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Tags "The Poltergeist" , poltergeists , William Roll

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Old 9th October 2012, 04:14 PM   #121
JoeTheJuggler
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
Yes, I am not using the scientific method. I never said I was. What I'm doing is more akin to philosophy. I'm looking for the best explanation for a series of data.
What you're doing isn't really deductive logic (philosophy) at all. It's something called apologetics.

You're not in fact following the evidence to a conclusion. You're starting with a conclusion and looking to construct an argument (or gather evidence) that will lead to it.
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Old 9th October 2012, 04:23 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
What you're doing isn't really deductive logic (philosophy) at all. It's something called apologetics.

You're not in fact following the evidence to a conclusion. You're starting with a conclusion and looking to construct an argument (or gather evidence) that will lead to it.
This isn't the philosophy and religion section, so I won't pursue a debate on my epistemology here. Besides, such a task would just be long and daunting, and would involve lots of sub-debates, like the debate on ECREE and the debate on "naturalism".

BTW, I would not call my epistemology apologetics. I am intimately familiar with apologetics, especially of the Christian tradition, from Chesterton to Craig. They are truly aweful.
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Old 9th October 2012, 04:32 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
This isn't the philosophy and religion section, so I won't pursue a debate on my epistemology here. Besides, such a task would just be long and daunting, and would involve lots of sub-debates, like the debate on ECREE and the debate on "naturalism".

BTW, I would not call my epistemology apologetics. I am intimately familiar with apologetics, especially of the Christian tradition, from Chesterton to Craig. They are truly aweful.
And I would not call your apologetics epistemology. Read your thread title again to see exactly what you are doing.

And who said anything about the Christian tradition?

Do you think because you reject Christian apologetics it somehow proves that your reasoning is valid?

Your reasoning starts with a conclusion and attempts to defend it. That is apologetics, not deductive reasoning.

Skepticism*, in philosophical terms, is scientific skepticism which relies primarily on inductive reasoning. The idea is to follow the evidence wherever it points you and provisionally accept or reject any premise based on an analysis of all the evidence. That's not what you're doing. For one reason or another, you've settled on an extremely unparsimonious hypothesis and are casting about for support for it.

*And I'd remind you that you are in the General Skepticism and The Paranormal subforum of a skeptical organization's discussion forum.
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Old 9th October 2012, 07:11 PM   #124
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JoeTheJuggler: I'm confused. I was trying to start a general discussion on the state of the evidence for poltergeists. Than everyone disagreed with me on what exactly constituted as evidence. Than we stopped rightly stopped debating. I mean, even professional philosophers cant agree on these epistemological issues. I did not start this thread to argue in support of poltergeists. Later on, I decided to post anything I found interesting- but this was later on, not initially.

How can I argue for poltergeists; I dont even know much about them. As a matter of fact, I made this thread precisely because I noticed there was a lack of skeptical books on the subject. I figured maybe someone knew about them here. Turns out I was right- a guy called baron knew a lot about them and gave me a few tips. My original mission was a success on 3 pages ago!

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Old 9th October 2012, 07:22 PM   #125
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Andy -

I think I know where you're coming from here, because I was there a while ago as well. I had read a bunch of books which claimed that there were mountains of cases of poltergeist activity - so many, in fact, that "true" poltergeist activity had specific markers, and you should expect to see them when investigating a new case to tell whether or not it was real.

The books which say that are lying. It's that simple. There is no cross section of cases to study because there are no cases. Even having read dozens of books on the paranormal, I could not tell you a single reliable case of anything. Things like "there is usually a teenager involved; and the phenomena dies down as they get older, presumably because they don't have as many pent-up emotions" - really, that statement is just repeated a lot by people who want to believe, or because it gives whoever is saying it a tone of authority. Imagine if I were to say something that you know is a wild concept; one that you couldn't possibly accept. How do I go about trying to convince you? By making it sound like I have answers based on experience; like what I've seen gives me expertise.

