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Tags faith healers , faith healing , Kathryn Kuhlman

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Old 23rd October 2006, 10:09 PM   #1
snagswolf
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My only brush with the paranormal

Hey there. I'm new here so you all don't know me very well, but I'm pretty straight forward and tend to be very skeptical. If I don't see it for myself, I don't believe it. I'm here mainly to participate and learn more about debunking the 9/11 conspiracy kooks.

That said, I've had one occurrence in my life that can't be explained by any science, coincidence, physics, etc.

When I was 15, around 1973, I would go with my sister and her boyfriend's (future husband) family up to Youngstown, OH, (I'm from Pittsburgh) every Sunday to attend Kathryn Kuhlman's services. For those not familiar with her, Kathryn Kuhlman was an evangelist, in the vein of Billy Graham.

I wasn't really into it, but I would go with my sister and the family and take in the sights. Most of the time, Kathryn Kuhlman would just preach, and they'd all sing, and it would be fairly entertaining.

But ever few months or so, she would hold healing services. She was always admant that she wasn't a faith healer, but that it was God who was doing the healing. I would watch the goings on with skepticism, as she would call out healings that were happening, and people would come up to the stage and claim they were healed of various ailments, from bad backs to deafness to cancer. Without anything to personally verify these healings, I certainly took them with a grain of salt, even at my young age.

But then came a Sunday it wasn't some stranger being healed of some hidden malady. My sister's boyfriend has an uncle, and his uncle, at the time had a young daughter about 5 years old. This girl was born with two club feet, and was afflicted with this condition until that day. She left that healing service with two perfectly healthy and two perfectly shaped feet, and I saw them, up close, with my own eyes.

Of course, this is my anecdotal story, and if someone was telling it to me, I would be skeptical myself. But I know what I saw, and because of that, I personally know there are things we don't yet fully understand.
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Old 23rd October 2006, 10:12 PM   #2
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Did you see the child's feet before the healing?
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Old 23rd October 2006, 10:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by The Vampire View Post
Did you see the child's feet before the healing?
Yes. And I could ask my sister for some photos if anyone's interested.
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Old 23rd October 2006, 10:22 PM   #4
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Anyone is definitely interested.
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Old 23rd October 2006, 10:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by snagswolf View Post
She left that healing service with two perfectly healthy and two perfectly shaped feet, and I saw them, up close, with my own eyes.
She left with four feet? Praise Jeebus!!

What is the purpose of your post? What makes you think anyone here would be interested in a miracle that happened to your sister's boyfriend's uncle's daughter?
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Last edited by fishbait; 23rd October 2006 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 23rd October 2006, 10:26 PM   #6
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May take a few days, but I'll talk to my sister and post some photos if she has them.
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Old 23rd October 2006, 10:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fishbait View Post
What is the purpose of your post?
Just to tell a story of something that happened to me.

Again, I expect skepticism. I would be skeptical if someone told it to me.

Edit: Actually, to be specific, this isn't something that happened to me, just something I saw.

Last edited by snagswolf; 23rd October 2006 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 23rd October 2006, 10:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by snagswolf View Post
Yes. And I could ask my sister for some photos if anyone's interested.
Don't waste your time. Pictures are meaningless without verification.

How about getting the family doctor to sign a notorized affidavit? I'm sure the child must have been seen by a doctor for the foot condition?
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Old 23rd October 2006, 10:41 PM   #9
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On a lighter note, a story that was definitely NOT a brush with the paranormal:

My wife and I decided to go on the tour of Moundsville Penitentiary, which is a closed prison in nearby Moundsville WV.

We get there, and it turns out it's only us and one other couple on the tour. And the other couple are 'ghost hunters'. They had all kinds of low-tech paraphenelia, like cameras, lasers, and flashlights. I had my camera, and they kept asking me if I was 'getting anything'. I told them I wasn't really looking for any ghosts, but they kept giving me tips on what to look for. I had to promise them I would check my photos when I got home.

My wife was less tactful, and couldn't stop herself from cracking up the whole time.
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Old 23rd October 2006, 10:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by fishbait View Post
Don't waste your time. Pictures are meaningless without verification.
I can't argue with that.

