Houdini promise & null results.

Discussion in 'Parapsychology' started by Dinosaur, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    During his life, Houdini debunked mediums & various other non-scientific practitioners.

    He also claimed to have left some information with either friends or relatives, which could be used to verify that he was communicating from beyond the grave.

    That information was never provided by any so-called psychic.
     
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  3. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    It's ironic that the creator of Sherlock Holmes (a physician and proponent of science, and critic of anti-vaccination movements of his own era) came to believe that even Houdini had paranormal abilities which facilitated his stunts. And that Houdini was framing spiritualists as being fake out of some kind of jealousy or incoherent attempt to curb the competition.

    Doyle was a potentially choice-grade example of rational processes having no a priori or inherent commitment to the tenets and enterprises of naturalism. What is outputted by a "template for proper thinking" is contingently vulnerable to the selected data and preferred canon of definitions, concepts, and "facts" which is plugged into the abstract placeholders of the system.
     
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  5. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Translation to common garden muck English please

    Cheers

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  7. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Garbage in, garbage out.

    H. L. Mencken: "[...] logic, the refuge of fools. The pedant and the priest have always been the most expert of logicians -- and the most diligent disseminators of nonsense and worse."

    The barest template for reasoning or "regulated / proper thinking" would be concerned with maintenance of identities and organization (coherence, consistency, avoidance of contradiction [though advanced species may occasionally exhibit local or temporary tolerance of it]. Like a weapon held by either patriot or lunatic, it possesses no innate allegiance to serve any user's favorite dogma / prejudice (like supernaturalism or naturalism). But still the latter may play a role in the data inputted. In the case of "I want to believe in the paranormal" (as seems the case with Arthur Conan Doyle), his mental precondition approves premises or interpretations of events concerning Houdini and spiritual gatherings which the rival philosophical orientation of naturalism would automatically reject via its very doctrine (or at least be skeptical of).

    Even an assessment that inputted information is "garbage", or that those sanctioning it are "fools", are verdicts which fall out of yet other human-invented apparatus: A canon of thought, a method, a discipline, a politics, a cultural practice, cynicism, handed-down or informally acquired "commonsense", some intellectual tower of justification, etc. Such evaluations (yay or nay or gray) aren't delivered from on-high, from an epistemic provenance higher in rank than the inter-subjective society of biological brains communing with each other, but are just more of that category of earthly fruit.

    Nevertheless, in this case the authority[*] passing favorable opinion about Houdini's debunkings, and expressing sadness at another historic figure who knew him having strayed down an errant course in his late years -- that authority did win its way deservedly up through the power structure. While centuries before its adversary would have been roosting on or near the self-same perch. "It's no straw boss." --Hondo Rudicker

    - - - - - - -

    [*] A number of related, cooperating items of which, say, a "naturalistic stance" would only be a resonating tag for the conceptual umbrella they rest under.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Houdini is probably sitting over there in the after-life, gums zipped tight, and snickering.

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  9. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Are you saying he could escape death but is choosing not to do as to prove mediums are bunkum?

    How twisted

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    Still if there is a afterlife after death what happens when your afterlife life dies?

    Does a afterlife death give you a afterlife afterlife life?

    Also Houdini need not come back himself

    He could teach the process to others and let them come back

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  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    No, I'm saying wouldn't it be hilarious if there were an afterlife, and Houdini was there, but didn't communicate to the psychics, just to grind their gears.
     
  11. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    Agree
     
  12. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Doyle had a son who died during WW1

    He was taken in by many charlatans who claimed to be able allow him to converse with his son.

    It is sad that his grief allowed him to be conned.

    BTW: My late paternal grandmother was a believer in Spiritualism, a religion which has services similar to seances & believes that communication with dead people is possible.

    She was wealthy & contributed to the Spiritualist church as well as paying for the publication of a lot of their literature. She corresponded with Doyle who got in touch with her organization after he realized that he had been dealing with charlatans.

    While neither I nor my father believed in his mother's Spiritualist church beliefs, we did not argue with her. At lest she was sincere & did not solicit money from folks like Doyle.
     

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