Does anyone here believe in magick?

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Polarity27:

Sure. And many serious practitioners who aren't complete nitwits will tell you that, too. Ceremonial magickians, IME, are startlingly irreligious people. There's a sharp divide between practitioners who are complete believers and will tell you about your aura and that of the rock you're holding, and people who treat it as an odd kind of psychoactive science with unpredictable effects, and most CMs I've met are the latter. (And yet they use a lot more trappings, something I've always found kind of interesting.)

The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey - Book of Lucifer - The God You Save May Be Yourself:

Man needs ritual and dogma, but no law states that an externalized god is necessary in order to engage in ritual and ceremony performed in a god's name!

http://www.e-reading-lib.org/chapter.php/73307/15/LaVey_-_The_Satanic_Bible.html

The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey - Book of Lucifer - The God You Save May Be Yourself:
If he hates himself, he searches out new and more complex spiritual paths of "enlightenment" in hopes that he may split himself up again in his quest for stronger and more externalized "gods" to scourge his poor miserable shell. If he accepts himself, but recognizes that ritual and ceremony are the important devices that his invented religions have utilized to sustain his faith in a lie, then it is the SAME FORM OF RITUAL that will sustain his faith in the truth - the primitive pageantry that will give his awareness of his own majestic being added substance.

http://www.e-reading-lib.org/chapter.php/73307/15/LaVey_-_The_Satanic_Bible.html

The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey - Book of Belial - THE RITUAL, OR INTELLECTUAL DECOMPRESSION, CHAMBER:

Even in a totally personalized ritual, however, the standardized preliminary invocations and devices should be employed before the intimate fantasies and acting out occur. The formal part of the ritual can be performed in the same room or chamber as the personalized working - or, the formal ceremony in one place, the personal in another. The beginning and end of the ritual must be conducted within the confines of the ritual chamber containing the symbolic devices (altar, chalice, etc.).
The formalized beginning and end of the ceremony acts as a dogmatic, anti-intellectual device, the purpose of which is to disassociate the activities and frame of reference of the outside world from that of the ritual chamber, where the whole will must be employed. This facet of the ceremony is most important to the intellectual, as he especially requires the "decompression chamber" effect of the chants, bells, candles, and other trappings, before he can put his pure and willful desires to work for himself, in the projection and utilization of his imagery.

http://www.e-reading-lib.org/chapter.php/73307/31/LaVey_-_The_Satanic_Bible.html

It's rare that I get to reference that text -- the last time was when someone asked me how to get a religious excuse for skipping school on their birthday. The sad part is that I remembered that was there. The last quote continues to describe ritual as fundamentally a sort of contrived temporary willful ignorance.

I still wonder about the OPs imaginary circles though, why would x^2 + y^2 = -1 be somehow supernatural (other than being incapable of existing in 2-space while only having two dimensions)?[1]

[1] That was an attempt at a joke -- I *know* OP means things like the Lesser Key of Solomon.

Imperator_DK has the right idea though I'm not sure magic as a psychoeffective aid would count as a placebo per se. Stress reduction of any sort can be a very powerful tool towards furthing any end, and ritual, meditation and guided imagery do all that well (so do video games, if you choose ones that help you vent anxiety or rage). Similarly, prognostication, particularly methods that provide added imagery such as cartomancy or stichomancy (of which the tarot and bibliomancy are subsets) are useful for getting people to realize and accept truths that they already knew, and to be able to reduce partiality in order to make better, more rational decisions.

Magick that relies on creating coincidences or synergy appears to depend on confirmation bias. You cast a spell and then you look for indications that the spell is working (and don't notice indications that the spell isn't working, unless evidence of such failure is overwhelming.)

Danny Ocean:
Why the "k?" It's "Magic."

Magic is a superset of magick, referring to shadow arts and secret knowledge of any sort. For example, it can refer to:

~ In fiction, extentions to the laws of nature for dramatic effect, such as in the Harry Potter series.
~ Esoteric sciences during certain periods. e.g. after the fall of Islam from its golden age, algebra was regarded as sorcery and a capital crime to implement.
~ Theatrical illusions and prestidigitation as performed by stage illusionists.
~ Real-world esoteric procedures for doing sophisticated things before science (prepping the dead, building walls, et. al.)
~ Magic refering to practices unauthorized by the church, akin to witchcraft and sorcery

Magick has to do with traditional and neo-traditional implentation of old-world rituals. Generally they're recognized as having the same power as prayer (and many are, in fact, appeals to deities).

And I think it's a load of bullshit, used by the ignorant to explain phenomena they don't (and/or won't) understand and give weight to the otherwise utter insignificance of it all.

Magic is used (less so these days) as a god-of-the-gaps placeholder for undiscovered science. Usually, now, God and divine miracles (and conspicuously, popular gods) are used to explain gaps in our understanding of how things work. Interestingly, it's used to provide a simple answer for those who don't understand the complicated science, rather than questions that science actually hasn't answered. For example:

Q: How did Life begin on earth?
A: God.

Rather than:

Q: Gravitational effects suggest there's over five times as much matter in the universe than we can see. What is the remaining mass?
A: God.

But this is one of the lesser uses of magic these days, in contrast to, say, expanding on the laws of physics to create a speculative fiction setting.

238U

Gilhelmi:

Coppernerves:
By magick, I mean causing coincidences in the world, or changes in your self, by doing rituals, chanting incantations, drawing imaginary circles etc.

If so, how does it work?

And how would you suggest trying it out?

I am a Christian. I believe in the power of Pray and in the power of Faith.

I believe in Magick as well, but I believe any power that does not come from God (Jewish/Christian) is inherently dangerous as we do not know its origin nor what the consequences of the use of that power. The way I put it is, If you were in charge of the Government would you give foreigners the power to pass laws in your nation?

Now I just said dangerous, I did NOT say sin, wrong, or evil. I believe that God works through all people, whether or not they believe in God. So some who 'might not know His name' might be able to have limited use of the cosmic powers.

I can not stress this enough, I have studied this to a limited degree (enough too know too stay away). Please be very careful, I have seen reports of Demon possession that have resulted in injury and death. I know some (even in the Christian community) that say a demon can not physically hurt you, but I have seen the evidence that they can. I STRONGLY discourage anyone from Occult Magick as you do not really know the 'being' you are dealing with.

Wait, what is Christian magic? How does that work with passages such as Deuteronomy 18:10-12?

"Let no one be found among you [...] who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord [...]"

Also, what makes Yoga dangerous in your eyes? How is a Hinduistic spiritual practice any more suspicious than a Christian one? Surely it can't be because the Bible said so, that'd be really lazy argumenting; and I'm not quoting you the Athar Vaveda either.

