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Forums Forums Answering Skeptics and Debunking Cynics Thoughts on the "20/60/20 Rule"

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  • #62807
    RSLancastr
    Participant

    As I understand it, in his writing, JE states that in regards to belief in his abilities, he thinks that people can be broken down into three groups. I’m paraphrasing what I’ve been told, but this is my understanding of the breakdown:

    1. 20% are those who instantly DISBELIEVE in him without examining the evidence, and would continue to disbelieve in him no matter what. I’ll call them the “permanently cynical”.

    2. 20% are those who instantly BELIEVE in him without examining the evidence, and who would continue to believe in him no matter what. I’ll call them the “permanently credulous”.

    3. The remaining 60% are those who have examined the evidence and some of whom have come to a conclusion one way or the other. I’ll call them “Reasonable”.

    Of course, most people would like to think of themselves in the third group.

    I was thinking of this recently, and took it one stepfurther.

    The “Reasonable” group can be further divided into three groups:

    1. Those who DISBELIEVE, but are open to evidence otherwise.

    2. Those who BELIEVE, but are open to evidence otherwise.

    3. Those with no opinion, but are open to evidence either way.

    If these three groups are roughly equal in size, that puts the whole shebang into the following breakdown:

    20% Permanent cynical
    20% Disbelieve, but open to evidence
    20% No opinion, but open to evidence
    20% Believe, but open to evidence
    20% Permanently credulous

    If this breakdown is correct, it would mean the following:

    Of people who disbelieve, the breakdown is:

    50% Permanent cynical
    50% Disbelieve, but open to evidence

    Of people who believe, the breakdown is:

    50% Believe, but open to evidence
    50% Permanently credulous

    Any thoughts on this? Do you think that fully HALF of both “camps” are made up of people who came to their opinion on the subject without any examination of the evidence, and who have no interest in the evidence?

    -Bob

    #75060
    VTFlowerGirl
    Participant

    I don’t know Bob, headscratch.gif

    I’m just confused with all those numbers,

    biggrininvasion.gif

    and I just don’t know what your point is. Guess I’m one of those that keeps hoping someday you’ll get a copy of the book.

    Evidence and reasonable, those words keep circling in my head….what evidence or do you mean – facts? Validations?

    You asked “Do you think that fully HALF of both “camps” are made up of people who came to their opinion on the subject without any examination of the evidence, and who have no interest in the evidence?”

    Possibly but I don’t know what difference it would make or where this discussion would lead.

    “Wisdom begins with doubt.”
    Came across that yesterday but neglected to note who wrote it. Somehow it seemed to fit here – I think.

    #75061
    Pam B
    Keymaster

    Originally posted by RSLancastr
    Any thoughts on this? Do you think that fully HALF of both “camps” are made up of people who came to their opinion on the subject without any examination of the evidence, and who have no interest in the evidence?

    -Bob

    No, I don’t agree. Even those who believe, came to that belief with some sort of “evidence” even if it’s only personal experience.

    There’s no such thing as being born a believer or disbeliever. Just like no one is born a bigot, they learn it somewhere. Everyone, and I mean I believe everyone makes a choice to either believe or not believe, based on something we’ll call “evidence.”

    The disagreement between skeptics and hard core believers comes in what they each define as “evidence.” A skeptic may not accept my personal experience as evidence, but it’s larger than any “scientific” study, to me.

    #75063
    RSLancastr
    Participant

    Originally posted by VTFlowerGirl
    and I just don’t know what your point is.

    It wasn’t a point, Flora. It was a question. Rephrased, it is: Do you think it is true that half of people in each camp are totally closed to evidence to prove them wrong?

    Guess I’m one of those that keeps hoping someday you’ll get a copy of the book.

    I’ve said it before, but perhaps it was deleted before you read it: I HAVE the book, and plan to read it in February.

    Until then, my understanding of the “20/60/20 rule” is from emails I have received, and posts here on the boards, such as this one.

