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Curtis Alexander
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On 2013-05-27 13:28, Tom Jorgenson wrote:
No one who has ever actually had an Out of the Body Experience will say they think it was an hallucination.


I've got to call BS on this one. Unless we have a different definitions of "Out of Body Experiences" and "hallucination", I think there are many people who would come to this conclusion, including myself.

What I don't like is the framing of the original quote as being narrow minded, which isn't the case if there is a naturalistic explanation of NDE's and OBO's which I think is most likely the case.
Slim King
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On 2013-05-28 23:17, mastermindreader wrote:
The fact remains that "The Blue Sense" hardly supports the proposition that psychics have been very helpful in in solving criminal cases.

Marcello had an open mind about psychic claims, but he was hardly a wide-eyed believer in all things paranormal.
Truzzi was an amazing writer and his exposure of the pseudoskeptics was groundbreaking. It's actually too bad that more people didn't hear of the scandal he exposed and the hundreds of books and articles that support PSI.
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
funsway
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I guess I just have a problem with automatically linking a claim of "PSI event" with a search for a "paranormal" cause. What about allowing for a "natural" cause not fully understood? Advances in neurobiology have shown that some of what we "fully understand" is false, e.g. what textbooks say such as "cognitive dissonance" and Piaget's Theories. These advances also indicate that what has previously been considered to be "other than normal" is completely normal for some while excluded from others by genes.

Much of what is touted as "scientific proof" is just "Theory" -- but that part of the label is dropped though common acceptance that it "must be true."

Under the general label of "Mentalism" we all desire to give demonstrations of what most people would consider "other than normal" in a controlled fashion, with an allusion that "special mental ability" is the cause, or that we can orchestrate the conditions under which the actions are "more normal." To this end we must be more concerned over what is considered "other than normal" by our intended audience than by what scientists and skeptics claim "can't be proved." On a personal level we all might be called to explore "inexplicable phenomena" in an attempt to understand "what we pretend at," but that is not required for a good and entertaining demonstration.

I prefer to demonstrate "innate" abilities of all people "made manifest" under controlled conditions rather than pretend at something "paranormal" -- but recognize this has limited "entertainment" potential. Yet, what would be wrong in announcing that everyone in the audience has many OBE but don't recognize them. In fact they are evidence of the Spirit attempting to get more "into the body" that "get out." What if having some part of your consciousness be "out of body" is normal and it is only our social "dis-ease" that traps it inside? Our culture and indoctrination teaches us to hide such experiences along with making nudity evil and a mandate to "feel shame" over much of what is natural.

Can I "prove" such a Theory? No. Would an audience believe it? Yup! Now -- allow me to demonstrate ...
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
mastermindreader
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On 2013-05-29 00:57, Slim King wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-05-28 23:17, mastermindreader wrote:
The fact remains that "The Blue Sense" hardly supports the proposition that psychics have been very helpful in in solving criminal cases.

Marcello had an open mind about psychic claims, but he was hardly a wide-eyed believer in all things paranormal.
Truzzi was an amazing writer and his exposure of the pseudoskeptics was groundbreaking. It's actually too bad that more people didn't hear of the scandal he exposed and the hundreds of books and articles that support PSI.


His book "The Blue Sense" does not support the theory that you seem to think it does. Yes, Marcello was a fine writer who can best be characterized as an open minded skeptic. His books and articles didn't support psi, per se, they supported continued psi research. Big difference.
Garrette
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On 2013-05-29 04:30, funsway wrote:
I guess I just have a problem with automatically linking a claim of "PSI event" with a search for a "paranormal" cause.
I think I understand what you are saying, but I'm not sure, so I will try to rephrase it. Please let me know where I go wrong:

When something happens which has the hallmarks generally associated with being paranormal, the fact that you reference that event as a PSI event does not mean that you assume it really is paranormal.

Is that close, or am I way off base?


Quote:
What about allowing for a "natural" cause not fully understood?
I'm all for that.


Quote:
Advances in neurobiology have shown that some of what we "fully understand" is false, e.g. what textbooks say such as "cognitive dissonance" and Piaget's Theories.
I completely agree that humans (including skeptics) are frequently wrong about things for which they claim certainty. I'm not qualified to discuss Piaget, though.


Quote:
These advances also indicate that what has previously been considered to be "other than normal" is completely normal for some while excluded from others by genes.
Can you give examples?


Quote:
Much of what is touted as "scientific proof" is just "Theory" -- but that part of the label is dropped though common acceptance that it "must be true."
I think you may be falling victim to a common misunderstanding. How the scientific world uses "theory" and how the general population use "theory" are entirely different things. The population tend to think of a theory as something that is at best an educated but unproven guess. In science, the word for that is actually hypothesis. "Theory" in the scientific world does mean for all intents and purposes "proven." (Everything is provisional in science, so even theories can be discarded later, but the odds are along the lines of one pre-designated person choosing the correct lottery numbers with one try).

