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Re: Skeptic email list - Jan 99 updates - John Thomas

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  • Stardrive9@xxx.xxx
    ... Namaste! 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
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 13, 1999
      In a message dated 1/12/99 5:36:05 PM, mvs@... writes:

      >Greetings and Radhasoami.
      >
      >
      >
      >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
      >
      >truly
      >
      >>secure in our rationality we wouldn't need to seek continually the
      >
      >agreement
      >
      >>of others. If we were wrong all those years we were New Agers, why are
      >we
      >
      >so
      >
      >>sure we're right about everything now?
      >
      >> Best wishes,
      >
      >> John Thomas
      >
      >
      >
      >This is the first truly intelligent statement I have read (especially from
      >a
      >
      >Skeptic) in a long time -
      >
      >

      Namaste!

      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 - about

      >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 ?

      Well, I don't quite follow you here. I'm certainly interested in studying
      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
      all.
      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 about

      >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.

      Well, I haven't seen the latest polls, but you might be right. People tend
      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
      greater dangers.

      >Kirti Betai

      >www.cosmopathy.org.in (opening shortly)

      >Pyramid Energy Systems - Pendulum Querying Systems -
      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


      John Thomas
      Not Unsane!
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