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Forums Forums Answering Skeptics and Debunking Cynics Skeptical Arguments????

last updated by  Eric 16 years, 1 month ago
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  • #63154
    silles
    Participant

    Hey there everyone,

    I did some searching on this forum and couldn’t exactly find what I was looking for. I myself, believe in John Edward’s amazing gift, but also partake in a healthy amount of skepticism, although I have hardly any doubt that he is communicating with those who have died. My questions are the following:

    1) What do most skeptics argue as their proof of John Edward being a hoax?

    2) Don’t skeptics think Edward would have been uncovered already if he was a hoax, like Miss Cleo?

    3) How do skeptics explain the very specific information John Edward obtains? How about when John Edward reads people with his back turned to the viewing monitor?

    4) Do most skeptics lack a beleif in John Edward because they are atheists, and they feel their viewpoint is threatened, even though they have no evidence against his abilites? Is this all some kind of anti-theist backlash?

    This information would be helpful, as I haven’t seen much proof behind the case of the skeptic, and am interested to find out why they refuse to believe in John Edward. Thank you very much!

    -Sean

    #78614
    Jude
    Participant

    Sean,

    You’ll probably want to kick off your shoes, grab some refreshment, and start reading through all the threads in this particular Forum. I believe you’ll find the answers to your questions here — and then some!!

    Welcome to the board!

    :wave:

    #78621
    Eric
    Participant

    Hi Sean,

    1) The biggest argument for cynics is something like, “Well, it is impossible to talk to the dead, therefore it must be a hoax”.

    2) They assume he HAS. They could point to the poorly-researched TIME article or numerous postings by professional Skeptics–none of which hold water if you actually are familiar with the show, but most cynics don’t bother doing that. “Why research something that’s obviously fake?” would be their attitude.

    3) You can’t really blame them for this one…there are all kinds of tricks that would allow someone to do this on TV (hidden mics, questions in advance, etc). They don’t like to talk about seminars or the experiments of Gary Schwartz though….

    4) You basically have it. Cynics have a firm view that “X does not exist”. They have already made up their mind about this. Therefore, any evidence to the contrary MUST be wrong.
    As to WHY they have this view, some of it is fear based, I think. It is very comfortable to assume that we understand how the world works, that laws are codified and set. A child pulls the covers over his head because it’s too frightening to see what MIGHT be out there. Plus, believers haven’t always done a very good job at communicating with skeptics, resorting to faith or belief-based arguments rather than sticking to facts and studies.
    I think the reasons for being a fundamentalist are pretty much the same, whether you’re a fundamentalist in religion, skepticism, or anything else.
    Now, there is a group of *skeptics* (different from cynics) who have come to the conclusion that “X does not exist” this way: 1. Science is paramount. 2. Science dismisses X. 3. Therefore X is unlikely to exist. Unfortunately, #2 is in error. There are LOTS of scientific studies out there that support X. The problem is that not very many scientists DO that kind of research, and when they do, there are very vocal professional Sketics who make it their job to discredit them (as they are attempting to do with Gary Schwartz). To someone already a little skeptical, it is easier to believe someone who says, “Oh, that experiment was flawed”, then it is to get out and read it yourself.

    Anyway, I think I’ve rambled on enough. :)

    #78625
    PsyQuestor
    Participant

    Most skeptics say he is cold reading. They explain away his ‘special hits,’ saying they are nothing more than ‘wild cards’ he tosses out. If they are a hit, it seems to be an amazing feat. If they aren’t a hit, they say he demures and says he must be misinterpreting, or it wasn’t for the sitter, yadda yadda. Most do not admit to having cynicism to the possibility of after death communication existing; though some have. There are those who say they believe it’s a possibility (ADC) but they don’t believe John Edward is doing it.

    Some skeptics believe that John uses a mixture of hot reading, cold reading and warm reading. Hot reading = knowing the information via sneaky tactics i.e. spying or detective work. Cold reading = tossing out a bunch of random questions until one makes sense for someone, and reading body language etc to tell if you are on the right track. For information on warm reading do a search up top, as I do not feel educated enough to explain that one. :)

    I would not equate skepticism with atheism, or agnosticism. There are some skeptics that do believe in a higher power, and there are those who do not. The same can be said of believers.

    Hope that helps,
    Tammy

    #78628
    sgrenard
    Participant

    Welcome Silles. We have a special section on skeptics and skepticism as well as loads of links to non-religious, non-mystical and strictly secular scientific studies and related reports.

    You can find this at:

    http://www.survivalscience.org/

    #78634
    silles
    Participant

    Thank you very much for all of this information. You all have been quite helpful to me, my deepest thanks to all.