The General and Special Theories of Relativity is not an unproven, educated guess. It is fact. Ditto for Quantum Theory, though I am using the term loosely there. String Theory is sort of a borderline case in that it is mathematically demonstrated but not experimentally so.

My point being, that when discussing science, one needs to be careful about terms.


Quote:
Under the general label of "Mentalism" we all desire to give demonstrations of what most people would consider "other than normal" in a controlled fashion, with an allusion that "special mental ability" is the cause, or that we can orchestrate the conditions under which the actions are "more normal." To this end we must be more concerned over what is considered "other than normal" by our intended audience than by what scientists and skeptics claim "can't be proved." On a personal level we all might be called to explore "inexplicable phenomena" in an attempt to understand "what we pretend at," but that is not required for a good and entertaining demonstration.

I prefer to demonstrate "innate" abilities of all people "made manifest" under controlled conditions rather than pretend at something "paranormal" -- but recognize this has limited "entertainment" potential. Yet, what would be wrong in announcing that everyone in the audience has many OBE but don't recognize them. In fact they are evidence of the Spirit attempting to get more "into the body" that "get out." What if having some part of your consciousness be "out of body" is normal and it is only our social "dis-ease" that traps it inside? Our culture and indoctrination teaches us to hide such experiences along with making nudity evil and a mandate to "feel shame" over much of what is natural.

Can I "prove" such a Theory? No. Would an audience believe it? Yup! Now -- allow me to demonstrate ...
This is good stuff and leads to the ever-contentious discussion about disclaimers and such, but it is a separate issue from the one regarding actual evidence for PSI.
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Thank you, Garrette, for pointing out the common misunderstanding about the scientific meaning of a theory.
Garrette
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My pleasure, Bob. I appreciate your comments about The Blue Sense.
funsway
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I understand the distinction of Theory, but feel that "our audience" is more confused than ever. Claiming something to be "scientific fact" is like believing some guy in a TV commercial just because he has a stethoscope around his neck. We all have every reason to distrust politicians, priests, teachers and financial advisors. Why should we believe someone just because they claim to be a scientist? Besides, today's youth will believe some stranger on YouTube over a rennouned expert and some other kid on the CellPhone over anything in print.

One key element of "paranormal" is a concept of what is "normal." This is in doubt and not readily testable by scientific method.

If I wish to "entertain" I will go with "Common misunderstanding" every time. Everyone seems to prefer a good fantasy over fact (or a real life).
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Garrette
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I could probably find things to quibble about, funsway, but I think that we are largely in agreement. In this thread, though, I think I will hold off on getting into the discussion about how to present something in performance.
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[quote]On 2013-05-29 06:24, Garrette wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-05-29 04:30, funsway wrote:
I guess I just have a problem with automatically linking a claim of "PSI event" with a search for a "paranormal" cause.
I think I understand what you are saying, but I'm not sure, so I will try to rephrase it. Please let me know where I go wrong:

When something happens which has the hallmarks generally associated with being paranormal, the fact that you reference that event as a PSI event does not mean that you assume it really is paranormal.

Is that close, or am I way off base?

Garrette, this is a good statement in its own right, but not exactly what I was trying to get at. Observing an inexplicable event does not require that we find an explanation. One hallmark of being human is the capacity to retain an idea as imaginary and compare it with other things of which we a certain (sic). Unfortunately, traditional education pretends that there is a proper label for everything as an excuse for not thinking. Calling something either "PSI event" or "paranormal" or "scientific fact" stifles creative thinking and substitutes "believing" for "knowing." To link PSi with paranormal serves to end exploration of alternative causes just as saying, "Hand of God."

Being able to control a pendulum is within the capability of any person despite the fact that there is argument over how this is accomplished. You might choose to label it as PSI or paranormal or "a matter of faith" but the placing of that label has nothing to do with fact -- only acceptability to the present audience. Now, if I demonstrate the ability to control a pendulum without touching it a line is crossed for most people (and Mentalists.) They would rather use a label of paranormal rather than doing the work to learn how.

You later mention the "evidence of PSI." How does the label of paranormal provide any evidence at all?

Quote:
These advances also indicate that what has previously been considered to be "other than normal" is completely normal for some while excluded from others by genes.
Can you give examples?

One is the ability of people to sense objects near them without the use of common senses like sight, hearing or smell. This is generally accepting in blind people, but it is now accepted that everyone has such abilities but it is suppressed. Ever try my effect "Close Call?" Everyone can sense the proximity of a sharp metal object close to their head. It can be demonstrated as a Mentalism feat or a scientific one. Either way it can be entertaining and a good lead in to other effects.

