ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal
 

Notices


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 6th November 2012, 01:49 AM   #161
Stray Cat
Philosopher
 
Stray Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,805
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Thank you. I'm used to it, too, for the record, which is why I've made the extra effort to keep things as clear as possible.
Could you link to a discussion where you didn't make extra effort so we can compare the two?

Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Seems like I desperately seek to adhere to logic and reason, rather than making unsupported claims and adding unnecessarily to the assumptions I make.
Really?

Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Generally yes. There is "distance healing" dealt with at higher levels of Reiki, but, generally speaking, it's not done in the manner that you describe, at all.

There are a number of other energy-based healing or manipulation systems out there, some of which, assuming that they're not frauds, by their nature would be more likely candidates, not counting the... many individuals that claim abilities to do similar without any formal training or name for what they claim to be able to do....

Rest of post snipped for brevity
Highlights added by Stray Cat
__________________
It's only my madness that stops me from going insane!
Stray Cat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 01:49 AM   #162
StankApe
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,643
Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
FWIW Aridas, your position has always been clear to me. It's just that long time posters are used to the woos who come here misusing the language and dancing around the concept of evidence, and I can understand why some thought that's what you were trying to do.
I'm a short time poster, but a long time lurker , and I have a lot of experience dealing with woo. so yeah.... that's kinda what it was.


sorry if I ticked you off Aridas, but when people don't give set yes or no answers I tend to think they are trying to dance around the fact that they are pushing woo, but don't wanna get called out on it.
StankApe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 02:02 AM   #163
Stray Cat
Philosopher
 
Stray Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,805
Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
That only leaves some kind of placebo effect, expected or otherwise, as a scientific explanation. Any other explanation has to be on the level of the supernatural, which is also inappropriate, at least on a skeptic's website.
Not quite true... Another completely reasonable explanation is trickery.
I can do a similar thing to that which was described in the OP.
I just admit that when I do it, it's a trick using a simple piece of equipment purchased from a magic shop.

This is a fairly poor demonstration of the same effect:
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Derren Brown made a much better job of it once but I can't find a clip of it on YouTube.

__________________
It's only my madness that stops me from going insane!
Stray Cat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 02:06 AM   #164
23_Tauri
Illuminator
 
23_Tauri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,947
Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
sorry if I ticked you off Aridas, but when people don't give set yes or no answers I tend to think they are trying to dance around the fact that they are pushing woo, but don't wanna get called out on it.
Personally, I'm sure I saw dancing feet. Aridas did appear to support the efficacy of 'spiritual energy' based healing techniques in earlier posts, as SC has pointed out in his post above.
__________________
Little Miss Witchcraft, she's not made of straw.

Last edited by 23_Tauri; 6th November 2012 at 02:08 AM.
23_Tauri is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 02:25 AM   #165
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,263
Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
Linking to a page full of nonsense in order to justify misusing a word would be "pushing it", yes.
Hardly. Regardless, by your own statement, you didn't even read the link, which, combined with the rest of your statements, rather makes me think that you're actively making an effort to have little idea what is being talked about and are not engaging in honest discussion at all.


Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
Well no you haven't actually. I still haven't read a coherent response to the question Squeegee Beckenhiem asked you that originally lead to this exchange. In fact I'd go so far as to say that you've gone out of your way to not answer the question.
And I'd say that you, very simply, seem to be trying not to understand, either the concept(s) involved or what I'm saying. I'll refrain from postulating on your motives, though.

Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
Every one of your responses so far has been very 'round the houses' and it seems to me that you deliberately want to keep gaps for people to put gods into.
Hardly. I do my best to stay in the realms of complete honesty and useful logic. I'd prefer it if there weren't any "gaps," honestly. The simple fact is, though, that there are. Failing to acknowledge them, when they're actively in question, would be dishonest. What can be done at that point, though, is consider what good reason there is to believe that something is the case. It's quite similar to Solipsists who believe that they're actually just brains in a jar, being fed false information of such quality that it cannot be differentiated from actual reality. It's an unfalsifiable premise and cannot be disproved, thus, it will always be a possibility. What's worth looking at, then, is whether there's good reason to 1) accept it to be the case and 2) let the level of certainty that derives from the fact that it's a possibility and the answer to 1) affect ones actions and decisions.