Quaxar:
Snip

BrassButtons:
snip

It's a shame, but there's no real point in us continuing because the only way I could possible convince you to at least open your minds to other possibilities is by doing a full on experiment and set of documented tests. I will try the tests which you have already suggested though (haven't had time to yet, and with this being May bank holiday I'm away, so will probably be next weekend at the earliest).

With regards trying these things yourself I'm talking about the full experience - not some simulated "try". The very fact that you class simulation as "trying" something just shows how little real-world experience you have, and it's akin to playing guitar hero in your bedroom and then equating that to playing at Wembly stadium. Like I say try having a few reiki sessions, and then doing your reiki level one - experience it and don't just try and simulate it. If you want answers that's the way to get them. If you want just to be proven right or close yourself away from these possibilities then rig up another pointless simulation which misses out a million factors - it's entirely your choice.

Polarity27:

I agree, but at the same time I see a lot of people doing the opposite-- they want to experience magic, they don't care why, they get caught up in the ecstatic experience and everything becomes supernatural or an omen or whatnot. "Why" is my operative question. Why am I doing this, what do I want out of it, if there are explanations both supernatural and scientific for it, would it change anything to embrace the scientific one (i.e. would the experience become completely worthless for you)? I think the people I respect the most believe absolutely *in the moment*, but are open to explanations outside the experience itself. (And it's interesting, with what you recommend-- I've had a few good esoteric and ecstatic experiences, but I've never felt a bloody thing around reiki. I've been told "you didn't have the right person", etc., but dude, I've had four or five certified "reiki masters" try to do reiki on me and it never did a damn thing. *Video games* are more effective on my pain issues than reiki, and I'm dead serious about that.

The reason I suggest reiki for the other chaps is because that is where my most powerful experiences came from, so thought it'd be a good starting point for them. If it doesn't work for them fair enough, but it just blitzed me (the level 1 especially). I guess it's like anything, some people can pick out different pitches of music or types of colours, others can't - for me it's very scientific and I think it's just very sad that people are so closed to even the idea that we're not fully developed as overall beings. It's horses for courses and the key philosophy behind most spiritualism is that whatever works for you works for you.

I too have come across many more "far-out" people similar as to what you mention - in fact it can get a bit embarrassing sometimes when they go off to extremes and agin bring in the Hollywood aspect of it all, "faries" & "demons" etc. Essentially, much like the "there is only science fact" approach, it's just people shutting out other aspects of the world which they are not ready to deal with yet. And often for good reason too - you wouldn't jump in the sea if you hadn't learnt to swim yet? A lot of the more magic-needy, IMO, aren't ready to face up to certain realities in their lives yet.

I think the thing is that there is no single truth that we can quantify yet. Just as science is based around mathematical equations, 2+2=4, H20=water, I think so called "magic" is the same but that it just uses other elements that we're unfamiliar with yet. The very weird thing about this is that those people I know who have a similar view to mine have all had their lives move in very positive directions the more they've invested in that belief. One of them has had his life skyrocket (on the verge of playing the biggest festivals in the UK and earning some mega coin - this kid was homeless, pennyless and living off scraps several years ago), and another has gone from town geek to town stud, coming home with 8-9 phone numbers/fbs every night out without even trying and just going through the action of walking out the door. Both have moved miles in the direction they chosen by being open to doing a few simple things. But each to there own, if relying on nothing but what current science can full-on prove can make people happy then fair enough, I've just yet to see it.

SpunkeyMonkey:
if relying on nothing but what current science can full-on prove can make people happy then fair enough, I've just yet to see it.

Youve never seen a happy person who didnt believe in magic?

Hello im Chris nice to meet you.

I dont need magic and monsters and things to enjoy the world. Heres a lovely quote for you:

"Isn't this enough?

Just this world?

Just this beautiful, complex, wonderfully unfathomable, natural world?
How does it so fail to hold our attention that we have to diminish it with the invention of cheap, man-made myths and monsters?
If you're so into your Shakespeare, lend me your ear:
"To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw perfume on the violet... is just fucking silly"
Or something like that.
Or what about Satchmo?!
"I see trees of Green,
Red roses too,"
And fine, if you wish to glorify Krishna and Vishnu in a post-colonial, condescending bottled-up and labeled kind of way then whatever, that's ok."

The world is a freaking wonderful glorious adventure. I love every damn moment. I dont need these things to think the world is interesting. Its interesting enough already.

Please dont assume im just "in denial" or "shutting out other options" because i only accept science fact. You use the same system i do for the rest of your life. For example, another room in your house is currently on fire. Did you go check? Why not? Evidence is important to us. I just extend that to the rest of my life. There are multiple ways to prove magic to me and ALL have totally failed utterly. If i HAD seen the evidence and denied it you could conclude i was closed minded. However isnt it possible that, even if the evidence DOES exist, i just havnt seen it yet? And if evidence DOES exist then magic IS science fact since it has evidence. Go claim a nobel prize.

To be frank the magic you described makes the world a WORSE place. Improving yourself requires work and suffering, you do it by gaining understanding if your faults and coming to terms with behaving differently for your own benefit. It makes you a more well rounded person who understands themselves better. If some magic man can do that FOR you thats a massive waste. Its just lazy. It removes the good from self improvement by jumping directly to the results.

It doesnt work to try and lure people into belief because it makes "good stuff happen to you". Id rather work for it all by being me not with the aid of some other power. I earn my advancements. I decide my fate. I improve myself. If even for a moment i could give the praise for my achievements to magic or belief id consider them worth a lot less. To be frank what i think can make me miserable and id still believe it because what i believe is based on what ive seen and not wishful thinking. I didnt WANT to believe my father had cancer. Id have been happier. But i couldnt. Because this is reality and the truth is what we have to work with. But i dealt with it and came to terms with it and it didnt prevent me being happy in the long run.

Also im not going to try Rieki. At all. Nor would you to be honest. Other than this:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1742-1241.2008.01729.x/abstract

Im not going to invest time and money in ALL the various hocus pocus ideas just to personally test them all until one has significantly unique evidence to show me its not a waste of time. Would you take a class in how to achieve omnipotence from me? Its 2 4 hour shifts and about 50 dollars. Interested? Of course not. You would be mad to invest anything in such a random idea.

SpunkeyMonkey:

It's a shame, but there's no real point in us continuing because the only way I could possible convince you to at least open your minds to other possibilities

You don't need to convince me to open my mind to other possibilities--it's already open. You just have to present some evidence that stands up to mild scrutiny. The reason I've dismissed your claim isn't because I'm closed-minded, but because I'm open-minded enough to have seriously looked into this stuff before. Nothing I've found stands up to scrutiny, and so for now I don't believe that Reiki or scrying are real.

