I find this forums very ironic. Mainly because smart people don't believe in this superstitious crap. There are allot of unexplained things in the world, but this world is pretty much natural, just because you don't have a explanation for something does not mean you have to turn to supernatural as the cause.
In a typical sleep-paralysis episode, a person wakes up paralyzed, senses a presence in the room, feels fear or even terror, and may hear buzzing and humming noises or see strange lights. A visible or invisible entity may even sit on their chest, shaking, strangling, or prodding them. Attempts to fight the paralysis are usually unsuccessful. It is reputedly more effective to relax or try to move just the eyes or a single finger or toe.
The symptoms can sometimes include complete to partial paralysis of arms, legs and upper torso, a tight or heavy pressure on your chest sometimes with a choking sensation and almost always experienced as you are about to fall into sleep or just come out of sleep.
The most remarkable symptoms of SP are the accompanying audio and/or visual hallucinations often causing extreme terror and panic in it's sufferers, who more often than not mistakenly believe they are being visited by aliens, malevolent beings and other evil presences.
Research shows that SP is linked with REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. When in REM sleep you are usually dreaming, your body does not act out your dreams as you will hurt either yourself, or someone else, so evolution has worked its merry little way of getting your brain to switch off your muscles (so to speak) and relax you while dreaming, essentially paralyzing you to a degree.
The cause for a state of SP is when your mind wakes up, usually still in a semi-REM state, but your body is still relaxed and semi paralyzed, bringing on a the sometimes horrifying sensation of being paralyzed while still in a semi-dream state yet awake. The consequences of this state are usually nothing short of terrifying to individuals with their dreams suddenly becoming reality as they are trapped in an inbetween sate of consciousness. The usual result is panic to try to release oneself while sleep creeps around your brain like a slow fog trying to drag you back down to it's depths again. I know what it's like, I've suffered this myself.
There is a rational explanation for all the so called paranormal things out there.
Oh, okay, gosh, thanks! Welcome to the forum! Glad to know you're no longer suffering!
So everyone whose mind wakes up in the middle of their dream just happens to be dreaming the same thing? That someone is in the room with them, sitting on the bed with them, shaking them, touching them etc? And malevolent too? That seems highly unlikely.
Note: I don't believe in Ghosts and most things that are discussed in this subforum.
Expecting other people to have the same world view is very popular and thinking that other people who have other beliefs than you are either less intelligent or otherwise bad people is done by a lot of people.
If you would open your eyes, you will probably find on both sides of the public debate a lot of people that are more intelligent than you by measures like IQ, EQ, money made in life or academic credientials.
Another issue that you will find on this forum is that people are often more attached to actual results than to beliefs about reality.
It doesn't matter whether you heal pain through a placebo or through a pharmaceutical.
When the process dealt with the pain, it gets used again next time.
Story's are powerful weapons that solve a lot of problems without them needing to be objectivly true.
That's awesome that you have your truth about life all squared away for yourself. You must not have any need to get defensive then.
If your definition of a smart person is someone who is an extreme materialist, then of course your not going to find a 'smart person' to believe in any paranormal phenomena, or any phenomena that can't be detected by current scientific instruments.
You talk about sleep paralysis and suddenly it means all paranormal phenomena is bunk and can be rationally explained? You can't expect to find evidence with your eyes closed :p . Here's Scientific evidence for survival of consciousness after death
Of course is is true that are some people out there who are delusional, but that doesn't mean to say all paranormal phenomena is then ludicrous.
And to claim what you've said explains 'all' paranormal activity reveals what your current perceptions of reality are more clearly.
Stay around the forums for awhile. See if there's something which could change your outlook on things.
Edit: Now that I think about it- what is a smart person to you, Oopkop? If my definition of a smart person is different to yours, would I therefore be considered inferior in your eyes?
I have an IQ of 150, and I believe in this stuff. How do explain that? Don't you think we have dealt with mindless and baseless posts like yours before? Please go find a forum where people actually care what you say.
>Scientific evidence for survival of consciousness after death
Lol, real scientist have already proven that those obe of near death is nothing more than a chemical reaction in the brain that causes hallucination's.