Originally Posted by fishbait View Post
How about getting the family doctor to sign a notorized affidavit? I'm sure the child must have been seen by a doctor for the foot condition?
Two reasons. I don't need a affidavit to convince me, and I'm not here to convince you.

It's ok. I understand. As I said, I wouldn't believe me either.
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Old 23rd October 2006, 11:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
My sister's boyfriend has an uncle, and his uncle, at the time had a young daughter about 5 years old.
I am usually suspicious of any tale that involves an anecdote about a sister's boyfriend's uncle's uncle's daughter.

Is the girl still "cured"?

Randi wrote a book called "The Faith Healers" which I'd love to read. He found many claims, but not one substantiated case of actual healing. Yours would be the first. There's also this, from a review of the book “Pseudoscience and the Paranormal” in the January/February 2006 issue of ‘Skeptical Inquirer’:

“Helen Sullivan could walk only with a back brace, due to the cancer that had weakened the bones of her spinal cord. But when faith healer Kathryn Kuhlman told her that her cancer was cured, Sullivan threw off her back brace and ran across the stage several times as the audience applauded and Kuhlman praised the Lord. For the rest of the evening, Sullivan felt no pain, but by early morning, the pain had returned, only more intense than before. Without the support of her brace, one of her vertebrae had collapsed. Two months later, Sullivan was dead of the cancer that Kuhlman had “cured” her of.”

"According to the author, Terence Hines, instances of faith healing can be explained by the role that emotional arousal plays in pain suppression. The brain produces a class of chemicals called endorphins that are released to suppress pain during times of stress or emotional arousal. After the session, the pain returns, often magnified by subsequent damage, but, as Hines points out, “faith healers almost never follow up on cases they claim to have cured, [so] it is easy to understand why both members of the audience and the healers themselves can become convinced that their cures are real."

Last edited by CLD; 23rd October 2006 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 23rd October 2006, 11:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by snagswolf View Post

Two reasons. I don't need a affidavit to convince me, and I'm not here to convince you.

It's ok. I understand. As I said, I wouldn't believe me either.
More mantras of the believers. You are simply deluded or a liar.
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Old 23rd October 2006, 11:23 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by snagswolf View Post
Two reasons. I don't need a affidavit to convince me, and I'm not here to convince you.

It's ok. I understand. As I said, I wouldn't believe me either.
Then what's the point?

If you give a group of skeptics an anecdote they're going to ask for evidence. Not only do you not provide any, by your own admission you have no intention of providing any, because you "aren't here to convince us".

So you're convinced, and we're not. Whoop-de-doo. I'm sure I speak for many when I say "OK, whatever buddy."

Doing a bit of trolling, perhaps?
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Old 24th October 2006, 02:17 AM   #14
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Welcome Snagswolf!

Most of us here have our own tales of the unexplained, some solutions, so with most probable solutions, and some with heck but I'm not going to go woo over it.
What's your own most probable natural explanation?

My two questions are:

1. What was the actual severity of her "clubfoot" condition?
2. Were you able to see her subsequently? I mean was the condition permanantly changed?

Under circumstances of suggestion a muscle related "deformity" can be altered temporarily.
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Old 24th October 2006, 03:13 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by snagswolf View Post
Hey there. I'm new here so you all don't know me very well, but I'm pretty straight forward and tend to be very skeptical. If I don't see it for myself, I don't believe it. I'm here mainly to participate and learn more about debunking the 9/11 conspiracy kooks.

That said, I've had one occurrence in my life that can't be explained by any science, coincidence, physics, etc.
"Skeptical" does not mean "I believe it only when I see it". You should also be skeptical of that which you do see. And as a fifteen-year-old, were you really qualified to decide that what you saw "can't be explained"? A miracle such as this would come to the attention of the physicians caring for the girl, and through them would spread throughout the medical community. It doesn't look like people with the knowledge and experience to make that determination found it inexplicable. Why did you ignore that?

