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  1. #21
    Junior stigmata's Avatar
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    Absolutely. My wife and one of my ex-roommates both have regular run-ins with the supernatural. It's happened to me before, but not to the extent of their experiences, which are very frequent.

    It's easy to dismiss the idea from a comfy computer desk in Midwest USA, but spend a few days in a country that predominately believes/utilizes witchcraft and your opinion will most-likely change.

  2. #22
    Banned franklin067's Avatar
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    yeah i beleive...there is existence of supernatural powers

  3. #23
    Regular Rakuen Growlithe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stigmata View Post
    It's easy to dismiss the idea from a comfy computer desk in Midwest USA, but spend a few days in a country that predominately believes/utilizes witchcraft and your opinion will most-likely change.
    No it won't. You should dismiss it due to a lack of evidence. Even those countries that dismiss it now used to believe before better knowledge and reporting showed supernatural events to be nonsense and pushed them further and further away from public life. This is at the same time that knowledge of various psychological predispositions has exploded and is easily available in popular science books, for example "The Invisible Gorilla" outlines a number of experiments showing people not noticing things as extreme as a person changing mid-conversation. Our senses are not to be trusted.

    And I live on a continent where people albinos are killed for their magical properties and people are criminally charged for witchcraft. I live in a country where being tormented by the spirits of your ancestors allows you to skip work and where, when 40 people were shot to death, people said it was because they killed a rabbit a witchdoctor said they shouldn't. Being there doesn't make it easier to believe, it just shows how sad a state the world can be in that people can seriously say those things.
    "If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
    ~John Stuart Mill~

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  4. #24
    Retired Staff piņardilla's Avatar

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    Required reading for this thread: http://www.amazon.com/The-Demon-Haun.../dp/0345409469
         
       
    Now,
              let's go play, together...
       
    Together under the
                     clearest of
    blue skies.

  5. #25
    Regular Rakuen Growlithe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by piņardilla View Post
    I've never got to read any of Carl Sagan's stuff but there are more modern books with similar themes. The one that springs to mind is Paranormality: Why We See What Isn't There by Professor Richard Wiseman. I got it at the beginning of the year for my birthday but haven't had a chance to read it yet.
    "If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
    ~John Stuart Mill~

    Furry News: http://www.flayrah.com/

  6. #26
    Senior Rsyk's Avatar
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    I would say that my desire to believe in something beyond the ordinary is much stronger than my actual belief. A certain preoccupation with fantasy as a kid led to that, I suppose. Still, there is some part of my that believes in something beyond human understanding. Most of this belief lies in the realm of theology though, and is not so much supernatural as it is metaphysical.

    Another thing that sometimes frustrates me is a desire for some sort of system to be present. Even given that certain events are "supernatural" in origin, it doesn't mean that they shouldn't make sense by their own internal logic. Were these things actively happening, I'd think there would be some set of rules to how and why they occur. Hence, the randomness of many supernatural tales tends to speak to me more of shoddy narration than anything else. Someone taking shots in the dark to try and explain something they can't fully grasp themselves.

  7. #27
    Junior stigmata's Avatar
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    Before I noticed that you were from South Africa, I was going to send this:

    "So explaining the supernatural with science makes it less supernatural? I understand spiritual matters to be less fantasy and more hyper-real, as if our mortal world is a faded veil, so you can see how your point of view—from where I'm standing—seems a bit ignorant of a bigger world out of your frame of reference."

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuen Growlithe View Post
    And I live on a continent where people albinos are killed for their magical properties and people are criminally charged for witchcraft. I live in a country where being tormented by the spirits of your ancestors allows you to skip work and where, when 40 people were shot to death, people said it was because they killed a rabbit a witchdoctor said they shouldn't. Being there doesn't make it easier to believe, it just shows how sad a state the world can be in that people can seriously say those things.
    I have some affiliation with Africa as well. I stand by my original point that, even from South Africa, it's pretty easy to be isolated from the grit. You can make all the conclusions you want from where you are. I just wouldn't recommend it.

  8.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #28
    Retired Staff Frank LeRenard's Avatar
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    I'd consider buying that, stigmata, if I didn't know of people who did what you did but still managed to come away from it with the conclusion that I have. Here's an interview with a paranormal investigator, a guy who spends his life tracking down stuff like this: http://www.forgoodreason.org/joe_nic...the_paranormal
    The long and short of it is that while he refuses to rule anything out still, he's never actually seen anything paranormal in all his years looking into paranormal matters.
    Another example, by a journalist who likes to look into fun things like the afterlife or space travel or whatever: http://www.amazon.com/Spook-Science-...ook+mary+roach
    (That one's an excellently entertaining read, even if you don't agree with her conclusions.)

    What I'm saying is, you can come away with whatever conclusion you like if you don't understand what's happening around you. Scientists have been tricked by the likes of Uri Geller, so it's not like anyone is immune from falling into that old trap. It is so incredibly easy to just throw up your hands and say, "Well, it's hard to explain in the context of what we know is true about the world, so I guess I'm just going to assume it's magic." That just seems so incredibly lazy. That'd be like if you were in a math class, and you were doing a homework problem that started to get hard, so you just write "It's impossible" on a piece of paper and hand that in. I don't think your math teacher should accept that, nor do I think you should accept that when it comes to explaining strange phenomena. Paranormal studies should not be immune to the rigors every other phenomenon has to go through to get accepted as true, but I feel like they end up getting a free pass because whenever said rigors are applied, it turns out there's a better explanation that doesn't break all the known laws of physics, and that's just not as exciting to people.
    I guess people just prefer playing outside of the rules. Which is only noble when you already know what the rules are, but our picture of the universe is still incomplete, so now's not the time to be invoking magic.

  9. #29
    Senior Recel's Avatar
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    To me, believing in supernatural seems like a last bastion for people when they can't explain something, and they don't care to look for something more logical and real. Fits well with religion. Can't explain it? Well, it's gods work than!
    And it's ok, humans are like that. To a point. But when evidence is revealed and people still cry out "It's a ghost! I know it's a ghost, you are all wrong, I'm right!" than it's just plain stupid.

    Sorry to offend some of you with this.

  10. #30
    Regular Marzipan's Avatar
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    I really don't for the most part, but I had a strange experience years ago that I can't shake off... at my girlfriend's parents house, they claim there's some sort of ghost that runs around upstairs all the time. I never really thought it was true, but one night while I was staying there, at 2 in the morning, there's some REALLY HEAVY footsteps, running back and forth above my girlfriends' room. Like, constantly. I ask her what it is, and she's like "oh it's the ghost feet"

    (she's heard it so many times by then that she HAD to stop caring, for her sanity I guess, haha)

    No one else in her house is home (vacation), her dog has arthritis and can't walk up the spiral iron staircase, and her cats are with us in the room.

    We go upstairs and, surprise! There's nothing there.

    I really don't believe much in ghosts or anything, but that scenario has happened more than once, and honestly it just... can't be the house settling, or else it would have been falling apart. So.... I got no idea.

 

 

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