Paranormal Podcasts

#1
I have to admit, I'm a big fan of a lot of the paranormal podcasts out there right now, especially the Paracast, Mysterious Universe, Binnall of America and Radio Mysterioso.

One thing I like is that, while they say (rightly) that skeptics, atheists and materialists often tend to be very ignorant, arrogant and closed-minded when it comes to psi and the afterlife, they don't try to make out that such people and such world views are responsible for all or most of the wickedness, greed, selfishness, war and violence in the world. It's really only Skeptiko and fundamentalist Christian podcasts that do this, and in both cases it's surely based on a deep-seated prejudice, hatred and fear of atheism and materialism.

Another thing I've noticed is that these podcasts tend to be very sympathetic to the views of John Keel and Jacques Vallee. That is, they tend to think that all paranormal phenomena are connected, and also that they're linked to various folklore and spiritual traditions. There's generally a desire to move away from nuts-and-bolts ufology and towards a more holistic approach to high strangeness.

Skeptics will immediately say that the reason these people want to move away from the nuts-and-bolts approach is that they're forced to do this in desperation, since there's still no good evidence for any of these things. Skeptics will also say that the trickster archetype is becoming fashionable in paranormal circles because it's the only way true believers can explain the fact that we still don't have any really good ufo or ghost photos or videos. For skeptics, the trickster thing is just a desperate ad hoc excuse, so true believers can protect their cherished beliefs by saying, "The aliens or ghosts love playing games with us, and love hiding from cameras and destroying evidence."

The skeptics have a point, but I still enjoy listening to these shows, and at least they don't try to demonize or caricature materialism and atheism too much.
 
#2
Depends on the phenomenon. Some of the phenomenon's methodology is not verily different from any other science, while UFO-ology is quite silly.
 
#3
One thing I like is that, while they say (rightly) that skeptics, atheists and materialists often tend to be very ignorant, arrogant and closed-minded when it comes to psi and the afterlife, they don't try to make out that such people and such world views are responsible for all or most of the wickedness, greed, selfishness, war and violence in the world. It's really only Skeptiko and fundamentalist Christian podcasts that do this, and in both cases it's surely based on a deep-seated prejudice, hatred and fear of atheism and materialism.

....

The skeptics have a point, but I still enjoy listening to these shows, and at least they don't try to demonize or caricature materialism and atheism too much.
I think we get it now. How many more times do you want to make the same point? You have another long thread where you repeatedly accuse Alex of the same crime: demonising atheism. Dominic doth protest too much, methinks.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#4
I actually do think there's something to the Trickster thing, not necessarily in the paranormal sense but definitely as an archetype representing liminality and the destruction/formation of boundaries.

For actual understanding of paranormal phenomenon, I think what needs to be considered is the concept of invariants - basically paranormal events/experiences are not easily divorced from context nor do we even know what can cause them to alter/appear/never occur/disappear. This doesn't necessarily mean anything is happening, but considering what the invariants might be would allow for potential progress to be made.

Braude goes into this a lot, and I do think proponents would be wise to look over some of his work.

As for the whole being mean to atheists and materialists, I remember there being a thread dedicated to that topic? It's odd because it seems like this thread was made more to discuss that than podcasts?
 
#5
I actually do think there's something to the Trickster thing, not necessarily in the paranormal sense but definitely as an archetype representing liminality and the destruction/formation of boundaries.
Would love you to expand on this at some point... and what has led you to be so sympathetic.
 
#6
I'm just curious: if there really was a ghost, let's say it was some kind of quantum field lifeform, and this ghost shoved somebody down a flight of stairs, how would you prove the existence of the ghost?
 
#7
As for the whole being mean to atheists and materialists, I remember there being a thread dedicated to that topic? It's odd because it seems like this thread was made more to discuss that than podcasts?
Yeah, it may seem as though I'm just looking for any excuse to have a go at Alex and Skeptiko, but that's actually not the case. It's true that there's far less materialism/atheism bashing on these shows than on Skeptiko, even though these guys are also pretty convinced that materialism is false. An interesting question is, why is this the case? My guess is that it's because Alex was brought up with Christianity (and all the anti-atheism/materialism stuff that often goes with that), whereas those other guys were not. Alex has real fear, hatred and prejudice, whereas those other guys just think materialism is false.
 