Consider pixies, for instance. If I said, right now, that I believe in pixies, you would probably laugh at me because that's ridiculous. But before the mid nineteenth century, it wasn't at all odd to believe in pixies, and tons of people had stories about the mischief pixies had wrought on them.

You see what I mean? A bunch of people saying it's true doesn't make it true. I get that you are saying that poltergeists cannot have True Evidence the way people are defining it here, because of poltergeists are sentient, then they can choose to either manifest or not and you can't bottle one up and stick it in a lab.

The same is true of pixies. They could just be really, really good at evading detection.

But the fact is that people now have devoted lots of time and lots of instrumentation to trying to prove that ghosts/poltergeists/whatever exist, and in all that time with all those devices there is not one good piece of evidence that they do. It isn't that skeptics are being overly dismissive. It is that no one is delivering anything we can address.

In the end, it's a question of whether you choose to believe it or choose to not, because there is nothing else to go on. Skeptics don't usually believe without reason, so you will find when it comes to poltergeists most do not believe, and think spinning wheels about particular cases is pointless and unnecessary.

I wrote an article you might enjoy, and which might help you understand the responses you are receiving.

http://whofortedblog.com/2008/12/22/...nd-you-people/
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Old 9th October 2012, 07:30 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
I never promised that I was going to present a specific piece of evidence.
Then I hope that you will you will understand the following....


...no one here will ever respect anything further that you have to say...



I know I don't....
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Old 9th October 2012, 07:33 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
Then I hope that you will you will understand the following....


...no one here will ever respect anything further that you have to say...



I know I don't....
Incorrect.
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Old 9th October 2012, 07:33 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
What's to explain....there is nothing that "interesting" about people fooling themselves...happens all the time.
I beg to differ.
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Old 9th October 2012, 07:41 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
Andy -

I think I know where you're coming from here, because I was there a while ago as well. I had read a bunch of books which claimed that there were mountains of cases of poltergeist activity - so many, in fact, that "true" poltergeist activity had specific markers, and you should expect to see them when investigating a new case to tell whether or not it was real...

...In the end, it's a question of whether you choose to believe it or choose to not, because there is nothing else to go on. Skeptics don't usually believe without reason, so you will find when it comes to poltergeists most do not believe, and think spinning wheels about particular cases is pointless and unnecessary.

I wrote an article you might enjoy, and which might help you understand the responses you are receiving.

http://whofortedblog.com/2008/12/22/...nd-you-people/
Thanks for the understanding! Your assessment of my situation is so accurate it almost makes me believe in psi

At any rate, I'll gladly read what you gave me. Thanks!
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Old 9th October 2012, 09:09 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Were you once molested by a poltergeist or something?
Since poltergeists don't exist, I'd guess, no.

Quote:
If you think people who take an interest in the phenomenon are irrational fools
All people are irrational fools. The question is what they do about it.

Quote:
(like the world-renowned ignoramus Colin Wilson, for example)
World-renowned author of The Space Vampires.

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then why are you in this thread?
Doing my part to reduce the global level of irrational foolishness.

You?
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Old 9th October 2012, 09:16 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
Surely you've read "the believing brain" or something like it, so you know how easy it is for otherwise smart people to construe ridiculous beliefs.

And for the last time, this was supposed to be a general discussion- I never promised that I was going to present a specific piece of evidence. I will if I run into anything I cant wrap my head around.
We're not asking you to present evidence; we're saying that the correct response to any claim of poltergeist activity is to request evidence.

If they can't provide it, we can safely reject the claim, since it is already established to be impossible.

Claims of impossible events unaccompanied by evidence are simply not interesting. Large numbers of such claims are large numbers of not interesting, except to the social sciences and public health and education administrators. And marketing departments.
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Old 10th October 2012, 04:43 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
Some posters seem to claim that the paranormal has to be understood in the way a normal scientific theory is understood- by having an overlaying theory that explains the replicatable data better than any other competing theory. If not, it can be ruled out a priori. This isn't at all apparant to me. If philosophical dualism is true, we have no reason to suppose that these spectres would be subject to any scientific experimentation. They would pop in and out of physical reality, so we'd only observe the effects, not the causes. Plus, since the entiries would be non physical, no physical mechanisms could be discovered or even proposed.
Andyman, apologies for resurecting something you said two pages ago, but I don't think that this has properly been addressed beyond it being pointed out that it is "special pleading".