    What do I mean by “evidence”? Good question, since one person’s “evidence” can be another’s nonsense. Not sure I have an answer for you.

    Possibly but I don’t know what difference it would make or where this discussion would lead.

    I’m not “leading” it anywhere. The thoughts occured to me, and I found them interesting. I wondered if anyone here had any thoughts about it, so I explained the thoughts, and asked for input about them.

    “Wisdom begins with doubt.”

    Ah, here’s another one which people on both sides can embrace!

    -Bob

    #75064
    RSLancastr
    Participant

    No, I don’t agree. Even those who believe, came to that belief with some sort of “evidence” even if it’s only personal experience.

    Agreed. To ask it another way: Do you think that HALF of those who believe in JE’s abilities fall into his “20%” category, and HALF of those who disbelieve in them fall into the other “20%” he mentions?

    A skeptic may not accept my personal experience as evidence, but it’s larger than any “scientific” study, to me.

    I understand. It’s strange how personal experience can indeed be the most convincing form of evidence for an individual, and yet a case can be made for it being the least reliable for the group, because it is the most subjective.

    -Bob

    #75065
    Pam B
    Keymaster

    Bob, you’re splitting hairs over having the book, vs. reading the book. I have to agree that it’s totally annoying and disruptive to discuss a subject in a book that you haven’t read. I’m not sure why that’s not hitting home with you, when more than one person here has expressed a frustration with your wanting to discuss the contents of the book without having taken the time to read it.. Please read the book before bringing up any more subjects in the book.

    Quote:
    It’s strange how personal experience can indeed be the most convincing form of evidence for an individual, and yet a case can be made for it being the least reliable for the group, because it is the most subjective.

    That’s a values discussion Bob. At the end of your life, when summing up your life, what will be more important to you? What you’ve learned from reading the results of carefully conducted studies, or the sum of your personal experiences.

    I rest my case.

    #75070
    RSLancastr
    Participant

    Originally posted by Pam
    I have to agree that it’s totally annoying and disruptive to discuss a subject in a book that you haven’t read.

    Annoying?

    Disruptive?

    Mine was the first post in this forum in a month or so Pam, so I have no idea what I was disrupting.

    And if respectfully asking a question about a subject which has been discussed on this board several times is not allowed, simply because I haven’t read the book from which the subject came, I give up.

    I’ll write a goodbye to everyone and post it in the main section of the board, then I’m out.

    I know this is not what you are asking for, but I have too much negativity in my life right now to want to deal with being repeatedly slapped on the wrist, by someone I respect and like, for something like this.

    -Bob

    #75118
    prudy
    Participant

    My goodness, this has turned into quite the controversy. At the risk of seeming insensitive to *everybody’s* viewpoint, I’m going to shove a few irons in the fire here.

    First, let me admit in front that I haven’t read JE’s books either. Maybe that negates any right I might have to discuss this subject at all, but I’ve always been a rebel, so I’m going to continue being one. Moderators can delete me if I seem to be raving.

    The 20/60/20 rule, as it’s been stated here, is a good description, though it might not be entirely accurate. Only a statistical study could establish that, and statistics bore me to death so I won’t bother to defend or refute its accuracy.

    I think the underlying question is *why* do some people believe in something… *anything*, while others do not? Is it “evidence”, and if so, what is the nature of that evidence? Is it faith? What *is* faith, and how do we acquire it, or keep from acquiring it, as the case might be?

    So, what defines evidence? I think it’s important to point out that evidence is *always* subjective, regardless of the value system being utilized. The prevailing belief that “scientific evidence” is the only means of establishing whether or not a thing is true brings with it its own subjective viewpoint, and its adherents are as fanatical as any other religious zealot.

    I think Pam is right when she says that in the final analysis, the only evidence that counts is what you own as an individual, and the sum of your personal intuition and experience.

