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Posted by WillPayton (10009 posts) 1 year, 5 months ago

Poll: Are Mediums/Psychics Real? (40 votes)

Absolutely, I know for sure mediums/psychics are legit 13%
They are likely real, but I'm not completely sure 8%
I dont know 23%
They are likely not real 15%
Absolutely not real, they are all frauds 43%

I was just wondering if people believe in psychic phenomenon such as mediums, contacting spirits, and stuff like that.

If you believe these things exist, have you seen proof, or stories that you believe are true? (If so, can you post links to photos, stories, or other evidence?)

#51 Posted by Abocado (666 posts) - - Show Bio

Fraud for me

#52 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (18878 posts) - - Show Bio

I am sure that psychics and mediums aren't actually contacting spirits or the dead.

I have seen magicians pretty much do similar or even more spectacular things than mediums and they don't claim that what they do is from spirit. In fact people like Derren Brown have done what they do to actually disprove that what mediums do are from spirit. And are simply things we can do.

Id also point out that not all mediums are frauds or rip off merchants since they do genuinely believe in what they do. I don't disagree that there are ones out there that know what they are doing is a load of hogwash but not all are that way. Same comes down to it with other religious people.

Also all claims of people seeing ghosts or having paranormal experiences have pretty much being debunked with more reasonable and yes more ordinary or average explanations. I think alot of these claims that they are ghosts comes from our need to want it to be something more interesting and exciting. Not saying that is always the case but it is a reason.

#53 Edited by mrdecepticonleader (18878 posts) - - Show Bio

@danhimself said:

I can't prove that it's real and I can't prove that it's fake but if it is fake then those people are the lowest of low..I would put them in the same category as pedophiles....they take these people who have experienced loss and prayed upon those feelings to make money off of them....if someone did that to me and I found out that it was fake then I don't know what I would do

I was looking through YouTube for videos on this stuff, found this...

Ha ha I posted that on the religion thread the other day.

#54 Edited by Pyrogram (41560 posts) - - Show Bio

My father once said: if someone truly has this ability they would use it to help people. Not to make a profit. And i agree with that.

That's a really good point!

#55 Edited by Vortex13 (12264 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't believe they are real.

#56 Posted by BumpyBoo (10973 posts) - - Show Bio

@jedixman said:

I believe that there are people who are naturally in tune with emotions that other people give off, whether they're conscious of it or not. But supernatural? No, not really.

I feel like this is a crucial point. It is easy to write them all off as frauds but there are people out there who do not try to profit, or who genuinely believe they have such a gift. They are not deliberately defrauding or misleading anyone. There are those who do, though.

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#57 Posted by Pyrogram (41560 posts) - - Show Bio

@bumpyboo: That's a fair statement. But.....thinking something is real does not make it real.

Religion.

#58 Posted by BumpyBoo (10973 posts) - - Show Bio

@pyrogram: Didn't say it made it real, merely stating that the deception - if it exists - is not always deliberate. A lot of people who believe they have these gifts are just as fooled as everybody else.

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#59 Posted by Pyrogram (41560 posts) - - Show Bio
#60 Posted by BumpyBoo (10973 posts) - - Show Bio

@pyrogram: It is. I would hesitate to use the word delusional, but....it certainly comes to mind ;P

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#61 Posted by Pyrogram (41560 posts) - - Show Bio

@bumpyboo: The whole subject is one big sophism! :P Jokeee

#62 Edited by Durakken (1591 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm getting an image in my head. They're name starts with a D, like a Dave or a Dan, does that ring any bells for anyone?

#63 Posted by Pyrogram (41560 posts) - - Show Bio

@durakken: Darren? Or am I wavelengthing differently? :P

#64 Posted by BumpyBoo (10973 posts) - - Show Bio
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#65 Posted by Durakken (1591 posts) - - Show Bio

@pyrogram: Darren wants me to tell you... He has a big wang and it's in your ear. Do you know what that could mean?