There is also evidence that the ability to be astonished without a need for resolution is gene based. Thus, the reason why we'all play with magic rather than observing it is a gene deficiency. We lack the ability to just appreciate the sensation and warm fuzzies.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Slim King
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Quote:
On 2013-05-29 06:18, mastermindreader wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-05-29 00:57, Slim King wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-05-28 23:17, mastermindreader wrote:
The fact remains that "The Blue Sense" hardly supports the proposition that psychics have been very helpful in in solving criminal cases.

Marcello had an open mind about psychic claims, but he was hardly a wide-eyed believer in all things paranormal.
Truzzi was an amazing writer and his exposure of the pseudoskeptics was groundbreaking. It's actually too bad that more people didn't hear of the scandal he exposed and the hundreds of books and articles that support PSI.


His book "The Blue Sense" does not support the theory that you seem to think it does. Yes, Marcello was a fine writer who can best be characterized as an open minded skeptic. His books and articles didn't support psi, per se, they supported continued psi research. Big difference.
Bob, it's one of my favorite books and a treasure trove of references to books and articles that DO support PSI....
Countless examples of Paranormal events are found within the book. Truzzi turned on the Pseudoskeptics and pointed out their deception and how they Flim Flamed the simple minded dogmatic know it all's out of millions every year ... They are the true rip offs!!!!
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
dmkraig
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On 2013-05-29 06:18, mastermindreader wrote:
Yes, Marcello was a fine writer who can best be characterized as an open minded skeptic.


"Open minded skeptic?" That sounds redundant to me, sort of like an "author who writes."

By definition, a skeptic IS open minded. That means those who are not open minded (although they may falsely claim to be so) are not skeptics. At best they are what Truzzi described as pseudo-skeptics.

IMO they have, in essence, stolen the term "skeptic" and redefined it because they hate describing themselves as debunkers. They have obliterated the original meaning of skeptic as "a person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions." Instead, many have a devotion to a belief system/ersatz religion I call "scientism," which uses scientific terms but behaves in a way totally antithetical to science. They will defend scientism with all the fervor of a fundamentalist religionist defending his or her faith. This includes lying and deception and feeling justified in using these techniques.
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Dmkraig-

You are right. "Open minded skeptic" is redundant. "True skeptic" would have been a better choice of words to describe Marcello. I just wanted to make a clear distinction between the type of skeptic he was as opposed to the pseudo-skeptics he criticized. (But cut me a break, I posted that in the middle of the night and wasn't feeling all too erudite. Smile)

I agree with your conclusion. Pseudo-skeptics are models of confirmation bias in action.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Slim King
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On 2013-05-29 11:50, mastermindreader wrote:
Dmkraig-

You are right. "Open minded skeptic" is redundant. "True skeptic" would have been a better choice of words to describe Marcello. I just wanted to make a clear distinction between the type of skeptic he was as opposed to the pseudo-skeptics he criticized. (But cut me a break, I posted that in the middle of the night and wasn't feeling all too erudite. Smile)

I agree with your conclusion. Pseudo-skeptics are models of confirmation bias in action.

Good thoughts,

Bob
I agree Bob!!! On a side note ... Are you performing anytime between June 7 and 20 in the Northwest? I'll be vacationing up there.
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Garrette
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On 2013-05-29 11:50, mastermindreader wrote:
Dmkraig-

You are right. "Open minded skeptic" is redundant. "True skeptic" would have been a better choice of words to describe Marcello. I just wanted to make a clear distinction between the type of skeptic he was as opposed to the pseudo-skeptics he criticized. (But cut me a break, I posted that in the middle of the night and wasn't feeling all too erudite. Smile)

I agree with your conclusion. Pseudo-skeptics are models of confirmation bias in action.

Good thoughts,

Bob
I also agree that (a) "Open minded skeptic" is redundant and (b) Pseudo-skeptics abound. Where I think you and I would disagree some, (and I and some others would disagree a lot) is in the list of people to whom the label "pseudo-skeptic" should apply.

Not that it should matter for this thread. If the topic is "evidence for psi" then so long as we stick to that topic, someone's pseudo-ness or otherwise is, perhaps, moot, yes?
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On 2013-05-29 07:56, funsway wrote:

Garrette, this is a good statement in its own right, but not exactly what I was trying to get at. Observing an inexplicable event does not require that we find an explanation.
Agreed.