#8
I'm just curious: if there really was a ghost, let's say it was some kind of quantum field lifeform, and this ghost shoved somebody down a flight of stairs, how would you prove the existence of the ghost?
Are you asking if someone was pushed down the stairs, how could you prove a "ghost" did it ?
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#9
Would love you to expand on this at some point... and what has led you to be so sympathetic.
Two birds with one book:

Trickster Makes This World by Lewis Hyde


This ambitious and captivating book brings to life the playful and disruptive side of human imagination as it is embodied in ancient myth and modern practice.

The classical trickster figures are most at home on the road or at the twilight edge of town. They are the consummate boundary-crossers, slipping through keyholes, breaching walls, subverting defense systems. Always out to satisfy their inordinate appetites, lying, cheating, and stealing, tricksters are a great bother to have around, but paradoxically they are also indispensable heroes of culture. In North America, Coyote taught the race how to catch salmon, sing, and shoot arrows. In West Africa, Eshu introduced the art of divination so that suffering humans might know the purposes of heaven. In Greece, Hermes the Thief invented the art of sacrifice, the trick of making fire, and even language itself.

Trickster Makes this World revisits these old stories then holds them up against the life and work of more recent creators: Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, John Cage, Allen Ginsberg, Maxine Hong Kingston, Frederick Douglass and others.

The old myths say that the trickster made the world as we actually find it. Other gods set out to create a world more perfect and ideal, but this world––with its complexity and ambiguity, its beauty and its dirt––was trickster's creation, and the work is not yet finished.
 
#11
This scenario isn't provable. There's only one witness and the ghost ain't talkin.
Sometimes it's a family that is being visited by an entity or entities. It happens. But you're right, it's not provable. But their might be a way to justify it scientifically. :)
 
#12
Are you asking if someone was pushed down the stairs, how could you prove a "ghost" did it ?
The person already knows that the ghost did it. In one case, the ghost stood over this person and smirked. But how does one prove it to the ever skeptical scientific community?
 
#14
Still impossible. Think of it as a crime scene. Ghosts don't leave trace evidence behind for forensic analysis.
Then we could have souls even while the neuro-scientists are convinced that we don't. What if we treat the soul like a quantum field; quantum fields have an associated particle. Let us say that the biological cell acts like a potential well for a quantum particle and effectively traps part of the soul within each cell of the body, basically the life force of the cell. The soul is contained in the body by a 100 trillion tiny cells. When the cells die, the soul begins to escape. Souls don't evolve the way biological creatures evolve (through survival), souls evolve by experiencing the life activity of the biological organism. Reincarnation drives the evolution of the soul into a more complex life form.

The reason I'm trying to describe a soul as a 100 trillion particulate quantum entity is because I'm trying to explain why people see shadow people. A slight opaqueness of each aetherial cell of a ghost will result in the appearance of a shadow or shadow person.

Since the scientific community will not even consider the existence of ghosts or spirits, they are inherently impossible to prove.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#15
The reason I'm trying to describe a soul as a 100 trillion particulate quantum entity is because I'm trying to explain why people see shadow people. A slight opaqueness of each aetherial cell of a ghost will result in the appearance of a shadow or shadow person.
Honestly I've seen shadow creatures and I can't tell you I saw anything real.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#17
Was it an optical illusion? Or was it clearly a shadow entity?
No idea, but they were animals rather than people. Might be an optical illusion but at least one - an eagle - seemed pretty distinct and gigantic ...but it was far away.

If someone sees something up close and distinct it's admittedly better testimony than mine. But without veridical information it's harder to accept any account as genuine.
 
#18
No idea, but they were animals rather than people. Might be an optical illusion but at least one - an eagle - seemed pretty distinct and gigantic ...but it was far away.

If someone sees something up close and distinct it's admittedly better testimony than mine. But without veridical information it's harder to accept any account as genuine.
Without wishing to appear trite, from "far away" how does one distinguish between a distinct shadow eagle, and.. erm... an eagle?
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#19
Without wishing to appear trite, from "far away" how does one distinguish between a distinct shadow eagle, and.. erm... an eagle?
Size. I don't put much stock in it myself, so no need to fear being trite. :)
 
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