Modern belief in psychics!! ??

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

  1. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    There's a difference between doing something in a book and thinking something in a book. If the author could think it, then so could the character and so could the reader.
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. None of which need relate to real life.
     
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  5. Gawdzilla Sama Registered Senior Member

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    You mean that Flinx didn't get his psionic powers amplified by the mighty minidrag Pip?
     
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  7. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Well, the example I gave does relate to real life. Hats are real.
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Certainly real hats in real life prove that hats can exist in real life. What's your point?
     
  9. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    The point is that a real example about real objects is valid even if the specific setting is fictional. A description of the Eiffel Tower is valid even if it is in a fictional book.
     
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    The description the Eiffel tower in a work of fiction does not prove that Eiffel Tower is real; what proves that the Eiffel Tower is real is that the Eiffel Tower is real.

    Contrast that with: the description of Holmes figuring out something in a work of fiction doesn't prove its real; and there is no real-world counterpart that is granted to occur in real life.

    Or, more succinctly:
    But Holmes' ability isn't a real world example.

    Your argument is utterly circular.
     
  11. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Yes it is. It's something anybody could do.
     
  12. Gawdzilla Sama Registered Senior Member

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    Concur. Observation was his forte, and that's trainable.
     
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    That has not been shown to be true to the extent that Holmes appears.

    Anyone can lift heavy objects, that does not make Superman possible just because he can do an exaggerated version of what "anybody can do".
     
  14. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Do I need to explain the example I gave? It's from The Blue Carbuncle:

    The hat had candle-wax spattered on the right-hand side. When do you use a candle? When your house has no gas. When do you hold a candle over your head? When you're going upstairs. Why would you wear a hat on the stairs? Because you live upstairs. Why would you hold a candle in your right hand? Because your keys are in your left (dominant) hand.

    None of the deductions are infallible. Deductions seldom are. In this case, none of the deductions are even important to the story. But there's nothing exaggerated about them either. It just goes to show that where it may seem like "psychic" powers are required, in fact it's just simple observation and deduction.
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah. Some of them are plausible.

    It's the incredibly contrived ones that are hard to swallow. How many Londoners smoke cigars? Of those, how many import them from Blagistan? Of those, how many smoke a brand that can only be gotten in Blagistan? And then that one guy is the guy that walks into Holmes' office?

    Or, for every client that walked past a newly-constructed building with freshly-drying plaster imported from Crete AND also walked past the only chicken farm in the country where black chickens are exclusively bred, there are a hundred guys that walked past a newly-constructed building with freshly-drying plaster imported from Crete but walked past a regular chicken farm. And for every one of them there are a hundred guys that walked past a newly-constructed building with freshly-drying plaster imported from Crete but did NOT pass a chicken farm. And a hundred guys who walked past the building but didn't get plaster on them at all.

    So, a million people would have to cross his doorstep before one of them would have telltale signs on him that Holmes could pick up and make deductions.

    A totally apocryphal example, but this kind of thing happens regularly in his stories. The stories are highly contrived to have signs to be seen.
     
  16. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I gave you an example that was neither apocryphal nor contrived.
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    It was contrived. Holmes' world does have an omniscient and omnipresent God that ubiquitously arranges the convergence of events (that would be its author). So it is, by definition, contrived.

    Even if those events all individually happen plausibly in part and in whole, it is still contrived that that guy managed to be the one that arrived at Holmes' door.



    And I'm not arguing that none of the things Holmes does are too implausible to occur, simply that, as a whole, it is cumulatively implausible that any one person could be such a magnet for so many exotic circumstances.
     
  18. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    How so? Who couldn't make the same deductions?

    And I'm not arguing that all of the things that Holmes did are plausible. I only used one example.
     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    It was a work of fiction, written by an author. It is, by definition, contrived.

    The author made the gas go off, made the guy live on the second floor, made the guy carry a candle, made him carry it over his head, made him carry his keys in his other hand, made the wax drip on his hat, made Holmes see it, made Holmes draw the correct conclusions.
     
  20. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Actually, we don't know if the conclusions were correct. They're incidental to the story.

    But so what? The point is that the conclusions were perfectly reasonable and anybody could have made them.

    The horse is dead. You can stop beating it.
     
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Then we're agreed. You can't use a scripted work of fiction (especially one whose premise is someone with a seemingly superhuman ability) to show the plausibility of something happening in real life.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  22. Gawdzilla Sama Registered Senior Member

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    And this is why the Bible is not a reliable source.
     
  23. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    "Plausible" doesn't mean what you think it means. Fictional ideas can definitely be plausible.
     

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