>To the 150 iq man
I genius kid in china with iq of 210 still believes in santa claus, does that make smart people dumb? no. It makes you gullible
There are millions of people in the world who have claimed to experience a paranormal, or supernatural event. These range from out of body experiences, claims of psychic powers, near death experiences, ghost sightings, answered prayers, miraculous healings, etc.
Many religious people claim that there is a supernatural realm, and point to some of the above examples as "proof", yet as I will show, these "proofs" are fraudulent because of these peoples' lack of knowledge about such events.
With the history of such phenomenon as lighting storms, hurricane like winds, droughts, etc. I have no doubt that the people of the past felt these things were miraculous signs of their creator, yet in our more enlightened time now (depending on how you look at it), we don't see anyone claiming these natural occurrences have a supernatural cause. The problem is, just as in the past, we have many unexplained things which we experience, or hear about, and we just don't have a lot of answers about them at this moment in time. Or we have no information at the current time whatsoever.
With such a history of human kind, I find it hard to believe that we are still using the old "god of the gaps" argument; using god (or whatever deity you believe in) as the explanation for something we know nothing about. This solves nothing, because you haven't even proven any god exists to begin with. We don't need to use some imaginary thing to explain it away.
The same arguments goes with supernatural events, james randi is a example that no so called supernatural can stand reasonble testing.
So many people believe in these so called psychics' supposed powers to contact the dead, and predict the future, but it's nothing but a big, elaborate magic show.
> to the psychic lady
There are basically two kinds of readings a "psychic" can perform: "Cold" or "Hot" readings. "Cold" readings are when a "psychic" doesn't know anything about a particular person, and must therefore, "fish" for information, by throwing out vague statements. Such an example could be that a "psychic" asks a group if there was anyone who lost someone by the name of Joe, John, or James. The more people that are present, ups the success rate of this kind of shot gun - like tactic. They throw out a few random, vague guesses, and hope that someone in the audience has lost someone who had that name, or some other derivative. Though, common sense should tell people that, if someone were truly psychic, they wouldn't need to "fish" for information like that!
Though, unknowing subjects gladly hand over, and confirm, anything which a "psychic" gets correct, which gives them something to grab on to, and use, to get more information from someone. For example, if the "psychic" asks if your loved one liked planes, and you answer yes, they will hone in on that information, and use it, and ask more questions, such as, "They were a piolet, weren't they?", and the audience member says "yes", and gladly hands this information over to the "psychic". The thing many people don't realize, is that they were the ones who told the "psychic" the information. The "psychic" asked a question...it wasn't a statement.
I myself went to psychic to debunk them, Shockingly most of the psychics i went to had a 70% accuracy. I wrote all the question down and proceeded to ask the same question to 10 of my friends again shockingly i hit home with about 70% It all comes down to the vagueness
many people who go to psycics subconsciously want to be fooled. They want to be able to contact their loved ones, and so when the "psychic" is throwing out all these incorrect guesses (as in a cold reading), the person will usually only remember the correct guesses, and not the wrong ones. This same phenomenon is also seen with supposed answered prayer. They only remember when their prayers were supposedly answered, and not when they weren't.
Activity in one region of the brain could explain out-of-body experiences. Researchers in Switzerland have triggered the phenomenon using electrodes.
People describe out-of-body experiences as feeling that their consciousness becomes detached from their body, often floating above it. Because these lucid states are popularly linked to the paranormal, "a lot of people are reluctant to talk about them", says neurologist Olaf Blanke of Geneva University Hospital in Switzerland.
Blanke found that electrically stimulating one brain region — the right angular gyrus — repeatedly triggers out-of-body experiences. Blanke and his team were using electrodes to excite the brain of a woman being treated for epilepsy.
The right angular gyrus integrates visual information — the sight of your body — and information that creates the mind's representation of your body. This is based on balance and feedback from your limbs about their position in space.
>Please enlighten us, all you've done is spout prejudice.
The sun can reflect a image of a car or person through with the help of clouds up to 100 km's away. One natural way of explaining ghosts, another one is psychological reason.
Our thoughts become our actions and eventually our reality.
>The reason that you hold that point of view is probably because the people around you hold it and it was taught you in school.