I'm on the James Randi forum, so I've seen a lot of people making the same claim as you (along with other supernatural claims). The pattern with these people is always the same: they announce that they've had some experience which defies the known laws of physics. When alternative explanations are offered they exclaim that they can't possibly be wrong about what they experienced (ad hoc additions to the story in order to make the alternate explanations not fit is pretty common--kind of like how you only described the crystal as moving "vigorously" until an explanation for that was given, then you said that it swung as high as your arm--not saying you lied, but that does look suspicious given how often I've seen obvious liars do the same thing). Eventually the skeptics will ask for some kind of evidence, usually offering several simple tests which could be done. In exceedingly rare cases the person will comply, and the results are always negative. An even smaller handful will accept the negative result, but most simply come up with excuses for why the test failed (and they are excuses, not valid reasons--things like claiming they can't dowse through a certain material, even though they dowsed through it just fine during the control when they knew something was under it). Whether they fail and efuse to accept it, or refuse to take the test at all, the invariably decide that the problem is with us skeptics being too closed-minded to believe them. It's the Sour Grapes form of arguing--your logic and evidence isn't good enough to convince someone, so you decide that they're probably too closed-minded and thus not worth talking to anyhow.

is by doing a full on experiment and set of documented tests. I will try the tests which you have already suggested though (haven't had time to yet, and with this being May bank holiday I'm away, so will probably be next weekend at the earliest).

And if the test shows the ideomotor effect happening, will you accept that your Reiki experiences could be a combination of that and faulty memories exaggerating the movement of the crystal?

With regards trying these things yourself I'm talking about the full experience - not some simulated "try". The very fact that you class simulation as "trying" something just shows how little real-world experience you have, and it's akin to playing guitar hero in your bedroom and then equating that to playing at Wembly stadium. Like I say try having a few reiki sessions, and then doing your reiki level one - experience it and don't just try and simulate it. If you want answers that's the way to get them. If you want just to be proven right or close yourself away from these possibilities then rig up another pointless simulation which misses out a million factors - it's entirely your choice.

Why do I need to have a full Reiki session? It's been tested. It has failed. Why should I assume, based on nothing more than your unsupported claim, that there's something to this?

Funny how physicists never say I must try something for myself to believe it. THey may encourage me to try it for myself because it's cool, and to point out that their claims are independently verifiable, but they've always got the math and the peer-reviewed papers to support their statements. Same with every other field of science.

Of course, what has actually supporting claims with evidence ever gotten us? Other than improved food sources, cures to deadly diseases, the ability to fly, a space station, the ability to give hearing to the deaf, prosthetic limbs that a person can move almost like a real limb, and the internet, I mean? No, clearly this whole "testing claims and relying on reproducable evidence" bullshit isn't in any way a superior method of discerning truth to the "experience something and ....um....making some people feel special?

I'm afraid I don't, and never have, understood the sentiment that mystery or unexplained things are somehow good, or that seeking to understand and quantify the processes of the universe somehow robs them of something.

To me, that's like saying I ruin a crossword by solving it. 'Mysteries' are only valuable in so far as it is fun to solve them, and the understanding of a process can only ever deepen your appreciation of it.

To be able to say 'oh it's just something we don't understand yet', and be okay with that, or even to think that is a good thing, is mind boggling to me. I'm resigned that there are things we'll never understand as a fact of life, but I don't like it.

@SpunkeyMonkey I agree with you that the things you describe work like science, with the caveat that they work like principles we have already discovered, rather than ones we haven't. Marvellous, fascinating principles, which we are still exploring (read about the placebo effect; it is insane), but not unacknowledged. I honestly don't know why you would prefer the latter situation to the former.

For an unusual / interesting prospective on magic here is Alan Moore



For a good introduction to the subject (written from an outsiders perspective) read "Luhrmann Persuasions of the Witch's Craft"

Most of my knowledge on subject comes from a girl I was with about a year ago but even before that my opinions on the supernatural have been kind of mixed,. because while im an atheist I always found the idea of the mystic and the Occult fascinating . I think it a bit unreasonable to demand that everyone make their peace with the universe In exactly the same way . why should everyone's spirituality be the same when we are all so different? Why does it matter that some people chose to worship animals or read the Kabbalah or make up their own god ? because even nonbelievers like me can find that stuff interesting or emotional if we look at it as art . the reasons some find Shakespeare's plays moving or Beethoven symphony's beautiful are the same reasons people find their holly books important . only difference is, you use art fill a materialistic void while others use it to fill a spiritual one .

EDIT: For another more realistic approach to magic read the 2 magical chapters in Anton Lavey's "the satanic bible". the whole book Is a good read anyway especially if you like the broad strokes of objectivism but find Ayn Rand's one size fits all approach to problem solving a bit too much .

No.

Even if I did, it would have to be REALLY powerful for it to be more useful than science at any rate.

Think of all the myths you have heard. Of magic, of fairies, of gods and of giants. How many times have you heard of something that modern technology does something equal or greater than it? Fly across the sky? We have planes. Bring light and warmth? We have lightbulbs. Wield fire in our hands? Flamethrowers.

None of that requires access to some secret power, drawing things on the ground, dealing with devils, or saying the right words. Science and technology is far more reliable than any magical system I have seen depicted in fiction written within all of human history that did not involve characters basically having godhood, and sometimes even then.

Not G. Ivingname:
Think of all the myths you have heard. Of magic, of fairies, of gods and of giants. How many times have you heard of something that modern technology does something equal or greater than it? Fly across the sky? We have planes. Bring light and warmth? We have lightbulbs. Wield fire in our hands? Flamethrowers.

Hold on, all of that requires resources. Now, I don't know what exact magic this is about, but if it's about psychic energy and the like - you know, where rest is what you need to recharge - that'd still be quite amazing. Wielding fire without flammable substances or rigs? Flying without kerosin? Sure, scientific means wouldn't suddenly become useless, but think of the benefit that tapping into some sort of as yet untapped energy would bring. Magic would be awesome if it were real, even if it was only about "small" stuff.

I do, but entirely in the pursuit of mysticism and self reflection.

Making use of thaumaturgy to heighten ones perception of the divine is not necessarily a negative pursuit, until it begins replacing something of importance in ones life or filling a void. Even if sch a thing were to occur within an occultist, the results would not be the same as that with a healthy individual.

Are you aware of the Occult sciences? It's the approach most modern occultists take these days and it involves matching up magical practices against real scientific phenomena or methodology in order to determine its usefulness. One of the most successful attempts, in recent history being that of the tarot and Carl Jung. The tarot has been explained through the theory of collective unconscious in relation to archetypical perceptions allowing the reader to be free of specific bias. It's not prediction at all; it's using visual aid to withdraw oneself from the situation in order to... well, order it.

