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Tags Matt Rouge , michael prescott , psychics

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Old 5th July 2017, 02:23 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by BillSkeptic View Post
On Michael Prescott's blog one of his friends Matt Rouge wrote a piece "Why Skeptics will never accept the existence of psi".



Michael Prescott apparently bans most skeptics from commenting on his blog. Anyone want to take a stab at refuting Matt Rouge's claims about skeptics?

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/m...ce-of-psi.html

For those who do not know who Michael Prescott is, he is an author of crime fiction but also known for his credulous acceptance of paranormal and pseudoscience topics.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Michael_Prescott

Prescott believes in ectoplasm, demonic possession, "earthbound spirits" and reincarnation and has a history of defending fraudulent spiritualist mediums such as Eusapia Palladino.
Clearly he is a liar and/or a fraud. A piece of fecal matter just waiting for the toilet handle to be pushed to be flushed down the drain of silliness and greed!!!
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Old 5th July 2017, 02:54 PM   #42
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That is not contradictory to what I said.
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Old 5th July 2017, 03:03 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by MuDPhuD View Post
...snip,...

The difficulty is that the believers are not willing to consider the role of chance and coincidence in their lives, but prefer to believe fantasy tales of supernatural intervention and spiritual connectedness. It is exactly the same problem which keeps the religious convinced that prayer works. So I would say the author of the above is perhaps not entirely naive, but rather has a poor understanding of the role of chance and coincidence in his, and his psychic friends' lives.

The fact that half of his friends do in fact charge for readings, and that they consider themselves to have consistent and successful psychic powers, would indicate that whatever "spiritual laws" there may be, they do not preclude turning a profit on ones work. They do not consider themselves to be cheating their clients because they actually believe their readings are of value. So, whats to stop someone from using these powers in a casino?
They could make a lot of money and give it to the charity of their choice.
Such powers could certainly be used in law enforcement, if they gave consistent results.
The fact is that psi does not give consistent results because it is based on chance coincidence, and statistical anomalies, and that is why we will not see it used to the advantage of human kind at any time, let alone within the century.

Of course I would be happy to be proven wrong!
Hawks back to comments I made on this site many, many moons ago. If PSI worked the military would be using it, there is nothing that humanity has ever invented or has any ability to do that hasn't been exploited by our military over the years.

And no it could not be secret as every military, insurgency, terrorist group and so on would be using it.
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Old 5th July 2017, 06:23 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Hawks back to comments I made on this site many, many moons ago. If PSI worked the military would be using it, there is nothing that humanity has ever invented or has any ability to do that hasn't been exploited by our military over the years.

And no it could not be secret as every military, insurgency, terrorist group and so on would be using it.
Most damning, the military did try it (in the US) and stopped the program when it didn't work.

https://fas.org/irp/program/collect/stargate.htm

"I don't want this highly effective and inexpensive intelligence program," said no government ever.
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Old 5th July 2017, 07:36 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
"can be tested" doesn't equal "had been tested". It is possible there are people with consistent psychic powers who simply don't want to be tested.
I'm not sure if this is just semantics but, if so, it may be impossible that people with consistent psychic powers, or indeed any psychic powers, exist all. Where does this get us with regard to assessing reality?
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Old 5th July 2017, 08:04 PM   #46
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Comments from Matt Rouge:

Quote:
It all starts with recognizing that phenomena exist. Skeptics believe that they can stick their fingers in their ears and go, "Na na NAH na, can't hearrr you," and the phenomena will eventually go away. They won't. If we don't have a theory of psi 100 years ago, we will still be dealing with the phenomena, and the work of understanding them will lie yet ahead of us...

Psi is such a universally experienced phenomenon, in every country and every time period, that there is a kind of burden of proof on those who claim that it does not exist. For example, it would be similar if I claimed that falling in love didn't exist. Hey, it's immaterial, it can't be proven "scientifically," there's no theory on how it works, etc. All the same points could be raised.

If I were to make that claim, it would at least fall on me to explain *why* so many people *think* it exists when it doesn't. And that is true of psi as well. It would be *bad science* to say that people have been fooled since the dawn of history into think that psi is real, yet remain incurious as to why that was the case. Skeptics, however, regularly commit this error. And why is that? Because you are litigators and propagandists and not truth-seekers. You want to discredit psi so that as few people believe in it, and leave it at that. You don't really want to *know* what's going on.
The burden of proof is on the skeptics to prove psi does not exist...

