Which paranormal phenomena do you accept?

#1
I believe that there's an afterlife and I accept near-death experiences stemming from that. My hypothesis like others is that increasing technology to bring people back from the brink of death is enabling us to have a glimpse into the afterlife more than ever before. I recall Dr. Sam Parnia hypothesizing something similar when he brings up resuscitation. However, I don't accept some of the other paranormal phenomena, like telepathy, telekinesis, precognition, remote viewing, etc. It seems that a lot of people try to lump all of these phenomena together as if you accept one then you have to accept the total package. But do you? It seems harder to form a scientific theory with all of these things being mixed in together. For the record, my position is not that these phenomena are false but rather I don't know if they're false or true but I am open to evidence.

Questions:
Is there a rational basis that shows that accepting one paranormal phenomena means that you must accept all of them? If I accept telekinesis then does mean that I also accept telepathy, remote viewing, etc through logical implication?

If there is a logical implication, where do you draw the line on which types of paranormal phenomena to accept? Do you accept OBEs, prayers, healings, spells, pyrokinesis, ghosts, psychics, mediums, etc?
 
#2
I'm pretty sure there are people here who can testify to personal experience of the phenomena you don't accept. Can you convince them that they did not experience these things with your rational argument?

My guess is that your opinions or my beliefs matter little to them. But for myself, I tend to accept personal testimony if I have no good reason to doubt their word, even though it may not accord with my preconceptions or bias.

An example from my youth. My two best friends were outspoken atheists and also twins. They regularly had telepathic communication of the kind documentaries have been made. When I asked how they explained that they had faith that science would one day explain it. They did NOT deny it happened though.
 
#3
Let's suppose a person I know and believe to be trustworthy and of sound mind tells me they have witnessed, let's say, materialisation mediumship. I believe they are telling the truth.

If I believe they are telling the truth and that the chances of error are small - why do I not share their conviction? Because I have not experienced it for myself I guess. I find myself in something of a quandary - in this situation I believe that this person is telling me the truth but why don't I accept that materialisation mediumship is a fact? I guess some things need to be seen to be fully believed.

I genuinely don't know the answer to this. Observations gratefully received.
 
#4
I'm pretty sure there are people here who can testify to personal experience of the phenomena you don't accept. Can you convince them that they did not experience these things with your rational argument?

My guess is that your opinions or my beliefs matter little to them. But for myself, I tend to accept personal testimony if I have no good reason to doubt their word, even though it may not accord with my preconceptions or bias.

An example from my youth. My two best friends were outspoken atheists and also twins. They regularly had telepathic communication of the kind documentaries have been made. When I asked how they explained that they had faith that science would one day explain it. They did NOT deny it happened though.
So based on your acceptance of telepathy, does this also mean that you accept telekinesis, mediums, psychics, pyrokinesis, healings, precognition, remote staring, remote viewing, etc? I'm not arguing for or against telepathy but rather I'm making a point about connecting that to accepting all other psi phenomena. I ask because that's the impression I get from some parapsychology or psi supporters. I'm trying to figure out if there is a logical reason to accept this connection or lumping in of all of these phenomena or is it peer-pressure, or is it like a belief system where sides are formed so you all have to join up against skeptics or something else?
 
#5
So based on your acceptance of telepathy, does this also mean that you accept telekinesis, mediums, psychics, pyrokinesis, healings, precognition, remote staring, remote viewing, etc? I'm not arguing for or against telepathy but rather I'm making a point about connecting that to accepting all other psi phenomena. I ask because that's the impression I get from some parapsychology or psi supporters. I'm trying to figure out if there is a logical reason to accept this connection or lumping in of all of these phenomena or is it peer-pressure, or is it like a belief system where sides are formed so you all have to join up against skeptics or something else?
Why would I feel the need to join a gang?

I start from a position of idealism - I have found this to be the most satisfying philosophy considering the evidence I find convincing. Idealism seems to me to accommodate many psi phenomena which cause a problem for materialism (or physicalism or whatever the preferred term is). That does not mean that I accept every outlandish claim without question, which seems to be what you are (rather insultingly) suggesting.