As a child i was pretty gullible, but years of research enlightened me with a path of reason.
>Expecting other people to have the same world view is very popular and thinking that other people who have other beliefs than you are either less intelligent
With my comment i merely wanted to imply, that a smart person would go and look for answers he/she would not just accept the most common explanation(paranormal), but of course if your happy with the easy explanation that is your choice.
The paranormal consists of alleged occurrences or powers which, if actual, cannot be explained by our current understanding of physics. Proponents of both the supernatural and the paranormal often seem indistinguishable from one another, at least in their arguments and claims (not to mention their zeal for convincing others that they may be on to something). I'm a skeptic and i'm open to true paranormal event, but i have yet to hear, experience, touch, smell or see something that convinced me.
If I hadn't listened to those apparently 'fake' spirits, I wouldn't have made it past age 15...
How is "This was caused by a chemical in the brain" any more rational than saying, "This was a message from beyond."
You are confusing irrationality with paranormal. Just because something is paranormal does not make it incomprehensible or irrational, and it certainly doesn't make it "supernatural"
Everything that can be observed is by definition natural. If we discover that humans have a subtle telepathic ability, it will be a wholly natural phenomenon.
The problem with typical paranormal claims is that they are inconsistent even in the best circumstances. There is no psychic that can reproduce their talent on command or in all situations. There are also external factors that are not respected by conventional science.
For instance if a psychic says, "I cannot have any hardened skeptics actively observing me or in the general vicinity, because their aura creates a null field that blocks out all psychic transmission," and then the tester refuses to set up a situation where those conditions are met (This is what the Randi foundation does) then the tester isn't going to create a legitimate test.
Look at the ordeals that Erin has had to go through - she does not spare any details on her blog about the stuff she has experienced. She can't just reproduce her ability on command in a cold & sterile white room while being observed by 20 cameras and 20 hostile magicians. It won't work for reasons that should be obvious to you if you sincerely read her blog.
Randi, for one, basically refuses to provide the people he tests with suitable conditions. So Randi doesn't solve the mystery.
There is a guy who took a very smart approach to studying the paranormal. He was a professor of physics and engineering, and all he did was compile data for 25 years. He didn't perform tests, just compiled data. Then he assembled the massive amount of data to look for clues, and every skeptic must admit that what he found is very intriguing and worthy of more studying. At the very least it says incredible things about the human mind - stuff that modern psychologists are not able to rationalize away.
Are you willing to take the red pill and see just how deep the rabbit hole goes? Or are you just here to taunt some crazy nutjobs?
"The information in this book is either nonsense or it is the most centrally important thing that you could possibly learn."
>How is "This was caused by a chemical in the brain" any more rational than saying, "This was a message from beyond."
Well its quite obvious to me why the first one is more rational, but not to you, so i suppose it depends through which eyes you look at it.
>Everything that can be observed is by definition natural. If we discover that humans have a subtle telepathic ability, it will be a wholly natural phenomenon.
Yes indeed, why have we then not yet discovered anyone with telepathic abilities, all i see is modern day tricksters. Prove me otherwise.
>For instance if a psychic says, "I cannot have any hardened skeptics actively observing me or in the general vicinity, because their aura creates a null field that blocks out all psychic transmission,"
Wow what a convenient excuse. There tricks work on the gullible but when someone looks critically at it, it blocks there aura. Its stuff like this that makes one especially skeptic of these readings
>Randi, for one, basically refuses to provide the people he tests with suitable conditions. So Randi doesn't solve the mystery.
All participants sign off on a testing protocol, stating that it is a fair test of their abilities. Then afterwards they make up excuses etc. I don't buy it. Burden of proof for a paranormal claim properly lays with the supposed mediums etc, its not randi fault that they are fake mediums and fortunetellers using simple conjurers' tricks to prey on the public. Of course, many self-professed psychics and other purveyors of legerdemain do not like being tested. A reasonable person might suspect that this otherwise uncharacteristic shyness might be due to fear that they will not pass a rigorous test of their alleged abilities. The psychics have many more creative reasons. I believe these people to be naïve and self-deluded, the best way of making people believe is to create circumstances were mediums believe there tricks are actually connected to a paranormal phenomenon when it is clearly not. I suppose this is due to the fact that anyone claiming to have paranormal abilities who is at all aware of what they are doing has already figured our that they are not going to fool the investigators for the psychic challenge. Therefore, all that is left for the challenge are the self-deluded. And then of course those who know they will fail the test make up the convenient excuses as mentioned above.
