The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

Discussions on UFOs, ghosts, myths etc.

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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#21  Postby jerome » Jun 07, 2012 4:56 pm

Yep, absolutely. Bernard Carr and Brian Josephson are two very famous psi-proponent physicists, and Carr has written a lot on the possible physics to explain paranormal phenomena, not that I could follow it. I think Campermon has read it? Psychologists are certainly more familiar with the way that data can be manipulated I guess too :)

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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#22  Postby jerome » Jun 07, 2012 4:59 pm

I don't think you need to apply a tautology trubble - there may still be differences. I'm moving on to reasoning styles once I finish work, and there you might find some support for the hypothesis there is a difference - it is just not in IQ or critical thinking necessarily: there can be personality factors involved, and that may well explain a great deal. Have a look at this old blog article of mine for one possibility: http://jerome23.wordpress.com/2010/03/1 ... sed-minds/
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#23  Postby campermon » Jun 07, 2012 5:00 pm

jerome wrote:Yep, absolutely. Bernard Carr and Brian Josephson are two very famous psi-proponent physicists, and Carr has written a lot on the possible physics to explain paranormal phenomena, not that I could follow it. I think Campermon has read it? Psychologists are certainly more familiar with the way that data can be manipulated I guess too :)

j x


I've heard of Carr but can't recall reading about any physics (perhaps metaphysics) he proposes to explain paranormal phenomena.

If you have any linkies / papers, I'm sure me and (especially) twistor could unpack any physics.

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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#24  Postby jerome » Jun 07, 2012 5:07 pm

I thought you guys had seen it? Perhaps not. OK, I'll see what I can do. I have a copy of the PSPR I can loan you, sure that is acceptable. :)

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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#25  Postby trubble76 » Jun 07, 2012 5:35 pm

jerome wrote:I don't think you need to apply a tautology trubble - there may still be differences. I'm moving on to reasoning styles once I finish work, and there you might find some support for the hypothesis there is a difference - it is just not in IQ or critical thinking necessarily: there can be personality factors involved, and that may well explain a great deal. Have a look at this old blog article of mine for one possibility: http://jerome23.wordpress.com/2010/03/1 ... sed-minds/


I read the article you linked to, but I'm not sure what your point is exactly.

I also don't think I was applying a tautology, strictly at least. My point was that readily accepting irrational conclusions is foolish, and if (as you point out) it is a foolishness enacted by those with reasonable intellects then sadly that means the world is inhabited by many types of idiot, some with low intelligence and some with high intelligence.
I think it far more reasonable to accept the conclusion that otherwise intelligent people can be stupid than accept the conclusion that a belief in ghosts isn't stupid.
In other words, even if a lorryload of smart people believe in a nonsense, it doesn't mean it isn't nonsense, just that I have reason to be sad that intelligence doesn't appear to protect one from foolishness.
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#26  Postby jerome » Jun 07, 2012 5:56 pm

That different cognitive/neural structures and reasoning styles may lead to radically different ways of looking at the world. :) Hence you find the notion ridiculous: I find it eminently sensible. We may have different organizations of brain or mind, which cause us to have certain predisposed beliefs. Now actually I thought it was all bollocks till I had an experience that rewrote my heuristics, and came to believe people experience "ghosts" : and if I was abducted by goblins and fed beer, I would doubtless come to believe in goblins too.

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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#27  Postby trubble76 » Jun 07, 2012 6:13 pm

jerome wrote:That different cognitive/neural structures and reasoning styles may lead to radically different ways of looking at the world. :) Hence you find the notion ridiculous: I find it eminently sensible. We may have different organizations of brain or mind, which cause us to have certain predisposed beliefs. Now actually I thought it was all bollocks till I had an experience that rewrote my heuristics, and came to believe people experience "ghosts" : and if I was abducted by goblins and fed beer, I would doubtless come to believe in goblins too.