Quote:
Of course, this is my anecdotal story, and if someone was telling it to me, I would be skeptical myself. But I know what I saw, and because of that, I personally know there are things we don't yet fully understand.
By "things we don't fully understand" you seem to mean "things that violate our understanding of natural laws". Wouldn't you like to have more than your own inexpert observation from 30 years ago to come to a conclusion that profound? Sure, I've seen things *I* can't explain, but I don't decide that whatever it is unexplainable unless it's been investigated by someone with the skills to make that determination.

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Old 24th October 2006, 03:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by fishbait View Post
She left with four feet? Praise Jeebus!!

What is the purpose of your post? What makes you think anyone here would be interested in a miracle that happened to your sister's boyfriend's uncle's daughter?
I believe it is called polite conversation. I have heard it happens sometimes, even on the Internet. In fact it is even easier here because the speaker is not standing in front of you akwardly awaiting a reply. If you are not interested you can say nothing and no one will be the wiser.
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Old 24th October 2006, 03:51 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by snagswolf View Post
Hey there. I'm new here so you all don't know me very well, but I'm pretty straight forward and tend to be very skeptical. If I don't see it for myself, I don't believe it. I'm here mainly to participate and learn more about debunking the 9/11 conspiracy kooks.

That said, I've had one occurrence in my life that can't be explained by any science, coincidence, physics, etc.

...

Of course, this is my anecdotal story, and if someone was telling it to me, I would be skeptical myself. But I know what I saw, and because of that, I personally know there are things we don't yet fully understand.
I'm sceptical of your claim to be skeptical. Perhaps what you meant to say was "I've had one experience in my life that I can't explain". Seeing one thing you don't understand and immediately jumping to the conclusion that it was not due to anything scientific is the exact opposite of skepticism.
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Old 24th October 2006, 09:15 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by valis View Post
I believe it is called polite conversation...blah blah..blah...blah...
The absurdity of the OP deserves no respectful or polite responses.
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Old 24th October 2006, 09:39 AM   #19
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Snagswolf,

Interesting story. As you can see by some of the replies to your OP many skeptics here are complete jerks, and their input is worthless.

I think faith-healings, as well as many other paranormal phenomena, are a manifestation of the power of the mind, not a manifestation of the power of God. (although sometimes the two are one in the same) The combined faith and mental power of the crowd...focused by the priest, healed her club-feet. This is a type of thought-form.
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Old 24th October 2006, 09:45 AM   #20
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So club feet can be corrected by putting the child in casts as the feet grow or, in severe cases, by surgery. Doctors aim at creating a normal-looking foot. (source) A five year-old child would today be pretty much done with treatment. (source) I have no idea what the state of affairs was in 1973.

It's possible the child was wearing casts which were removed during the faith healing. If so, the feet should have looked quite normal as the child would have been very near the end of any treatment. Of course, the other possibilities mentioned above (with the exception of the power of the mind thing) are also just as likely.

I would have to see pictures of the feet immediately before and after the faith healing to continue to care.
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Old 24th October 2006, 09:48 AM   #21
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Limbo 9's explanations is that "it's not a god it's psychic superpowers!!"

LMAO!!
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Old 24th October 2006, 11:51 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by snagswolf View Post
But I know what I saw, and because of that, I personally know there are things we don't yet fully understand.
Let's just assume you did see what you think you saw. Let's assume you are right.

What does that mean?

You don't dispute the fact that Khulman fails to heal thousands of people. You don't dispute the fact that the near-total majority of paranormal and unusual claims are bunk, either mistakes, self-deceptions, or outright fraud.

Nor do you dispute Darfur, the Tsunami, the Holocaust, or Pontine tumours. You don't dispute the fact that innocent children die every day in this country alone, from a lack of the most basic miraculous efforts.

Heck, children die on a regular basis, in the most horrific way, kidnapped by sick sexual predators, because God can't be bothered to make a phone call.

So against this ocean of misery and suffering, what do we have? One little girl who was granted a miracle, so she wouldn't stumble when she walked. Her life wasn't in danger. Other than running marathons, her life wasn't even circumscribed. There are children going blind in Africa right now, for lack of a pill that costs one dollar a year. Yet your cousin deserves a miracle, and they don't?

What kind of God would dole out his power so inefficiently? So utterly randomly? So unfairly?