>At the very least it says incredible things about the human mind - stuff that modern psychologists are not able to rationalize away.
>Are you willing to take the red pill and see just how deep the rabbit hole goes? Or are you just here to taunt some crazy nutjobs?
I have explored the rabbit hole, and there seems to be a reasonable explanation for everything, if you open up your mind of course.
Could there be spiritual entities? Sure. Could there be a god, or some other vastly superior entity? Sure. Could we all just be brains in a vat - think Matrix - or lost souls in Hell being toyed with by demons? Sure. For these and any number of questions about reality beyond our perception the answer is always "sure". In the end it always comes down to the important question: Is there any evidence whatsoever to suggest that there actually is such a thing, or any way that I could test the idea? The answer to that question is always no.
I'm here to see if someone can convince me of paranormal activities.
There are many rational explanations but that doesn't mean there is proof for them. Rational does not imply proof, rational implies logical. Irrational implies illogical. You can have logical falsehoods and illogical truths.
IMO the mainstream is no judge of what is reasonable.
Anything can be rationalized away by a sufficiently creative person. The question to ask is not what something proves but what something means.
Does it really matter if these highly coherent messages being delivered in identical fashion to various people who have no contact or similarities with each other, etc... Does it really matter if they are explained by Jung's Collective Unconscious or by Erin's Spirit Guides or by Elkin's UFOs?
Does that really matter?
Does it really matter if they are just a common human phenomenon that occurs when people tap into their subconscious, or if they are aliens communicating with us telepathically?
What really matters is the message. You won't find a piece of hard impersonal solid proof. That doesn't exist. I've looked. What you will find is masses and masses and masses of circumstantial evidence. It will never be enough to instantly convert a nonbeliever. This is the nature of the phenomenon. The same stuff has been reported for thousands of years. There has never been a "mass proof" event. There is only personal proof - proof that you cultivate on your own through honest, sincere, genuine, open-minded, objective, independent contemplation and meditation.
If your standard of proof is so high that you can just brush off people like Erin Pavlina or Don Elkins and repeat your mantra that "That isn't good enough!" then you probably aren't going to find the proof on the outside. You'll have to look inside. You'll have to point your curiosity within in a calm way and then accept whatever comes to you so that it will continue to come.
The explanations disbelievers use to dismiss the phenomena are just as untested as the explanations that believers use to support the phenomena.
Even if Don Elkins provided millions of pages of hypnotic regressions, channellings from disparate sources around the world, UFO contact reports, videos of telepathy, videos of UFOs, and so on and so on and so on, a sufficiently creative and intelligent person will be able to dismiss them as clever fabrications or esoteric delusions or some other very creative (but completely unproven) explanation.
But this very creative and intelligent person is not being intellectually honest. Because having such a massive body of data with such high correlations over long periods of time, does present strong proof to the intellectually honest person that _something_ weird is going on.
Once the honest person admits that something weird is definitely going on, they have become a student of the mysteries. Their only true comfort will be an inner gaze. The answers are within. Erin Pavlina cannot prove anything to you, she can only suggest some place for you to search in. This inner searching will have to be done by yourself, with an open mind.
Everyone who has experienced the paranormal doesn't really know what is going on. They usually can't explain it, and only rarely can they barely control it. They develop theories that are useful to them, but most of them will readily admit they can't prove their theories. It's a mystery. They don't know HOW it happens and often they don't even know WHAT is happening, but they do know that it is beyond normal experience and they do know that it is fact.
