many forms. e.g. you don't if its real because its fun or its satisifying OR you believe it is real and so seek out evidence to prove it OR you see, hear or feel ancedotal evidence which leads you to believe.

However, since skeptics apply their own belief structures to science (think of all the evolutionist who switch to intelligent design straight after a relegious conversion) and many 'believers' use different justifications and types of evidence to prove their claims.

Therefore, it is too simplistic to apply a simple binary opposition to this concern.
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
"Maybe this is the fundamental difference between a skeptic and a believer: When a skeptic experiences something that seems like magic, he/she distrusts his/her perception. Whereas the believer sees magic confirmed."

[sarcasm]
That is very interesting but I don't believe it was said, can you prove it to me? I will make up some criteria as to what I will accept as proof and then you can try to meet that criteria. But I need to make it real stringent as I don't want to accidentally be misled, it may take me a few weeks to finalize these criteria, but in the meantime we can proceed as though it were never said, since it has not been proven.
[/sarcasm]

;)
JohnLamberti
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I didn't really think about the title of this thread. I really just wanted to discuss the quote...looking back the title "Skeptics vs. Believers" is overly simplistic and does nothing to further the discussion. Sorry Smile
NJJ
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Shame on you Smile


P.S. Above I missed a word out it should read e.g. you don't CARE if its real because its fun or its satisifying
Bill Hallahan
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Johnjnesbit wrote:
Quote:
John the title itself creates an illusion, Skeptics vs. Believers. What does that mean, really ? It reads like a vague description of something that only seems to rage on endlessly here in this forum.

I agree. Believe in what? Skeptical about what? And you make other good points.

But I'm glad John created this topic so I could write what I write below. I've considered why these topics lead nowhere.


JohnLamberti wrote:
Quote:
Maybe this is the fundamental difference between a skeptic and a believer: When a skeptic experiences something that seems like magic, he/she distrusts his/her perception. Whereas the believer sees magic confirmed

Sometimes it’s that a skeptic finds other explanations that seem more believable.

Regarding explanations instead of magic:
Quote:
Maybe this is the fundamental difference between a believer and a skeptic: When a believer hears of something that explains something that seems like magic, he/she distrusts the explanation. Whereas the skeptic sees the explanation is not contradicted.


Many believers seem reluctant to discuss possible explanations.

Many skeptics are reluctant to accept testimonials of believers as evidence if there's an alternate explanation that can’t be ruled out.

This is all without considering those who make up false stories.

Deadlock ensues.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
NJJ
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Bill - That hit the nail on the head their head
weepinwil
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Sceptics are not necessarily unbelievers, they just require more proof of what they are willing to believe. Sceptics become great believers because when they do believe, they know why. Blind belief is at one end of the spectrum and closed minded skepticism stand at the other. Healthy scheptism is desirable because it stirrs the imagination of the person until it becomes belief based upon reasonable knowledge.
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
Tom Jorgenson
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I find it amusing what spectators are willing to believe instead of simplistic explanations that seem improbable. They would rather think up their own impossibilities rather than accept an improbability.

Do skeptics do the same, I wonder?
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
J ack Galloway
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No skeptics such as Randi form facts based upon beliefs.

He even says so on his site.

But he has not yet proven my facts of numberology to be incorrect.
(The book is done and the cover is being designed)

Jack

Not yet resting in peace.

H.O.A_X

Kissed by cancer, lightning and a pretty girl.
NJJ
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Jack - I believe for the Randi Challenge to accomplished, the burden of proof lies with you to prove your claim rather with Randi to prove it false. In fact, Randi's organisation doesn't actually take part in the claim itself, it observes the criteria .
J ack Galloway
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Nic,

Do you really believe every thing you read?

Did you not read his site?

He has a load of lets pretend I am right facts posted.

Read it.

I did.

I will be posting my opinions to his work soon.

I will also soon be moving to have him removed from IBM for exposure.It is about time that those he has caused problems for stand up.

Jack

H.O.A._X
Magical Lady
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Quote:
On 2005-08-30 23:40, Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
"Maybe this is the fundamental difference between a skeptic and a believer: When a skeptic experiences something that seems like magic, he/she distrusts his/her perception. Whereas the believer sees magic confirmed."

[sarcasm]
That is very interesting but I don't believe it was said, can you prove it to me? I will make up some criteria as to what I will accept as proof and then you can try to meet that criteria. But I need to make it real stringent as I don't want to accidentally be misled, it may take me a few weeks to finalize these criteria, but in the meantime we can proceed as though it were never said, since it has not been proven.
[/sarcasm]

;)

Also known as 'Doubting Thomas' ?? Smile
NJJ
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Jack - what are the problems with the challenge? what examples do you have?

Randi's commentarys to his fans are rambling, bitter and unproven but the challenge itself as always been very professional to me.
JohnLamberti
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I don't always agree with Randi's caustic style, and he occasionally is guilty of not getting his facts straight before publishing things.

But the challenge itself I believe is solid. Of all the poo-pooing of the challenge I see written here and elsewhere, I have not seen anyone make an argument against it that can hold water.

But I'm open to hear one. Smile
J ack Galloway
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Thank you John, for the very nice segway.

Now on to Nic.

It has not always been pro. it has evolved becouse they are living off of the cash donated.

Can't lose it because if you do you do not get a pay check.

I am not the only one to call in question the JREF challenge.

Many real science guys think it is crap.
Look it up and see.

Randi, is not well thought of in the real science world.

I will be posting on this soon, as I said I would.

If he cannot take me down what does that say about him?

He will attack those who he can with fear of response.

Jusr my thoughts.

Jack
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
On 2005-09-02 18:12, Magical Lady wrote:
Also known as 'Doubting Thomas' ?? Smile

I don't think so... Smile Smile
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