We are dealing a fundamentalist here folks

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/m...ge/4/#comments
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Old 5th July 2017, 08:06 PM   #47
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Matt Rouge is also religious:

Quote:
Spirituality is a big part of my life. I was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic junior high school, high school, and university. Somewhat early in life, however, my views diverted from those of the Church, and now I feel the best label for me is “New Age.” I take my views from many sources and have great respect for Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, paganism, monism, pantheism, and many other religions and philosophies. I believe in a higher power, an afterlife, and the law of karma.
This would explain his anti-scientific agenda.

http://mattrouge.com/about-2/

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Old 5th July 2017, 09:08 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Bladesman87 View Post
I'm not sure if this is just semantics but, if so, it may be impossible that people with consistent psychic powers, or indeed any psychic powers, exist all. Where does this get us with regard to assessing reality?
If it is possible consistent psychic powers exist, why should we conclude they don't exist? Are you agnostic about their existence? Most skeptics are convinced they don't exist.
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Old 5th July 2017, 09:20 PM   #49
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What's your claim, Fudbucker?

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Old 5th July 2017, 11:36 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What's your claim, Fudbucker?

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Skeptics should be more open-minded.
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Old 5th July 2017, 11:40 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Skeptics should be more open-minded.
As the saying goes, Don't leave your mind so open it falls out onto the floor.
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Old 6th July 2017, 12:06 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Skeptics should be more open-minded.
Open mindedness is the very essence of scepticism. Open to evidence, open to argument. If neither is forthcoming then a sceptic's working assumption is that the claim is false, but must be revisited should either ever be produced. That is being open minded.

Believers, however, are apt to wilfully ignore any and all evidence or argument which suggests that their beliefs are mistaken. That is being close minded.
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Old 6th July 2017, 01:10 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
Open mindedness is the very essence of scepticism. Open to evidence, open to argument. If neither is forthcoming then a sceptic's working assumption is that the claim is false, but must be revisited should either ever be produced. That is being open minded.

Believers, however, are apt to wilfully ignore any and all evidence or argument which suggests that their beliefs are mistaken. That is being close minded.
If I claim that when Caesar crossed the Rubicon, he did it before noon, are you going to assume that claim is false? After all, what argument or evidence could I present to back up such a claim?
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Old 6th July 2017, 02:06 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
If I claim that when Caesar crossed the Rubicon, he did it before noon, are you going to assume that claim is false? After all, what argument or evidence could I present to back up such a claim?
It all depends on the nature of the claim and the pwoer of the evidence. A simple report from a soldat in its army , or a civilian report, would suffice as evidence in this case. Because the claim is not that big.

OTOH psy is claiming RIGHT NOW, to have effect. Therefore the evidence should be able to be gotten RIGHT NOW. Emphasis on right now. Furthermore the claim are not simple and local, they are wide ranging and very impacting fundemmentally changing a lot of understanding in physic and biology. Therefore a simple "report" from an average joe "I heard that the step brother of the cousin of my butcher can do psy" does not suffice. You need pretty solid evidence.

And that is the problem. We are not speaking of a single historical event "caesar cross the rubicoN" but something pretending to be repeatable and happen on regular basis (note that I did not say often, jsut that however rare, it is pretended to happen to quite a lot of people). The claim is more akin to "caesar is crossing the rubicon daily, even today as a visible, sighteable ghost".

And YES, when such fundemmental claim on the physical word, that is not historical, are made, the default should ALWAYS be the null : "nothing happens the claim is false - basic physic and biology applies".

You are asking pretty much to reverse the null and the bruder of proof.

No. Open minded of new evidence, yes, but the burden, is still on the claim side, and until the claim is evidenced properly, the null should be the default explanation.
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Old 6th July 2017, 02:27 AM   #55
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And to be clear the analogy stinks because you are comparing an event which is pretended to be repeatable right now and big group of different people - and an event which go against what we could up to now measure from nature and human, with an historical single event long past - and to boot an event which is not even beyond natural. Now "caesar is flying and living today" would be a step better but you would be called upon it.

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Old 6th July 2017, 02:29 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
If I claim that when Caesar crossed the Rubicon, he did it before noon, are you going to assume that claim is false?
No, I'm going to assume that you are deliberately misunderstanding the point that I am making, as in the context of the thread it is perfectly clear to which type of claim I am referring, and the Rubicon claim is not of that type.
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Old 6th July 2017, 02:38 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
No, I'm going to assume that you are deliberately misunderstanding the point that I am making, as in the context of the thread it is perfectly clear to which type of claim I am referring, and the Rubicon claim is not of that type.
I was making a point, but you're right. Claims about psi powers are different than claims about history. Let's try a different claim:

"Aliens with psi powers exist somewhere in the universe."

