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Storm
SFN Regular

USA
708 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2006 :  11:59:54  Show Profile  Visit Storm's Homepage Send Storm a Private Message
Ghosts as most of you know are my forte..my passion..my thing.. i am reading a book edited by David Knight in 1969 called The ESP Reader. It is a compilation of Research and theories on the Enigma of Survival. Survival of bodily death that is. One section in particular is a debate with survivalists and antisurvivalists written by Hornell Hart

quote:
We must deal with probabilities, not certanties he states Outside of pure mathematics and pure logic, no absolute and conclusive proof of anything is possible.Science can reach increasingly strong probabilitiesbut even in dealing with material objects in the laboratory we can only acheive probabilities, not certaintes. that this is true in Psychical research is agreed by all who are competent and well informed in the field


quote:
An Aggressive skeptic can destroy his own faith in anything or anybody. If a sceptic resolutely examines any account of any human determination to find it false, it would seem to be always possible to develop some sort of theory-however far fetched-under which the account in questio might prove to be spurious. Anyone allowing the willing to believe or disbelive , to dominate his decisions destroys therby his capacity to arrive at what is actually the most probable truth at hand.


quote:
To refuse to consider significant evidence is a form of self deception. The general public, for example , is prone to concentrate its attention on fraud and self deception which most students find to be more or less prevalent in spiritualism (hence the Ball Chain of Spiritualism) and to focus attention on the credulous and superstitous character of many ghost stories and accounts of other alleged psychical phenomenon. People who accept these fraudelant and superstious features as characteristics of all psychical research, refusing to admit-or even, failing to realizethe exiatence of genuine psychical phenomenon, develop a repugnance for the entire subject, and thereby debar themselves from a realistic and promising search for the truth about survival
.

H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2006 :  12:34:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
Hornell Hart wrote:
quote:
The general public, for example , is prone to concentrate its attention on fraud and self deception which most students find to be more or less prevalent in spiritualism...

This is false. By and large, the general public accepts stories of ghosts or psychics completely uncritically. It is the scientific community which has largely rejected the claims of spiritualists and mediums and criticized the work of many ESP researchers as shoddy and ill-designed.

quote:
People who accept these fraudelant and superstious features as characteristics of all psychical research, refusing to admit-or even, failing to realize the exiatence of genuine psychical phenomenon, develop a repugnance for the entire subject, and thereby debar themselves from a realistic and promising search for the truth about survival.
Where is this realistic and promising research? If it doesn't exist, all this pontificating on the dangers of being overly-skeptical is irrelevant.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 06/11/2006 12:48:48
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2006 :  12:40:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
So, anyone who isn't willing to assume that "genuine psychical phenomenon [sic]" exist cannot find evidence of "genuine psychical phenomenon [sic]." Hornell Hart thereby secured his position as a psychical evangelist preaching to his choir, and not as a rigorous scientist. To confirm that:
Human personality does survive bodily death. That is the outcome which I find emerging when the strongest anti-survivalist arguments and the strongest rebuttals are considered thoroughly, with passionate open-mindedness.

- SurvivalAfterDeath.org
But the problem is that a scientific conclusion shouldn't depend mostly on its critics, nor the answers to criticisms, it should depend most upon the positive evidence brought forward in its favor. Why did Hart not explicitly mention any of that? And, as noted by Carl Sagan, one should keep an open mind, but not so open one's brain falls out. Hart's brain seems to have splattered on the sociology lecture hall floor sometime before 1933.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2006 :  13:00:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
I would think the number of people waiting for Houdini to return included some believers.

And what about all the scientists who maintain their belief in God? They would certainly be open to the idea evidence of the afterlife exists yet they too have not produced any evidence of this fact.

If someone with a near-death experience ever reads the secret message above the heads of the health care workers in the hospitals where such experiments are being conducted, short of fraud, I assure you there will be skeptics very interested in the evidence.
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GeeMack
SFN Regular

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2006 :  13:07:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send GeeMack a Private Message
Those who claim that ghosts exist have the burden of proving that claim. It is not sound science to accept the existence of such phenomena by default. Skeptics don't have some agenda to disprove anything. Occasionally skeptics will demonstrate that something presented as evidence is fraudulent, or more often that it is simply not scientifically valid evidence. That effort is not an attempt to prove that ghosts aren't real.

