Is it possible to be a rationalist, and still have a belief in ESP, psychic abilities or the sixth sense? I am sure most people have such experiences, but whilst some dismiss them as coincidence, others build a belief system around them. So, if such experiences do happen, is there a scientific, rationalist way of explaining them, which does not resort to spirits, angels, fairies or any other so-called "spiritual" explanations?
Sorry, if you have had an experience that falls into the category of ESP, psychic ability or sixth sense; there is no rational or scientific way to explain it. If there were, it wouldn't fall into those categories.
I think, what irritates me more than someone saying they don't believe in ESP or sixth sense, is when they attempt to explain the unexplainable. The hoops some are willing to jump through to insist that there is a rational explanation for some things are quite laughable. There are simply things that happen that cannot be explained yet.
Well I have had several "psychic" experiences. I think most people have experiences of knowing the phone is about to ring and who will be ringing, only for it to do so. These kind of events can be explained by statistics. We forget the thousands of times we have thought of someone, and the phone hasn't rung, but attach importance to the times that they do.
However, I have had experiences of precognitive dreams, which I have difficulty explaining in similar terms. It would be difficult for science to examine these experiences, because they are spontaneous, and very subjective.
I live in a town with a tidal river. On the night of 23/12/2004 I had a dream about a massive wave engulfing the town and killing many people. I could see all the destruction and mayhem it caused, and felt the anguish of losing loved ones who were washed away. 3 days later the tsunami hit Indonesia. That was one weird experience, I can tell you.
I wonder what you mean by pre-cognitive dreams?
Dreams that predict the winning horse in next Saturdays race perhaps? I know two people who claim to have done that.
One picked the Melbourne Cup winner at 100/1 and put everything except his shirt on it.
He did win too, no joke. I helped build the new house he built from the winnings.
I wish my dreams were of such a nature. The twice I have had such dreams, they have both been negative. The first time, I had a dream about a girl, who had been reported as missing on the local news. In the dream, I walked through a wood and came to the edge of a river. There I saw a body floating in the water face down. When the body then turned around, I could see it was the missing girl. I awoke in terror, and told people about it. Two days later, the news reported that the girl had been found, floating in the local river. The news cameras filmed the location, and it was as it had appeared in my dream. The other dream was also of a negative nature about events which happened to an aunt of mine the next day. As I don't even know this aunt, it wasn't as if I could have known about what was to happen.
However, as these experiences are so rare for most people, I would tend to put them down to amazing coincidences.
The thing is, we do know the mind plays tricks with time, we do know that by the law of chance alone, a lot of weird things will happen.
I am very interested in the lump growing on my shoulders full of mush that I call a brain.
It definitely knows a hell of a lot more than I can bring to consciousness.
I know a guy who has a small church that was struggling. He claims That God told him to buy a Fantasy Five ticket (lottery game). He hit just in time to pay the mortgage! Did I mention he was sanctioned by famous "Charismatic" Organization. Do you figure God would send him in at the right time, or was he trying to convince the anti-gambling leadership that it was ok. Maybe it was his idea and he thinks that his own thoughts are God and he has been giving his own thoughts out as a word from God. Maybe Satan convinced the young preacher that he was God. Did some manipulative witches combine forces to convince him to do it? It could be the government kicking off a subliminal suggestion that they had implanted during his hospital stay when he was shot in Desert storm. Maybe his wife made him do it and he was lying all the time!
Hey, this is really stimulating, but I can feel it in my bones . . . the snook are biting down at Sebastian Inlet, Fl. Can you feel it when the Baramundi are blowing up, earnest? Keep up the good work Mr.Spooner. I admire your intellect. Wish I had one!
I've been part of some bizarre experiences that I would defy anyone to rationally explain away. I consider them so statistically improbable as to think it is more likely that they were supernatural experiences than natural ones. ESP, psychic, whatever; I gave up trying to figure them out.
That's just wishful thinking. Just because a rational explanation does not jump at you from the get go doesn't mean there wasn't one. Yes, all things that are based in the terrestrial world that don't break the laws of nature are statistically probably, no matter how infinitesimal.
Well, that's easy for you to say. You weren't there.
Being there or not being there does not preclude the fact you really, really, really want to believe in the supernatural, despite reality.
Aw gee, ATM. Not being there and not being privy to the details means you really, really don't care for the facts. That's OK. The truth is out there. Not everyone possesses enough curiosity to search. And, although it sounds incredibly boring, there's nothing wrong with that.
If YOU knew the facts, there would be no problem, it would be explainable.
Searching for "spirits" or searching for real explanations?
Real explanations, of course. Why would you think spirits? And, if you think the facts are always explainable; you're grasping. I try not to do that.
Because, you said this:
Yes, I know, you immediately want to jump to conclusions and "think it is more likely that they were supernatural experiences"
You apparently ignore the very real fact that we don't know everything. Supernatural becomes natural as we discover more. Sheesh. It doesn't appear as if curiosity is going to kill every cat.
Ok. You are right. What was perceived as supernatural becomes understood as natural when we find viable explanations. And I do realize that there are those who want the supernatural, so will always choose that answer over others. I'm not one of them. Neither am I someone afraid to admit that an experience defies reason. It doesn't make me wrong. It makes me a realist.
I think so. As a rationalist, you probably understand that there are a wide variety of things for which there currently exists no rational explanation. However, there are also a variety of things that may have seemed psychic in the past, that have rational explanations now.
To me, extrasensory perception is as rational as any other sensory perception, taste, sight, touch, etc. The missing link is the level of awareness at which one perceives.