If poltergeists exist, and if they are some kind of magic beings beyond the understanding of current science, then they would still be able to be "understood in the way a normal scientific theory is understood". You say that "the known laws of physics aren't of much use, since these entities supposedly can violate them." But these "entities" are impacting with the real world. They are moving objects, making sound waves. There is (allegedly) something there that can be measured; photographed even. If they were operating outside of all known science then we wouldn't know that they existed and thus they might as well not exist.

Everything that has ever been discovered that was once thought of as unknown, unreal, or outside of science has been able to be observed and measured. Meteorites, X-rays, etc. Something that moves physical objects around is something that can be found and identified using currently known methods. If it actually exists.
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Old 10th October 2012, 09:04 AM   #133
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Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
Actually, good example...I agree with you that he is an irrational fool.


Here's a suggestion...you might want to find someone who isn't "known" for being a credulous believer in things regarded as "paranormal".
You hadn't a clue who he was before you looked on Wiki and you don't have a clue what's he known for. Maybe you shouldn't call him a fool for the same reason you shouldn't called Einstein thick.

Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
Since poltergeists don't exist, I'd guess, no.


All people are irrational fools. The question is what they do about it.
Wow, man, like deep.

Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
World-renowned author of The Space Vampires.
Of course, anybody who writes a science fiction novel is a fool. Obviously, like Colin Wilson, who has written over a hundred factual and non-factual books including numerous best-sellers and works of acknowledged literary merit. I'm wondering how many books you've managed to write and sell and contribution you've made to various fields of study.

Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
Doing my part to reduce the global level of irrational foolishness.
No you're not, you're pretending to know something about a subject of which you are entirely ignorant. Yet again.

Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
You?
I'm talking as someone who (1) actually researches what they talk about, (2) encourages others to do the same and (3) objects to the arrogant know-it-all assertions of people who have nothing better to do than ridicule someone for sceptical thinking.

Andyman409 - get used to this attitude, real sceptics have to put up with it all the time.

And with that I'll be taking a couple of weeks break from the forums to get on with other stuff, so feel free to bluster and have the last word.
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Old 10th October 2012, 09:14 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Andyman409 - get used to this attitude, real sceptics have to put up with it all the time.
Real Scots too!
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Old 10th October 2012, 11:09 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
You hadn't a clue who he was before you looked on Wiki and you don't have a clue what's he known for. Maybe you shouldn't call him a fool for the same reason you shouldn't called Einstein thick.



Wow, man, like deep.



Of course, anybody who writes a science fiction novel is a fool. Obviously, like Colin Wilson, who has written over a hundred factual and non-factual books including numerous best-sellers and works of acknowledged literary merit. I'm wondering how many books you've managed to write and sell and contribution you've made to various fields of study.



No you're not, you're pretending to know something about a subject of which you are entirely ignorant. Yet again.



I'm talking as someone who (1) actually researches what they talk about, (2) encourages others to do the same and (3) objects to the arrogant know-it-all assertions of people who have nothing better to do than ridicule someone for sceptical thinking.

Andyman409 - get used to this attitude, real sceptics have to put up with it all the time.

And with that I'll be taking a couple of weeks break from the forums to get on with other stuff, so feel free to bluster and have the last word.
That was well said Baron, if somewhat abrasive. I'm actually sorry to see you go now.
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Old 10th October 2012, 03:11 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by Croydon Bob View Post
Andyman, apologies for resurecting something you said two pages ago, but I don't think that this has properly been addressed beyond it being pointed out that it is "special pleading".

If poltergeists exist, and if they are some kind of magic beings beyond the understanding of current science, then they would still be able to be "understood in the way a normal scientific theory is understood". You say that "the known laws of physics aren't of much use, since these entities supposedly can violate them." But these "entities" are impacting with the real world. They are moving objects, making sound waves. There is (allegedly) something there that can be measured; photographed even. If they were operating outside of all known science then we wouldn't know that they existed and thus they might as well not exist.

