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The appeal to be open minded
#11
You said you had unicorns.
I have a chupucabra,no biggy.
Who's to say we're not the aliens,or the dead?Look at the movie the Others.Twilite Zone ringing any bells.Maybe Rod Serling was unto something.Just my thoughts.
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#12
People tend to believe in what they experience, and they don't always buy into what other people (who have not had similar experiences) have to say about them.

It's kind of like the "expert" who has never had any children, trying to tell you how to raise yours. You're gonna take it with a grain of salt.

Again, scientists could find out years later that they were labeling people crazy and dubbing everything sleep paralysis, when the folks were actually experiencing something beyond that. If you approach everything as if we already know the answer, then there's no hope of discovering the truth, if it is indeed still to be found.

Look at how the guy who found the ulcer bacteria was ostracized by the medical community. It turned out that he was absolutely correct, and they were absolutely wrong...for a long time. They were telling folks to cut down on spicy foods, when all they needed was the correct antibiotic.

It's great to be skeptical, but being completely closed-minded does have a price. And that price can sometimes result in keeping us from the truth. In fact, closed-minded people in powerful enough positions with enough clout can shut down serious inquiry into a subject, altogether. People didn't even talk about "sleep paralysis" for years because they were afraid of what doctors would do to them. The scientific and medical community effectively squashed dialogue on the topic, almost completely.

It's wonderful that they're at least more open to the idea that something is going on, even if they do want us to believe what they think it is. It's certainly an improvement that they're not institutionalizing and waterboarding people who say this anymore.
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#13
There it is close minded for not believing without proof.
Remember that beliefs are not logical and the more illogical they are, the higher the walls the other person will have built around them.

In strong beliefs, find out if they are blind. If not, probe their rationale for weaknesses. If they are prepared to debate, you may be able to sow seeds of doubt.

For blind beliefs, find the source of the belief and, if possible discredit it or otherwise weaken it.

For weak beliefs, demonstrate how weak they are, find out why they are held, and and offer beliefs that will support the deeper purpose.

http://antisuperstition.org/index.php?op...&Itemid=68
Belief bias occurs when we make illogical conclusions in order to confirm our preexisting beliefs. Belief perseverance refers to our tendency to maintain a belief even after the evidence we used to form the belief is contradicted.
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#14
(10-04-2014, 05:35 AM)UglyNRude Wrote: There it is close minded for not believing without proof.
Remember that beliefs are not logical and the more illogical they are, the higher the walls the other person will have built around them.

In strong beliefs, find out if they are blind. If not, probe their rationale for weaknesses. If they are prepared to debate, you may be able to sow seeds of doubt.

For blind beliefs, find the source of the belief and, if possible discredit it or otherwise weaken it.

For weak beliefs, demonstrate how weak they are, find out why they are held, and and offer beliefs that will support the deeper purpose.

http://antisuperstition.org/index.php?op...&Itemid=68

And if you flip the coin, heretical for not believing without proof. (in religion)

What you are saying here, I agree with 100%. But it applies mostly to the entrenched on either polarity of this debate, no?

Plug in the variables of either the True Believer (who cannot be swayed) or the Pseudo-skeptic (who cannot be swayed) and you sort of have the dynamic of entrenchment.

Proof is subjective. Sorry, but this stuff is almost impossible to quantify. But this doesn't mean it has no traction or validity.

I'm willing to consider that my experiences (some shared) COULD be me (or me and the others involved) just being delusional. But, the evidence doesn't point to that, actually. I've never had mental issues. Held a job for 25 years with no problems, and never been arrested or done anything remotely causing anybody to be concerned about my mental health. So, if the only way that someone could possibly experience the things I have is by being delusional, then I find that remote in my case.

Maybe I'm a liar and making it all up. I'm not, but it is one possibility.

Maybe I'm just gullible and think that everything is magic and so, fall into twisting experiences into something they are not? The evidence of my experience doesn't fit that.

If you have no experience, it is understandable that you enter the discussion looking for some evidence. And it is really quite rational to do so. It is also intelligent and expected that someone who has never seen or experienced anything paranormal would doubt the heck out of it. I would! I do, especially if the experiences are very different than my own. That, also is human nature.

But what do you do when you HAVE these experiences, and they are not debunkable; not deniable, and they happened in such a way that can be corroborated by others? What then? Do you simply say it never happened? Do you decide you were mistaken in your interpretation? Do you tell yourself you imagined it all?

What if those don't fly, and the thing happened and there is no explanation possible to debunk it?

I think, if you have an open skeptical mind, you recognize it and accept it happened, even if the mechanics are not clear.

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#15
I've seen close mindedness on both sides. Among the believers, I've seen people immediately assume something is paranormal without any attempt at trying to figure out if there is a mundane cause. Heck, I referred to dust orbs as... well... dust orbs and got an earful. However, since this is a thread about skeptics, I'll stick with that.

The vast majority of those who say they are open-minded skeptics are not truly open-minded. Sure, they will claim that accept proof when given. In reality, they will never accept anything as proof. There is always some rationalization with pareidolia being the fallback explanation. I strongly suspect that the majority would be incapable of defining what constitutes as proof.
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#16
Proof is a sticky wicket. I think, ideally, it would be nice if every single aspect of experience could have scientific backing, but that's not the case. And I do see why non-believers get fed up with woo. There is way too much woo.

I think that dust orbs are dust. But it might be in the way that message gets delivered that the trouble lies. People learn and base their whole lives on the foundation they lay of "facts." It is almost like shaking their core when you debunk something that they are depending on as underpinning for their "faith."

It's hard to be diplomatic, but necessary. What we take as obvious because we've taken time to look at it, might be not so obvious to those who are new to it. And you know when you've struck a nerve when they give you heck for implying they might be wrong. But it does depend on how it's done. Diplomacy is not a lost art.

The demand for proof is not irrational. But the expectation that there is going to be proof (a scientist in a lab coat running a controlled experiment under strict conditions) available every time there is an anomalous event is maybe asking a bit much?
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