If there's no good reason to accept something to be the case, there's no good reason to let it affect one's actions or decisions.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 02:46 AM   #166
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,263
Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
Could you link to a discussion where you didn't make extra effort so we can compare the two?
I find this to be a bit pointless and irrelevant in the way of a request. No, on the basis that it really doesn't matter.

For the highlighted, though -

"There is "distance healing" dealt with at higher levels of Reiki"

This is true. Claims of "distance healing" are made and some practitioners of Reiki charge for such services. Did I somehow advocate for the efficacy of such methods by acknowledging the existence of this?

"There are a number of other energy-based healing or manipulation systems out there,"

This is true. Reiki is far, far from the only practice that claims energy-based healing or manipulation.

"assuming that they're not frauds,"

Admittedly, I could have expanded this to include other reasons why they wouldn't be correct or reflective of reality.

"claim abilities to do similar without any formal training"

I'm not sure why you highlighted this at all. Where else would you think that practices like Reiki and the energy healing of the person identified by the poster as being the person who he had met came from, let alone all the rest?

ETA: I added the "claim" at the beginning that you didn't highlight because I thought that it was rather relevant... and questionable that you left it out, given that it was an important part of the statement.

Originally Posted by 23_Tauri View Post
Personally, I'm sure I saw dancing feet. Aridas did appear to support the efficacy of 'spiritual energy' based healing techniques in earlier posts, as SC has pointed out in his post above.
It was an illusion that you created yourself, then.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.

Last edited by Aridas; 6th November 2012 at 02:50 AM.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 02:54 AM   #167
23_Tauri
Illuminator
 
23_Tauri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,947
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Seems like I desperately seek to adhere to logic and reason, rather than making unsupported claims and adding unnecessarily to the assumptions I make.
Logic and reason would lead a person to conclude that the effects of Reiki and other forms of 'energy healing' were the result of the placebo effect and cognitive bias. Your posts in this thread suggest that this is not sufficient explanation for you. This is the only reason why we're giving you a bit of a hard time, here. Please don't take it personally.
__________________
Little Miss Witchcraft, she's not made of straw.
23_Tauri is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:06 AM   #168
StankApe
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,643
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Hardly. Regardless, by your own statement, you didn't even read the link, which, combined with the rest of your statements, rather makes me think that you're actively making an effort to have little idea what is being talked about and are not engaging in honest discussion at all.




And I'd say that you, very simply, seem to be trying not to understand, either the concept(s) involved or what I'm saying. I'll refrain from postulating on your motives, though.



Hardly. I do my best to stay in the realms of complete honesty and useful logic. I'd prefer it if there weren't any "gaps," honestly. The simple fact is, though, that there are. Failing to acknowledge them, when they're actively in question, would be dishonest. What can be done at that point, though, is consider what good reason there is to believe that something is the case. It's quite similar to Solipsists who believe that they're actually just brains in a jar, being fed false information of such quality that it cannot be differentiated from actual reality. It's an unfalsifiable premise and cannot be disproved, thus, it will always be a possibility. What's worth looking at, then, is whether there's good reason to 1) accept it to be the case and 2) let the level of certainty that derives from the fact that it's a possibility and the answer to 1) affect ones actions and decisions.

If there's no good reason to accept something to be the case, there's no good reason to let it affect one's actions or decisions.


Bolding and underlining mine:

This is not a logical statement. something doesn't become possible by proxy because it is unfalsifiable. In fact I think it becomes the opposite of that.(well if you call "worthless" the opposite of possible.)

It is possible for all of my atoms to suddenly separate and quantum leap to 14 different dimensions simultaneously. Yet it is so statistically unlikely as to be considered "impossible". Heck, i could actually "prove" my assertion of possible personal defragmenting mathematically if I wanted to. so even THAT isn't unfalsifiable.

No, I think there is back door woo peddling going on here...