Everything that has ever been discovered that was once thought of as unknown, unreal, or outside of science has been able to be observed and measured. Meteorites, X-rays, etc. Something that moves physical objects around is something that can be found and identified using currently known methods. If it actually exists.
No, don't worry about it. I'm usually happy to have a civil discussion, especially when I am unclear about something. I have other things to do, however, so I'm probably not going to contribute anymore to this thread.

The problem, I think, was that I was defending an argument for the possibility of miracles without explicitly saying so. The argument would start by defining miracles as suspensions of nature rather than violations of nature. Then, it would critique Hume's famous argument against the possibility of knowing miracles. To my knowledge, philosophers (and most are skeptical atheists) tend to support ECREE as a sort of response to this. And I support it as well. But I do not deny the possibility that a miracle claim (in this case, a poltergeist) can have the required extraordinary evidence, even if it is in the form of testimony. I can surely think of extreme, hypothetical cases where testimony would be enough to induce belief. I just find it absurdly unlikely.

Since I haven't read much on the topic, I don't know how good their evidence is. If it's practically all testimonial, than I concur that we ought to be suspicious. Like with aliens, we should expect some anal probes to appear from time to time. So far, I am only familiar with one case that tried to create repeatable evidence- and it was suspicious to say the least. If this turns out to be a re-occurring pattern, I will consider it to be very strong evidence of absence.

On a final note, I think its important to distinguish between standards of evidence, and merely wanting to figure out what happened in a case (s). Stating that you only accept scientific evidence doesn't say anything about the origin of the belief or claim, regardless of whether its justified. I do not know much about poltergeists, having investigated them for only a few days, so I am not prepared to say much on them. I am very skeptical, but there is a remote possibility that they might meet my standard of evidence. Regardless, I would also like to know why otherwise intelligent people believe them. My lingering suspicion is a lack of psychological knowledge on their part.

BTW, I'm selecting my cases from a list published by SPR on Robert McLuhens blog. It's amazing how many are self-admittedly frauds! I'm not going to read all of them, just some.

Quote:
Andyman409 - get used to this attitude, real sceptics have to put up with it all the time.
lol it's okay, I've learned how to tune them out

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Old 10th October 2012, 05:50 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
No, don't worry about it. I'm usually happy to have a civil discussion, especially when I am unclear about something. I have other things to do, however, so I'm probably not going to contribute anymore to this thread.

The problem, I think, was that I was defending an argument for the possibility of miracles without explicitly saying so.

Oh, you were pretty clear on that point. But you were taking the dishonest tack of starting from the middle, from the position that miracles and not-miracles are equal propositions. And on that, you were wrong.

Quote:
The argument would start by defining miracles as suspensions of nature rather than violations of nature.

Semantic quibbling won't carry you very far on a skeptic's forum. Not natural, supernatural, suspensions of nature, or violations of nature. Considering there is no objective evidence to support the existence of any of them, from a rational intelligent perspective, they're all the same thing.

Quote:
Then, it would critique Hume's famous argument against the possibility of knowing miracles. To my knowledge, philosophers (and most are skeptical atheists) tend to support ECREE as a sort of response to this. And I support it as well. But I do not deny the possibility that a miracle claim (in this case, a poltergeist) can have the required extraordinary evidence, [...]

So far so good...

Quote:
[...] even if it is in the form of testimony.

Oops, fail. And you were doing so well for a moment.

Quote:
I can surely think of extreme, hypothetical cases where testimony would be enough to induce belief. I just find it absurdly unlikely.

If it's about making stuff up, I can imagine a lot of fantasy explanations for those alleged effects attributed to poltergeists. It always amazes me that believers in aliens and ghosts and such have such tiny little ways of looking at things. Why limit the explanation to poltergeists? Why be so closed minded about it?

