227. Continued... Here' the new direction

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As I wrote earlier, you should just try it out rather than speculating what it will be like. Speculation will only ensure that you never get an answer.

AP
Yeah I will definitely try it, and I won't speculate. I just wasn't crazy about the initial answer to my question, that's all. No problem.
 
Why don't we just have "psi proponents" and "psi sceptics"? They're pretty value-free descriptors.
I think that if you just label skeptics, that should take care of the issue. It's a fairly simple and significant divide: Either you have accepted the existence of psi or you haven't. Since psi is proven beyond any reasonable doubt, they are the ones who get the label.
 
This is a misunderstanding of what the two forums are about. (Can anyone, especially the moderators, back me up on this?) Looking at the evidence is what the Skeptiko Podcast forum is about. The BvS forum is for debates about the evidence between those who are open to the possibility of psi/survival and those who are convinced that mind=brain and psi and (especially) survival cannot be real.
Well, it can't be about that since all of us are open to the idea that mind/=brain and survival and psi are real. I was taking the hint from Alex, who earlier stated that Arouet was obliged to regard van Lommel's conclusions as correct, if Arouet did not identify any fatal flaws in van Lommel's performance of the research. That is, the difference is, "what does the evidence show if we assume psi is real" vs. "what does the evidence show".

I'll be charitable and interpret this as an honest mistake on your part.
I think you are simply wrong. The other forum can't be about defending materialism or denying that psi exists, because none of the people here, nor the people who are supposedly banished to that forum, actually hold either of those positions.

But in the old forum, it's statements like these that gave the impression to many folks - especially coming from an obviously intelligent person - that you could engage in dishonest behaviour.
It is dishonest for me to state my position honestly, if that position differs from your prejudices?

Moderators, if this statement is disrespectful, my apologies, and please strike it out or edit it.
I don't think you need to worry about that.

Linda
 
I have to, again, strongly disagree with this type of discourse. I hope there's not an agenda behind it: such as trying to engineer the forum to one's purposes. At the risk of being repetitive and tiresome, it appears to me Alex and Andy have set up the Skeptiko Podcast Forum to be an area where the evidence IS what is (primarily) at stake and discussed, but not hijacked by the ideological, dogmatic mind=brain mantra. Proponents are not uniform "believers" who don't have a skeptical and open-minded approach to these matters - especially on a forum like Skeptiko. (And I think I'm probably more of a soft skeptic than many of the other proponents on here.)
Do you not agree that this part of the forum is about "for the sake of discussion, assume psi is real". Do you not agree that discussions about whether a video clip (which claims to represent some of the proof for psi) is a failure in that regard, does not belong here?

Linda
 
The BvS forum is for debates about the evidence between those who are open to the possibility of psi/survival and those who are convinced that mind=brain and psi and (especially) survival cannot be real.
Ian,

I agree completely with what you've written here. I was going to say something similar in reply to that post, but you've done it for me.

AP
The label in bold does not describe me nor most of the people who have been labelled "associates" here. I don't know why I'd want to be required to buy into your label of my views in order to post here any more than you'd like it if I did the same to you.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
It's an experiment. Can we move beyond proof oriented discussions? Do we need to constantly revisit that type of data or can we finally leave that discussion behind and explore a whole new world? None of us really knows what that looks like yet, but I think it's time to try.
I think you make some kind of point, Craig. Most of my interests (and posts) aren't in proof-oriented discussions.

However, if we tag the Skeptiko Forum Podcast as a non-evidence-discussion forum, then the BvS becomes the old Skeptiko, and it's (pardon me) ideological skeptics, on-the-fence/agnostic folks, and proponents of various persuasion, once again all mixed together, monopolizing the discussion of the evidence - with the problem, for many proponents, being the the presence of the first group - which as we saw in the previous forum, deteriorates and results in a lot of people ignoring some posters (for months or years!), staying out of threads where these folks post gazillion times a day, choosing to leave, getting frustrated at the moderators and then being banned for their insistence, etc. etc. And creating the opportunity for the furthering of pseudo-skepticism and the illusion that proponents don't use "critical thinking".