#66 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (18878 posts) - - Show Bio

@durakken said:

@pyrogram: Darren wants me to tell you... He has a big wang and it's in your ear. Do you know what that could mean?

He probably can't hear you now :D

#67 Edited by Pyrogram (41560 posts) - - Show Bio

@durakken said:

@pyrogram: Darren wants me to tell you... He has a big wang and it's in your ear. Do you know what that could mean?

He probably can't hear you now :D

ROFL

#68 Posted by Guardian_of_Gravity (2979 posts) - - Show Bio

There is nothing about psychics or mediums that is plausible from a biological or physics standpoint.

#69 Edited by mrdecepticonleader (18878 posts) - - Show Bio

@pyrogram said:

@mrdecepticonleader said:

@durakken said:

@pyrogram: Darren wants me to tell you... He has a big wang and it's in your ear. Do you know what that could mean?

He probably can't hear you now :D

ROFL

:) I'll ask him to take it out now.

#70 Posted by pooty (11999 posts) - - Show Bio

As others have said, some believe it is a gift and refuse to make a profit from it. In every profession you are going to have frauds, crooks etc. But in every profession you are going to have honest people. If they are not talking to the dead then who are they talking to? If a medium tells a person something from their past, how is that explained? If a group of people claim to see a spirit at different times at different places, how is that explained?

#71 Edited by Blood_Red_Rage (513 posts) - - Show Bio

People who actually believe they have said abilities are simply delusional. And I'm talking about the people who claim to have these abilities they may not be intentionally scamming others but they're off their rocker and need serious help.

#72 Posted by JediXMan (31588 posts) - - Show Bio
@bumpyboo said:

@jedixman said:

I believe that there are people who are naturally in tune with emotions that other people give off, whether they're conscious of it or not. But supernatural? No, not really.

I feel like this is a crucial point. It is easy to write them all off as frauds but there are people out there who do not try to profit, or who genuinely believe they have such a gift. They are not deliberately defrauding or misleading anyone. There are those who do, though.

That's fair. I just have difficulty believing some of the statements made by psychics, and I don't think they all genuinely believe what they say.

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#73 Posted by BumpyBoo (10973 posts) - - Show Bio

@jedixman: Without a doubt, there are a lot of scam artists and charlatans out there. But on the flipside, I performed Tarot readings for about fifteen years before I realised what I was actually doing. still a useful tool in a lot of respects, but I do not personally believe there was anything even remotely psychic going on :)

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#74 Posted by WillPayton (10009 posts) - - Show Bio

@durakken said:

@pyrogram: Darren wants me to tell you... He has a big wang and it's in your ear. Do you know what that could mean?

Wait, wait... could it be Darrin? I used to watch Bewitched reruns when I was a kid, and the main character in that was called... Darrin! Not just that, but Darrin was played by Dick Sargent, who was gay, and is dead now. OMG, that just cant be a coincidence... you must have psychic powers!

#75 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29515 posts) - - Show Bio

@mercy_ said:

@innervenom123: How long did it take you to come up with that one, buddy? Been waiting a while?

I was up all night, Courtney.

Why would you not thank me for the effort? :'(

#76 Edited by DecoyElite (4019 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, but they don't have their badges so they can't use their powers.

#77 Posted by Samimista (21256 posts) - - Show Bio

@bumpyboo: Hehe! I think tarot cards and fortune telling are fun due to you. ^___^

#78 Edited by BumpyBoo (10973 posts) - - Show Bio
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#79 Edited by mrdecepticonleader (18878 posts) - - Show Bio

@durakken said:

@pyrogram: Darren wants me to tell you... He has a big wang and it's in your ear. Do you know what that could mean?

Wait, wait... could it be Darrin? I used to watch Bewitched reruns when I was a kid, and the main character in that was called... Darrin! Not just that, but Darrin was played by Dick Sargent, who was gay, and is dead now. OMG, that just cant be a coincidence... you must have psychic powers!

Ha ha. That just sums it up perfectly.