    -Sean

    #79837
    Bob
    Participant

    Being an engineer, I am a pretty strong skeptic. I have, however, convinced myself that JE is getting information from somewhere or from someone. I also don’t believe that it is a hoax. The question for me is therefore, where is this somewhere or who is this someone? What he says about getting theinformation from those who have died may be true, but it is only one of many possibilities. Another may be that this information is “out there” and is retrievable to those who are sensitive enough to retrieve it. It may have nothing to do with spirits, etc, but everything to do with the makeup of this universe, and the information that it contains. If you have ever seen the movie “The Matrix” that will give you an idea of the other possible options. I’m not saying that is the case – just a possibility. Current theories of the universe include the case that this universe contains multiple (as many as ten) dimensions. The information pertaining to our lives may be contained within these dimensions, and JE may have the capability to access it.

    Just a thought
    Bob

    #80176
    Kuma
    Participant

    Other points to consider.

    1/ Skeptics think that it is not necessary to prove John is a fake. Rather, they feel the burden of proof is on John to prove himself. He has not done so yet. He has appeared in only one, controversial scientific study. The stories and anecdotes from sitters have, to skeptics, little evidentiary value.

    2/ If’s and would haves have little place in proving or disproving paranormal activities.

    3/ There is debate as to whether the information John gets is really so specific. To skeptics, he relies on certain elements in many of his readings, such as guessing initials or sounds, or asking if a number is ‘significant’. For skeptics, specific information would be a link of a name to a relationship, for example, “Your late aunt Cynthia is here”, instead of, “I am getting a “c” sound”, “someone above you, a female maybe”.

    A lot of skeptics also point to the fact that little concrete information is revealed in John’s readings. Little information to help grieving families find missing loved ones/ children, little information about the nature of the “other side”, just what skeptics would term as sugary messages of love. Healing, perhaps, but unfortunately not very meaty.

    Ciao.

    #80177
    Bob
    Participant

    Anyone who does not believe that jE is getting unprompted specific information does not watch the show. You can always tell when someone is just towing the party skeptic line when they trot out the “all he provides are generalities, or maybe the first initial of a name”. That is completely untrue. No one was a bigger skptic than me – yet even I had to yeield this point after watching almost all of his shows. He comes up with very specific names, places, events. Anything from a man missing fingers, to the name of a departed child – JE referred to as “Coffee” – when the childs friend referred to him as “Kaufy”, based upon his last name.
    Bob

    #80180
    VTFlowerGirl
    Participant

    Originally posted by Kuma

    1/ Skeptics think that it is not necessary to prove John is a fake. Rather, they feel the burden of proof is on John to prove himself. He has not done so yet. He has appeared in only one, controversial scientific study. The stories and anecdotes from sitters have, to skeptics, little evidentiary value.

    2/ If’s and would haves have little place in proving or disproving paranormal activities.

    3/ There is debate as to whether the information John gets is really so specific. To skeptics, he relies on certain elements in many of his readings, such as guessing initials or sounds, or asking if a number is ‘significant’. For skeptics, specific information would be a link of a name to a relationship, for example, “Your late aunt Cynthia is here”, instead of, “I am getting a “c” sound”, “someone above you, a female maybe”.

    Ciao. [/B]

    #1) I think the quantitative word missing here is “some”, as in some skeptics place little evidentiary value on anecdotes. Many self-proclaimed skeptics have become “believers” by experiencing JE and his message themselves. ALL skeptics do not put little value on anecdotes.

    #2) I don’t understand this statement about “if’s and would haves”. Do you mean hypotheses as to why he hasn’t been uncovered as a fraud?

    #3) I’m with Bob on this one. He gives very specific information. If a person watches the show closely, they will see that he comes up with specific information. On a show last week he was talking about someone’s pet lizard… this list could go on and on.

    “A lot of skeptics also point to the fact that little concrete information is revealed in John’s readings. Little information to help grieving families find missing loved ones/ children, little information about the nature of the “other side”, just what skeptics would term as sugary messages of love. Healing, perhaps, but unfortunately not very meaty. “ Actually, he often says that “the other side” is not concerned about such things like the location of a missing loved one’s body, since the body is just a vehicle here on this plane. The “meat” of the message is a “knowing” that JE often talks about, knowing that your loved ones are with family and friends over there and are aware of what is going on here. He told one lady who was going to go to Columbia to search out her son’s killers that “it wasn’t her job” – which was the message from her son. Some view that as the meaty message, the bigger message.

    Kuma, do you post by the same handle on tvtalkshows?

    #80183
    Gail
    Participant

    Hi Kuma and welcome.:wave: “Behave” yourself on here so you can stay around. This is a great board and you should enjoy a lot of the posts.
    You know me as Ginger on tvtalk, I am a visitor there but this is my home place.
    Gail :)

    #80289
    Eric
    Participant

    #1) I think the quantitative word missing here is “some”, as in some skeptics place little evidentiary value on anecdotes.

    Not to mention the fact that cynics will not accept anecdotal evidence *supporting* JE, but they are more than willing to accept anecdotal evidence against him, such as one person’s story that he ‘suspects’ there were hidden mics on the set.

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