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Old 05-22-2015, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
5,818 posts, read 4,526,642 times
Reputation: 11087

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
What I'm saying is that either side of the argument is on equal ground. How can you prove the supernatural doesn't exist when you can't even prove the normal world is real?
Read the title of the thread -- I intended it to be about the value or validity of sensory perceptions and our interpretations of them as evidence, not about proving the supernatural doesn't exist.

You wrote: "If seeing a ghost or a flying saucer isn't enough to find acceptance that the current scientifically understood material world isn't the whole story, go study quantum mechanics."

Anyone who's worked as a mental health professional has known many people who have seen and heard strange things. They're called hallucinations and the only thing they're "evidence" of is the faulty wiring in the sufferer's brain. Neither is someone claiming to have seen a ghost or a flying saucer evidence that said phenomena exists.

This isn't to say that ghosts, UFOs, bigfoot, or puckwudgies don't exist, but what I am saying is that 90%+ of the "evidence" presented in this forum and other paranormal forums consists of personal stories -- and our knowledge of the way memory works tells us that this collection of stories can be interesting and entertaining, but it "proves" nothing.

If you don't really care about proof and knowledge regarding paranormal phenomena and just want to take all these stories at face value, fine -- but the name for that is "religious belief" and there are plenty of us here who demand a higher standard of proof than blind faith before we believe in an objective reality behind these phenomena. That includes by the way our own experiences of the paranormal, including mine.
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:37 PM
 
48,508 posts, read 88,781,384 times
Reputation: 18192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Versatile View Post
IMO These people were under stress of the violence they just witnessed. Can we expect a more correct memory when not under stress? i think so.
Exactly. But it all we have to go o and the job of defense to show that in trials.
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Old 05-23-2015, 02:23 AM
 
Location: Australia, Melbourne
291 posts, read 217,092 times
Reputation: 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasily View Post
This applies to things like hauntings, encounters with cryptids, encounters with UFOs, and the other weirdness covered in this forum

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/15/ny...mory.html?_r=2

"I know what I saw" is therefore pretty much valueless as objective evidence. No, you can't trust your memories. Let the hating begin.
OK. I will bite. I had a genuine encounter with an earth spirit when I was 9. I am 40. I still know 100% what I saw. My skin still goes white like some kind of poker tell when I talk about it. The whole thing about "unreliable memories" is bunkum. Especially for powerful experiences with the esoteric/unusual.
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Old 05-23-2015, 02:26 AM
 
Location: Australia, Melbourne
291 posts, read 217,092 times
Reputation: 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasily View Post
Read the title of the thread -- I intended it to be about the value or validity of sensory perceptions and our interpretations of them as evidence, not about proving the supernatural doesn't exist.

You wrote: "If seeing a ghost or a flying saucer isn't enough to find acceptance that the current scientifically understood material world isn't the whole story, go study quantum mechanics."

Anyone who's worked as a mental health professional has known many people who have seen and heard strange things. They're called hallucinations and the only thing they're "evidence" of is the faulty wiring in the sufferer's brain. Neither is someone claiming to have seen a ghost or a flying saucer evidence that said phenomena exists.

This isn't to say that ghosts, UFOs, bigfoot, or puckwudgies don't exist, but what I am saying is that 90%+ of the "evidence" presented in this forum and other paranormal forums consists of personal stories -- and our knowledge of the way memory works tells us that this collection of stories can be interesting and entertaining, but it "proves" nothing.

If you don't really care about proof and knowledge regarding paranormal phenomena and just want to take all these stories at face value, fine -- but the name for that is "religious belief" and there are plenty of us here who demand a higher standard of proof than blind faith before we believe in an objective reality behind these phenomena. That includes by the way our own experiences of the paranormal, including mine.
WRONG. I have met an earth spirit. I am a skeptic. If I meet/see something and upon reflection conclude that Ockham's razor goes out the window, then I have seen it and it exists. I even sent my experience as a 3000 word essay to a major psychic society. I am not mucking around here. I know what I saw.
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Old 05-23-2015, 07:45 AM
 
12,977 posts, read 10,183,524 times
Reputation: 24016
I love The Carbanaro Effect. That guy does some magic that people actually believe they're seeing. Can't explain it. Just google it. Sometimes you really can't trust what you see, think you see or remember.
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
17,890 posts, read 14,155,809 times
Reputation: 13759
Quote:
Originally Posted by Versatile View Post
IMO These people were under stress of the violence they just witnessed. Can we expect a more correct memory when not under stress? i think so.
According to the OP's original link (from The New York Times): "A leading researcher in the field of witness memory, Elizabeth Loftus of the University of California, Irvine, said there was ample evidence that people found ways to plug holes in their recollections."

That is what happened in the hammer attack and that is what happens when many people hear bumps in the night. Elizabeth Lotus, in that link, goes on to state: “Often they fill it with their own expectations, and certainly what they may hear from others.”.
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Old 05-23-2015, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
5,818 posts, read 4,526,642 times
Reputation: 11087
Quote:
Originally Posted by silent hypnotist View Post
WRONG. I have met an earth spirit. I am a skeptic. If I meet/see something and upon reflection conclude that Ockham's razor goes out the window, then I have seen it and it exists. I even sent my experience as a 3000 word essay to a major psychic society. I am not mucking around here. I know what I saw.
How do you know it wasn't an hallucination, and how do you know it was an "earth spirit" (whatever that is)? Someone who sends a 3000 word essay to a psychic society doesn't exactly sound like a skeptic to me.

Back in the 1960s, during one of my experiences with LSD, I saw webs of light interconnecting all living things in a forest my friends and I were walking through, felt I was tapped into the profound and true meaning of the universe, and experienced leaving my body and sailing across the valley we were in accompanied by energy beings. I thought I had a whole new set of senses, none of which corresponded to my everyday senses.

Did I experience a whole different reality or reality in a different way? Maybe. But there's no objective way to discriminate between a subjective experience of an alternate reality, a different subjective experience of everyday reality, and a really convincing set of hallucinations. All we can say is that they are experiences of the person who had them, but extracting from them the reality of an "earth spirit" or the like is (as I've pointed out) a leap of faith. As a consequence, these experiences may be meaningful to the experiencer, but they're not evidence in a scientific or legal sense. They're just nice stories about someone's perceptions of an internal event.
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