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Can You Be To Much Of A Skeptic


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#1 3rdshiftparanormal

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 06:32 AM

Now i really want to talk about this topic for a bit. now it seems like i have been seeing this more and more around the paranormal community, people that either try to disprove any and all evidence that comes to them or on the other hand people that believe everything that is shown to them. Now is it bad to be a skeptic or a true believer in the paranormal? IMO no, however you really need to have a balance when it comes to the evidence that is presented. As for the skeptic side of things it just seems like they are trying to disprove anything they can. which is not totally a bad thing to do, however lets say i have a 100% real picture of a ghost and i put it up here on the forums. Now chances are when i put this picture up at least 80% of the people that look at it is gonna say i am full of it and its not real even tho it is. (hypothetically)
  
   ON the other side of the coin there are indeed alot of people out there looking to fake others which i do believe hurts the people in the paranormal community that take their work seriously. I mean when you look at youtube half the videos on there are those scream videos which, OK yes they are funny to watch someone freak out, but it does paint a bad picture of the people with real evidence. An there are alot of people out there that may be new to ghost hunting or even just those people that jump to ghost when they look at a picture of fog that may have some human features. now normally these people will put up a picture or a video of what they think is a ghost and people will show them that it is nothing paranormal and just something that can be explained. An when this happens most of the time that person that put up the evidence gets really offended and defensive. If this person is you, you need to take it with a grain of salt and look at your evidence and try to see it the way others do and really stop to think if it is indeed a ghost and not something else.

  Really in the end there will always be people that try to fake or even miss interpret the evidence. An there will always be people that try ad disprove anything that you show them no matter how legit it really is. To all the people in the paranormal field ALWAYS have a open mind but at the same time take time and really look at your evidence to see if it is real.

#2 Tantric Kitten

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 08:14 AM

A skeptic is someone who does not form an opinion.  The people you are describing are not skeptics, they are people who do not believe in the paranormal (and who often have an axe to grind with those who believe).

I think it is healthy to be a skeptic, whether you believe in the paranormal or not.  I think it is unhealthy and unhelpful to skew too far either way in belief or disbelief.

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#3 wiccanman

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 09:19 AM

View PostTantric Kitten, on 02 November 2011 - 08:14 AM, said:

A skeptic is someone who does not form an opinion.  The people you are describing are not skeptics, they are people who do not believe in the paranormal (and who often have an axe to grind with those who believe).

I think it is healthy to be a skeptic, whether you believe in the paranormal or not.  I think it is unhealthy and unhelpful to skew too far either way in belief or disbelief.

Dont think I could agree more, well put Tantric.

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#4 FreakE

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 10:02 AM

I had a conversation with a guest investigator one time at one of the locations we were at. He was a self proclaimed skeptic. He could shoot anything down. Now he said he was a believer. Anything we proposed, he would just shoot down. I asked him, ok, what would it take that I could show you, to make you believe my evidence is legitimately real? He admitted that there wasnt much that could. Had I shown him a video of a ball moving down a hallway on its own, he would dismiss it cause he wasnt there to rule out that someone hadnt rolled the ball, or a window was broken letting in the wind to blow the ball.
There will always be people that just wont believe. And there will always be those that want to believe but need credible evidence that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the presented material is real. Both can be frustrating, but it is what it is. Thats the nature of the beast. lol

#5 the_gray_jester

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 10:47 AM

I'm a believer, but only because i have seen things i couldent explain.  If i had never encountered these moments i too would likely be a skeptic.

I think the main thing is we have two sides of technology as well.  People that know the effects and defects of photos and videos,  and those that dont.  Being a Photographer for many years i have witnessed alot of camera deffects, bad shots, low quality video, graining, matrixing, and the like.  usualy through personal screw ups that i have had to compensate for in the passed, i can tell by glancing at a photo weather or not its technical.  As well, we have other photographers and videographers as well.

but then you get people that dont get how matrixing causes an illusion, or how pixilization can often look like a face, or even light refraction from your flash on something reflective can cause a lens flare that looks like an orb.  and they wont believe us when we say what we are quite certain it is. I believe technology is causing more issues for the skeptic/believers riff than anything else.
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#6 Vlawde

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 12:05 PM

View Postthe_gray_jester, on 02 November 2011 - 10:47 AM, said:

I'm a believer, but only because i have seen things i couldent explain.  If i had never encountered these moments i too would likely be a skeptic.

