Oftar en einu sinni hefur fólk sagt að ég sé þröngsýnn, yfirleitt þegar rökrætt er á þriðja glasi (halló Davíð :) ) Ég er ekki nægilega opinn fyrir hinum ýmsu möguleikum. Mig skortir viljann til að trúa.
Þetta er satt og rétt.
Á spjallþráðum á heimasíðum James Randi fann ég bréf (hér var vísun á upprunlega bréfið en því miður tapaðist það í uppfærslu á spjallþráðum Randi, þetta er því eina eintakið af bréfinu á netinu) sem lýsir mínu sjónarhorni snilldarvel. Ég tek undir allt sem þessi náungi segir. Læt bréfið fylgja hér með, nenni ekki að þýða það.
This will probably turn out to be rather lengthy, so bear with me. Every once in a while I get the urge to vent, and this time you folks are the benefactors (victims?) of this urge.
In this weeks column James Randi lists some of the many, many excuses given by the “psychics” as to why they won’t take the challenge. One of them struck me as kind of odd:
8) "If you're close-minded, then the powers will not work."
I hear this all the time, on this forum & elsewhere. Those that believe in the paranormal think they’ve discovered something awe-inspiring and new. They feel that skeptics are too close-minded to see the incredible feats of the psychic world. They pity us for not believing in whatever God they worship and wonder how a skeptic can be happy.
All the while missing the point that such beliefs have a built in hypocrisy. As a skeptic I am one of the most open-minded people in the universe; all I ask for is proof. Show me something exists and I’ll believe it; it doesn’t seem to be that difficult of a concept to grasp. There’s U.S. $1 million waiting for the person that can do ANYTHING that is paranormal. As yet, it remains unclaimed.
These believers have looked so long for something to fill the void in their lives that they are loath to let it go, which creates a perfect lab for hypocritical thinking. They think they have found the secrets that nobody else has been able to see, all the while ignoring the fact that there is NO proof that ANY of these powers exists. They need so badly for these things to be real that they have to close their minds to any proof otherwise, all the while telling us that we are the ones who are unwilling to listen.
One of the favorite tactics of the believers is to point out how many times science was wrong on various things. There are a slew of quotes by people that were proven incorrect; people saying that heavier-than-air flight is impossible a few months before the Wright brothers took off. The President of IBM saying nobody would want a computer in their house, etc. I’ve had the True Believer’s toss these quotes at me in an almost reverent manner. Every one of these people seem to miss the fact that these quotes tend to prove my point, not weaken it. The people that made these quotes were able to admit they were wrong once they were SHOWN. SOME. PROOF.
Certainly we can all remember the young Russian girl whose power was peeking? And the concentrated effort by certain people on this board to prove that she really did have these powers, even after any reasonable person could see through the fraud? But no, it wasn’t the fact that she was a fraud trying to cheat. It was the nasty “close minded” skeptics that made her fail. But the JREF, a foundation for critical thinking, was the one putting up the money. All the girl had to do was SHOW. SOME. PROOF.
Yes, I’ve read the threads where “proof” was offered. If you did their tests, their way then they might work once. But you couldn’t look why they were doing it, or film it, or observe it too closely, or do anything to prove them wrong. The more desperate ones seem to be clamoring for James Randi himself to travel halfway across the world to appear on [place name of TV show here], or to set up a prime time special, or some other such poppycock. If what claptrap they’re trying to peddle is real then why don’t they toss some dosh for a ticket to Florida and get tested? Why don’t they take ten minutes to fill out the form & can go through the preliminary test? If any of them could ever prove that a paranormal power can exists then I’m willing to bet that almost every skeptic would happily admit to being wrong. They could make a fool out of every single skeptic on the planet just SHOWING. SOME. PROOF.
As a skeptic I am fascinated by the human mind. Aliens made the pyramids? Hardly! That was man, using his brain. To me that is far more wondrous than believing that little green men landed on our planet so they could stack a bunch of rocks together. Some kindly old man is in the sky watching over me, hoping I behave…but is more than willing to sear my flesh for all eternity if I screw up? I’ve outgrown such silly notions.
The fact that my child can be given a few drops of a strawberry tasting gel & never have to worry about polio is astonishing. Knowing I can go to a refrigerator & get something cold while I’m warming something up in my microwave is incredible. When I recently had to have a wisdom tooth pulled it was completely painless. I have wonderment in my every day life, I don’t need to invent things or feed the egos of charlatans to make my life complete. The things that I can touch, that I can feel…those things that can be PROVEN bring me enjoyment that is immeasurable.
I am happy because I love what life has to offer & I can see it all around me. How miserable must these people be to grasp at such straws? How awful for them, not to have any internal guidance & must therefore depend upon a book written by others. How pathetic that they can’t see the majesty that is human, that instead they have to search for hidden meanings in cloud formations or tea leaves. Of course these meanings are only fathomable to them; when asked for some proof they fade away as quickly as the mist rising from the cup.
As a skeptic I am open-minded. I say there is no proof of the paranormal, and I want you to prove me wrong. I would love to see a human that truly has these abilities; I would dance in the streets and rejoice at the wonderment. I would willingly go on television and admit that I was wrong; I would happily join the believers out there as their newest convert. It would be a grand day for me indeed if even one person out there could SHOW. SOME. PROOF.
I don’t think I could ever be so close-minded as the believers. If there were a hell I think being unable to say “Yes, I was wrong. You have proven it to me” would be one of its major apsects.