j x


So we should accept every claim as reasonable? Surely not. We must use reason and evidence. Believing in goblins and ghosts has no sense, unless you would like to present one for study. We both know that you, nor anyone else out of the 7bn inhabitants of this planet will be able to present a ghost for inspection, despite the countless claims as to their existence. It is in no way eminently sensible, I seriously doubt you have anything to back up that position.
If ghosts can be experienced, then they can be experienced in a science lab, or is there some reason why not?
Where are the billions of ghosts? And what about non-human animals? Where are the trillions of ghosts, the quadrillions of ghosts, or is it only sad, old duchesses and highway robbers that become ghosts? Fairy stories are for kiddies.
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#28  Postby Zwaarddijk » Jun 07, 2012 6:22 pm

trubble76 wrote:
jerome wrote:That different cognitive/neural structures and reasoning styles may lead to radically different ways of looking at the world. :) Hence you find the notion ridiculous: I find it eminently sensible. We may have different organizations of brain or mind, which cause us to have certain predisposed beliefs. Now actually I thought it was all bollocks till I had an experience that rewrote my heuristics, and came to believe people experience "ghosts" : and if I was abducted by goblins and fed beer, I would doubtless come to believe in goblins too.

j x


So we should accept every claim as reasonable? Surely not. We must use reason and evidence. Believing in goblins and ghosts has no sense, unless you would like to present one for study. We both know that you, nor anyone else out of the 7bn inhabitants of this planet will be able to present a ghost for inspection, despite the countless claims as to their existence. It is in no way eminently sensible, I seriously doubt you have anything to back up that position.
If ghosts can be experienced, then they can be experienced in a science lab, or is there some reason why not?
Where are the billions of ghosts? And what about non-human animals? Where are the trillions of ghosts, the quadrillions of ghosts, or is it only sad, old duchesses and highway robbers that become ghosts? Fairy stories are for kiddies.

Isn't his point rather that we should tolerate those who are not gifted with the ability to be fully rational, without any need to accept their beliefs per se?
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#29  Postby trubble76 » Jun 07, 2012 7:30 pm

Zwaarddijk wrote:
trubble76 wrote:
jerome wrote:That different cognitive/neural structures and reasoning styles may lead to radically different ways of looking at the world. :) Hence you find the notion ridiculous: I find it eminently sensible. We may have different organizations of brain or mind, which cause us to have certain predisposed beliefs. Now actually I thought it was all bollocks till I had an experience that rewrote my heuristics, and came to believe people experience "ghosts" : and if I was abducted by goblins and fed beer, I would doubtless come to believe in goblins too.

j x


So we should accept every claim as reasonable? Surely not. We must use reason and evidence. Believing in goblins and ghosts has no sense, unless you would like to present one for study. We both know that you, nor anyone else out of the 7bn inhabitants of this planet will be able to present a ghost for inspection, despite the countless claims as to their existence. It is in no way eminently sensible, I seriously doubt you have anything to back up that position.
If ghosts can be experienced, then they can be experienced in a science lab, or is there some reason why not?
Where are the billions of ghosts? And what about non-human animals? Where are the trillions of ghosts, the quadrillions of ghosts, or is it only sad, old duchesses and highway robbers that become ghosts? Fairy stories are for kiddies.

Isn't his point rather that we should tolerate those who are not gifted with the ability to be fully rational, without any need to accept their beliefs per se?


If it is then I'm not sure I can agree with that either. People believing in ghosts doesn't really effect me but it is an avenue via which the credulous are fleeced, and in some cases far worse. It is nonsense and it should be tackled instead of tolerated, so here I am tackling it.
Ghosts do not exist, I would be very interested for someone to prove me wrong. I think we all know it's not going to happen.
What is going to happen though is that people will still make wild claims, people will still get scared and the cycle of crap will continue.
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#30  Postby jerome » Jun 07, 2012 9:54 pm

Ah well I'm debating Campermon already on spooks down in formal debates or I'd be up for it :) BTW if anyone is going to Cheltenham Science Festival next week I'm talking on The Science of Ghosts at the Cheltenham Skeptics in the Pub event on Thursday 14th at D Fly. Be nice to meet a few of you :)

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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#31  Postby campermon » Jun 07, 2012 10:02 pm

jerome wrote:Ah well I'm debating Campermon already on spooks down in formal debates ...


have you got a copy of the paper you mentioned in your last debate post?