Last edited by StankApe; 6th November 2012 at 03:11 AM.
StankApe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:10 AM   #169
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,080
Originally Posted by 23_Tauri View Post
Logic and reason would lead a person to conclude that the effects of Reiki and other forms of 'energy healing' were the result of the placebo effect and cognitive bias. Your posts in this thread suggest that this is not sufficient explanation for you.
I thought Aridas had made it quite clear that this is sufficient explanation for him/her.
__________________
"The correct scientific response to anything that is not understood is always to look harder for the explanation, not give up and assume a supernatural cause". David Attenborough.
Pixel42 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:22 AM   #170
23_Tauri
Illuminator
 
23_Tauri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,947
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Hardly. Regardless, by your own statement, you didn't even read the link, which, combined with the rest of your statements, rather makes me think that you're actively making an effort to have little idea what is being talked about and are not engaging in honest discussion at all.
Just so I'm clear on this, we are talking about the wikipedia page on 'Energy (esoteric)' yes?

Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
And I'd say that you, very simply, seem to be trying not to understand, either the concept(s) involved or what I'm saying. I'll refrain from postulating on your motives, though.


Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Hardly. I do my best to stay in the realms of complete honesty and useful logic. I'd prefer it if there weren't any "gaps," honestly.
That won't make you very good at science, this preferring there not to be gaps. Not wanting gaps is more of a spiritual/religious standpoint, really. Science loves and acknowledges the gaps.

Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
The simple fact is, though, that there are.
Yes, but not where Reiki healing is concerned, IMO. Placebo effect fills the gap quite nicely. Are you saying that as an explanation, it does not suffice?

Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Failing to acknowledge them, when they're actively in question, would be dishonest.
Can you explain where the gap is again please? Thanks.

Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
What can be done at that point, though, is consider what good reason there is to believe that something is the case. It's quite similar to Solipsists who believe that they're actually just brains in a jar, being fed false information of such quality that it cannot be differentiated from actual reality. It's an unfalsifiable premise and cannot be disproved, thus, it will always be a possibility. What's worth looking at, then, is whether there's good reason to 1) accept it to be the case and 2) let the level of certainty that derives from the fact that it's a possibility and the answer to 1) affect ones actions and decisions.

If there's no good reason to accept something to be the case, there's no good reason to let it affect one's actions or decisions.
Is it just me or does this read like word salad to anyone else here?
__________________
Little Miss Witchcraft, she's not made of straw.
23_Tauri is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:25 AM   #171
23_Tauri
Illuminator
 
23_Tauri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,947
Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
I thought Aridas had made it quite clear that this is sufficient explanation for him/her.
Well I thought that she/he had said that too, but I also read between the lines that Aridas wants it to be more than that. If not, why hold onto the possibility that it could be? Isn't that an example of woolly thinking?
__________________
Little Miss Witchcraft, she's not made of straw.
23_Tauri is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:25 AM   #172
Squeegee Beckenheim
Philosopher
 
Squeegee Beckenheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 9,119
Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
I still haven't read a coherent response to the question Squeegee Beckenhiem asked you that originally lead to this exchange.
For the record, I have. I think that Aridas has been perfectly clear and I don't believe s/he is attempting to push any kind of agenda. In all honestly, I think you have to willfully misinterpret his/her posts in order to believe that s/he is.
Squeegee Beckenheim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:28 AM   #173
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,263
Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
This is not a logical statement. something doesn't become possible by proxy because it is unfalsifiable. In fact I think it becomes the opposite of that.(well if you call "worthless" the opposite of possible.)
Hmm. My apologies. I may have been sloppy, there, likely because I'm getting a bit tired, even if you are going out of your way to assume the worst and ignore everything I said after that, despite it being completely not warranted and that quote mining is exceedingly dishonest. Still, to rephrase that bit to something that you may find more comfortable, how about, "If it's possible and unfalsifiable, it cannot be disproved, but its likelihood also cannot be distinguished from other possible and unfalsifiable explanations by means of disproof. Thus, relying on being able to disprove such concepts is not a good way to evaluate the usefulness of the explanation."


Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
I thought Aridas had made it quite clear that this is sufficient explanation for him/her.
On numerous occasions. I may start amusing myself with tossing out guesses for why they're being intentionally obtuse, since, while I'm tired of this discussion, I'm prideful enough that I will do my best to answer false accusations.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:28 AM   #174
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,080
Originally Posted by 23_Tauri View Post
Well I thought that she/he had said that too, but I also read between the lines that Aridas wants it to be more than that. If not, why hold onto the possibility that it could be? Isn't that an example of woolly thinking?
I don't think acknowledging that something can never be 100% ruled out, even if there is no good reason to rule it in, is an example of woolly thinking.
__________________
"The correct scientific response to anything that is not understood is always to look harder for the explanation, not give up and assume a supernatural cause". David Attenborough.
Pixel42 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:28 AM   #175
23_Tauri
Illuminator
 
23_Tauri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,947
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
It was an illusion that you created yourself, then.
Ok, so just so we're 100% clear on this: all the alleged healing effects of 'energy healing' in all its myriad forms can be explained as merely placebo. Is that correct?
__________________
Little Miss Witchcraft, she's not made of straw.
23_Tauri is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:29 AM   #176
23_Tauri
Illuminator
 
23_Tauri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,947
Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
I don't think acknowledging that something can never be 100% ruled out, even if there is no good reason to rule it in, is an example of woolly thinking.
That is a fair statement.
__________________
Little Miss Witchcraft, she's not made of straw.
23_Tauri is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:30 AM   #177
Squeegee Beckenheim
Philosopher
 
Squeegee Beckenheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 9,119
Originally Posted by 23_Tauri View Post
Well I thought that she/he had said that too, but I also read between the lines that Aridas wants it to be more than that. If not, why hold onto the possibility that it could be? Isn't that an example of woolly thinking?
When asked by John Stewart whether he acknowledged the possibility, no matter how remote, that God existed, Richard Dawkins replied that yes, he did. On his own scale of 1 to 7 with total belief being 1 and total disbelief being 7, Dawkins placed himself at a 6.9.

By your reasoning this would mean that Dawkins wants God to exist.

For my money, acknowledging that we can't deal in absolutes is a foundation of both critical and scientific thinking.
Squeegee Beckenheim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:34 AM   #178
23_Tauri
Illuminator
 
23_Tauri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,947
Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
When asked by John Stewart whether he acknowledged the possibility, no matter how remote, that God existed, Richard Dawkins replied that yes, he did. On his own scale of 1 to 7 with total belief being 1 and total disbelief being 7, Dawkins placed himself at a 6.9.

By your reasoning this would mean that Dawkins wants God to exist.

For my money, acknowledging that we can't deal in absolutes is a foundation of both critical and scientific thinking.
I do understand this and recognise it as a foundation of scientific thinking and that yes, there might really be a dragon in my garage. Only religions deal in absolutes (see my point above about gaps). I'm still not convinced that Aridas entertains the idea of possibility in the same way as Dawkins, but hey ho. I'll let this drop.
__________________
Little Miss Witchcraft, she's not made of straw.
23_Tauri is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:37 AM   #179
StankApe
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,643
Maybe it's me (i should be in bed too) but all of this could have been avoided if the response to the question:

do you think Reiki is really energy being transferred from one person to another?

would have been answered with :

NO or YES



not some odd metaphysical mishmosh of sentences (by design or not) that lead to lots of "huh?" from more than one person (and I even checked with another via PM to make sure I wasn't reading it wrong).

Yes or No, can later be expanded upon, but they are crisp clean and easy for everyone to see. Trying to not say yes OR no via a 12 sentence paragraph doesn't make things easier for anybody, it makes those asking the questions think you are hiding something, and it makes the answerer frustrated because the askers keep bugging them.
StankApe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:39 AM   #180
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,263
Originally Posted by 23_Tauri View Post
Well I thought that she/he had said that too, but I also read between the lines that Aridas wants it to be more than that. If not, why hold onto the possibility that it could be? Isn't that an example of woolly thinking?
It's a consequence of addressing things as honestly as I can. It's not holding onto a possibility, though. It's acknowledging that a possibility exists where a possibility exists. For the record, I'm perfectly willing to acknowledge the possibility that the universe was created in situ last Thursday with no way to tell that it had been created then, for example. That doesn't mean that I support that idea, will argue that it is the case, or hold back from arguing against anyone asserting that there's more than the possibility. Admittedly, though, I do enjoy using Last Thursdayism.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:40 AM   #181
StankApe
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,643
Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
When asked by John Stewart whether he acknowledged the possibility, no matter how remote, that God existed, Richard Dawkins replied that yes, he did. On his own scale of 1 to 7 with total belief being 1 and total disbelief being 7, Dawkins placed himself at a 6.9.