Quote:
Since I haven't read much on the topic, I don't know how good their evidence is. If it's practically all testimonial, than I concur that we ought to be suspicious. Like with aliens, we should expect some anal probes to appear from time to time. So far, I am only familiar with one case that tried to create repeatable evidence- and it was suspicious to say the least. If this turns out to be a re-occurring pattern, I will consider it to be very strong evidence of absence.

If you work with critical thinking, skepticism, and objectivity, you start with the proper null hypothesis, that being all poltergeist phenomena are the result of purely natural mundane causes. To consider an absence of evidence to be in any way important is pretty unscientific.

Quote:
On a final note, I think its important to distinguish between standards of evidence, and merely wanting to figure out what happened in a case (s). Stating that you only accept scientific evidence doesn't say anything about the origin of the belief or claim, regardless of whether its justified.

Trying to understand the reasons people believe in things like poltergeists is quite a different area of study than trying to falsify the null hypothesis as a way of demonstrating that poltergeists are real.

Quote:
I do not know much about poltergeists, having investigated them for only a few days, so I am not prepared to say much on them. I am very skeptical, but there is a remote possibility that they might meet my standard of evidence.

You say "them" and "they" as if you accept such things exist. Your standard is clearly that of a believer rather than a skeptic.

Quote:
Regardless, I would also like to know why otherwise intelligent people believe them. My lingering suspicion is a lack of psychological knowledge on their part.

Otherwise intelligent people believe there's an all powerful invisible being that will change the course of nature on their behalf if they recite the proper incantations.

Quote:
BTW, I'm selecting my cases from a list published by SPR on Robert McLuhens blog. It's amazing how many are self-admittedly frauds!

... and not a single case falsifies the null hypothesis. Care to venture a guess as to why that might be?
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Old 10th October 2012, 07:31 PM   #138
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Here's a thread I just ran into with some interesting stuff.

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I want to consider myself a good skeptic. When someone asks me if I believe in psychics of aliens I proudly proclaim "No"

I am struggling though to explain to myself some experiences that I have had and I am very willing to accept a good explanation. I do NOT bring this up to convince you of ghosts but so that you can help me strengthen my skepticism.

In my younger years my fathers second wife moved into my house and the following things happened:

1) Pennies, marbles and occationally things as large as cups would fly past or directly at my head even hitting me. They would come from places where there were no people or would happen when I was totally alone. Everyone who lived there experienced this.

2) Cupboards would slam open often when no one was around. We would close them and then they would be open minutes later without anyone touching them. Once my girlfriend of four years (this was four years ago) closed all the cupboards (four double door cupboards) and as she turned to leave she heard each one slam open one after another very loudly

3) Once I walked into my bedroom and for a split second I saw a person holding a wrench and looking at it. This person looked up and vanished. The wrench fell strait down to a place where it could not possibly have fallen from its original position without a person moving it.

I want to not believe these things. What I know about science says that these things are not real. I am the type of person that tells people that magic is a sham and that ghosts are all in their heads. If anyone has any theories on these than please help me.
Here is a case that seemingly defies explanation, being from a skeptic and all. What do you think of it?
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Old 10th October 2012, 07:40 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
Here is a case that seemingly defies explanation, being from a skeptic and all. What do you think of it?

Anecdote. It doesn't defy explanation at all. People make stuff up all the time. The world is filled with liars, crazy people, attention whores. It's ubiquitous. As far as evidence for the existence of poltergeists, it's worthless. Oh, and when someone starts out with, "I'm a skeptic, but...," they're probably not.
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Old 10th October 2012, 07:44 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
lol it's okay, I've learned how to tune them out


You seem to be saying this as though it's a good thing.

It's not.


Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
Here is a case that seemingly defies explanation, being from a skeptic and all. What do you think of it?


I think it's a cool story, bro.

It might be said to defy explanation, mainly due to a lack of the kind of information that would facilitate a proper analysis, but that doesn't really mean very much.

I hope you aren't falling into the trap of equating inexplicable with supernatural. They aren't anything alike.
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Old 10th October 2012, 07:48 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by Akhenaten View Post
You seem to be saying this as though it's a good thing.