I think the main thing is we have two sides of technology as well.  People that know the effects and defects of photos and videos,  and those that dont.  Being a Photographer for many years i have witnessed alot of camera deffects, bad shots, low quality video, graining, matrixing, and the like.  usualy through personal screw ups that i have had to compensate for in the passed, i can tell by glancing at a photo weather or not its technical.  As well, we have other photographers and videographers as well.

but then you get people that dont get how matrixing causes an illusion, or how pixilization can often look like a face, or even light refraction from your flash on something reflective can cause a lens flare that looks like an orb.  and they wont believe us when we say what we are quite certain it is. I believe technology is causing more issues for the skeptic/believers riff than anything else.


  This is my pet peeve with people accepting any picture as paranormal with out at least questioning the possibility it could be a glitch, illusion or artifact. I was yelling at the TV the other night while watching My Ghost Story on the Bio channel. There were numerous pictures of what were obviously classic dust orbs, and the people talking said the pictures left no doubt there were spirits showing themselves to the camera. AARRGGHH!!!!

   It really has gotten to the point with me that still pictures especially are just no proof at all without corroborating evidence to support that they may be something paranormal. People get so defensive about their dust pics because they WANT to believe so badly they refuse to use common sense. I am a believer in the paranormal, but I'm not often accepting that a lot of "evidence" is paranormal...although some certainly can be

Edited by Vlawde, 02 November 2011 - 12:07 PM.

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#7 moiraesfate

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 04:30 PM

I believe in the paranormal because I've seen too much to say otherwise. If I hadn't seen as much as I have, I wouldn't believe either. However, I'm also willing to say that if you can prove conclusively either way, I will amend my belief. Something is only supernatural until it is shown to be natural.

Lets put it this way... 500 years ago, things like computers, televisions, and even a basic telephone (not a smartphone, a basic dial telephone) would have been considered things of evil because the people didn't understand the technology behind it. The same way they believed unquestioningly in a deity, that disease was caused by demons, and that the world was flat. Two of those things have been proven to be false, one has not.

Just a month ago, I was reading an article on CNN about some scientists that were trying to learn how to create paper thin transparent solar panels that could be painted on home windows to generate electricity and were completely environmentally safe. And the freaky thing? They have almost managed to do it. They were saying that they estimate less than five years before the technology becomes available to the public.

Imagine living 500 years ago and seeing something like that. You'd consider it either evil or heavenly.

Things are only fiction until they aren't. And anyone with an open mind is willing to adjust their belief systems as new evidence is produced.

Edited by moiraesfate, 02 November 2011 - 04:30 PM.


#8 3rdshiftparanormal

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:45 PM

View PostVlawde, on 02 November 2011 - 12:05 PM, said:

This is my pet peeve with people accepting any picture as paranormal with out at least questioning the possibility it could be a glitch, illusion or artifact. I was yelling at the TV the other night while watching My Ghost Story on the Bio channel. There were numerous pictures of what were obviously classic dust orbs, and the people talking said the pictures left no doubt there were spirits showing themselves to the camera. AARRGGHH!!!!

   It really has gotten to the point with me that still pictures especially are just no proof at all without corroborating evidence to support that they may be something paranormal. People get so defensive about their dust pics because they WANT to believe so badly they refuse to use common sense. I am a believer in the paranormal, but I'm not often accepting that a lot of "evidence" is paranormal...although some certainly can be
I could not agree more and definitely if people are going to get into this kinda stuff then take them time do some research about what natural things can look like paranormal. an same as you i hate the orb aka dust pictures that you see everywhere.