By your reasoning this would mean that Dawkins wants God to exist.

For my money, acknowledging that we can't deal in absolutes is a foundation of both critical and scientific thinking.
sure, I'm hip to that. But i would like to think that most of us on here understand that we are talking in practical absolutes rather than actual ones. (see my quantum defragging example above). So we should be able to say "well that's impossible" knowing full well that there's a one google to one odds of that happening(making it possible, yet out of the range of probability)

If not, debating woo starts to lose it's meaning doesn't it?
StankApe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:44 AM   #182
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,263
Originally Posted by 23_Tauri View Post
Ok, so just so we're 100% clear on this: all the alleged healing effects of 'energy healing' in all its myriad forms can be explained as merely placebo. Is that correct?
Yes. I've actually said that repeatedly.

Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
Maybe it's me (i should be in bed too) but all of this could have been avoided if the response to the question:

do you think Reiki is really energy being transferred from one person to another?

would have been answered with :

NO or YES
Perhaps, but I honestly don't think about it in those terms. Thus, I explained things as well as I can in the terms that I do think about it in.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:53 AM   #183
Squeegee Beckenheim
Philosopher
 
Squeegee Beckenheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 9,119
Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
Maybe it's me (i should be in bed too) but all of this could have been avoided if the response to the question:

do you think Reiki is really energy being transferred from one person to another?

would have been answered with :

NO or YES
To be fair, nobody's actually asked anybody that question in this entire thread.
Squeegee Beckenheim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 03:58 AM   #184
Squeegee Beckenheim
Philosopher
 
Squeegee Beckenheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 9,119
Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
sure, I'm hip to that. But i would like to think that most of us on here understand that we are talking in practical absolutes rather than actual ones. (see my quantum defragging example above). So we should be able to say "well that's impossible" knowing full well that there's a one google to one odds of that happening(making it possible, yet out of the range of probability)
Equally, someone should be able to say that absolutes don't exist without people assuming that they are advocating any particular position.

What I've seen over the last couple of pages hasn't been critical thinking or scepticism, but people who made their mind up about what someone's position on something was and then tried to prove their initial assumptions correct by "read[ing] between the lines", rather than paying attention to what that person was actually saying. Starting from a conclusion is as far from critical thinking as I can imagine.
Squeegee Beckenheim is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 04:12 AM   #185
Professor Yaffle
Butterbeans and Breadcrumbs
 
Professor Yaffle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Emily's shop
Posts: 17,347
Aridas, you say you are trained in some type of "energy healing". When you administer it, what do you say to the patient about what you are doing/how it works etc?
Professor Yaffle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 04:23 AM   #186
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,263
Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
Aridas, you say you are trained in some type of "energy healing". When you administer it, what do you say to the patient about what you are doing/how it works etc?
As a general matter, I don't administer it, as I've stated before. As I recall, though, part of a standard explanation to the patient about what it is also deals with how it supposedly works, pretty much explaining to them what to expect. That said, it was flat out stated in the training that not everyone would feel anything.

If this was a slightly less direct way of asking if I acknowledge that the effects can be explained just fine by the concepts included in the common usage of the placebo effect, yes, I fully agree.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 04:35 AM   #187
Professor Yaffle
Butterbeans and Breadcrumbs
 
Professor Yaffle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Emily's shop
Posts: 17,347
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
As a general matter, I don't administer it, as I've stated before. As I recall, though, part of a standard explanation to the patient about what it is also deals with how it supposedly works, pretty much explaining to them what to expect. That said, it was flat out stated in the training that not everyone would feel anything.

If this was a slightly less direct way of asking if I acknowledge that the effects can be explained just fine by the concepts included in the common usage of the placebo effect, yes, I fully agree.

Oh, as you don't currently practise its not that relevant. I was more interested in the ethics of administering placebo and the use of deception.
Professor Yaffle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 04:55 AM   #188
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,263
Ehh. I'll go back and deal with a little bit of this post, even if most of it's simply stupid in light of what I had actually said.

Originally Posted by 23_Tauri View Post
That won't make you very good at science, this preferring there not to be gaps. Not wanting gaps is more of a spiritual/religious standpoint, really. Science loves and acknowledges the gaps.
I firmly disagree, on multiple points. Most importantly and encompassing, though, to put things in context, you're implying that preferring knowledge to the lack of such is a bad thing. Science is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself, regardless.



Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
Oh, as you don't currently practise its not that relevant. I was more interested in the ethics of administering placebo and the use of deception.
Personally, I find temporary deception to potentially be ethical for much the same reasons why I consider surgery to potentially be ethical. Both cause harm in the service of a much greater benefit, if used properly.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 05:41 AM   #189
Resume
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 10,566
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Personally, I find temporary deception to potentially be ethical for much the same reasons why I consider surgery to potentially be ethical. Both cause harm in the service of a much greater benefit, if used properly.
Could you perhaps illustrate with an example?

I ain't feeling it, so to speak.
Resume is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 05:53 AM   #190
Professor Yaffle
Butterbeans and Breadcrumbs
 
Professor Yaffle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Emily's shop
Posts: 17,347
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Personally, I find temporary deception to potentially be ethical for much the same reasons why I consider surgery to potentially be ethical. Both cause harm in the service of a much greater benefit, if used properly.
However, surgery involves informed consent. By definition, you cannot consent to something in which you are being deceived.

Also, what do you mean by temporary deception? Lie about it until the patient says they feel better, and then tell them that it was all just placebo?
Professor Yaffle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 06:05 AM   #191
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,263
Originally Posted by Resume View Post
Could you perhaps illustrate with an example?

I ain't feeling it, so to speak.
If a person is being harmed by a psychological problem that actually can be ameliorated with a deception (for example, certain causes of stress), I have no problem with such a deception occurring while a person is helped to learn how to cope with and prevent the ill effects of the problem, with the hope of effectively solving the problem itself, if possible. I do favor a deception being ended, though, regardless, if used.

Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
However, surgery involves informed consent. By definition, you cannot consent to something in which you are being deceived.
And what of the cases where a potential recipient of surgery is unable to provide informed consent in the first place?

Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
Also, what do you mean by temporary deception? Lie about it until the patient says they feel better, and then tell them that it was all just placebo?
Basically, but with a couple additions. Making reasonably sure that they actually are and have gotten the help that they need to be able to cope in the first place, for one, and keeping a positive spin on things.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.

Last edited by Aridas; 6th November 2012 at 06:13 AM.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 06:34 AM   #192
Resume
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 10,566
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
If a person is being harmed by a psychological problem that actually can be ameliorated with a deception (for example, certain causes of stress), I have no problem with such a deception occurring while a person is helped to learn how to cope with and prevent the ill effects of the problem, with the hope of effectively solving the problem itself, if possible. I do favor a deception being ended, though, regardless, if used.
But we know that there are efficacious methods for dealing with stress that don't rely on placebo.

Like exercise . . . and drinking.
Resume is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 06:37 AM   #193
Stray Cat
Philosopher
 
Stray Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,805
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Hardly. Regardless, by your own statement, you didn't even read the link,
What I said was that I didn't read it all.
But feel free to link directly to the bit I missed where it said anything other than nonsense.

Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
which, combined with the rest of your statements, rather makes me think that you're actively making an effort to have little idea what is being talked about and are not engaging in honest discussion at all.
I'm being honest. My point here is that when woos use the word "energy" it is always a misuse of the word. I couldn't give a tinkers about what your position is, your inability to say straight up and honestly that you were misusing the word in the same way as woos do is the point I'm making.
An honest response as that would have saved a lot of time.

Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
And I'd say that you, very simply, seem to be trying not to understand, either the concept(s) involved or what I'm saying. I'll refrain from postulating on your motives, though.
Yeah sure, you don't explain yourself in a straightforward way but that's my fault... good luck with that.

Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Hardly. I do my best to stay in the realms of complete honesty and useful logic. I'd prefer it if there weren't any "gaps," honestly. The simple fact is, though, that there are. Failing to acknowledge them, when they're actively in question, would be dishonest. What can be done at that point, though, is consider what good reason there is to believe that something is the case.
No, one can reasonably dismiss silly claims about unfalsifiable nonsense when falsifiable scientific explanation adequately answer the questions.
Then if a single one of these "energy healers" wants to provide some objective evidence of their claims (and if their constant claims are accurate, they can be objectively measured), we can acknowledge it and look into it and hold our hands up and say we were wrong if it's shown to be real... Until then, it can be dismissed without evidence in the same way it has been claimed without evidence.

Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
It's quite similar to Solipsists who believe that they're actually just brains in a jar, being fed false information of such quality that it cannot be differentiated from actual reality. It's an unfalsifiable premise and cannot be disproved, thus, it will always be a possibility. What's worth looking at, then, is whether there's good reason to 1) accept it to be the case and 2) let the level of certainty that derives from the fact that it's a possibility and the answer to 1) affect ones actions and decisions.
And in the case of Reiki we can
1) accept that there is zero evidence that it has anything to do with energy or even "energy" until someone provides objective evidence
2) use the testable, verifiable, repeatable and falsifiable scientific knowledge to guide the level of certainty we have that affects ones actions and decisions.

Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
If there's no good reason to accept something to be the case, there's no good reason to let it affect one's actions or decisions.
Although I agree in principal with this, I will also point out that it could also be legitimately used by a woo to justify a belief in Unicorns... People see "good reason" as being subjective.

If there is no objective evidence to accept something to be the case, there is no reason to let it affect one's decisions.
__________________
It's only my madness that stops me from going insane!
Stray Cat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 07:12 AM   #194
Cainkane1
Philosopher
 
Cainkane1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: The great American southeast
Posts: 7,856
Originally Posted by Deranged View Post
When I was Agnostic I ran into a lady in Key West . I knew nothing at all about Reiki and didn't understand what had happened.
She told me to hold my hands six inches over her upturned hands and right away I felt static electricity flowing from her hands to mine and I said, "what is THAT?" Soon, we walked off. This was in Mallory Square. It wasn't something most people could deny or forget about.
What do you think of Reiki ? Was it something else? She never mentioned God.
My take on this is that it is not so much a religion but a discipline. Atheists and agnostics can and do meditate.
__________________
If at first you don't succeed try try again. Then if you fail to succeed to Hell with that. Try something else.
Cainkane1 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 07:25 AM   #195
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,263
Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
What I said was that I didn't read it all.
Hmm. I retract the relevant statement, then, after looking up the relevant post. That said, the first paragraph is all you really need to read to have a sufficient idea of the concepts being dealt with. It's honestly not hard to understand.


Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
I'm being honest. My point here is that when woos use the word "energy" it is always a misuse of the word. I couldn't give a tinkers about what your position is, your inability to say straight up and honestly that you were misusing the word in the same way as woos do is the point I'm making.
I firmly disagree, given the simple fact that language is subjective and words often have significantly different meanings in different contexts. So long as conflation of the concepts being represented by the words is not occurring, there is no "misuse." I made it quite clear from the start what concept and meaning was being used and never attempted to conflate it with the scientific use of energy that you seem to be claiming is sacrosanct.

Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
An honest response as that would have saved a lot of time.
Honesty is what you've received.


Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
Yeah sure, you don't explain yourself in a straightforward way but that's my fault... good luck with that.
How many other posters have stated that they understood just fine, now?

Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
No, one can reasonably dismiss silly claims about unfalsifiable nonsense when falsifiable scientific explanation adequately answer the questions.
Then if a single one of these "energy healers" wants to provide some objective evidence of their claims (and if their constant claims are accurate, they can be objectively measured), we can acknowledge it and look into it and hold our hands up and say we were wrong if it's shown to be real... Until then, it can be dismissed without evidence in the same way it has been claimed without evidence.
You realize, of course, that this is compatible with what I said? It just deals with a slightly different question.


Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
And in the case of Reiki we can
1) accept that there is zero evidence that it has anything to do with energy or even "energy" until someone provides objective evidence
2) use the testable, verifiable, repeatable and falsifiable scientific knowledge to guide the level of certainty we have that affects ones actions and decisions.
I'm going to agree with the sentiments here, even if I could nitpick a little bit on points that don't really matter to the discussion at hand.


Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
Although I agree in principal with this, I will also point out that it could also be legitimately used by a woo to justify a belief in Unicorns... People see "good reason" as being subjective.
Generally, I honestly don't care what people believe, for the record, just that they don't attempt to support their beliefs with bad arguments. I will fully agree that I haven't seen any good arguments for "woo," yet, and likely never will.