It's not.

I think it's a cool story, bro.

And yes, it does defy explanation, mainly due to a lack of the kind of information that would facilitate a proper analysis.

I hope you aren't falling into the trap of equating inexplicable with supernatural. They aren't anything alike.
I said seems to defy explanation. sheesh. At any rate, I'm also interested in what probably happened, not whether or not it warrants belief. If it was deception, it probably wasn't from the poster- Although I'll be the first to admit that it *might* be a trick by someone to see how stubborn skeptics supposedly are.
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Old 10th October 2012, 07:49 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post

Here is a case that seemingly defies explanation, being from a skeptic and all. What do you think of it?
I'd first point out that lack of an explanation is not an argument in favor of any particular explanation (such as the non-explanation that something supernatural is going on).

Second, being a good skeptic does not entail simply saying you don't believe in any particular thing. It's about following the evidence to wherever it might lead. You examine all available evidence and even then only provisionally accept whatever proposition that evidence points to. (If the balance of all the evidence changes, you are free to change your provisionally held conclusion.) [ETA: A skeptic is not someone who starts with a conclusion and then backtracks looking for evidence for it. You start with the evidence to see where it leads.]

Third, what we have is an account posted on the forum by an anonymous computer user.

As such, it's not reliable. The plural of anecdote is not evidence. If an account is worthless as evidence, it's just worthless. You could collect thousands of them, and their total value as evidence would still be zero.

It could be the person was lying (or trolling, or playing a joke), or it could be the person was deluded to a greater or lesser extent. There's absolutely nothing about the account that makes me think that anything supernatural has happened.

Have you ever attended a magic show? Have you ever seen optical illusions? Have you ever had dreams? Do you accept that it's possible to misperceive reality, even to hallucinate?
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Old 10th October 2012, 07:57 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
At any rate, I'm also interested in what probably happened, not whether or not it warrants belief.
What if nothing happened? What if it's a fictional account? Doesn't the question of whether or not it warrants belief come into play? Or are you just assuming that the account is a true account of something that really happened?

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If it was deception, it probably wasn't from the poster
What is that assertion of probability based on?

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Although I'll be the first to admit that it *might* be a trick by someone to see how stubborn skeptics supposedly are.
You mean someone might have made up a fake account that only the gullible would accept as a true account of events that actually happened as a way to see how stubborn skeptics are in insisting on evidence-based conclusions? What a bizarre notion.

I'd sooner think it was a troll just seeing how many people he could get to take him seriously at face value. That's happened.

Or, as I mentioned, it could be someone who is deluded to a greater or lesser extent. There are people who experience full blown hallucinations, people who confuse hypnogogic or hypnopompic dreams for waking reality, people who confabulate* memories that are not at all accurate to reality, and so on.

*ETA: This kind of confabulation is usually not intentionally deceptive. The person might sincerely believe the memory is accurate. Even particularly vivid memories can be inaccurate in astonishing and dramatic ways. Memory doesn't work like a video recorder. It's quite plastic.
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Old 10th October 2012, 08:02 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
I said seems to defy explanation. sheesh. At any rate, I'm also interested in what probably happened, [...]

Interesting that you're interested yet you seem to have ignored the plausible likely explanations I gave you just a couple posts above...
Originally Posted by GeeMack View Post
[...] People make stuff up all the time. The world is filled with liars, crazy people, attention whores. It's ubiquitous. [...]
What probably happened was someone told the tale. What probably didn't happen was those things described in the tale.

Quote:
[...] not whether or not it warrants belief. If it was deception, it probably wasn't from the poster- Although I'll be the first to admit that it *might* be a trick by someone to see how stubborn skeptics supposedly are.

There's a reason why you're finding it difficult to find any skeptics here who will indulge your desire for poltergeists to be real. Would you like to know why that is?

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Old 10th October 2012, 08:04 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
Originally Posted by Akhenaten View Post
You seem to be saying this as though it's a good thing.

It's not.

I think it's a cool story, bro.