The only time I feel defensive (and therefore inclined to support someone who has come to similar conclusions) is when self-styled skeptics pepper the internet and popular media with accusations of cult mentality, inability to think, gullibility, etc. So I might ask you why you need to question my ability to think and suggest that I merely follow the crowd?
 
#6
Why would I feel the need to join a gang?

I start from a position of idealism - I have found this to be the most satisfying philosophy considering the evidence I find convincing. Idealism seems to me to accommodate many psi phenomena which cause a problem for materialism (or physicalism or whatever the preferred term is). That does not mean that I accept every outlandish claim without question, which seems to be what you are (rather insultingly) suggesting.
I'm not claiming that you accept every single paranormal phenomena. I'm also not claiming that you accept paranormal phenomena based on non-rational (or personal) reasons. Personal reasons was just one listed point in my question just as having a 'rational' reason was also on that list in my question.

The only time I feel defensive (and therefore inclined to support someone who has come to similar conclusions) is when self-styled skeptics pepper the internet and popular media with accusations of cult mentality, inability to think, gullibility, etc. So I might ask you why you need to question my ability to think and suggest that I merely follow the crowd?
I have no reason to question your mentality or thinking just as long as you're not one of those who thinks that someone has to accept all or most of the popular psi abilities ( telekinesis, ESP, etc.) in order to NOT be labelled a materialist or close-minded skeptic. Others have given me the impression that I'm supposed to accept the total psi package of abilities, otherwise I'm just as good as a close-minded skeptic. That makes it feel like a cult mentality unless there is actual good evidence (unless I have my own experience) to support all of the phenomena that I've been listing here.
 
#7
So based on your acceptance of telepathy, does this also mean that you accept telekinesis, mediums, psychics, pyrokinesis, healings, precognition, remote staring, remote viewing, etc?
I don't think that acceptance of one implies automatic acceptance of anything else. In this context the issue is whether there is a satisfactory theory or model linking all of these phenomena.

For example, if we add sugar to coffee and it tastes sweet I'd be prepared to accept that adding sugar to tea would make that taste sweet too. Even in the absence of some technical scientific theory, I can visualise that this is the way the world might work. So in everyday life we may accept a range of phenomena based upon a limited example, because we can have some internal model of how things work.

But when it comes to these other topics, for example telepathy, though I accept this does occur, in my own experience it is neither predictable nor controllable. I've no real concept of what the mechanism might be (though of course I have some ideas). Still, in the absence of any firm concept of how these things work, there's no particular reason to move from accepting one phenomenon to accepting a whole range of phenomena.

However, on the other hand my starting point was a purely scientific, mechanistic world-view in which none of these phenomena existed. Any ideas I heard of them from others were placed in the category of "fantasy". However, having accepted the reality of a single phenomenon (e.g. telepathy), I realised that my original categorisation of all these phenomena as being "fantasy" had been incorrect. From that point forwards, I was willing to consider the possibility of other phenomena existing too, in that they might be worthy of consideration. Personally I tend to assign relative weightings to the different phenomena, not in terms of how true they might be but rather in terms of how much they interest me. Some topics interest me greatly, others leave me unmoved. Other people perhaps do something similar, but their priorities would be very different to mine.
 
#8
From personal experience I accept that it is entirely possible to come into possession of information across both space and time in a way that is outside of our current scientific understanding, and that this affects my perceptual experiences. I suspect that this accounts for most unexplained subjective human experience.

People have all sorts of different ways of making sense of their experiences, some ways may be better than other ways. Slowly, the ways in which we make sense of our experiences shifts, hopefully towards better ways.
 
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#9
I find your position hardly sustainable , because although the evidence for the existence of an afterlife is pretty good, the evidence of the existence of ESP and PK is stronger . Also I would like to address the following points.

First, we note that the older psychic researchers concluded that telepathy exists beyond all doubt, but some were not clear if the mediums were in contact with spirits of deceased or only showed telepathy between living.