We are left to conclude one of two things:


A) There is a God, and He is the most capricious being imaginable. He does not conform to any human understanding of good, fair, reliable, responsible, reasonable, manageable, or comprehensible, yet He controls all aspects of our lives for his own inscrutable reasons. We are but playthings to Him. He heals or ruins, saves or damns whomever he wants, with no more concern for them than your cousin has for her stuffed animals. Actually, with less, if your cousin is a normal child.

B) You are somehow mistaken in your observations, and the laws of physics and nature did not spontaneously change.


Ask yourself which of these are more likely. Then ask yourself which of these two you would prefer to be true.

That's the part that always gets me: not that you, or someone else, thought they saw a miracle; but that they never sat down and thought about exactly what that miracle would mean. If your experience is true, then we are helpless in the face of a world which cannot be understood, or even dealt with, but merely endured. If your experience is true, it does not create hope as you seem to think, but rather, destroys hope. It reduces all of us to victims. It makes a mockery of our efforts to make our lives better. It makes everything good in your life a gift, instead of the product of your own efforts.

Yet you tell this story as if it where supposed to inspire hope that things could get better; when in fact, if the story were true, it would merely show that all disease and illness are there because God wants them to be (given that he could make them go away in an instant). You think this is an example of somebody getting a special exemption; you do not understand it is an example of everyone else not getting a special exemption.

It takes a special kind of person to stand up in middle of a crowd of tortured, abused, crippled, dying children and shout, "Look at this! My cousin had a hang-nail cured by God!"
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Old 24th October 2006, 11:55 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Limbo9 View Post
I think faith-healings, as well as many other paranormal phenomena, are a manifestation of the power of the mind,
The corollary being, that illness is a manifestation of the weakness of the mind.

If being healthy is a mental attribute, then it is a character attribute; and that inevitably means that being sick is a mental flaw and therefore a character flaw.

Congratulations! You are only a few steps away from asserting that Jews who died in the Holocaust deserved it.
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Old 24th October 2006, 12:49 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Limbo9 View Post
I think faith-healings, as well as many other paranormal phenomena, are a manifestation of the power of the mind, not a manifestation of the power of God.
Why is there no evidence of this?

Why can these faith healings not be performed as part of regular medicine?
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Old 24th October 2006, 01:20 PM   #25
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Re: #22

I have just copied that and stored it so that I can refer to it when refuting any claims that I might come across. It was such an interesting post.
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Old 24th October 2006, 01:37 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by fishbait View Post
What is the purpose of your post? What makes you think anyone here would be interested in a miracle that happened to your sister's boyfriend's uncle's daughter?
Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
More mantras of the believers. You are simply deluded or a liar.
Originally Posted by osmosis View Post
Then what's the point?

If you give a group of skeptics an anecdote they're going to ask for evidence. Not only do you not provide any, by your own admission you have no intention of providing any, because you "aren't here to convince us".

So you're convinced, and we're not. Whoop-de-doo. I'm sure I speak for many when I say "OK, whatever buddy."

Doing a bit of trolling, perhaps?
What is wrong with the good old phrase "welcome to the forum"? I can understand when people snap at obvious trolls, but this just looks like bullying of a new poster, regardless of their views.

The posters I admire most on this board are those who are able to debate and discuss any weird and challenging subject without ever resorting to being uncivil. Look at posts by KittyNH or Mercutio, or Tim, and learn something from them.
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Old 24th October 2006, 02:19 PM   #27
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Why do people throw in a "miracle" story and then proceed to say "I don't care of you don't believe me" or such and such"Is proof enough for me"

There are plenty of woo forums which would embrace you snagswolf,try there.
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Old 24th October 2006, 02:37 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
The absurdity of the OP deserves no respectful or polite responses.
So you feel that.....oh wait someone already answered for me:

Originally Posted by Limbo9
As you can see by some of the replies to your OP many skeptics here are complete jerks, and their input is worthless.
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Old 24th October 2006, 02:38 PM   #29
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Snagswulf, welcome to the forum. As you can see, it can sometimes be a bumpy ride.

I remember Kuhlman on TV back then (you and I are about the same age). She (particularly her voice) gave me the creeps.