#9 the_gray_jester

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:58 PM

I wouldent go so far as to say i "hate" dust orb photos,  i mean we have alot of newcomers to the paranormal, as well as to photography.  i dont hate people bringing these photos to us and asking questions, its the ones that state it HAS to be a ghost and wont listen to reason that i dont particularly like much.  or those that will fight tooth and nail after being told by 5 or 6 people that they believe it to be technical, with alot of good explinations.  Remeber my motto,  "just because you can see it, doesnt mean its there"
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#10 1 Samuel 28

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:13 AM

View Postthe_gray_jester, on 02 November 2011 - 05:58 PM, said:

I wouldent go so far as to say i "hate" dust orb photos,  i mean we have alot of newcomers to the paranormal, as well as to photography.  i dont hate people bringing these photos to us and asking questions, its the ones that state it HAS to be a ghost and wont listen to reason that i dont particularly like much.  or those that will fight tooth and nail after being told by 5 or 6 people that they believe it to be technical, with alot of good explinations.  Remeber my motto,  "just because you can see it, doesnt mean its there"

Well stated.  I remember about four years ago when I first discovered this site (which was at the height of the digital revolution) people didn't understand terms like pixelization.  I remember seeing people post pictures of dust orbs and I was fascinated by this "proof" of spirits.  I went back through many of my own photographs and found dust orbs all over them.  I was shocked; ghosts were all around me without me ever knowing it!  Digital photography has changed everything including our psychology.  Now I can hardly look at an orb photo without dismissing it right away.

However, I have now come to the conclusion that some orb photos may be legit.  Although I cannot offer any examples, I have heard more than one testimony from trusted sources that describe balls of light moving through their living rooms or down their halls.  Proof may indeed be out there, but it's extremely difficult to uncover.




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#11 3rdshiftparanormal

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 04:24 AM

yes and i do agree if someone is new to the field and puts "orb" pictures on here wondering what they are i don't mind that at all, but like you said jester its the ones who get extremely defensive when you try to show them that it is not what they think it is. Now am i saying that orbs are total Rubbish? no, however i have pretty much stopped using pictures with these orbs in them. if i am gonna have a orb in my evidence it needs to be on tape and it needs to have certain features for me to even consider it. for example 1-is it moving in a odd pattern that does not seem like bugs or dust. 2- does it just appear and disappear in the frame. 3- is it a odd color 4- is this orb present during any sort of activity.  Only after these things are meet i take a good look at it and maybe will use it, but that is just me and how i do things.

Edited by 3rdshiftparanormal, 03 November 2011 - 04:26 AM.


#12 PumpkinWraithGStudy

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:27 AM

I definately believe in the paranormal but I also rule out everything natural first.  THe only thing I will say it that no evidence is 100% real unless we can prove it otherwise there would be no need for forums like this because the paranormal is exactly what it says it is.  'Para' = out of/against normal so when evidence is proved 100% then it would become normal wouldn't it?  

Even wth dust orbs I'm open minded.  Obviously I agree with Vlawde when people say it's definately something when it obviousy isn't.  I'm not skeptic but I don't go rushing into believing everything that is said to be real evidence.

For example, look how many photographs have been floating around for years and then get debunked with supporting evidence to prove that it's fake.  That has happened a few times here.  Also those iphone apps which are so obvious to spot but the untrained eye will believe anything and those have been posted here too.  A hotel chain in the UK were fooled and blasted across the papers because a couple managed to fool them into thinking they had captured a ghost on camera in one of their rooms, the paper even printed their story which was completely ridiculous.  People don't do their research and then end up making themselves look daft.

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#13 Tantric Kitten

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 07:28 PM

I always have to defend the orb photos.  I've never been terribly impressed with most orb photos... especially as I am a trained photographer and spent quite a bit of time as a TA in a college dark room teaching people how to avoid them in their photos and on their negatives.  But... then... on my younger son's second birthday (five years ago today) I saw an orb across the room and took a picture of it.  I've trotted it out several times here... it's somewhere back in the boards if you really want to look for it (so November five years ago and I know I said something to the effect of "say hi to grandpa").  So... I do believe some are really paranormal but I also do my level best to educate people about orb photos/videos and exactly what they most likely are when I wander into an orb thread.