What do you think? Definitely false? Probably false? Probably true? 50/50?
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Old 6th July 2017, 02:54 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
I was making a point, but you're right. Claims about psi powers are different than claims about history. Let's try a different claim:

"Aliens with psi powers exist somewhere in the universe."

What do you think? Definitely false? Probably false? Probably true? 50/50?
Assumed false until and unless evidence offered to support it.
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Old 6th July 2017, 03:21 AM   #59
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To put what I'm arguing another way: where we have sufficient knowledge and understanding to create a null hypothesis, any positive claim which contradicts that null hypothesis has the burden of proof. The disagreement between sceptic and believer usually boils down to whether or not the sceptic is justified in creating a null hypothesis, and hence putting the burden of proof on the believer.
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Old 6th July 2017, 04:04 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
Open mindedness is the very essence of scepticism. Open to evidence, open to argument. If neither is forthcoming then a sceptic's working assumption is that the claim is false, but must be revisited should either ever be produced. That is being open minded.

Believers, however, are apt to wilfully ignore any and all evidence or argument which suggests that their beliefs are mistaken. That is being close minded.
Nope. A skeptic's working assumption is that we don't know whether the claim is true or false. You're just doing the believer thing but from the other side.

A: "psi does not exist."
Skeptic: "is there evidence of that claim?"
A: "no."
Skeptic: "then the claim is assumed to be false, ie psi is assumed to exist."

See the problem?
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Old 6th July 2017, 04:12 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Nope. A skeptic's working assumption is that we don't know whether the claim is true or false. You're just doing the believer thing but from the other side.

A: "psi does not exist."
Skeptic: "is there evidence of that claim?"
A: "no."
Skeptic: "then the claim is assumed to be false, ie psi is assumed to exist."

See the problem?
See my subsequent posts.
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Old 6th July 2017, 04:32 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
I was making a point, but you're right. Claims about psi powers are different than claims about history. Let's try a different claim:

"Aliens with psi powers exist somewhere in the universe."

What do you think? Definitely false? Probably false? Probably true? 50/50?
You would need to define your terms before the question becomes meaningful.
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Old 6th July 2017, 04:56 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
See my subsequent posts.
I have.

Your first subsequent post is wrong in the same way (ie that's not a skeptical position but a believer position, just because the belief is in the negation of the claim doesn't stop it from being a belief without evidence).

Your second subsequent post mostly seems confused about what a null hypothesis is. We can always construct a null hypothesis, it's called a null hypothesis for a reason.

All in all, nope, you're a believer
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Old 6th July 2017, 05:03 AM   #64
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Here's how to do it correctly:

Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
I was making a point, but you're right. Claims about psi powers are different than claims about history. Let's try a different claim:

"Aliens with psi powers exist somewhere in the universe."

What do you think? Definitely false? Probably false? Probably true? 50/50?
Answer: There is no correlation between variable A which is 1 when we choose the universe, and variable B which is 1 when that which is pointed at by A contains aliens with psi powers. That is, the answer is the null hypothesis (ie no correlation). Slightly less precise, that would be the "50/50" answer.

Here are some versions of believer answers:

- A is perfectly positively correlated with B, ie when A is 1 then B is 1. Or in words "aliens with psi powers exist in the universe".

- A is perfectly negatively correlated with B, ie when A is 1 then B is 0. Or in words "it is false that aliens with psi powers exist in the universe".

The first would be a skeptical position, the latter two would be respectively the believer and denier (which is also a believer, just believer in the negation of the claim) positions.
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Old 6th July 2017, 06:07 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
If it is possible consistent psychic powers exist, why should we conclude they don't exist? Are you agnostic about their existence? Most skeptics are convinced they don't exist.
No physical, chemical or other indication that it actually exists and physics as we know it so far makes no provision for psychic powers/effects. Pretty much tosses it in the Dumpster of Silly and/or Mendacious Ideas!!!!!

Hope this helps!!!!!
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Old 6th July 2017, 06:12 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Here's how to do it correctly:

...snip...

