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Life, the universe, and the paranormal

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  • Life, the universe, and the paranormal

    The Christopher Lee topic is going way off-topic now:

    https://www.britmovie.co.uk/forum/ci...hristopher-lee

    So I thought I'd create this topic so we could explore the paranormal and give our thought, for and against. The subject tends to get heated, so please try to remain polite and not use words like 'idiot' or 'bollocks'.
    Last edited by garth; 15th February 2020, 01:03 PM.

  • #2
    First off, I have referred to 'the paranormal' because I find the phrase 'the supernatural' to be too Victorian. But perhaps there are those of you who think that both the paranormal and the supernatural exist, and you see a difference between the two. That is one issue we could explore.

    Comment


    • #3
      Then there is this phrase, 'to believe in'. 'Do you believe in the paranormal?' 'Do you believe in Father Christmas?' 'Do you believe in God?' 'Do you believe in Metro1962?'

      Me, I don't believe in anything. Either I have experienced something, then I know it exists, or I accept something exists on the basis of scientific evidence that has been proved by an accepted authority.

      So far as I am concerned, I know that the paranormal exists, because I have experienced it. What I experience is reality, and reality is what I experience. In my view. So if I experience the paranormal, I accept it as part of reality. I do not 'believe in' anything. I either know it or accept it is true.

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      • #4
        Then the question is, how do you define the paranormal? For me, it is any phenomenon that modern science does not accept. However, there are many phenomena that can be covered by this concept. For me, precognition and precognitive dreams are part of the paranormal, but in another topic, our member Miss Brahms told me that these happen regularly in her life and she takes them for granted. Therefore they are presumably not part of the paranormal in her view.

        Wikipedia does not accept any phenomenon that does not fit with the current views of science. It therefore rejects the idea of the paranormal and standardly refers to it as 'pseudo-science'. That is an actual policy of Wikipedia. But science does not stand still. In the past, meteorites were regarded as pseudo-science: 'Rocks do NOT fall from the sky!'

        Who was that fellow who went on trial for claiming that the Earth orbited the sun, and not vice versa? His prosecutor mocked, 'So the Earth moves?' On being told it did, he smirked, 'Then how do we not feel it moving?!' So in some cases, what was once considered paranormal or pseudo-science is now accepted, Science does not stand still.
        Last edited by garth; 15th February 2020, 01:07 PM.

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        • #5
          Then there is religion and the question of a creator and / or a supreme being. Here I quote our member Paxton Milk:

          Originally posted by Paxton Milk View Post
          If one accepts belief in God then one automatically accepts a belief in the Devil, as a Christian concept, but there is no proof of either.
          Why automatically? I should think that evil exists, but it is perpetrated by humans (and other beings) with evil intent, rather than 'the Devil'. But people's idea of what is evil varies. Some people thought Mrs Thatcher was evil. That's debatable. But certainly the majority of people would regard Adolf Hitler as evil.

          I watched a video about a middle-aged man explaining his near death experience. He said he asked 'God' why there is so much evil in the world. 'He' replied, "But the good and evil in the universe all balance each other out". A big grin came over the man's face as he related this. "And that's so true!" he beamed. I disagreed. Imagine the Jewish child who was pushed, still conscious, into the ovens of Auschwitz, and the agony he must have experienced. (And there were probably many such). So it doesn't/didn't matter because "the good and evil in the universe all balance each other out" ? No, no, no, no, no!

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          • #6
            Is there a creator? I tend to think there is. I can't prove it, of course. Yet neither can it be disproved. Still, I am not at all religious. I don't do 'worship'. Nor do I think of the creative force as an old man in a nightie, as I imagine the Christians do. As Julie Andrews sang, 'Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could'. And the universe is a magnificent thing to have come from nothing and just invented ITSELF!

            Nature is all of a piece, with its inherent laws that science can discover, so this means for me that there is design - complex design - behind it. This suggests a creator - not an anthropocentric being, but an intelligent life force.

            Darwin was right about natural selection, I'm sure, but not evolution. Animals experience minor adaptations, which give rise to sub-species. So part of the design of life it to self-design - but who or what built in this factor? The designer? The big mystery, then, is who created the designer? This suggests the designer must always have been there - it's just so, and we can't prove that or disprove it.

            New species, such as the mammals that replaced the dinosaurs, just appear suddenly in the fossil record. That doesn't suggest evolution in the Darwinian sense. And take the caterpillar, which undergoes metamorphosis to become a butterfly. How the hell did that happen bit by bit? What is the point of it? It looks like a severe case of design to me, and perhaps partly done to give us humans to think.

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            • #7
              If there is a creator, is it 'good'? Or evil? Maybe neither - it just is. "God is love", some say. I can't agree. Why not? Because suffering is built into this planet and maybe even the universe.

              Previously I said that all evil comes from individual actions, so why do I think this? Earth has a food chain. We must all eat to survive. In a sense, everybody (every being) on this planet eats everybody else. Consume or perish. But usually we humans stand at the top of the food chain, so we don't usually think about the daily suffering involved in nature's food chain. But what must it feel like to be eaten alive - to be the gazelle eaten by the lion?

              Well, sometimes humans do get eaten - by sharks, by lions, or whatever. What is it like? It ain't pleasant. Some humans get partially eaten and survive, but it's horrific. One American woman was attacked by her friend's pet chimpanzee:

              Chimp Attack Survivor Charla Nash Opens Up About Face Transplant Setback

              Last edited by garth; 15th February 2020, 02:15 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by garth View Post
                The subject tends to get heated, so please try to remain polite and not use words like 'idiot' or 'bollocks'.