    For myself, I “know” that psychic ability exists, because of my own personal experience of it. I won’t bore you with the details, but a member of my family had a particular talent for this sort of thing, and in general psychic revelations are referred to among my kinfolk as “the family curse”. This being so, it’s easy for me to believe that JE can do those things which he appears to be doing. That’s *my* personal bias, and I have no intention of apologizing for it.

    Does this make me right, and the skeptics of the world wrong? Not hardly! I look at my brain as being a kind of cash register-like contrivance. If I hit the same key enough it gets “stuck”, and everything that comes afterward is altered by that stuck key. The idea that I can be objective about *anything* becomes less and less probable as my life progresses. We *all* have stuck keys, and to try to say that we don’t is unrealistic. The best we can do is to be aware of which keys are stuck. That doesn’t mean that we truly understand the effect those stuck keys have on the rest of our perceptions, though.

    As for what we “choose” to believe, I’m not sure that choice is an entirely appropriate word for it. I think that to some extent we *have* to believe… that God does or does not exist, that there is or isn’t an afterlife, that there is or isn’t a way to communicate with those who have left this world… all of those beliefs are based on our personal journey. No one else can take that journey for us. Telling us what we *should* believe or disbelieve based on “evidence” or “logic” probably won’t unstick the keys.

    Does that mean we’re forever “stuck”? I don’t think so. At any time, something could happen that might “stop the world” for us. Near-death experiences have a way of doing that. There are other, less disasterous things that can have the same effect. In the meantime, we can share our experiences, and marvel at all the mysterious and wonderful things in this world… those we understand, and those that we frankly don’t. In the end, we’ll all know the answers.

    Regards, Prudy

    #75122
    Pam B
    Keymaster

    I think you put the emphasis on where it probably belonged in the beginning. The frustration about not reading the book comes from the many sentances before and after the sentance about the 20-60-20 rule, that get lost when focusing on the 20-60-20 rule. It was one small point he made to illustrate a larger point about exactly what you just talked about.

    Some are meant to believe, and some are not. And that’s ok. We don’t need to further the define the 10’s and 5’s and further whitle down the numbers. It’s not the numbers that are important, it’s the variety of types of beliefs, and that we should all respect each other’s beliefs. If we’re busy dissecting the percentages, then we’re not honoring the different belief system.

    And that’s why I get frustrated when single sentances from John’s works get inspected and dissected by people who don’t read the book, and very often have no clue what the context is. Prudy, you got the context 100% right, without having read the book. Thank you!

    #75334
    Cigar1313
    Participant

    Im not sure the exact numbers but your right Bob no matter the subject which in some form is subjective you will have certain people fall into certain catergories. I think the 20% on each end is pretty close but that comes down to the subject at hand. In the case of JE anyone who has no belief system in GOD or a spiritual world will not believe in him no matter what the evidence and those are the type of people its hard to discuss the concept of JE or any spiritual ideas with. The 20% who believe in him without evidence(to start) are totally different they are made up of people who have had 1st hand experience with the spirtual side of life ie a NDE or something similiar-some of those 20% at times can be the people who want to believe because it makes them feel better. But to say that 50% of the half that believe without evidence in JE is a little high because of the 20% who believe in him because of experience will still need some evidence to stay on his side they are easy to start off that way but will question the validity as time passes. If your 50% is right that would mean they would still believe even if very credible evidence came up to refute what he does,I dont think many people would stick with him and since he deals with such a sensitive subject I think the over public would turn on him in a very angry response and his families life would be ruined. The cynical side is harder because they tend to stay where they are no matter the evidence becuase they can logic out the evidence to be tainted. So to say 50% of their half is most likely pretty accurate these people will never believe unless they have a personal experience. The skeptics of JE still scream “cold reader” even though evidence shows its much more than that. But it is an interesting idea to ponder as you get a group of people together and discuss the validity of JE I like to know a persons background and many times they quickly fall into the 5 different groups you mentioned and most times is effected by their religious up bringing. I found and interesting person who believes JE talks to spirits but they are all evil-this person is a Jehovah Witness who claims the spirits doesnt survive death but is dormant till Jesus returns so only spirit JE could talk to are evil ones. So what catergory would they fall into- they believe he talks to someone just not who he claims he does. The discussion of JE is very interesting and its very interesting to hear what people have to say about him.