Every so often I experience a sort of deja vu, and I could swear I knew something was going to happen before it did. The experience generally only lasts a few seconds, and I am never sure if I really knew it was going to happen, or I just got a false feeling of knowing, then extrapolated a logical conclusion of what was going to happen.
Also I think a lot of what different people experience does have a more common every day answer. For example, my grandmother once witnessed a ball of light travel across a room she was in as a child during a huge storm. Sounds eerie, but later in life she found out that on extremely rare occasions electricity can build up in such a way as to form a ball of light.
Ok, here's an example from my own personal experience.
I was walking down Venice Blvd. in Venice, CA, going to catch the last bus to Sacramento. It was about 11pm and the streets were empty. I was dressed in painters' pants, flip flops and a tee shirt - in any way provocative. Three words suddenly came into my head: RAPE MURDER KILLINGS This sort of spooked me (to a greater awareness of my surroundings). Within a minute a car pulled up alongside me and the driver asked me if I wanted a ride. I said no but he was persistent. After asking 3 times, I finally said, "Look, I don't want a ride!" He pulled up on the sidewalk, blocking my path, jumped out of the car saying 'we're going for a ride anyway', put his arm around me and put a switchblade up to my throat.
I'll shorten the story a bit. I screamed a primal, gutterel, loud scream which came from deep within me. It was like a scene from a movie. A car drove by, stopped, the driver rolled his window down an inch, my bloodied hand scraped his window, he took off, a young couple came out of an apartment building and the offender took off. They said they heard me screaming.
So, was this ESP? Did he see me walking by and decide to jump in his car and go after me, while I picked up on HIS thoughts? I think so.
I feel, (and that is where any 'spiritual' experience begins) that what we call spiritual or magical is only because, we as yet, don't have the logical understanding of the science behind the event. Because of this, we have no other option than to label that which acts in a way outside of the minds box, as a mystical event.
In our everyday life as we know it, we would appear like gods to those living only a few hundred years ago, at least in our technology. It seems to me, every day we survive as a species, we draw one step closer to a world where we no longer fear that which is different than 'us'.
Imagine the potential of our grandchildern. Lets do everything we can to see they have the chance.
Like a "feeling", the event may not have immediate understanding, and very much like your "feeling" the event is grounded in reality and does have a logical explanation and is probably something science does understand.
I agree Troubled Man. But I'm guessing science hasn't discovered all there is to discover yet. The events haven't changed over time as much as the description of reality has. As science proves things to be true,(or false) that information is added as the expansion of reality.
I, for one, am satisfied with believing that we humans are capable of abilities we've only touched the surface of.
Notice that you're "guessing".
I understand, you're satisfied with "guesswork".
So, are you saying, you don't think there is anything whatsoever left for science to discover??
Yes, I'm satisfied with my "guessing." Which is also known as theory, until such time as it is proven true or false. I'll be totaly honest about that. My beliefs may be wrong. I'm open to that, just as I'm open to them being right.
How 'bout you. Can you say the same?
I never said that.
Actually, there is whole lot of difference between a guess and a theory.
Since I don't hold religious beliefs, my world is guided by the world itself and how we find the best ways to explain it.
Okay. I'm glad to hear you say that.
I thought you may have had an issue with the whole sentence you plucked the word 'guessing' from.
As far as the word, 'guess' is concerned, while both the words 'guess' and 'theory' each have many definitions, they both refer to 'conjecture' and that is how I was using the terms. Feel free to look it up, I did, just to be sure.
I think it's awesome that your world 'is guided by the world itself and how we find the best ways to explain it.' This does entail the acceptance that as of yet, all things have not yet been explained.
Do you believe there are only so many 'best ways' and we already know what all of them are. If so, in what time period was the last one discovered?
Please understand, I mean no disrespect at all. I'm just trying to isolate what it is exactly that we disagree on.
OK one of hundreds of precognitive dreams I've had.
I'm up in the Ozark Mts.; way back up in the woods ... where I spent what I would describe my favorite years.
I was coming up behind the house from out of the woods; the house that my dad and I built, sheet rocked, etc. etc.,
As the light in the kitchen window came into view ... flaming arrows began flying from the direction of the house.
I dodged the arrows and hid behind the trees.
I have never before thought about the part about hiding behind the trees?
Any way! Three days later I received a very disturbing letter from my mom; and it was postmarked the next day after my dream.
Needless to say! My mom was very disturbed with me. She had written the letter the night before and most assureidly had it on her mind as she slept. And I received it while I slept.
I don't know if that is a spiritual thing or not .... but it does point to some kind of communication that we are scientifically unaware of.
SOoooo there are many things that are real that we can not prove to the scientific community.
Some body said "I understand, you're satisfied with "guesswork".
And i think everybody does. But only 6.83 % of US admitt to it!.
When I was 12 or 13 I had TV guide route in a small New Hampshire town. It was not lucrative. My few customers were spread all over town. Being from the south, I was always ready for a little chat. Mrs. Hamilton was living alone in an old musty house. She looked forward to our weekly chats and often served fresh strawberries. She never paid.
When the manager of TV Guide scolded me for my failures, I redouble efforts to collect.
Mrs. Hamilton never came to the door. I began asking around to find out if she was okay. The neighbors said she had passed away several years ago.
The night before I discovered my father had died I had a dream that I opened my wardrobe and my dad's suit was in it (the one he wore to my wedding) There was also a hanger which had all his ties draped over it (he loved ties and had a huge collection) In my dream I heard him say my name but I couldn't see him, I was looking around the room for him, I shouted him and asked him where he was, he said " I'm in the hallway, you can keep that suit and the ties, I wont be needing them anymore."
This is interesting something like that hasn't happened to me but what I can understand is that they are things that happen and they can either predict the future or say something about the past.
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