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Re: Theos-World Dismissed with offhand general remarks

Mar 03, 2002 12:48 PM
by Larry F Kolts

Thank you Daniel!

I wonder why the "law of witnesses" works in law but not here. We send
people to jail every day, yes, and some even to their death because of
corroborating evidence. Yet you call out from the dust the testimony of
witness after witness and all you get is "where's the proof". I thought
the testimony of witnesses WAS proof. I guess some will never believe
unless they witness for themselves and even then may wonder if the saw
straight or were somehow led down a primrose path. You're efforts do not
go unnoticed, however, and many casual readers on this list will see the
truth for what it is.


On Sun, 3 Mar 2002 07:15:57 -0800 (PST) Daniel Caldwell
<> writes:
> Many persons are thoroughly convinced that some
> paranormal phenomena (i.e., psychokinesis,
> materializations, levitation, etc. ) cannot possibly
> be facts, no matter how well authenticated certain
> cases happen to be. Reports are commonly ignored, or
> shrugged off with only a wisecrack , or at best
> dismissed with offhand general remarks about the
> psychology of deception or of illusion.
> Such persons who dimiss even the best attested reports
> are in so doing only testifying unawares that,
> nothwithstanding, their invoking the name of science,
> they forget that science speaks not thus a priori but
> only after careful inquiry into the facts.
> Such persons have the tendency to assume from the
> outset that every report of materialization,
> levitation, etc. is necessarily mistaken. When such
> critics assert (directly or indirectly) that the
> witness of the facts must necessarily have been
> deceived, they are displaying the inverted credulity
> which assumes that there are no limits whatever to the
> possibilities of deception. Such critics will force a
> normal kind of explanation upon an apparently
> paranormal event by ignoring or trimming or stretching
> the record of the circumstances under which the
> occurrrences took place.
> Some critics have the strategy of subjecting such a
> paranormal event to a minute scrutiny for "possible"
> flaws. Since there is no such thing as the "perfect"
> (whatever that might mean!) experience (or experiment)
> it is just a matter of time and patience before one
> finds such a "hypothetical" flaw. Indeed, if the
> critic is willing to go to any lengths (i.e., ignore
> the rule of "give evidence" and speculate ad
> infinitum) this becomes a game in which he cannot
> lose! It requires only some ingenuity to think up
> some way in which the results might have been flawed
> or faked and, with any luck, apparent "suspicious"
> features can be found or suggested to substantiate the
> critic's conjectures.
> The challenge that "a flaw is possible" or that "fraud
> was possible" is an insurmountable one, since the
> critic can always claim that everyone involved in the
> event was mistaken or lying about any or all of the
> details. Even if the event is repeated, it could be
> claimed that it is "possible" that all involved were
> deceived or deceiving. This impasse shows the
> importance of dealing with the question of direct
> evidence rather than various possibilities.
> The proponent of a paranormal claim and the opponent
> must agree on a procedure for verifying the claim. It
> is evident that unless such an agreement is reached,
> hypothetical arguments concerning claims and
> counterclaims will be, in principle, insoluble.
> Therefore, the only honest approach to the subject is
> to deal with the actual data and evidence with the
> standard rules of evidence and accepted canons of
> logical thinking, and to follow the evidence wherever
> it may lead.
> [The above compiled from various sources.]
> Submitted by:
> =====
> Daniel H. Caldwell
> "...Contrast alone can enable us to appreciate things at
> their right value; and unless a judge compares notes and
> hears both sides he can hardly come to a correct decision."
> H.P. Blavatsky. The Theosophist, July, 1881, p. 218.
> __________________________________________________
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