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#14 larry

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 06:11 PM

I think the most frustration issue for someone presenting a photo to the community for debunking is the fact that, in my opinion, photos, or any images at all, may never truly be considered as "proof" that the paranormal exists. Such information is just too open to technological manipulation. It is in our nature (and fun) though to keep looking in hopes that we may find something that sends a tingle to the spine....

In the end, a critique may not find an image particularly remarkable despite the owner being convinced there is a paranormal connection. Its important to remember, generally a critic (especicially one with technological experience) will be focused on the image itself, without any alterior motive intended to discredit the owners personal experiences, or belief system.

The flipside in the end here is that just because a photo is not considered persuasive evidence to the argument that ghosts exist, that doesn't disprove the theory that they exist either. Therefore its important for the critique to keep their comments relevant to the image itself, and to hold back on any comments that may offend a postees personal belief system. Balance is kindest to often geniune people just looking for comfort and understanding.

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 06:43 PM

Part of the problem with this is conceptual, and a misappropriation of terminology. "Skeptic" is an honorable position, but there are many who masquerade under this moniker who are something else entirely. And we have helped perpetuat this ruse by allowing them to go unchallenged.

There are five positions in any type of controversy: the True Believer, the Believer, the Agnostic, the Skeptic and the Denier. The agnostic just doesn't know or care. The true believer and the denier checked out their objectivity and intellectual integrity at the door.

The problem with the denier is that the truth is not their objective. It is a feeling of personal power that they are seeking--that they are always right. They've found a position to stand where no one can assault or assail. It's really a place of mental cowardice when you stop to think about it. And the establishment mainstream view that the paranormal doesn't exist is to them like a gang of fellow thugs to give them courage and strength, so they can go around picking on anyone with immunity because they have their "boys" behind them. Funny thing is, if you took away their "gang" they are usually found to have no independent or original ideas of their own. Just like the common thug, if you take away their gang, they're nothing by themselves.

If the paranormal were ever absolutely, scientifically proven to be real, they'd simply move on to something else like bigfoot. If someone ever brought in a bigfoot corpse, they'd move on to something else like alien interdimensional reptilians and the satanic priests who love them (sounds like a good Jerry Springer show, doesn't it?). Serious, honest inquiry has nothing to do with it.

So don't let these kinds of intellectual parasites hijack the language and conceal their true agenda behind the legitimate title of skeptic, of which they are in no way deserving. They're not about the truth, nor any other meaningful discussion, other than something that leads to "I am great and you're a fool." Peg 'em for what they are, and then ignore them.




#16 Eclectic420

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 05:50 AM

I'm probably the first skeptic that came through the door back on the EZ boards here many moons ago. Those days were quite ruff, as there were so many people that believed they had captured a ghost with photography. Back then no one wanted to hear any kind of natural or rational explanation for their captures. Everyone just wanted to be told they had a paranormal photograph. If you told one a rational explanation it often resulted in a gang up on the skeptic. Thankfully the mods back then and Jim had allowed me to keep debunking the photos to the point where members started coming around. I probably have hundreds upon hundreds of posts pretty much saying the same thing over and over, in regards to explanations for orbs, energy ribbons, vortex's, shadows, etc.  

It would appear that the roles have changed these days. Which in my opinion is a good thing. Many have already given the correct definition for a skeptic so i don't need to explain that. Being open to either way paranormal or non paranormal is key. So do I think you can be to skeptical, no I believe not. As long as you remain unbiased in the analysis of the evidence.

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#17 the_gray_jester

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 08:14 AM

I think the access of technology is also bringing up issues.  Nowadays anybody can spend 400$ and get a good quality camera with no experiance.  So they dont know the tricks and follies of photography. Back in the day a quality camera cost a fortune,  and developing photos took time, effort, and skill.  so only people with experiance would bother.  On the other hand, i am far more likely to believe a 35mm photo to a digital for authenticity anyday.  not saying they cant be faked, but its much harder.  