Hexing, too, has changed and does involve others. Basically, it's the process of lumping emotional stress onto another being and highly unhealthy. Hoodoo, as well, is based more on the perception of power rather than the actual power itself.

No, there is nothing that does not obey the fundamental laws of the Universe and there can't be. There is no, magic, occult, undead, gods, or any other such fictional rubbish. Thinking otherwise is just deluding yourself.

Kasawd:
One of the most successful attempts, in recent history being that of the tarot and Carl Jung. The tarot has been explained through the theory of collective unconscious in relation to archetypical perceptions allowing the reader to be free of specific bias. It's not prediction at all; it's using visual aid to withdraw oneself from the situation in order to... well, order it.

There's no evidence that tarot actually does anything (nor is there any reason to suspect it does anything, since it's a deck of cards designed for playing games), nor is there any evidence that Jung's ideas about the collective unconscious are actually true.

What's more likely is that tarot readings are all done using a combination of cold reading and vague card interpretations.

Hexing, too, has changed and does involve others. Basically, it's the process of lumping emotional stress onto another being and highly unhealthy. Hoodoo, as well, is based more on the perception of power rather than the actual power itself.

Again, neither of these have actually been shown to exist.

I'm open to the fact that magick may exist as an elemental force in this reality. I've never seen or experienced it, but I'm open to the possibility.

On a side note, some of you posting here seem to have a strange definition of what being "open-minded" means. "Open-minded", by its basic definition, simply means being receptive to new ideas and concepts or the unorthodox opinions of others. It does not mean "I've studied it and found no evidence, therefore it does not exist" or "you can't prove it, therefore it's not real".

You can't claim open-mindedness out of one side of your mouth and then preach a backwards form of denialism out the other. Scientific advancement doesn't work that way, folks.

BrassButtons:

Kasawd:
One of the most successful attempts, in recent history being that of the tarot and Carl Jung. The tarot has been explained through the theory of collective unconscious in relation to archetypical perceptions allowing the reader to be free of specific bias. It's not prediction at all; it's using visual aid to withdraw oneself from the situation in order to... well, order it.

There's no evidence that tarot actually does anything (nor is there any reason to suspect it does anything, since it's a deck of cards designed for playing games), nor is there any evidence that Jung's ideas about the collective unconscious are actually true.

What's more likely is that tarot readings are all done using a combination of cold reading and vague card interpretations.

Even worse, even if tarot works many will flat out tell you that it's not an exact thing because your future is in constant motion. Which kind of misses the point of prediction entirely unless you do it constantly.

KungFuJazzHands:
On a side note, some of you posting here seem to have a strange definition of what being "open-minded" means. "Open-minded", by its basic definition, simply means being receptive to new ideas and concepts or the unorthodox opinions of others. It does not mean "I've studied it and found no evidence, therefore it does not exist" or "you can't prove it, therefore it's not real".

You know there is a difference between open-mindedness and gullibility, right? Just because you're open to the idea doesn't mean you have to accept it even if all evidence points against it.
And that's exactly how scientific advancement works, you take a claim, you set out to disprove it... if it gets disproven you don't just stick with it because you like it. Open-mindedness towards a concept only works up to the point where it turns out to be false, not indefinitely.

Quaxar:
You know there is a difference between open-mindedness and gullibility, right? Just because you're open to the idea doesn't mean you have to accept it even if all evidence points against it.
And that's exactly how scientific advancement works, you take a claim, you set out to disprove it... if it gets disproven you don't just stick with it because you like it. Open-mindedness towards a concept only works up to the point where it turns out to be false, not indefinitely.

I never claimed that one has to accept something in order to be open-minded. I gave a pretty cut-and-dry definition of what open-mindedness is, so I'm not sure why you think I would mistake open-mindedness for gullibility.

Anyway, you seem to be under the assumption that esoteric theories like magick have been disproven. That's just as gullible as believing without evidence.

KungFuJazzHands:

Quaxar:
You know there is a difference between open-mindedness and gullibility, right? Just because you're open to the idea doesn't mean you have to accept it even if all evidence points against it.
And that's exactly how scientific advancement works, you take a claim, you set out to disprove it... if it gets disproven you don't just stick with it because you like it. Open-mindedness towards a concept only works up to the point where it turns out to be false, not indefinitely.

I never claimed that one has to accept something in order to be open-minded. I gave a pretty cut-and-dry definition of what open-mindedness is, so I'm not sure why you think I would mistake open-mindedness for gullibility.

Anyway, you seem to be under the assumption that esoteric theories like magick have been disproven. That's just as gullible as believing without evidence.

Well it sounded like you meant it required acceptance. Might have been overinterpreting.

And I guess if it's gullible to believe that many supposedly "magic" phenomenons can be explained in a much simpler and more rational way that complies with existing, well-researched physical and psychological effects and the My First Stage Magician handbook because so far not a single witch/medium/dowser/etc has been able to conclusively demonstrate that their abilities are not just that then I guess I must be incredibly gullible.
Belief with evidence should logically stand a bit above belief without, don't you think?

Quaxar:
Well it sounded like you meant it required acceptance. Might have been overinterpreting.

You may or may not be overinterpreting what I'm writing, but you're certainly misinterpreting it, willfully or otherwise. Let's take this latest example:

And I guess if it's gullible to believe that many supposedly "magic" phenomenons can be explained in a much simpler and more rational way that complies with existing, well-researched physical and psychological effects and the My First Stage Magician handbook because so far not a single witch/medium/dowser/etc has been able to conclusively demonstrate that their abilities are not just that then I guess I must be incredibly gullible.

I never stated that it's gullible to believe that esoteric phenomenon can be explained with current scientific methods (I should say this though: if you're using the My First Stage Magician Handbook exclusively as a scientific research guide, you're doing it wrong). What is gullible, however, is claiming that esoteric phenomenon cannot exist because there's no scientific proof that it does -- absence of evidence does not equate to evidence of absence.

Belief with evidence should logically stand a bit above belief without, don't you think?

Of course, but in the context of the overall discussion here, what evidence are you talking about exactly? Show me the evidence that magick doesn't exist and I'll be forced to agree with you.

If James "Fun Puncher" Randi hasn't been able to come up with evidence that disproves the existence of supernatural phenomena, I doubt anyone else is going to manage that same feat anytime soon.

KungFuJazzHands:
absence of evidence does not equate to evidence of absence.

