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Why take them seriously if they are demonstrably wrong?

Sep 26, 2004 05:51 AM
by kpauljohnson

--- In, "stevestubbs" <stevestubbs@y...> 
> This is a naive question I am sure, but if the Cayce readings are 
> demonstrably wrong why take them seriously? I am not suggesting 
> we should not, since Aristotle was wrong about a lot of things but 
> worth reading nonetheless. Cayce never did strike me as being on 
> par with Aristotle or even Blavatsky.
Dear Steve,

The question is phrased in a way that illustrates the fallacy of 
misplaced concreteness, and could be applied to the Bible, 
Blavatsky, any figure in religious or political history, ad 
infinitum. Until someone finds a figure who was NEVER demonstrably 
wrong about anything, this objection is universally applicable.

The fallacy is translating "elements of the Cayce readings (Bible, 
etc.) are demonstrably wrong" as "the Cayce readings are 
demonstrably wrong." A whole lot is lost in that translation which 
obscures the possibility that some elements are demonstrably 
correct. (Which is a fact and not a probability with Cayce.)

Even if the readings were demonstrably wrong on everything, they 
would still be worth taking seriously for their historical 
significance. E.g. Wouter Hanegraaff who devotes as much attention 
to Cayce as to anyone in his magisterial study of the New Age 
movement. Cayce has had more books written about him than have 
Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, Ellen G. White, HPB, or any other 
founder of an American-born new religious movement.

But that scholarly kind of taking seriously would probably account 
for very few memberships in ARE. Most members take them seriously 
for the usefulness of the advice they contain on health, meditation, 
dreams, astrology, and such. (I did a study years ago of which 
books were circulated most by ARE library, and these were the higher-
ranking subjects.)

Of course many members do take Cayce seriously as a clairvoyant time 
traveler depicting ancient prehistory and the near future. I don't, 
and think that the emphasis on this aspect of the readings will 
shrink over time.



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