Author Topic: A Call to Restore Sanity  (Read 457 times)

Jake
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A Call to Restore Sanity
« on: January 15, 2012, 01:39:34 PM »
Ken Summers at Who Forted? has just published a wonderful article titled "State of the Supernatural: A Call to Restore Sanity."

While I think it best that you read the full article here are just a few excerpts (emphasis/italics mine):

Quote from: Ken Summers
Embrace Skepticism: There is a severe lack of critical thinking and honest skepticism in the mainstream paranormal community... Being able to form simple deductive conclusions and rule out experiences as natural, misidentified things doesn’t make you a party pooper; it makes you a rational person. This all involves following the next point:

Keep an open mind: And I mean that. Stop with the “but my orb is REAL ‘cause it’s not like those dust ones” garbage. Be willing to throw away your opinions if evidence proves otherwise. If you expect skeptics to be “open-minded” yet you refuse to be open to the possibility something might not be paranormal, you’re a hypocrite.

Educate yourself: If there’s something you don’t know much about, from physics to human behavior, there’s no excuse for not looking into it further before using it as an argument in your favor... This all leads into the next rule:

Read more; watch less: As the number of paranormal television shows increased, so did the number of viewers who – after a few episodes – suddenly became ghost [or demon...] hunters themselves... If you’re a devoted fan of (insert paranormal program here), that’s what you are: a fan, not an overnight expert. Pick up a book written by someone far more knowledgeable than a celebrity. This isn’t some brand-new field of study; a ton of work has been done over the past two centuries worth checking out. Television rots the brain. Stop learning everything from it.

Set religion aside: It might be hard with Demonology and angels being popular among ghost hunters, but in order to be scientific you can’t act like a fundamentalist at the same time. This might offend 99% of ghost hunters out there, but religions are belief without question; investigating paranormal claims calls for fact-based inquiry. It can be downright dangerous to fill minds with unsubstantiated claims without thorough psychological examinations and background checks. Telling a Catholic client that they need an exorcism isn’t helping someone, even if you believe there’s a demon in their house. You’re feeding them information they want to hear based on their (and, often, your own) personal beliefs.

Fraud-check all psychic claims: It’s hard to find a ghost hunting group without at least one “sensitive” or “intuitive psychic” person on board. I don’t care what you call yourself, but if you’re involved in paranormal investigation, you must be willing to have your own claims called into question (since they too are paranormal or supernatural, after all)... Anything that cannot be verified by historical record or hard evidence is pure hearsay...

When in doubt, throw it out: It can be tough letting go of that creepy garbled voice you recorded or that spooky-looking fog in a photograph of an abandoned building. This and other so-called “evidence” can be used to scare your friends on a Saturday night, but don’t call it scientific proof of life after death... Unless every single alternative possibility can be ruled out for explaining your photographic anomaly, it’s just a nifty souvenir...

Am I advocating the eradication of paranormal investigation, ghost hunting tourism, and television programs? Certainly not. I honestly believe that there are incidents which happen that have not fully been explained. To search for “things that go bump in the night” isn’t absurd, but if you wish to use terms like “serious investigator” and “scientific approach”, then you better well act like it. For far too long now, misidentification and misunderstood experiences have been pawned off as paranormal activity. Of course, if you just want to have fun with strange history, abandoned places, and haunted field trips, there is nothing wrong with that either, just do so responsibly.

Anybody up for discussing this?
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 01:42:57 PM by Jake »

Loki

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Re: A Call to Restore Sanity
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 02:45:53 PM »
I guess it is not enough to capture a real paranormal phenomena. So far, we must admit that there is very little proof of such things despite countless thousands of hours spent by ghost-hunters in catacombs, ruins and other inhospitable places for mankind at night ...

Most paranormal phenomenon draw from the energy of the livings. Poltergeist are usually linked to adolescents ... Objects can move, strange noise can be heard ... 

Objectivity is not enough ... Something else has to be found to make a breakthrough, after all science has progressed whereas paranormal research has remained at the same level as the spirits and spiritualists in the early XXth, except that there are no tricks anymore ... 

The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.” - Charles Baudelaire (French and monstrous poet).