I'd just like to point out that as pithy as this statement is, it does not actually serve as a reliable rule of thumb. A more accurate phrasing would be "absence of evidence where you would not expect to find evidence does not equate to evidence of absence" but that doesn't have nearly the same ring to it. Point is, absence of evidence can and often does equate to an evidence of absence. Absence of evidence of a horse in your yard is evidence that the horse is absent. Absence of evidence of coffee in your mug is evidence that the coffee is absent. Absence of evidence of planet between the sun and Mercury is evidence that the planet is absent. You get the idea.

Absence of evidence is considered a perfectly acceptable way to determine when something is absent 99% of the time, right up until someone has a claim they can't support.

KungFuJazzHands:
What is gullible, however, is claiming that esoteric phenomenon cannot exist because there's no scientific proof that it does -- absence of evidence does not equate to evidence of absence.

I see we're heading right down the religion highway, I don't think we even need touch that.

KungFuJazzHands:

Belief with evidence should logically stand a bit above belief without, don't you think?

Of course, but in the context of the overall discussion here, what evidence are you talking about exactly? Show me the evidence that magick doesn't exist and I'll be forced to agree with you.

Show me the evidence that you're not a garden gnome who just thinks, acts, looks and feels as if he were human.
You might secretly be a garden gnome who is just indistinguishable from other humans but it's for all intents and purposes a useless theory if you can go with the more simple and rational explanation that you simply are human

Quaxar:

KungFuJazzHands:
What is gullible, however, is claiming that esoteric phenomenon cannot exist because there's no scientific proof that it does -- absence of evidence does not equate to evidence of absence.

I see we're heading right down the religion highway, I don't think we even need touch that.

KungFuJazzHands:

Belief with evidence should logically stand a bit above belief without, don't you think?

Of course, but in the context of the overall discussion here, what evidence are you talking about exactly? Show me the evidence that magick doesn't exist and I'll be forced to agree with you.

Show me the evidence that you're not a garden gnome who just thinks, acts, looks and feels as if he were human.
You might secretly be a garden gnome who is just indistinguishable from other humans but it's for all intents and purposes a useless theory if you can go with the more simple and rational explanation that you simply are human

If you're trying to infer that the burden of proof works both ways, you're absolutely correct.

KungFuJazzHands:
If you're trying to infer that the burden of proof works both ways, you're absolutely correct.

A bit of that and a bit of Ockham's razor.

The way to get around the burden of proof fiasco is no to frame it as magic (or insert other hypothesis for which there is no decent evidence) against not magic (for which by definition there can be no evidence. In the same way that I can't come up with any positive evidence that there isn't an elephant in a room as apparently there not being any dung, broken furniture or elephants is not evidence of an absence of elephants)

Instead, frame it as magic, for which there is no decent evidence, against say an alternative explanation for a phenomena ie. a combination of the placebo effect and faulty memory,- both of which have sizeable bodies of evidence.

Whilst you cannot conclude that their is no magic, in any given situation magic is the hypothesis with the least empirical support and so it would be silly to choose that as your explanation over the more conventional one.

Furthermore, any linear combination of known phenomenon is a more reasonable explanation than the existence of a new unknown phenomenon as the cause of an event. Whilst it might seem simpler to have one single cause, because it requires a bigger set of phenomenon it is in fact a more complicated overall system.

Phenomenon is fun to write. I always mentally follow it with "Doo doooo, do do do"

BiscuitTrouser:

SpunkeyMonkey:
if relying on nothing but what current science can full-on prove can make people happy then fair enough, I've just yet to see it.

Youve never seen a happy person who didnt believe in magic?

Hello im Chris nice to meet you.

I dont need magic and monsters and things to enjoy the world. Heres a lovely quote for you:

"Isn't this enough?

Just this world?

Just this beautiful, complex, wonderfully unfathomable, natural world?
How does it so fail to hold our attention that we have to diminish it with the invention of cheap, man-made myths and monsters?
If you're so into your Shakespeare, lend me your ear:
"To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw perfume on the violet... is just fucking silly"
Or something like that.
Or what about Satchmo?!
"I see trees of Green,
Red roses too,"
And fine, if you wish to glorify Krishna and Vishnu in a post-colonial, condescending bottled-up and labeled kind of way then whatever, that's ok."

The world is a freaking wonderful glorious adventure. I love every damn moment. I dont need these things to think the world is interesting. Its interesting enough already.

Please dont assume im just "in denial" or "shutting out other options" because i only accept science fact. You use the same system i do for the rest of your life. For example, another room in your house is currently on fire. Did you go check? Why not? Evidence is important to us. I just extend that to the rest of my life. There are multiple ways to prove magic to me and ALL have totally failed utterly. If i HAD seen the evidence and denied it you could conclude i was closed minded. However isnt it possible that, even if the evidence DOES exist, i just havnt seen it yet? And if evidence DOES exist then magic IS science fact since it has evidence. Go claim a nobel prize.

To be frank the magic you described makes the world a WORSE place. Improving yourself requires work and suffering, you do it by gaining understanding if your faults and coming to terms with behaving differently for your own benefit. It makes you a more well rounded person who understands themselves better. If some magic man can do that FOR you thats a massive waste. Its just lazy. It removes the good from self improvement by jumping directly to the results.

It doesnt work to try and lure people into belief because it makes "good stuff happen to you". Id rather work for it all by being me not with the aid of some other power. I earn my advancements. I decide my fate. I improve myself. If even for a moment i could give the praise for my achievements to magic or belief id consider them worth a lot less. To be frank what i think can make me miserable and id still believe it because what i believe is based on what ive seen and not wishful thinking. I didnt WANT to believe my father had cancer. Id have been happier. But i couldnt. Because this is reality and the truth is what we have to work with. But i dealt with it and came to terms with it and it didnt prevent me being happy in the long run.

Also im not going to try Rieki. At all. Nor would you to be honest. Other than this:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1742-1241.2008.01729.x/abstract

Im not going to invest time and money in ALL the various hocus pocus ideas just to personally test them all until one has significantly unique evidence to show me its not a waste of time. Would you take a class in how to achieve omnipotence from me? Its 2 4 hour shifts and about 50 dollars. Interested? Of course not. You would be mad to invest anything in such a random idea.

Well whatever works for you dude.

BrassButtons:

SpunkeyMonkey:

It's a shame, but there's no real point in us continuing because the only way I could possible convince you to at least open your minds to other possibilities

You don't need to convince me to open my mind to other possibilities--it's already open. You just have to present some evidence that stands up to mild scrutiny. The reason I've dismissed your claim isn't because I'm closed-minded, but because I'm open-minded enough to have seriously looked into this stuff before. Nothing I've found stands up to scrutiny, and so for now I don't believe that Reiki or scrying are real.