Originally Posted by Stray Cat View Post
If there is no objective evidence to accept something to be the case, there is no reason to let it affect one's decisions.
I'll accept this as reasonable, much as I consider the use of objective evidence to simply be a result of logic with bases intended to winnow out less useful and not useful worldviews.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.

Last edited by Aridas; 6th November 2012 at 07:29 AM.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 07:46 AM   #196
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,263
Originally Posted by Resume View Post
But we know that there are efficacious methods for dealing with stress that don't rely on placebo.

Like exercise . . . and drinking.
Exercise, I'll agree with. Drinking, I find questionable. I wasn't really advocating for said deceptions, though, for anything less than serious problems that a person wasn't coping with or wasn't able to cope with, much like surgery generally happens when the body isn't or can't cope with a problem on its own.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 07:57 AM   #197
Resume
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 10,566
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Exercise, I'll agree with. Drinking, I find questionable. I wasn't really advocating for said deceptions, though, for anything less than serious problems that a person wasn't coping with or wasn't able to cope with, much like surgery generally happens when the body isn't or can't cope with a problem on its own.
Humor. Humor is also effective for relieving stress.
Resume is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 08:08 AM   #198
Professor Yaffle
Butterbeans and Breadcrumbs
 
Professor Yaffle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Emily's shop
Posts: 17,347
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
I wasn't really advocating for said deceptions, though, for anything less than serious problems that a person wasn't coping with or wasn't able to cope with, much like surgery generally happens when the body isn't or can't cope with a problem on its own.
Supplementary, complementary and alternative medicine* practitioners know as little about psychological health as they do about physical health. Why should it be ok for them to use deception on a patient when they have no idea if it will help them or harm them?

*SCAM
Professor Yaffle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 09:06 AM   #199
23_Tauri
Illuminator
 
23_Tauri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,947
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Yes. I've actually said that repeatedly.
Ok, thank you for that. Out of interest, is that something that you realised whilst you were training in Reiki or did had you come to that conclusion (that it can all be explained by placebo) prior to going on the training course?

Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
I firmly disagree, on multiple points. Most importantly and encompassing, though, to put things in context, you're implying that preferring knowledge to the lack of such is a bad thing. Science is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself, regardless.
You misunderstand me. Sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I was not implying that science wanted to maintain the gaps in our knowledge, but saying that science accepts that there will always be gaps in knowledge. After all, without the gaps where is there to go next?

I think that filling in the gaps with something unevidenced curtails the pursuit of knowledge. However that's not the same as being open-minded. But I digress and we've been here a squillion times before, so, moving on....

Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Generally, I honestly don't care what people believe, for the record, just that they don't attempt to support their beliefs with bad arguments. I will fully agree that I haven't seen any good arguments for "woo," yet, and likely never will.
Aridas, you must think me a bit dim because I'm a little confused again. Earlier today, responding to Professor Yaffle, you wrote:

Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
If a person is being harmed by a psychological problem that actually can be ameliorated with a deception (for example, certain causes of stress), I have no problem with such a deception occurring while a person is helped to learn how to cope with and prevent the ill effects of the problem, with the hope of effectively solving the problem itself, if possible. I do favor a deception being ended, though, regardless, if used.
So do you not care that these people believe in the healing hands (e.g. Reiki, energy healing)? Because from what you're saying, don't they have to believe in the woo in order to make it work? But now you're saying you don't care what people believe and that you haven't seen any good arguments for woo. But you just gave us an argument for woo that you support! I don't understand. You seem to be contradicting yourself here.

Could you explain this? Thanks.
__________________
Little Miss Witchcraft, she's not made of straw.
23_Tauri is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th November 2012, 09:53 AM   #200
Daylightstar
Illuminator
 
Daylightstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,202
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
...
If this was a slightly less direct way of asking if I acknowledge that the effects can be explained just fine by the concepts included in the common usage of the placebo effect, yes, I fully agree.
Aridas, are you convinced that reiki actually has a mode of action followed by effects (whether placebo or energy alignment/transfer etc) and that they are reliable to such an extent that it can be ethically offered commercially?

Mind you, I am not asking whether people always feel something, but whether you are convinced that there is an actual mode of action followed by actual effects.
__________________
homeopathy homicidium
Daylightstar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:36 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.