And yes, it does defy explanation, mainly due to a lack of the kind of information that would facilitate a proper analysis.

I hope you aren't falling into the trap of equating inexplicable with supernatural. They aren't anything alike.


I said seems to defy explanation. sheesh.


Yes, my apologies. I was editing my post to reflect this at the same time that you were responding to my misstatement.


Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
At any rate, I'm also interested in what probably happened, not whether or not it warrants belief.


You seem to be starting from a position of belief that something happened.

I'd starting from the position of knowing that someone has told a story about something happening.

We'll end up in different places.


Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
If it was deception, it probably wasn't from the poster- Although I'll be the first to admit that it *might* be a trick by someone to see how stubborn skeptics supposedly are.


You seem to be ruling out self-deception. I wouldn't.
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Old 10th October 2012, 08:09 PM   #146
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Back to how skeptics approach evidence to underscore a point:

We have to consider ALL the evidence, not just the shred of whatever anecdote is offered.

Comparing the handful of possible explanations for this anecdote posted by an anonymous forum user that I have proffered to the explanation that something supernatural happened, I would observe that everything we know about physics shows that cupboards don't slam open by themselves, objects don't float around, people don't vanish, but we do know that memory is plastic, we do know that people can lie, we do know that people can be deluded to a greater or lesser extent. We've got mountains of evidence in favor of the explanations I suggested, and we have only the selfsame anecdotes we are seeking to explain as evidence for the supernatural theory.

There is no accumulated irrefutable evidence that poltergeists exist, yet there is a voluminous mass of undeniable evidence that the things in my explanations exist.

The "poltergeist" theory would require throwing away or at least significantly altering fundamental principles of entire realms of knowledge. (And indeed then that purported "explanation" would actually cause us to have much more to explain than what it explains since it would remove all the explanations we have for countless laboratory observations of physics, optics, etc.) My explanations require no such thing.
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Old 10th October 2012, 08:14 PM   #147
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And of course there is the problem that the "poltergiest-did-it" explanation is no explanation at all*. You'd have to first define in some measurable way what a poltergeist is. You'd have to figure out some measurement that we could take that would distinguish a poltergiest-did-it phenomenon from, for example, a "Zeus-did-it" phenomenon.

*As mentioned in my previous post, it's really worse than that since accepting it would require the suspension of revision of entire branches of science such that a huge body of phenomena that had previously been explained would then need to be explained.
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Old 10th October 2012, 11:37 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
Wow, man, like deep.
It is, yes. It's critical to keep this in mind when examining claims of the paranormal. People's senses are not reliable. Their memories are not reliable. Their thinking is not reliable. Stories are at best a starting point for looking for evidence; by themselves, they're of interest only to anthropologists.

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Of course, anybody who writes a science fiction novel is a fool.
The book was pretty bad. On the other hand, it gave us the film Lifeforce. Which was awful, but had Mathilda May wandering around without her clothes, and for that I'll forgive a lot.

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Obviously, like Colin Wilson, who has written over a hundred factual and non-factual books including numerous best-sellers and works of acknowledged literary merit.
None of which is in the slightest bit relevant.

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No you're not, you're pretending to know something about a subject of which you are entirely ignorant. Yet again.
I'm not saying I'm having great success, but pointing out that you are talking rubbish is a gain, if a small one.

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I'm talking as someone who (1) actually researches what they talk about
Nope.

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And with that I'll be taking a couple of weeks break from the forums to get on with other stuff, so feel free to bluster and have the last word.
Bye. When you get back, we'll be here, and you'll still be wrong.
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Old 10th October 2012, 11:40 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by joesixpack View Post
That was well said Baron, if somewhat abrasive.
It was a melange of strawmen, red herrings, arguments from authority, ad hominems, and self-righteousness in defence of utter nonsense. How was any of that "well said"?
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Old 11th October 2012, 12:02 AM   #150
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On Poltergeist. I claim to be no expert. My claims are not admissable (from what I have read on the application) i experience the "Spirit World" Anumber of different ways. 1) Clairvoyant. Can read peoples minds, anwer Questions before they are asked. 2)Objects moving. 3) # Injuries from being pushed. 4) Hearing voices for 9 years. 5) Being "touched/poked/prodded", by "Spirits". 6) Have Dr.s to submit what I have experienced. P.S. Tried to download application to speak of these things and could not download. HHHmmnn??? Poltergeist or Talking story?? (P.P.S. ...Truth!!!)
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Old 11th October 2012, 12:03 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post
I said seems to defy explanation.
But it doesn't.

