The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#41  Postby trubble76 » Jun 08, 2012 12:04 pm

campermon wrote:
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'. ;)


Yes, if we are not meaning "ghosts" when we talk about a belief in ghosts then my accusations of foolishness do not apply. I am a firm "believer" in error. If, however, we are talking about disembodied souls of dead animals when we discuss ghosts, then I'm afraid my confrontational name-calling stands. It is ridiculous, but I am perfectly willing to retract and offer an apology to all ghost believers if someone can show me one out of all these numberless apparitions. I just need to see one, day or night, on my own or with a group. Just let me experience one dead person not acting dead. Let me put my hand through Elvis' torso or talk to Janis or Jimi. Until then I'm afraid I will continue to be combative towards those that create the swamp for the leaches to live in.
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#42  Postby campermon » Jun 08, 2012 12:08 pm

trubble76 wrote:
campermon wrote:
trubble76 wrote:
campermon wrote:

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'. ;)


Yes, if we are not meaning "ghosts" when we talk about a belief in ghosts then my accusations of foolishness do not apply. I am a firm "believer" in error. If, however, we are talking about disembodied souls of dead animals when we discuss ghosts, then I'm afraid my confrontational name-calling stands. It is ridiculous, but I am perfectly willing to retract and offer an apology to all ghost believers if someone can show me one out of all these numberless apparitions. I just need to see one, day or night, on my own or with a group. Just let me experience one dead person not acting dead. Let me put my hand through Elvis' torso or talk to Janis or Jimi. Until then I'm afraid I will continue to be combative towards those that create the swamp for the leaches to live in.


:thumbup:

The boded bit; this appears to be Jeromes position. I'm still waiting for his evidence to support this position in the debate thread! ;)
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#43  Postby trubble76 » Jun 08, 2012 12:12 pm

campermon wrote:
trubble76 wrote:
campermon wrote:
trubble76 wrote:

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'. ;)


Yes, if we are not meaning "ghosts" when we talk about a belief in ghosts then my accusations of foolishness do not apply. I am a firm "believer" in error. If, however, we are talking about disembodied souls of dead animals when we discuss ghosts, then I'm afraid my confrontational name-calling stands. It is ridiculous, but I am perfectly willing to retract and offer an apology to all ghost believers if someone can show me one out of all these numberless apparitions. I just need to see one, day or night, on my own or with a group. Just let me experience one dead person not acting dead. Let me put my hand through Elvis' torso or talk to Janis or Jimi. Until then I'm afraid I will continue to be combative towards those that create the swamp for the leaches to live in.


:thumbup:

The boded bit; this appears to be Jeromes position. I'm still waiting for his evidence to support this position in the debate thread! ;)


I would be most interested to see that too. In the absence of evidence, I would be interested to just see some reason as to why a belief in ghosts is even marginally sensible.
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#44  Postby Kazaman » Jun 08, 2012 1:11 pm

:popcorn:
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#45  Postby jerome » Jun 08, 2012 1:49 pm

I think I have put forward quite a bit of evidence :) Still we will see how it al concludes the debate I mean. Not sure how many people have read all of it to date?

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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#46  Postby jerome » Jun 08, 2012 2:11 pm

A few caveats from me, from the JREF Thread

I think we have to distinguish between different sorts of believer. Firstly, though a very serious caveat: I'm deeply suspicious of most measures of intelligence. It's a very difficult concept, and I'm not even sure how meaningful it is. Second a further caveat - I have not read all the papers through (some but not all). As such I don;t know what was measured, who by, and where. The USA for cultural reasons as I hinted above will have a very different pattern of paranormal belief to the UK I think: and most of these studies were UK based. (The basic thing is that lack of religious belief correlates with presence of paranormal belief in the USA - I can provide references to the Skeptical Inquirer article and Martin Gardner's piece on this if anyone interested). So if generally a college education in the USA is liable to make you less religious, it is likely to correlate with more belief in ESP, ghosts, etc, etc.)

Right on with business. People who come to post on this forum are probably not representative of paranormal believers in general, just as the atheists who post here are not typical of atheists generally, the Christians ditto, and so forth... Many people who hold a belief system will not be bothered about discussing it, defending it, or advocating it. It is a purely private matter. As such some persons are unlikely to seek out the JREF. I have no evidence for this assertion, but I would argue it is plausible.

I would also speculate, and note this is speculation, that those who do post here are very firmly committed in many cases to some principle, whether paranormal belief, paranormal disbelief, or philosophical skepticism. I do not think JREF posters are representative of any larger community for these reasons.

Next up is what constitutes paranormal belief? I'm guessing Thalbourne's New Australian Sheep/Goat is the most commonly employed measure of paranormal belief in these studies: but the Paranormal Belief Scale Revised and Anomalous Experiences Inventory might have been employed, as well as many other surveys. All rely on self-report: but there can be a huge gap between what I think my beliefs are and my actions. You would have to look at the breakdown by category of paranormal (a term I regard as almost meaningless) belief. Are Bigfoot fans less educated than UFO believers? Ghost believers less so that astologers? And so forth. Note the survey on randomness looked at ESP believers. They may not be typical.

There is of course a huge variation in believers - and even between believers in psi, John Beloff and Bernard Carr are very different to the self-proclaimed psychics I meet on Facebook. There is almost certainly as Resume pointed out equal variation in non-believers. This need not be an issue of intelligence - it is possible that some psychics are brighter in some ways than Beloff, or that Sagan is an idiot in comparison with some very outspoken non-believers on this forum: but in type and sophistication of the beliefs held and ability to articulate and defend them. I don't regard myself as overly bright, but I am educated in specific fields useful on the forum, so can occasionally make a small contribution.

Anyway I had best get on with some work, and if I have time I'll keep pushing through the literature later, but do bear in mind my own doubts on all this

j x
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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#47  Postby jerome » Jun 08, 2012 2:26 pm

Oh I just remembered Campermon said he had never seen this. Watch first two minutes, then skip to 13 mins if you want to Campermon. Ignore the time slip stuff, that was added to make it make more thematic sense I think in context of the episode, and is William Woolard, not me :)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_5xPCMhAQE[/youtube]

I've posted it before I think, but still makes me smile to see how much I have changed in just 16 years.

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Re: The Paranormal, the Nuts and the Stupid!

#48  Postby reddix » Jun 08, 2012 4:59 pm

:popcorn:
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