I look at an aura on a person, and I know that I see it. I don't really know what it is. I don't know how it's created. I've never heard a proven scientific explanation or even a slightly sensible scientific explanation - and I have heavy formal education in the hard sciences and I'm very creative and intelligent. So I should be able to fabricate some explanation. But if I'm honest with myself, I won't, because that fabricated explanation will be just as untested and unprovable as some explanation about ghosts. There is less evidence for string theory than there is for spirits - that's a fact to anyone who knows the first thing about string theory. Yet hardened skeptics will entertain fantasies about string theory for years, to the point where everywhere they see strings, but when presented with some circumstantial evidence about spirits they immediately dismiss it due to the social conventions that have shaped their life.
I've seen lots of crazy things but in the end I know nothing. It's a mystery. Maybe I'm still dreaming and have yet to wake up.
Well, one thing I do know is that my contemplation of this mystery has made me a more loving, generous, thoughtful, compassionate person. So even if it's all just a big delusion and I'm completely insane, I call that a success.
I think there is a point in every skeptic's life where they have to decide what is more important to them: Incontrovertible proof of the 100% truth before they act, or acting on partial knowledge. In the latter, you find success and happiness and humiliation when you screw up. In the former, you literally die without your proof because 100% proof of anything is impossible whether it's electrons or aliens.
Ignorance isn't bliss.
After having had experiences it is still another question of how you interpret those experiences but without them you don't can't really understand the people who had those experiences.
Who do you test whether you aren't some boltzman brain which is connected to some computer that serve you with your daily experience and your memory of the past?
After all that is a lot more likely than you being a human, so the burdon of proof has to be: "What the proof for you being a human living on a planet?" Afterall that is a lot more unlikely.
You don't have any proof and have to take a leap of faith.
That exactly what science is about: Testing assumptions.
Coming to a place and claiming to search truth doesn't pair well with making false statements in the process. Especially when you want to try to tell us that it doesn't matter that you make false statements.
An easy example to take is the electron.
No one has ever seen an electron. All we have is indirect evidence, second hand, coaxed out of a variety of subtle experimental apparatus. It's not easy to see second or third hand evidence of an electron. It takes precise equipment and careful experimentation. It takes theoretical knowledge - you can't just jump straight to knowing an electron if you don't understand other principles like magnetism or Newtonian force or the basic mathematical models of motion or chemistry. It depends on the experiment what background you need, but you always need background.
So first you prove that all the background is true. If you're going to do this all for yourself, with 100% incontrovertible proof, and you don't believe any accounts that other scientists have given you (you don't stand on anyones shoulders) then this alone will take you years.
A physicist can show you Milliken's Oil Drop Experiment that originally "proved" the existence of the electron but you aren't gonna have a clue what you're looking at unless you've already significant background work. You aren't going to be able to have first-hand self-seen proof unless you have years of background work and experimentation on your own. It's not something you can just do in one day. It's not something someone else can do for you - it's not enough that they show you Ohm's formula and the Newton's second law. You will have to take time alone to understand them on your own, and to prove them to yourself. This is no small feat.
Once you have all the background proved you can do the experiment that produces a phenomena that other people call electrons. But you still don't have personal proof that they're electrons - they could be anything! There could be any number of reasonable explanations for those little particle traces!
It takes work.
You believe in electrons just because you were told to, because society accepts them as fact. I believe in electrons because I've taken years upon years of grueling physics and math training. I can't prove to you the existence of an electron in 1 day, and in truth I can't prove it to you ever. You'll have to prove it to yourself, and the best you can do is second hand evidence anyway. You still will never actually get to see an electron.
We believe electrons are real because the belief in electrons gets us useful results.
Useful results are the metric of scientific fact. The wise reader will realize that this principle extends to ALL fact. Useful results are the metric of ALL fact. Nothing else. THIS is the purpose of Steve's 30 day trial. It's a shortcut. You try on a belief for 30 days, see what results you get. If the results are good, it is probably somewhere near the truth. If not, you discard it. Pure science.
To many people, after observing supernatural phenomena, they subscribe to a certain model that gets them useful results. For all intents and purposes, this is AS TRUE as the electron.