Again, welcome. And thanks for sharing your story, anecdotal though it be. I for one don't disbelieve you, but think what you saw (or remember seeing) is probably explainable without resorting to the supernatural.
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Old 24th October 2006, 03:28 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by snagswolf View Post
On a lighter note, a story that was definitely NOT a brush with the paranormal:

My wife and I decided to go on the tour of Moundsville Penitentiary, which is a closed prison in nearby Moundsville WV.

We get there, and it turns out it's only us and one other couple on the tour. And the other couple are 'ghost hunters'. They had all kinds of low-tech paraphenelia, like cameras, lasers, and flashlights. I had my camera, and they kept asking me if I was 'getting anything'. I told them I wasn't really looking for any ghosts, but they kept giving me tips on what to look for. I had to promise them I would check my photos when I got home.

My wife was less tactful, and couldn't stop herself from cracking up the whole time.
Welcome aboard. I find it interesting how people with paranormal convictions have a habit of ridiculing people with different paranormal convictions than their own. The difference between you and the ghost hunters is in the details of the beliefs, while the flawed thought patterns that led to these beliefs is exactly the same. It goes like this-> I can't explain it, therefore it's impossible by any natural means. A thinking like this involves the conviction that you can not be mistaken, so if anything seems impossible to you, then it must be impossible. I advice some humility.
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Old 24th October 2006, 04:14 PM   #31
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Thanks for the welcome, both from the nice and the abusers. (I tend to be abusive towards 9/11 kooks, so I certainly understand it.)

I didn't intend to offend anyone with this thread, and for those I did, I apologize. I understand the goal of this website, and specifically of this forum, and making unprovable claims here is just asking for abuse. (Or should I say, I understand it much better now. )

As for the claim that I'm a troll, that's not true. I have come here to learn more about, and share, information about debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories. I post mainly on the Sean Hannity board, under the same user name, and my posting history there of over two years shows I don't troll there, and I have no reason to troll you good people.

Again, my apologies. Hopefully my next post in this forum will be more productive.
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Old 24th October 2006, 05:11 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Tanja View Post
What is wrong with the good old phrase "welcome to the forum"? I can understand when people snap at obvious trolls, but this just looks like bullying of a new poster, regardless of their views.
Originally Posted by snagswolf View Post
I understand the goal of this website, and specifically of this forum, and making unprovable claims here is just asking for abuse. (Or should I say, I understand it much better now. )
Apparently snagswolf understands better than Tanja.

As one of the jerks (I admit it) quoted by Tanja, I would like to point out that it wasn't his view(s) I took issue with, it was the utter pointlessness of making a fantastic claim and then not offering any evidence where clearly at least a shred would be expected. A statement has the same content and meaning, and therefore can be expected to elicit the same response, regardless of whether the person is new to these parts or not.

But point taken: welcome to the forum, snagswolf.
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Old 24th October 2006, 05:33 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by osmosis View Post
I would like to point out that it wasn't his view(s) I took issue with, it was the utter pointlessness of making a fantastic claim and then not offering any evidence where clearly at least a shred would be expected.
I disagree, Os.

If I had experienced something which I had no non-paranormal explanation for, you can bet that I would describe it on this forum (much as Kelly did a day or two ago), whether I had proof or not.

And I woiuld expect the experience to be examined and dissected by the other posters here. Sometimes politely, sometimes not.

I don't think the OP was pointless, and the examination and criticisms of it definitely made sure that the thread was not.
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Old 24th October 2006, 05:38 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by snagswolf View Post
Thanks for the welcome, both from the nice and the abusers. (I tend to be abusive towards 9/11 kooks, so I certainly understand it.)

I didn't intend to offend anyone with this thread, and for those I did, I apologize. I understand the goal of this website, and specifically of this forum, and making unprovable claims here is just asking for abuse. (Or should I say, I understand it much better now. )

As for the claim that I'm a troll, that's not true. I have come here to learn more about, and share, information about debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories. I post mainly on the Sean Hannity board, under the same user name, and my posting history there of over two years shows I don't troll there, and I have no reason to troll you good people.

Again, my apologies. Hopefully my next post in this forum will be more productive.

