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Skeptical Fallacies

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Skeptical Fallacies

Post by Candlelight.kk on Sun 14 May 2017, 09:28

21 Jul 2013

Skeptical Claims

Not all skeptics are honest truth seekers and their claims cannot always be relied upon for accuracy.
A well known skeptic once admitted, "I'm a charlatan, a liar, a thief, and a fake altogether. There is no question of it." (This is reported to have been said on PM Magazine, on July 1st, 1982.)

Many skeptics believe in materialism as if it were a religion and they often refuse to consider evidence that contradicts their beliefs. Unfortunately, like with religions, the intolerant attitude of the fundamentalists and the power grabbing leaders tends to bleed over to the more moderate believers. Skepticism is good when it exposes fraud and foolishness, but too many skeptics care more about spreading their materialistic beliefs than about uncovering the whole truth.

When a skeptic claims that a paranormal phenomena is really due to fraud, self-delusion, or mistaking an ordinary phenomena for a paranormal one, you must evaluate whether the skeptic's claim is valid. The skeptic may be incorrect or even deliberately deceptive.
The chapter on Skeptical Misdirection contains many examples of situations where skeptics have made deceptive statements. Because of the gross unreliability of skeptical claims, including payment for both false confessions and false accusations of fraud, one must have a skeptical attitude towards all skeptical claims. One must demand equally high standards of proof for claims by skeptics as one does for claims of paranormal phenomena. For example, an accusation by someone who claims to have inside information that a medium was a fraud is not proof of fraud any more than an unsupported claim of a paranormal phenomena is proof of that phenomena. There must be evidence to support the skeptic's claim, it must be corroborated by independent investigators, and the claims must be made by persons of reliable character. All the requirements that are demanded for proof of a paranormal claim are also required for proof of a skeptical claim.

Very few writers take the time to investigate skeptical claims in order to verify them. Even fewer take the time to find out what the other side of the issue says in rebuttal to the skeptic's claims. As a result, there are many unproven skeptical claims published, many with seemingly convincing evidence which if properly rebutted would be seen to be fallacious or inapplicable. Unfortunately, these unproven and invalid claims then get repeated as fact.

Unless you have investigated both sides of the controversy, you do not have enough information to decide whether any skeptical claim is valid and you should withhold judgment until you have learned what the other side has to say about those claims.
Unfortunately, there have been cases of charlatans making paranormal claims. It is equally unfortunate that there have also been cases of charlatans making skeptical claims. This skeptical misdirection has not helped to clarify matters it only makes it harder to determine the truth.

Link to full article:

Contents include:-

    About Skeptical Thinking
         - Ignorant Pseudo-skeptics
        - Evidence Will not Convince a Pseudo-skeptic
        - Why Pseudo-skeptics say, "There is no evidence"
        - Moving the Goal Post
        - Debating Skeptics

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Re: Skeptical Fallacies

Post by algranville on Sun 14 May 2017, 09:33

19 Aug 2013, 22:33

One question to put to persistent "skeptics" is are you saying that all the thousands apon thousands of reports validating afterlife are either due to fraud or delusion? That people like Hodgson,Crookall,Findlay,Cardoso,Bacci and so many more are all delusional or guilty of fraud?

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Re: Skeptical Fallacies

Post by Candlelight.kk on Sun 14 May 2017, 09:38

22 Aug 2013

algranville wrote:One question to put to persistent "skeptics" is are you saying that all the thousands apon thousands of reports validating afterlife are either due to fraud or delusion? That people like Hodgson,Crookall,Findlay,Cardoso,Bacci and so many more are all delusional or guilty of fraud?

Hi algranville,  

I have seen that question put to "persistent" or "militant" skeptics numerous times, with nary a satisfactory response.  If the question is not glossed over altogether, more often than not the stock reply is generally "thousands of reports" of validation does not make it any more true or any less delusional ... or something along those lines ...
Seldom are they prepared to look further into those reports, nor indeed are they in the slightest bit interested in delving into the actual research in any great depth.  Fact is, these "militants" are extremely ignorant of the existence of such research and deliberately choose to remain so.  A collective closed mindedness prevails.

I was not familiar with the name "Crookall" in the field of afterlife research, so looked it up.  I presume you are talking about Robert Crookall, the author of this book(?):

Intimations of Immortality: Seeing that Leads to Believing

and here again ...

Researcher Robert Crookall Finds Accounts of the Afterlife by Mediums to Be Identical.

Dr. Robert Crookall, B.Sc. (psychology), D.Sc., Ph.D., principal geologist with the Geological Survey of Great Britain, resigned from his geological work in 1952 to devote his life to psychical research. During the next nine years, he collected and analyzed medium communications from every country he could, including Brazil, England, South Africa, Tibet, Europe, India, Australia, and the Hawaiian Islands. He found that in all countries, among all cultures, people described the same characteristic accounts of out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, and communications with the deceased through mediums. He concluded that his findings were strong evidence for the existence of an afterlife because an intellectually consistent set of statements came from many independent sources.

In 1961, Crookall wrote The Supreme Adventure: Analyses of Psychic Communications describing the findings of his research. His descriptions of the afterlife that came from his many sources are identical to the descriptions of the afterlife that have come from direct-voice mediums before his research and since.

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Re: Skeptical Fallacies

Post by JDBP on Sun 14 May 2017, 09:40

23 Aug 2013, 18:17

algranville wrote:
One question to put to persistent "skeptics" is are you saying that all the thousands apon thousands of reports validating afterlife are either due to fraud or delusion?

When a full moon is near the horizon, it appears oversized, a million people could line up on the beach and each and every one of them would say that the moon appears bigger.
They are literally seeing it with their own eyes.

Every single one could validate that "evidence" as proof the moon is bigger or nearer to Earth when it is near the horizon.

Now of course a little bit of common sense tells you the moon isn't really any closer or indeed any bigger.

This is known as the moon illusion.

Bend over and look at the moon from between your legs, and guess what it is back to normal size.
Now I am not going to go into details of why this illusion works, you can all google that, but it is a good example, of how the eyes and more importantly the brain is not always trust worthy.

You mention these thousands of reports validating the afterlife, lets be clear here, validation is not the same as proof, Uri Geller for example has convinced thousands if not millions of people he can bend spoons with the power of the mind, yet any magician can do this. Does these millions of people who believe in him, make his trick real?

History has shown us that the human race gives supernatural or paranormal explanations for things it does not understand, whether it is creating gods of the Sun and the Moon, or inventing gods of the sea, or of volcanoes. Hell every society in history has worshipped something or other, whether it is trees or invisible bearded men in the sky.

Mediums perform the same tricks as magicians the only difference is they claim it is real whereby a magician admits it is a trick.

People can be fooled, in fact it is incredibly easy to fool people, that's why we have magicians!

That people like Hodgson,Crookall,Findlay,Cardoso,Bacci and so many more are all delusional or guilty of fraud?

Yes, because none of them every proved any actual claim in credible tests.

You can attack skeptics, and some deserve to be attacked, but the vast majority ask for only one thing, proof, and mediums do not give proof, they convince, they demonstrate, they perform, but they never truly give proof.

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