I had to laugh when I dog eared the page just before school pick up.. page 111
- for some that would be 'significant'
Great read so far -
I'll be back later - thanks for the replies so far, looking forward to chatting
Just wanted to add that I also cringe when I am told to be 'more open minded' .. I am pretty damn open minded - that is why I ask so many questions, because I want to know more, how and why ~ rather than just 'accepting' without doubt.
The definition of being skeptical/sceptical is basically, One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.
This sums it up nicely, "The door is always slightly ajar, and if enough evidence comes forth, the door to acceptance opens."
James Randi is another fav of mine, in amongst those names already mentioned... not only as a skeptic, but because I am a big fan of MAGIC.
I wanted to leave this quote, [because it really hit it on teh head for me, especially after some previous conversations I've had of late]..
"'I don't know.' It seems to get a bad rap, but "I don't know" is a respectable answer when one doesn't know."
..." Regardless of what you may have been led to believe, it's OK to say, 'I don't know' when faced with a genuine mystery. Ignorance should be embraced openly as motivationto learn and discover. When we come up short and don't have answers for something, admitting ignorance while continuing to seek answers is far more productive than pretending to know. It's also honest."
Completely agree on the open minded part. I don't know if I would call myself a skeptic, but I fully believe in being open to possibility. So when someone tells me that there is definitely a god OR there definitely isn't a god or that psychics are for real (or not), I find it ridiculous. Like fitb said, there's a lot of stuff we don't know and the only completely logical opinion is to sit on the fence and say, "I don't know".
I also really believe in balancing my viewpoint. So for example, I don't think you can completely discount psychics without going to one, can't discount god without spending some time at church, can't discount T.izzie H.all without reading SOS... you get my point.
Fiveinthebed - I absolutely agree about embracing not knowing something.
Often people say "I don't mind not understanding how something works." Well, me neither. But I need to trust that it does work, and that - should I wish - then I 'could' seek to understand it.
If, for example, someone says "wearing a blue bracelet makes your cold get better". Well... I want to know that clinical trials have shown that to be true. I want to know that this phenomenon has been studied, and that the fact that colds improve while wearing blue bracelets has been shown to be a statistically significant finding.
If that's the case, then let's look at the mechanisms as to how it works. But I need to at least know that it works.
Otherwise... well... I just have your word for it...
One of my favourite people at the moment - Derren Brown. If you haven't seen his shows then I recommend them to anyone of a skeptical persuasion.
I don't agree with your second paragraph, however. I do not know if it is possible to be a psychic and genuinely tap into someone's past or future. Going to one would not tell me that one way or another. I have been to them before, and experienced great accuracy and great inaccuracy, and neither of those experiences tells me whether that psychic is hitting above average in terms of probability of chance guessing.
Even if a psychic told me everything in an uncannily accurate way - it means nothing. One person is not a statistically significant experiment. Sure, it would be unlikely that they could get everything accurate just by chance, but it is possible.
I am not a physicist, but that does not mean I have to visit the LHC in order to believe in the benefits of the work they are doing there.
I think I'm abit of a fence sitter on some topics. I think there is something out there a higher power if you will. Things happen for a reason I guess. I am into ghosts and paranormal as well as urban legends. Is the a god or not I don't know don't think there is a definite answer who knows how we got here or where we are going.
My hubby was talking about the moon landing and we talked about the hoaxes etc. I loved watching Derrick he is one of the shows I dont mind watching I like magic and love to watch how the magicians do it like the show breaking the magicians code.
I weep for humanity.
Although I remain optimistic that humanity as a whole will eventually evolve and mature and grow out of these things.
So yes, I guess I could be called a skeptic too, though I think "scientist" is a more accurate and flattering description
I agree with Girl X though, I don't think these things are impossible, there's still plenty we don't know about the universe. But there's plenty of amazing, mind-blowing stuff out there as it is! *Insert Douglas Adams quote about fairies and gardens...*
Oh I absolutely adore Derren Brown!!
Spent almost ALL of my internet usage on a bit of a Derren Brown Youtube binge a few months back!
I love his honesty about being dishonest
Penn and Teller are also very entertaining skeptics.
I guess the difference between someone who 'sits on the fence' and a skeptic, from my own peronal point of view is, a fence sitter seems to be easily persuaded to see merit and validity in the claim being made by those proposing the supernatural...whilst a skeptic may see potential, but furthers their investigation by asking questions, comparing cultures, eliminating [man made and mind made] trickery, asking for proof and by being aware of their own confirmation bias.
I have in the pst been to and paid a psychic...I never will again, I have jumped to the conclusion that ghosts have visited me in my home both in my sleep and during waking hours - I now have a better and clearer understanding of how the human brain works; settling my anxiety.
The latest comment from my mother that I had to bite my tongue over and really resist the temptation to swear at her, was that there is people living in the centre of the Earth...
Last edited by FiveInTheBed; 31-08-2012 at 20:36.
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