Explanation: It's a story.
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Old 11th October 2012, 12:04 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
It was a melange of strawmen, red herrings, arguments from authority, ad hominems, and self-righteousness in defence of utter nonsense. How was any of that "well said"?
The spelling was ok?
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Old 11th October 2012, 12:09 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by Mashuna View Post
The spelling was ok?
True. The grammar was pretty awful though.
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Old 11th October 2012, 12:10 AM   #154
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plus...I have experienced "visions" and dreams. Such as a shout going around the world in 1998...sayin"Let My People Go...let MY people go...Let my PEOPLE GO!"( A Voice!)
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Old 11th October 2012, 12:13 AM   #155
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Thanks Pixymesa but it is not just a "story" for people over the age of 13. It is Truth.
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Old 11th October 2012, 12:19 AM   #156
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I'll admit, my writings do make it look like I privilege the paranormal hypothesis. But I assure you I do not. I only question whether a naturalistic explanation could be given to a case, given what we know. If not, the paranormal explanation does not win by default. Now, this thread has already gone off track, so I'll ask one more question, before going off to my new thread:

Why is it that everyone who is informed on ghosts and poltergeists believes them? Isn't that suspicious? I mean, when it comes to UFO's, Cryptzoid and psi, the skeptics know what they are talking about. There is an actual engagement with the "top tier" evidence. But what about ghosts and poltergeists? Where are the ghost skeptics who have read dozens and dozens of books on the topic, and concluded it was bull? Where are these skeptics? I mean, I know we cant expect a skeptic to read half as many books as a firm believer. This I am aware of. But doesn't the whole thing just seem... suspicious?

I cant be the only one seeing this, can I?

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Old 11th October 2012, 12:21 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by windsshadow View Post
On Poltergeist. I claim to be no expert. My claims are not admissable (from what I have read on the application) i experience the "Spirit World" Anumber of different ways. 1) Clairvoyant. Can read peoples minds, anwer Questions before they are asked. 2)Objects moving. 3) # Injuries from being pushed. 4) Hearing voices for 9 years. 5) Being "touched/poked/prodded", by "Spirits". 6) Have Dr.s to submit what I have experienced. P.S. Tried to download application to speak of these things and could not download. HHHmmnn??? Poltergeist or Talking story?? (P.P.S. ...Truth!!!)
If you can use your powers on demand, try getting the 1 million dollars. If you can move objects with your mind, it should be easy.
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Old 11th October 2012, 12:40 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by windsshadow View Post
plus...I have experienced "visions" and dreams. Such as a shout going around the world in 1998...sayin"Let My People Go...let MY people go...Let my PEOPLE GO!"( A Voice!)

Originally Posted by windsshadow View Post
Thanks Pixymesa but it is not just a "story" for people over the age of 13. It is Truth.


The hell?
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Old 11th October 2012, 12:56 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Andyman409 View Post

Why is it that everyone who is informed on ghosts and poltergeists believes them?
What are you basing this on?
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Old 11th October 2012, 01:33 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
What are you basing this on?
From what I've read, there are a lot of parapsychological claims regarding apparitions, poltergeists and whatnot that simply haven't been addressed. One example off the top of my head comes from this book:

Quote:
a poll showed that ghost experiences don't leave as much of a psychological impression as alien abductions, so they probably involve different psychological mechanisms.
This stat has been used as evidence against the idea of ghosts being hypnagogic hallucinations- one of the most popular explanations of them. The thing is... I have not been able to find a critique of this stat. Was it published under the skeptics noses?

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