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Re: Skeptics and Theosophical books

Sep 04, 2004 09:18 AM
by Daniel H. Caldwell


I wrote:

"If one is A SKEPTIC, why take any theosophical

You commnented:

"Because one finds it spiritually inspiring, 
intellectually stimulating, informative? Even 
if one doesn't accept it as holy writ from 
mysterious supermen?"

"I don't believe that skepticism and interest 
in Theosophy are quite as antithetical as some 
people apparently do." 

Paul, I agree with your comments but it
all depends upon your definition of the words
"skeptic" and "skepticism."

Some so-called skeptics are actually

See what the late Marcello Truzzi says:


"I call them scoffers, not skeptics," says Marcello Truzzi, director 
of the Center of Scientific Anomalies Research at Eastern Michigan 

Truzzi, who studies what he calls protoscience, was a founding member 
of the world's oldest and most respected skeptic society, the 
Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the 
Paranormal (CSICOP). But Truzzi says he withdrew after growing 
disillusioned with the group's research methods.

"They tend to block honest inquiry, in my opinion," he asserts. "Most 
of them are not agnostic toward claims of the paranormal; they are 
out to knock them."

Truzzi says that some of the CSICOP researchers set the bar of proof 
outrageously high when it comes to the study of the paranormal. "When 
an experiment of the paranormal meets their requirements, then they 
move the goal posts," he says. "Then, if the experiment is reputable, 
they say it's a mere anomaly." 

Or take this quote from Dr. Truzzi:


"There are three broad approaches to anomaly studies. . . . The 
second common approach is what critics usually call the debunkers' 
approach. This is the main attitude of the orthodox scientific 
community towards anomaly claims. It is characterized by the 
Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the 
Paranormal (CSICOP). "Whatever is claimed is nothing but ... 
something else." Seemingly anomalous phenomena are denied first and 
sometimes investigated only second. Like the Fortean the debunker is 
not concerned with the full explanation. Whereas the Fortean types 
don't want explanations, the debunkers don't need them as they 
believe they have already them." 


The following quotes sum up my views on skepticism:


"Skepticism is about enquiry and doubt, not about denial." 

"There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what
isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true."

"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." 


See also my webpage that gives extensive listings on this and
related subjects:

Parapsychology, Anomalies, Science, Skepticism, and CSICOP

A Collection of Weblinks presenting Arguments for and against the 
Paranormal with a Critical Look at Pseudo-Skepticism and CSICOP


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