I read a Wikipedia article on this guy named James Randi. Apparently he was (is?) a skeptic of all things Occult (and religion, supernatural, spiritual, etc). What are your thoughts on how we can defend our views which take into account his criticisms?
We don’t. Why do we need to?
I’m a big fan of Randi.
I go through periods where I forget he even exists.
Just a wholesome little old man, who gets enraged at charlatans like Sylvia browne.
Randi cherrypicks hacks, failing that sets up relatively unskilled occultists for certain failure without performing biblical tier miracle, and failing that cries dumb luck and stiffs anyone who beats his prize money challenge.
James Randi was and is always going to be a diehard skeptic, he offered 1mil dollars in bonds. He wanted to get someone to make a fool of themselves, he was never going to not diehard skeptic. Skepticism is healthy, but he is worse off.
There’s a difference between skepticism and blindness.
Randi’s been running his shtick long and stuffing winners of his challenges long enough that I find it very difficult not to deduce he is the latter.
Hence why I said he’s a diehard skeptic, being a skeptic is fine, but he was diehard no matter what he would be shown he would disbelieve it even if it was right in his face.
Yeah, it is one thing to not take every claim at face value and believe every fantastical story someone claims as true, it is another entirely to ignore evidence right in front of your face that repeats itself and has far ranging effects on your life.
Once upon a time, I was pretty hardcore into skepticism. I was actually an atheist for a few months. I figured religion didn’t make any logical sense (meaning some dogmatic version of Christianity) so I went and read some Bertrand Russel books and threw the baby out with the bath water. My father is pretty skeptical. He isn’t a diehard atheist, but he leans that way. He considers himself agnostic. He eventually admitted though that he can pick up on others negative moods. He never really elaborated on the mechanism that he thinks causes that though. I know people have various theories (like its visual, you see body language, or its a sense of smell and animals can consciously pick up on that. It doesn’t explain picking up on things at a distance though.
It is funny when people pretend like this stuff doesn’t exist, and yet act as if it does. I figure it is knowledge I can just use to my advantage. If other people don’t want to believe in obvious things that have a lot of evidence, well, I guess I can some how take advantage of that fact. If people wish to keep themselves in the dark, I suppose I can just run circles around them. The only problem is I hate to watch people suffer, and more importantly I hate to feel their negative vibes. But if someone wants to ignore evidence in favor of bowing to authority figures of non-working systems, I suppose the only real answer is to just block them out until they get a clue.