Second, if we accept the existence of an afterlife due to NDEs, then we also have to accept the existence of telepathy and clairvoyance, because some NDErs have narrated how detected the thoughts of people around them and how detected events occurred outside the scope of their ordinary senses.

Third, the evidence of an afterlife indicates that the spirits of the deceased seem to relate to world through ESP and PK.

Fourth, it is true that believe in a paranormal phenomenon logically not implies believe in all of them, but there are distinctions between the paranormal phenomena that we do not know if they are real distinctions. For example: we distinguish between telepathy and clairvoyance, but may in reality there is no telepathy, but that's a form of clairvoyance or telepathy may be a form of psychokinesis to affect the nervous system of the target. That is, the evidence indicates that psi exists, but psi is anomalous information transfer or anomalous interaction with the world, so we do not know if the distinction between telepathy, telekinesis, precognition and remote viewing occur in reality.

And fifth , I think the best classification of psi phenomena is: psi gamma phenomena, relating to the transfer of information, psi kappa phenomena, relating to influences on the matter, and psi theta phenomena, relating to life after biological death. Thus, maybe psi phenomena can be explained by a sum of filter model and certain quantum / holographic properties of reality.
 
#10
I’m interested in a lot of paranormal phenomena but I think the most promising line is the presentiment experiments, whereby people show reactions to pictures (as measured by skin conductivity) fractionally before they see them. This seems like a fairly robust effect and I can’t see any flaws with the protocol. I think the results point to something interesting about time, though, rather than something about human consciousness. My hunch is that psi, if it exists, is something that happens to us, rather than something we do.
 
#13
It's a mistake to apply logic as the arbiter of what is or is not likely when it comes to exotic phenomena. As a collector of such accounts over some decades, what may seem the height of weirdness to us, is often a well attested occurrence with multiple sober witnesses, some of which we'd call expert. Spectral black dogs, ghost vehicles, bi-location and other impossibilities are fairly numerous in the records, and accounts of telepathy are simply routine.
 
#14
... Slowly, the ways in which we make sense of our experiences shifts ...
That was my experience. Although I'm not aware of ever having any episodes of ESP, etc, in my life, my default materialist worldview got shaken up rather severely when I read 'Entangled Minds' by Dean Radin, which does a good job demonstrating the apparent reality of a core range of 'psi' phenomena (the book is similar to his 'Conscious Universe' or 'Noetic Universe').

As I read that book and subsequent books I found myself repeatedly thinking things like, 'okay, maybe ESP is real, but surely not X,' where X could be remote viewing or precognition or whatever strange thing I was looking into at the moment. In the early stages I was quite resistant to each new phenomenon but over time, as my knowledge base broadened, my materialist biases wore away and I became more willing to consider new things based on the data, with minimal prejudgement.

In his OP, Agnostic wrote: "It seems that a lot of people try to lump all of these phenomena together as if you accept one then you have to accept the total package. But do you?" Clearly you don't have to accept the total package if you're not persuaded by the evidence. In my case, I think the total package lumped together as 'psi' may just be one phenomenon, which we see as separate in the manner of the tired metaphor of blind people inspecting an elephant, say, or perhaps more aptly, 2-dimensional people getting a glimpse of a 3-dimensional world.
 
#15
That was my experience. Although I'm not aware of ever having any episodes of ESP, etc, in my life, my default materialist worldview got shaken up rather severely when I read 'Entangled Minds' by Dean Radin, which does a good job demonstrating the apparent reality of a core range of 'psi' phenomena (the book is similar to his 'Conscious Universe' or 'Noetic Universe').
I bought it, but I've never read it. In fact I now prefer not to read books with other peoples interpretations if I can avoid it. The internet allows me such unprecedented ability to follow my own train of thought, jumping from subject to subject at incredible speeds, and allowing me to create my own associations by reading the original research. I really do find the most important 'stuff' is in the original work, and this 'stuff' is often not seen as important, missed, or misinterpreted by those who reinterpret the information for you. If it were not for the internet I'd be back in the dark ages...
 