I'm on the James Randi forum, so I've seen a lot of people making the same claim as you (along with other supernatural claims). The pattern with these people is always the same: they announce that they've had some experience which defies the known laws of physics. When alternative explanations are offered they exclaim that they can't possibly be wrong about what they experienced (ad hoc additions to the story in order to make the alternate explanations not fit is pretty common--kind of like how you only described the crystal as moving "vigorously" until an explanation for that was given, then you said that it swung as high as your arm--not saying you lied, but that does look suspicious given how often I've seen obvious liars do the same thing). Eventually the skeptics will ask for some kind of evidence, usually offering several simple tests which could be done. In exceedingly rare cases the person will comply, and the results are always negative. An even smaller handful will accept the negative result, but most simply come up with excuses for why the test failed (and they are excuses, not valid reasons--things like claiming they can't dowse through a certain material, even though they dowsed through it just fine during the control when they knew something was under it). Whether they fail and efuse to accept it, or refuse to take the test at all, the invariably decide that the problem is with us skeptics being too closed-minded to believe them. It's the Sour Grapes form of arguing--your logic and evidence isn't good enough to convince someone, so you decide that they're probably too closed-minded and thus not worth talking to anyhow.

is by doing a full on experiment and set of documented tests. I will try the tests which you have already suggested though (haven't had time to yet, and with this being May bank holiday I'm away, so will probably be next weekend at the earliest).

And if the test shows the ideomotor effect happening, will you accept that your Reiki experiences could be a combination of that and faulty memories exaggerating the movement of the crystal?

With regards trying these things yourself I'm talking about the full experience - not some simulated "try". The very fact that you class simulation as "trying" something just shows how little real-world experience you have, and it's akin to playing guitar hero in your bedroom and then equating that to playing at Wembly stadium. Like I say try having a few reiki sessions, and then doing your reiki level one - experience it and don't just try and simulate it. If you want answers that's the way to get them. If you want just to be proven right or close yourself away from these possibilities then rig up another pointless simulation which misses out a million factors - it's entirely your choice.

Why do I need to have a full Reiki session? It's been tested. It has failed. Why should I assume, based on nothing more than your unsupported claim, that there's something to this?

Funny how physicists never say I must try something for myself to believe it. THey may encourage me to try it for myself because it's cool, and to point out that their claims are independently verifiable, but they've always got the math and the peer-reviewed papers to support their statements. Same with every other field of science.

Of course, what has actually supporting claims with evidence ever gotten us? Other than improved food sources, cures to deadly diseases, the ability to fly, a space station, the ability to give hearing to the deaf, prosthetic limbs that a person can move almost like a real limb, and the internet, I mean? No, clearly this whole "testing claims and relying on reproducable evidence" bullshit isn't in any way a superior method of discerning truth to the "experience something and ....um....making some people feel special?

Again, whatever works for you, they are just my suggestions, take it or leave it. I'm just someone who wouldn't take other words for it and would sooner try those things out myself to the full and in the full context they are meant to be used, not just isolated replication experiment (although I will try those too). I have tried it to the full and it's affected my life very positively, I'm surprised most of you seem so reluctant to even try it. It's like sailing to the edge of the world though I guess - what's the point? You'd only fall off. It's a well known fact that others have told me.

SpunkeyMonkey:

Again, whatever works for you, they are just my suggestions, take it or leave it. I'm just someone who wouldn't take other words for it and would sooner try those things out myself to the full and in the full context they are meant to be used, not just isolated replication experiment (although I will try those too). I have tried it to the full and it's affected my life very positively, I'm surprised most of you seem so reluctant to even try it. It's like sailing to the edge of the world though I guess - what's the point? You'd only fall off. It's a well known fact that others have told me.

What is this I don't even...are you honestly that ignorant of how science works? Do you really think that saying "this has been studied multiple times, and has never been shown to work" is the equivalent of believing something because a lot of people claim it?

Also, for someone who accuses others of not being open-minded enough, you seem terribly closed-minded to any opinion that doesn't agree with your own.

BrassButtons:

What is this I don't even...are you honestly that ignorant of how science works? Do you really think that saying "this has been studied multiple times, and has never been shown to work" is the equivalent of believing something because a lot of people claim it?

Also, for someone who accuses others of not being open-minded enough, you seem terribly closed-minded to any opinion that doesn't agree with your own.

No, I'm saying that until you try something for yourself you're opinion is all theory and that theory is significantly inferior to practice. I acknowledge that others have tried various studies and experiments to prove/disprove certain theories, but I also acknowledge that certain scientists such as Darwin were dismissed by certain sections of society as his theories didn't fit in with well known "facts" of the day. The presumption that science is THE be all and end all, and that there aren't other things which we've yet to discover (which have scientific rootings, but which we may not currently be able to quantify) is not only closed-minded, but it also disregards the example set by those scientific forefathers who looked for other solutions.

Using the example stated earlier the world is flat right? If you hold a spirit level up to the horizon they will line up and thus prove that the horizon, and earth are flat right? That's science.

Ah, but wait, in reality we know that not to be true and that other factors cause an optical illusion - so why can't that same illusion be happening with such other events? I can totally understand why people have placed so much stock in these tests, but how many scientists "proved" the earth was flat with their limited knowledge back in the day?

I'm not trying to convince you, I'm not trying to make up your mind for you. All I'm asking is that you try these things in their full context and you find the answer yourself, instead of drawing that answer from 3rd party tests.

I view experience and practice as far superior to theory and testing. For me, the only purpose of theory and testing should be for safety reasons or reasons of financial restraint. However if you want the real answers you need to experience those things, and for me far too much stock is put in others 3rd party testing.

SpunkeyMonkey:

Ah, but wait, in reality we know that not to be true and that other factors cause an optical illusion - so why can't that same illusion be happening with such other events? I can totally understand why people have placed so much stock in these tests, but how many scientists "proved" the earth was flat with their limited knowledge back in the day?

Actually we figured out that the Earth was round very quickly after we started putting it to any sort of test. It's a conclusion generally credited to Aristotle circa 330BC.

SpunkeyMonkey:

I view experience and practice as far superior to theory and testing.

The scientific community (especially the psychological community) disagrees, and not without good reason. Anecdotal evidence is too easily tampered with, the human brain is a wonderfully efficient and powerful computer, but that efficiency comes at the price of horrible amounts of fallibility.

Dryk:

Actually we figured out that the Earth was round very quickly after we started putting it to any sort of test. It's a conclusion generally credited to Aristotle circa 330BC.

That's fair enough, but totally misses the point I was making and is a very good example of how a totally scientific POV often focuses so much on the individual components that it often misses the bigger picture.