Respectfully, I think one can be open-minded and/or convinced about the reality of psi and/or survival of consciousness (they're not the same, as you know, so I have a problem with the labels "psi proponent" and "psi skeptic" also), yet not be convinced or have varying degrees of belief/acceptance about the various topics and their sub-categories. E.g., Mrs. Johnson believes NDEs point to the evidence of some kind of possible survival of consciousness, without thinking at the same time that all or any NDEs should be taken literally, but thinks that mediumshp is complete bunk, is skeptical about Ian Stevenson's work, but believes in the possibility of UFOs - but not in a nuts and bolts way, etc. etc.)

Once again, my main interest in posting isn't along those lines (which is the reason for why Skeptiko in general isn't the perfect fit for me, but I very much enjoy the level of discussion, knowledge and intelligence, and I don't think it's possible to find a perfect fit for everyone anyway), although I sometimes do, but many people are.
 
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Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
Do you not agree that this part of the forum is about "for the sake of discussion, assume psi is real". Do you not agree that discussions about whether a video clip (which claims to represent some of the proof for psi) is a failure in that regard, does not belong here?

Linda
No, I don't. A video clip, or anything else, could be seen as a failure in regards to proving the existence of psi - one can still have that discussion while "assuming that psi exists". I can assume reincarnation in some form exists and that children are sometimes able to recall past life memories - that doesn't mean I can't have a discussion about the evidence for it in one or many cases. (Notice I could also conclude that reincarnation does not exist, and still "assume that psi exists".)

I've not responded to your posts since February 2013. I've made an exception here in this thread that seeks to establish a new modus operandi. But I'm not going to have further discussions with you. Others can if they wish, and ultimately the moderators will decide these issues.
 
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I think you make some kind of point, Craig. Most of my interests (and posts) aren't in proof-oriented discussions.

However, if we tag the Skeptiko Forum Podcast as a non-evidence-discussion forum, then the BvS becomes the old Skeptiko, and it's (pardon me) ideological skeptics, on-the-fence/agnostic folks, and proponents of various persuasion, once again all mixed together, monopolizing the discussion of the evidence - with the problem, for many proponents, being the the presence of the first group - which as we saw in the previous forum, deteriorates and results in a lot of people ignoring some posters (for months or years!), staying out of threads where these folks post gazillion times a day, choosing to leave, getting frustrated at the moderators and then being banned for their insistence, etc. etc. And creating the opportunity for the furthering of pseudo-skepticism and the illusion that proponents don't use "critical thinking".

Respectfully, I think one can be open-minded and/or convinced about the reality of psi and/or survival of consciousness (they're not the same, as you know, so I have a problem with the labels "psi proponent" and "psi skeptic" also), yet not be convinced or have varying degrees of belief/acceptance about the various topics and their sub-categories. Eg, Mrs. Johnson believes NDEs point to the evidence of some kind of possible survival of consciousness, without thinking at the same time that all or any NDEs should be taken literally, but thinks that mediumshp is complete bunk, is skeptical about Ian Stevenson's work, but believes in the possibility of UFOs - but not in a nuts and bolts way, etc. etc.)

Once again, my main interest in posting isn't along those lines (which is the reason for why Skeptiko in general isn't the perfect fit for me, but I very much enjoy the level of discussion, knowledge and intelligence, and I don't think it's possible to find a perfect fit for everyone anyway), although I sometimes do, but many people are.
I think you're making a mistake in thinking that is similar to what the skeptics do. You're confusing evidence based discussions with proof oriented discussions. Psi is proven beyond any reasonable doubt, so why should we continue to have discussions that question it? If we are going to explore what it means to live on a round world, isn't it pointless to have discussions around whether it is flat or not?

Things are changing. We are never going to persuade the skeptics, but we are going to eventually leave them behind. This is the first step. There won't be a resurgence of pseudo skepticism because its too easy to disprove these days and their members were and always will be limited by the number of people who share their unique combination of ideological and obsessive traits. Our side is not limited by these personality factors so it can grow to be very much larger until the skeptics are a very tiny and forgotten minority.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
I think you're making a mistake in thinking that is similar to what the skeptics do. You're confusing evidence based discussions with proof oriented discussions. Psi is proven beyond any reasonable doubt, so why should we continue to have discussions that question it? If we are going to explore what it means to live on a round world, isn't it pointless to have discussions around whether it is flat or not?