The doubters on this forum haven't developed their skeptical position about ghosts from paying an inordinate amount of attention to fraud or through some kind of self deception. They haven't resolutely undertaken the task of trying to prove that ghosts don't exist. They don't disbelieve because of some refusal to acknowledge evidence. The doubters here remain skeptical simply because no scientifically acceptable evidence has ever been presented to support the idea that ghosts actually do exist.
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2006 :  15:15:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
^^^ yeah, what he said.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
Edited by - Dude on 06/11/2006 15:16:12
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Storm
SFN Regular

USA
708 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2006 :  07:08:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Storm's Homepage Send Storm a Private Message
He states:

quote:
Inadequacy of evidence does not prove a case to be spurious. Scientific psychical researchers are certaintly justified in demanding the best available verfication for alleged cases od psychical phenomenon. The very essence of the scientific method requires that offered evidence be examined with strenuous criticism. But a good deal of anti survivalists discussion appears to assume that if detailed verfication is lacking, the case must necessarily be spurious.


quote:
Apparitions of the dead can also be vehicles of surviving personalities. the question of whether apparitions of the dead, apparitions of the dying, and apparitions of the living are radically different types of phenomenon was first studied in qualitive terms.


Brain is the messenger of conciousness.... I had posted this before.

Hornell Hart states:
quote:
Antisurvivalists and doubters who point out the close parallels between mental states and brain conditions present an argument which is persuasive so long as attention is confined to the parells between brain and consciousness. but those who seek to push this argument keep ignoring the large and growing body of evidence which shows that the brain is an instrument through which consciousness operates rather than a generator which produces consciusness , or an inseparable aspect of a psychomatic unity.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2006 :  07:47:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Storm

He states:
quote:
Inadequacy of evidence does not prove a case to be spurious.

Duh. So what? Where is the positive evidence that shows that any case is not spurious?
quote:
Scientific psychical researchers are certaintly justified in demanding the best available verfication for alleged cases od psychical phenomenon.
So are critics.
quote:
The very essence of the scientific method requires that offered evidence be examined with strenuous criticism.
No, the essence of the scientific method is replicable testing of hypotheses.
quote:
But a good deal of anti survivalists discussion appears to assume that if detailed verfication is lacking, the case must necessarily be spurious.
After 150 years of active and determined questing for scientific evidence of psychical phenomena, critics are justified in pointing to the lack thereof and dismissing the subject as a wild goose chase. Hart's preaching does nothing more but say, "there isn't any evidence, but there might be some, somewhere that hasn't been searched yet, so nay-sayers are simply pessimistic fools."
quote:
Apparitions of the dead can also be vehicles of surviving personalities. the question of whether apparitions of the dead, apparitions of the dying, and apparitions of the living are radically different types of phenomenon was first studied in qualitive terms.
Apparitions of the dead can also be purple and taste like Milk Duds. Without evidence, it's all just wild speculation.
quote:
Brain is the messenger of conciousness.... I had posted this before.
Yes, and you failed to provide any evidence before.
quote:
Hornell Hart states:
quote:
Antisurvivalists and doubters who point out the close parallels between mental states and brain conditions present an argument which is persuasive so long as attention is confined to the parells between brain and consciousness. but those who seek to push this argument keep ignoring the large and growing body of evidence which shows that the brain is an instrument through which consciousness operates rather than a generator which produces consciusness , or an inseparable aspect of a psychomatic unity.

And much neurological research since Hart's death suggests that he (and that "growing body of evidence") was simply wrong.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2006 :  08:09:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message
Happy birthday, Dave W.!
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2006 :  08:12:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Thanks, Starman!

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Storm
SFN Regular

USA
708 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2006 :  09:04:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Storm's Homepage Send Storm a Private Message
This Thing Called Dying and Sudden Death by R. Dewitt Miller

quote:
It is traditional that dying men and women often see around them friends, relatives, and loved ones who have alreay experienced the transition. When ny grandfather died very peacefully at the age of eighty six, he had ceased for twenty four hours to recognize the living persons in the room. However, during those last hours he often appeared to recognize and hold conversations with unseen beings around the bed. All of the invisable guests which he had named,including his wife to whom he had been married more than fifty years, were long since dead.


quote:
Of course, such hapenings are always glibly explained away as hallucinations of a brain befuddled and disorded by the last stages of a fatal disease. It does seem passing strange that the brains of the dying persons should consistently since the beginning of recorder history , tend to suffer from identical hallucinations. It would appear more logical from the materialistic viewpoint that hallucinations accompanying disintegration would have far greater variations.


quote:
the matter becomes somewhat complicated when the dying person sees invisible friends whose deaths were unknown to him.Typical of such cases is one cited by Sir William Barrett, professor of Physics at the Royal Collage Dublin, in his book, Death bed visions. The cases was reported by his wife Lady Barrett physician and obstetric surgeon at Mothers Hospital in Clapton. She attended a woman suffering from a serious heart condition, and sucessfully delivered the child. However it was obvious that the mother had not long to live. Her husband leaning over her and speaking to her. Don't hide the patient said it's so beautiful. then turning away from him she said Why there's Vilda referring to her sister of whose death three weeks previuosly she had not been told.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2006 :  09:26:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Storm