But now you can never have held a camera in your life, spend 400 bucks, and claim yourself to be a photographer. its rough for those of us who have been at it for years and have the practice :P
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#18 Haunted Heart

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 06:18 AM

I don't think you can be too much of a skeptic, however I do think that some people (as somebody has already mentioned on this thread earlier) masquerade under the title when really they are hardened non-believers.


I have had conversations with a person who professes themselves to be a level-headed, open-minded skeptic. This person says they are willing to believe, but that they study things with rationality and all available evidence. Fair enough. But this person, in my opinion is not a skeptic. Why? Because they deliberately SEEK TO DISPROVE the existance of spirits/the paranormal.

In my opinion, a skeptic is one who has not formed a full opinion, that they are open-minded to possibilities. Does a person who claims they are sensible and open minded count as a skeptic if they only look at things from the angle which backs up a belief that the paranormal is all lies and fraud?

In my opinion, a skeptic would look at a so-called paranormal event, and look at it from both sides. Does the event have a very obvious and rational explanation? Could it be paranormal? Where does the evidence lie? Look at what it is, and follow the truth - whether that truth is uncomfortable or boring or amazing.

One thing I come across a lot in study of the paranormal is this: Sometimes the answers that hardened skeptics present are so random and unlikely and complicated that sometimes I have to think - maybe the genuine answer really is the simplest. Sometimes, perhaps, people really have felt the touch of a spirit, or sensed a physical being in their home. Sometimes - whether rarely or commonly - people actually experienced what they think they experienced.


I want to say that I have nothing but respect for true skeptics. The people who search for truth and answers without being totally biased on an inner level. People who seek truth, and aren't afraid to admit if they come across something they can't explain.
One more thing, I think it's important to say: people who are believers, who pretty much end up believing that everything unusual that occurs has to be paranormal, are as narrow minded and as damaging to the study of the paranormal as the hardened non-believers.

Edited by Haunted Heart, 28 November 2011 - 06:21 AM.

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#19 jadewik

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 01:18 PM

To me a skeptic is more someone who takes an analytical look at the presented evidence and points out how it may or may not be evidence of something paranormal and draws a conclusion of either "Yes, it is evidence", "No, it's not evidence" or "I am unable to confirm the evidence due to lack of information".

If a photo, for example, is out of focus and has the wrong exposure and appears to show something-- is there another photo to compare it to? Does taking a second photo obtain the same result? What other things were going on in the area? Often times, people in paranormal forums present a limited amount of information-- simply a photo at a bad angle or what-not-- and then expect everyone to say "OOoOoh. That's definitely a DEMON." I've stopped posting to those threads because I know they don't want to hear the wrong camera setting was used. They also don't want to be asked questions such as "was there anything reflective in the area" or "was it dusty or raining"... often it's those sort of situational questions which result in being called a nay-sayer, but it's difficult to provide an honest opinion of evidence when there is no presentation of the full facts and other situational data necessary to accurately and properly assess the situation.

As the photographer or investigator seeking opinions, you should present as much pertinent information as possible with relation to your query. What was the weather like? Did you investigate your surroundings-- such as investigating drafts, levelness of floors/doors, checking for sources of possible paranormal sounds or smells? Were there witnesses to corroborate the story or event?

I've seen some crazy, unexplainable things that I keep open-ended as "possibly paranormal" because I didn't take time to properly investigate. If I'd taken a better look around, I may have been able to more accurately come to a conclusion... but, then again, I like leaving things open-ended because, for me, the mystery is what piques my interest in the paranormal.
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#20 AVGVSTVS

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 07:14 PM

From a scientific aspect, its healthy to be a skeptic, use it to your advantage use to eliminate all possible explanations until you run out of explanations. On a side note, I laugh how tv and other mediums state "Today, we will be interviewing paranormal expert _ _", what an ridiculous claim! Yes, one can be an expert of sorts with technological aspect of paranormal investigations, but in dealing with the dead, point out one of these proverbial "experts" and I would retort by saying that expert is nothing more that an egotistical kook, looking for his/her 15 mins. The only experts on the dead are the dead, that being said, question everything, however be open to everything as well because we just don't know...



....sorry for the tangent

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