Things are changing. We are never going to persuade the skeptics, but we are going to eventually leave them behind. This is the first step. There won't be a resurgence of pseudo skepticism because its too easy to disprove these days and their members were and always will be limited by the number of people who share their unique combination of ideological and obsessive traits. Our side is not limited by these personality factors so it can grow to be very much larger until the skeptics are a very tiny and forgotten minority.
Craig, you've given me food for thought.
 
Do you not agree that discussions about whether a video clip (which claims to represent some of the proof for psi) is a failure in that regard, does not belong here?

Linda
Well that was definitely the question, and we know now that according to Alex it belongs in the other forum. I don't think that anyone is denying that this main forum is expected to operate under the assumption that psi is real. Skeptics are guests here, sometimes but not always unwelcomed, and definitely tolerated. It makes me wonder what's motivating the skeptics, for years on end in some cases, to continue to be part of this community.
 

Bart V

straw materialist
Member
again, we can change "associate" or switch with "member", but I like telling folks where you're coming from.
Why?, is that not a bit stating the obvious?
Don't you think the better way to learn where someone is coming from is to read their posts?
In a way it is an insult to the intelligence of your public, i think people on this forum are smart enough to make up their own mind.
Please reconsider this, i do not think there was ever moment in history that something good came from labeling people in this way.

And even if you know where someone is coming from, you can not know where they are going to end up.
 
The label in bold does not describe me nor most of the people who have been labelled "associates" here. I don't know why I'd want to be required to buy into your label of my views in order to post here any more than you'd like it if I did the same to you.
Everyone gets a label like this when joining a forum. For instance, "newbie", "old man", "warrior", etc, all based on post count. Even on the old Skeptiko, this happened. In your case, regardless of your consensus-building activities, I don't recall ever seeing a post from you that supported the idea that psi was genuine. More importantly, your posts tend to (always?) get stuck on the proof question. That's fine if that's what you want to explore, but it does get in the way of conversation for people that have accepted that there is sufficient proof for psi.

I have almost zero interest in proof-debates, though I don't mind answering proof-related questions. Psi is a side effect of our natural spiritual state, and that is interesting to me. There is an entire universe hinted at by psi activity, one that is only barely understood by people with highly developed spiritual qualities. That is a subject I am very interested in and psi leads directly to those questions.

Ram Bomjon, for instance, the so-called "Buddha Boy." When he became news in 2006, skeptics couldn't focus on anything beyond the "impossibility" of a human surviving without food or water for six months. On my end, I accepted that as plausible since it seemed he was doing that, and there are others, like Therese Neuwman, who have done the same in the past. What was interesting to me is that he said he would meditate for six years on the subject of improving the spiritual qualities of the world as it approaches challenging times. What did he mean by that? When I checked back in on his story, I read some more quotes from him and found them all rather interesting. For this forum, exploring those statements cannot be done without accepting dualism and moving past proof-related arguments.

AP
 
Respectfully, I think one can be open-minded and/or convinced about the reality of psi and/or survival of consciousness (they're not the same, as you know, so I have a problem with the labels "psi proponent" and "psi skeptic" also), yet not be convinced or have varying degrees of belief/acceptance about the various topics and their sub-categories. E.g., Mrs. Johnson believes NDEs point to the evidence of some kind of possible survival of consciousness, without thinking at the same time that all or any NDEs should be taken literally, but thinks that mediumshp is complete bunk, is skeptical about Ian Stevenson's work, but believes in the possibility of UFOs - but not in a nuts and bolts way, etc. etc.)
This is how I feel about it also. The reason I came to Skeptiko instead of one of the light and feathers forums is that simply accepting every claim on the basis that it feels good to do so is a really bad reason to "believe" in something. I prefer to know rather than believe, and that takes evidence. I like evidence and consider my knowledge of psi to be solidly evidence-based. To suggest otherwise is really insulting. The same goes for understanding what constitutes good evidence, memory vs. delusion, etc. When I look at skeptic-oriented opinion on these subjects, they really do not appear evidence-based to me. This is particularly clear when Alex interviews people like Jerry Coyne and it is obvious that they aren't even aware that there is evidence to support various parapsychological phenomena. If they don't know there is evidence, it makes it difficult to base their positions on evidence.