#80 Posted by SC (13707 posts) - - Show Bio

Depends on definitions. Thats always the thing isn't it, the more ambiguous and inexact a claim or phenomena, more the risk of moving the goal posts or making unfalsifiable assertions. Many arguments in defense and support of mediums and psychics, follow a line of thinking as far as if they help people? Then isn't that a good thing, even if they aren't necessarily one hundred percent true in their claims or practices? Perhaps, sometimes the idea of comfort seems a reasonable bargain for many, but often its a temporary type of comfort that can harmful long term. It also obscures the truth and honesty. Thankfully comfort can also come in many forms including forms that are compatible with honesty and reality, as harsh as reality can be.

For a long time, terms like gut feelings and intuition were considered by some to be beyond science and logic. Yet science has had many interesting, demonstrably evidenced and reasonable things to say about both. If we have psychics or mediums who have abilities that are supernatural in nature, then we have psychics and mediums that can not be tested. Regardless of what they claim and succeed in demonstrating, by virtue of not working with things like logic, reason or science, the claims and demonstrations are worthless. Any perceptive value is subjective and possibly born of ignorance or desire. Same applies with infinite amounts of other claims that require no objective rationale, demonstration or evidence. I can claim that all of you are alive, because I am 200 million years old and I dreamed you to be alive with my psychic powers. You'd probably be skeptical, and thats good, you should be. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and there are prices and costs to believing claims. Some are more innocent and cost less than others. I am typing this message to you. More of you might believe that, since thats not that uncommon and your lives won't be fundamentally different if it turns out I have a computer that inputs commands via my voice. Many claims by mediums and psychics though? A lot more extraordinary, a much bigger cost. Many good people have been preyed on and lost life savings and livelihoods because they were so desperate to reach out to a deceased love one, or to be healed "naturally" or all manner of situations that can be exploited by confident and charming sales people. Good intentions or otherwise.

As far as mediums and psychics with more humble claims that aren't of a supernatural manner, some problems still exist. Pseudo science is still pseudo science, and the reason why is because it usually doesn't have the rigid and vigorous testing, questioning, confirming, critiquing, testing, affirming, etc process that actual sciences have and endure. Doesn't mean that things that haven't been exposed to that process and vigorous process are thereby fake and fraudulent, it just means that a lot more trial and error may be involved, the ability to replicate results might be tricky and the ability to educate and teach others helpful methods and skills is tougher. Many spiritual health advisers try to impart wisdom which isn't so much wisdom but a bit of common sense mixed in with intuitive human knowledge. Humans have long attempted to understand things and so we have picked up some tricks and traditions that do have some success. Some more than others. The more we can refine such processes the better for all. Some find validation by having some basis in reality and finding scientific evidence behind their benefits. Some practices however though have no basis in reality and so rather than face analytical testing and skeptical critical thinking dig their heels into corners where they make claims they argue can't be tested by some supposed virtue of being beyond human senses or comprehension. The unfortunate part is that whilst many skeptics can realize this as the desperation of a con job, there will always be vulnerable people in fragile states at any given time who would be willing to do anything to heal a sick relative or reach out to a deceased best friend or lover or family member.

I am very skeptical of many claims by mediums and psychics, don't now if they are real or not, but I do know that there are many, many real alternatives to many of their claims. I do not know for certain whether if at night, I do turn into a giant dragon, then a vampire girl, then back to my normal self, albeit in an alien land fighting cloud people, and then at a theme park with twins who had flying eyebrows... but I can find it much, much, more likely and plausible that I have dreams when I sleep. When people are not scientifically literate as well, they can be sold faulty goods packaged as science, or ideas that have some scientific principles to add some credibility but then veer away dramatically in order to appeal to a niche.

Another way to answer is to point out that whether we know psychics or mediums are real, we know that doctors and scientists are real and thats an alternative that is much more proven. Dragons and unicorns might be real, but dinosaurs and horses are real. Someone might threaten you with an invisible lightsaber but chances are you are going to worry about the guy with the knife and 9mm. Sometimes the alternatives are so much more real and valid and demonstrable true that even if you do not know, you bet on the best alternative.

