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Thread: Is There Any Evidence For Any Psychic Phenomena?

  1. #16
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    Intercessory prayer seems to me to be a form of magic, but I don't understand how it fits in with the problem of psi phenomena.

    There does seem to be a problem with using a word like "magic" to describe psi phenomena. It suggests negative qualities when used by some theists as well as some atheists. Both groups want to claim they are not doing magic, but for different reasons.

    The theists, on the one hand, want only their priests or pastors to officiate over orthodox rituals (magic). They want to monopolize religious authority and not share it with "pagan" magicians. The atheists, on the other hand, don't like the magician's subjectivity interfering with their unconscious technology (magic). If atheists want to bend a spoon they will put one end of the spoon in a vise and twist the other end with a pliers. This way they can ignore the fact, because it is too obvious, that they needed their subjectivity to intend to bend the spoon in the first place. The vise and pliers would not have wasted their time doing it without them.

    Sometimes I think our very ability to use language is a form of psi phenomenon. We just take it so much for granted, we don't see language as an unusual ability. However, for it to be a psi phenomenon would require some theory of psi that would explain language and also be able to make predictions so the theory could be falsified.

  2. #17
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Intercessory prayer is not magic in the sense that it is not a technique for acquiring results. And it is not confined to ministers or priests.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson Richardson View Post
    Intercessory prayer is not magic in the sense that it is not a technique for acquiring results. And it is not confined to ministers or priests.
    But isn't it a technique that does acheive results, at least according to some? How does that make it not a technique for acquiring results? Are you saying the results are merely an unimportant by product?
    Last edited by desiresjab; 10-17-2016 at 02:34 AM.

  4. #19
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post
    But isn't it a technique that does acheive results, at least according to some? How does that make it not a technique for acquiring results? Are you saying the results are merely an unimportant by product?
    Then some have got the wrong end of the stick. There is no clear scriptural basis for intercessory prayer for others. Given belief in the Christian (or the Islamic) God it can't possibly be a means of getting God to do something. It is cooperation with God and an act of love for others.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson Richardson View Post
    Then some have got the wrong end of the stick. There is no clear scriptural basis for intercessory prayer for others. Given belief in the Christian (or the Islamic) God it can't possibly be a means of getting God to do something. It is cooperation with God and an act of love for others.
    Okay. What do you mean by clear? What should one be thinking about as they pray for a sick relative?

  6. #21
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    By “clear” I mean I can’t off hand think of any passage in the Bible which gives the rationale for intercessory prayer.

    If you are to do a scientific experiment to see if intercessory prayer for third parties works, then there will be a comparison between a group of those in need for whom prayer is offered and a group in similar need for which it is not. If the objects of prayer improve and the others don’t, you have proof.

    In which case somebody makes a decision about a group of people in serious need that nobody can pray for them. And that’s not Christian or even humane.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson Richardson View Post
    Then some have got the wrong end of the stick. There is no clear scriptural basis for intercessory prayer for others. Given belief in the Christian (or the Islamic) God it can't possibly be a means of getting God to do something. It is cooperation with God and an act of love for others.
    This makes sense to me and may help explain why psi phenomena do not always work. The "cooperation" is the key point.

    With typical unconscious technology, say a computer, we do not cooperate with the computer to get something done. When we intend to do something, we tell the computer what to do and it does it. The computer does not cooperate with us. It has no intention of its own. That means this is generally a repeatable process because the computer is constructed on deterministic or uniform random processes and so it cannot make a choice on its own. The repeatable process does not go on forever. Eventually the computer breaks down and we buy a new computer.

    With prayer (or psi or magic or interpersonal communications) there are other conscious beings involved. We have to "cooperate" with these other agents (God, angels, muses, family members, pets). We may intend to get something done, but they may not have the same intention. It is not just our intention that is involved.
    Last edited by YesNo; 10-17-2016 at 11:06 AM.

  8. #23
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    I've tried googling psi and come up with pounds per square inch or Public Services International. They can't be what you mean. Can you explain what psi means, please?
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  9. #24
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    The word "psi" is another word for psychic phenomena which is part of what is on desiresjab's list, but it doesn't include everything on that list. It is a restricted area of research. Here is Radin's bibliography: http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm It includes things like telepathy, ESP, healing at a distance, survival of consciousness and precognition. If some specific psychic phenomenon is not in this list I am neutral whether it exists or not.

  10. #25
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    In looking at desiresjab's original list there are items on that list that I do not think there is empirical evidence for. Some of the items on the list I don't consider "psychic phenomena".

    In particular, I don't think there is any empirical evidence for "time travel" like one might see on Doctor Who. There might be some theoretical speculation, perhaps involving Einstein's gravitation theory, that suggests this is possible. That is a kind of evidence, but I want something more tangible since the theory could be wrong. I don't think anyone has claimed they've seen someone from the future or the past except in fiction. I suspect there is more empirical evidence for bigfoot than there is for time travelers. Or does someone know of such evidence for time travelers?

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    Registered User fudgetusk's Avatar
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    I've had my own experiences (strange and varied) that's all I need to know.

  12. #27
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    It is harder to answer 179 links than it is one or two.

    I have not looked at every single link, but I have waded through yet more of them from time to time. Is there any link here that really grabs anyone as strong evidence for the supernatural?

  14. #29
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    Some of the items on your list I agree with you don't exist. Time Travel is one of them. There are things I consider inanely supernatural that some people who call themselves "scientists" believe in. Many Worlds would be one of them.

    The word "supernatural" assumes we agree on what "natural" means. Radin's bibliography, that I linked to earlier: http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm, is not about the "supernatural". He would probably call it "supernormal" since that is the title of one of his books.

    You don't have to read all the items in the bibliography. Pick one. I'll read it as well and we can discuss it.

  15. #30
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    How about this one by Targ & Puthoff (1974), Information transmission under conditions of sensory shielding: http://deanradin.com/evidence/Targ1974Nature.pdf

    It is the first one in the Telepathy & ESP section, involves Uri Geller and is only six pages.

    Compare this to the following article on AI allegedly creating a language that no one can understand but them at some Facebook research lab: https://www.fastcodesign.com/9013263...ould-we-let-it

    Which do you find more credible? Why?

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