As I see it, the podcast forum is the evidence-based forum and the BvS forum is for those who don't believe the evidence constitutes evidence for psi, or who don't even think it can be described as "evidence." In BvS they can argue about what constitutes proper evidence, methodology, or whatever without getting in the way of people who are discussing the evidence. At the end of the day, skeptic arguments come down to saying "it didn't happen." When reminded that it did happen, they say "it was something else." When told it wasn't, and provided documents, they say "those aren't documents." At that point, I say "fine, just have this conversation somewhere else."

AP
 
I don't recall ever seeing a post from you that supported the idea that psi was genuine. More importantly, your posts tend to (always?) get stuck on the proof question.
Not being convinced that psi is genuine is not the same as believing it can't be genuine. Not being convinced that the mind is separate from the brain is not the same as believing it can't be separate from the brain.

I have never been opposed to carving out discussions where psi is presumed to be accepted. I never opposed the Haven, and I never opposed threads in the main forum that started from that premise (even started one or two like that myself). I don't have a problem if here we have one subforum where psi is deemed to be accepted at one where its not. That's fine. My problem is when you want to label my beliefs and my continuing in the forum must then be taken as a tacit acceptance of your label - even when it appears you have no real idea what my actual beliefs are.
 
Well that was definitely the question, and we know now that according to Alex it belongs in the other forum. I don't think that anyone is denying that this main forum is expected to operate under the assumption that psi is real. Skeptics are guests here, sometimes but not always unwelcomed, and definitely tolerated. It makes me wonder what's motivating the skeptics, for years on end in some cases, to continue to be part of this community.
It is easier to have fruitful conversations with the non-proponents here, than on the JREF forum. There is a wealth of information on which cases and research studies are taken to reflect proof of psi (and why), which differs quite significantly from the low-hanging fruit which gets discussed on Skeptic forums. It offers a different perspective on the Skeptic Movement than one gets from the fanbois. It counteracts the untenable "proponents are deluded or fraudulent" excuse offered for why people believe. All these things are valuable to me.

Linda
 
I don't mean to imply that because this part of the forum isn't interested in proof-based discussions that people who inhabit this part of the forum aren't interested in evidence in general. I only meant to suggest that evidence which goes to proof be discussed in the other part. Disagreement with the authors of a paper or video (who conclude that their research suggests or proves psi) seems to fall under that category, and Alex made it pretty clear that it would fall under "skeptical nincompoopery" (a term which I kinda like :)).

Linda
 
Not being convinced that psi is genuine is not the same as believing it can't be genuine. Not being convinced that the mind is separate from the brain is not the same as believing it can't be separate from the brain.

I have never been opposed to carving out discussions where psi is presumed to be accepted. I never opposed the Haven, and I never opposed threads in the main forum that started from that premise (even started one or two like that myself). I don't have a problem if here we have one subforum where psi is deemed to be accepted at one where its not. That's fine. My problem is when you want to label my beliefs and my continuing in the forum must then be taken as a tacit acceptance of your label - even when it appears you have no real idea what my actual beliefs are.
None of what you wrote contradicts the bit of my message that you quoted.

AP
 
Also, when I said that this part of the forum is like the Haven, I meant the same thing that Andy said in post #114 - a Haven from proof-oriented discussions (not a Haven from discussions of evidence).

Linda
 
Things are changing. We are never going to persuade the skeptics, but we are going to eventually leave them behind. This is the first step. There won't be a resurgence of pseudo skepticism because its too easy to disprove these days and their members were and always will be limited by the number of people who share their unique combination of ideological and obsessive traits. Our side is not limited by these personality factors so it can grow to be very much larger until the skeptics are a very tiny and forgotten minority.
Wow... What sort of time frame you looking at Craig? I've started a thread on the BvS about a post materialist world, would like your input....

** BTW Alex, the link from your Skeptiko homepage links straight to the Skeptiko forum. A casual lurker may be unaware of the BvS forum.... from what you've written on that forum I'm sure thats not your intention. :)
 
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