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#81 Posted by WillPayton (10009 posts) - - Show Bio

@sc said:

Many arguments in defense and support of mediums and psychics, follow a line of thinking as far as if they help people? Then isn't that a good thing, even if they aren't necessarily one hundred percent true in their claims or practices?

They might help some people, but hurt others. My stance is generally that believing in things that are not true is a net negative. On average, more people will be hurt than are helped.

@sc said:

Another way to answer is to point out that whether we know psychics or mediums are real, we know that doctors and scientists are real and thats an alternative that is much more proven.

You're talking about logic, but people who believe in things that are not true are not necessarily using logic. We can easily see this by looking at all the cases of people (kids in many instances) who die because their caretakers deny them medical treatment due to religious beliefs.

#82 Posted by SC (13707 posts) - - Show Bio

@willpayton said:

They might help some people, but hurt others. My stance is generally that believing in things that are not true is a net negative. On average, more people will be hurt than are helped.You're talking about logic, but people who believe in things that are not true are not necessarily using logic. We can easily see this by looking at all the cases of people (kids in many instances) who die because their caretakers deny them medical treatment due to religious beliefs.

I think the same way. That and alternatives are better for a person and people.

Oh and yes, well I always remember studies which suggest even people who value reason over emotional and consider themselves quite rational, a number of those people are tend to be more emotional than they realize. Thats before we count people who for some reason hold antiscientific and anti-reason, anti-logic views. To state the obvious, we know most people tend to be born with a combination of traits that can be generalized and manifest as curiosity, complacency, conformity. Its really a shame when peoples, especially young peoples curiosity is oppressed and they are taught to never question or doubt or wonder. Then yeah as you say they get caught as victims of parents who also hold views that usually aren't even there own, but are beliefs they have been indoctrinated into.

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#83 Edited by Pyrogram (41560 posts) - - Show Bio

@sc said:

@willpayton said:

They might help some people, but hurt others. My stance is generally that believing in things that are not true is a net negative. On average, more people will be hurt than are helped.You're talking about logic, but people who believe in things that are not true are not necessarily using logic. We can easily see this by looking at all the cases of people (kids in many instances) who die because their caretakers deny them medical treatment due to religious beliefs.

I think the same way. That and alternatives are better for a person and people.

Oh and yes, well I always remember studies which suggest even people who value reason over emotional and consider themselves quite rational, a number of those people are tend to be more emotional than they realize. Thats before we count people who for some reason hold antiscientific and anti-reason, anti-logic views. To state the obvious, we know most people tend to be born with a combination of traits that can be generalized and manifest as curiosity, complacency, conformity. Its really a shame when peoples, especially young peoples curiosity is oppressed and they are taught to never question or doubt or wonder. Then yeah as you say they get caught as victims of parents who also hold views that usually aren't even there own, but are beliefs they have been indoctrinated into.

I agree with this 100%, very true.

#84 Posted by kuonphobos (5015 posts) - - Show Bio

My world-view doesn't rule out the possibility that "psychics" or "mediums" have existed but my belief is that they are extremely rare and that the majority of folks down through the ages who have claimed such "gifts" have been frauds.

That being said I voted "I don't know" because the very nature of supernatural phenomena would make it undetectable to natural methodologies so "evidence" or "proof" is a moot point. What will only be left is eyewitness testimony.

#85 Edited by kuonphobos (5015 posts) - - Show Bio

@sc: Some practices however though have no basis in reality and so rather than face analytical testing and skeptical critical thinking dig their heels into corners where they make claims they argue can't be tested by some supposed virtue of being beyond human senses or comprehension. The unfortunate part is that whilst many skeptics can realize this as the desperation of a con job, there will always be vulnerable people in fragile states at any given time who would be willing to do anything to heal a sick relative or reach out to a deceased best friend or lover or family member.

