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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » TV series "The Exorcist" premieres tonight (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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0pus
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I was wondering. What does the scientific community (you know, physicists, chemists, biologists, professionals in the "hard" sciences, etc.) think of the Journal of Parapsychology, the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research and the Journal of the Society for Scientific Exploration? Are these real publications with scientific value? Or are they just wishful thinking and theorizing about phenomena for which no hard evidence is available to study? Are we talking about things like cryptozoology (a subject that seems to have no subject matter)?

I confess that I don't know whether these are valuable resources or not. But if we are talking about 'possession' with supernaturalists (like priests, ministers, and other clergy and religious zealots), I am not sure I agree that they are unbiased on the matter, regardless of how "skeptical" they themselves claim to be.
Cliffg37
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The journals that I read. "The Physics Teacher" and "Physics Today" review only hard science papers. If anything is reviewed that is theoretical, it is strongly backed with lab experimentation. I have never seen a mention Parapsychology at any level in these "professional" journals.
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Since you are in the physics field I have to count that as an informed opinion.
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Cliffg37
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A couple of more thoughts on what Opus asked.

The Journal of Parapsychology (Which I have never read) is a peer reviewed publication. What that means is that no article gets published until a team of highly degreed (usually pHd's) have read the article and believe they are accurate in fact and experimental procedure. One of the criticisms of peer review is that it by definition it is approved by a biased committee.

What I do wonder is if a publication like "Psychology Today," a highly respected journal that I read only occasionally when a topic hits my interest, has ever published an article on para psychological topics. I would do the search on exorcisms there to start
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R.S.
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Quote:
On Oct 3, 2016, Cliffg37 wrote:
I would do the search on exorcisms there to start


You can't have exorcisms without demons. So until the existence of demons is established, researching the practice of exorcisms makes no sense.

Ron
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Cliffg37
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I disagree Ron, You don't need a demon to have an exorcism. What you need is an Exorcist who believes that the ritual will accomplish something.

Years ago I knew a woman who was told that her drug addiction was due to possession by some evil entity. The person who told her that was not a clergyman of any kind, but a self appointed healer of lost souls or something like that. For all I know he was a cult leader or a con-man or both. I never met him.

He performed what he called an exorcism on her. What the ritual really was I cannot say I met her a few years after. Her description of it, made it sound very Catholic.

Needless to say his ritual failed to cure her.

She later cleaned up in the more accepted way under a doctor's care.
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R.S.
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Hi Cliff,

OK, I see what you're saying. But in the context of this thread, exorcisms are a religious ritual performed for the specific purpose of banishing demons/evil entities. And as I stated earlier, anybody who calls themselves an "exorcist" begins with a bias that nullifies their claim of being skeptical/objective.

In your example of the drug addicted woman, had she eventually cleaned up her act (due to her own motivation and will power), she likely may have (falsely) attributed her success to the "exorcism" that was performed on her. This misconstruing of cause and effect is responsible for promoting all kinds of spurious beliefs, from alternative medicines to religious practices to trivial superstitions such as wearing "lucky" socks for the big sporting event.

Thanks Cliff. Smile

Ron
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George Ledo
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Just for the h*ll of it (bad pun totally and shamelessly intended), I just Googled "exorcism as placebo" and found some really interesting reading.
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I am not an advocate of the supernatural. I am an advocate objective, rational, unbiased, logical thinking informed by the best available evidence. I am not interested in appearing cool or agreeing with others to go along. I am fortunate to have a background that allows me such freedom of thought with no shackles whatsoever to a preconceived notion of thinking. And I am astounded that I am so consistently reminded of how apparently unique my situation seems to be.

When I apply reason and logic to the data, the result is a new model of Reality. I have discussed these ideas with various theoretical physicists who found them interesting. I will likely be publishing a related paper in a technical journal in the near future. The basic concept, an Information Mediated Reality, is in line with thinking of others like Ellis, Beckenstein, Susskind, Deutch, Bohm and Hiley among others. By taking information as fundamental, which is a bit novel in physics, the view of Reality changes dramatically and seemingly 'impossible' things become reasonable.

I fear the real problem here is a lack of ability to comprehend what is, ironically, an incredibly simple concept. I can completely understand this, having been an overly-confident skeptic myself decades ago when I too was woefully underinformed. I have come to realize over the decades that knowledge only appears when one is prepared for it and no sooner.
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0pus
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Let us know when you are published. Assuming that the paper is not hyper-technical, it will make for interesting reading.
Cliffg37
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Quote:
On Oct 7, 2016, jstreiff wrote:
I have discussed these ideas with various theoretical physicists who found them interesting. I will likely be publishing a related paper in a technical journal in the near future.


Thank you for that John. I had read your earlier posts and been confused and unsure where you were coming from. Now that I see you are a quantum theorist, all is made clear.

My feeling (as a physicist with an Einsteinian bend) was that when Einstein said "god does not play dice with the universe," what he meant was, there is a method, we just don't get it yet.