"Now I have dug out the paper on Psychomanteum research that seemed to show a correlation between apparitional experience periods and unusual environmental conditions (see post 8) I won't invoke it here though, cos I want Campermon to have a chance to read the full paper, so I will pass it on. "

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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#32  Postby jerome » Jun 07, 2012 10:19 pm

Campermon, you have discussed ghosts with me on and off forum. I'm not that nuts am I in real life? :D I'll sort it in the morning mate

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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#33  Postby Onyx8 » Jun 08, 2012 1:27 am

Are people actually discussing ghosts as if they might exist? Or just discussing that some people seem to believe that they exist?
The problem with fantasies is you can't really insist that everyone else believes in yours, the other problem with fantasies is that most believers of fantasies eventually get around to doing exactly that.
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#34  Postby virphen » Jun 08, 2012 1:54 am

Is your point here Jerome, that believers in any piece of supernatural nonsense (my post I get to call it what I like :P) are no more and no less intelligent on average than anyone else? If so, it's a point I'm quite happy to concede. Throughout the ages there have been many, many intelligent people who have believed in all sorts of fuckwittery - how much time did Newton waste trying to turn lead into gold? And there are to this day many people far more intelligent than I who believe in the deranged silliness of Christianity (again my post, I get to call it stupid if I want).

But that in terms says nothing about the truth or otherwise of what they actually believe in.
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#35  Postby jerome » Jun 08, 2012 10:15 am

virphen wrote:
But that in terms says nothing about the truth or otherwise of what they actually believe in.



Absolutely. However the claim is often made that paranormal believers are thick: that was all I wanted to address. No more (or less) than the rest of the population it would seem.MOre to come when I have a moment!

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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#36  Postby trubble76 » Jun 08, 2012 11:30 am

I still say believers in ghosts are stupid because a belief in ghosts is stupid. Sadly this seems to be independent from IQ. Can anyone demonstrate that a belief in ghosts is based on reason and therefore that I am wrong?
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#37  Postby campermon » Jun 08, 2012 11:33 am

trubble76 wrote:I still say believers in ghosts are stupid because a belief in ghosts is stupid. Sadly this seems to be independent from IQ. Can anyone demonstrate that a belief in ghosts is based on reason and therefore that I am wrong?


It depends on whether they believe 'ghosts' to be a supernatural phenomena or some artifact of evolved brains.

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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#38  Postby trubble76 » Jun 08, 2012 11:37 am

campermon wrote:
trubble76 wrote:I still say believers in ghosts are stupid because a belief in ghosts is stupid. Sadly this seems to be independent from IQ. Can anyone demonstrate that a belief in ghosts is based on reason and therefore that I am wrong?


It depends on whether they believe 'ghosts' to be a supernatural phenomena or some artifact of evolved brains.

:thumbup:


True, but the definition of ghost favours the former. Are non-supernatural ghosts still ghosts? It's like saying that it's reasonable to believe in a god, as long as a god is small and peanutty and covered in chocolate.
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#39  Postby tuco » Jun 08, 2012 11:39 am

If intelligence is as it was mentioned here:

A very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—"catching on," "making sense" of things, or "figuring out" what to do. - http://www.rationalskepticism.org/psych ... l#p1331545

and if there is correlation between the so-called critical thinking and intelligence, it is hard, for me, to believe that gullibility has nothing to do with intelligence, and education. Though, exceptions may exist, despite general trends.
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#40  Postby campermon » Jun 08, 2012 11:42 am

trubble76 wrote:
campermon wrote:
trubble76 wrote:I still say believers in ghosts are stupid because a belief in ghosts is stupid. Sadly this seems to be independent from IQ. Can anyone demonstrate that a belief in ghosts is based on reason and therefore that I am wrong?


It depends on whether they believe 'ghosts' to be a supernatural phenomena or some artifact of evolved brains.

:thumbup:


True, but the definition of ghost favours the former. Are non-supernatural ghosts still ghosts? It's like saying that it's reasonable to believe in a god, as long as a god is small and peanutty and covered in chocolate.


Good point. I believe that what people label as 'ghosts' can be explained by a number of different completely explicable natural phenomena. 'Ghosts' is just a convenient label which encompasses these natural phenomena. A bit like 'consciousness'. ;)
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