For many years I thought I was a hardcore skeptic. One day I realized that I wasn't a skeptic - I was a dismisser. I wasn't objectively judging the paranormal (and this included just typical PD techniques and all kinds of stuff which most people wouldn't even label paranormal) in the way that I'd objectively judge an electron. Instead I was taking anything that society conditioned me to dismiss, and then finding creative ways to dismiss it as being fraudulent. If society had conditioned me to accept something, I'd do the opposite. I would find a creative way to accept it. Once I realized that I wasn't being fair to the truth, and that I had to accept the truth and observe the truth no matter how strange it was (as I delighted to do in physics where society allows people to freely explore and discuss without ridicule) then I began to learn that a lot of this paranormal stuff IS crap, but that there is an element of truth within it. Newton was an alchemist - he had the wrong idea. But there was an element of truth in his alchemy, and from that element of truth chemistry was eventually developed. It took a courageous mind like Newton to start down the wrong path - to dare to fail - and dare to succeed. Newton is mocked today for his alchemy, which just shows how little society has learned from him. He wasn't afraid to be wrong. He tried stuff out. This courageousness is what leads us to the truth.
Objective thinking, critical examination of the arguments for and against the existence of paranormal is needed to describe as a rational, reasoned truth.
>Does it really matter if these highly coherent messages being delivered in identical fashion to various people who have no contact or similarities with each other, etc...
>In the former, you literally die without your proof because 100% proof of anything is impossible whether it's electrons or aliens
Yes and no, Many problems in the world are arguably due, at least in part, to people's gullibility. Too few people learn how to exercise basic skepticism and critical thinking which they can apply in a conscious, systematic manner to the claims they encounter. Skepticism is important because truth is important: the more reliably we can differentiate the likely true from the likely false, the more reliably we can navigate through our world. Its about truth not proof. Paranormal beliefs today fulfill many religious functions for people. Almost everything in the area of the "paranormal" is connected to religion or has close analogs in religion — not the least of which is the manner in which people hold paranormal beliefs. Defenders of the paranormal use similar standards of evidence and reasoning as religious apologists.
>What really matters is the message. You won't find a piece of hard impersonal solid proof.
Especially if the piece if proof you are looking for are a fabrication of the imagination, you can not disprove someones imagination, so in the end it comes down to personal preferences. If guilibleness towards mystery makes u tick better, thats all good, but that is surely hampering the growth of humanity.
>If your standard of proof is so high that you can just brush off people like Erin Pavlina or Don Elkins and repeat your mantra that "That isn't good enough!"
For many years at Cape Town University I taught a course entitled Philosophy of Science and the Occult. The aim of the course was to get students to be critical about the claims of the occult. Students had the relevant knowledge and even skills but had not acquired the tendency to apply them to new situations. People have a right to believe anything they want. They can believe the world is flat, for that is their right and privilege. What disturbs me is people who would claim evidence for the flatearth belief, or who would lie and distort findings to support their belief. I don't think it's fair that some people are persuaded of the veracity of psychic phenomena because they are given false or misleading evidence. People may stake critical decisions on the advice of a psychic, believing there's some veracity to these powers. And there are cases of people who went to psychic healers who had tumors that could have been operable if they had gotten to a doctor in time.
>Erin Pavlina cannot prove anything to you
I'm not arguing that :-)
>I look at an aura on a person, and I know that I see it. I don't really know what it is.
'"aura'' can be a vision produced by the alterations on the blood vessels in the brain go see a neurologist
I've done loads of crazy stuff, but even if I told you about them, you could just say I was lying or crazy. It wouldn't prove a thing to you. I only "prove" it to myself after long periods of observation of myself.
You keep addressing shallow dogma. Everyone knows that dogma is unhealthy. No one on this particular website is a big dogmatic follower of some script or guru... everyone I've read here is quite self-directed. The general tone of the discussion is always, "Take what works for you, dump the rest."
People should certainly be critical and discerning. This applies to every aspect of life. Society needs more self directed people.
I also think society needs less ridicule. Ridiculing and attacking and insulting those who are different doesn't advance humanity.
I think I've exhausted my point here :p
I'm a old fart, my beliefs have changed allot over the years. I'm a skeptic, my beliefs are prone to change with the more information i get.
>And you aren't showing your zeal for your beliefs at the moment by posting here?
Of course I am
>Being completly without those experiences, why do you think you can accurately judge other people with those experiences?