My comment/observation may be out of context from the point you are making overall but I just felt compelled to share my thoughts. While I agree with your overall assessment and to some degree with this specific excerpt, I wanted to state that it doesn't seem to necessarily follow that every instance you describe here flows back to a "con-artist" motivation. Some people who presuppose a supernatural worldview recognize that any criteria which presupposes materialism/empiricism as absolute truth may be insufficient in it's ability to categorize phenomena that appears to operate outside of their established methodology. Basically it isn't that they fear facing "analytical testing" or "skeptical critical thinking" it is that they find those presupposed values not complete in their ability to quantify and explain certain phenomena.

But again I reiterate that the danger you point out (real con artists preying on the vulnerable) is a very real problem. I would even extend that observation beyond mediums and psychics to include others who operate in such "occult" disciplines like religion. And by "occult" I mean "shadowy" and "non-rational" disciplines which operate outside of the material/empirical methodologies. I would consider myself to have one foot squarely in that milieu BTW as a result of my world-view which makes room for supernatural phenomena.

#86 Edited by TheCheeseStabber (8062 posts) - - Show Bio

My grandma does pyshic readings all the time, her names Joan Klays, you can look her up

#87 Posted by SC (13707 posts) - - Show Bio

@kuonphobos said:

Some practices however though have no basis in reality and so rather than face analytical testing and skeptical critical thinking dig their heels into corners where they make claims they argue can't be tested by some supposed virtue of being beyond human senses or comprehension. The unfortunate part is that whilst many skeptics can realize this as the desperation of a con job, there will always be vulnerable people in fragile states at any given time who would be willing to do anything to heal a sick relative or reach out to a deceased best friend or lover or family member.

My comment/observation may be out of context from the point you are making overall but I just felt compelled to share my thoughts. While I agree with your overall assessment and to some degree with this specific excerpt, I wanted to state that it doesn't seem to necessarily follow that every instance you describe here flows back to a "con-artist" motivation. Some people who presuppose a supernatural worldview recognize that any criteria which presupposes materialism/empiricism as absolute truth may be insufficient in it's ability to categorize phenomena that appears to operate outside of their established methodology. Basically it isn't that they fear facing "analytical testing" or "skeptical critical thinking" it is that they find those presupposed values not complete in their ability to quantify and explain certain phenomena.

But again I reiterate that the danger you point out (real con artists preying on the vulnerable) is a very real problem. I would even extend that observation beyond mediums and psychics to include others who operate in such "occult" disciplines like religion. And by "occult" I mean "shadowy" and "non-rational" disciplines which operate outside of the material/empirical methodologies. I would consider myself to have one foot squarely in that milieu BTW as a result of my world-view which makes room for supernatural phenomena.

I always appreciate your thoughts, they are so well considered and sincere, hence thank you for sharing. ^_^

To me, those that are sincere about their supernatural ideas and beliefs can acknowledge their failings and strengths without trying to undermine, vilify or make falsehoods about logic, reason, reality and so on. So the con part? Well those and only those who actively and willingly mislead, vilify, and undermine things like science and critical thinking because they believe it strengthens their own alternative beliefs or at least tries to equalize the two. Thats a con job to me. Not just exclusive here though, its really a human nature thing, sometimes its not always malicious either, sometimes its just ignorance or limitations. Science and critical thinking are concepts so many people attempting to use either can also be guilty of this sort of con job too for similar reasons, as far as undermining opposing views, just the nature of anything that can't be held accountable to some sort of reason carries certain advantages that be worrying.

Naturally that doesn't mean that I think those that hold a sincere belief in the supernatural fall into patterns which speaks of their nature or actions in ways that can be considered akin to con jobs, even more I know many who do hold supernatural views who readily endorse and advocate for things such as analytical testing and critical thinking they are just honest and sincere about their views and what they can provide evidence for and what they can't, what is dependent on faith and what isn't. What is reasonable and what is faith. I think thats impressive when its accurate and considerate as far as a believer in the supernatural and awareness of its limitations and weaknesses, a demonstration of vulnerability that can only hint at actual strength.

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