Parapsychology is Pseudoscience, says Raymond Moody

#1
http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/past-debates/item/1020-death-is-not-final

I was amazed during this debate when Raymond Moody of all people declared 'Parapsychology is a pseudoscience'
With friends like him - who needs enemies or sceptics?
I'm not sure what Eben Alexander thought especially as he quoted telepathy, telekinesis and remote viewing as part of his argument.
And Moody himself talked of bedside apparitions seen by relatives of NDE experiencers - the kind of thing that parapsychologists research!
I think I've heard Moody say something similar before.
Does anybody know where he's coming from on this?
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#3
http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/past-debates/item/1020-death-is-not-final

I was amazed during this debate when Raymond Moody of all people declared 'Parapsychology is a pseudoscience'
With friends like him - who needs enemies or sceptics?
I'm not sure what Eben Alexander thought especially as he quoted telepathy, telekinesis and remote viewing as part of his argument.
And Moody himself talked of bedside apparitions seen by relatives of NDE experiencers - the kind of thing that parapsychologists research!
I think I've heard Moody say something similar before.
Does anybody know where he's coming from on this?
Every time he talks about it I struggle to understand. His argument seems to be tied into shared NDEs - as if that establishes that therefore science is out the window in studying them or using it to help determine if there is life after death.

This thing is frustrating to listen to because his opening statement effectively screwed Eben over. Afterwards the proponents got labelled as arguing "beyond science", as if Eben was buying into that, and (at least initially) the questions were framed that way.
 
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#6
I've just noticed that Moody said the same thing in an interview here with Alex.

http://www.skeptiko.com/raymond-moody-understanding-near-death-experiences-as-nonsense/

His stance is perhaps that parapsychology is a no go because in his view science is not equipped to study the paranormal.
What do we think about this?

Anyway here's Moody's quote to Alex

"But another thing is, in my profession the hard thing for me is I don’t want to get mixed up with parapsychologists because I think that is just an utter pseudoscience. For somebody to say in the year 2012 that we can get scientific evidence of life after death, for example, that almost is academic misconduct in my opinion. Not all problems are going to be resolvable by science. I think especially with some issue like life after death. That is not yet a scientific question. That doesn’t mean we can’t investigate it. I think that philosophy is a discipline that is very important even though we’ve kind of brushed it aside in the 21st century"
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#7
Anyway here's Moody's quote to Alex

"But another thing is, in my profession the hard thing for me is I don’t want to get mixed up with parapsychologists because I think that is just an utter pseudoscience. For somebody to say in the year 2012 that we can get scientific evidence of life after death, for example, that almost is academic misconduct in my opinion. Not all problems are going to be resolvable by science. I think especially with some issue like life after death. That is not yet a scientific question. That doesn’t mean we can’t investigate it. I think that philosophy is a discipline that is very important even though we’ve kind of brushed it aside in the 21st century"
Moody is a philosopher by training, that's his love, and that's the lenses he views things with. What I don't get is his idea that we require new "conceptual categories" (or whatever) to think about "life after death" (an expression or a concept which he finds absurd - which again I don't understand). Maybe his colleague Robert Almeder should have a talk with him.

http://www.skeptiko.com/15-your-mind-is-more-than-your-brain-dr-robert-almeder/
 
#11
His stance is perhaps that parapsychology is a no go because in his view science is not equipped to study the paranormal.
What do we think about this?
I've stated as much on here too many times to count. I do think that by science he means status-quo science which is basically physicalism. But that, and/or the methods and values pertinent to that, is what most people mean (even if unknowingly) see as science.
 
#12
I've just noticed that Moody said the same thing in an interview here with Alex.

Anyway here's Moody's quote to Alex

"But another thing is, in my profession the hard thing for me is I don’t want to get mixed up with parapsychologists because I think that is just an utter pseudoscience. For somebody to say in the year 2012 that we can get scientific evidence of life after death, for example, that almost is academic misconduct in my opinion. Not all problems are going to be resolvable by science. I think especially with some issue like life after death. That is not yet a scientific question. That doesn’t mean we can’t investigate it. I think that philosophy is a discipline that is very important even though we’ve kind of brushed it aside in the 21st century"
It is an understandable point of view. People who are sympathetic to ID sometimes refuse to accept that it fits in a scientific framework. The reason is, I think, the same in both cases: scientists investigate what they consider to be the "natural" world. Intelligence behind evolution or life after death are phenomena which, to natural scientists, don't belong in that natural framework (i.e. they are "supernatural"). Either science has to widen its scope or scientists have to be more tolerant of philosophy instead of rejecting anything which doesn't seem to fit the physicalist worldview. Incidentally, it often seems to me that some scientists believe the role of science is to eliminate any notion of the supernatural. This includes God and the possibility of a spiritual reality.In other words, science has become the armoury of atheism.

I don't, however, think that the use of the word pseudoscience is helpful. This has become a pejorative bandied around by skeptics and is dismissive to the point of ridicule.
 
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