Dryk:

I view experience and practice as far superior to theory and testing.
The scientific community (especially the psychological community) disagrees, and not without good reason. Anecdotal evidence is too easily tampered with, the human brain is a wonderfully efficient and powerful computer, but that efficiency comes at the price of horrible amounts of fallibility.

Then I'm assuming you'd agree that there's no reason why you shouldn't get as many doubters as possible to actually experience what I'm talking about in it's full context, as opposed to just through isolated experiments?

I've yet to see an experiment where 100-1000 scientists perform a reike level 1 atunement to it's full capacity and experience the effects of that.

SpunkeyMonkey:
No, I'm saying that until you try something for yourself you're opinion is all theory and that theory is significantly inferior to practice.

So you're saying because I haven't travelled at lightspeed I can't know if relativity works? Because I haven't disproven Maxwell's demon I can't rely on Thermodynamics?

SpunkeyMonkey:
I acknowledge that others have tried various studies and experiments to prove/disprove certain theories, but I also acknowledge that certain scientists such as Darwin were dismissed by certain sections of society as his theories didn't fit in with well known "facts" of the day. The presumption that science is THE be all and end all, and that there aren't other things which we've yet to discover (which have scientific rootings, but which we may not currently be able to quantify) is not only closed-minded, but it also disregards the example set by those scientific forefathers who looked for other solutions.

The point is though, Darwin presented a conclusive theory backed by observational evidence that managed to explain a natural phenomenon better and simpler, what you're currently having is a bunch of anecdotes, failed experiments and results indifferent from a placebo. "Magick" isn't even close to being in any form scientifical as it lacks the basic criteria to even be considered a hypothesis, currently you're not presenting Evolution to Creationists, you're trying to pitch Spontaneous Generation to Evolutionists on the basis that we may yet discover that there is a supernatural force involved even if we currently don't see any signs for that.

SpunkeyMonkey:
Using the example stated earlier the world is flat right? If you hold a spirit level up to the horizon they will line up and thus prove that the horizon, and earth are flat right? That's science.

Ah, but wait, in reality we know that not to be true and that other factors cause an optical illusion - so why can't that same illusion be happening with such other events? I can totally understand why people have placed so much stock in these tests, but how many scientists "proved" the earth was flat with their limited knowledge back in the day?

Yes, if you use incredibly limited and biased measurement methods you can get all sorts of crazy nonsense, that's not really a point though. Because if I assume the world is flat I should be able see into infinity instead of only up to 3 miles and that's by most simple logic why the earth isn't flat.
Frankly, you couldn't have picked a worse example, the roundness of the earth predates science by at least a good 2000 years. Greek natural philosophers as early as 5th century BC have calculated the earth's radius to an astonishing accuracy using the simplest tools and mathematics that didn't even have a zero.

In reference to your first sentence, how do you know the world is round? Have you measured and calculated it? Have you been to space and observed it?

SpunkeyMonkey:

I'm surprised most of you seem so reluctant to even try it

Really?

I have a finite life and i believe i only have one.

There are about 3000 gods give or take a few hundred. There are far more systems of magic and necromancy and sourcery and energy systems and chi and healing and crystals... you get the point.

ALL of them. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Has offered the exact same evidence as you have for Rieki. "I did it and i feel better, i feel like it worked". All 3000 gods have people who claim they have power and have personally felt it.

Lets take a conservative estimate and say there are about 4000 seperate systems of supposed magic. If i devote 1 hour to each ive wasted 4000 hours of my life. Thats insane. When we ask for proof and you provide personal annecdotes that IS evidence. But its no more evidence than the other 3999 magic systems have and THATS the distinction. And since i dont want to try any of those you need to give me significant reason to think yours is special and unique, the one stab in the dark that works while the other 3999 magical systems are total man made hogwash invented by people. If yours IS the special unique flower with the keys to the powers of the universe at large you need to do something these other 3999 systems havnt. Provide something more than they did. But you havnt. I know because you think its helped you it must be better than the other 3999 but from my perspective its not. Its not special at all. Its lost in a crowd of roaring magicians, conjurers and healers all with competing ideas and the same stories you have with the same self assurance. It is literally legion. A tiny cosmic speck in an ocean of random and conflicting ideas about magic.

Its obvious i cant devote my life to trying all of these. So ill wait. Wait for one to leave the pack of random magic based ideas that is millions strong but achieving almost nothing that leaves evidence. To pull ahead and show its different. I have yet to see that. At all. You dont need to tell me your idea is an idea some people think and you agree with. You need to show me why its better and more believable than ALL these other ideas that are competing with yours.

Your claim to see the edge of the world would be more believable if a hoard of others like you claimed to have gone and all, with the same certainty as you, claim to have seen wildly different things. Im not sailing there, not because i might fall off, but because all the drunk sailors have wildly different ideas about where it is, why it is and what it looks like. And since all of them can offer me nothing but drunken shouting ill opt to believe none of them.

Quaxar:

So you're saying because I haven't travelled at lightspeed I can't know if relativity works? Because I haven't disproven Maxwell's demon I can't rely on Thermodynamics?

SpunkeyMonkey:
I acknowledge that others have tried various studies and experiments to prove/disprove certain theories, but I also acknowledge that certain scientists such as Darwin were dismissed by certain sections of society as his theories didn't fit in with well known "facts" of the day. The presumption that science is THE be all and end all, and that there aren't other things which we've yet to discover (which have scientific rootings, but which we may not currently be able to quantify) is not only closed-minded, but it also disregards the example set by those scientific forefathers who looked for other solutions.

The point is though, Darwin presented a conclusive theory backed by observational evidence that managed to explain a natural phenomenon better and simpler, what you're currently having is a bunch of anecdotes, failed experiments and results indifferent from a placebo. "Magick" isn't even close to being in any form scientifical as it lacks the basic criteria to even be considered a hypothesis, currently you're not presenting Evolution to Creationists, you're trying to pitch Spontaneous Generation to Evolutionists on the basis that we may yet discover that there is a supernatural force involved even if we currently don't see any signs for that.

No, because there you are testing if a specific theory works - a totally different starting point from trying to ascertain what questions need to be asked in the first place when it come to a new "science".

Quaxar:

Yes, if you use incredibly limited and biased measurement methods you can get all sorts of crazy nonsense, that's not really a point though. Because if I assume the world is flat I should be able see into infinity instead of only up to 3 miles and that's by most simple logic why the earth isn't flat.
Frankly, you couldn't have picked a worse example, the roundness of the earth predates science by at least a good 2000 years. Greek natural philosophers as early as 5th century BC have calculated the earth's radius to an astonishing accuracy using the simplest tools and mathematics that didn't even have a zero.

In reference to your first sentence, how do you know the world is round? Have you measured and calculated it? Have you been to space and observed it?