    #75337
    PsyQuestor
    Participant

    I believe that the Jehovah’s witness that you describe would fall into the “doesn’t believe” side. Because he / she doesn’t believe that he is talking to those who have crossed over.

    Welcome to the group.

    Tammy

    #75831
    ariechert
    Participant

    This reminds me of a phrase in a song by Alison Kraus. She says, “Lord I believe but forgive my unbelief.” Sometimes I believe more than others. I WANT to belive. I want to believe that life has a purpose, that we are more than a fluke of the Universe. I guess that I could say that I believe about 98%; or maybe I believe 98% of the time? There is always that little nagging doubt in my head that says, “can this be real?” I watch John Edwards “Crossing Over” every day, and every day I’m amazed. I try and figure out how he could know that a woman was once tied to a clothes line as a little girl, or that a guy in the audience has a tie to “Portuguese” and “Fernando.” He looks right at people and starts naming relatives. Sometimes what he says sounds generic, and other times it is so obscure that it is unbelieveable where he comes up with the information. But let me reiterate – I want to believe. It comforts me. So, I don’t want my longing to be the basis of my belief. The scientist in me wants my belief to be based on cold hard statistics, but I’m not sure that communication with the “other side” can easily be broken down into numbers. From what I’ve seen it’s not like picking up a telephone and talking on it. – Art

    #75832
    ariechert
    Participant

    “I believe that the Jehovah’s witness that you describe would fall into the “doesn’t believe” side. Because he / she doesn’t believe that he is talking to those who have crossed over.

    Welcome to the group. ” – Tammy

    I’ve thought about this “where does the information come from” myself. The problem in believing that the information comes from Satan or demonic forces is that the Bible tells us to judge the information by the “fruit” it bares. How could something that makes people feel good, that brings the fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, and most importantly hope, be bad? It is just not in Satan’s power to do anything that resembles “good”. He is inherently a liar, the great deciever. It is almost easier for me to believe in Satan and demonic forces than in God and good, since this world seems to overwrought with evil, starvation, war, hatred, and disease, pestilence, earthquakes, etc. Anyway, the work that John Edward’s does bares good fruit, it brings, hope and peace to people’s lives. It can’t be from anything evil and so must be from God. – Art

    #75833
    Don
    Participant

    Originally posted by ariechert
    I want to believe that life has a purpose, that we are more than a fluke of the universe.

    When it comes down to it, that’s the big question isn’t it? I think it’d be pretty sad if there were no real right, no real wrong, no real need for each other, no purpose to our existence.

    #75836
    PsyQuestor
    Participant

    According to a show I just watched on Discovery Channel; it is in fact the #1 mystery of the human race. They compiled a list from 1 to 10.

    Art, I understand and in fact applaud that your scientific mind wants cold hard statistics to back up what your heart wants to believe. There are statistics and scientific data that do just that.

    One thing that helps me to understand and accept survival of consciousness is the near death experience. When one looks at the data compiled from people who have had NDE’s, they are eerily similar, despite upbringing and belief systems. In essence they tell us that they have seen what awaits us when we leave our physical bodies. Some of these people “met” people on the other side, whom they did not know on this side. When they came back, they learned that the person did in fact exist. ( in one case a brother who died prior to the persons birth, whom he never knew of ).

    In the matter of mediumship there is an ongoing study at the University of Arizona that hopes to prove life after life. You can read the study yourself at http://www.survivalscience.org. ( there is a link to the study there ).

    I wish you well on your journey into discovery Art. Thank you for having an open mind and heart :)

    Tammy

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