Re: Skeptic email list - Jan 99 updates - John Thomas
- In a message dated 1/12/99 5:36:05 PM, mvs@... writes:
>Greetings and Radhasoami.Namaste!
>John Thomas Wrote:
>> Treating those whose beliefs differ from our own with respect is simply
>>the first step toward a dialogue that will allow us to discuss rationally
>>those differences. And emotional involvement with our belief in skepticism
>>and rationality makes us no different from those we oppose. If we were
>>secure in our rationality we wouldn't need to seek continually the
>>of others. If we were wrong all those years we were New Agers, why are
>>sure we're right about everything now?
>> Best wishes,
>> John Thomas
>This is the first truly intelligent statement I have read (especially from
>Skeptic) in a long time -
Well, thank you very much! But I have to admit that I have heard even more
intelligent statements than my own recently, some of them even from Skeptics.
>I always was - still am - and will always remain a SKEPTIC - aboutWell, I don't quite follow you here. I'm certainly interested in studying
>everything that my mind and intellect does not accept
>The point is - Am I prepared to study the system or phenomena or belief in
>question to enable my mind and intellect to decide rationally whether to
>accept or reject it ?
phenomena and beliefs, but acceptance by mind and intellect have nothing
whatsoever to do with whether they are true or not. Nothing is more
counterintuitive than quantum theory, and my mind and intellect accepted as
true for years ideas that I can now see had no objective evidence for them at
You see, our minds tend to believe whatever they want to believe, and they
usually want to believe the things that make us feel comfortable and safe. As
wonderful a tool as the mind may be, it can also be our worst enemy if not
checked by the test of empirical evidence. That's what makes the scientific
method such a terrific adjunct to our minds. It subjects our ideas to
rational testing, open debate, critical scrutiny, and the replication of
results. Many of the phenomena I used to believe in have been subjected to
scientific inquiry and have been found unproved.
Many people say that there are truths which the scientific method cannot
test. That may very well be true, but nobody has yet suggested an alternative
method of testing them that does not rely upon the subjective experience of
the mind. And we all know how reliable the subjective mind is, don't we? So
it seems better to suspend judgment about such subjective truths until someone
suggests a way of proving them objectively.
>I find 90% of the Skeptics or Rationalists are scared and depressed aboutWell, I haven't seen the latest polls, but you might be right. People tend
>the major shift in public opinion all over the world in favor of religion,
>alt-med, occult sciences etc. in the last about ten years.
to fret a lot when their favorite beliefs are challenged, even Skeptics. But
these periods of irrationality tend to come and go, and I don't think the
world is going to reject the scientific enterprise as long as it can provide
practical benefits that make people more comfortable and safe. I can think of
>www.cosmopathy.org.in (opening shortly)
>Pyramid Energy Systems - Pendulum Querying Systems -