#16
Questions:

Is there a rational basis that shows that accepting one paranormal phenomena means that you must accept all of them? If I accept telekinesis then does mean that I also accept telepathy, remote viewing, etc through logical implication?

If there is a logical implication, where do you draw the line on which types of paranormal phenomena to accept? Do you accept OBEs, prayers, healings, spells, pyrokinesis, ghosts, psychics, mediums, etc?
I think that making such questions complicates unnecessarily the real situation, which is much simpler. In my opinion there are a lot of unexplained phenomena and experimental results collected under an umbrella term "psi". Giving these phenomena names like telepathy, psychokinesis and so on does not explain anything scientifically -- it only tells us something about the circumstances the phenomena have been observed in. Naturally those names make discussion about the phenomena simpler, but we ought to remember there is the adjunct "supposed" we always ought to have in mind. It is because we don't know what is happening behind the scenes when we observe those phenomena.

Answering your question in my way: I believe that real psi phenomena exist -- there is enough evidence of them. I "accept" all such phenomena which are unexplained with good certainty. There are many types of phenomena indicating that there is an afterlife, but it cannot be shown to be true scientifically.
 
#17
I think that making such questions complicates unnecessarily the real situation, which is much simpler. In my opinion there are a lot of unexplained phenomena and experimental results collected under an umbrella term "psi". Giving these phenomena names like telepathy, psychokinesis and so on does not explain anything scientifically -- it only tells us something about the circumstances the phenomena have been observed in.
I agree in that, for example, telepathy is quite well explained as precognition. Say, someone gets bad visions and feelings about a friend.The next day the news come something bad has happened to the friend. It can be argued the visions of yesterday weren't telepathy, but precognition, the person with bad visions and feelings got data from himself one day into the future. Many with telepathic experiences surely feel that their experiences weren't precognition because it felt so, well, telepathic. But however, there is no way of proving it so precognition is just as valid explanation as telepathy. The only sure thing is, some kind of anomalous data transfer happened. Whether telepathy from the friend or anomalous data transfer from himself from the future remains open. Arguably, all forms of ESP can be expained as precognition, and it might be that having so much different categories - telepathy, clairvoyance, remote viewing, precognition, different visions - is unnecessary confusing.
 
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#18
I agree in that, for example, telepathy is quite well explained as precognition.
I don't think this "explanation" works. On a number of occasions I've had an insight which I considered to be telepathy. Subsequently I telephoned another person who I believed was the source, and asked them what activity they had been involved in during that particular time when I was "receiving" the insight. However, in the absence of my original telepathic knowledge, I would not have made the telephone call, and even if there was subsequent contact, the subject of what the person had been doing at that specific time would not have been discussed.

Thus the telepathic contact is an event in its own right, rather than merely a foreseeing of some future event.
 
#19
Well, lets call it rather a vision from the future than precognition. Say, you first get a vision of a friend repairing his house. That prompts you to phone your friend. When your friend tells you that he was, indeed, repairing his house, that is what confirms your vision, that is, at that moment you send the information back to yourself to the near past to moment when you got the vision, and thus make precognition happen. No?

I think the modern physics has shown that the direction of time and causality is not always what our everyday sense would tell. And, in fact, that the "anomalous" transfer of data maybe isn't at all that anomalous in the end.

It is not only J. W. Dunne who has argued for the precognition as the primary force behind ESP. Dr. Sean O'Donnell holds similar views after having done extensive experimentation by himself. Besides having written books on this, he also has a blog :

http://thefactsoftime.blogspot.com
 
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#20
I am confident that the mood-enhancing effects of chocolate can be boosted by mind-matter interactions because it was demonstrated with the most rigorous of scientific standards. The predicted effect was statistically significant (P=.04, one-tailed) in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial (the strongest type of study), conducted by one of the top parapsychologists (Dean Radin), and published in a well-respected, peer-reviewed journal (Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing).

http://www.deanradin.com/papers/chocolate.pdf
 
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