Quote:
One hallmark of being human is the capacity to retain an idea as imaginary and compare it with other things of which we a certain (sic). Unfortunately, traditional education pretends that there is a proper label for everything as an excuse for not thinking. Calling something either "PSI event" or "paranormal" or "scientific fact" stifles creative thinking and substitutes "believing" for "knowing." To link PSi with paranormal serves to end exploration of alternative causes just as saying, "Hand of God."
If something's nature is unknown, then I am fine with saying "I don't know," but I see no problem with calling it what it is once its nature is known, nor do I find anything wrong with searching to discover what that nature is. I think you would agree with me up to this point. Where we might disagree is this next bit:

I am also okay with saying what something is not (provisionally) based on what is known. When someone comes to me and swears he has just received proof of life-after-death via someone's mediumship, and when the event is described to me I see nothing that differentiates it from any or all of the myriad non life-after-death explanations, I am comfortable with my conclusion that no such proof was received after all. I could, of course, be wrong, but I could also be wrong about expecting that my mattress will hold me up tonight when I fall back onto it; after all, it is possible that I could phase through it. But I don't think it irrational or closed-minded to conclude that my mattress actually will hold me up, and the person did not actually receive the proof claimed, pending actual proof to the contrary.


Quote:
Being able to control a pendulum is within the capability of any person despite the fact that there is argument over how this is accomplished.
Is there? I thought there were two methods (assuming you mean holding the pendulum yourself and not controlling from across the room): (1) Intentional manipulation, and (2) Ideomotor.


Quote:
You might choose to label it as PSI or paranormal or "a matter of faith"
I wouldn't, at least not unless there were strong evidence to demonstrate it as such.


Quote:
but the placing of that label has nothing to do with fact -- only acceptability to the present audience.
It is true that labels are not themselves determiners of fact. My concern is that the facts are established first so that the label can be created and affixed to match them.


Quote:
Now, if I demonstrate the ability to control a pendulum without touching it a line is crossed for most people (and Mentalists.) They would rather use a label of paranormal rather than doing the work to learn how.

You later mention the "evidence of PSI." How does the label of paranormal provide any evidence at all?
It doesn't. Perhaps I have been unclear. I am not claiming that there is evidence of PSI (at least not strong enough evidence to conclude that PSI exists).


Quote:
One is the ability of people to sense objects near them without the use of common senses like sight, hearing or smell. This is generally accepting in blind people, but it is now accepted that everyone has such abilities but it is suppressed. Ever try my effect "Close Call?" Everyone can sense the proximity of a sharp metal object close to their head. It can be demonstrated as a Mentalism feat or a scientific one. Either way it can be entertaining and a good lead in to other effects.
No, I haven't tried Close Call, but it sounds intriguing.


Quote:
There is also evidence that the ability to be astonished without a need for resolution is gene based. Thus, the reason why we'all play with magic rather than observing it is a gene deficiency. We lack the ability to just appreciate the sensation and warm fuzzies.
I would be interested in links to any info on this.

Thanks
Michael Daniels
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On 2013-05-29 11:37, dmkraig wrote:

"Open minded skeptic?" That sounds redundant to me, sort of like an "author who writes."



I also agree, although because of the way that the term "skeptic" has been appropriated by those with a closed-minded ideological agenda, it can be useful or necessary these days to qualify one's position as an "open minded skeptic".

I tend to prefer the term "open minded inquirer". This from a short web article I wrote several years ago:

"People differ in their attitudes towards the paranormal. At one end is the devout believer who will not consider any counter arguments or evidence. At the other end is the aggressive sceptic who dismisses or seeks to debunk any apparent evidence for the paranormal. Somewhere between these two extremes is the open-minded inquirer who has no particular axe to grind and is willing to consider the evidence on its own merits. Psychical Research and Parapsychology operate somewhere in this open-minded middle ground, although (adopting Occam's razor) the burden of proof always lies with those who would make paranormal claims."

Mike
Slim King
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Here'a my question Mike ... If someone has a definite paranormal experience to base their belief on, how is that the same as someone who has never had one and insists that they don't exist?
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Michael Daniels
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On 2013-05-29 15:57, Slim King wrote:
Here'a my question Mike ... If someone has a definite paranormal experience to base their belief on, how is that the same as someone who has never had one and insists that they don't exist?


It's not the same at all. The former has the evidence of his or her own experience on which to inform an opinion. The latter is simply opinionated.

However, that doesn't mean that people cannot misunderstand or misinterpret their own experience, for example by considering it to be paranormal when, in fact, there is a perfectly normal or natural explanation, such as coincidence. To give another example, an OBE is certainly a definite (and often profound) experience, but that does not mean that it is a "definite paranormal experience", and is often not interpreted as paranormal even by those who have experienced it.

Mike
Slim King
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I suggest that EVERYONE on this thread look up the REAL MEANING of the word Paranormal ...Not Scientifically Explainable ... It's pretty simple once we use the correct definition.
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
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