This Thing Called Dying and Sudden Death by R. Dewitt Miller

quote:
It is traditional that dying men and women often see around them friends, relatives, and loved ones who have alreay experienced the transition. When ny grandfather died very peacefully at the age of eighty six, he had ceased for twenty four hours to recognize the living persons in the room. However, during those last hours he often appeared to recognize and hold conversations with unseen beings around the bed. All of the invisable guests which he had named,including his wife to whom he had been married more than fifty years, were long since dead.


quote:
Of course, such hapenings are always glibly explained away as hallucinations of a brain befuddled and disorded by the last stages of a fatal disease. It does seem passing strange that the brains of the dying persons should consistently since the beginning of recorder history , tend to suffer from identical hallucinations. It would appear more logical from the materialistic viewpoint that hallucinations accompanying disintegration would have far greater variations.


quote:
the matter becomes somewhat complicated when the dying person sees invisible friends whose deaths were unknown to him.Typical of such cases is one cited by Sir William Barrett, professor of Physics at the Royal Collage Dublin, in his book, Death bed visions. The cases was reported by his wife Lady Barrett physician and obstetric surgeon at Mothers Hospital in Clapton. She attended a woman suffering from a serious heart condition, and sucessfully delivered the child. However it was obvious that the mother had not long to live. Her husband leaning over her and speaking to her. Don't hide the patient said it's so beautiful. then turning away from him she said Why there's Vilda referring to her sister of whose death three weeks previuosly she had not been told.


Anecdotal evidence, while sometimes interesting, cannot be considered scientific evidence of anything at all unless it is supported by the positive outcome by an actual scientific investigation. You can keep throwing out anecdotes from para-psychologists or whoever, but don't expect a skeptic to be much impressed by that.

Frankly Storm, there are anecdotes to support almost any hypothesis you can think of from the world of the New Age and para-normal. Many of those went down in flames long ago upon closer scientific scrutiny.

So just keep throwing them at us and see where it gets you. And yes, I understand that anecdotal evidence is the “gold standard” for evaluating what is real from a new age perspective. But here, it won't fly.

You would think that by now you would know that…

Also, welcome back Storm. I mean that!

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1884 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2006 :  09:40:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Storm

This Thing Called Dying and Sudden Death by R. Dewitt Miller

Testimonials and specualtion about what the dying saw and perhaps even talked to. And still no evidence.

A much simpler explaination is available. I know when my time to die is close I will cherish those memories of people who were close to me, whether still living or already dead. Seeing them again, in my mind, will bring such joy I can think of nothing better.

An explanation without magical thinking firmly based in reality. R. Miller seems to have missed this, must be an idea that simply didn't appeal to him.

edited to add: Wow, 500 posts and it only took 4 years.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
Edited by - moakley on 06/13/2006 09:41:47
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26001 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2006 :  11:18:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Storm

This Thing Called Dying and Sudden Death by R. Dewitt Miller
quote:
Of course, such hapenings are always glibly explained away as hallucinations of a brain befuddled and disorded by the last stages of a fatal disease. It does seem passing strange that the brains of the dying persons should consistently since the beginning of recorder history , tend to suffer from identical hallucinations. It would appear more logical from the materialistic viewpoint that hallucinations accompanying disintegration would have far greater variations.

Miller has no idea what he/she is talking about here. Brains going through similar disorders have similar hallucinations. The hallunications affecting victims of paranoid schizophrenia, for example, aren't just random images and sounds, but tend to be of several distinct types.

Back when my grandfather was in a nursing home, he complained to the staff that there were bugs in his room. Since hallucinating about bugs is quite common for victims of senile dementia, the staff did nothing until my father visited, and showed the insects infesting my grandfather's room to them.

The idea that every dying person should hallucinate different stuff is the unsupported claim here, Storm. And it is used to bolster other unsupported claims. The whole idea of life after death is a house of cards built atop a fog of religious beliefs.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Storm
SFN Regular

USA
708 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2006 :  16:21:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Storm's Homepage Send Storm a Private Message
Originally posted by Dave
quote:
The whole idea of life after death is a house of cards built atop a fog of religious beliefs.


While I agree conscious survival of oneself should be left to religion... my thoughts on the disintegration of oneself -the physical self-and its interaction with the environment of no consequence to religion at all. Energy gets transformed... right... One theory on apparitions is that of Residual Energy.. Energy left behind from a person that gets replayed to certain individuals. These apparitions are not conscious beings just recordings of an event performed long ago.
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2006 :  16:28:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message
The use of the word "theory" here is not proper. Again, there is nothing to back up what was just said besides anecdotes.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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