                Tricky, given the subject matter, and what you've posted here so far. Let's wait and see.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Humans can also sometimes get eaten by bacteria, of course: necrotising fasciitis is one example. I well remember the Sun headline of years ago: "Killer bug scoffs three."

                  Now we have the coronavirus, killing off us humans. And we thought we were at the top of the food tree.

                  Conclusion: eating is bad. Even plants don't like to be eaten. Look at nettles. But if we don't eat, we don't survive. Try to stop eating, and there is this thing called the survival instinct that kicks in. And after all, we can't bear hunger. So pity the poor animals who get skinned alive and/or cooked alive in parts of China. This is not to blame the Chinese - cruel practices exist everywhere. So: God is good? God is love? I don't think so somehow, when suffering is written into the universe via the disgusting food chain.

                  On the basis that there is never just one of anything, I expect there are countless other universes. Surely there must be some that lack our cruel food chain, where you just survive by receiving sunlight, until your organs wear out? Let's hope so.

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                  • #10
                    In the beginning the Earth was flat. Or so we thought, until we discovered it was round. And the Earth was at the centre of the universe - until we discovered it wasn't. We know what we experience and we know what we believe - and if we haven't experienced it or don't believe it, then it CAN'T exist! Or so we believe. Therefore UFOs cannot be 'nuts-and-bolts craft piloted by intelligent beings', because we are the top beings in this part of the universe, so they can't exist! Nor can other entities exist that are more intelligent than us and that have powers we regards as paranormal.

                    Well, there is deductive reasoning and there is inductive reasoning. If we have a square that is three meters by three meters, we know, because we can correctly deduce it, that it must have an area of nine meters. A few centuries ago, back in the days when our member Miss Brahms was waiting to be discovered, we Europeans had only ever seen white swans, so we believed that black swans were impossible. That is inductive reasoning; "all the swans I have seen are white, therefore all swans must be white". Then we discovered Australia, and Miss Brahms told the explorers about black swans. But the people taking that tale back to England were disbelieved and ridiculed - until they saw their first black swan.

                    And so it is with the paranormal. If others report it, still it is not believed. Well, meteorites were once considered pseudo-science or 'paranormal' - but not any more. What was paranormal has become normal and accepted. That is why you must never entirely dismiss reported paranormal phenomena. As the saying goes, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". That was certainly true about black swans.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by garth View Post
                      Humans can also sometimes get eaten by bacteria, of course: necrotising fasciitis is one example. I well remember the Sun headline of years ago: "Killer bug scoffs three."

                      Now we have the coronavirus, killing off us humans. And we thought we were at the top of the food tree.

                      Conclusion: eating is bad. Even plants don't like to be eaten. Look at nettles. But if we don't eat, we don't survive. Try to stop eating, and there is this thing called the survival instinct that kicks in. And after all, we can't bear hunger. So pity the poor animals who get skinned alive and/or cooked alive in parts of China. This is not to blame the Chinese - cruel practices exist everywhere. So: God is good? God is love? I don't think so somehow, when suffering is written into the universe via the disgusting food chain.

                      On the basis that there is never just one of anything, I expect there are countless other universes. Surely there must be some that lack our cruel food chain, where you just survive by receiving sunlight, until your organs wear out? Let's hope so.
                      You could follow the path of the "Breatharians" who believe a person can survive on sunlight alone.
                      Unfortunately several adherents to this pseudoscience have carked it through starvation or dehydration!
                      Last edited by wadsy; 15th February 2020, 03:30 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wadsy View Post
                        You could follow the path of the "Breatharians" who believe a person can survive on sunlight alone.
                        Unfortunately several adherents to this pseudoscience have carked it through starvation or dehydration!
                        Yes, I'm well aware you can't do that in THIS universe, Mr Wadsy.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by garth View Post

                          Yes, I'm well aware you can't do that in THIS universe, Mr Wadsy.
                          It is a fact some have tried it. I recall a woman in Australia a few years ago that headed some sort of weird cult.
                          She unsurprisingly got exposed as a charlatan who was ripping some misguided unfortunates off.
                          I don't recall any deaths occurring from it though!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by garth View Post
                            Then there is religion and the question of a creator and / or a supreme being. Here I quote our member Paxton Milk:



                            Why automatically? I should think that evil exists, but it is perpetrated by humans (and other beings) with evil intent, rather than 'the Devil'. But people's idea of what is evil varies.
                            Because God and the Devil are intrinsically linked. I am not talking about evil, with a small ā€˜eā€™, but the Devil as a religious concept. The debate no longer makes in this thread, it was relevant to the discussion on Satanism
                            Last edited by Paxton Milk; 15th February 2020, 04:20 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wadsy View Post

                              It is a fact some have tried it. I recall a woman in Australia a few years ago that headed some sort of weird cult.
                              She unsurprisingly got exposed as a charlatan who was ripping some misguided unfortunates off.
                              I don't recall any deaths occurring from it though!
                              In fact, I suspect you can't die of starvation. It's a myth. People usually die of some entirely different trivial condition, like collapse of vital organs, that totally interrupts the successful experiment of living without food.

                              Comment


                              • Shirley Brahms
                                Shirley Brahms commented
                                Editing a comment
                                I appreciate the bollocks alert in Post #1.
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