I'm not judging, I'm drawing correlations between there experiences and my knowledge/experiences
>Ignorance isn't bliss.
>What was your most strange experience in your exploration? How deep did you go?
Some of my strange experiences involve OBE's and night terrors(old hag syndrome). I got allot of answer that helped me allot from what i thought was the "astral plane"
>suggest that the probabilty of you being a brain floating around somewhere in the comsos is higher than...
severe trauma where blood is lost has an effect on one's vision, the other experience described by supposed ''NDEs'' survivors is a sense of calmness and relaxation and a sort of floating out of one's body, it's all effects of the brain's response to pain by releasing opiate-like drugs produced by our own bodies, like dopamine and serotonin.
Do you realize how ironic it is that you talk about occurrences in terms of chemicals and biology when chemistry and biology is just another human created model of reality that is only used because it's useful?
Are you a reductionist? ie. Do you recognize that biology is derived from chemistry and chemistry from physics? And do you think this principle applies to the whole universe?
If you're a reductionist, then I say, "Prove that reductionism is true." (There is counter evidence showing its false in condensed matter physics, though, so faith in perfect reductionism is pretty neatly shattered by experiment)
If you're not a reductionist, and take biology and chemistry to be emergent phenomenon, then you should also be very willing to take ghosts and spirits as emergent phenomenon depending on the subjective utility of those beliefs.
Just because you have an alternative explanation of some phenomenon does not mean that any other explanation is false. This is true in science all the time - in quantum physics for instance the Feynman Sum over Histories method is contradictory to the conventional method, yet both are true at the same time. This applies to macro-phenomenon just as well as quantum mechanics. (Although the sum over histories model actually applies to all scales not just micro)
The sense of wonder gets lost and it's a shame.
To be able to look at your self and be in awe that one can actually have experience is something to not forget. I think we all did it when we were kids. Everything looked awesome and exciting. Then we go to school and get told everything can be explained and put in boxes or will be put in boxes eventually if we think hard enough.
I don't know how much thinking I want to do about if such and such is true or provable. I don't see the point in that too much myself. Either one feels that other realms or some other unprovable thing is true or doesn't. It's subjective stuff and not provable. But it is part of being able to wonder and be open.
It's a shame to shut down so much that everything is hoggwash that someone else might believe something outlandish. Looking for proof of someone else's subjective beliefs is not for me but also I'm not one to say their belief is not true, it's their subjective experience (I hope). I mean, people that just believe something because someone else does, I don't get.
The whole premise of your post was to point out that "smart" people don't believe in paranormal phenoma, which is a ridiculous statement to make. The reason that the Chinese child believes in Santa is because he is a child with very undeveloped intelligence. It has nothing to do with gullibility. And my beliefs have nothing to do with gullibility as well. You have proven absolutely nothing to me or anyone else on this forum, and you never will. I couldn't care less about what James Randi says. All it tells me is that his testing methods aren't sophisticated enough to measure this type of phenomena.
It must be horrible to live the kind of existence that you do. Do you really think we are merely biological organisms that just live to die? You don't know much about energy, do you? You will come around sometime, probably not in this lifetime, but sometime. But I would suggest not wasting your energy on this topic anymore, because it really means nothing to those of us here who have the opposite viewpoint.
Santa? In China?!?! :rolleyes:
I just wanted to point out that I think Oopkop's questions are very legitimate and deserve the best answers that can be given. I think he's right to ask and I think it's ok that he's the skeptic that he is.
We all have our own paths, none is worse than any other. Oopkop coming here and asking shows that he can recognize a good resource when he sees one.
I hope we can respond without appearing defensive, without fighting. I hope we can respond with a genuine desire to answer his questions as best we can.
An open community, open and accepting of criticism, is a healthy community.
I don't see any questions here that Oopkop hasn't already declared the answer to. Did I miss the question?
Let's not feed the troll. His belly is full already. We should have closed down the thread when it started. Partially my fault there. :)
In general when someone's first post is designed to spark a debate, that's trolling. It's like throwing a grenade into a movie theatre. Just report the post to a moderator and leave it alone.
Now it's not the topic that is trolling but the way he presented it. If someone wants to discuss aspects of this topic, please start another thread.
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