The first would be a skeptical position, the latter two would be respectively the believer and denier (which is also a believer, just believer in the negation of the claim) positions.
The skeptical viewpoint would be not to form any answer until the bloody question has meaning!
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Old 6th July 2017, 06:15 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Hawks back to comments I made on this site many, many moons ago. If PSI worked the military would be using it, there is nothing that humanity has ever invented or has any ability to do that hasn't been exploited by our military over the years.

And no it could not be secret as every military, insurgency, terrorist group and so on would be using it.
Huh...

Originally Posted by article
According to the Pentagon, the program was born of field reports from the war theater, including a 2006 incident in Iraq, when Staff Sergeant Martin Richburg, using intuition, prevented carnage in an IED, or improvised explosive device, incident. Commander Joseph Cohn, a program manager at the naval office, told the New York Times, “These reports from the field often detailed a ‘sixth sense’ or ‘Spidey sense’ that alerted them to an impending attack or I.E.D., or that allowed them to respond to a novel situation without consciously analyzing the situation.”

More than a decade later, today’s Defense Department has accelerated practical applications of this concept. Active-duty Marines are being taught to hone precognitive skills in order to “preempt snipers, IED emplacers and other irregular assaults [using] advanced perceptual competences that have not been well studied.”
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Old 6th July 2017, 06:23 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
The skeptical viewpoint would be not to form any answer until the bloody question has meaning!
Interestingly enough, no. The claims involved merely need to be sentences, not necessarily meaningful ones. Suppose the first claim is "qqhjfd lffgd hjsugr lkrgiovdnqs" and the second claim is "mogf whd so mvfd, sjdf" then the skeptical position is P(claim 1) = P(claim 2).
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"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin
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Old 6th July 2017, 06:26 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Which has what to do with my statement you posted?

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Interestingly enough, no. The claims involved merely need to be sentences, not necessarily meaningful ones. Suppose the first claim is "qqhjfd lffgd hjsugr lkrgiovdnqs" and the second claim is "mogf whd so mvfd, sjdf" then the skeptical position is P(claim 1) = P(claim 2).
That is rather silly.
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Old 6th July 2017, 06:45 AM   #70
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Do I believe that people have experiences they can't accurately explain? Yes.

Do I believe that the explanation for these experiences is PSI? No.

I've had some experiences where I "knew" something when I had no actual evidence in hand to support my perception. As the situation developed, I was correct in my SWAG - Scientific Wild-Ass Guess.

Rather than believing I have psychic powers. I believe that the circumstances in the moment triggered a thought based on past experiences in similar situations.

Not exciting or fun, but there it is.
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Old 6th July 2017, 07:01 AM   #71
caveman1917
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Which has what to do with my statement you posted?
You're saying you can not connect the following statements in some logical manner?

Quote:
If PSI worked the military would be using it
Quote:
Active-duty Marines are being taught to hone precognitive skills
That's...interesting. Ok, I'll give you the answer: you need a better argument, your argument only works if the military were not using it.

Quote:
That is rather silly.
It's also rather right. The claims don't need to be meaningful, they merely need to be able to be either true or false.
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Last edited by caveman1917; 6th July 2017 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 6th July 2017, 07:29 AM   #72
Bladesman87
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
If it is possible consistent psychic powers exist, why should we conclude they don't exist?
We haven't concluded that it's even possible yet. But it's not like we don't have any conclusions about psychic powers. We know plenty about fakes and their methodology. We have knowledge when it comes to objects that can interact as to how they interact such that we could speculatively look for similar potential for "psi".

Quote:
Are you agnostic about their existence? Most skeptics are convinced they don't exist.
You'd have to unpack exactly what meaning of agnostic you're implying. If you mean that I have don't absolute certainty then I'm agnostic about almost everything. If you mean I can never have absolute certainty about psychics, then the same.

If where you're heading is simply to point out that psychic powers may be possible but also may be impossible, then this isn't very interesting to me. It's just word play about what credence I assign to ideas and beliefs.

All you end up doing is forcing me to clarify my position as follows: I have no good reason to believe that psychic powers are either possible or actually exist. I'm fine for most uses in phrasing this as "I think it's all bs".

I have, relatively speaking, a fairly low bar for what would constitute good evidence. My open-mindedness isn't a problem here. The problem is a bunch of people keep claiming powers that they can't ever demonstrate with even basic controls in place.
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Old 6th July 2017, 07:44 AM   #73
Aepervius
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Nope. A skeptic's working assumption is that we don't know whether the claim is true or false. You're just doing the believer thing but from the other side.

