Modern belief in psychics!! ??

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Dinosaur, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Isaac Asimov once said
    I think he was partially serious & partially joking.

    I have friends & relatives with college educations who believe in psychics. One in particular spends at least a few hundred dollars per year for advice from psychics.

    It astonishes me that anyone in modern times with or without a college education have such beliefs.

    At least in the USA we no longer burn witches at the stake or drown them based on narratives from teenage girls.
     
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Some circumstances or issues are best handled by obtaining random input from a source of wisdom - it's not completely impossible that a psychic would have some wisdom.

    The trap is that one cannot act on the input, in a serious matter, unless it is received in "belief" of some kind. So one gets stuck with a belief.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. When you have a decision to make, flip a coin (random input).
    Before it lands, you will know what way you want it to land.
     
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  7. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I used to work with a lady who claimed to be a gypsy. She would deal out three cards and ask you to think of a question or an issue in your life. She did it for me three times and three times she told me something I didn't want to hear but something that was useful. Of course, she knew me pretty well so she had an edge in predicting what I was thinking.

    And she didn't ask for any money.
     
  8. Gawdzilla Sama Registered Senior Member

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    An education in cold reading often wins the psychic wars.
     
  9. river Valued Senior Member

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    Define this , " cold reading " .
     
  10. Gawdzilla Sama Registered Senior Member

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    You don't have google in your country?
     
  11. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I think a cold reading is when a so called psychic has no data about the person being read, which is seldom the case.

    So called psychics are clever at obtaining data about the person being read via conversation prior to the reading. Some so called psychics have some one in their waiting area pretending to be a customer. That person collects data about subsequent customers by chatting with the real customers.

    Well manicured nails give some data about a person. Nails which show signs of nail biting also give clues. The style & quality of clothes provide clues.

    So called dishpan hands for a woman or hands with callouses for a man are significant information about a person. The lack of callouses for a man rule out certain occupations.

    A man with a strong grip has implications & combined with a bit of conversation can provide information about the man.
     
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  12. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Sherlock Holmes looked at a man's hat and deduced that he lived above the ground floor in a house with no gas - and he was left-handed.
     
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I wonder if it is counter-productive to try to argue psychic powers - by using a fictional character.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  14. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Sherlock Holmes is fictional but his powers of observation are not.
     
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  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    There's a certain kind of gentle grip that is a warning - like you get from a really good boxer.

    One of the mysteries about Trump's appeal was the obvious cheap dominance tricks he pulled when shaking hands - it pegged him, flagrantly, as a swindle.
     
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Er. The actions of a fictional character are fictional.
    The only way to demonstrate that they are not fictional would be to find an example of a non-fictional person performing those same actions. And if you could, it would obviate the need for the fictional example.
     
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  17. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    The point is that the actions are in no way implausible, nor do they require spooky assistance. Powers of observation are real.
     
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I acknowledge that observations are real, and in the context of the thread, you have a point.

    I think you've over-asserted it with a fictional example. There's no reason to suppose that Holmes' level of deduction is plausible - certainly not with a consistency that one might make a living at it.
     
  19. river Valued Senior Member

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    Really , its apparent you have never read Sherlock Holmes episodes .
     
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I have.
    But how would reading about a fictional character's exploits lend any credence to real life? You know it's fiction, right?
     
  21. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    You sound like those creationists who say that if the Bible is fiction we have to throw it away. But we always have to separate wheat from chaff whether we're reading fiction or "non-fiction".

    There's nothing implausible in the Sherlock Holmes example I gave. The deductions could have been made by anybody, real or fictional. It's just that many people can't make the deductions because they haven't bothered to make the observations; they'd rather be spoon-fed the "real" answers.
     
  22. Gawdzilla Sama Registered Senior Member

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    Doyle knew the answer before Holmes, does that make him a better observer?
     
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. We do. And so far, the only thing you're using to separate them is your own assertion.
    All I am doing is saying that's a lousy argument.

    That's your assertion.

    Indeed, and I could have shot 6 men through their 12 hands with just a pair of six-shooters before any of them could draw their own guns - because somebody did it in a book.

    If I were to be as forgiving as you, I could then go on to say that "lots of people could make a living at doing just that", because I read it in a book and thought it was plausible.
     

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