Quite frankly that is THE best example I could have picked, as you too have totally missed my point that not all scientists had those tools and that it was the minority which looked for other explanations which found the true answer. The majority of what were deemed intelligent folk thought the world was flat for hundred of years later simply because they weren't open minded enough to try things beyond their own limited sciences for themselves.

Are you starting to get my point?

And no I've not been to space or observed the world is round, but if I had the chance to experience that for myself I would. I wouldn't tell other people there's no need for me to do it because someone else has. I prefer to make my own mind up on things on the back of experiencing them.

BiscuitTrouser:

SpunkeyMonkey:

I'm surprised most of you seem so reluctant to even try it

Really?

I have a finite life and i believe i only have one.

There are about 3000 gods give or take a few hundred. There are far more systems of magic and necromancy and sourcery and energy systems and chi and healing and crystals... you get the point.

ALL of them. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Has offered the exact same evidence as you have for Rieki. "I did it and i feel better, i feel like it worked". All 3000 gods have people who claim they have power and have personally felt it.

Lets take a conservative estimate and say there are about 4000 seperate systems of supposed magic. If i devote 1 hour to each ive wasted 4000 hours of my life. Thats insane. When we ask for proof and you provide personal annecdotes that IS evidence. But its no more evidence than the other 3999 magic systems have and THATS the distinction. And since i dont want to try any of those you need to give me significant reason to think yours is special and unique, the one stab in the dark that works while the other 3999 magical systems are total man made hogwash invented by people. If yours IS the special unique flower with the keys to the powers of the universe at large you need to do something these other 3999 systems havnt. Provide something more than they did. But you havnt. I know because you think its helped you it must be better than the other 3999 but from my perspective its not. Its not special at all. Its lost in a crowd of roaring magicians, conjurers and healers all with competing ideas and the same stories you have with the same self assurance. It is literally legion. A tiny cosmic speck in an ocean of random and conflicting ideas about magic.

Its obvious i cant devote my life to trying all of these. So ill wait. Wait for one to leave the pack of random magic based ideas that is millions strong but achieving almost nothing that leaves evidence. To pull ahead and show its different. I have yet to see that. At all. You dont need to tell me your idea is an idea some people think and you agree with. You need to show me why its better and more believable than ALL these other ideas that are competing with yours.

Your claim to see the edge of the world would be more believable if a hoard of others like you claimed to have gone and all, with the same certainty as you, claim to have seen wildly different things. Im not sailing there, not because i might fall off, but because all the drunk sailors have wildly different ideas about where it is, why it is and what it looks like. And since all of them can offer me nothing but drunken shouting ill opt to believe none of them.

Have actually tried even 1 of those 4000? Or have you just relied on 3rd part accounts.

What I find so funny with this is I've gladly accepted that what I might view as right may not be right - I'm not telling you that it is. I'm saying just try it first then come back to me with a fuller opinion, based on 1st party practice, not 3rd party opinion.

SpunkeyMonkey:

Have actually tried even 1 of those 4000? Or have you just relied on 3rd part accounts.

What I find so funny with this is I've gladly accepted that what I might view as right may not be right - I'm not telling you that it is. I'm saying just try it first then come back to me with a fuller opinion.

What youre saying is the same as the other 4000. They ALL want me to try it first and come back with a fuller opinion. ALL of them. Since i dont have time for all of them i have to narrow it down. Give me a reason why yours is different and ill listen. I just dont have the time or energy to go through them all and since i give none any special preference i have no reason to select some over others to try.

Reading a lot of the above posts, I have to say I think that people just daren't try it because they fear they'll be proved wrong.

We can all hide behind theories and tests - sometimes you have to actually do it for the definitive answer.

BiscuitTrouser:

SpunkeyMonkey:

Have actually tried even 1 of those 4000? Or have you just relied on 3rd part accounts.

What I find so funny with this is I've gladly accepted that what I might view as right may not be right - I'm not telling you that it is. I'm saying just try it first then come back to me with a fuller opinion.

What youre saying is the same as the other 4000. They ALL want me to try it first and come back with a fuller opinion. ALL of them. Since i dont have time for all of them i have to narrow it down. Give me a reason why yours is different and ill listen. I just dont have the time or energy to go through them all and since i give none any special preference i have no reason to select some over others to try.

That wasn't my question, I asked if you had tried any of them - not mine specifically?

I find it quite frankly astounding that someone would dismiss 4000 methods without at least sampling a few of them themselves.

Such much ill-placed faith and reliance in others opinions and theories, instead of trusting the own instincts and judgements you were born with. It's a bit sad really.

Conform, consume, marry and reproduce.

SpunkeyMonkey:

Quaxar:

Yes, if you use incredibly limited and biased measurement methods you can get all sorts of crazy nonsense, that's not really a point though. Because if I assume the world is flat I should be able see into infinity instead of only up to 3 miles and that's by most simple logic why the earth isn't flat.
Frankly, you couldn't have picked a worse example, the roundness of the earth predates science by at least a good 2000 years. Greek natural philosophers as early as 5th century BC have calculated the earth's radius to an astonishing accuracy using the simplest tools and mathematics that didn't even have a zero.

In reference to your first sentence, how do you know the world is round? Have you measured and calculated it? Have you been to space and observed it?

Quite frankly that is THE best example I could have picked, as you too have totally missed my point that not all scientists had those tools and that it was the minority which looked for other explanations which found the true answer. The majority of what were deemed intelligent folk thought the world was flat for hundred of years later simply because they weren't open minded enough to try things beyond their own limited sciences for themselves.

Are you starting to get my point?

Yeah, those sophisticated tools like shadows and stars.

And also, almost no educated person since the Pythagorean School suggested the spherical earth model in 500BC has disputed this, Aristotle was one of the most prized classical authors throughout the Dark Ages and many influential Christian authors such as Saint Bede the Venerable have called the earth a globe. And that far before the big astronomy boom in the late Middle Age.
The notion that for a thousand years everyone reverted back to barbarism is fairly mythical. If anyone considered the world flat it would have been uneducated paesants for whom it'd have been completely irrelevant if their fields were flat or incredibly slightly curved anyway.

To try and get a few strokes back to the shore from whence we started, my original point was you too do accept things on good faith without testing and questioning everything. You could measure the speed of light for yourself using good binoculars and the moons of Jupiter. You could build a Focault pendulum and see if and how the earth really spins. You could buy a high-powered laser, aiming it at the Laser Ranging Retroreflector left on the moon by Apollo 15 to prove we actually went there and maybe also that the moon moves farther away.
Yet I'm assuming you haven't done any of those rather simple tasks and just accept that the speed of light really is finite and the earth does rotate?

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