A: "psi does not exist."
Skeptic: "is there evidence of that claim?"
A: "no."
Skeptic: "then the claim is assumed to be false, ie psi is assumed to exist."

See the problem?
Hurm. No. We are not starting from nothing, we are starting from "entity does not exisrs" if only out of üarcimony in some case where all is unknown, but it aint even the case here.

You are simply assumig an implied 50/50 where there is none.
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Old 6th July 2017, 07:59 AM   #74
caveman1917
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
we are starting from "entity does not exisrs"
Yes that's why you're believers rather than skeptics.
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Old 6th July 2017, 08:33 AM   #75
Darat
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
You're saying you can not connect the following statements in some logical manner?




That's...interesting. Ok, I'll give you the answer: you need a better argument, your argument only works if the military were not using it.
There was no mention in the article you linked to that was about "psi" as it was used by Matt Rouge. So no there was no logical link.

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
It's also rather right. The claims don't need to be meaningful, they merely need to be able to be either true or false.
Donec vulputate quam at ex convallis bibendum. Sed eleifend tristique turpis. Cras turpis erat, ornare tincidunt varius at, commodo faucibus urna. Nullam blandit sapien pulvinar elit tempor, at laoreet dui facilisis. Nulla facilisi. Suspendisse ut purus finibus, iaculis enim sit.

And your position on the above claim is?
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Old 6th July 2017, 08:47 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Here's how to do it correctly:
Having observed your (unsuccessful) attempts to undermine JayUtah's arguments in Jabba's Immortality thread I have no interest in entering a discussion with you, so I will say only that I do not accept your correction.
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Old 6th July 2017, 08:53 AM   #77
caveman1917
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
There was no mention in the article you linked to that was about "psi" as it was used by Matt Rouge. So no there was no logical link.
Training precognitive skills to use a sixth sense so as to predict IEDs and such...sounds pretty "psi" to me anyway.

The cool bit being that the way out here is to acknowledge that the military is stupid and that what they do or don't do means jack ****, ie you need a better argument.

Quote:
Donec vulputate quam at ex convallis bibendum. Sed eleifend tristique turpis. Cras turpis erat, ornare tincidunt varius at, commodo faucibus urna. Nullam blandit sapien pulvinar elit tempor, at laoreet dui facilisis. Nulla facilisi. Suspendisse ut purus finibus, iaculis enim sit.

And your position on the above claim is?
That I have no evidence to prefer it over its negation nor vice versa, ergo P(claim) = P(not claim).
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"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin
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Old 6th July 2017, 09:10 AM   #78
caveman1917
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
Having observed your (unsuccessful) attempts to undermine JayUtah's arguments in Jabba's Immortality thread I have no interest in entering a discussion with you
If you think that was unsuccessful then you shouldn't, it'd be too boring, and you'd probably get annoying pretty fast with things like implying that 1 + 1 equals 3 or such - because that's what JayUtah's latest in that thread implies, among other things.

Quote:
so I will say only that I do not accept your correction.
Believers never do. Interestingly, I haven't been able to catch JayUtah in any such "believer errors", it's just that his math is so deplorably bad. Over 5 years of this you'd think the guy would've bothered reading a damn probability textbook.
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"Ideas are also weapons." - Subcomandante Marcos
"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live." - Lucy Parsons
"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin

Last edited by caveman1917; 6th July 2017 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 6th July 2017, 09:12 AM   #79
Darat
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Training precognitive skills to use a sixth sense so as to predict IEDs and such...sounds pretty "psi" to me anyway.
Ah I see you are using a different definition of "psi" that was introduced at the start of this thread. You are of course fine to redefine "psi" however you wish - I'll just continue to use it how it was introduced at the start of the thread.
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
The cool bit being that the way out here is to acknowledge that the military is stupid and that what they do or don't do means jack ****, ie you need a better argument.
You need to do research into humanity's military history and what has been developed technology wise over all of recorded human history as you obvious have a very poor grasp of such history.


Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post

That I have no evidence to prefer it over its negation nor vice versa, ergo P(claim) = P(not claim).
But using my special definition of words I was saying "the sun is a star" - so you are saying that you think it is only 50/50 that the sun is a star! Amazing.
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Old 6th July 2017, 09:14 AM   #80
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Well Randi's 10 millions are still safely sitting in the safe, right ..

EDIT: oh I see they stopped it .. pity ..
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