As both a man of science and a man of faith, and yes I'm both, it would be foolish of me to say, "There is no supernatural." I have no problem pointing out that there is little real evidence, and most of what evidence we have is clearly biased. but that does not mean no never.

Applying science to religion is also a procedure asking for trouble. Religion is based on faith, because that's what it is... faith. No proof required. Just belief. But if you come from that perspective, then applying science to religion is no better or effective than applying religion to science. Both will lead you to a circular and insoluble argument.

However: John, the theorists you have sited above are in a very different market than religion. The idea that humans can create their own reality through quantum effort in their brains in neither magic nor religion. In fact many people who know nothing about any science have been using this for years. Many self-help gurus have long suggested to visualize what you want, plan for what you want, Tell people about what you want, make it real. This I can believe and get into.

No clue how that might lead into the world of demonic possession, but it is a very interesting area to study.

I would also love to read your paper, technical or otherwise.
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R.S.
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Quote:
On Oct 7, 2016, jstreiff wrote:
I am not an advocate of the supernatural. I am an advocate objective, rational, unbiased, logical thinking informed by the best available evidence. I am not interested in appearing cool or agreeing with others to go along. I am fortunate to have a background that allows me such freedom of thought with no shackles whatsoever to a preconceived notion of thinking. And I am astounded that I am so consistently reminded of how apparently unique my situation seems to be.

When I apply reason and logic to the data, the result is a new model of Reality. I have discussed these ideas with various theoretical physicists who found them interesting. I will likely be publishing a related paper in a technical journal in the near future. The basic concept, an Information Mediated Reality, is in line with thinking of others like Ellis, Beckenstein, Susskind, Deutch, Bohm and Hiley among others. By taking information as fundamental, which is a bit novel in physics, the view of Reality changes dramatically and seemingly 'impossible' things become reasonable.

I fear the real problem here is a lack of ability to comprehend what is, ironically, an incredibly simple concept. I can completely understand this, having been an overly-confident skeptic myself decades ago when I too was woefully underinformed. I have come to realize over the decades that knowledge only appears when one is prepared for it and no sooner.


Forgive me for mistaking you as someone who is an advocate of the supernatural. I think that someone who truly was an advocate of the supernatural would express nearly identical views as you (i.e., PK is real and reproducible, exorcists are skeptical, and an affinity for paranormal journals and organizations).

The “simple concept” that is on the table here is religious exorcisms. We have established a definition, and the question of whether one believes in demons has been posed. Any excursion into PK is unnecessary and irrelevant. A listing of one’s associations or one’s future publishing plans is irrelevant. The simple question that has been danced around remains… do you believe that demons exist? It’s an interesting question indeed.

Thanks.

Ron
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry."
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
R.S.
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Quote:
On Oct 7, 2016, Cliffg37 wrote:
Applying science to religion is also a procedure asking for trouble. Religion is based on faith, because that's what it is... faith. No proof required. Just belief.


Do you think faith is a good way to arrive at the truth? Does "just believing" something make it true?


Ron
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
Jonathan Townsend
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I'm okay treating some uncomfortable and dangerous behaviors / disorders / unwanted habits as demons. Not sure it makes sense to treat the issues as evidence of other intelligent life forms, though. What if they want civil rights? Is an exorcism a violation of their rights?

Better yet - what if a "demon" claims political asylum? hmmmm?
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Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Oct 7, 2016, R.S. wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 7, 2016, Cliffg37 wrote:
Applying science to religion is also a procedure asking for trouble. Religion is based on faith, because that's what it is... faith. No proof required. Just belief.


Do you think faith is a good way to arrive at the truth? Does "just believing" something make it true?


Ron


Sadly it is enough for most. Plus it involves far less thinking.
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Chessmann
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Quote:
On Oct 7, 2016, Cliffg37 wrote:
Religion is based on faith, because that's what it is... faith. No proof required. Just belief.


Cliff, if I'm reading your intention correctly, this is highly simplistic and quite inaccurate. Certainly examples can be found, but as a general statement, I couldn't disagree more.

OTOH, I clicked on the topic to see if anyone liked the series! Smile
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Orville Smith
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Quote:
On Oct 7, 2016, Chessmann wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 7, 2016, Cliffg37 wrote:
Religion is based on faith, because that's what it is... faith. No proof required. Just belief.


Cliff, if I'm reading your intention correctly, this is highly simplistic and quite inaccurate. Certainly examples can be found, but as a general statement, I couldn't disagree more.

OTOH, I clicked on the topic to see if anyone liked the series! Smile

Yes, I like the episodes so far. While I'm at it, let me also add that I also watched a documentary on Real-life exorcisms in Viet Nam. The difference is that those possessions dealt with not demons but instead human-ghosts who possessed a surviving familiy-member. Whereas the difference in nomenclature for a demon is extraterrestrial, yes?
tommy
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Exercise, it’s free, easy to take, has an immediate effect and you don’t need a GP to get some but does a demon need it?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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