No need to run off just yet. Feel free to ignore the usual arrogant replies, that's certainly understandable, but alot of fine points were made by other posters that deserves reflection and perhaps even a reply.
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Old 24th October 2006, 05:48 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by RSLancastr View Post
If I had experienced something which I had no non-paranormal explanation for, you can bet that I would describe it on this forum (much as Kelly did a day or two ago), whether I had proof or not.
Ok but then would you say that you had no intention of showing evidence, and that you were "not trying to convince us"? Would you also be surprised or taken aback when some cranky skeptic like me said "So what?"

Let's not forget that the OP was not so much a description of an experience as a statement of fact, a fact that is obviously impossible.

Last edited by osmosis; 24th October 2006 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 24th October 2006, 06:02 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by osmosis View Post
Ok but then would you say that you had no intention of showing evidence, and that you were "not trying to convince us"?
I don't recall him saying that. The closest thing I can find is when he said that he wasn't here to convince us, which seemed pretty reasonable to me.

Had he said "Here is irrefutable proof of faith healing, and you can't disprove itr!" that would have been something else. But that's not what he did.

He basically said "Here's a weird thing which happened to me a long time ago. I have no explanation for it. I have no proof of it. Make of it what you will."

And I have no problem with that. A reasoned give and take about things like this is part of what the forum is for.

Quote:
Would you also be surprised or taken aback when some cranky skeptic like me said "So what?"
Being an occasionally-cranky skeptic myself, nope!
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Old 24th October 2006, 06:39 PM   #37
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Is the girl still "cured"?
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Old 24th October 2006, 06:53 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by valis View Post
So you feel that.....oh wait someone already answered for me:
Nope. It's not being a jerk to reply to absurdities with insults and sarcasm.
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Old 24th October 2006, 11:00 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
Nope. It's not being a jerk to reply to absurdities with insults and sarcasm.
It's not being a jerk to reply to a jerk's absurdities with insults and sarcasm. However, it is pretty jerky to reply to someone who states, in a non-combative manner, a personal experience (or at least, something he personally saw) that he thought was outside the range of "normal" experiences.

Even if it weren't jerky, it's rude and uncalled for to insult someone who is merely giving an account of something they admit was strange and difficult to believe.

Sarcasm is always acceptable, since the people it would hurt the most are usually too stupid to recognize it...

My opinion (like it matters...) of snagswolf is fairly high, not based on the validity of his experience, but his reaction to and behavior towards everyone who ridiculed him. Of course, I usually only hang out in the warm and fuzzy threads (Community and Humor), so maybe what's been happening here is just what it's always like here in the real world...
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Old 25th October 2006, 12:14 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by RSLancastr View Post
I don't recall him saying that.!
Hmm now that I go back and check, neither do I.. lol

What he did say was (and I directly quote) "I don't need a affidavit to convince me, and I'm not here to convince you." The implication being that he is convinced, regardless of the lack of evidence.

Originally Posted by RSLancastr View Post
The closest thing I can find is when he said that he wasn't here to convince us, which seemed pretty reasonable to me.
But I want to be convinced! Not that it's all about me, mind you. I guess I've just been exposed to too many people who make fantastic claims without offering a single shred of solid evidence to back them up, and if pressed on the matter they just shrug and say something to the effect of "I know what I know, I don't need evidence."

Originally Posted by RSLancastr View Post
Had he said "Here is irrefutable proof of faith healing, and you can't disprove itr!" that would have been something else. But that's not what he did.
Granted, although it would have been better if he had, because then I'd get to see some "evidence". What he did say was "This girl was born with two club feet, and was afflicted with this condition until that day. She left that healing service with two perfectly healthy and two perfectly shaped feet, and I saw them, up close, with my own eyes." (emphasis mine) Well, anyone with critical faculties knows it didn't happen like that.

Personally, I get rather impatient with stories like this because they're so typical, and generally elicit the same old responses: the teller has a poor memory; the teller hallucinated; the teller is just yanking my chain, etc. Anyone can figure that out. If it were my story I'd at least consider those obvious possibilities before telling it to others as though it really happened.

But that's just me.
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